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Monday, 30 November 2015

Corfu, Greece: Doctors' Association Intervention on Garbage Collection Problems



A danger to public health

From 24Corfu - ΠΑΡΕΜΒΑΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΙΑΤΡΙΚΟΥ ΣΥΛΛΟΓΟΥ ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑΣ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΠΟΚΟΜΙΔΗ ΤΩΝ ΑΠΟΡΡΙΜΜΑΤΩΝ - Η συστηματική και ανεξέλεγκτη συσσώρευση μεγάλου όγκου απορριμμάτων σε δημόσιους χώρους...δημιουργούν συνθήκες επικίνδυνες και απειλητικές για τη δημόσια υγιεινή και υγεία .


Thursday, 26 November 2015

Portland, Dorset



Around the island

 













 

Rufus Castle, Mrs A J Dean, Illustrations of Dorset History, 1960





"From thence you maye fee the Race of Portland, as it is called, which is the Meeting of the two Tydes, with soe great Striveing and Beateing of the Waves, that it is most dangerous for anie Barke to passe over it, though in the calmest Season" - Thomas Gerard, 1620s


Lefkas, Lefkada, Greece: Earthquake Impact



From Pappas Post - Earthquake Moved Lefkada More than a Foot South



Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Thomas Hardy's Max Gate, 1927: The Light from the Window, A Winter Night's Impression, Donald Maxwell







The Strange House
(MAX GATE, A.D. 2000)


"I hear the piano playing--
Just as a ghost might play."
"--O, but what are you saying?
There's no piano to-day;
Their old one was sold and broken;
Years past it went amiss."
"--I heard it, or shouldn't have spoken:
A strange house, this!

"I catch some undertone here,
From some one out of sight."
"--Impossible; we are alone here,
And shall be through the night."
"--The parlour-door--what stirred it?"
"--No one: no soul's in range."
"--But, anyhow, I heard it,
And it seems strange!

"Seek my own room I cannot--
A figure is on the stair!"
"--What figure? Nay, I scan not
Any one lingering there.
A bough outside is waving,
And that's its shade by the moon."
"--Well, all is strange! I am craving
Strength to leave soon."

"--Ah, maybe you've some vision
Of showings beyond our sphere;
Some sight, sense, intuition
Of what once happened here?
The house is old; they've hinted
It once held two love-thralls,
And they may have imprinted
Their dreams on its walls?

"They were--I think 'twas told me--
Queer in their works and ways;
The teller would often hold me
With weird tales of those days.
Some folk can not abide here,
But we--we do not care
Who loved, laughed, wept, or died here,
Knew joy, or despair."


Thomas Hardy

Bridport and Lyme Regis, Donald Maxwell, 1927, Unknown Dorset




The Approach to Bridport from Dorchester


An Impression of Lyme Regis

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Glastonbury: The Monks' Fund-Raising Myths



From The Guardian - "Archaeological study dismisses abbey’s links to King Arthur and Joseph of Arimathea, saying many stories were created to raise funds after a fire".





Monday, 23 November 2015

John Donne, Pelham Humfrey, John Shirley- Quirk



A powerful Pelham Humfrey (Humphrey) setting of a poem by John Donne. John Shirley-Quirk, bass-baritone.

A counter-tenor interpretation by Robin Blaze.

Alfred Deller interpretation

Isaac Walton on Donne's poem-hymn:

"He caused it to be set to a most grave and solemn tune and to be often sung to the organ by the Choristers of St. |Paul's Church in his own hearing especially at the Evening Service".

Death be not proud (Britten)

The Holy Sonnets

Sweetest love, I do not go (Richard Burton)











Saturday, 21 November 2015

Tolpuddle Martyrs: George Bernard Shaw on the Dorchester Martyrs and Australia




From The Book of The Martyrs of Tolpuddle 1834-1934, London 1934

Yannis Chaldoupis in London; Greek musical treasures



SOAS News: 18 February for your diaries


Yannis Chaldoupis and Kourelou

Date: 18 February 2016  Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 18 February 2016  Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Concert

Series: SOAS Concert Series

"Clarinettist and vocalist Yiannis Chaldoupis plays the traditional music of Greece with a twist. Born in Parakalamos, a village nestled in the mountains of Epiros, his musical ideas come in waves like the contours of the landscape around him. Playing music with 'moria', a traditional term used to express intense emotion and deep feeling, Chaldoupis intuitively understands which rhythms and melodies will move the audience and how to respond to requests and social dynamics as they arise. A feeling of ‘kefi’ – energy and fun – is always present in the room when Chaldoupis is on the stage.

