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April 2015, Issue No. 23


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A desperate letter from Crete:

“Greece deserves freedom from European overseers”

Give Greece a chance. Support the people of Greece by encouraging world leaders to allow the Greek government some leeway to aid the children, women and men who need more hope and help. p.10

When the dream turns into a nightmare, with a little help from bureaucracy

24 Hour Guarded Parking

Car Wash


Your choice is...


If you drive along the country roads of Apokoronas you can’t have failed to notice the concrete mixer lorries that are making a reappearance, indicating renewed activity in the area of the house building industry. p.6

Something more than a letter

Stray animals issue... concerns all of us


OFI Crete Football Club withdraw from Super League, due to mounting debts

Historic club OFI Crete announced that they are withdrawing immediately from the Greek Super League criticising the top-flight circuit for “unfair and uneven decisions” against the club. p.30

The island is an established holiday home market with great potential and an existing track record


The effects of bullying from a mother’s perspective

“Too many children suffer in silence” Public Bus Service is the Best Affordable Way to Travel to... Chania, Rethymnon, Heraklion and to all Southwestern Crete


Sports radio on the web... www.sportfmxania.gr

www.gelamou.gr... only the good news !!!


by Elpida “Hope” Katsarakis NEA TV Journalist

… he last thing ever lost” says an italian proverb . Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as

well dance. And when we dance to a song like ‘Gimme me hope Joanna...’ by Eddy Grant, well life becomes at least interesting! ‘Gimme me hope Joanna...’ was a song I hadn’t listen for many, many years. It is a well-known anti-apartheid (South african regime) reggae anthem from the 1980s. One of weirdest protest songs and one of weirdest allegories in the lyrics. Joanna is short for Johannesburg, city of South Africa, representing the government. Here are the lyrics : “Well Jo’anna she runs a country She runs in Durban and the Transvaal


me out to the mountains and to the Cretan villages, getting selfies with red, by Pandelis Spiridakis gelamou.gr green, purple flowers, chasing butterflies and enjoying Easter magics! Spring me out …man! DON’T FOOL ME…if u just google Easter Crete, you will discover hundreds of photos. People love this period at Crete…can’t blame anyone! The most popular custom is the Burning of Judah. Young people from the villages collect woods and they mold a high pyramid. In the top they put a scarecrow with an old suit…that is supposed to be Judah! The village bell rings and the fireworks transform the night to day. This custom from the well known village Anogia is now a documentary that comes out in cinema.

Hope is...

She makes a few of her people happy, oh She don’t care about the rest at all She’s got a system they call apartheid It keeps a brother in a subjection But maybe pressure can make Jo’anna see How everybody could a live as one

Gimme hope, Jo’anna Hope, Jo’anna Gimme hope, Jo’anna ‘Fore the morning come Gimme hope, Jo’anna Hope, Jo’anna Hope before the morning come I hear she make all the golden money To buy new weapons, any shape of guns While every mother in black Soweto fears The killing of another son Sneakin’ across all the neighbours’ borders Now and again having little fun She doesn’t care if the fun and games she play

Is dang’rous to ev’ryone She’s got supporters in high up places Who turn their heads to the city sun Jo’anna give them the fancy money Oh to tempt anyone who’d come She even knows how to swing opinion In every magazine and the journals For every bad move that this Jo’anna makes They got a good explanation


Even the preacher who works for Jesus The Archbishop who’s a peaceful man Together say that the freedom fighters Will overcome the very strong I wanna know if you’re blind Jo’anna If you wanna hear the sound of drums Can’t you see that the tide is turning Oh don’t make me wait till the morning come .” So happy sounding protest songs are rare as way , so take a moment and really listen to it …

Editors: Pandelis Giaitsis, Elpida “Hope” Katsarakis, Pandelis Spiridakis, Petros Chatzistavros, Giannis Kriaras, Nicos Lazakis, Miltiades Markatos, Giannis Venetakis, Giannis Xamonakis, Petros Marinakis, Antonia Tsakirakis., Giorgos Atsalakis, Stavros Tsihlis.

Live @ Love @ Laugh

“Easter at Anogia” shows the ancient custom of Burning the Orfan. The 5 churches of the village compete for the biggest fire which becomes a brilliant spectacle!

That proves one big theory : People is the culture, people give the message, people make the story big , medium , or catchy! Crete is the most crazy crossroad. People here have realized this and they give their best to visitors. Sometimes visitors become residents and protagonists of the island. (Did your lives crossed your minds?) Vasilis Tzounaras visited Gavdos in 1990. Nowadays he is the most crazy radio producer in the southest post of Europe. He started Gavdos fm 88,8 when electricity was not even provided. Before him the only radio station broadcasted Arabian programmes. People from Gavdos gave him 3 months of life , but he managed to stay behind

the microphone for 11 years! Spring me out …man! DON’T FOOL ME, people give the message , people make the story big , medium , or catchy!

Even in Rethimno people wake up and start the new game. I would never believe that some young people would prepare a Bollywood...Flash Mob in the streets of the city. A mass choreography from guys that have started their rehearsals here at Rethimno. Guys that don’t pay attention to their age or their sex , they intend to make the Rethimno streets into a Bollywood madness! And we are putting up with little stupid details , doomed to pass away ! Cause people in Crete have the energy, the stubbornness and the brains to escape enjoying easter moments! Let’s get in the team with all those people who give the message , people that make the story big & catchy! Happy and refreshing Easter to all … Pantelis

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CHANIA POST... on the go Android Mac OS ECO friendly paper - Please recycle When you finish reading... give it to a friend Find CHANIA POST at the following points: CHANIA Municipal Market, Airport, Public Bus Central Station, Old Harbour, Municipal Tourist Information Desk PLATANIAS Central Square Infokiosk, Botanical Park KISSAMOS Gramvousa and Balos boats, Elafonissi, Falassarna KANDANOS-SELINO Paleochora Info Desk, Sougia, Kandanos SFAKIA Hora Sfakion Infokiosk, Loutro, Agia Roumeli, ANENDYK boats APOKORONAS Georgioupoli, Kavros, Vamos, Kalyves, Vrysses Also in Chania taxis, Limnoupolis Water Park and in selected cafes, businesses and shops throughout Chania Prefecture.

Chania... monthly shot

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(by Pavlos Mpouzis)

Algean Property Survey:

Crete is an established holiday home market with great potential and an existing track record

Holiday Home Market Overview Crete is one of the most developed segments of the Greek holiday home market with a significant track record. A large number of transactions have been completed mainly by northern and central Europeans in the past years. Since 2009, the ongoing financial crisis has weakened the demand from abroad, stopped any residential development and has led to a substantial fall in the sale prices. In 2014, the improvement of the Greek economy and the incentives to foreign investors, such as the “Golden” visa scheme, put some spark back into the interest from abroad. If the new coalition government ensures a sustainable solution for the debt, securing political stability and the recovery of the economy, transactions will pick up for the entire Greek holiday home market in 2015. Demand Crete is a popular destination for all types of holiday home buyers. It offers easy access, moderate climate, quality of life, natural beauty and good investment value. In this context, Scandinavians, British, Germans and other Europeans have already bought properties in Crete either as holiday home, investment or retirement. During the financial crisis, the demand was anemic both from locals and foreigners. A growing interest appeared in 2014. Northern and central Europeans look for residences in organised residential complexes but they are still wary due to political instability. There has been an increasing demand by non-EU citizens led by the “Golden” visa scheme – residence permit for investments in excess of € 250,000. Russians are interested in seafront detached residences mainly in the prefectures of Heraklion and Lasithi. Chinese are also considering buying

Supply The official survey by Elstat, “Population and Housing Census 2011”, recorded that the total number of holiday homes in Crete was 37,470. This figure represents only 5% of the country’s total stock of holiday homes. An additional amount of 44,186 residences was recorded as secondary homes in the same report. The number of holiday homes in Crete has remained essentially unchanged during the last three years as any residential development was put on hold. Before the financial crisis, the Cretan holiday home market was a fast growing market with strong overseas demand and high building activity. Large residential complexes have been built and others are in the pipeline. It is estimated that the holiday homes for sale in Crete are about 5,000, as a number of residential complexes remain unsold and many Greek and foreign owners have placed their private residences on the market. The new growing overseas interest is adequate and can absorb the current supply and re-launch the investment activity in the region. Price Transactions Holiday home prices in Crete are expected to remain stable in 2015, following a cumulative decrease of 40% since the beginning of the crisis. The drop in high – end holiday homes is relatively lower. The asking sale price for prime holiday homes ranges from € 2,500 – 4,500/ m2 . Bargains at lower prices still exist, mainly by local owners or developers with matured debts. The rising interest by foreign visitors for rental of luxury villas has led many owners to let their properties at high rates. The higher rates are mostly found in the prefecture of Lasithi where the well-known luxury holiday destinations of Elounda and Ag. Nikolaos are located. According to our research, the high-end holiday homes in Crete are let at a € 2,500 – 5,500 weekly rate, offering Holiday Home Market Prices – Transactions more than a 5% average gross yield. Therefore, the acquisition of a holiday home in Crete is an excellent investment decision. An upturn in the number of transactions was recorded in 2014. On the other hand, the figures are still below the pre-crisis levels and the region’s potential. We expect this growing trend to strengthen further in 2015, assuming the political and financial stability of the country continues. Outlook Crete is an established holiday home market with great potential and an existing track record. It has all the infrastructure – airports, roads, ports, hospitals, shops, etc. – and features unspoiled landscapes and beaches, archeological and religious sites, Mediterranean climate and cuisine and draws the attention of foreign holiday home buyers. The incentives in the new leg-

islative framework and the substantial discount in sale prices offer investment opportunities in a location with high tourism prospects. In 2015, demand from foreign investors will pick up on the number of transactions in the Cretan holiday home market and lead to the revival of investment activity in the region. Hospitality Market Overview Crete is the key driver of the Greek hospitality market and contributes 20% to the Greek tourism sector. The performance of the tourism sector enhances the image of Crete as a tourist destination and draws the attention of international hotel operators, developers and investors. Even though various international operators are already present in Crete, the Cretan Hospitality market is mainly controlled by local brands. The new investment friendly framework and tourism demand have rebooted the investment activity on the island. Crete can support different types of tourist activities, such as sun and beach luxury tourism, agrotourism, cultural, religious, medical and therapeutic, outdoor and sea activities and gastronomic tourism. Supply The total hotel capacity in Crete amounts to 1,540 hotel units with 87,551 rooms and 166,370 beds according to latest data from the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels. Of which 14,693 hotel beds have been added to the stock of the region in the period 2008 – 2013, recording a 9.7% increase. More than 75% of new hotel beds were in the high end category. Crete contributes more than 20% of the country’s hotel beds. The corresponding figure for the country’s 5 star hotel beds hasclimbed to 30%. Heraklion has the lion’s share – 40.9% – of Crete’s hotel beds with 68,122 beds along with 491 hotel units and 35,358 rooms, predominantly four and five star hotels amounting to 60% of the prefecture’s hotel rooms and beds. The hotel capacity in Chania amounts to 536 hotel units with 23,357 rooms and 42,938 beds, mostly in the 2 star category. The hotel market in Rethymno is mainly in the middle categories. The lack of international brands and upscale hotel units in Chania and Rethymno make their markets promising for hotel investors. Lasithi has the smallest share of Cretan hotel capacity. 26.2% of 5 star hotel beds in Crete are located in Lasithi, as the area is highly dedicated to luxury tourism. In Crete, the average hotel size is 57 rooms while for 5 star hotels the corresponding figure goes up to 206 rooms. Perspective The performance of the Cretan hospitality market was impressive during the last years as it recorded a remarkable increase in tourist arrivals. There is a strong trend for lux-

ury tourism while visitors are mainly from EU countries. An essential weakness is its perceived seasonality found in most regions of Greece. More specifically, 87.4% of international tourists arrived in Crete between May to September in 2014. The average occupancy rate was above 60%, with Heraklion having the top performance. A number of essential measures are required in order for the Cretan hospitality market to further achieve its promising for more news click on prospects. http://cretepost.gr The improvement of the island’s infrastructure – airports, roads, ports, marinas – is necessary. Indicatively, the two international airports reach the limit of their capacity during the summer months. The replacement of the Heraklion airport and the upgrading of the international airport in Chania are of major importance. The development of different types of tourism products is also crucial for attracting additional visitors, increasing the average stay and prolonging the holiday season. Outlook Crete is a worldwide recognised rand name as a tourist destination. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of room for improvement in rder for Crete to become the leading tourism destination in the Mediterranean. It combines a) an ideal location – easy access, moderate climate, infinite coastline, geographical diversity, b) an excellent lifestyle – local cuisine, cultural and historical sites, hospitality, safety, outdoor life, and c) well developed facilities – international airports and ports, roads and marinas, healthcare system, sports and food and beverage amenities. The Cretan hospitality market must focus on more luxury and exclusive accommodation, develop products for alternative tourism and further improve the current infrastructure. The promising prospects of the Cretan hospitality market and the growing trend of tourism is expected to revive real estate activity and attract more international hotel operators, developers and investors to the region.

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the 5th largest in the Mediterranean Sea, and is located approximately 160 kilometers south of the Greek mainland. Together with its neighboring islands, Crete forms one of the 13 administrative regions of Greece. The island is subdivided into 4 prefectures – Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Lasithi, and 24 municipalities. Crete is located at the crossroads of three continents, the south-western part of Asia, northern Africa and south-eastern Europe, and includes the southernmost part of Europe, Gavdos island. Crete is a well-established holiday market worldwide. It offers long stretches of beach - more than 100 with Blue Flags eco-label, archeological and religious sites, local culinary experiences, ideal climate and beautiful landscapes as well as sports facilities - 2 golf courses and many water sports facilities, general hospital in every prefecture and numerous cafes, bars, clubs, taverns and restaurants. Its tourist infrastructure can support all types of tourism. It is a place of rare beauty that invites millions of people every year to discover the island’s hidden treasures.

land plots outside the residential zones to build their own residential communities, while Israelis and Arabs prefer luxury properties with swimming pool, sea views and on-site amenities.

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Crete is Greece’s largest island and

Tax Rates in Greece

A) Interest Interest is subject to withholding tax at the rate of 15%, exhausting any further tax liability for individuals. The tax is withheld by the person paying the interest. The relevant provision is effective for fiscal years ending from 1.1.2013 onwards. Tax residents in Greece that gain interest income from deposits to banks outside of Greece are liable to pay the 15% tax in Greece.

on for more news click r t.g os ep http://cret

B) Income from immovable property

Income from immovable property is subject to tax as per the following tax scale:

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The term income from immovable property has the meaning of income in cash or in kind, deriving from the leasing or self-use or the free of charge grant of use of real estate. Income in kind is computed at market value whereas imputed income from self-use or free of charge grant of use is computed at 3% of the objective value of the real estate. The free of charge grant of residence with surface up to 200 sq.m. to ascendants or descendants, for the purpose

C) Dividends Dividends are subject to withholding tax at the rate of 10%, exhausting any further tax liability for individuals. The tax is withheld by the person paying the dividends. The concept of dividends is extended in accordance with the OECD guidelines and includes all distributable profits irrespective of the legal form of the distributing entity.

D) Business profit Business profit is defined as the total revenues from business transactions after deduction on business expenses, depreciation and bad debt provisions taxed according to the following scale:

Exemption: 13% (reduction by 50% of the tax rate of the first bracket for annual income up to € 10,000 for new sole proprietorships and freelancers that are registered (commencement of business activity) from 1.1.2013 onwards and for the first 3 years of their business activities.

two requests from the tax authorities E) Tax scale for payroll and pension income The taxable payroll and pension income is subject to tax according to the following scale:

Any fortune increase deriving from an illegal, unjustified or unknown source or cause is considered as business profit subject to tax at 33%. For individuals, an amount of 55% of the tax due is assessed against the tax corresponding to the revenues from business activities of the current year.

* For income up to 21,000€, the income tax is reduced up to 2,100€. (in fact for income up to 21,000€ there is a tax allowance of 9,500€).

Indirect method of profits’ determination

Only employees and pensioners who are permanent tax residents in Greece must collect personal expenditure receipts for shopping etc. to qualify for the above tax brackets.

Business income is determined based on indirect audit methods in case of certain infringements making audit verifications impossible or when the accounting books as well as other supporting documentation are not maintained or disclosed for inspection after

For income more than 21,000€ the reduced tax of 2,100€ is reduced 100€ for every 1,000€.

The receipts concern any daily living expenses that a family can spend, except of telephone bills, electricity bills, transportation bills and car, boat and property purchase. Minimum worth expenditure receipts required by the tax office in order to qualify for the above tax bracket is: 10% of the total income.

What to look out for when you buy car insurance in Greece! Insurance

policies are sometimes very ‘’technical’’ to understand, particularly more if someby Stavros Tsihlis Insurance & Investment one does not speak Advisor the local language. “Small print’’ is never advertised or made clear at the moment of purchase which makes the following article more relevant to those who seek the right cover for their vehicle. Below are 6 important tips to take into consideration when you buy car insurance. According to Bank of Greece’s website (www.bankofgreece.gr) the insurance companies that operate in Greece at the moment are more than 100. This means that a company might be

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of being used as a primary residence, is exempt. It is also has the meaning of rent from ‘epavlis’ according EOT-ESL licence paragraph 5 of article 46 of law 4179/2013.

legally registered in Greece but might not have the know-how or financial capabilities to support its customers in case of a claim. This became particularly apparent after the suspension of Evima insurance and Diethnis Enosi insurance in 2013, leaving thousands of customers without insurance cover. Bank of Greece has intensified checks on insurance companies and there will be more developments in this area. So when you look out for insurance in Greece you should not base your decision only on premiums, as a cheap premium might mean that the firm is trying to attract customers in order to compensate for its poor financial performance. Instead, look for reputable companies

that will give you value for money. Below are some points to take into consideration: 1) What is the company’s financial record? What is the agreed timeframe for a claim to be handled? What is the solvency margin of the firm you are about to sign up to? Your insurance advisor should be able to answer the above questions. 2) Road Assistance service: Do you have cover only after an accident or for any reason that the car is immobilised? (e.g. out of petrol, flat tire, mechanical failure etc). Ask your insurance advisor! 3) Green Card: Is it issued for free or is there an extra premium in order to get it? 4) Is the current commercial value of your vehicle reflected in your plan?

Your contract should be revised each term in order to reflect the correct commercial value of your vehicle. Otherwise you might end up paying a higher premium for a value that will not be reflected in a compensation! 5) Is your advisor / company accessible at all times? Is there a 24-hour help line when your advisor is not able to pick up the phone or answer your emails? 6) Do you have cover against un-insured drivers? (Even in the most basic plan). Unfortunately due to the crisis Greeks cut back on their expenses and there are more than one million vehicles in Greece without cover at the moment! And remember this: A drunk driver is considered a driver with no insurance cover by the Greek insurance firms!

Valid from 3/4/2015 until 16/4/2015


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Offers for April


Bananas per kg Valid until 12/4

(ANTHOTIROS) from Crete price per kg

2 pcs



63-73gr 6 pcs paper pack

laundry powder box 48oz. price per oz. only 0,11 €

We give value to our local products.

Together, we stand by our society and support our economy!

