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Souvlaki price to increase by 10-15 percent Issue no. 67 Vol. 7 May 2019



photo of the month

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Magic... Sunset t the Venetian Harbor of Chania


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Fraport Greece Reports Progress at 14 Regional Airports Βesides being a driver for parent company Fraport Group profits in 2018, Fraport Greece announced this week that it had completed works at the airports of Zakynthos, Kavala and Chania, and was moving full speed ahead with upgrade projects at the facilities on Samos, Lesvos, Rhodes, Skiathos, Aktion and Kefalonia – to be completed by year end. During a company presentation for its two-year anniversary this week, Fraport Greece said it will also have completed the overhaul of the

by Stratos Solanakis CHANIA POST

Owner/Publisher: FTP Publlications Web: http://www.cretepost.gr E-mail: info@chaniapost.eu FB: http://www.facebook.com/chaniapost Twitter: @chaniapost Advertising: Chania Post, 73, El. Venizelou str., Chania Tel. +30 6977295075 http://www.ftp-publications.gr DTP: FTP Publications

CHANIA Municipal Market, Airport, Public Bus Central Station, Old Harbour, Municipal Tourist Information Desk PLATANIAS Central Square Infokiosk, Botanical Park, Italian Factory Outlet and selected shops in Platanias KISSAMOS Gramvousa and Balos boats, Elafonissi, Falassarna KANDANOS-SELINO Paleochora Info Desk, Sougia, Kandanos SFAKIA Hora Sfakion Infokiosk, Loutro, Agia Roumeli, ANENDYK boats APOKORONAS Georgioupolis, Kavros, Vamos, Kalyves, Vrysses ...and also in more than 100 points throughout Chania Prefecture!

cording to Fraport, were in Thessaloniki, handling some 1.2 million passengers, up by 20.3 percent, Chania with 153,225 passengers, and Rhodes with 151,493 passengers. In the meantime, Fraport Greece executives also referred to the company’s contribution to employment creating 700 new jobs over the last two years, and 14,000 indirect positions, while rendering an annual concession fee of 22.9 million euros besides the initial one-off advance of 1,234 billion euros paid in April 2017 for the 40-

year management of the airports. Fraport Greece CEO Alexander Zinell referred to the “challenge that few would have taken on: to simultaneously upgrade 14 regional airports in under four years”, underlining the importance of cooperation between all stakeholders in the public and private sectors. It should be noted that in 2017, the 14 Greek airports under Fraport’s management – made up of Fraport AG and Greece’s Copelouzos Group – accounted for 1/8th of the group’s nine-month earnings. news.gtp.gr

Greece Drops to #3 Among Popular Destinations for Brits, Says Thomas Cook

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Kos, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu and Thessaloniki airports by 2021. It should be noted that passenger traffic through Fraport Greece airports rose by 8.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019, to 1.9 million from January to March, which reported a 1.1 percent rise to a total of 713,045 passengers. In the same month, domestic traffic grew by 4.7 percent with the airports of Kos, Kefalonia, Kavala, Lesvos, Corfu and Santorini in the lead in terms of traffic, the company said. Overall, the busiest airports ac-

Greece ranks third among the top five destinations of Thomas Cook for summer 2019, dropping one place from last year, according to the UK tour operator’s 2019 Holiday Report. Thomas Cook said that in a year of political turmoil, more British holidaymakers are choosing countries outside of the EU for their summer vacations. Based on tour operator and flight-only bookings up until February 28, Spain(mainland Spain, the Balearics and the Canary Islands) is

leapfrogging Greece to become this summer’s second most popular package holiday destination – at this point in 2018 it ranked at number three. Additionally, Turkey accounts for a quarter of all Thomas Cook Airlines flight-only bookings so far. “Aside from its attractiveness for being outside of the EU, Turkey’s value for money and diversity, with sandy beaches, salt lakes and anonce again the top destination of cient ruins, is driving its position UK travelers for summer 2019. Tur- as a 2019 tourism hotspot,” an ankey comes in second place, push- nouncement by Thomas Cook said. ing Greece to third, followed by the Tunisia works its way back up the United States and Cyprus. To date, 48 percent of Thomas popularity stakes Cook’s UK package holiday book- Moreover, Thomas Cook revealed ings for this summer are to non-Eu- that Tunisia is also faring well. ro destinations, up 10 percentage “In what will be its second summer back on the map for British points on the same time last year. holidaymakers, package bookings Turkey overtakes Greece, claims to Tunisia are double what they were compared to last year and the number two spot As revealed by the report, Turkey is flight-only bookings with Thomas the biggest beneficiary of this shift, Cook Airlines are up four-fold,” the

tour operator said. Thomas Cook also underlined that the prolonged uncertainty around the manner and timing of Britain’s exit from the European Union has led many to delay their decision on when and where they book for their summer holidays. However, the report showed that an overseas summer holiday remains as important as ever to the nation. More than half of those surveyed say they are more likely to holiday abroad than last year and over a quarter claim that a foreign holiday is higher on their spending priorities than in 2018 – only 8% said it was lower. Thomas Cook’s 2019 UK Holiday Report also revealed that all-inclusive is proving popular, as to date, 66 percent of Thomas Cook’s package holiday bookings are all-inclusive – slightly up on 2018 – as customers “lock in” costs for food and drink to avoid losing out to the unsteady British Pound.


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The Yesterdays of King Henry VIII (Part 3) King Henry VIII had married his brother Arthurs widow, Catherine of Aragon, in order to ensure ongoing peace with Spain. This marriage had only been accepted as valid by the Catholic Church because of a special dispensation issued by the Pope in Rome as a favour to Henry’s father, who had been King Henry VII. By the year of 1527 Henry VIII and Catherine had only produced one daughter, Mary, and the King was becoming convinced that he was under a heavenly curse due to the Pope exceeding his spiritual authority by issuing the dispensation. He had also become besotted with a lady from Catherine’s court, Anne Boleyn. When challenged, the new Pope Clement VII, denied Henry’s accusations about his predecessor and refused Henry’s attempts to gain an annulment to his marriage with Catherine. Henry put the matter in the hands of his chief minister who was also a man of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Wolsey, but when he failed to change the Popes mind, he was executed for taking the side of the church and not that of the king. Another staunch Catholic took Wolsey’s place. Thomas More who was devout to his faith but disagreed with much of how the church in England was being run, even parliament was controlled in line with the clergy’s needs and dictates which made most of the countries laws and practices being dictated by the Pope rather than the King. King Henry was already frustrated with the Pope so with Thomas More’s input parliament was restructured from primarily men of the church to now include forward thinking lawyers who would question and work to restructure the laws of the land to suit England rather than the Pope. This became known as the ‘Reformation Parliament’.

