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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 25 August 2018
6 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 25 AUGUST 2018 NEWS Athens International Airport profits €140.05m in 2017 Tax-free retail shopping in Greece continues to grow Athens International Airport (ΑΙΑ) Eleftherios Venizelos has reportedly reached a net profit of €140.05 million in 2017, over €8 million more than 2016's €132.4 million. Moreover, operational revenues reached €433.5 million, up by 6.61 per cent compared to 2016, attributed mainly to the increase in passenger traffic and improved commercial sales. A dividend to shareholders will not be issued, however, citing an extension of the current concession contract with the Greek state binding AIA over €1.35bn, daily newspaper Naftemporiki reports. Greece's busiest airport still needs to make up for the €79.9m fee the Greek state imposed in 2016 for "airport improvement and development". Meanwhile, profits from duty-free shopping across Greece are also seeing an increase. Most purchases linked with a return of VAT for consumers visiting from nonEU countries, continued to post an annual growth rate of roughly 20 per cent, in terms of value of transactions, and up to 30 per cent over the Jan-July 2018 period. Surprisingly, even though profits from the tax-free shopping sector in Greece are increasing year-round, the same does not apply to the average daily spending per tourist which has dropped a whopping 25 per cent, compared to 2016. On average, a tourist woulds spend €50 in 2017, €70 down from the previous year. Based on a report released by Global Blue Hellas, Chinese and US nationals comprise nearly half of the total number of tax-free shopping sales in the country. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Greek Minister of Culture calls for the return of the Parthenon Marbles Greece's Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou has sent out a letter pushing British authorities to re-assume talks for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. The letter was addressed to the UK culture secretary and stressed the cultural and moral dimensions of the issue as Lord Elgin, who removed the statues now exhibited in the British Museum from the Parthenon, had claimed that he received permission from the authorities of the Ottoman Empire, who occupied Greece at the time, to take them. Koniordou went on to highlight the recent call for dialogue by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in the case of Illicit Appropriation (ICPRCP). "The Parthenon sculptures are the legal property of the British Museum. They are free of charge to view and are visited by people from all Lydia Koniordou over the world. Decisions relating to their care are taken by the trustees of the British Museum, free from political interference," a spokesperson for the British government said. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the British Museum argued that "the Parthenon sculptures are a part of the world's shared heritage and transcend political boundaries" and were a part of "the story of cultural achievement Take a picture, not a pebble A campaign has been launched on Skiathos island to save Lalaria beach from the destruction being caused by tourists PHOTO: ATHENS AIRPORT Greece’s latest popular wedding destination Greece has long been a popular destination for weddings, especially since the rise of couples opting for smaller, more intimate weddings abroad. While many popular spots across Greece including Santorini and Mykonos are synonymous with luxury, the latest location in the Aegean attracting smitten couples is a little more unassuming. Leipsoi, located near Patmos, is an islet with a population of just under 800 people, and is now being promoted across Greece and abroad by the local municipality, along with the country’s tourism industry, for ticking all the boxes when it comes to romance, Athens News Agency reports. Quintessentially Greek, it is rich with natural beauty. Surrounded by stunning crystal clear waters, it is home to a number of churches and monasteries, along with picturesque villages. "Take a picture, not a pebble". This is the instruction being given to tourists visiting the Greek island of Skiathos as part of a new campaign to protect the beach of Lalaria. Launched by the island's Culture Association with the cooperation of the Port Authority and encouragement of local residents, the round white pebbles found on the beach are somewhat of a lo- cal treasure. Referred to as 'Lalaria', which comes from the ancient Greek work 'las' that means stone, the pebbles are found at a specific area on the beach that can only be accessed via sea. Tourists are transported there by boat, and it seems many have viewed the pebbles as a personal memento from the island to take with them back home. But local author- Number of cases of West Nile virus in Attica increases West Nile virus has been spreading widely in recent years in Greece following an increase in mosquito populations migrating from Africa. Even though it is called The crystal waters of Leipsoi. PHOTO: DISCOVER GREECE West Nile, as its symptoms were first categorised and isolated in Uganda, the virus reportedly afflicts people and livestock in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Another six municipalities in Attica were added to the areas that have reported cases of the West Nile virus this summer, while cases have been documented in at least 39 municipalities, including central suburbs like Kallithea, Egaleo and Piraeus. Last year, only 10 municipalities reported cases of the virus which has infected at least 77 people from 31 May until 20 August, claiming five lives in Attica alone. The virus has also infected people in Viotia, Halkidiki, Thessaloniki, Evia, Imathia, Pella, Corinth, Kilkis and Rethymno. throughout the world," which the institution's exhibits tell. "The Acropolis Museum al- lows the Parthenon sculptures that are in Athens (approximately half of what survives from the ancient world) to be appreciated against the backdrop of Athenian history. The Parthenon sculptures in London are an important representation of ancient Athenian civilisation in the context of world history. Each year millions of visitors, free of charge, admire the artistry of the sculptures and gain insight into how ancient Greece influenced and was influenced by the other civilisations that it encountered. "The trustees firmly believe that there is a positive advantage and public benefit in having the sculptures divided between two great museums, each telling a complementary but different story," the statement concluded. Notably, and contrary to the British Museum's statement, a poll regarding the return of the 'Elgin' Marbles which was conducted in the UK back in 2014 showed the British public mostly back the marbles' return to Greece or are largely ambivalent, The Independent reported. More specifically, YouGov revealed that 37 per cent think the statues should go back to Greece, 32 per cent did not mind either way, while 23 per cent said they should remain in Britain. Seven per cent said they did not know. The Lalaria pebbles found on Skiathos. PHOTO: PINTEREST ities are concerned about the destruction that is resulting. To try and combat the re- moval of the pebbles, a sign has been installed in the vicinity, and on the boat transporting people to the site, telling passersby that taking pebbles is actually 'strictly prohibited'. Those who are found to be taking the Lalaria pebbles face strict fines ranging between €400 to €1,000.
18 August 2018
01 September 2018