When the dream turns into a nightmare, with a little help from bureaucracy

If you drive along the country roads

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news & articles

of Apokoronas you can’t have failed to notice the concrete mixer lorries by Giannis Xamonakis that are making a reappearance, inapokoronasnews.gr dicating renewed activity in the area of the house building industry. This is a sign of the holiday home industry tentatively re-emerging from the ashes of the financial crisis to the accompanying sounds of the distant rumble of jackhammers pounding the hillsides. And you would be right in thinking that the new buildings are paid for by foreigners who want a home in Crete. But not all existing residents, it seems, are happy with what they’ve got. Only a couple of months ago, I received an email from Rose, one of the British residents in Apokoronas, telling me that she had a tale to tell about her experiences of owning a home in Crete. And it was not a happy one. So, on a glorious day in on for more news click January, one of the few http://cretepost.gr good days we had this winter, in between spells of torrential rain and freezing temperatures, I met with Rose and some of her Apokoronas resident friends at a café frequented by the British community, and listened to some of the problems that turned their dream into a nightmare. Many British arrived here in Apokoronas in the 1990s, buying and renovating old village houses in almost deserted villages; by the boom years of the mid 2000s there had been a flurry of newly built homes ‘for the foreign buyer who wants to live their dream in the sun’. Over three and a half thousand British citizens seized the opportunity and moved to Apokoronas, spending their life’s savings on a property, their pension and/or savings supporting the local economy. Property developers and estate agents mushroomed, and they were all making very good money. But by the time the economic crisis hit Greece, some of the developers, driven by greed and on the back of some of the most irrational and unfair legal framework, designed deliberately or by accident to favour dishonesty and corruption, decided to take the easy way out of the crisis, at the expense of the foreign buyers. Naturally, out of the three thousand or so people who have built houses in Apokoronas, there are bound to be some who had bad experiences with builders, as is the case the world over. However, here in Apokoronas – as in the rest of Greece - the problem goes beyond the few cases of buyers falling into the hands of a rogue developer through bad luck or carelessness. As I discovered, the bizarre legislation of this country seems to encourage corrupt practices and deception, to the detriment of property buyers. One of the people at the meeting was Raymond (not his real name) who retired to Crete after a lifetime’s work in the UK and other European countries. He related to me the long and tangled story of incompetence and dishonesty on the part of the developer and a number of other ‘professionals’ who were supposed to protect his interests, engaged by him on the project of building his retirement home. “I don’t know what else could have gone wrong,” he said by way of introduction. “Maybe I’ll find out something else when I’m trying to sell,” he added. Because the timing of his house building coincided with the beginning of the crisis, Raymond has probably suffered more than most at the hands of a

oper – money that the buyer has usually already handed over to the developer – but bad news for the buyer. The civil engineer can refuse to sign until their bill for work carried out in the property is settled. As one local civil engineer (who did not want to be named) put it, “We are 50K out of pocket – for getting plans and permits for just one developer. We have already paid the planning department and paid tax. Our only hope of getting our money back is if the people who bought the house want domestic electricity in the future.” Similarly, IKA chases the owner, who finds out for the first time that there is

department that does not accept its own decisions – they issued building permits a few years ago and now they do not recognise them. And nobody is prepared to make a ruling to resolve an issue that affects thousands of people.” The worry according to the forestry department is, she explained, that the state might have a claim on land that could be forestry. “But in this case,” the civil engineer continued, “they should have made a legal claim and registered it in the local land deeds repository.” And again, not deciding how to interpret a new regulation is the lazy answer to the complete lack of ability by the

state to complete the national land registry project like every other country in Europe (with the possible exception of Albania) has done. And that would have solved the ambiguity in land use designation.

A bizarre maze of laws and regulations stack the odds against the buyer After listening to several of these cases, one could start thinking that buyers should have been more careful and not have parted so freely with their hardearned money. But who would really expect that solicitors do not need to perform thorough checks on a property before exchange of contracts and cash? That solicitors could engage in questionable practices when handling client’s accounts? That significant errors in contracts would go unnoticed, until the time the diggers come to start on the foundations of the buyer’s house? And that in the event of any of the above happening – and they all have - the buyer is left without any legal consumer protection?

a debt ten years after the house has been completed and after they thought they had paid the money to the developer when the house was being built. IKA adheres to its own rules, disregarding private legal contracts and receipts as proof of payment, and pursues the owner of the property, the victim of fraud committed by the developer, for the outstanding debts. “The reason for this,” a specialist lawyer tried to explain, “is that IKA can always trace the property owner, while developers often disappear.” So, chasing the victim is the easy alternative to a complete lack of checks by building inspectors and the inability of government departments to communicate with the property owner at the time of the completion of the building. But that is not all; when and if the payments are eventually made, the workers who are entitled to the insurance contributions do not get them as they, too, are impossible to trace. “I cannot see why they have to do that,” the lawyer continued. “Builders are liable for paying their own unpaid tax; and they can be traced - very often the same people who do not pay IKA contributions on behalf of their customers also have debts to the tax authorities.” And furthermore, IKA contributions paid by the customer to the developer as part of the agreed house price and pocketed by the developer, is a source of undeclared tax-free income for the developer. Any wonder this country’s finances are in a mess?

DEI and IKA Most buyers are not aware that their power supply in their newly built house is ‘builders electricity’ which has to be changed over to ‘household electricity’ within three years of the original application for the ‘builders’ supply. The electricity bills arrive as normal, until the warning arrives that the supply will be discontinued if the necessary documents are not supplied. These include certificates from the civil engineer, the electrician and the plumber who did the work in the newly built property. This works well for the engineers, many of whom are owed money from the devel-

Forestry Trying to get a better understanding of Rose’s situation, I talked to a Chania-based civil engineer who has already complained to the previous government about the Forestry department’s regulations - too strange, even for Greece. She got quite animated as soon as I approached the subject. “It is completely crazy,” she said. “We have a government

property developer who eventually went bankrupt. Raymond had to buy an additional piece of land, as the one he originally bought was ‘not large enough’ (a miscalculation?). He had to pay off the mortgages on both plots in order to proceed with the building, as the developer had ‘not had any cash’ (a detail passed over?). For the same reason, he paid the legal fees of the vendor’s solicitor - otherwise the sale of the second plot could not go through. He had to pay separately to complete his house himself after the builder went ‘missing’ before the final stages of the building were completed. He paid the plumber and the electrician’s fees and the unpaid IKA to get domestic electricity – all of which was included in the price already paid to the developer. Even though he thought he had been careful enough to notarise all his agreements, Raymond found that they had no more legal substance than if he hadn’t, and decided not to go through a very lengthy – measured in years – and very expensive series of court cases and appeals to extract compensation from a builder who was careful enough not to have any assets in his name – and whose whereabouts at the time were unknown. The reader who contacted me, Rose, had a different problem with her property. She has no complaints about the builder, who is still in business and is trying to help with her problem. To cut a long and ongoing story short, Rose found that when the time came to sell, with a buyer waiting, a change in regulations about her plot, which is designated as part grazing land and part residential development, makes it impossible to transfer her property. Her property has a legal planning permit issued by the Greek planning authority and clearance from the forestry commission, which in 2002, when Rose’s house was legally built, had no issues with including grazing land as part of a plot’s building allowance. And in case you thought this is a one-off case, there are more than 40 other home owners in the same situation in Apokoronas.

What is to be done? Time for a review of property legislation The reform agenda of the new government should include a serious and well thought out review of legislation concerning property ownership, complete land use designation, and new professional standards for legal, technical and advisory services offered in relation to property development. The pending social security contributions review should include a good look into the system of paying IKA contributions for buildings, to include inspections and communication with property owners, separate from the general employment contribution regulations and concessions. The holiday home industry shows signs of revival. The last thing this country needs is a new generation of unhappy customers to spread the bad news about living their dream in the sun.

The Greek debt… An impossible task

“Germany, claims we –the Greeks-

to a bloody operation which lasted five years, without protest no - because the Greeks were aware of their own responsibilities. An operation however that led to a fail-

ure since the country is in a coma… The third largest Greek default seems inevitable - the first was in 2010 when driven deliberately at the IMF after its inability to service its external obliga-

Feed a Family Project in Apokoronas

from Haralampos Koukianakis Mayor of Apokoronas

Heraklion Port Authority Receives Tez Worldberry Award

Dear Friends,

Crete’s Heraklion Port Authority re-

been placed in mini markets in Apokoronas. This letter is not only to tell you of the changes which have taken place, but also to beg you to consider sponsoring the Feed a Family. We are asking businesses and individuals to sponsor the project by giving 10 euros each month. If you can do this we will not only be able to provide for all those in need, we will be able to increase the variety and contents of the bag by including tinned meat, fresh produce and hopefully soap and toothpaste etc.” The Mayor given us a small budget to get the Project started. Twice a year we will receive some food from the European Union and the Periferia of Crete. It is the intention of everyone involved that Feed a Family will be non-political, transparent and supportive of everyone

in need in the community. To ensure this Feed a Family has been given its own Bank Account and accounting system. If you can support Feed a Family with 10 euros each month, you can make your payment at any Bank of Pireaus, there is a branch in Kalyves, and the account number is GR6501711680O6I8O40O30352. If you wish to pay in another way please email – socialservices@apokoronasourhome.com Thank you for taking time to read this letter, Haralampos Koukianakis on behalf of the President of the Social Services Team Argyro Benaki, her team of Niki Nikolaki, Helen Papadogianni and all the volunteers.

“Sifis” the croc was found dead in the lake of Potamon Dam

The most famous crocodile in Greece… the well

known “Sifis”, was found dead in the lake of Potamon Dam, on March 30. It is obvious that the crocodile could not stand the weather conditions during the winter. A worker in the area saw the reptile floating on the water.

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“As you may know, the Social Services Department of the Dimos has now assumed total responsibility for the food parcel programme previously run by the Helping Hands group, and the old school at Nippos will be known as the Social Supermarket Under the umbrella of the Social Supermarket we are setting up a Feed a Family Project. With your help and our volunteers, goal is to provide a bag of food for families every month, regardless of their nationality, and have them delivered to their homes by local priests. In March 259 small 85 larger bags, were delivered by the priests. The names on the list for bags has now risen to almost 400 and 30% of people on the list are foreign nationals. The bags contained packets of; Rice, Beans, Flour. Pasta, a tin of tomato paste and two cans of milk and some toilet paper. Small bags cost around 6.80 euros. To the larger bags we were able to add more pastas and milk plus cornflakes, jam, and oil at a cost of around 12 euros. As you can see it takes a lot of money to give people the most basic of foods, with more money we can provide a greater variety of food. Many people are already helping by putting items into the white plastic boxes which have

cently received the TEZ Worldberry 2014 Award for best partner in cruise tourism by Tez Tour, a leading tour operator in Russia. The Tez Worldberry Award recognizes the tour operator’s outstanding partners worldwide. The award was given during an exclusive event held on the sidelines of this year’s Moscow International Exhibition Travel & Tourism (MITT) and is considered yet another recognition of the port authority’s effort to promote cruise tourism to the Russian market. According to the port authority, the Russian cruise market is a new target for Greece and Crete, as part of its overall strategy to enter the specific market. “Opening new markets for our destination and Greece is very important, especially for a target market that has great potential and dynamic”, the authority’s president, Ioannis Bras, said. He added that the authority will continue to support innovative ideas and proposals, particularly those that improve offered services and customer experience. “It is very positive for Crete to be able to offer another vacation option, that of Fly, Stay & Cruise, which combines a traditional holiday and a short 3-4 day cruise, setting new standards for Crete for the years to come”, TEZ Tours General Manager for Greece Manolis Apladenakis said. Tez Tour is one of the biggest tour operators in CIS and Eastern Europe.

According to information, “Sifis” was already dead for ten days. For the last 1.5 month, Sifis was nowhere to be seen and the locals had started to worry about their exotic friend. The crocodile was transferred to the natural history museum of Crete.

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are guilty of the bankruptcy of our country. Mrs Merkel strictly refuses a debt deletion. The contemporary German leadership however, seems to conveniently “neglect” the fact, that German debt was cut by 50% in 1953, although it was the country responsible for the most cruel bloodbath across Europe. Merkel forgets that Germany went bankrupt four times in recent history of - remaining in service failure situation of obligations, from 1800 until today. Sooner or later, the fact of the huge indebtedness of the world will come to the surface, throughout the daunting size - leading many countries to bankruptcy, as well as the global financial system to its limits. In addition, Greece has further the moral high ground to demand the cancellation of debt, after being subjected

tions and the second in 2011, with the coercion of the PSI. The cause is not able to pay its debts in the next time Katerina Polizou and is definitely out of the market after by NEA TV Journalist October 2014, under the responsibility of the ECB. Further, even if Greece proves to be able to repay its obligations until June 2015, the looting of pension funds as well as civil organizations, in addition to taking part in the final installments of the loan from the Troika, the problem will continue be - given the obligations for the period 2015-2018, estimated at 61 billion €, not including any deficits or loans of banks by the ECB (ELA, bonds), which exfor more news click on ceed 100 billion €. http ://cretepost.gr Time is against Greece in very many aspects... Perhaps it’s high time for the new government to look through all possible alternatives for its stay within the Eurozone.

The effects of bullying from a mother’s perspective

“Too many children suffer in silence”

“My biggest concern over this is

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that teachers in Greece have no idea or training in how to deal with bullying. So they either try to ignore it or blame the victim for bringing it on themselves. Some headteachers to avoid the situation being made public and bringing embarrassment on their schools feel its quicker and easier to get rid of the victim, because in their eyes the victim is the problem and the one causing all the fuss. In the class that my daughter has just left there are two on ck for more news cli very vulnerable girls r http://cretepost.g who I feel are at risk, the head of year asked me for advice on what she should to because she says she wants to help but has no idea how”. Apokoronas News received a letter from a mother whose daughter has been bullied at school because she is different. The victim in this case was fortunate, in that she could talk to her very supportive parents. But in the aftermath of the publicity given to systematic bullying, resulting from the unfortunate events that led to the death of a 20 year old Vaggelis Giakoumakis, this mother feels that it is about time to start speaking out about the problem. This is her story: “16th March was international bullying day. Greece was among the worst countries in Europe for bullying and it’s failure to address or acknowledge this problem. As a parent I have experienced first hand how teachers not only fail to act but manage to blame the victim for ‘bringing it on themselves!’ My daughter attends a music school on an island; she is British born but has lived her entire life on the island. Although mentally a strong child, my daughter has, in the last 10 months been reduced to a very depressed teenager at the hands of her class mates. It began to escalate last year. The verbal abuse and psychological pressure reached such a point that she just couldn’t take it anymore. Five weeks ago she finally asked for help from her Head teacher. My daughter was not only concerned for herself but for two other girls in the class that were also suffering. Three weeks later and

Pay attention. There are many warning signs that may point to a bullying problem, such as unexplained injuries, lost or destroyed personal items, changes in eating habits, and avoidance of school or other social situations. However, every student may not exhibit warning signs, or may go to great lengths to hide it. This is where paying attention is most valuable. Engage students on a daily basis and ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation. Don’t ignore it. Never assume that a situation is harmless teasing. Different students have different levels of coping; what may be considered teasing to one may be humiliating and devastating to another. Whenever a student feels threatened in any way, take it seriously, and assure the student that you are there for them and will help. When you see something... do something. Intervene as soon as you even think there may be a problem between students. Don’t brush it off as “kids are just being kids. They’ll get over it.” Some

nothing had been said or done! Feeling she was being ignored and with the situation escalating she approached her head of year with the issue. My daughter told her that if nothing was done then she would have to leave the school! The head teacher then finally did something, he went into the class and shouted at the kids for an hour. I don’t know how he felt this would be a solution, as soon as he left the room the abuse reached a whole new level. After repeatedly trying to get an appointment with him to tell him how bad things had become, my daughter was told that he was to busy to see her and to come back another day. She tried to see him on three consecutive days… he was busy! In the end she just walked out of school!! At no point during the last five weeks has any member of the teaching staff tried to contact us with concerns about her. It was only after a friend intervened and found my daughter a place at another school, so that at least she could finish the short time left of her school year, then he [the head] wanted to talk to us! The meeting with the head teacher consisted of him shouting for the entire time! He didn’t seem to want to listen to a word we had to say. He repeatedly shouted over the top of my husband and I. He claimed that they valued my daughter as a pupil and that she should go back to his school. When we finally managed to get him to listen to us, we said there was no way my daughter could go back to his school and she would like to finish the year at another high school. He then told us it was against the law and he would not allow her to change schools, in spite of the fact that the headmaster of the other school was more than willing to take her into his school for the few short weeks left of this school year. The head of the old school was asked three times to sign the papers to release my daughter from his school, but he said he would only do that if and when he was contacted by the education authority. We also asked him why it had taken three weeks for him to do anything about the problem and why he refused my daughter’s repeated attempts to meet with him? He told us that, my daughter seemed nervous speaking to

him so he took the problem up with other teachers. We explained to him that my daughter had been in this situation before at her primary school, where she was physically and mentally bullied, and when she asked for help, the headmaster of the primary school sided with the children; he even wrote us a letter stating that “bullying is a foreign problem and thanks to god it doesn’t happen in Greece!” he also told us that our daughter should seek psychiatric help! He later told all the parents and members of the town at the opening of the school year that all the problems in the school were caused by my daughter and that she was a “terrorist!”. She was 11 years old at the time. During this time there were two many incidents to list, from racism to at one point a parent holding a knife to our daughters throat in front of us and threatening to slit it, and then kill us. The endless telephone and internet threats telling her to go back to where she came from and that she would be killed if she came back to school. At one time we were summoned to the school to meet her new teacher who refused to shake mine or my husbands hand and told us that all western Europeans are arrogant. A great start to her school year. Sorry I’m leaving the subject but it’s been an endless struggle for my daughter to survive this long in a Greek school especially when the general philosophy of teacher seems to be, if you weren’t different and tried to fit in more this wouldn’t happen! The victim is always to blame and the bullies get away with it all the time with the backing of the teachers. Is this a reflection of Greek society today? Anyway after the meeting with the head, we went to the other high school and had a meeting with the headteacher there. We went about filling in the required paper work and getting the stamp [from the local authority] for permission for her to join his school, he also checked with the education authority that everything was ok. My daughter was assigned a class and started school straight away. It was so good to finally see her happy again after months of stress, she played the piano that day for the first time in weeks, a very happy girl

10 Steps to Stop and Prevent Bullying

never do, and it affects them for a lifetime. All questionable behavior should be addressed immediately to keep a situation from escalating. Summon other adults if you deem the situation may get out of hand. Be sure to always refer to your school’s anti-bullying policy. Remain calm. When you intervene, refuse to argue with either student. Model the respectful behavior you expect from the students. First make sure everyone is safe and that no one needs immediate medical attention. Reassure the students involved, as well as the bystanders. Explain to them what needs to happen next — bystanders go on to their expected destination while the students involved should be taken separately to a safe place. Deal with students individually. Don’t attempt to sort out the facts while everyone is present, don’t allow the students involved to talk with one another, and don’t ask bystanders to tell what they saw in front of others. Instead, talk with the individuals involved — including

bystanders — on a one-on-one basis. This way, everyone will be able to tell their side of the story without worrying about what others may think or say. Don’t make the students involved apologize and/or shake hands on the spot. Label the behavior as bullying. Explain that you take this type of behavior very seriously and that you plan to get to the bottom of it before you determine what should be done next and any resulting consequences based on your school’s anti-bullying policy. This empowers the bullied child — and the bystanders — to feel that someone will finally listen to their concerns and be fair about outcomes. Hold bystanders accountable. Bystanders provide bullies an audience, and often actually encourage bullying. Explain that this type of behavior is wrong, will not be tolerated, and that they also have a right and a responsibility to stop bullying. Identify yourself as a caring adult that they can always approach if they are being bullied and/or

by Philippa Kempson

just to be normal and go to school. [Soon afterwards] we received a call from the driver who takes my daughter to school, a mere two days after starting her new school. He explained that the headteacher of her old school had just called him at 7pm the previous day and instructed him not to take my daughter to school. We live a long way from the school and my daughter has a taxi along with other children from the village to take them to school. I don’t believe that a man in his [headteather’s] position could be this vindictive to a child who just wants to be able to finish her school year. You would think that a man who claims to care for and want the best for his student would try to help her finish her school year. Instead his attitude is that if she will not go back to his school then he will stop her going to any other school to finish her education!! This is a man in a position of trust and responsibility! Because of what went on locally there is no way that my daughter can go back to school in her home town so he has effectively destroyed her last chance at finishing her schooling! In our eyes he has become as much of a bully as the kids that drove here away from school in the first place. My biggest concern over this is that teachers in Greece have no idea or training in how to deal with bullying. So they either try to ignore it or blame the victim for bringing it on themselves. Some headteachers to avoid the situation being made public and bringing embarrassment on their schools feel its quicker and easier to get rid of the victim, because in their eyes the victim is the problem and the one causing all the fuss. In the class that my daughter has just left there are two very vulnerable girls who I feel are at risk, the head of year asked me for advice on what she should to because she says she wants to help but has no idea how. Its about time that these issues are discussed and made public in Greece otherwise they will just continue to escalate for as long as teachers are in denial. If nothing else I hope that my daughter’s story will help other children knowing that they are not alone and they are not to blame”.

see or suspect bullying. Listen and don’t pre-judge. It is very possible that the person you suspect to be the bully may actually be a bullied student retaliating or a “bully’s” cry for help. It may also be the result of an undiagnosed medical, emotional or psychological issue. Rather than make any assumptions, listen to each child with an open mind. Get appropriate professional help. Be careful not to give any advice beyond your level of expertise. Rather than make any assumptions, if you deem there are any underlying and/or unsolved issues, refer the student to a nurse, counselor, school psychologist, social worker, or other appropriate professional. Become trained to handle bullying situations. If you work with students in any capacity, it is important to learn the proper ways to address bullying. You can also take the pledge to stop bullying, as well as learn how to create a Bully Free program in your school.