One such lawyer was Thomas Cromwell who was a staunch Protestant, as was Anne Boleyn, who was tutored in this faith at the French court and under their influences the king began to view the Catholic Church as the core to his ‘Great Matter’ problem of annulling his marriage to Catherine so that he could marry and finally bed Anne Boleyn, who held him at arm’s length until he would acknowledge her as his queen. Thomas Cromwell, unlike previous religious based advisors, proved himself to be a magnificent administrator and was soon elevated to become King Henry’s Chief Minister. Then whilst wielding the ultimate level of power, beholden only to the king, he drew up plans to inspect the monasteries and religious houses to calculate their worth and in doing so uncovered such endemic corruption and immorality that he with the kings support, drew up laws to have them dissolved and their assets returned to the crown rather than the Pope. This brought vast wealth into the Kings coffers, which were badly depleted due to he and Anne Boleyn’s flamboyant lifestyle. Although as yet unmarried, they lived almost as King and Queen, all be it in celibacy. At this stage Catherine had been publicly stripped of her title and banished to live in Kimbolton Castle in Huntingdonshire for the rest of her days.

Spurred on by the success of the appropriation of assets from the monasteries and the snub to the Pope for the lack of help in granting an annulment, Cromwell, again with the kings consent, set about creating laws that took the power from Rome and the Catholic Church and gave all sovereignty to the King. One such law stated that the King had now become the head of the Church in England for all religious matters. The Pope, had been usurped and anyone attempting to reintroduce him into English law would be punished by execution. This did not go down well with many true believers in the Catholic faith which led to numerous insurrections, particularly from the North of England. One such uprising in Lincolnshire amassed 40,000 protestors, but these were quelled by force and the ringleaders executed. Once King Henry had become the head of the church he had his marriage to Catherine annulled and duly married Anne Boleyn. But Anne, unlike Catherine was not well liked by the masses and was often spoken of as ‘The Kings whore’. Again Cromwell came to the fore and wrote a law that every citizen must sign an oath to acknowledge Anne as the true queen. In many cases this conflicted with personal opinions and those still secretly harbouring the Catholic faith saw

by Hobson Tarrant

it as a blasphemy against God. To refuse the oath was punishable by death. Thomas More and a highly respected Bishop Fisher chose this option and were both executed without mercy. But to ban the Catholic faith was only half of the problem, then came the issue of what was to replace it. Thomas Cromwell and Anne Boleyn both pushed hard for Protestant teachings, but the King had long since been taught to believe these to be heresy’s under his past Catholic studies and so he was not easily convinced. Numerous other philosophers also had their own proposed solutions, The thoughts of Martin Luther, The Lollards, plus teachings of the English text of the translated Latin Bibles by John Wycliffe and others. These became known as the ‘Vernacular Bibles’ but were known to have translations that fit the beliefs of their translator. In the end King Henry himself created ‘The Ten Articles’ which were to be taken as the bedrock of the ongoing English Religious faith and practices. (To follow – Part 4 – Anne Boleyn, Incest and Witchcraft). ‘The Yesterdays of King Henry VIII’ and the ‘Yesterdays of Crete’ are now available in paperback from Amazon and e-book or e-library from Kindle.


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How and where can you vote in the 2019 Regional and European elections in Greece? The elections for the European Parliament will be held from May 23 until May 26, 2019. While the procedure to register to vote changes from EU country to EU country, some essential criteria is common across the whole of the European Union. If you are a citizen of an EU country, it is your right to vote and stand as a candidate in the elections. If you are an EU citizen and you live in your home country you can vote for candidates (or stand for election) only in your home country. If you are an EU citizen and you live in a country other than your home country, you can vote either in your home country or in your host country. You can not vote in both. You only have one vote. I’m a UK citizen. How does Brexit change things? Great question. As things stand, the UK will leave the European Union on March 29, 2019. That is two months before the European elections. As a result, the UK will not take part in the 2019 European elections. The UK will not be represented in the next European parliament. Citizens of the UK will no longer be EU citizens, meaning they can not vote at all in the 2019 European elections. For example, even if you are a UK national living in Croatia or France or Germany or any other EU country, you do not have the right to vote in the European elections. Neither do you have the right to stand for election to the European Parliament. If you are an EU national living in the UK, you can still vote for candidates standing in your country of origin. I’m an EU citizen but not a UK citizen. How can I vote? As mentioned above, as an EU citizen, you can vote either for candidates in your home country or candidates in your country of residence. Either, or. You can’t vote twice. If you live in your country of origin, the registration procedure to vote in the European elections is identical to the procedure for local, regional and general elections. To be able to vote, you just need to register with your local authorities. If you are an EU citizen living in a different EU country and want to vote in that host country, you will need to register with the national


p. 7 right to vote in Greece. If you want to stand as a candidate in European Parliament elections, you must declare that you are not standing in any other country and that you are not disqualified from standing. To do so, you should submit a formal declaration form. For further information, interested EU citizens may contact: - the municipal authority in their place of residence - the Directorate of Elections / Ministry of Interior (phones: +30 2131361252, +30 2131361128, +30 2131361138 and +30 2131361130 and e-mail addresses: e.atmatzidou@ypes.gr, th.garoufalis@ypes. gr, p.panagiotopoulos@ypes.gr, g. papakosta@ypes.gr) - the Embassy or the Consulate of their home Country Member in Greece. -----

