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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 5 May 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 5 MAY 2018 25 GREECE Greek bank deposits on the rise For the second consecutive month, deposits made by households and businesses in Greece have increased, showing promise for the improving economy The Bank of Greece has been the bearer of good news this week, with data released on Monday showing promise for the country's economy. Bank deposits are on the rise, and have been the case for two consecutive months, the country's central bank reported. The combined deposits made by households and businesses increased to €126.02 billion in March, up from €124.92 billion in February, which shows growing confidence in the economy. As a result of the financial crisis that hit in 2009, and subsequent fears of a eurozone exit, banks across the country lost €90 billion. Athens begins its tenure as UNESCO 2018 World Book Capital More than 250 book-related events will take place in the city until April 2019 Athens may be the birthplace of democracy, and the cradle of western culture; it now adds World Book Capital to its list of attributes. This comes as part of an annual initiative by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which convenes delegates from the three major stakeholders of the international book industry: publishers, libraries, and booksellers federations in an advisory committee alongside local representatives that bestow the title of World Book Capital to one city. As the 2018 World Book Capital, the Greek capital will host a series of more than 250 book-related events, including today’s 'Athens Urban Picnic: the Book Edition', an all-day event featuring music, books, cinema, children's activities, theatre and interactive games. More events like this are to follow, as well as exhibitions, open days at libraries and cultural institutions, lectures, and open talks with acclaimed authors, such as Ian McEwan, who was in Athens last week. "We are proud of this distinction. Our ambition and objective is for Athens to become a more book-friendly city, with greater opportunities for learning and knowledge," said president of the organising committee and Athens mayor George Kaminis. The Athens 2018 World Book Capital theme is 'Books Everywhere' #Athens2018 and one of the side projects will definitely make it true; a 'library on wheels' will travel to all parts of the city, reaching the largest number of readers possible. The 2017 World Book Capital was Conakry (Guinea); and from April 2019 it will be Sharjah (UAE). *For more information go to facebook.com/athens2018world-bookcapital/ Crete among top five global travel destinations for 2018 Greece’s popular island has been recognised for its stunning landscape and rich history Greeks are well aware of what a gem Crete is, and it seems the rest of the world is quickly catching on. The island was ranked fifth on the list of Top 10 Destinations in the World for 2018 in the Traveler's Choice Awards run by travel planning and booking site TripAdvisor. Taking out first place was Paris, followed by London, Rome, and Bali. Also making the Top 10 following Crete were Barcelona in sixth place, Prague, Marrakech, Istanbul, and New York in 10th spot. Senior director of communications for TripAdvisor, Brooke Ferencsik, said that this year's list revealed their millions of reviewers from across the world average hotel rate on the Greek island is US$169 per night, with the cheapest month to travel being October, saving up to 36 per cent. The Traveler's Choice Matala beach in Crete. PHOTO: GREECE HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS have a great appreciation for "exploring iconic cities that are full of rich history and culture". And this is certainly true of Crete. The birthplace of both the king of the Olympian gods and of modern European civilisation, "Crete is a Mediterranean jewel," states the TripAdvisor website. According to the site, the Awards results were determined by an algorithm that analyses the quantity and quality of reviews across hotels, restaurants and attractions among 402 destinations around the world over a 12-month period. Meanwhile the island also leads the site's Top 10 Destinations in Greece for 2018. Crete is in first place, with Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, and Mykonos making up the top five, followed by Zakynthos, Athens, Kefallonia, Kos, and Naxos. New rail line project connecting six northern Greek and Bulgarian ports on track The Sea2Sea initiative will cost a total of €3.7 billion An exciting Sea2Sea initiative is set to link six ports across northern Greece and Bulgaria with a high-speed railway. The project is estimated to cost €3.7 billion and a study has revealed the initiative is realistically feasible. The new rail line will connect the ports of Thessaloniki, Kavala, and Alexandroupolis in Greece with Burgas, Varna, and Ruse ports in neighbouring Bulgaria. Most of the project will take place in Greece, and will include a new rail line connecting Thessaloniki with Xanthi. Ionian islands connected with new ferry line It will operate from May to October A long overdue demand of both residents of the Ionian Islands and tourists became a reality this week, with the launch of a new passenger ferry route connecting the islands for the first time. Operating from May till the end of October, High Speed Azimut Joy Cruises will depart every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, connecting Corfu with Paxoi, Lefkada, Ithaki, Cephalonia and Zakynthos. On Tuesday, Thurs- day, and Saturday, the ferry will head back to Corfu from Zakynthos, making the same stops. On 6 September 2017, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the high-speed railway. The next step will see the project presented to EU Commissioner Violeta Bulc.
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12 May 2018