Destination Weddings:

“Crete in Best Wedding Destinations of 2015”


and photocopies of your passports. Everything needs to be translated into Greek (except your passports) and sent in at least three weeks prior to the wedding date. athens.usembassy.gov/marriage.html Things to Do Athens Most international flights will take you directly into Athens, Greece’s capital. For a day trip, check out Acropolis (Athen’s “holy rock”), the Parthenon and the Temple of Athene Nike. Then shop in Greece’s fashion mecca, Kolonai, where boutiques are filled with everything from the flea market to Jimmy Choo. And be sure to stop by Tsakalof Street — a string of shops filled with shoes. Restaurants abound here from high-end to out-of-the-way taverns but don’t leave without trying the souvlaki (small pieces of grilled meat or vegetables), Greece’s national snack. Santorini and the Greek Islands The Cyclades islands are the place to swim, sunbathe, waterski and windsurf. Santorini, the most iconic, is known for its blue domed churches and stepped streets. Start your sightseeing in Fira,

the capital, set one of one if the island’s highest points with striking views of the central caldera and the sea beyond . Then sample wine at one of the local vineyards (the island is known for its crisp, dry whites) before ending the day at Perissa, a black-sand beach lined with restaurants and bars. The Ionian islands are less traveled than the Cyclades, exuding privacy along vast stretches of sand or among forests of hundred year old olive trees hiding historic monasteries. While on the Dodecanese islands get away from the tourists at the hot mineral springs near Empros, Kos or the pebble-beach town of Livadia, on Tilos. The best way to get around the Greek Isles is by sea: cruises are popular, and they have a great ferry system during the warmer months. Come winter, when temps drop, the tourists leave and the islands are delightfully empty. The downside: Most ferries cut back dramatically on schedules and many resorts and restaurants close for the season, so check it out in advance. www.destinationweddingmag.com

Restaurants Embrace Crete’s Celebrated Diet

the articles by Athan Gadanidis on the decreasing prices of olive oil in Greece and the country’s failure to fully exploit its rich olive oil resources brought to mind a meal enjoyed among hillsides covered with olive groves last spring at the Dounias Taverna or “Traditional Center of Gastronomy of the Cretan Diet,” in Drakona, Crete. At the Dounias Taverna, the owners cook with olive oil from their trees which beautifully complements their own fresh, home-grown produce and meats as well as other local products cooked over a wood fire and baked in their wood-burning oven. Such creative, healthy cooking can encourage customers, including an American who has lived in Crete with her Greek husband for the last twelve years, to both embrace the Cretan diet at home and appreciate restaurants like this which are dedicated to it. Inspired by tasty food and countless articles detailing the benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet, including copious amounts of olive oil, many decide to change their diet and cooking. This American searched for olive-oil based healthy recipes, learned from local Cretan cooks, experimented with extra virgin olive oil in everyday dishes, and began to prefer the small, family-run Cretan restaurants which are also dependent on it. The exquisite, ancient gold headpieces that mimic olive wreaths in Greek museums captivate viewers at first sight, but an American’s conversion to the Cretan diet may occur more gradually. After all, the traditional Cretan diet provides quite a contrast to the typical diet many Americans grew up with, and large numbers still consume foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, pork chops, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, processed meats, and soft white bread. Even those who eat plenty of salads and fresh fruit might also drink soft drinks and frequently enjoy cookies, donuts, cakes, and pies rich in butter,

margarine, or shortening. However, the Americans who feel nostalgic enough for those desserts to bake them on holidays may still come to realize they can manage without butter and processed food for everyday cooking and baking. One such conversion to the Cretan diet began during a mid-thirties pregnancy, shortly after a move to Crete. Avoiding processed foods and eating plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains was fairly easy on this agricultural island where people tend to cook from scratch, using fresh, often local, ingredients. It was harder to develop a taste for fresh fish (served with the head and tail!) and boiled wild greens (horta) with oil and lemon, but not impossible. While it can initially seem very strange for an American to eat salads, vegetables, or bread with strong-tasting extra virgin olive oil, one can gradually become accustomed to the taste and even come to savor it. A visiting Canadian in search of butter could not find any in the house, because olive oil is used for almost all cooking, baking, salads, and bread dipping in his converted cousin’s Cretan-American kitchen. Those convinced to change their diet may search for healthier alternatives, for example in Micki Sannar’s attractive Olive Oil Desserts cookbook, which features some tasty but also very sweet desserts. The olive oil pie crust there is an excellent alternative to one made

with solid fats, and it’s easy to add less sugar to the apples than advised. Internet searches on foodferret.com, which allows users to list ingredients to include (e.g. olive oil, whole wheat flour) and to exclude (butter, sugar) reveal recipes for healthier muffins and cookies made with olive oil as well as countless other foods. A wonderful, just slightly sweet olive oil cookie can be adapted from an online recipe rich in orange juice and olive oil. And Greeks have known all along how to make excellent cakes with olive oil and yogurt, but no butter. Brown rice or bulgur is tasty when cooked with olive oil, garlic, bay leaves, and a bit of salt, and traditional Greek recipes for “ladera,” or olive-oil rich, lentils, beans, cauliflower, or green beans, among other things, are easy to follow as well as healthy. Many of the large resort hotels on Crete may need to resort to frozen meals during their high season (according to the owner of a small family-run taverna outside Chania), but there are still plenty of families on the island who cook with fresh ingredients from their own gardens or farms. A favorite is Kyria (Mrs.) Maria’s Sunset Restaurant next to Tersanas Village Apartments in Horafakia, where one can enjoy freshly baked pastitsio, moussaka, chicken, hamburgers, giant beans, stuffed grape leaves (dolmades), greens, mushroom

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pie, and salads on the spacious terrace overlooking the sea from May through October. Another family has turned a burnt hillside into the gorgeous Botanical Park of Crete, a natural wonderland amidst foothills of olive groves that is full of both exotic and local plants. They use their own organic produce in the increasingly popular restaurant that mixes traditional Cretan tastes with beautiful, tasty innovations including or accompanied by olive oil. Also in the foothills of Crete’s White Mountains, Dounias Taverna’s excellent reputation keeps it busy on many a Sunday afternoon, even in the winter. Sitting on the patio overlooking the olive groves in warmer weather, or squeezed into two small rooms when it’s cold, customers savor meals with unique twists, such as a rich cauliflower dish with coarse wheat and cheese, spanakopita with whole wheat crust, and tzatziki and boureki made with unusual ingredients rather than the typical cucumber or zucchini. When it isn’t too busy, customers are invited into the kitchen to see the dishes of the day firsthand, in pots on the stove, just coming out of the large, dome-shaped wood-burning oven, or arrayed on a countertop across from it. And before the end of the meal, the owner, Stelios, has a habit of bringing out additional dishes to try—even after the kids have left to follow his son on a tour of their farm, visiting rabbits, olive groves, gardens, and a cow, and grownups have declared themselves too full to eat more! The Greek olive oil industry may not be doing as good a job marketing its products as the Italian industry, but the personal, local, small-scale touch of hard-working Cretan families offers hope that visitors to Crete can gradually be persuaded to enjoy a traditional Cretan diet featuring high quality, extra virgin olive oil. Olive Oil Times

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into the planning! First step: Decide where to go. To help, we’ve rounded up 20-plus hot wedding destinations eager to host your big day in 2015… From May to October, Greece provides a romantic backdrop for weddings filled with fresh Mediterranean cuisine, local wines and joyous traditions. For drama, head to Santorini, where whitewashed villages cling to black-lava cliffs with Aegean views. Mykonos is tops for a cosmopolitan vibe and a 24/7 beach-party scene. For something more low-key, consider Crete, mixing ancient civilizations and scenic beaches; Corfu, boasting Venetian and French architecture and stunning bays; or Rhodes’ medieval old town. Getting married in Greece requires advance prep, but documents can’t be issued more than three months before the wedding date. You’ll both need original birth certificates, each affixed with an apostil; affidavits of single status (obtainable at your local notary public and also affixed with an apostil); and a marriage license (obtained from your local town hall) — all translated into Greek.

About Greece Everyone recognizes the iconic images of Greece: white washed architecture, blue roofs, cobblestone-paved villages and the turquoise blue waters of the Aegean and Ionian Seas. But venture further into this storied locale and discover a plethora of historic ruins filled with mythological tales of love and lore. Add in 6,000 islands (only 227 which are inhabited), a passion for fresh food and fine wines, and near perfect temps, and you’ve got a backdrop for romance. Wedding Requirements While Santorini might be known as the most popular spot in Greece to wed, you can also choose from one of the country’s many churches, historic town halls or even aboard a cruise on the Aegean Sea. Don’t be alarmed if you hear honking horns in the street before or after your ceremony — it is a friendly tradition here as passers-by wish you well. Contact the US Embassy in Greece before visiting to ensure you have all of the necessary documents. Generally, you will need birth certificates, a Single Status letter (along with an Apostille stamp, which you can get from the Secretary of State of your issuing state),

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You’ve got the ring — now jump

A desperate letter from Crete:

“Greece deserves freedom from European overseers”

Growing up in Lancaster County,

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attending Penn Manor High School and Millersville University, I never dreamed of living on a Greek island. But here I am with my Greek husband and our two children in Crete, where wildflowers are blooming, and the Mediterranean Sea spreads out to meet the sky beyond the olive groves. Don’t get me wrong: Life in Greece is no vacation. Especially not during the past six years, which have been compared to on for more news click America’s Great Depreshttp://cretepost.gr sion, with 26 percent unemployment, the country’s gross domestic product down by a quarter since 2008, health care spending reduced about 25 percent per capita, and thousands of businesses closed. Enough numbers. They fail to convey the difficulties endured by many Greeks, such as the mother who used to work in a shoe store but now begs for food for her children outside our local supermarket. Or the family of four with only one son employed, too tired for his college studies after work, lacking enough money to fix the family car so his mother can visit his housebound grandmother. Or the elderly Greek women and men I see rooting in garbage dumpsters in middle-class neighborhoods. These are only a few of the struggling human beings I have encountered. Then there are the newspaper articles about the increased demand for soup kitchens, the lack of cancer treatment for the uninsured, and the rising rates of xenophobic crime, drug addiction, depression and suicide. Most Greeks blame these problems on the drastic budget cuts and tax increases imposed at the urging of the detested troika — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — in exchange for huge loans. The loans were

intended to prevent damage to foreign lenders from the default that could have occurred due to the corruption, misjudgment, and/or mismanagement of various Greek leaders, European officials, and Greek and European bankers. It was not only Greeks who were at fault, and not all Greeks were to blame. On Jan. 25, enough Greeks were tired of excessive austerity to provide the new Coalition of the Radical Left (known by the acronym of SYRIZA) with more votes than any other party. Lacking an absolute majority, SYRIZA formed a surprising governing coalition with the small right-wing nationalist party Independent Greeks (called ANEL in Greece) in one of several actions that left SYRIZA looking far from radically leftist. Now, nearly two months into this new government’s tenure, most people agree that there’s been little concrete change. Many believe things will remain about the same, but no one is sure what will happen. Conservatives and pessimists argue that things are worse: There’s no more economic growth, a government with too little experience, and a new danger that Greece could run out of money within weeks, default on its debts, and exit the Eurozone. This “Grexit” could replace the euro with the drachma in Greece, which would create additional problems — banking restrictions, a currency devaluation, higher inflation, shortages of imported goods including medicines and petroleum, and even more social unrest, brain drain, and reduction in the standard of living. Since we haven’t left the Eurozone so far, life goes on: Students go to school; adults who still have jobs head to work; parents find ways to take care of families, housework, shopping, and errands. As the Greek say, “hope dies last.” Our mail carrier remembers a teacher telling

Ryanair cuts Greek islands and Crete from Bournemouth. Will Flybe step in? set to begin its new operation from Ryanair, low-cost airline, is set to got Bournemouth. run nine routes from Bournemouth Airport this summer instead of the 16 it ran last year due to the fact that the carrier does not have enough aircraft. Theconstraints means that the summer timetable includes destinations such as Palma, Barcelona Girona, Faro, Alicante, Malaga, Murcia, Tenerife, Malta and Gran Canaria. The news came as budget airline Flybe

Flybe announced that they would be opening the new base at the airport from March 29. Flybe includes destinations such as Amsterdam, Manchester, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Jersey, Dublin, Deauville (Normandy) Toulon and Biarritz. It remains to be seen if Flybe will take on destinations that Ryanair cut such as flyights to Rhodes and Chania last year.

him, “If I try to teach you 10 things, and you learn two of them, I’ll be happy.” So he figures that if SYRIZA can manage to accomplish even a fraction of what they promised to do for ordinary people, that will be an improvement. SYRIZA remains popular for giving back some of the country’s hope and pride by standing up — part way — to the troika officials. How would you feel if officials from other countries came into Washington and started telling the


by Lisa Radinovsky (*)

misjudgments of some of their compatriots and fellow Europeans. The new government must undertake numerous necessary reforms, including combating tax evasion and corruption, which it has agreed to do. And it should be allowed to pass laws to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis of unemployment, inadequate health care, hunger and poverty, at least to ensure that the most impoverished have adequate food, electricity, health care and housing.

7.330 families living in poverty

Shocking numbers for the local soci-

ety… As the chairman of the Regional Council, Mr. Giorgos Pitsoulis, revealed during an event in Heraklion, 7.330 families on the island are living in poverty. More specific, 16.083 people are living in poverty (according to facts from the Municipalities of the island). • Heraklion: 4.518 families president and Congress what laws to pass and what economic policy to follow, as they have in Greece? The cradle of democracy and homeland of Aristotle and Plato, where intelligent, talented, hospitable, generous people still reside today, doesn’t like foreigners pushing many of its citizens into impoverished suffering any more than you would. The people of Greece should not be condemned to suffer for the sins or

• • •

Chania: 1.425 families Rethymno: 896 families Lassithi: 489 families

Give Greece a chance. Support the people of Greece by encouraging world leaders to allow the Greek government some leeway to aid the children, women and men who need more hope and help. (*) Lisa Radinovsky, a graduate of Penn Manor High School and Princeton University, lives with her husband and two children in Crete, Greece. Her blog: momingreecetoday.blogspot.gr/

“Privatization of Chania Airport will be ...catastrophic”

Representatives of the Panhellenic

Movement Against Privatization of Regional Airports met with the Minister of Economics, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism, Mr. Giorgos Stathakis, and also with Greek Government Work Coordination Minister, Mr. Alekos Flabouraris and Deputy Mister of State, Mr. Terence Quick. As the vice president of Commercial & Industrial Chamber of Chania, Mr. Christos Milonakis” said during a Press conference, “…we exressed our doubts to all Ministers on the privatization of Greek Regional Airports. We told them that it will be catastrophic for Greece, if the Gov’t will proceed to the deal with Fraport for the next 50 years. A German monopoly will be cretaed in Greece and the Balkans… We told them to give 80% of airport tax for the devel-

opment of all Greek airports… We want to check the contract between HRADF and Fraport, in order to proceed to any legal actions in Greek and European Courts… We asked them to reduce taxes during low season and eliminate any tax during winter”. According to Mr. Milonakis, the Gov’t is looking for a way to participate as a partner in the privatization of regional airports, including local authorities, such as the Municipalities. As for the consequences of the privatization, Mr. Milonakis said that “.. Ryanair may leave from Chania Airport, due to the raise of airport taxes and fees. Greek airport will not be competitive for low cost airline companies… Political parties, MPs, Municipal and other authorities shound not let the Gov’t to privatize Greek Regional Airports”.

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Conde Nast Traveller: Tourists “love” Cretan diet, but they complain about cleanliness and bad roads Crete on top holiday destinations for May choose to book their holiis the time to go there in order to According to a survey by the Med- • 55% May is a lovely time for exploring Now days from a travel agency and 66% avoid bringing anti-midge protection…

iterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, tourists “love” Cretan diet and natural beauties of the island, but they express their complaints for cleanliness and bad roads. The survey was performed from May to November 2014, in a sample of 4.000 tourists from 25 countries. According to the conclusions of the survey: • 68% stays in hotels, 25% to rented rooms and studios and 7% to other places. From those who choose to stay in a hotel, 76% choose a 4 or 3 stars hotel, 31% choose all inclusive

thinks that prices are normal • 44,8% choose to buy wine, 41,2% orange juice, 39,8% olive oil, 33,2% cheese, 30,5% honey, 29,5% vegetables, 28,2% tsikoudia, 28,2% soap from olive oil 16,2%, rusks 7,9 % herbal plants. 80% of the sample are university graduates, 51% have more than 45.000 euros income and 62% work in private and public sector in their countries.

the countryside and hill towns of Tuscany, and if you want to see Crete without the crowds, this is also the time to go. In Portugal, the weather is great in the Algarve, and you can discover the red-cliffed coastline and idyllic whitewashed Moorish villages dotted with lattice chimneys and orange groves almost on your own. A bit further away, the winds over the Atlantic are less strong, making the miniature Galápagos archipelago of Cape Verde excellent, while closer to home the Scottish Highlands are warming up nicely.

Istanbul – with its glittering mosques, ruched velvet night-spots, smart hotels and beautiful vistas, is ideal for a romantic city break, but if you prefer white sand and turquoise seas, you should head to the Philippines’ volcanic peaks and beach resorts, lounge on palm-fringed beaches in the Bahamas, or explore old-school style on Mexico’s Pacific coast. And, for the holiday of a lifetime, head straight to French Polynesia in the South Pacific: in May, the air is fresh, the flowers are beautiful and temperatures range from 21-31°C.