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Municipal & Prefectural elections

authorities of your host country. For example, say you’re Irish and you live in France. If you want to vote for candidates standing in Ireland, you register with the Irish authorities. If you want to vote for candidates standing in your adopted constituency in France, you need to register with the French authorities. If you want to vote for candidates in your adopted French constituency, you play by French electoral rules, not Irish ones. Each country has its own rules on minimum age and minimum amount of time you’ve been resident there in order to be eligible to vote. In some EU countries, you automatically become registered to vote as soon as you have registered your residency there. In other EU countries, the registration process is not automatic. In most EU countries, registering to vote once is enough to stay on the electoral roll for future elections. However, in Ireland and Cyprus you need to register for each election you want to vote in. Similarly, the deadlines for registration change from EU country to EU country. You can find out the requirements for each specific EU country here. The minimum age for voting is, in the majority of cases, 18 years old on the day of the election. Malta and Austria allow those over the age of 16 to vote, while 17-yearolds can vote in Greece. Most EU countries also require you

to have been a permanent resident in that country for a period of time (which can change from country to country) and require you not to have been legally excluded from voting. If you are resident in Belgium, Cyprus, Greece or Luxembourg then be aware that voting in these countries is compulsory. If you are on the electoral roll in one of those countries (even if you’re, say, Danish) then you are obliged to vote whether you want to or not. I’m an EU citizen but I live outside the EU. What about me? If you are Bulgarian, Cypriot, Danish, Greek or Italian and you live outside the European Union (that will include the UK) then you can not vote from outside your home country. If you are not a citizen of one of the above, then you may cast your vote from an embassy or consulate of your home country. -----

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As an EU citizen residing in Greece, you need to register to vote at the European elections. You need to register on the special electoral rolls of the municipality of your residence by February 28th of 2019.

age of 17 years in the election year (i.e. until December 31st of that year). Therefore, in the 2019 elections to the European Parliament, those born on or before 31.12.2002 are eligible to vote. - have not been deprived of the right to vote both in Greece and in your EU country of origin - have been registered on the special electoral rolls of the municipality of your residence. To register on special electoral rolls, you must: - present yourself to the municipal authority of your place of residence - have a valid identity document (passport or ID card) and - fill in a formal declaration form No additional documents are required. Voting in the European elections is compulsory for everybody on the electoral roll. If you don’t vote, you may be sent to prison for a period of 1 month to a year. If you wish to vote for political parties and candidates from your home EU country, you may contact its Embassy or Consulate in Greece.

The right to stand as a candidate As an EU citizen, you have the right to stand as a candidate in European elections in Greece if you: - live in Greece - are over 25 years old on the election day You can vote in Greece if you: - have not been deprived of the - are an EU citizen right to stand as a candidate in - reside in Greece and will reach the your home EU country and of the

In its efforts to strengthen activities related to European citizenship, the constant pursuit of the Ministry of Interior is free, equal and active participation of citizens of other EU Member States in the decision making process, both in local societies and in the democratic life of the European Union. Our basic orientation in this direction is the widest possible dissemination of information to EU citizens residing in Greece, in order to enhance their participation and presence in the field of representative democracy. The Ministry of Interior fully adopting the principle of equality and the aims of the European Union to strengthen the protection of the rights and interests of EU citizens, invites all citizens of other EU member states residing in Greece, to exercise their right to vote and to stand as a candidate in the forthcoming municipal elections and elections to the European Parliament of 2014. The legal basis for exercising these fundamental rights is Council Directive 94/80/EC “Laying down detailed arrangements for the exercise of the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections by citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals” and Directive 93/109/EC “Laying down detailed arrangements for the exercise of the right to vote and stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament for citizens of the Union residing in a Member State of which they are not nationals”, which were incorporated

into Greek law by P.D.133/1997 as the offices of municipal councilor, amended and is in force and Law municipal community councilor 2196/1994 respectively. and local community councilor (in accordance with Directive 94/80/ Citizens of the Union shall not exer- EC, article 5, paragraph 3 and Prescise the right to vote and to stand idential Decree 133/1997, article as a candidate in regional elections, 3, paragraph 11) provided a) they but only in municipal elections and have not been deprived of the right elections to the European Parlia- to vote in Greece and of the right to ment, as defined in the above di- stand as a candidate in their home rectives. Member State b) they have passed For additional information, inter- the age of 18 years in the election ested EU citizens can consult the day and c) they reside within the sections “Municipal and Regional municipal or local community (reElections” and “Elections to the Eu- ferring to candidates for the offices ropean Parliament” of this website. of the municipal community counThey can also contact the munici- cilor or local community councilpality where they reside, the One or). Stop Shops (KEP) and the Direc- In accordance with the provisions torate of Elections of the Ministry of article 19 of Law 3852/2010 and of Interior (tel.: 213 1361252, 213 the provisions of article 3, para1361135 and 213 1361128 /e-mail: graph 12 of Presidential Decree e.atmatzidou @ ypes.gr, p.ponirou 133/1997, the candidature state@ ypes.gr and th.garoufalis @ ypes. ment of the party must be accomgr). panied with the following documents for every candidate: Who are eligible to vote? 1. Α Certificate of registration on EU citizens of other Member States the special electoral roll of the muare entitled to vote provided: nicipality of their residence • They reside in Greece and will 2. A formal declaration reach the age of 18 years in the The candidates should state that: election year (until December 31 They have not been deprived of of that year). In the 2014 municipal any political right or that the temelections, those born on or before porary deprivation of political 31.12.1996 are eligible to vote rights has expired or will have ex• They have not been deprived of pired by the polling day and that the right to vote the eligibility barrier as referred to • They have been registered on the in article 14 of Law 3852/2010 does special electoral rolls of their mu- not apply nicipality by March 14, 2014 3. Α Proof of payment by a Tax OfTo register on special electoral rolls, fice providing proof that the canEU citizens must present them- didates for the office of municipal selves to the municipal authority councillor, municipal community of their place of residence, have a councillor (former municipal disvalid identity document (passport tricts) have paid the amount of 50 or ID card) and fill out a relevant euro for the State. No such proof formal declaration form. No addi- is required for candidates for the tional documents are required. office of the municipal community councillor laid down in paraWho are eligible to stand as a graphs 2 and 3 of article 2 of Law candidate? 3852/2010 and for the candidates Citizens of other EU Member for the office of local community States may stand as candidates for councillor

