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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 12 August 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 12 AUGUST 2017 9 GREEK NEWS Drone photos offer breathtaking views of Greece The work of photographer Marina Vernicos is featured in The Guardian Photographer Marina Vernicos has worked hard to shed the label of a 'socialite'; coming from one of Greece's leading ship-owner families, she has quietly pursued a personal career path, making a name for herself through her work, which has been featured in galleries and museums around the world, such as the Museum of Cycladic Art in Greece, Louvre Museum in Paris, Hangaram Art Museum in South Korea, plus galleries in London, Monaco and New York. Her latest output, a collection of drone images from around the Sporades are a celebration of Greek summer and the breathtaking beauty of the northwestern Aegean islands, their coastlines, towns, seaside and rocks. This homage was showcased this week as The Guardian posted her photographs on their Instagram feed in a series titled ‘A Greek island odyssey – in pictures’ offering thousands of visitors a chance to mar- vel at the "transient beauty of summer in the Greek islands". The mini-exhibition features photos of both famous Sporades staples, such as the Lalaria beach in Skiathos, and of 'hidden' - rather not so well-known - beauties, like the small Kyra Panagia islet, belonging to the Holy Monastery of Megisti Lavra on Mount Athos, and populated by 10 residents. Among the islands, Skiathos, Skopelos, and Allonisos have become very fashionable, after the international success of the 2008 film Mamma Mia! while others, such as Skyros, remain relatively untouched by tourism. The latter island, the largest and most southerly in the archipelago, is prominently featured in Vernicos' work, with breathtaking shots of its Chora and the famous Agalipa beach (and familiar wrecked caïque), which is only accessible by water or a small trekking path through the woods. Volunteers set up mobile library for refugees in Greece While refugees in Greece's refugee camps are provided with food, shelter, clothing and medical attention, one thing often missing is a sense of purpose. Having witnessed this firsthand, four volunteers including Laura Samira Naude and Esther ten Zijthoff set out to fill the void with the launch of Education Community Hope and Opportunity (ECHO) - a library on wheels. They shared their ambition with friends in England and Belgium, who assisted with fundraising and sourcing an old minibus, which they fitted out with shelves and computer points for internet access. They drove the minibus to Greece, where Naude and Zijthoff put a call out for books in Greek, English, Arabic, Kurdish, Farsi and French and managed to fill the shelves. full-time for no salary, along with the assistance of volunteers, they have had some challenges along the way, sometimes not being granted access to camps or being shut down without warning. But with ongoing positive Since launching in November, the response to the mobile library has been overwhelming. With 1,300 books, both on shelves and in storage, they welcome 115 readers of all ages each week. "We have also lost many books along the way, as they inevitably go missing, and sometimes, especially with language-learning books, we let people keep them and then make copies to keep up with the demand," Zijthoff told The Guardian. "In the freezing winter we’ve had in Thessaloniki, the van was sometimes warmer than the tents, and people would come inside just to get warm." The library on wheels has become a familiar safe space, giving refugees the chance to read in a peaceful environment and to learn English through informal classes. Run by Zijthoff and Naude feedback from users of the library, the pair remain positive about their initiative, and hope that it will spread to other countries with people in need. "When we started the project, we had a vision of duplicating the library setup in multiple regions in Greece," Zijthoff said. "We are looking for people to hand over the project to, and many volunteers and organisations, not only in Greece but Serbia, Italy, Palestine and Lebanon, say the setup could work very well. So, even if we are not the ones starting them, we hope that the concept will spread." August tourists to break record As Greece swelters in the August heat, a record number of international visitors is forecast this month, with 3.2 million tourists heading for the Aegean by air, according to information released by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE). THe Hellenic Slot Coordina- tion Authority and SETE have released data showing August, as usual, will be be the peak month for international arrivals. Airline passengers arriving at Greek airports (excluding Athens) is forecast as 3.241 million, up 6.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2016, with the largest increase in passengers from Germany, up by 11.7 per cent: an additional 50,000 from last year. Russia and the Netherlands mark the greatest increase in seats, by 25.8 per cent, (46,000 seats) and 18.3 per cent (26,000 seats) respectively. Incoming passengers from Capital controls to ease As of 1 September Greece will marginally lift the limit on bank account withdrawals and allow new accounts to be opened as part of an incremental easing of capital controls. From next month account holders in Greece will be able to withdraw up to €1800 in cash each month, following an announcement by Greece's Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos. The new rule replaces the €840 limit for withdrawals every two weeks. The move comes as part of an effort to ease capital restrictions that have been in place since June 2015 during the height of the debt crisis, when the Greek government strove to prevent cash haem- Papastratos is hiring Marlboro maker Philip Morris has invested €300 million in its Greek unit Papastratos to convert the cigarette plant into a maker of tobacco sticks for its smokeless IQOS product. Launched in 2014, the IQOS device heats tobacco refills to produce tobaccoflavoured vapour instead of burning it, which produces hazardous smoke and tar. It is a hybrid of traditional and electronic cigarettes. Following the announcement in March, the tobac- co company has moved forward with their project to boost the Greek economy. The investment, which has opened 400 new staff positions in Greece, was announced while there was still much distance to be covered between Athens and its creditors. Papastratos, a wholly owned subsidiary of its New York-based parent company, is the largest manufacturer and distributor of cigarettes in Greece, with revenue in 2015 of €1.3 billion with a 40 percent share of the domestic market. The project will bring three new buildings at Papastratos' facility in Aspropyrgos, outside Athens, with new lines of tobacco processing and production of refills for IQOS. "We are implementing what Greece needs right now, investments, new jobs and exports," Harpantidis told reporters. "We will be making a product that will be exported to more than 30 countries around the world." Papastratos has announced it will be hiring production process technicians, maintenance process electricians, IS systems analysts, HR staff, and engineers. orrhaging from its banking system. The decision also allows individuals and companies to open new accounts and withdraw up to 50 per cent of any funds transferred from overseas by credit transfer. the UK are up 8.5 per cent: equivalent to 49,000 passengers. Top destinations include Corfu, Crete, Halkidiki, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, and Zakynthos. Tourism authorities are forecasting a similar performance in September with 2.73 million airline seats already booked.
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