Mediterranean Lifestyle Alive and Well on Crete

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on the island of Crete in Greece, kiosks are full of potato chips, candy, crackers, chocolate croissants, and cigarettes; cafés serve huge, rich, syrupy desserts; and toasted sandwiches with processed cheese and turkey on pre-sliced white bread are popular children’s snacks. This is still, however, one of the best places in the world to immerse oneself in the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. The cheese pies and souvlaki that constitute Greek fast food may not be much healthier than American hamburgers and French fries, but the real food found in family on kitchens and family-run for more news click restaurants is a different http://cretepost.gr story, and so is the way it is eaten. What is now called the Mediterranean diet is based on the Cretan diet and similar diets from some of the other areas bordering the Mediterranean Sea, as studied and described in the 1950s and ‘60s, before “fast food culture” hit the region. But the Mediterranean diet is really more than a diet: it is a lifestyle bound up with a diet, and a diet bound up with a lifestyle. The active nature of that lifestyle has continued to some extent. People of all ages walk a lot: seniors who don’t drive, kids making their way home from school, grownups exercising, and families and friends out to enjoy themselves on weekends and holidays. Others exercise by gardening, farming, playing sports, or tending sheep or goats, and those who live near the coasts swim in the sea (all year round, in the case of some hardy winter swimmers). The conflation of the Mediterranean lifestyle and diet is especially obvious when dining with Greek friends or extended family members, whether at home or in a taverna, indoors or outside. There’s sure to be a great deal of food, plus red wine and perhaps raki, and plenty of time devoted to eating, savoring, drinking, laughing, and con-

versing. This can tire children who are too young to amuse themselves, since they’re generally included, and adult conversations and meals can stretch on throughout a Sunday afternoon or late into the night, as Greeks relax and socialize in the Mediterranean fashion. However, if the children can play nearby, they’re generally both welcome and content. It’s all part of the extended family life of Greece, where socializing seldom occurs without food and drink, and hospitality and generosity can mean sharing produce and olive oil as well as treating friends to coffee or a meal, with or without a view of the sea. The food enjoyed here in Crete is often part of the famous Mediterranean diet, with its well-known health benefits: plenty of olive oil used for cooking, for dipping bread, and liberally poured over salads and fish; an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits; legumes, potatoes, and nuts; moderate quantities of dairy, eggs, and wine; more fish than poultry, even less red meat, and limited animal fats. Meals are often built around beans, lentils, or vegetable dishes such as green beans or cauliflower cooked with olive oil, onion, and tomato. With fish, poultry, or meat, there are always vegetables drenched in olive oil—for example, salads, beets, or the boiled wild greens

(horta) found all over Crete. On special occasions, Cretan meals tend to include either small cheese pies (tiropites) made with the fairly low-fat, soft white mizithra cheese, or similar little pies (kaltzounia) made with spinach, wild greens, and/or herbs. When guests are invited to a home or a restaurant, meat is usually part of the meal (except during certain fasting days), although it isn’t supposed to be a prominent feature of the traditional Mediterranean diet. This may be because Greeks generally eat less meat than (for example) Americans, so meat is associated with festive occasions and holidays when people gather to celebrate over a meal. That meat won’t necessarily be beef, pork, or chicken: it could as easily be lamb, goat, or even rabbit. (There aren’t many cattle in Greece, but sheep and goats roam all over Crete, wandering on and off roads and in and out of residential areas.) It is easier to eat healthy food here than in many parts of the world, since excellent locally grown fruits and vegetables are always available at reasonable prices. Even now, in the middle of March, there are wonderful sweet oranges, as well as lemons, lettuce, wild greens, artichokes, eggplant, peppers, and more at the popular laiki agora, or farmers’ market, as well as in stores. It is striking how few Cretans waste

Olive Oil Times

A friend of Crete… passed away!!! Farewell Oliver Rackham

A true friend of Crete… died by a

studied and published extensively on the ecology and landscape of Crete, co-writing The Making of the Cretan Landscape with Jenny Moody in 1998, and latterly leading a (failed) protest against the granting of planning permission for the Cavo Sidero golf and hotel project on the island’s eastern tip. Rackham was an only child, and was unmarried. He died on 12 February 2015 at the age of 75 after a short illness.

heart attack in February. Oliver Rackham, aged 75, a well known botanist, passed away in a hospital of London.

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yard space on grass, which exists in fairly small patches only in wealthier neighborhoods or parks. Instead, yards are filled with flowers (especially geraniums), fruit trees (including olives, loquats, and the ever-present lemons that are producing well now), and vegetable gardens. This way, gardens provide a fair proportion of many people’s produce in the summer and early fall. For more fresh produce, many older women gather wild greens and herbs from the hillsides. Walking through a community, one may run across fallen avocados, lemons, and olives, abandoned but still productive grapevines, and an abundance of wildflowers. Chickens are also common enough that mothers out for a stroll with their offspring may be offered the fresh eggs that are considered especially beneficial for growing children. A key feature of a healthy Mediterranean diet is, of course, olive oil. Another Olive Oil Times article mentions that “one out of twenty Greeks have a direct family relation to an olive grove,” but locals agree that the number must be much higher in Crete—perhaps one in two Cretans. While 5 kilogram metal containers of Cretan olive oil are readily available in all the supermarkets, relatively few people seem to buy them regularly, because so many obtain their oil from family members or friends. Some buy extra virgin olive oil from people they know; others help gather the family olives and receive their share; still others receive olive oil as a valued gift, perhaps along with olives and/or homemade red wine. Now that some Greeks are fasting for Lent, avoiding meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, it’s a perfect time to try some excellent, healthy vegan recipes that are rich in olive oil. Lentils, for example, are a common, nutritious main dish here (especially easy if you use a food processor to chop the vegetables).

Who was Oliver Rackham Oliver Rackham, OBE, FBA (17 October 1939 – 12 February 2015) was an academic at the University of Cambridge who studied the ecology, management and development of the British countryside, especially trees, woodlands and wood pasture. His books included Ancient Woodland (1980) and The History of the Countryside (1986). Rackham was born in Norwich where he attended King Edward VI School, and then Norwich City College. In 1958 he won a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, graduating in Natural Sciences in 1961 and subsequently gaining a PhD. He moved between several Cambridge departments. He conducted research in the Department of Botany from 1964–68 and 1972–90, and the Plant Breeding Institute of Cambridge from 1968-72. He transferred to the Department of Geography from 1988-2000, latterly as Professor, and was appointed Honorary Professor of Historical Ecology in the Department of Plant Sciences in 2006.

Rackham also worked as a tutor in the Kingcombe Centre in Dorset, teaching about the history of woodlands. He was associated with Corpus Christi College from his student days. He briefly served as Master of the College from 2007-2008, and was made a Life Fellow in 2010. Rackham was a prolific historical ecologist whose prime interest was the function, history, and management of British woodlands. Arising from his research on Hayley Wood in Cambridgeshire, he developed the concept of ancient woodland, rich in plant diversity and managed through traditional practices. His 1980 book Ancient Woodland, its History, Vegetation and Uses in England led to the recognition of such areas by the Forestry Commission and in planning legislation. It

also helped to alter forestry industry views about woodland conservation. The Woodland Trust became a larger woodland owner to ensure conservation. He argued for the preservation of traditional management techniques like coppicing, to let light in to increase in the diversity of the herb layer. In 1986 he published The History of the Countryside, regarded as his greatest achievement and described as “a magisterial 400-page account of the British landscape from prehistory to the present day, with chapters on aspects ranging from woodland and hedgerows to marshes and the sea.” The book won several awards for literature. His other books include Woodlands (2006), in the Collins New Naturalist series, and he also wrote on Hatfield Forest. As well as working in England, he

7 People Walking

60 Kilometres In Under

12 Hours 22 April 2015 We are supporting ORIZONTAS (HORIZONS), a voluntary non-profit organisation which ‘supports and covers the needs of those of our fellow human beings suffering from cancer’ which has a base here in Crete. You can help by one of the following ways: 1. Donating Cash Here 2. Filling Out Our Sponsor Form 3. Directly by Bank Transfer with the following accounts – Piraeus Bank – 5758-021280-427 National Bank – 495/2960052-45 Co-op Bank of Chania – 160213001 For more information on the charity go to; www.facebook.com/orizcha www.HORASS.gr E-mail – ORIZONDASCHA@gmail.com

Mediterranean diet halves the risk of heart disease, new study says

Greeks who adopted a Mediterra-

nean diet, which consists of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, olive oil, fish and even a glass of red wine, were 47 per cent less likely to develop heart disease over a 10 year period, a new study revealed. The study, from Harokopio University in Athens, is the first to track 10-year heart disease risk in a general population. Most previous studies have focused on middle-aged people. The study, presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual conference, is based on data from a representative sample of more than 2,500 Greek adults. Aged between 18 to 89, they provided researchers with health information

on themselves each year from 2001 to 2012. Nearly one in five of the men and 12 per cent of the women developed or died from heart disease, including stroke, coronary heart disease and heart attack. The researchers scored participants’ diets on a scale from 1 to 55 based on their self-reported frequency and level of intake from 11 food groups. Those who scored in the top-third in terms of adherence to the Mediterranean diet were 47 percent less likely to develop heart disease over the 10-year follow-up period (compared to participants who scored in the bottom-third). Each one-point increase in the dietary score was associated with a three percent drop in heart disease risk. This difference was independent of oth-

er heart disease risk factors including age, gender, family history, education level, body mass index, smoking habits, hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol. Women tended to follow the Mediterranean diet more closely than men, the researchers noted. The analysis also confirmed results of previous studies indicating that male gender, older age, diabetes and a measure of inflammation are associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Earlier research has shown that follow-

ing the traditional Mediterranean diet is linked to weight loss, reduced risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure and lower blood cholesterol levels, in addition to reduced risk of heart disease. Daily Mail

for more news click on http://cretepost.gr

sure to explore every nook and cranny in the incredible Greek Islands. Samaria Gorge is No.3 in the list… Probably the most stunning natural location on any of the islands, the Samaria Gorge in Crete is like a time capsule that takes you back into a time before modern day life. Entering the gorge through its upper entrance, you feel as if you are in another world, a fantasy world, dreamt up by writers for some epic quest. Truly awe-inspiring. However, not only does it feature jaw-dropping views, but exciting hiking trails, walkways, old rope bridges, cutaway cafes and gentle flowing rivers. A paradise for any nature lover.


Greek wonders of nature (Alonissos, Athos, Ierapetra, Naxos, Samothraki) are among the world’s top 100 sustainable destinations, a list that was created by TravelMole.com, Vision on Sustainable Tourism, Totem Tourism and Green Destinations with Dr. Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, as a Special Advisor. The list was created to celebrate the management efforts of the most sustainable destinations on Earth and it

is the result of open calls in the social media, followed by a selection by 30 international tourism sustainability experts. “These 100 destinations stand out for making meaningful and measurable progress in their individual journeys toward greater sustainability,” says Durband. “Measuring sustainability is not simple and straightforward. This list recognizes those destinations that are moving in the right direction according to the assessments of neutral experts utilizing objective criteria.”

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Magazine presents 7 things that a tourist must do once he arrives in Greece. While lounging on the beach, swimming in the resort pool or visiting the local bars might be high on the agenda in this popular holiday destination, why not try out something on the TNT’s list of seven unique and must do activities that will make the holiday really worth writing home about. The Greek islands are steeped in history, surrounded by vibrant and glimmering oceans and enhanced by its Mediterranean culture. From caves to underwater hot springs, the magazine urges its readers to make

Ierapetra in five Greek wonders of nature among world’s top 100 sustainable destinations

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Samaria Gorge in TNT Magazine’s “Seven Greek Island must-dos”

Football Club Rating with Multiple Criteria: The case of France

Professor Emilios Galariotis Ph.D. (Dunelm), HDR Director: Centre for Financial and Risk Management (CFRM). Head of risk Axis Research Axis “Finance, Risk and Accounting Performance”. Joint-Head of the Department of Accounting & Finance Audencia Nantes School of Management • Professor Christophe Germain Ph.D. Academic Dean Audencia Nantes School of Management, CFRM • Professor Constantin Zopounidis Ph.D. Academic, Royal Academy of Doctors and Royal Academy of Economic and Finance Sciences of Spain Technical University of Crete & Audencia Nantes School of on ck cli Management, CFRM for more news r t.g os President of the Finanhttp://cretep cial Engineering and Banking Society

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news & articles

General The evaluation of football clubs has been mostly related from winning titles such as national leagues and cups, as well as obtaining privileged positions in the league and participating in European competitions, to finishing in a good position or avoiding relegation. The extant research has shown that economic expenditure is heavily correlated to performance. For example a recent article in the Economist http:// www.economist.com/blogs/gametheory/2013/04/footballers-wages) shows a strong positive relationship between spending on footballers and club performance. However the article accepts that more than half of the performance is not explained by spending on players, even when controlling for other factors. In recent years, clubs have also developed other activities that aim at improving their overall presence (supporting charities, CSR activities etc.) and their status as companies that try to better sell their product. For example: the development of club stores and online boutiques that sell anything from football kits to fashion clothing and from luggage to homeware and accessories, that aim improve their economic efficiency. Football clubs have also floated in stock exchanges, for example by the mid 90es 27 British clubs were listed in the stock market according to the Economist. In France, Lyon floated shares in 2007 after the French government relaxed rules that banned football clubs from doing so. Although the credit crunch and the European Debt crisis discouraged others from following their example, as companies, clubs have to look after their finances and boost public or private shareholder and stakeholder value. This proves difficult given that at the same time football clubs have to spend large amounts to acquire top talent and this has a negative impact on their financial performance. Therefore there exist other criteria that are pertinent to evaluating football clubs that have been overlooked so far. This article, attempts to cover this gap, and for the first time to evaluate clubs in all relevant three dimensions. First, we evaluate teams based on predominantly athletic performance criteria, then based on economic criteria and thirdly based on strictly financial performance criteria. We first see how each of these relates to league classification, and we

also look at them together and we also see how each of these three set of criteria affects the other. Although France has been a pioneer in football developments, and one of the top five leagues of the sport globally, the performance of clubs both internationally and nationally has not been as expected. Football in France is considered to be at a turning point by many, including politicians and football authorities (Ranc and Sonntag 2012). For this reason this article focuses on football teams from France, or research conducted in the framework of cooperation of the Technical University of Crete (Financial engineering laboratory) and Audencia Nantes School of Management (Centre for Financial and risk Management). Data-Methodology The football sample consists of 13 teams of the top French championship (Championnat) ligue1 that have been continuously present during the last three years in this category (2011-20122013). The criteria relating to football performance are 14 and include the final standings for the last three years and accumulation of point; ranking in national cap competitions; number of wins, draws, defeats; goals marked; number of foreign players; the stability and change frequency of coaches etc. The economic data, that are 11 in number, involve criteria such as stadium capacity; number of season tickets sold in a given football season and the average number of tickets sold; sponsor income; products sales by the boutique of the team etc. Finally, the financial criteria (10 in number) relate to the profit margin, financial efficiency, liquidity, borrowing and repayment capacity etc. The main (but not only) methodology we apply is the well-known PROMETHEE multicriteria method which has already been successfully applied in managerial decision making and other scientific areas (See JP Brans, Ph. Vincke, B. Mareschal, 1986, How to select and how to rank projects: The PROMETHEE method, European Journal of Operational Research, Volume 24, Issue 2, Pages 228-238).

Results The tables below exhibit the performance in each of the three dimensions:

The General conclusions from the above analysis are as follows:

1. The most powerful clubs of the French Championat such as Paris St. Germain, Lille, Marseille, and Montpellier consistently occupy the top 5 spots of the rankings based on football performance. Their positions here however are not a mirror image of their actual final classification in the league and the various other cup competitions. Therefore, although football related criteria and investment affect a team’s position, the actual final classification in the league is also affected by other factors. 2. One very important such factor is that the stability of the coach positively affects the performance of clubs (something that has been observed in other leagues, such as the premiere league in England both for top-spenders like Manchester United, and for groups with lower -in the past at least- budget such as Arsenal). This factor correlates with the manager’s (coach) ability as well, i.e. the longer the coach stays the more is his impact on the results of the team. 3. The major football powers of the French Championat also perform very well in the economic front, due to a combination of high-capacity stadiums, their success in selling a large number of season tickets and club boutique products, as well as the continuous and strong support of donors / sponsors and other income such as broadcast rights etc. These firms are therefore more able to spend more so as to attract and retain better talent, but also to invest in cultivating future talent (similar to the academies of FC Barcelona, or FC Nantes in the past). This brings in more income, that then enables them to invest more in talent and a virtuous cycle is created. However, as these ranking are not again one-to-one reflecting league and other competition positioning, there are other factors that add to football club success in addition to spending. For example, to link this point with points 1 and 2 earlier, the ability of the manager (coach) is also very important, see for example the case of the premier league and Manches-

ter United when Sir Alex Ferguson achieved many more championships in the premier league than the clubs economic expenditure can explain, according to the Economist (http:// w w w. e c on om i st . c om / n e w s / br it ain/21601873-good-managers-matter-not-much-money-does-everything-play). 4. Looking at financial criteria it seems surprising at first that clubs of medium strength and capacity dominate the ranking. This is particularly surprising for FC Lyon (Olympique Lyonnais) that is publically listed and one would expect them to pay closer attention to this set of criteria. This however can be explained by the fact that larger teams try to attract top talent that costs much more and have a much higher financial exposure with less focus on financial performance compared to other types of private or public companies, and with much higher debt and accumulating deficits, similar to the strongest clubs of other championships (for example Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in the Primera División in Spain). Another explanation relates to medium dynamism clubs per se. These teams on average have less strong funding backing by donors, sponsors and sales, hence, they need to carefully manage the finances to optimize but also to avoid the catastrophe of going in to administration. Effort was made to also formally consider the inter-correlations of the different subgroupings using the non-parametric τ-Kendall test, so as to further strengthen the above discussion. The question asked was whether good financial and economic performance affects the athletic performance of football clubs (i.e. success). The answer was negative as regards football and financial performance for all years of the study. While between football and economic performance, there is a statistically significant correlation for the year 2011. With this successful original application of multicriteria analysis on evaluating football companies, we obtain various methodological advantages that allow us to conduct the analysis without the need for long sample periods and without other problems of standard regression analysis. We can conclude that: against the standard principles of management, how well a football team performs is not related to financial performance but mainly to the size of its financial revenues, which in turn affect the team’s success (ability to obtain better results though spending more), which in turn has a further effect on the size of its revenues enhancing them directly and indirectly (higher sales and sponsoring income etc.), and the loop continues. This result is justifiable if one accepts that these companies are considered successful and as a good “investment” based on football performance and not classical management measures. While these factors bring a team to the top group, other contributing factors affect the exact positioning in the top, with the most prominent being that of the longevity (and hence ability on the very long term) of a coach on a team’s bench.

Orchids and Birds

The immediate reaction to a ques-

tion of why visitors come to Crete is that they come for the beaches and sunshine. That is relevant for many, especially in the summer. But many tourists come to Crete in spring for the landscape, the birds and the flowers, especially the orchids and endemic flowers. But the number of orchid plants has dropped greatly and is still falling. I feel the decline in numbers of wildflowers and especially orchids must be stopped immediately. Orchid flowers are exquisite but unlike many of the oriental species, which are sold in florists, the flowers of European plants are quite small. But if you get down and inspect an individual flower you will find an array of lovely patterns and a combination of many colours that together produce a wonderful sight. Many have a distinctive aroma; this aroma is usually an individual attractant for the plant’s pollinator. I was asked last year by someone whether an orchid dug up from the wild would flower this year in the garden. I explained first of all that they would break the law but I emphasised that if dug up the orchid would not flower this year, or ever again. Orchids rely on a relationship with different species of fungi. Without the fungus the orchids will not survive; some species of orchid do not even have leaves so are unable to photosynthesise and rely totally for food and energy on its specific species of fungus. Transplanting orchids, requires a licence in the UK, and needs the involvement of expert ecologists and botanists. Even collection of the seed, if legal aspects are discounted, does not mean success as the seeds need their relevant fungal

partner and correct soil. Orchids are what are termed by ecologists as ‘indicator plants’. They indicate that the land may have been undisturbed for a long time. They are very susceptible to fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides. Orchids also take a long time to grow from seed to a flowering plant. This period for different species of orchid on Crete may be as low as 5 to 6 years, but I suppose the average may be nearer 7 or 8 and even as high as double figures for some species. Although an orchid flower produces thousands of seeds very few mature. Thus orchids indicate an area of land that has been undisturbed and unpolluted. So orchids are not just important as attractions for tourists but are very important indicators of the environment. We must try and preserve not only the plants but also their habitats, partly so that we can continue to attract these special tourists year after year.