4. A formal declaration The candidates should state and indicate: • Their nationality and their address within the Hellenic territory. Candidates for the offices of municipal or local councilors, shall also state that they reside within the municipal or local community in which they present their candidatures • The electoral roll of the municipality or the community or the region or the electoral district in their home Member State on which their name were last entered • That they have not been deprived of the right to stand as a candidate in their home Member State • That they do not stand as a candidate in municipal elections in Greece in any other municipality or for another party within the same municipality • That they do not have a relevant capacity in other EU Member States which may entail any incompatibility for Greek citizens • The date from which they have been nationals of a Member State 5. A Photocopy of a valid identity document (passport or identity card) certified by a public authority EU citizens may vote together with Greek voters in the polling stations designated by the Vice- Head of the Region. No one is allowed to vote without presenting a valid proof of identity (identity card or passport) before the Electoral Committee. For further information, interested EU citizens may contact: - The municipal authority in their place of residence - The One Stop Shops (KEP) - The Directorate of Elections / Ministry of Interior (Phones: 213 1361252, 213 1361135, 2131361128 and 2131361132 and e-mail addresses: e.atmatzidou@ypes.gr, p.ponirou@ ypes,gr and th.garoufalis@ypes.gr.)


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A letter which will help those local people who have never known any other healthcare system appreciate how good the healthcare here actually is I recently underwent a total hip replacement operation at the General Hospital here in Agios Nikolaos. As I am a British person, now living in Agios Nikolaos, I wanted to highlight how the level of care here differs from that in the UK. Hopefully this will help those local people who have never known any other healthcare system appreciate how good the healthcare here actually is. In addition, since my husband and I spent almost 12 years living in the Mediterranean on our sailing yacht, and have experienced emergency medical care in Spain, Italy, and Turkey, I’m able to compare the levels of care we experienced in those countries with that here too. The first, and biggest, difference with the UK is how easy it is to access healthcare here. The date of my surgery was arranged to suit me and my future plans, rather than me being expected to fit in with what the hospital or the surgeon wanted – as hap-

pens in the UK. Maria Katsafarou, my orthopaedic surgeon, was very accessible and more than happy to spend as much time as I needed to explain what was going to happen. In the UK it is almost impossible for a patient to be able to question the consultant surgeon in this way, at best you only ever get to speak to the junior doctors, you very often never see the consultant surgeon at all. Another obvious difference was in the quality of the orthopaedic ward. I understand that a new orthopaedic ward will be opening on the 4th floor soon, so the poor state that the 1st floor ward I was in can be understood. However, even though the curtains were held up by paper clips, the toilet door wouldn’t open fully, and none of call buttons worked, the cleaners came round every day, mopping the floor to keep the ward and the toilets clean. The ward wasn’t good but it was adequate and it did the job. In the UK you can usually choose

your meals from a small menu, but even there hospital food is still, well – hospital food. It’s not what you’d call exciting. In the hospital here there was no choice, but I was very impressed with the quality and nutritional value of the meals here. A simple breakfast and two hot meals a day is all you need to build strength during your recovery. It wasn’t food I would choose in a restaurant of course, but it was tasty and filling and much better than I had been led to expect. The most important resource in any organisation is the people, and the people who work in the hospital here are superb. From the lowest cleaner to Marina Spinthouri, the CEO of the hospital, everyone had a smile and took the time to spend a few minutes with me helping me to feel better. The nurses are nothing less than superstars. Because I don’t speak much Greek they were all making a special effort to talk to me in English.

At no time did a nurse come and do anything without speaking to me and asking me how I was, I never at any time felt that I was just another patient. Every member of staff had a smile and made me feel special and important, and was prepared to do whatever they could to make me comfortable and help me to recover. Nobody enjoys being in hospital of course, but the dedicated, well trained, and caring staff at the hospital here made my stay as pleasant and enjoyable as it was possible to be. The level of care I received here was the equal of anything I have experienced in the UK, and much better than my experiences in Spain, Italy, and Turkey. We may not appreciate it but here in Agios Nikolaos we are very lucky to have a hospital with such a high standard of care and with such amazing people. Thank you all! Tessa Cross

New website helps you reserve your spot on Greek beaches If you are planning your summer vacation in Greece you should check Beachdibs, the website that will make your life easier when you go to the beach. Three brothers, Ted, Tom and George Christodoulou created a website where you can reserve your beach chair before you go to the beach! And why not order your coffee and food too? TNH spoke with George Christodoulou who gave more information and details about this new service. “We have partnership with the beach shops, hotels, and clubs that have chairs so the tourist will be able to reserve his spot before he goes to the beach. Usually around May all these summer beach shops are open so everybody can start reserving. It is so difficult to find a chair in the summer when everybody is going to the beach”.

This is the third year that the three brothers running their business and every year they add more islands. So, if this summer you are going to Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos,

Siphnos, or Ios island, start planning your days on the beach before you get there! “This year we started partnership with other tourist websites and travel agents so people can know

about us,” Christodoulou said. But how did the idea come up? “All this started, he said, “because in 2016 my brother Tom went to Greece with his family. His wife and his children. He was in Paros and went to the beach. He couldn’t’ find a beach chair. He went to another beach and then to another. It was so difficult with his little kids to find a safe place under the sun. So, we did a little research and that was it. This problem exists everywhere in Greece. Our vision is to cover the whole country.” The prices are not high. Beachdibs charges 3 euros more than the regular price, or 10% more than the price of the chair. And sometimes you get some extras. For example, if you go to Elia, Mykonos, and you make the reservation from their website, www.beachdibs.com, you get two towels and two waters for free.