On this occasion he will collaborate with Kourelou, a London-based band drawing on Greek roots as well as music from other areas of the South Balkans to produce a vibrant musical concoction with a contemporary flair. Do not expect muzak versions of Zorba; instead get ready to experience music that has unbelievable traditional diversity and wealth in a way that is engaging, jazzy and dynamic".

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Islomania and Islandism



Islomania, definition - "an obsessional enthusiasm or partiality for islands"

I was going to suggest another word, "islandism", a localised version of nationalism, to be associated with writers and commentators who wax a little too lyrical or hyperbolic about their favourite island - and who don't always see the wood from the trees...or the sand from the cement.

Lawrence Durrell on islomania: "a rare but by no means unknown affliction of the spirit".

“…I once found a list of diseases as yet unclassified by medical science, and among these there occurred the word Islomania, which was described as a rare but by no means unknown affliction of spirit. There are people…who find islands somehow irresistible. The mere knowledge that they are on an island, a little world surrounded by the sea, fills them with an indescribable intoxication. These born 'islomanes'…are the direct descendants of the Atlanteans” (from Reflections on a Marine Venus; chapter 1, page 1).

Do you find islands irresistible?

Congo Dandies, "La Sape", Documentary Film


Fascinating documentary, caught it by chance this morning

"The Republic of the Congo in Central Africa can’t boast of high standards of living. Yet, there are men here who are prepared to spend a fortune on designer suits. They call themselves “sapeurs” – members of the “La Sape” movement. “La Sape” comes from French and stands for “The Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People”. For its adherents, it’s all about style and elegance, the right combination of colours and textures, brand-names and the highest quality materials. They derive true joy from showing off their attire on the streets of Brazzaville – the country’s capital and the centre of the “La Sape” movement. Walking down dusty streets lined with clay houses, they turn heads and feel like kings. And there’s no price they won’t pay for this. In fact, behind the image of success these dandies project, there are often stories of significant financial troubles caused by their extravagant hobby. To afford the price tag of their designer clothes, “sapeurs” have to save, borrow and even steal money, sometimes bringing ruin to their families. But even the grim consequences of their indulgent dressing habits often don’t stop “sapeurs” from spending money they don’t really have. They are in constant competition with each other and investing in their image is more important to them than improving their living conditions. Dressing smartly becomes a true addiction that is very hard to conquer. However, some “sapeurs” do strive to find a balance between looking chic and being reasonable with their spending. They insist that the “La Sape” movement isn’t about designer suits but rather developing impeccable taste. They make an emphasis on learning to dress well but within one’s means. This way, style and elegance will demand fewer sacrifices from their devotees and will be accessible to more sophisticated men". From RT.



Greece: Latest on First Home Foreclosure and Auction Parameters, and Other Pending Issues


UPDATE, Greek News Agenda - Parliament Passes Reform Bill, Gov’t Looses Two MPs

From Kathimerini (Greek)

Government and lenders nearing a deal

"According to sources, the two sides made significant progress in bridging their differences on the thorny issue of foreclosures and the protection of primary residences. Though there appears to be an agreement to protect a minimum of 25 percent of homeowners from losing their properties if they do not keep up with mortgage repayments, the aim is to introduce additional criteria that would lead to this protection extending to up to around 60 percent of mortgage holders".

It seems that there may be further protection through a cap on the number of properties that banks are allowed to put to auction.

Highly complicated.

CNBC report

ECB Opinion - OPINION OF THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK of 10 April 2015 on the prohibition of the auction of primary residences (CON/2015/14) -pdf

"Impact of the draft law on effective debt resolution processes and financial stability 

3.1 As indicated, the ECB notes that the draft law grants protection from the auction of primary residences to a very wide group of debtors who have a net annual income of up to EUR 50 000 and a total value of movable and immovable assets not exceeding EUR 500 000. Thus, in practical terms, the draft law materially reinstates the broad-based moratorium. The very broad scope of eligible debtors, which goes beyond the protection of vulnerable and low-income debtors, may create moral hazard and could lead to strategic defaults, further undermining the payment culture and future credit growth, as explained above. 