Birds... Are they important to Crete?


any tourists arrive in early spring on Crete and other Greek islands purely to watch birds. Others arrive in September to see the birds returning on their autumnal migration. These tourists bring important revenue at a time of year when less people are arriving for the beach and sun but many people consider that watching birds is an odd behaviour. Here on Crete, during late March and early April Plakias on the south coast was a magnet for bird watchers. There would be people with telescopes standing on a lower ledge of the wonderfully shaped mountain of Kyriamianou, just above the gorge, watching the vultures and also the flocks of large birds in Plakias Bay. The Golden eagle’s nest that

was on the other side of the gorge and a bit further south seems to have been abandoned for a long time now because of disturbance on the other side of the gorge. I have been to Plakias a few times in spring over the last few years and have seen very few birdwatchers in the area. I have also not seen the flocks of larger migrant birds that used to refuel for a few days before continuing their journey northwards. It may be that I have been there on the ‘wrong’ days but when they started building the marina a few years ago I thought the noise and disturbance of the building works would have a serious effect. Also, I could not understand why it was being built on an area that was used for roosting. I think the word that is used is ‘Progress’, but not if you are a migrating egret. Many of the species of birds that birdwatchers come to see require undisturbed habitat. Recent new building has expanded into areas of land that were peaceful, reducing the size of undisturbed areas. Over the last 25 years the number of visitors hiring cars during or for their visit has increased dramatically and they are venturing into what were remote areas. Some small tracks that were primarily used by farmers to drive their flocks into the higher mountains have been widened and many now under asphalt. Thus the number of people reaching areas which were relatively undisturbed has increased enormously. Not only are birds important to the psyche of humans but on our island they are important economically and need better consideration. Throughout Europe (and the planet) bird numbers are dropping rapidly and many common species are becoming rare. As an example, there are serious worries about one

species that visits our island in summer. The numbers of Turtle doves has fallen all over Europe and there is great concern about the continuation of this species on the continent. The following is an extract from an article by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the UK) on the status of Turtle doves on Malta: “The turtle dove is one of Europe’s fastest declining birds and although the reasons for its haemorrhaging population are not yet fully understood, it’s thought to be related to changing land use across parts of its European breeding range. The hunters claim a right to shoot turtle doves because they’re not fully responsible for the decline. However, in a further act of insanity, they don’t recognise that taking thousands of birds from an already rapidly-declining population has anything to do with them”. I assist the Hellenic Ornithological Society in the Breeding Bird Census, every spring. Throughout Europe, ornithologists, bird lovers and ecologists participate and what the census is showing is that many factors (including habitat damage and fragmentation, pollution, hunting, climate change) are having a very serious effect on most bird species. Because of the Census reports, migratory birds are now being highlighted as of great concern. The for more news click on factors shown above are http://cretepost.gr all involved in declines but can you imagine not seeing any swallows in the summer or not hearing the sound of the swifts swirling around Chania harbour. But if we, as humans, do not consider our aerial friends, summer may become a sad period of year and the song of the nightingale in spring a thing of the past. Yes, birds are very important to Crete, and not just from an economic viewpoint!

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Orchids... Are they important to Crete?

by David Capon

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Are they important to Crete?

Recipe of the month

Lamb with Pilafi in tomato soup by Antonia Tsakirakis Cook

Ingredients • 1 kilo lamb • 1 cup olive oil • 1 small onion • 1/2 kilo ripe tomatoes • 2 glasses rice • salt, pepper

Preparation Chop the meat and de-bone.

TIPS ON HOW TO SPIT ROAST YOUR OWN LAMB Despite the religious holidays, the spring is traditionally known as being the best season for serving lamb. Though it may be harsh to think of a

on for more news click r t.g os http://cretep

Then saute the meat in the oil with the onion. Add some water or broth and simmer. Then add the ground tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and boil until done. In the meantime, soak the rice in a bowl with boiled water and 1/2 handful salt and scald for half an

hour, otherwise the rice may become sticky (the quantity of rice should be half the quantity of the stock). Then rinse and pour into the pot with the meat. When it starts boiling, lower the heat and cover the pot. Simmer, until the broth is completely absorbed. Remove from the heat, stir and serve immediately.

roasted “spring” lamb, this cooked meat is one of the finest treats for any carnivore, especially when it is cooked right.

Step 4: Get Your Sides Step 5: Set Up Your Grill Space Step 6: Burn it! Step 7: Roasting After four to five hours check the meat, if it is cooked to your liking, remove to from the roasting area and let it rest on

Step 1: Buy Your Spit and Motor Step 2: Find Your Lamb Step 3: Get Your Wood Charcoal

Traditional Cretan Taverna

Drakona, Kerameia (20 km from Chania)

“Tzaneris & Archontissa”

Tel.: +30 28210 75997

the carving table for 10 to 20 minutes. If not, lower the spit and cook until done. Step 8: Carving There you go... now there’s no excuse to not have that big lamb roast barbeque your friends and family always told you you should have.


Mob.: +30 6973 210487 / +30 6973 786747

Sweet recipe of the month

Rose Baklava S

erve sweet, sticky squares of this cinnamon and almond-filled pastry as a light dessert to end a Greek dinner party or Sunday roast. Nutrition per piece • kcalories-476 • protein-9g • carbs-34g • fat-33g • saturates-4g • fibre-1g • sugar-25g • salt-0.1g Prep: 30 mins Cook: 45 mins - plus resting Ingredients • Greek yogurt, to serve For the syrup • 300g golden caster sugar • juice ½ lemon • 4 tbsp rosewater (not concentrated,

see tip) • 1 large cinnamon stick For the baklava • 75ml olive oil • 500g chopped almonds • 75g golden caster sugar • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon • ½ tsp ground cloves • 250g-270g pack filo pastry sheets • 150ml rosewater (not concentrated, see tip) Method 1. Put all the ingredients for the syrup in a heavy-based saucepan, and add 400ml cold water. Stir over a gentle heat to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a steady simmer for 10 mins or until it becomes slightly syrupy. Leave to cool. 2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lightly brush the sides and base of a 23 x 33cm shallow ovenproof dish with a little of the oil. 3. For the baklava, mix together the almonds, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and rosewater.

by Marilou - Chief executive chef at Marilou Cupcakes and more. info@marilous.gr 4. Place 1 sheet of filo in the bottom of the dish and brush liberally with oil. (If the filo sheets are very large, cut them all in half before using.) Place another one on top and coat again with oil. Repeat this process of layering and brushing with oil until half of the filo sheets are used up. Now spread on the filling and syrup. cover with the remaining filo sheets, layering and oiling as before. Be sure to Tip brush the top sheet with oil too. Score • Be sparing with rosewater the top to form diamond-shaped slices. If you can only find concentrated rose5. Bake in the oven for about 30 mins, water (in a 60ml bottle), use 2 tsp and increasing the heat for the last 5 mins to dilute it in 250ml water. Use 4 tbsp of 200C/180C fan/gas 6 to give the pastry this diluted version for the syrup, and a light golden colour. 150ml for the baklava. 6. Remove from the oven and imme• Coating the filo pastry diately pour half the cooled rose syrup Take your time over building the layers, over the hot pastry. Leave to rest for carefully brushing each sheet of pastry at least 30 mins so the syrup can seep with a good coating of olive oil - it’s well through the layers. Serve with big dolworth the effort. lops of Greek yogurt and the remaning

What you have to know about “Magiritsa”, Holy Saturday’s night soup

food & wine

Magiritsa is a Greek soup made

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from lamb offal, associated with the Easter (Pascha) tradition of the Greek Orthodox Church. Accordingly, Greek-Americans and Greek-Canadians sometimes call it “Easter soup”, “Easter Sunday soup”, or “Easter lamb soup”. In some parts of Greece, most notably

Thessaly, it is not served as soup but rather as a fricassee, where it contains only offal and large variety of vegetables, but no onions or rice, as in the soup.

Traditional use Magiritsa is eaten to break the fast of the Greek Orthodox Great Lent, the 40 days before Easter. Its role and in-

gredients result from its association with the roasted lamb traditionally served at the Paschal meal; in its traditional form, magiritsa simply consists of all the offal removed from the lamb before roasting, and subsequently flavored with seasonings and sauces. Prepared by Greeks on Holy Saturday along with the next day’s lamb, magiritsa is consumed imme-

diately after the Pascha midnight Divine Liturgy. The dish is particularly thick and filling, making it a satisfying meal for breaking the fast. While traditional magiritsa includes all the lamb offal available, it is the head and neck of the lamb which provide most of the soup’s flavor, and those parts, along with the intestines, heart, and liver, are most commonly used today. Ingredients and preparation After a thorough cleaning, the lamb parts are boiled whole in water for between thirty minutes and two hours, then cut up into smaller pieces, flavored with onions, dill, butter and sometimes vegetables, and left to simmer. Rice is added towards the end of the boiling process, and the stock is thickened with avgolemono. When consumed the wee hours of the Paschal morning after church, magiritsa is sometimes accompanied by salad and cheese, tsoureki sweet bread, and hard-boiled eggs dyed red as a symbol of the risen Christ’s blood. en.wikipedia.org

crystalline water and venerable ancient sites, Greece lives up to all the hype. But how to approach this vast country with enough islands to suit everyone’s taste and antiquities dotting the landscape like a historical map of Western civilisation? Most first-time visitors will arrive and depart through Athens, which makes an excellent jumping-off point or punctuation at the end of the trip, but beyond that it’s time to explore. The long lunch You haven’t lived the Greek life, and certainly not had a full summer experience, until you’ve partaken in the ‘long lunch’. Ideally, you’d have a table-full of friends and family, but even with a smaller group, while you’re in Greece be sure to head to a seafood taverna and dine al fresco. Sip endless afternoon ouzo accompanied by a continuous pa-

rade of mezedhes (small dishes): meatballs, zucchini balls, grilled octopus, taramasalata (fish roe dip) and more. Lazy laughter with a continuous feast in the beauty of the Greek outdoors, ideally beachside…nothing compares. Top food islands are Lesvos (Mytilini), Corfu, Crete and Tinos. But really, you can’t go wrong! What about Crete? Crete is a magical quilt of splendid beaches, ancient treasures and landscapes encompassing vibrant cities and dreamy villages, where locals will share with you their traditions, wonderful cuisine and generous spirit. If you’re a traveller on the gourmet trail, you’ll delight in the distinctive farmfresh and organic cuisine served in tavernas across the island. In fact, the Cretan diet is among the healthiest in the world. Be sure to pair your meal with an excellent local wine and, to cap it off, a fiery shot of raki.

‘We Do Local’ Joins Forces with Wines of Crete

As part of its ongoing efforts to

promote local culture and cuisine, support local producers and human resources and respect the environment, certification body “We Do Local” has joined forces with the Wines of Crete. The ambitious cooperation kicked off with this weekend’s Oenotika Exhibition, where winemakers of Crete treated connoisseurs to the fruits of the Cretan vineyard. We Do Local sponsored the event and was present to share ideas and draw up plans for the best and farthest-reaching promotion of Cretan wines. Set up in collaboration with tourist professionals of Crete, We Do Local

is a new accreditation body offering annual certification to ventures that successfully support and promote the island’s products. The body’s aim is to upgrade the Greek tourist product and ensure that quality standards are being met through its certification standard titled “We Do Local” — a collaboration with accreditation body Cosmocert and social cooperative Local Food Experts. The Wines of Crete is active in the consistent promotion of Cretan wine through educational activities and participation in trade fairs as well as the establishment of Crete as a prime culinary tourism destination. news.gtp.gr

he Greek breakfast concept is gaining momentum with all the more regions joining the initiative in efforts to promote eating Greek as well as local products. Since the launch of the Greek Breakfast initiative in 2010, a total of 410 hoteliers across Greece have incorporated local products into their morning offerings, upgrading their quality, promoting local gastronomic traditions and paving the way for financial benefits for local communities. A Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) initiative, the Greek Breakfast program was presented during this year’s HORECA events last week with on-the-spot preparation practices and informative material. Regions that joined the initiative this year were Zakynthos, Lefkada, Fokida, Laconia, Epirus, Imathia and Sifnos. “‘Greek Breakfast’ is growing into the most innovative initiative in gastronomy while serving as a fresh action for the promotion of Greek tourism. At a time when activities in gastronomy serve as strategic choices, we hope to take initiatives to develop and promote other sectors and products of Greece’s primary production to the benefit of Greek society,” HCH president George Tsakiris said. “Greek Breakfast is becoming a trend.

It’s being talked about everywhere, in gastronomy schools, in Greek society, by foreign travel agents,” George Pittas, head of the program, said. Pittas noted that the initiative is not limited to a certain category of hotels but has been applied across the range, including everything from city hotels and luxury resorts for more new s click on to boutique hotels and http://cretep ost.gr small inns across Greece. Indicatively, hotels like the luxury Grande Bretagne in Athens and the Costa Navarino Resort in Messinia as well as city hotels such as the Liostasi on Ios and the Tholaria in remote Astypalaia, have — among others — made Greek Breakfast an integral part of their morning offerings. Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura expressed keen interest in the project and discussed ways to promote Greek products with local producers. news.gtp.gr

The winners of the 1st Cretan Olive Oil Competition

Local Governor of Crete, Mr. Stavros

Arnaoutakis, awarded the winners of the 1st Cretan Olive Oil Competition. The winners of the competition: - Golden “ELAIA”: Valirakis Giorgos (Kardia Tsounati) - Silver “ELAIA”: Terra Creta (Kolimbari, Koroneiki) - Bronze “ELAIA” Terra Creta Platinium (0.2, Koroneiki) “Such efforts are successful from the beginning and we have to continue the competition, in order to promote our local products by the brand name “CRETE”, said Mr. Arnaoutakis. All olive oils which participated in the 1st Cretan Olive Oil Competition will also participate in NYIOOC (New York International Olive Oil Competition),

from April 13 to 15, along with 700 olive oils from 25 countries. This newly established event was organized by Agro-Food Partnership Of Crete – Region Of Crete with the kind support of Association of Olive Municipalities of Crete (SEDYK), Cretan Olive Oil Network, Exporters Association Of Crete (SEK), Organoleptic Evaluation Laboratory of the Union Of Agricultural Cooperatives Of Rethymnon, Crete, Association Of Olive Oil Labelling Producers Of Crete (SYTEK), Institute of Olive, Subtropical Plants and Vine, Hania, Crete. The competition highlighted i branded olive oils from Crete and helped them distinguish as important delegates of this superior quality food to international as well as local markets.

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With its sparkling white beaches,


Greek Breakfast Gaining Ground

food & wine

Lonely Planet: First time in Greece? Taste Cretan cuisine!

Vamos Rules Pool Championship 2015

by Adam Dale


a normal Wednesday evening in Vamos (Apokoronas) you will find a bunch of chaps having a friendly game (or three) of pool - it is ‘winner stays on’ but no one keeps score. However, once a year, things are taken a little more seriously and the Vamos Pool Championship is held and that was the case on 21st January this year. Teams (of 2 players) are drawn out of a hat and each team plays at least 3 games; and using a very sophisticated league table system (that only one man understands) a winning team is found. An unusual set of rules is played on this table (known as the Vamos Rules) whereby each team must nominate a different pocket for the black. This year the teams were very well balanced and several of the games were very close

“The Last Poem” Will I stare out to sea as the time slips by while people with dreams just walk on by. But what would they know of a creased old man, with Africa in his blood.

with each team trying to get the black ball into their nominated pocket; this could sometimes take over a dozen attempts by each team and each one could be the winning shot. This led to some very tense and exciting finishes. The final was also one of these games and the spectators were gripped as the tension built throughout the game. A long black ball finish did not disappoint and Michael Whitfield (Left) and Steve Woodward (Right) were crowned Vamos Pool Champions 2015.

I would think of a river as time slips by its winding course now dusty and dry. But what would they know of faint spoor in the sand, when rhino and elephants had lived in this land. I would think of big plains as the time slips by where zebra had marched and eagles fly. But what would they know of those old thorny trees

Poetry is all about emotions Chania International Poetry Society is a love child

of Finnish novelist/poet, Jussi Wahlgren. Jussi started organising poetry evenings in Finland years ago and when he moved to Crete, he decided to start a society for poets and those who love poetry here as well. I am a poet and a very enthusiastic member of this society. Evenings of poetry take place in Colombo Kitchen & Bar, in the old harbour on tuesdays every other week. Colombo is a new venue and ws a fantastic one. As I walked in on for more culture ne 17.3 with a nervous grin on my face r epost.g click on http://cret I was welcomed by the owner, Miltos Fragakis. Miltos is a great supporter of art in all it’s forms, from cooking to music and poetry. The atmosphere in Colombo reflects his love of arts. International Poetry Society has a few regular performers who read their own poems in every poetry evening. I am one of them. To me it is nerve wrecking to stand in front of people and reveal my inner thoughts and feelings to them but the rest of our performers seem to have no such fears. Murray Morrison, a British novelist, has started writing poems only recently. Jussi Wahlgren has been writing for years. Jussi once said that poetry is all about emotion. I believe he is right. If I wrote about politics or global warming,

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I would not be nervous. But this is the beauty of our society. People from all over Europe come to Colombo to read their emotions to listening crowd. Last time we got lucky. A group of French people had come to Colombo for dinner and even though they were not there for poetry, they were more than happy to translate some poems to French. All poems are always read at least in English and and Greek but if we can find more languages then all the better! Everybody in the restaurant agreed that everything sounds better in French, even if you don’t understand a word. I believe that something is always lost in translations but then again, it doesn’t really matter. The idea of this society is not to make Finnish or English poems sound Greek, or Greek poems sound English, but to bring our love of written word to those around us, too. Best part of our poetry evenings to me is the open mic. Anybody can step up and read one of their own poems or just some poem they really love. It is amazing how many people write poetry but never talk about it. As our latest poetry evening was on St. Patrick’s day, we even got to hear an Irish limerick written especially for that night. One of the biggest surprises in the open mic has been Miltos’ father, Michailis, who writes poetry. He read a poem he had written to his son and even though most of us there couldn’t understand Greek well enough to understand the poem, many people were wiping tears off their eyes. Poetry is about emotions. Open mic performers don’t have to get their poems translated and often I hear some language I don’t understand but it still touches me.

by Anthony M. Whateley

with tall grass like waves in a rippling breeze. I would think of a forest as the time slips by a still dappled shade where bushbucks lie. But what would they know of that clear trickling stream in the hidden folds of a valley between. I would think of wild night as the time slips by a thousand stars in a moonlit sky. But what would they know of that long screaming wail, and the following morning’s sticky red trail. I will stare out to sea as time slips by while people with dreams just walk on by.

by Riina Laamanen

Poetry nights are not all about crying though, they are fun. Everybody in the restaurant can participate in the event by translating or reading poems. We discuss about poems, we ask questions, we feel connected. A French poet, a published poet, walked in last time. He had seen our poster somewhere and wanted to be a part of society. He had made a great effort translating his poems to English and we were very happy to hear some of them. The cultural inheritance of every performer makes it’s mark in the poems. French, Greek, English and Finnish poems all have a different voice. But still, love of written and spoken word connects us all, dispite our cultural differencies. When all the poems are read we stay in Colombo and talk. New members can join us, old members can drink wine, eat delicious food and discuss about the evening. And I can finally breath.

Looking for a place in Chania, for heroes of World War II

Poetry Time

by Niall Finn

Fast forward to Easter The baker’s shelf completely bare Of what is normally stacked up there: The loaves not round; they’re flat instead. It is, of course, unleavened bread. The chance to pun is heaven sent You cannot buy because it’s Lent. These 40 days of meatless fare Must drive the butchers to despair. Thank goodness for their ageing stocks Not everyone is Orthodox. For those who are, with meat eschewed, There’s snails - counting as fast food And fish and shellfish – just no meat. So all the nicer is the treat When lamb is on the Easter grill And all the faithful eat their fill.

Tragedy of Aradena The rattle of a pickup truck Across the sleepers on the bridge Is loud enough to make you duck When on the path, below the ridge, Towards the Aradena cleft Where once the village people stood Before the last survivors left This sad and haunted neighbourhood Their houses, now in ruins, grazed


since I was a little child, I have always anticipated this time of year with anxiety and enormous joy. Spring and the days before and after Easter have always been a kind of rebirth both for me as a person and for everything that surrounds me and my fellow citizens. And so it is! After a cold, gloomy but utterly necessary winter, which we all kiss farewell with a sigh of relief, the most celebrated season of the year, is on our doorstep. The most beautiful season of them all is about to show its signs. There is no wonder why so many poems have been written so as to describe its beauties. So many lyrics, so many lines on a child’s notebook and so many books about a season that changes it all. And indeed, the whole landscape on our island is now being transformed. Flowers blossom in the countryside, in

people of Chania. The memorial consists of seven flat metal panels; the Royal Marines badge, an explanation of the reason for the memorial, and a list of the dead. My wife and I have visited Chania; if the council is willing, it would be relatively easy to mount these panels somewhere along the cliffs along the harbour. It would be a fitting tribute to the men who died, and also an attraction for the many British tourists who come to your town, and a reason for many more to visit and a continuing source of publicity.