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Tourism Traffic, Revenues Peak at Five Greek Regions For one more year tourist traffic to Greece accelerated with Greek destinations welcoming some 33 million visitors in 2018, a 9.7 percent increase against 2017 with the number of overnight stays up by 8.1 percent, according to the Bank of Greece’s final data for the performance of Greek tourism last year. European travelers, stronger by 15.9 percent, and non-EU tourists, up by 14.2 percent, generated a total of 15,653 million euros in travel receipts in 2018. Five regions in Greece were in the

lead in terms of takings, accounting 88.1 percent of all receipts: South Aegean (4,414 million euros,), Crete (3,134 million euros), Attica (2,279 million euros), Central Macedonia (€2,275 euros) and the Ionian Islands (1,691 million euros). The same regions also accounted for 86.2 percent of total overnight stays. The Peloponnese, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Thessaly, Epirus, Western Greece, Central Greece, the North Aegean and Western Macedonia accounted for 1,860 million euros of total 2018 tourism-related revenue.

The five most popular regional destinations in terms of visits were: Central Macedonia (7,830 thousand visits), the South Aegean (6,629 thousand), Attica (5,681 thousand), Crete (5,228 thousand) and the Ionian Islands (3,162 thousand), accounting for 81.9 percent of total visits. With regard to cruise travel, according to data collected at 16 of the country’s ports handling 89.3 percent of all cruise ship arrivals, Greece welcomed 3,214 cruise liners compared to 3,271 in 2017. The majority – 90.0 percent – of all cruise passengers were transit

visitors, making an average 1.5 stopovers and generating 486 million euros in travel receipts in 2018 – up by 2.0 percent against the previous period. Piraeus generated the largest share of cruise travel receipts at 43.7 percent of the total, followed by the ports of Corfu and Santorini with 15.7 percent and 9.2 percent respectively, The top seven cruise ship ports accounted for 92.4 percent of all cruise receipts and 87.1 percent of total cruise passenger visits. news.gtp.gr

The importance of close cooperation among Greece, Cyprus and Egypt underlined at conference “Mediterranean our own sea” The importance of the close cooperation among Greece, Cyprus and Egypt was underlined at the conference “Mediterranean, our own sea, our own country” that was hosted at the conference hall of the Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Ministry. The aim of the conference is the further strengthening of the relations of the three countries and the networking of professionals from the fields of Audiovisual, Tourism and Shipping and the exploitation

of the intercultural past through the promotion of the potential that are opening in the future. Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas noted that Egypt, Greece and Cyprus compose a common historic and geographical region with commercial and cultural relations of many centuries. “Our countries cooperate and upgrade their infrastructures as hubs of innovation and as hubs of energy and transport” he said and referred to the memoranda of co-

operation co-signed by the governments of Athens, Nicosia and Cairo in the sectors of technology, SMEs and startups. Shipping Minister Fotis Kouvelis said that “Greece, a traditional and indisputable shipping power, is adapting to the new challenges and modernises its institutional framework and reduces the bureaucracy”. On her part, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura referred to the series of world awards that Greece received

for its performance in the sector of tourism. “With vision and political volition we had spectacular results. Our strategy was based on collaborations with the private sector and the co-responsible ministries but also on the relations with countries with which we have a long friendship”. The conference was held under the auspices of Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.


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Greek Ministers Join Russian Cosmonauts Inaugurating Heraklion’s Yuri Gagarin Park On Sunday, April 14th at Heraklion’s Karavola Fountain by the Cretan Sea, Greece’s Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura and Crete’s Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis, joined four of Russia’s most distinguished cosmonauts to inaugurate Yuri Gagarin Park. An hour and a half ceremony of speeches and presentations paid tribute to the legendary cosmonaut Colonel Yuri Gagarin, who was the first person to travel into outer space aboard Vostok 1 back in 1961. On the occasion marking the 85th year since Gagarin’s birth, Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Oleg Artemyev, Sergei Prokofiev, Theodoros Yurtsichin-Grammatikopoulos, and Dr. Mikhail Potapov were present at a ceremony held before 1,500 to 2,000 Crete residents, officials, and dignitaries. The cosmonauts were also joined by Crete Region’s Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis and Heraklion Mayor Vassilis Labrinos, as well as a throng of international and local media for the opening of Yuri Gagarin Park. The event, which was an initiative promoted by Mayor Labrinos, was organized by both the Municipality of Heraklion alongside Tez Tour Greece. During the ceremonies, Minister Kountoura offered a dedication, which was followed by a blessing of the park and the initiative by his imminence, the Orthodox Church’s Archbishop Irenaios of Crete. Thanasis Avgerinos, who coordi-

nates the rehab programs for Russian cosmonauts in Greece, was also on hand. It was at his suggestion that the cosmonauts plant the olive trees as a gesture of the growth of friendship and peace between the Greek and Russian people. Back in 2016, Crete officials had installed the bust of the famous Gagarin, at which time two other cosmonauts were on hand for the ceremonies. Following the speeches, presentations, and the dedication, the cosmonauts planted olive trees next to the bust of Gagarin along with special plaques with QR codes to each space traveler can be stud-

ied by future generations. Yuri Gagarin Park is situated along the shore overlooking Crete’s magnificent mountains and the Cretan Sea behind the cosmonaut’s memorial statue. The cosmonauts, with their physicians and support teams, are in Crete for post-flight rehabilitation and recovery programs first initiated back in 2015 by Avgerinos, Roscosmos, local hoteliers and businesses, and key facilitator Minas Liapakis Director of EyeWide Digital Marketing. The Greek tourism ministry has supported the Russian cosmonaut recovery and re-adaptation programs.


p. 11

How things have changed in a short time! by Phil Butler

The space flight of Colonel Yuri Gagarin was considered by every expert to be a suicide mission. Gagarin achieved a speed of 27.400 km per hour and reached an altitude of 327 kilometers. The relatively short flight of only 1 hour and 48 minutes required the courage and skill of a unique individual. Experts at the time gave Gagarin only a 5% chance of making a safe return to Earth’s surface. Before Gagarin’s famous journey, no one really knew if the man could survive in space. This weekend’s ceremonies in Crete’s capital establish Yuri Gagarin Park as a symbol of peace, unity and fair play the legendary test pilot and cosmonaut would have been pleased to see. Yuri Gagarin paved the way for humankind’s endeavors in space at the moment the rocket motors of his launch vehicle ignited at liftoff. Gagarin’s words to mission control “Поехали!“(Let’s go!) echo with each extraterrestrial flight we make. His untimely death in a plane crash in 1968 was an ironic end to an amazing emissary of humanity. On a final note, it was once said of the world-renowned hero Yuri Gagarin that he had a smile “that lit up the darkness of the Cold War.” This weekend the shining character of Gagarin lit the island of Crete with remembrance, hope, and friendship. Agrophilia.com