3.2 The repeated extension of broad-based prohibitions on auctions for primary residences does not constitute a sustainable solution for addressing the high level of NPLs in the Greek financial sector. First, it minimises incentives for debtors to cooperate with creditors in restructuring NPLs through efficient processes that take into account the debtor’s capacity to repay. Second, the draft law could undermine the effectiveness of recent reforms that have been implemented in Greece with a view to enhancing corporate and personal debt resolution frameworks. Such recent reforms include notably the establishment of a Government Council for the Management of Private Debt, the adoption of a code of conduct to regulate banks’ engagement with debtors, the establishment of an out-of-court debt restructuring framework to facilitate the early rehabilitation of viable firms that are suffering with debt, and the adoption of definitions of a cooperative borrower and reasonable living expenses for use in debt workouts".

Update, Kathimerini

Σε ότι αφορά το θέμα της ρύθμισης των «κόκκινων δανείων» ο κ. Τσακαλώτος δήλωσε ότι δεν θα υπάρξει τώρα νόμος αλλά ότι συμφωνήθηκε η στρατηγική που θα ακολουθηθεί. Από την πλευρά του ο κ. Σταθάκης παρουσίασε την λύση που βρέθηκε για το θέμα των πλειστηριασμών της πρώτης κατοικίας σημειώνοντας ότι το 25% των ιδιοκτητών που ανήκουν στις πιο ευάλωτες κοινωνικά ομάδες, θα προστατευθεί πλήρως, ενώ από το 25% έως το 60% των ιδιοκτητών θα υπάρχει υψηλή προστασία αλλά όχι πλήρης. Να σημειωθεί ότι από εδώ και πέρα ο προσδιορισμός της δόσης που θα πληρώνουν οι δανειολήπτες θα καθορίζεται από τον προσδιορισμό της τρέχουσας εμπορικής αξίας των ακινήτων κάτι το οποίο σημαίνει ότι οι τράπεζες θα υποστούν ένα «κούρεμα» στις απαιτήσεις τους, λόγω της μείωσης της αξίας των ακινήτων.

Update in English

"The fact that authorities moved from pledging to shield virtually all first homes from repossessions to guaranteeing protection for only a quarter is certain to test the loyalty of coalition lawmakers".

Outcome

Greek News Agenda

A Greek Bank Tragedy (link from Observing Greece) - Greek Public Policy Forum - Ελληνικό Φόρουμ Δημόσιας Πολιτικής










Friday, 13 November 2015

Devon: Teign Estuary Pacific Oysters



Delicious, but wise?

I wish I hadn't read this report, with its references to the dangers of organotin yacht antifouling paint, to sewage effluents and agricultural run-offs...

More information 

From The Independent (2011)


Thursday, 12 November 2015

On Friday the 13th, Superstitions



From The Telegraph - Friday the 13th: "How did it come about and why are we so scared of it? Friday 13th has been long regarded as an unlucky day. Should we be on our guard or this all just superstitious nonsense?"

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Greece: Greek Government calls workers to stage strike against its own policies



Strange times and tactics.

From Stickers for the Masses (Facebook)

From Kathimerini - ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ να καλεί τους εργαζομένους να μετάσχουν στην κινητοποίηση που στρέφεται κατά της δικής του πολιτικής: «Το Τμήμα Εργατικής Πολιτικής του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ καλεί τους/τις εργαζόμενους/ες, συνταξιούχους, άνεργους/ες, νέους και νέες να συμμετάσχουν στην κεντρική απεργιακή συγκέντρωση της Αθήνας στις 11.00 στην πλατεία Κλαυθμώνος και στις αντίστοιχες κινητοποιήσεις και συγκεντρώσεις των εργαζομένων σε όλη τη χώρα».

More on this

From Protothema

From iefimerida - Ο ΣΥΡΙΖΑ καλεί σε απεργία εναντίον της κυβέρνησης ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, την Πέμπτη

From in.gr

From Ta Nea - Σε μαζική συμμετοχή στην απεργία καλεί ο... ΣΥΡΙΖΑ

Strike information from Avgi - Γενική απεργία: Όλες οι αλλαγές σε συγκοινωνίες και μεταφορές

Helena Smith, The Guardian - "In a first for any sitting government, Syriza also threw its weight behind the strike exhorting Greeks to take part in the protest. The appeal – issued by the party’s labour policy division and urging mass participation “against the neoliberal policies and the blackmail from financial and political centres within and outside Greece” – provoked derision and howls of protest before the walkout had even begun. But leading Syriza figures insisted that the party continued to see itself as being true to its leftist ideology. “We agreed to take these measures under pressure,” the Syriza MP Christos Simorelis told local TV. “In Syriza we continue to see the party as one thing, the government another.”