By cheeky, staring mountain goats (By passing tourists quite unfazed) Resplendent in their shaggy coats. Some 60 years ago this was That bloody murder ruled the land And 60 people died because They didn’t seem to understand That boys are boys, and boys will fight For reasons that they hardly know. A careless word, an unmeant slight May trigger that first sudden blow Which leaves a young nose badly skewed A shirt with splodges where it bled But still no reason for a feud That leaves five dozen people dead. The Gorge remains, a walker’s dream Of towering cliffs in red and black But things aren’t always as they seem And sometimes, quickly looking back, As I tramped on towards the coast A pile of rocks, a twisted tree Would take the shape, at least for me, Of some poor shepherd’s gruesome ghost.

Contented tourists by the score. The tourists come but will that last? Lassithi’s trading on its past! The sad thing is the mills are there And could be made to work, with care. A little oil, new sails in spring Could spin-off change in everything. More action, progress on the ground Would follow if a use were found For energy the mills create So individuals, not the State Would take the main initiative For beautifying where they live. What, for example, if the breeze Could recharge all their batteries?

The Missing Mills of Lassithi Old photos of Lassithi show Some scores of windmills on the go. Today there’s just a handful left So that the plateau’s quite bereft Of what they call a USP In any management degree: A Unique Selling Point to draw

Coaching A few small tips if you, like us, May sometimes need to catch a bus. Get on? Get off? The middle door! (I don’t know what the front one’s for.) At least the bus stop’s clearly marked But like as not a truck is parked Right on the halt. Or cars; a few Can hide you from the driver’s view And force you, like a matador, To dodge the traffic to be sure He sees your outstretched arm to halt. If you’re bowled over, not his fault. In vain a schedule there you seek. There’s not much point, they change each week. Besides, you’re in the hands of fate

Spring in Our Hearts

the parks and in our neighbourhoods where purple, pink and yellow colours are now dominant on an exquisite palette. The tree leaves become greener than ever, indicating that our friends, the trees, have just woken from a long sleep and are about to put on their formal “clothing”. The sea in the old harbour gets calm once again. It becomes a gorgeous mirror reflecting the pictur-

esque Venetian harbour. The sun embraces the whole landscape and all the living creatures run out of their shelters so as to enjoy it. It is really amazing to realize how much influence the sun has on their lives. Everything looks different on a bright sunny day. Undoubtedly, we all human beings feel a kind of rebirth just as nature does. We are now more optimistic, more cheerful and of course more capable of confronting all our everyday troubles. The brightness of the day, the warmth of the sun, even the beauty of the clear night sky which glows with its nu-

The few survivors of the battle, our Crete Veterans, are few in number now, old men in their nineties, growing fewer year by year. They will all soon be gone, but we believe the actions and their bravery should not go, and what they did in those final desperate days should be remembered. I will be grateful for any help you can offer. Sincerely, Ken Brotherhood, Royal Marines Association. it’s sometimes early, often late. Don’t let these little drawbacks chafe; Your trip is comfy, smooth and safe With helpful staff, a splendid view for more culture news And people keen to click on http://cretepost.gr chat with you.

Greek coffee A painter friend of mine called Jacques Passed me a coffee, strong and black. “Voici un café grec pour toi: C’est boire et manger à la fois !” And if in French you rarely think That’s “simultaneous food and drink”. Although I know how odd that sounds One must admit he has his grounds. That is about the strength of it Tongue all flavour; teeth all grit. It’s up to each of us to judge If extra taste is worth some sludge. And though this bitter truth I know I can’t give up my ‘metrio’.

Pie in the sky? There’s not a lot of foods that I Would rate above a Sfakia pie. A Cretan culinary must Tight-packed inside a pastry crust The tangy twang of soft goat’s cheese Enough to weaken stronger knees. And then the contrast quite sublime Of mountain honey rich in thyme.

merous stars, makes us se life through a new perspective. They all create a unique atmosphere in which the only thing we can do is smile, feeling blessed to be part of it. And of course, this is a time for us all to get prepared to welcome the greatest of all religious holidays: Easter. It’s not just about the meat or the dairy products that we avoid eating. It’s not only about our every-day diet that differentiates a lot. It’s all about the preparation of our soul. It’s a chance for each and every one of us to become a better person as a parent, as a friend, as a member of a society. This is the true meaning of our “nisteia”: To become aware of what we are capable of doing, to enhance our lives with all the virtues possible and to show the love, the tolerance and the appreciation all human beings around us deserve. Having done all the above, we shall be ready to welcome Easter and experience the greatness of the holiday. We shall be happy for spring will not only be in our surroundings but in our hearts as well. So take a deep breath, smile, go out and let your senses guide you. Do not waste any more time for spring is finally here!

by Elis. Pramateftakis Teacher

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The Second World War was a very bad time for Greece, and Crete in particular. The battle for the island and the many acts of bravery during the years of occupation showed the world the true courage of the Cretan people. Among the many allied troops who tried in vain to halt the German invasion were men of my own regiment, the Royal Marines. With other gallant defenders, including your own Vth.Brigade, the were detailed to form a rear-

guard enabling many others to be evacuated. We have produced a memorial to honour our dead in that action. Now we come to the problem. A local farmer offered us land for a permanent site,but when he sold the farm, the new owner naturally wanted to use all of it. The cemetery at Souda Bay is full; someone came over especially from the mainland to check. I have tried all I can to find a solution, with no luck. I tried the Greek embassy in London, the British embassy in Athens; nothing. I would like to appeal directly to the


Dear Sirs,

Reasons to Paint Your Home’s Exterior This Spring

Is Spring the Best Time to Paint your House?


home improvement

by Petros Chatzistavros Civil Engineer (T.E.)

s the snow melts away in the next couple weeks, we’ll all be turning our attention outdoors to our neglected yards, gardens, and walkways. However, in the early weeks of spring, should we be focusing on an early house painting first? There are a few benefits to an early spring house painting over other times of the year. First, exterior latex paint performs best during mild temperatures. Average spring-time temperatures give latex paints the best chance of giving you a long-lasting paint job. Extreme temperatures cause latex paint to dry too quickly, leading to a lower quality seal. Additionally, wintertime moisture damages your exterior wall’s paint and structure. While your paint is peeling and chipping away off your exterior, even more severe damage can be occurring, such as rotting wood. Getting us in early in the season can increase the likeliness that we will find these areas of damage. We may even be able to make simple repairs. Getting your house painted early in the season allows for you to focus on other areas that need work later in the season. With your painting job out of the way, you can set up a garden or plant shrubs near your exterior walls without having to worry about ladders coming through. You can mow the grass around your house without having to worry about wet paint. Schedule your painting job early and we’ll leave you to enjoy the rest of the summer with a great looking exterior. When you paint the exterior of your home with exterior latex paint, the most durable, toughest, most protective finish is achieved when the weather isn’t too hot or too cold, which is why springtime is typically the best time of year for exterior house painting. There are other great reasons to paint your home this spring. Your Home’s Exterior is Stressed Out In some ways your home’s exterior paint job gets stressed out. It’s not the

kind of anxiety we experience, such as concern over the kids’ grades, being overloaded on the job, and dealing with automobile troubles. Instead, exterior paint gets hassled by various weather conditions. Moisture can wreak havoc on exterior paint. Snow, ice, frost, rain, and high humidity can all negatively affect the paint. Moisture in all forms can cause paint to swell and soften, which eventually leads to cracking, blistering, flaking, and peeling. Moisture conditions also support the growth of mildew. The sun can cause paint to fade, and it can diminish the protection which the paint provides for the exterior, due to paint erosion. What happens is that the ultraviolet rays of the sun can break down the exterior paint’s binder. As the binder deteriorates, pigment is released in the form of chalk or a powder which can wash away when it rains. Dramatic fluctuations in temperature can cause wood surfaces and many other surfaces to contract and expand. The movement can cause paint to crack and flake off, if the paint on the surface isn’t flexible enough. Repair is Needed Most homeowners are not aware of the many small things which are going wrong on their home’s exterior until

Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal If you are sprucing up your home in order to increase curb appeal for potential buyers, the most effective action you can take is to paint your home’s exterior. Everything that goes along with painting the outside of your home equates to ending up with the very best look you can put out there. People who are looking to buy a new home often decide whether or not they want to look inside a home based on what the outside looks like. It’s only logical to assume that if the house has peeling paint, a dingy looking paint job, and missing trim, the interior is

not worth viewing; that’s why some potential buyers will just drive by instead of going in. There are many things you can do to improve your home’s curb appeal but none is typically as effective as an exterior paint job, especially if you choose colors with the most appeal. One study revealed that the most popular colors for homes are neutrals such as gray, white, tan, blue, and brown; bold shades such as reds and blues are welcome, as long as they are used as accents, such as on the front door or window shutters. Increase the Value of your Home The best investments are those in which you invest a lot less than what you get back. Painting your home is one of those kinds of investments. The increase in your home’s value is typically much greater the cost of getting it painted by a professional. It’s Just that Time Exterior paint has an expiration date. The amount of time between the need for exterior paint jobs is partly a factor of the type of paint you use. When you use a better quality of exterior paint, you can wait longer before the next paint job is needed. Another factor is the quality of work performed in painting the home.

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they paint it. The prep work that goes into an exterior paint job usually reveals the many areas in need of repair. If the exterior paint on your home is close to the end of its life expectancy, you are taking chances by postponing the new paint job. It doesn’t take long for exposed wood to begin rotting. There are other issues you can discover, as well. It’s usually much more expensive to replace things than to repair them; so you don’t want to wait too long.


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10 Tools You’ve Seen at the Store But Don’t Know What They Do have a certain fascination walking through the tool department at their favorite home center.

1 - Lighted Mechanical Pick-Up As the name suggests, this is a thinly shafted straight tool with a light and claw at its tip. You can open and close the claw with a simple controller at the top, making it easy to grab that nut we’ve all dropped in that impossibly tight space. 2 - Inspection Camera This is a snake-like device with a camera at its tip. Typically used for inspection of pipes, it can surely be used to find that thing we keep dropping in that not so straight unreachable spot. Some come with magnet clamps to retrieve small objects, and should you need it photo and video capability. In fact, one even generates a WiFi signal compatible with your mobile phone. 3 - Multi Scanner A handheld device that can do deep scanning to locate both wood and metal studs in walls. It can show the direction of floor and ceiling supports as well as locate the joists, all while displaying information on a small digital screen. 4 - Digital Inspection Non-Contact Thermometer This is one of those interesting tools with a lot of utility. It uses an infra red light to inspect almost anywhere that is temperature sensitive; from inspecting welds on plumbing joints, to heat sensitive parts of engines, to inspecting the temperature of the that roast in the oven. 5 - Laser Level This is a device that uses a laser to help make sure your project is as level as required. What is particular useful about this device is that in can, at the same time, make sure that a fence post is both level and plumb. While not inexpensive, some even have rotary leveling capacity and multi-plane leveling capacity. 6 - Radio and Job Chargers These are becoming a necessity on the jobsite. With the advent of more powerful batteries, more and more power tools are battery operated, so fast charging is a must. In addition, these chargers are Bluetooth enabled so you can stream music up to 100 feet or more. 7 - Strap Clamp A unique hand tool that will probably come in handy in more ways than you realize. Anybody that has ever glued something together, and then needed to mechanically hold it while the glue sets has made use of clamps.

They come in all sizes and shapes, but the strap clamp is special. It has a strap up to 20 feet or more that can be placed around the entire perimeter of the thing you wish to hold together. The strap is flexible and can be made to go around almost any geometric shape. 8 - Digital Plan Measure This is sort of an electronic cross-over, but it operates mechanically. It is an instrument that can be used to accurately measure distances on construction plans. The tool has built in scales or it can be programmed for custom scales. It allows for easy measure—linear, volume, or rectangular measurements. It facilitates easy conversion of measurements from feet, to inches, or to metric. 9 - Pipe Bending Tool This is indispensable if you are a do-ityourself plumber. Pipes often need to be bent to fit an opening, sometimes even requiring a compound bend. You can spend more than $6000 for a power tool or less than $50 for a mechanical tool to bend your pipes. 10 - Chalk Line The chalk line is one of the most overlooked tools. Straight edges or rulers are limited in length. A chalk line is simply a colored powered chalk coated string in a mechanical container that allows the string to be unrolled and mechanically re-rolled. The string is many feet long, with a hook at one end. Pull the string tight to the other end, and snap the line - a perfectly straight chalked line appears in your favorite color. Moral of the Story A trip the tool department never ceases to amaze for the both inexperienced and serious do-it-yourselfers. It is like going to the grocery store for just a quart of milk and coming home with a basket full of exotic vegetables - I mean tools, for which you now need to find projects.

p. 23

It is fair to say that do-it-yourselfers

If it’s been sometime since the last trip, it is almost like a pilgrimage. You will be still amazed at the latest and greatest tools and gadgets. Below are just some of our finds in no particular order:

do it yourself

by StevenBernstein

Spring in Botanical Park and Gardens The Botanical Park & Gardens

of Crete grew from the ashes of that devby Petros Marinakis astating fire. Botanical Park & Gardens My village, Skordalou, lies at a distance of 20 km away from the city of Hania at the feet of the White Mountains. It is one of the greenest villages in Crete with the oldest olive orchards in Crete and in Europe and the main income of its people comes from olive oil (tsounati variety). I remember the summers in my village when I was a young boy; many children would come here from Athens and other parts of Greece for holidays with their families. It would strike me that they knew nothing about plants, not even olive or orange trees, to say nothing of the loquat or the carob tree for example. But then again, growing up in a large city or in a place with diffor more nature news ferent plants does not leave room for much. click on http://cretepost.gr By the end of October 2004, a sudden hot wind storm from Africa caused an electricity pole wire to break. This started a wild fire, which very quickly spread around so much that no one could control it. Twenty-four hours later, the whole region around the village had burnt almost to the ground. The damage was unprecedented: sixty thousand olive trees over 400 hundred years old had been burnt. My village had been ruined both financially and ecologically. My family had many orange and olive trees in an area with a surface of about 150-200 square kilometres, which was also ruined. After this destruction, I thought that all that burnt land could become a botanical park for trekking, education and

recreation. My three brothers all agreed to this idea. Nearly 20 hectares of land are waiting to welcome you, full of fruit trees from all over the world, herbs, medicinal and ornamental plants in a park different from others, where the land’s formation and the region’s microclimate make it a paradise for hundreds of plants and animals! In the midst of this colorful and vivid landscape stands a burnt centennial olive tree, a memorial and a reference to the dismal fires of 2003, the park’s history and origin. The newest and one of the most interesting sites of the Prefecture of Chania lies only 18 kilometers outside the city, on the feet of the White Mountains. It is ideal for visitors of all ages, combining enjoyments that only Crete can offer! Shortly after you pass Fournes village and before the historical Lakkoi-Skordalou, a sign will direct you towards the Botanical Park, to an unprecedented tour of the region’s magical nature and the creative imagination of the four brothers who dreamt of and realized this unique heaven on earth! When you first see the park and its fa-

cilities, it is impossible to imagine that this is the same expanse of the 15-20 hectares which burnt to the ground in the fires of 2003, today literary reborn from its ashes. In the place of the grey landscape stands a walking, educational and entertainment park-unique in its kind in Crete – waiting for young and old, locals and foreigners, to get acquainted with the more than 150 species of fruit trees together with the dozens of herbs, medicinal and ornamental plants it hosts, while enjoying their walk through a lush natural environment. The secret of enjoying your visit to the maximum is to wander through the paths of the Botanical Park slowly and leisurely, making many stops for rest in the various suitable rest points available. Thus you shall have the opportunity to truly appreciate the beauty which you will encounter. No matter how you see your visit here, whether as a scenic trek, or an interesting tour of nature’s paths, the Botanical Park is the ideal alternative proposal for a day’s escape from the city’s noise and the fashionable beaches. The dramatic scenery here is composed of rare samples of the local flora and fauna, as well

as tropical and subtropical species from all over the world, with new samples added daily, changing the look of the Botanical Park and providing visitors with a motive to enjoy it over and over again! This adventure in nature which lasts one to two hours, follows paths of unique natural beauty and provides visitors with the opportunity to get acquainted with the numerous different plants and trees that grow on the two hundred square kilometers of the well-designed planted hillside. The appropriate signposting of the paths leads the visitor to various sections of the Botanical Park (tropical trees, fruit-bearing trees, citrus trees, herbs and vineyards). The lush landscape is completed by the lake in the lower part of the part, offering accommodation and protection to ducks, geese and other water birds (and rare species), even to hawks that fly in the area. The park also has an open-air, stone atmospheric amphitheatre suitable for small (capacity for approximately 250 persons) events. Depending on the time of the year, you will have the opportunity to enjoy flowers, plants and trees through all phases of their life-cycle, parallel to the various species of wild flora and fauna which they attract each season. Any time of the year you visit the Botanical Park, you will be impressed by the colors, fragrances and variety of species. During the summer months, the best time to schedule your visit is early in the morning, avoiding the strong heat, and having the opportunity to complete your experience with an excellent meal in the park’s restaurant. Its totally local, organic and seasonal philosophy will be unforgettable.

Olive oil is our best ally against the cold, snow and frost

Olive oil is our best ally against the

p. 24

cretan nature

by Manolis Karpadakis Terra Creta Marketing Mngr

cold, snow and frost. Here’s how to use it... Winter has arrived with arrogance and is being felt, even on our skin. Face and hands are put to a severe test. The extra virgin olive oil can give lipids to the skin, to protect and nourish The low temperatures are certainly not the best friends of our skin. When the climate is harsh, or alternate days and very cold days myths, is necessary to prevent damage to the skin. Why in winter the skin tends to dry out? Our body has mechanisms for prodigious perform its functions and meet the needs of ordinary and extraordinary that relate to life, adapting to the external environment. In winter, in order to maintain a constant body temperature, the body puts in place a mechanism known as vasoconstriction: the peripheral blood vessels constrict, so that less blood flow in the outer zones of the body. This is to prevent heat loss, that is holding back the blood and the heat inside: the goal is to operate at its best the vital internal organs: heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, intestines ... The outside of the body (in this case, the skin and extremities) will then get by with less blood than usual. And, therefore, with less nourishment. That’s because the skin in winter sees decrease its functionality: less blood flowing means less oxygen and fewer nutrients that reach the skin and sebaceous glands. The effect will be a

decrease in the hydro-lipid film and therefore less able to protect. Perceive our skin thinner, more sensitive, drier and more exposed to the elements. You can also create microcracks epidermal and, in more severe cases, cuts and painful injuries, such as fissures that appear at the ends of the fingers. Hands are particularly susceptible to problems, since the wash more often than other parts of the body, and this only delipidizzarle further, exposing more What is the solution? One: grease the skin. With the right fats and the right way.

How to protect or treat skin assaulted by the cold? Many are natural fats that are good for your skin. One of the best is just our beloved olive oil, can riapportare lipids to the skin, to protect it from water loss through evaporation and nourish it, preserving the elasticity. Olive oil is an excellent protective shield for the hands and lips, and for all other areas of the body and face that “pull” or are damaged by cold. A shield that still allows the skin to breathe. Here are some practical tips on how to use olive oil to protect the skin when the climate is harsh. Face Before going to bed, dip your fingers in olive oil and wipe it with a gentle massage, especially on dry or sensitive areas (lips, around the eyes, cheeks, etc.). It can also be massaged all over your

face, if our skin is very dry. Be careful not to get it going in the eye. Allow to work for the oil alone for ten minutes, then apply moisturizer over the usual, all over your face. Our cream will blend well to oil, allowing the oil itself to be more easily absorbed by the skin. This treatment should be performed every night, and can be repeated in the morning before leaving home. Typically the skin quickly incorporates the oil, especially if it is very dry. But if you perceive your skin too “greasy”, just wait 10-15 minutes for the oil to be absorbed along with the cream. If even so the sentissimo too greasy, just lightly dab your face with a tissue, just before you leave home.