Many years ago the Devon Trust for Nature Conservation (now the Devon Wildlife Trust) contacted members who were ecologists and also very knowledgeable naturalists. The aim was for some of these members to ‘volunteer’ in assisting the full time staff and produce a comprehensive habitat survey of the County of Devonshire. All who volunteered were allocated 10 x 10 Km squares and provided with all the maps necessary. Luckily for me, a small part of my square was in the sea and parts also in Dorset and Somerset, but it was still a large area. So I disappeared regularly into the countryside with my guide of patterns and colours to be used on the maps to indicate the exact type of habitat, relevant large scale maps for the area I was working on that day, coloured crayons, binoculars and pens to add further details, such as hedges that had been removed or rare trees, ancient hedgerows or flowers. The survey was completed and the Trust was able to state that, for example, so many miles of hedgerow had been removed since specific ‘Ordnance Survey’ maps or so many hectares of orchard had been destroyed. Updates were planned for every ten-year period after but would not require the complex organisation of the first exercise and would not require many people to be involved. Pastureland that had been subjected to herbicides and fertilisers would not return to ‘unimproved pastureland’ in that period of time. Council and Electricity Board maps, which were kept accurate, would record the invasion

of housing and other buildings into the countryside. But even that required a lot of work to be able to see exactly what was happening. Conservation and protection of wildlife and habitats cannot be managed unless we are able to see what has happened and what is happening. Nowadays, ecologists and environmental planners (and also people from other disciplines such as archaeology, oceanography and geology) can use the data and images from satellites, and use GIS (Geographical Information Systems) to interpret those data. As time has passed since the first satellites in the 1970s the resolution and types of data have increased enormously. Many of you will have seen the better resolution in Google Earth that has been provided over recent times. There are several types of data available to ecologists and which are used depends on the needs of the investigation. I am extremely grateful to both Gabriel Mavrellis and Grega Milcinski of Sinergise (a commercial GIS company) who have provided me with access to data from the Sentinel Hub and other satellites. This access has allowed me to get to understand how the data are used to produce meaningful information. Often, referring back to the second paragraph above, these data over many years allow for determining changes in habitat, land use or changes in agriculture as well as town encroachment. Although it is impossible to determine whether a colony of orchids still exists, especially under a tree canopy, the exercise of habitat monitoring is so much

easier using satellite data and expertise of using those data. Regular readers may remember that, using satellite data, last year I showed how much light pollution in the Apokoronas region had increased over a five year period: as I pointed out this large increase was having a severe detrimental effect on wildlife (especially insects that are so important to human survival) and farm animals. Other instances are that satellite data can be used to monitor ocean pollution, movement of large animals (such as elephants who crush vegetation while walking around). You will have seen wildlife programs on television showing scientists tagging animals, fish and birds so that there movements can be seen. These movements can be plotted on maps and data from the satellites can be added to show for example, the habitat the animal is using primarily and where. As I mentioned above these data

by David Capon sidered that the fire may have been lit deliberately. One of the interesting ‘inbuilt ‘indices that can be selected from the satellite data is the ‘Moisture Index’. The figure shows that index (about 4 days after the fire) laid over the area near Vryses. I have planted a part of the area image over Google Earth Hybrid (with thanks to Google) and placed it so that part of the surrounding area can be seen and identified without the plot, which I have deliberately lightened. You must remember that the wind at the time was a strong North westerly. I think the inlay of the plot does not need too much explanation for this purpose. When I looked at my first image I immediately felt that the fire seemed to have started at two separate locations on different sides of the highway; one to the north west of Metoxi and the other towards the south west of that and on the other side of the old highway (close to the white dot I have

are used for geology, archaeology, oceanography etc but they can also be used for disciplines that may seem strange. I will use forensics as an example. Residents near Vryses, Apokorona, will remember the wildfire of July last year. I remember hearing very soon after that the Authorities con-

added). Allowing for the highway, the old highway and the non-burnt area in between I think it is reasonable to consider that the ignition at one site could not reach the other with the direction of the strong winds. How things have changed in a short time!

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food & wine

p. 16

MasterChef champion was revealed as Irini Tzortzoglou, 61, from Crete, after the show’s first ever all-female final Irini Tzortzoglou has been crowned this year’s MasterChef champion after the show’s very first all-female final. The retiree, 61, became the fifteenth amateur cook to claim the coveted title when she beat fellow finalists Jilly McCord, 42, and Delia Maria Asser, 28, on Friday. Irini was awarded the trophy by judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace after seven grueling weeks of culinary challenges and a close final cook-off. The final task challenged chefs to produce a three-course meal for the two judges. Irini’s winning menu was inspired by her childhood in Crete, Greece. She cooked up red mullet with squid risotto and confit tomatoes to start; griddled rosemary lamb chops with trahanas puree for a main course; and a fig and hazelnut baklava for dessert. The champion chef, who now lives in Cartmel, Cumbria with her husband John, said: ‘I’m trembling, I’m floating on air, I don’t think my feet are touching the ground right now. What an experience, I just don’t have the words to say how thrilled and grateful I am. ‘I can finally say I believe in me; I believe it takes something tough at times, but that strength can surface, and when it does it can achieve wonders.’ John Torode declared the chef has ‘magic in her finger tips and a fire in her belly’ after the winner was announced. He said: ‘Taking the food that she knows from the island of Crete and

putting it into a modern context – that’s what Irini does and it’s stunning. ‘She has a magic in her finger tips and a fire in her belly. She wanted to make her grandchildren proud – she’s done that!’ And Gregg Wallace praised Irini’s ‘inspired’ used of Greek ingredients and flavours. He said: ‘Irini’s little touches of Greek flavours and Greek ingredients are nothing short of inspired. ‘You can learn cooking technique, what you can’t put into somebody is absolute love and passion, and Irini is just bursting with it. It’s from the heart every time she cooks.’ He went on to praise her winning menu as ‘beautiful’, whereas John said she ‘introduced us to things