Hands For the hands treatment is analogous, and the amount of oil can be increased. Before going to bed, well ungiamole oil, insisting in the grooves, on the back and on the nails. Then we apply a cream (any hand cream or body) to help the oil to soak. This should be the last thing to do before going to sleep (also to avoid touching anywhere with greasy hands!) In the morning, the treatment can be repeated. Recall that the fact that the skin is oily is a positive, it means that your skin is slowly absorbing the oil. But if you just can not bear to leave fingerprints of oil, just rub your palms and fingertips with a handkerchief before leaving the house (on the back no, it is better to leave it to absorb grease and oil slow-

ly). When we go out, we try to wear gloves to protect the skin further. Supply Move towards a diet rich in vitamins and minerals can certainly come in handy, because their deficiency can make your skin more fragile and therefore more easily attacked. Eat fruits and vegetables in winter, raw and cooked, will help us to tolerate the winter making good vitamins, minerals and other nutrients (essential not only for the skin but also to support our natural defenses by seasonal ailments). Olive oil, with its contribution of unsaturated fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin E) and other antioxidants can help to ensure the long-elasticity of the skin and its defenses. Need to limit red meat, preferring legumes, fish, poultry, eggs. Also useful to introduce spices instead of salt, and slightly increase this season the consumption of dried fruit. It ‘s always advisable to drink at least 1.5-2 liters of water a day, because the moisture must be supported with external and internal, without which our efforts would be in vain. If we did not want to drink water, we can opt for hot drinks that, in addition to give a little ‘heat and relief from a cold day, can facilitate the process of hydration (and winter is perhaps the most pleasant to drink). http://www.teatronaturale.com/

Angelina Jolie Has Ovaries Removed in Move Against Cancer

Two years after announcing her prophylactic double mastectomy, world superstar Angelina Jolie has now announced that she has undergone by Miltiades Markatos prophylactic salpingo-oophorectoPneumonologist my, having her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in further preventive surgery against cancer. Jolie carries the BRCA1 mutation, which is associated with an estimated 87% increased risk for breast cancer and a 59% risk for ovarian cancer, and has lost many close female relatives to cancer (mother, grandmother, aunt). As before, Jolie made her announcement through an op-ed in the New York Times, explaining that she wants women who are also at risk to know about the options that are available. After her previous New York Times piece, which s new th revealed for the first heal e mor for time that she is a gr ost. click on http://cretep BRCA1 mutation carrier, there was a huge surge of stories in the media about the issue, which led to an increase in testing for BRCA status. One clinic reported a doubling of testing in the 6 months following the announcement. This illustrates “the profound impact that prominent figures like Jolie can have on public awareness of health issues,” commented lead author Jacques Raphael, MD, clinical fellow at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Center in Toron-

to, at the time. “People in the community who see high-risk breast cancer have been very aware of what has been dubbed the ‘Angelina Jolie effect,’ this phenomenon of more women and their families seeking out genetic testing,” added Harold Burstein, MD, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Latest Surgery Planned for Some Time In her latest New York Times piece, Jolie says that she has been planning the next preventive surgery, to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, for some time. “It is a less complex surgery than the mastectomy, but its effects are more severe,” she writes, as “it puts a woman into forced menopause. So I was readying myself physically and emotionally, discussing options with doctors, researching alternative medicine, and mapping my hormones for estrogen or progesterone replacement. But I felt I still had months to make the date.” But then came news, after blood tests that she has regularly been monitoring, that while the level of CA-125 (a protein marker associated with ovarian cancer) was normal, a number of inflammatory markers were elevated, which “could be a sign of early cancer,” she was told by her doctor. An examination and an ultrasound found nothing that was concerning. A

further PET/CT scan also looked clear, and the tumor test was negative. “There was still a chance of early-stage cancer, but that was minor compared with a full-blown tumor,” she writes. “To my relief, I still had the option of removing my ovaries and fallopian tubes and I chose to do it.” Jolie emphasizes that prophylactic surgery is not the only option, and some women choose to take oral contraceptives or alternative medicines combined with frequent checks. “I did not do this solely because I carry the BRCA1 gene mutation, and I want other women to hear this. A positive BRCA test does not mean a leap to surgery,” she writes. “In my case, the Eastern and Western doctors I met agreed that surgery to remove my tubes and ovaries was the best option, because on top of the BRCA gene, three women in my family have died from cancer “ she writes. “My doctors indicated I should have preventive surgery about a decade before the earliest onset of cancer in my female relatives. My mother’s ovarian cancer was diagnosed when she was 49. I’m 39.” Surgery Dramatically Reduces Risk That surgery dramatically reduces the risk for cancer in women who carry the BRCA1/2 mutations was confirmed by a 2009 meta-analysis of 10 studies. This meta-analysis found that prophylactic

salpingo-oophorectomy reduced the risk for breast cancer by 50% and the risk for ovarian and fallopian tube cancer by 80% in women who carry mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. “It’s really very clear that this surgery is protective. That’s not controversial anymore. Our study quantifies the cancer risk reduction and is the most authoritative review to date,” Timothy R. Rebbeck, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine in Philadelphia, commented at the time. Approached for comment, Maurie Markman, MD, clinical professor at Drexel University College of Medicine and senior vice president for clinical affairs at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia, said: “Based on what has been reported, including not only the genetic abnormalities, but also the family history of cancer, the decision by Ms. Jolie was quite appropriate as a documented effective strategy to decrease the risk for the development of both breast and ovary cancer. Removal of the ovaries is not 100% effective as a cancer prevention strategy, as the entire lining of the abdominal cavity (which cannot be removed at surgery) has the theoretical potential of being ‘at risk’ for the development of a malignant condition. However, this strategy decreases that lifetime risk by at least 80%.”

Konstantinos Drosatos:

A scientist from the University Crete who improves heart function in septic patients

health & nutrition

Konstantinos Drosatos is an Assis-


tant Professor of Pharmacology at Temple University, with expertise in molecular biology, metabolism of lipids, hyperlipidemia, heart failure and sepsis. Drosatos has roots in Partheni of Evia. He received his BS in Biology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, his MSc and PhD in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine from the University of Crete and Boston University and later was named Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University. His research aims to elucidate the mechanisms that underlie sepsis-induced cardiac energy deprivation and coordinate with clinical scientists to propose potential treatments for improvement

of heart function in septic patients. The findings of his studies can be extrapolated to other types of cardiac dysfunction and propose novel therapies for the treatment of heart failure. In addition, he is exploring the cardiac metabolic profile and its contribution in the phenotype of other diseases, such as the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). He is member of the American Heart Association, the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, the International Society for Heart Research, the World Hellenic Biomedical Association and the Hellenic Bioscientific Association in the USA. In 2004 Drosatos and his colleagues Dimitris Iliopoulos, Iordanis Karagiannidis and Thomas Thomou founded the Hellenic Bioscientific Associa-

tion in the USA. Currently, HBA-USA encompasses over 400 members, US based Greek-American scientists and researchers. In fact, HBA-USA regurarly collabo-

A life changing visit to our pharmacy can make you change the way you see life and put your body and mind in harmony. Have you ever visited a pharmacy to taste health? A different pharmacy in the centre of the old town of Chania is waiting to share with you secrets of well being and longevity. Taste the biolo gical honey, the royal jelly, tea from plants carefully chosen in therapeutic recipes, high concentration and purity juices of pomegranate, cranberry, aloe. Orthomolecular nutrition with suggestions on detox programs and a carefully selected range of supplements, vitamins an gluten free products from all over the world. In the same premises you can find a live homeopathic lab with 6.000 homeopathic remedies in stock and the ability to produce any kind of homeopathic form i.e. pills, granules, solutions etc Evangelia Sakka is the pharmacist in charge who has created that special pharmacy and will be happy to introduce you to that fantastic world but also suggest whatever will be more settable for you. Our philosophy doesn’t stop on food and supplements but we want you to think of your mind and body as well. That’s why we have created next to our pharmacy the Green Care SPA. A SPA that helps to uplift your mind and body with biological face an body treatments, reflexology, reiky, su jok and moxa treatment, Bach flower remedies, homeopathy sessions, bowtech as well as nail therapies. We are waiting for you to restart your life at Daskalogianni 43 - 45, SAKKA Pharmacy www.my-pharmacy.gr / www.greencarespa.gr

rates with the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of Ioannina. ellines.com

Spring is Almost Here

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Sunglasses? UV Protection is Critical!

It’s been quite a cold and rainy winter, and I know we are all looking forward to some sunshine. But be careful – the sun can be harmful not only to your skin, but your eyes as well.

The sun’s primary danger is in the form of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, you are likely to experi-

ence an effect called photokeratitis. Like a “sunburn of the eye,” photokeratitis may be painful and include symptoms such as red eyes, a foreign body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. Fortunately, this is usually temporary and rarely causes permanent damage. Long-term UV radiation exposure, however, can be much more serious. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to small amounts of UV radiation over a period of many years increases the chance of developing a cataract and may cause damage to the retina, a nerve-rich lining of the eye used for seeing.

If you can answer “yes” to one or more of the following questions, you could be at higher risk for harm to the eyes from UV radiation and may need to visit one optometrist or a local Optical Shop for sunglasses that better protect your eyes: • Do you spend a great deal of time outdoors? • Do you spend time water skiing, snow skiing or a lot of time at the beach or on the lake? • Do you use a sunlamp or tanning bed? • Are you a welder, medical technologist or do you work in the graphic arts or in the manufacturing of electronic circuit boards? • Do you take prescription or overthe-counter drugs that can increase your sensitivity to UV radiation (check with your optometrist,

pharmacist, or physician)? Have you had cataract surgery in one or both eyes? Be sure to visit one of local Optical Shops in Chania for a great selection of designer sunglasses. Experts can help fit you with prescription or non-prescriptions sunglasses that give you the UV protection you need. •

by Nick Lazakis Optical expert

All sunglasses in Optical Shops block out 99 to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. Be sure to protect your children and teenagers as well – they typically spend more time in the sun than adults.

Eating like a Greek ‘could change lives of men suffering from impotence’

that is associated with longevity, wellbeing, lower incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease. ‘And this is very important, because

people can choose this type of diet to prevent or restore their vascular health.’ He explained that when a man had problems achieving an erection, ‘it can

Daily Mail

A beach in Ierapetra for people with special needs

The first beach for people with spe-

cial needs will be at Ierapetra. The SeaTrac system will be placed on the beach of Ierapetra, as decided by the City Council. SeaTrac system will be placed in six beaches of Ierapetra (Telonio, Waikiki, Gra Ligia, Mirtos, Megali Paralia and Makris Gialos). Seatrac is an one of a kind engineering achievement, since it is the only device (world – wide) that can offer complete-

ly autonomous access to the sea by the disabled, in a robust, safe and yet cost – effective design. It is covered by Greek European and U.S. patents.

The Greek immunologist and cancer biologist from the University of Crete, who is internationally recognized

Dr. Iannis Aifantis is an internation-

ally recognized immunologist and cancer biologist, specializing in the investigation of T cell acute leukemia (T-ALL), a common form of childhood leukemia. He has his own laboratory, the Iannis Aifantis Lab, which studies the molecular mechanisms driving normal stem cell differentiation and malignant transformation. Born in Greece, Dr. Aifantis earned his BS degree in biology and an MS degree in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Crete. Afterwards he went to the University of Paris V where he got his Ph.D. in the laboratory of immunologist Harald von Boehmer. Later, he followed Dr. Harald von Boehmer to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and to the Harvard Medical School as a postdoctoral fellow and in 2003 he established his own laboratory

at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Aifantis is the Chairman of Department of Pathology of the NYU School of Medicine. His work has provided significant contributions to the understanding of T-ALL and to the development of new and better treatments for the disease. In addition, his laboratory focuses on studying the subtle molecular signalling events that shape how blood stem cells mature into a variety of cells in the immune system and how those cells can undergo malignant transformation, causing T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Α disease which afflicts thousands of children and adults each year and can attack different vital organs, including the central nervous system, with dire consequences. Dr. Aifantis has earned numerous awards and honours. He was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist in

2009, he received the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, the Cancer Research Institute Young Investigator Award, the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research Scholar Award and many more. “Iannis is an accomplished leader, a gifted scientist and generous colleague,” said Robert Grossman, MD, dean and

CEO, NYU Langone Medical Center. “He has the skill, vision, and experience to build on the long and proud history of our Department of Pathology and guide it to even greater success in the coming years.” ellines.com


enjoying the odd glass of wine, could transform the lives of men suffering from impotence, according to Greek cardiologist Athanasios Angelis. He said his research had shown that consuming such healthy foods helped clean out blood vessels, especially the narrow ones in the penis that are essential for a man to perform. Dr Angelis, an expert on erectile dysfunction at Hippokration Hospital in Athens, said: ‘The Mediterranean diet is well known to be a healthy diet, one

be a sign of worse health problems to come’, because the blood vessels in the penis were ‘very, very sensitive’ to what was happening in the rest of the body. ‘Adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle can help reverse moderate erectile dysfunction,’ Dr Angelis said. Changing to a Mediterranean diet, and taking more exercise, could be so effective in some men that they would not have to rely on Viagra any longer, he added.

health & nutrition

Eating fish, salads and olive oil, and

Something more than a letter

Stray animals issue... concerns all of us

It never happens when I am ready for

it, it always is suddenly there.... A pair of eyes. Sad eyes, begging eyes, lost and hurt. A soul, battered, almost beaten, but just hanging in there. Filthy, stinking, full of ticks, fleas and worms. Skinny and many times wounded. If not the body, then the soul is. But most of the time both. Done by the hand of mankind... Strays. A common problem in the whole of Greece, but certainly also here on Crete. I rescue them, i am the one taking them in, nurse them back to health, body and soul, and try to find a good loving home for them. And most of the time that is not easy. I have been called names. That I am crazy, that I keep diseases on the island by saving filth. I am dirty, and for that, a lot of people do see me as less, like the way they see the strays. Yet I do not care. I know better. I have been accused of selling the dogs. Selling them for my own s for more pets new profit, to either families, click on http://cretepost.eu or companies that produce food of dogs, make shoes out of them or use them for horrible tests. I have been accused of trafficking, like my “colleagues” a few weeks ago, that i personally know and that are doing the same as I do. Which is, saving dogs... It is the word that other groups like to spread, instead of all working together, in this world, the animal rescue world, they try to put you down. It is a nightmare. What I am doing with the dogs? I pick them up, not being scared of my clothes getting dirty, not being scared of getting a disease from them. I pick them up and first thing I do is trying to hug them. At that moment, I am all they have in the world. And they realize they are not alone anymore. Then I make them a promise. That they never ever have to go back on the streets again. Never live the life of being kicked away, shouted at, or badly abused. Most of them ARE abused, others are just puppies dumped. Ages vary. From nests of only a few weeks old to old dogs not useful for their owners anymore. It is in all cases, sad and painful. I nurse them back to health. If wounded I provide for medical care. Medication, vet costs, most of it I pay myself. In the


pets & vets

by Giannis Venetakis Zoo Technician

summer I work, and this money goes to the rescues, in the winter I have no job, but I organize bazaars in aid of the strays. Some people donate and this will be used for making them better and for dog food. When they are a bit representable, I start to make pictures and send these to an organization in Holland, with who I work together to find adoption homes. MJM Dogs Foundation is their name. A completely legal organization. They put the pics of the dogs on their FB page and site, a description that I provide of the dog will be written next to the pic and the message that they are up for adoption. This never means that a dog will be adopted the same day or week. Many times it takes a long time, and in some cases, nobody responds, nobody is interested. I have had dogs that went after 3 months but also dogs after a year and I have 8 dogs at my home that nobody ever shown any interest in. I decided I keep them myself... In total I have 12 dogs at the moment. These dogs I provide for. Money from bazaars and so on does not go to these dogs. If someone shows interest, an appointment will be made by MJM, to go to the homes of the new ‘parents to be’. They will check if the house is clean, if the environment is safe, if kids are involved (some dogs do not go well with kids) if there are other pets, how many hours they are working, things like that. If the people can show that they are capable of taking care of a dog, they will be ‘approved’. If for instance they are away from home too long, they will not be approved and the dog will stay on the site and FB page. If a family is found, I will get them message that the dog will be going to Holland. My job then is to ‘make the dog ready’. That means the vaccinations, incl. Rabies, chip, and passport. The dogs are not allowed to fly till 3 weeks after the Rabies vaccination and also not if they are younger than 15 weeks. And then, we have to find an escort. A dog is not allowed to fly on its’ own, which makes sense. So it needs to be guided by an escort. This is a person that will travel with the dog to Holland, where the dog will be adopted. This person will check the dog in, and when arrived in Holland, hand it over to

the organization, who is waiting there to check the papers, to see if the dogs are ok and all. The families of the dogs most of the time are also there, and the dog can go home right away. Sometimes an escort travels with more than 1 dog. Then this person will take dogs for more than 1 family, and make 2 or 3, 4 or 5 families happy. After a few weeks, the organization goes for a check up on the dog. I always ask if people that adopt the dogs will get in touch with me, as I am always very intensely committed to the dogs. It hurts to hell and back to let one go, yet if I see the happy faces of the new families and the dogs I cannot help but feeling proud. So they send me pictures, videos and little messages of their new family members’ adventures. Sometimes on the way towards the adoption things do not go as they should. Dogs are getting ill and die, due to living on the streets for too long. Some have diseases that cannot be cured. Some have diseases that cannot be cured, but they can get old with medication. Only most of the time these dogs will not be adopted. Some of them will show defects, some of them are just too battered in the soul to ever become a ‘normal’ dog again. It is not an easy job. I have rescued many in my 13 years on the island here. All happily ever after. Yet I have had horrible nightmares as well. I have seen them dying of poison, I have seen them being abused, I have had dogs in horrible states, with open wounds, with cigarette bud wounds in their ears, with hundreds of ticks, I have had a dog that was shot, and many more cases. Many times I sit, watch the sky, cry and ask something up there: Why? But there is no answer... So I just continue what i do, without thinking of the ‘why’ so much. There and then I gain strength out of watching the pics that the families send me. Call me whatever you want... I, and with me many others that rescue, know the truth... Hersonissos stray group MJM dogs foundation Katja Brakenhoff

Caya at her new home in Holland. One of the many success stories. Found at the trash, with more than 300 ticks (I stopped counting at 300) cigarette burns in her ears. And now as a princess in Holland. Pup Oscar, found in a shed between trash, cold and filthy. Now living a life as the best friend of a girl with autism. I have regular contact with all of the adopters, but this one is the most beautiful story so far. The girl has autism and had no self-confidence at all. Now, as her mother says, she became a different child. They are friends forever and can not live without eachother The story of Baloo... Arrived as small as on the first pic, with his siblings, (1 died, Baloo and sister Shenzi are adopted, 3 others I still have here, they are

almost 2 now). Now living with his new mum in Holland, and his 2 cat sisters. The picture of the car is the ‘class’ of Baloo. They are all walking and playing together once or twice a week, when the ‘parents’ are working a bit later and so on. All friends. Raisa... the shot dog of Old Hersonissos. Raisa was a healthy stray, roaming the streets of Hersonissos. Then she got shot by a ‘human’. Now she is paralised and not able to walk. We just brought her to a foster, where we will see if she will stabilise and start to move her legs. We need help, either for operation or wheels or anything to make her the happy dog that she once was... Supporting your efforts, Chania Post will publish any “animal” story you send us.

1. Wisteria Wisteria are twining vines with huge clusters of cascading flowers that are pale purple, white, blue or red. Its famously fragrant flowers and vigorous growth rate make this plant a particularly attractive option for any yard. Provide ideal conditions -deep, moist

soil and full sun to light shade- and don’t be surprised if your plant grows higher than 10 feet (3 meters) in one year. Be prepared to prune it heavily so that it doesn’t take over surrounding vegetation. Plant wisteria 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters) apart in the spring or fall. The hole should only be as deep as the root ball and about twice as wide.

Wait until the soil warms to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius) before you transplant petunias into your garden. There are hundreds of varieties that are categorized based on size and growth habit. Good drainage is more important than rich soil when it comes to maintaining your petunias’ health. This plant needs a minimum of five solid hours of sun each day, as ample light is the single most important factor affecting how well it grows. Remember to remove faded flowers by deadheading, or pinching or cutting off the flower, to encourage more blooms and help the whole plant stay

2. Petunia Soft petals and an exquisite fragrance make petunias a natural choice for the garden. Whether you plant them in containers or in the ground, petunias will grace your outdoor spaces from springtime until the first frost.