we’ve never seen before.’ Ahead of John announcing the winner, a tearful Gregg said to the three finalists: ‘Watching you grow, watching you achieve your personal goals, I’ve found uplifting. ‘I think today was a proper celebration of culinary art done by people who are obviously completely in love with what they do. It’s joyous.’ Irini fought her way from 54 amateur cooks and was pushed to show the judges the skills, creative flair and perseverance needed to succeed at the highest level. In an extremely demanding final week, MasterChef fans watched Irini cook a fine dining tasting menu for some of the team who took part in the Transglobe Expedition – the first and only longitude circumnav-

igation of the world. The event celebrated the 40th anniversary, and diners included expedition leader, and the world’s greatest living explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Irini has also been on a trip of a lifetime to Hong Kong to learn from dim sum master Chef Tak, at Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons – the first Chinese restaurant in the world to be awarded three Michelin stars. She said: ‘I feel a totally different person from only three months ago; I feel I have grown massively. What MasterChef has given me is deep seated confidence. ‘It’s been a long road but I have enjoyed every second.’ Daily Mail

Souvlaki price to increase by 10-15 percent Souvlaki, the traditional Greek fast food popular among locals and visitors alike, will soon suffer a 10-15 percent price hike, kebab shop owners are warning. The reason for this sudden increase – which could take prices up to 3 euros per pitta-wrapped kebab – is the significant rise in the price of pork, which the meat industries and kebab shop owners can no longer absorb. There can be no recommendation – let alone imposition – of a horizontal price hike by the union of kebab shop owners that is set to be formed, as that would constitute a direct violation of competition law. According to a statement by the Association of Hellenic Meat Pro-

cessing Industries (SEBEK), international pork prices have seen a rise of 30-32 percent since end-February. “Statistically, every couple of years there is a simultaneous emergence of several factors leading to

a pork price increase. Usually the consequences are temporary and hikes are absorbed by the manufacturing industry and the distribution chain. In this case it is taking longer and a part of the

price increase will reach the final consumer,” SEBEK warned. The Athens Professional Chamber called for talks to ease the impact on consumers, asking for a reduction of taxes.

pets & vets

p. 18

How to Prepare Your Dog for Summer Summer is a great time to spend afternoons in the sun, at the beach, hiking, and participating in many other fun activities with your dog. However, with all the fun and enjoyment summer brings, it also comes with its own unique hazards that pet owners need to be aware of. Understanding these hazards and knowing how to prepare your dog for summer will make the time more enjoyable for you and your canine companion. The heat of the summer can be very harmful to your dog, but that isn’t the only hazard. There are also a lot of pests that lie dormant in the winter but begin crawling around again once summer comes. Dogs need special care in the summer and it is our responsibility as pet owners to understand and meet these needs. There are many simple things you can do to protect your dog during the summer months, including: - NEVER leave your dog in a hot car. - Don’t walk your dog on hot asphalt. It will burn the pads of his feet. - Don’t leave your dog tied out or in an outdoor kennel that does not provide an escape from the sun and the heat. These things may seem like common sense, but sadly not all pet owners understand the dangers of the summer heat and it can be detrimental to their dogs. Taking care of a dog in the summer isn’t just about the simple things. It may take a little extra time and money, but preparing your dog for summer will make things much easier for both of

you in the long run. Preventing Dehydration The most important thing in any season, especially summer, whether indoors or out, is hydration. For the dog who lives outdoors, an unlimited supply of fresh, cool, clean water is an absolute must. Besides preventing dehydration, the dog who has plenty to drink will not be drawn to standing water, which can contain parasites and poisons. There are several ways to make sure your dog has a continuous supply of drinking water. One of the easiest and most convenient methods is an automatic water dispenser. Some models hook to an outdoor hose to ensure that fresh, clean water is always available. Others require that you monitor the amount of water in the reservoir and refill it when necessary. So how much water does your dog need? Dogs require one to three ounces of water per pound of body weight each day. This varies with the age of the dog, any special health problems, whether the dog is pregnant or lactating, and other circumstances. Check with your vet about the amount of water your dog should drink. If your dog doesn’t seem to drink enough water, you can always add a tasty treat to his water bowl to make it more appealing. You can buy water additives at your local pet store, but low sodium chicken or beef broth work too. Just a small amount added to your pet’s water should greatly increase their water intake.

Preventing Heat Stroke When discussing how to prepare your dog for summer it is crucial to explain the prevention of overheating. Heat stroke is common during the summer and more common in some breeds than in others. Keep some kind of cooling system on hand. A cold, wet towel placed on the dog’s underside will usually do the trick although you can buy things like cooling vests and cooling mats that help prevent heat stress and stroke. Heat stroke is a very real danger for dogs. It is something that you should take very seriously. Heat stroke can cause nausea, brain damage, loss of consciousness, and even death. When the temperature outside is above 80 degrees, even a short walk can overheat your dog, especially if you have a senior dog or your dog is overweight. Symptoms of a heat stroke include: - elevated temperature - heavy panting or difficulty breathing - excessive drooling - increased heart rate - diarrhea and vomiting - a glazed or anxious expression redness around eyes - weakness - sudden collapse In the event your dog appears to be struggling with the heat, get him to a cool place with plenty of available water and put a cool, wet towel on his underside. If he doesn’t improve within a few minutes, take him to your vet or an animal emergency center.

Preventing Fleas and Ticks Fleas and ticks are dormant in the winter, but in summer they are very active. Fleas can be contracted especially easily. They can be found in almost any outdoor climate and your pet can also get them from other animals. Ticks are active outdoors and can be most commonly found in areas of high grass, brush, around woodpiles, and in forested areas. Be sure to check your dog for fleas and ticks regularly, and apply some kind of preventive medicine to keep them at bay. There are many types of flea and ticket treatments on the market: collars, oral pills, and topical liquids that you can apply directly to the dog’s skin are the most common. If your dog has skin sensitivities, an oral pill may be your best option. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before starting your dog on any kind of flea and tick treatment. Some of these treatments kill fleas and ticks; some kill fleas and repel ticks; some only kill fleas; and some are effective on more than just fleas and ticks. Since every region has different pests, you should ask your vet about the type of treatment that would work best in your part of the country. You may not need to protect your pet from ticks if they are not common in your area, or you may need to make sure you buy a product that kills ticks if they are very prevalent near your home. When using a particular preventive for the first time, monitor your dog closely for an allergic reaction.