Spring Gardening Tips Survey the Yard Make note of tree limbs that should be removed or cabled, especially those that overhang structures. Hire an arborist to maintain large trees. Cut down last year’s perennial foliage, and toss it into the compost pile. Rake mulch from beds planted with bulbs before foliage appears, and refresh mulch in other planting areas after soil warms. Check fences, steps, and pathways for disrepair caused by freezing and thawing. Order Tools and Plants Tune up tools so everything is ready when things start growing. Make note of what is missing, and order tools for the new growing season. Choose new plants for the garden. Order perennials, trees, and shrubs for spring planting. Get Ready to Mow Send the mower and leaf blower for servicing, or if you have the right tools, sharpen the mower blades yourself. Refill your mower with oil, install

fresh spark plugs, and lubricate moving parts if necessary. Clear the lawn of winter debris, and look for areas that need reseeding before mowing.

compost or well-rotted manure and any amendments over soil, and cultivate it to a depth of 10 to 12 inches with a spading fork.

Prune Trees and Shrubs Remove dead, damaged, and diseased branches from woody plants. Thin and trim summer-blooming shrubs such as butterfly bush, hydrangea, and most roses, except for old-fashioned once bloomers. Prune cold-damaged wood after plants resume spring growth. Prune spring-blooming shrubs and trees after flowering.

Plant Plant bare-root trees, shrubs, and perennials such as hostas and daylilies by early spring. Choose a cool, cloudy day if possible. Transplant container-grown plants anytime during the growing season except midsummer; be sure to water them thoroughly. Sow seeds of cool-season flowers like sweet peas, poppies, and calendula, and vegetables such as lettuce, parsley, and spinach.

Take a Soil Test Check soil pH with a home soil- test kit, taking several samples from different planting areas for an accurate reading. Enrich soil as necessary: Add dolomitic lime to raise the pH or elemental sulfur to lower the pH. Prepare New Beds Clear the planting area as soon as soil can be worked, removing sod or weeds and debris. Spread a 4-inch layer of

Fertilize Apply balanced fertilizer (6-6-6 or 8-88), fish emulsion, or other soil amendments recommended by soil-test results around trees and shrubs when new growth appears. Spread high-acid fertilizer and pine-needle mulch around acid-loving shrubs like azaleas and camellias. Begin fertilizing perennials when active growth resumes.

healthy and fresh. 3. Geranium Consider the geranium the ultimate multipurpose spring plant. Perhaps you’ve seen geraniums spilling over a window box. Their red, pink, blue, purple and other bright colors are hard to miss. But these bold beauties also make great garden borders, and you can use them to fill in as ground cover or to decorate rock gardens. “Geranium” is an umbrella term that includes an eclectic group of flowers, annuals and perennials. Some kinds enjoy sun and grow to be several feet tall, while others like shade and stay low to the ground. Despite these differences, geraniums are characterized by their ease of care and ability to multiply readily, as well as their resistance to deer. When planting geraniums, make sure the hole you dig is twice the size of the pot. Once the plant has flowered, cut it back to stimulate new growth.

for more gardening news click on http://cretepost.gr

Start a Compost Pile Start a compost pile, or use a compost bin, if you don’t have one already. Begin by collecting plant debris and leaves raked up from the garden. Chop these up first to speed decomposition. Add equal amounts “brown” (carbon-rich) materials like dried leaves and straw and “green” (nitrogen-rich) materials like grass clippings and weeds in even layers with water and a compost bioactivator. Turn regularly. Continue adding to the pile throughout the season for rich, homemade compost next spring.

Clean Bird Feeders and Baths Disinfect the feeders by scrubbing with weak bleach solution (1/4 cup bleach: 2 gallons warm water). Rinse and dry the feeders thoroughly before refilling them.Scrub birdbaths with bleach solution, then rinse them thoroughly and refill, changing water weekly. Clean birdbaths and feeders regularly throughout the season. www.marthastewart.com


is a time of regeneration and renewal. With each passing day, there’s exponentially more and more daylight. The whole world awakens, and it shows in all sorts of ways. This is the time of year when some of our favorite flowers transform from bud or bulb to blossom. These 3 springtime plants made this list not only for their exquisite flowers, but also for other noteworthy characteristics. Some entertain the senses with their intoxicating fragrances, while others multiply so quickly, it makes gardening easy. Check out these top plant picks for this inspiring season.

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Top-3 Spring Plants for Your Garden

OFI Crete withdraw from Super League due to mounting debts

Historic club OFI Crete announced that they are withdrawing immediately from the Greek Super League criticising the top-flight circuit for “unfair and uneven decisions” against the club. “We have decided to leave the rottenness that exists in football and to be able once again to become the team that we all want and not to be treated like something I wouldn’t want to mention,” former OFI and for more sports news Greece international Nikos Machlas, who acts as chairclick on http://cretepost.gr man of the steering committee of the team, told a press conference. OFI, becomes the second team to leave the Super League after Olympiakos Volos departed earlier in the season because of financial difficulties leaving the competition with 16 clubs. “We see laws observed in some cases and not in others. We see decisions with other weights and measures. The club’s administration put a huge effort into finishing the season with dignity but we saw decisions which massacred the team. It is a share for all and a shame for football,” Machlas said. He said that OFI was one of the few teams in the league that paid all its debts. “Then they show us a paper that we owe money to FIFA. Other teams owe a lot more. If we want to save football, we must create football characterized by fairness. We have offered a lot to be treated this way. Even with these conditions, the team was fourth in ticket sales in the league,” Machlas said. He said club officials will decide soon about the future of the club, whether the team will play in the second division Football League or drop to the amateur third division Football League 2.


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Match Day 30 April 4: Platanias - Veria (5.15.p.m.) April 5: Ergotelis - Panthrakikos (5.15 p.m.) Match Day 31 April 18: Skoda Xanthi - Ergotelis (5.15 p.m.) Match Day 32 April 26: Platanias - Panetolikos (5.15 p.m.) April 27: Ergotelis - Kerkira (7.30 p.m.) for any changes click on http://www.superleaguegreece.net

The history of OFI Omilos Filathlon Irakleiou (Supporters Club of Heraklion), is a Greek association football club based in Heraklion, on the island of Crete. Outside Greece, the club is generally known as OFI Crete, however, the name Crete is not actually part of the club’s official title. OFI is the club with most appearances in the Greek first division among clubs of the Greek province. The club has had noticeable success to date, particularly considering its comparative status, and has won one Greek Cup and one Balkans Cup, while they have competed seven (7) times in UEFA competitions. At the end of the 2008–09 season, OFI was relegated to Beta Ethniki, thus ending a notable 33-year run in the Greek top division. In the 2010–11 season they were promoted back to the top flight.

The foundation The club was founded during the autumn of 1925 by a group of athletes that used to exercise in a specific gym in the city of Heraklion. The official name given to the sports club was Omilos Filathlon Irakleiou (acronym OFI). The colours that OFI used were black and white, because none of the existing sports clubs had the same colour combination in Crete. The scope of the sport club, as had been written down in the first deed of association, was to participate in all kinds of events, and exhibitions related to athletics. During the first period of OFI’s existence most of the teams founders were also members. Before World War II (1925–1940) The years preceding World War II were a very difficult period not only for Crete, but for Greece in general. Thus, it was extremely difficult for OFI to travel and participate in national football tournaments. As a result, OFI was limited to matches around the island of Crete and particularly with other football clubs based in Heraklion. Strangely enough, these local matches were more frequent in comparison to the official ones of former periods. Even though official documentation does not exist, elderly fans of OFI believe that the team played around 400 matches before the Germans finally occupied Crete. Participation in the National League (1945–1962) After the German occupation of Greece had ended, football tournaments around the country started again. At this time there was only the “First Division” championship, in which standard football teams from Athens and Thessaloniki participated, including a few teams which qualified through preliminary rounds. However, it was almost impossi-

ble for a team coming from the province to take part in it. This situation arose because the Hellenic Football Federation structured a system in which football teams from around the country had to play many preliminary rounds before proceeding to the national championship. As a result, even though OFI was the top football team in Crete, they could not take part in the national tournament. After 1956, the system in Greece changed slightly. Advantages were that in some seasons the preliminary rounds were organized in groups of a few teams, where the champions of each group were promoted directly to the championship of the same season’s First Division. One of those seasons was in 1957–58. OFI played preliminary games in a group of 4 teams, where they finished in first place. Thus, OFI, for the first time in its history, participated in the Greek National Championship. However, the team could not stand the frequent trips around Greece and finished in last position. Up to 1962, when the official 2nd Division Championship was organized, OFI tried again many times, but unsuccessfully, to take part in the competition of the 1st Division again. Attempts in the official 2nd League (1962–1968) In 1962–63 the official Greek 2nd division league was set up for first time. OFI was one of the teams that participated in the league and completed the season in 9th position. In 1963–64 and 1964–65 OFI finished in 3rd and 5th position respectively. In 1965–66 OFI were the champions of the 2nd Division of Greek football and only one step away from promotion to the official 1st National Division of Greek football. Yet, the Hellenic Football Federation decided that even the champions of the 2nd Division had to play preliminary games in order to be promoted. OFI lost in the play-off matches and remained in the 2nd Division. In 1966–67 the disappointment was huge, even though OFI ended in 3rd position. Everyone on the island of Crete was feeling that the moment where they could see the pride of their island in the top league was very close. In 1967–68 OFI finished in 2nd position and went into play-off games with the bottom team of the 1st division. The final match of the play-offs was to take place in the city of Chania, on 26 June 1968. OFI, with the help of 10,000 Cretans thrashed the team from the 1st division with a 3–0 win and made the dreams of thousands of supporters come true. OFI was an official member of the 1st National Division.

Debut in the 1st League (1968–1971) OFI’s debut in the national 1st division was very difficult. “Omilos” ended the first round in 15th position. It was a very difficult task to remain in the league. However, in the 2nd round the Cretans played magnificently and finally finished in 12th place. In the next season OFI had already gained the experience of playing in the top league of Greek football. The “Snakes” finished in 13th place, but the strange thing was that OFI remained unbeaten in almost all of their home games in Heraklion. Only two teams managed to survive and leave Crete with an away win. Thus, even if OFI was not a feared opponent, all the other teams were anxious when taking the trip to the island of Crete. 1970–71 was the worse season the team from Heraklion ever had in the 1st Division. OFI ended in 17th position and

was relegated for the last time in their history to the 2nd division. The whole season was a tragedy for the Cretans. OFI had to meet “old friends” from the 2nd division again and start battling again in order to be promoted for a second time. Back to the 2nd league (1971–1976) OFI had been relegated again, but this time the 2nd division had changed entirely. After all, the championship had been more officially organized and opponents were tougher than before. OFI spent another 5 seasons in the 2nd division, from 1971–72 to 1975–76. During the first season, the team was continually in 1st place. However, at the end of the season, OFI’s good performances deteriorated and they finally finished 4th. In 1972–73 the management decided on a complete overhaul of the squad. In these circumstances, the 13th position OFI achieved was predictable, yet a new era of the stars of OFI had just begun. In the next season OFI finished 6th and in 1974–75 they finished 5th. In the next season the league was divided again into two groups, each of 20 teams. The champions of each group would be promoted directly to the First National Division. OFI couldn’t afford to miss this chance. Everything started perfectly for “Omilos” in 1975–76. They finished 1st at the end of the first round with a huge lead over the runners-up and then finished the season as champions. The whole island of Crete was celebrating the promotion of OFI to the 1st division. Up to the present, (2007), OFI have never been relegated again. The years before the arrival of Eugène Gerards (1976–1985) During the first 3 seasons of OFI’s presence in the 1st Division, the Greek championship still had an amateur status. In 1976–77, even though OFI were rookies, they finished in 6th place and gained the admiration of the whole country. In addition Dimitris Papadopoulos finished the top goal scorer of the League season. The following two seasons OFI finished 8th and 7th respectively, a period in which OFI was never once defeated in Crete. Even the “heavyweights” of the league (Panathinaikos, Olympiakos, AEK & PAOK) struggled to win any points when making the trip to the ‘Genti Koule’ on island of Crete. The championship in Greece was professionalized for the 1979–80 season and in the middle of that term the Vardinogiannis group bought the football club of OFI (see rival section). During that season the only team that beat OFI at home in Crete was Panathinaikos. The Athenian team took the victory in Heraklion extremely easily with a score line of 0–3. It was the only loss endured by Cretans on the island that year, after all games had been completed OFI finished in 11th position. The next season Panathinaikos embarked on their first set of experiments on OFI[citation needed]. Young players came from all over the country in order to play for “Omilos”. Partly because of this experimentation by their new owners OFI only managed 13th position in the League. The 1981–82 campaign saw OFI finish in 9th place and the following 1982–83 season in 7th. It seemed clear that Theodoros Vardinogiannis wanted OFI to be a stronger team in the championship. He tried to achieve that, not by spending money for good players, but by sending 2nd hand players from his other team Panathinaikos or young players that could possibly be useful to OFI, but primarily, for Panathinaikos in the future when the time was right. Thus, in 1983–84, three goalkeepers, one mid-

In the year 2000 and after 15 successful years, Eugène Gerards announced his retirement from OFI’s bench as the team finished 4th in the championship. It was the last time that OFI gained a position that lead to European competitions, and the last season that OFI was considered one of the top teams in Greece.

there was little time for Cretans to enjoy the benefits of his talent as he was soon transferred to Panathinaikos. In the 1992–93 campaign OFI was in great form once again. OFI finished 4th in the Championship and qualified for the following season’s UEFA Cup tournament. The season’s great star for OFI was Nikos Nioplias. At the end of the previous season the Vardinogiannis family decided that he might become useful to Panathinaikos, so he became the 3rd player to move to Athens from OFI. Without the team’s great star, OFI only managed a 7th place finish in the 1993– 94 Championship. But despite those facts the name of OFI was heard loud and clear all around Europe. That season OFI achieved the unthinkable – they eliminated Slavia Prague in the 1st round of the UEFA Cup and Atlético Madrid in the 2nd round (both 2–1 on aggregate). Nobody in Europe could believe that an unknown quantity like OFI could ever knock out of Europe such illustrious opposition. The famous cup run came to an end when OFI was eliminated in the 3rd round by Portuguese club Boavista (Round of 16). Despite the disappointment there was pride for Cretans to be taken in that their team was the most successful Greek team in European competition that season. In 1994–95, Panathinaikos were in dire need of a striker, and OFI had 2 top rated strikers from the previous season, Nikos Machlas and Alexis Alexoudis. Even though Panathinaikos wanted Machlas, he himself refused to go to Athens, and as a result, Panathinaikos grabbed Alexoudis. OFI ended in the 9th position this year. In the next season, Eugène Gerards tried

to build a new team with young players. Yet the Dutchman had lost 2 great players to Panathinaikos and Nikos Machlas was transferred to Vitesse Arnhem. OFI finished 5th and missed qualification for the UEFA Cup in the last game of the season. 1996–97 was an amazing season for “Omilos”. With the partipication of Nikos Nioplias (Panathinaikos did not need him anymore, so he was transferred back to OFI), OFI was on 2nd place before the winter break and four of their players were part of the Greek National Team. On the last day of the transfer period, Panathinaikos grabbed Kostas Konstantinidis, the best defender of OFI’s squad. Finally OFI finished 3rd in the championship by humiliating Panathinaikos one week before the end and leaving the team from Athens in 5th place, outside the positions leading to UEFA competitions. The whole island of Crete was again celebrating the great performance of OFI. In the next two seasons, OFI finished in 7th and 8th position respectively, suffering constant humiliations by Panathinaikos in matches between the two, as revenge for what happened in May 1997. In addition to that, Kostas Kiassos, a great OFI midfielder, was the next ‘victim’ and was transferred to Panathinaikos. Nevertheless, OFI resumed their successful UEFA Cup campaigns. The pride of Crete eliminated Icelandic team KR Reykjavik in the second qualifying round (3–1 on aggregate) and Hungarian team Ferencváros in the 1st round proper,(4–2 on aggregate, with an unforgettable 3–0 victory in Crete). OFI’s European dream was ended by AJ Auxerre in the 2nd round of the UEFA Cup.

AFP, Wikipedia



The Gerards years (1985–2000) Eugène Gerards stayed in Crete as coach of OFI for a legendary 15 years. This is still the record tenure for a coach in the Greek League, and will be a feat that lives long in the memory of Cretans. Gerards’ first 3 years at the helm in Crete were nothing short of amazing. In 1985/86 OFI finished 2nd in the league and only missed out on becoming champions by 5 points. Gerards continued his revolution with a 3rd place finish in 1986–87 and 4th place in 1987–88. As Gerards’ OFI continued to achieve high finishes in the Greek Championship the team from Crete did something wonderful 21 June 1987. In the Olympic Stadium in Athens they defeated Iraklis 3–1 on penalties winning the Greek Cup. The game had finished 1–1 after regular and extra time. With string league position and victorious in the Cup OFI was at that time one of the major players in Greek football. The 1987–88 season was special for Cretans for another reason too – it was the first time in league history that OFI finished in a higher position than Panathinaikos, beating them 2–1 in Heraklion on the way, with a goal in last minute from Stefanos Vavoulas. This golden era also saw OFI participate in European competition – UEFA Cup 1986 and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup 1987. The following seasons (1989–90, 1990– 91, 1991–92) were not quite as spectacular as what had gone before. OFI finished 6th, 7th and 6th respectively, missing UEFA Cup qualification by a few points each year. In June 1990 OFI played once again in the final of the Greek Cup, this time against Olympiacos. The game took place in Olympiacos’ home stadium and OFI lost 4–2. In June 1991 OFI played in the final of the Pre-Mediterranean Cup, against AEK Athens. The game took place in Georgios Kamaras Stadium and OFI lost 1–0. During the last of those three seasons, OFI brought a young Argentinian star to Crete – Victor Hugo Delgado. However,

The new era (2000–2009) The new century found OFI unstable and close to relegation almost every year. While Nioplias and Machlas retired, the team partly suffered from a series of bad rosters and managers. In 2001 OFI really struggled to remain to the 1st League. The next two years, OFI managed to play a little better, thus avoiding low positions easier. But then the dark years came: OFI avoided relegation every year, for for more sports news one or two points differclic k on http://cretepost.gr ence. President Fanouris Vatsinas appointed German Reiner Maurer as a coach in the summer of 2006. Maurer had the team playing greater football, even competing for a European place since the Gerards era. In the 2007 summer, OFI played in the Intertoto cup, but under-performed. The 2007–08 season found the club fighting to avoid relegation once again, and Maurer was sacked. Giorgos Paraschos was brought as a temporary manager, and he was eventually replaced by Czech, František Straka before the start of the new season. In 2009 OFI suffered from the bad presidency of Fanouris Vatsinas, who was asked by the fans to leave the club. Furthermore, former player Machlas offered a great amount of money in order to purchase the team. OFI started with awful results, Straka was dismissed and Ioannis Matzourakis came to fill his position. During the 2008–09 season, OFI struggled to remain to the Greek Super League, but failed and is in fact relegated to the second division after finishing 16th. Since relegation OFI has gone into ‘meltdown’. Once the season had ended the majority of the clubs senior players filed claims against club President Fanouris Vatsinas for hundreds of thousands of Euros in unpaid wages. As the non payment of wages was also a breach of contract many of them also freed themselves from their Professional contracts with the club and sought new teams for the forthcoming season. Club President Vatsinas resigned.

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fielder and one defender came from the Athenian team to Crete. The continuing experimentation caused OFI to be disappointed yet again. OFI finished in 8th place, exactly the same position they finished next season too. Although OFI’s results were not wonderful, this group of fresh players had gained experience and started to play like a team. The one thing that was missing was a good coach, who could get the best out of each player. This man arrived the following season.

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The brand new issue of April. The only newspaper in English for Chania Prefecture.


The brand new issue of April. The only newspaper in English for Chania Prefecture.

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