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plants & gardening

Say goodbye to spring with all our new plants and varieties at “En Kipo� shop in Plaka, Apokoronas

health & nutrition

p. 22

The diet after Easter How to beat post-holiday weight gain With piles of chocolate bunnies still sitting around in your home (along with couple of extra kilos to go with it) after Easter; this week might be the perfect time to start focusing on healthy diet. While it’s fine to treat yourself once in a while, balanced eating is crucial if you want to stay at a healthy weight. If your Easter chocolate binge made you think about a serious dent in your recent calorie intake in order to negate at least some weight gain, here are five simple steps on how to cancel out those excess Easter calories and beat post-holiday weight gain.

the insufficiency is compensated in a way that the liver takes on the role of eliminating toxins from our systems. Normally liver’s “job” is to metabolize stored fat into a usable form of energy, and given the kidneys’ job as an addition to its main function, it’s not available to meDrink water Water is the most effective detox tabolize stored fat. Makes sense, rejuvenator that is more powerful right? than all other fussy or expensive so-called detox beverages. It is Skip sodas hugely beneficial for weight loss, Soft drinks are nothing but empty it is natural appetite suppressor, calories. and it can help your body metab- Fluids will never satisfy your appeolize fat. Water will not only make tite as well as solids would do, and you feel full, but will also carry im- that’s why it’s wiser to take someportant nutrients to your cells, aid- thing to chew than gulp when you ing digestion by forming stomach crave something sweet. If you’re secretions, flushing your body of very thirsty, always choose water wastes, and keeping your kidneys or unsweetened tea instead. Not to mention that it contains abhealthy. When our kidneys don’t get solutely zero nutrients, and there enough water to function properly, are no benefits of drinking soda ex-

Hydrate The benefits of hydration are plentiful. Drinking the recommended eight to ten glasses of water a day can help prevent illness, keep your bones and muscles healthy, help you maintain your weight, improve brain function and best of all, fuel your activities throughout the day! This summer, make water an essential part of your day and never leave home without it. Eat Fresh Summer means fresh produce! Visit your local farmers’ market or grocery store and you’ll see healthy fruits and vegetables of every color. Reserve a place on your plate every meal for fresh produce and you’re sure to reap the tasty rewards. Transform Activities into Exercise Warm summer weather means that you can spend a lot of time outdoors being active. Regular exercise has been shown to improve

pect that it might taste good. Up your protein (a little) Protein fuel your muscles and high-protein diet can help you with weight loss. You must be wondering how is that possible …? Our bodies don’t store protein the way it does fat. Protein is used as an energy source for our muscles. If your diet after Easter contains protein more than carbohydrate, your body will be forced to burn stored fat as a source of fuel, resulting in weight loss and overall improved body composition. Just make sure you stick to low-fat proteins like low-fat yogurt, low-fat soy drinks, thin turkey breast slice, or cottage cheese. Focus on low calorie foods Low-fat diet is an eating plan perfect for those who want to lose

Top 10 Summer Health Tips heart health, reduce pain and improve stress. Turn simple activities like going to the zoo or visiting a park into exercise by using the stairs, taking the long route or even adding in some stretches and strengthening exercises along the way!

of the pleasure summertime offers, like parades, fairs and fun! Schedule an appointment for a check-up to make sure pain or injury doesn’t sideline you this summer.

weight, especially after a period of overeating high fat and high sugar chocolate. It’s a healthy approach that will give you all the nutritions needed leaving you in good health, helping you ward off serious medical conditions, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, premature joint disease, heart disease, and cancer. Not only that you will lower the risk for these diseases, but the many other benefits of cutting calories include improved quality of life and daily functioning in general. Exercise While this is not a strictly healthy diet step it shouldn’t be left out! Never underestimate the importance of regular workout. Regular exercise is crucial for fast metabolism and burning more calories per day, helping you achieve optimum health and fitness while maintaining your muscle mass and weight loss. The extra calories gained from the Easter indulgemend do not present a threat as long as you burn them off. If you consider that chocolate bunnies contain 600-800 calories each (which is equal to 1 hour of high intensity exercise), you can see how much workout you need after the Easter holiday days.


Disconnect Disconnect from the internet, put down those smart phones and see a world without selfies, hashtags and videos. Enjoy life without techStay Shady We all love the summer heat, but nology and engage in conversait is important to stay in the shade tions and activities that encourage socialization with other people. whenever possible. Lifestyle Modification The summer is a great time to think Try to limit your time in the direct sunshine between 10am and 4pm, Sleep Well healthy. The nice weather means you can when UV exposure is at its peak. Sleep plays a vital role in your get outside and start exercising or If you are going to be outside, be health and well-being. Getting take pleasure in a new sport, club sure to apply plenty of sunscreen enough quality sleep at the right 30 minutes before sun exposure. times can help protect your menor activity. New social settings and activities It is also a good idea to wear a hat tal and physical health, safety and will keep you busy as you try to and sunglasses whenever possible. quality of life. quit smoking. Also, visit your local Stay Cool farmers’ market to kick-start a new Plan a Personal Vacation A vacation to get away from work When it’s hot, do what you can to healthy eating plan. or obligations is a must this sum- stay cool! Give your oven a summer to re-energize and re-fuel. mer vacation to keep your kitchSee Your Doctor If you have nagging pains from the Whether you take a long weekend en cool and opt instead for a meal winter and spring, seeing your pain at the beach or stay around the made outside on the barbeque. Go doctor is important. You want to house to enjoy a book and coffee swimming at your neighborhood feel at your best during the sum- on the porch, take some ‘you’ time pool and visit local air-conditioned mer months so you can enjoy all this summer to relax and rejuve- attractions.

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