More

From Kathimerini - "Government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili denied suggestions that leftist SYRIZA, which fought against austerity when it was in opposition, was trying to play both sides in supporting the anti-austerity strike.
The party has said it will implement its side of the bargain with lenders, but has long maintained that the bailout terms are excessively harsh...But SYRIZA's dilemma cut little ice with some of the thousands of protesters who converged on the city's main Syntagma Square. "It's a tactic of SYRIZA to disorientate the people from targeting the party," said Ilias Leggeris, 63, a retired bank worker".

















Greece and Britain: 1942 Publication


"Here were a people who not only had the right to help but who also deserved help...every consideration of honour dictated the maximum possible help to Greece".



Issued for the (British) War Office by the Ministry of Information, London, His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1942

Found in a second-hand bookshop this morning.

Marshwood Vale Magazine, Celebrating 200 Issues


A great magazine (still free) covering West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon.

A surprise in the November 2015 issue. Why?


Bridport: Secret Arts Sale, Bridport Arts Centre



I arrived early, but the queue was already incredibly long. A very clever fund-raising idea. Over sixty artists donated their work. All works were on sale, anonymously, for £50 each (however famous the artist).






It was rather too crowded (I wanted to look rather than to buy), so I went to the Kenneth Allsop Gallery upstairs, to admire the works exhibited in the Marshwood Arts Awards (closes 21 November):





Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Kenya: Hugh Tracey, Jimmie Rodgers - Chemirocha




CHEMIROCHA: HOW AN AMERICAN COUNTRY SINGER BECAME A KENYAN STAR, Ryan Kailath (thanks to Charmagne for the link)

Corfu, Greece: Pioneers of Tourism; το χθες του κερκυραϊκού τουρισμού



Η Κέρκυρα Σήμερα (from Kerkyra Simera) - Μνήμες από το χθες του κερκυραϊκού τουρισμού

I am sorry I missed this exhibition and event:

Οι φωτογραφίες της έκθεσης που ήταν χωρισμένες θεματικά. Όπως: 1ο θέμα το (Club Med), το 2ο Zήνος Σούσης, το 3ο Οικογένεια Μπούα, το 4ο John Forte, το 5ο Λία Αργυρού, το 6ο Σπύρος & Μιχάλης Χαλικιόπουλος, το 6ο Σπύρος Ανυφαντής ''Τρύπας'', το 7ο Μαρί Ασπιώτη ''Corfu Travel'', το 8ο Σπύρος Λέμης, Σπύρος Λύχνος, το 8ο Βασίλη Μάντζο και το 9ο για τα Τεκμήρια της τουριστικής δραστηριότητας της εποχής.

I have written about the history and social psychology of tourism in Corfu in the book "Travel, Tourism, and Identity" (Transaction Publishers, 2015). I also interviewed a wide range of people and pioneers, a number of them now in their 80's and 90's - a different cast of characters and pioneers from those featured in the exhibition.

My 40-page chapter focuses on Corfu as a case study since the early 1950s, on topics such as 'Tourists, Service Providers, and Residents—Mutual Perceptions and the Reciprocal Gaze'. The book, edited by Gabriel R. Ricci covers a broad spectrum of topics:

"Travel, Tourism, and Identity addresses the psychological and social adjustments that occur when people make contact with others outside their social, cultural, or linguistic groups. Whether such contact is the result of tourism, seeking exile, or relocating abroad, the volume's contributors demonstrate how one's identity, cultural assumptions, and world view can be brought into question. In some cases, the traveller finds that bridging the social and cultural gap between himself and the new society is fairly easy. In other cases, the traveller discovers that reorienting himself requires absorbing a new cultural history and traditions. The contributors argue that making these adjustments will surely enhance the traveller's or tourist's experience; otherwise the traveller or tourist will be at risk of becoming a marginalized figure, one disconnected from the society that surrounds him. This latest volume in the Culture and Civilization series features a collection of essays on travel and tourism. The essays cover a range of topics from historical travels to modern social identities. They discuss ancient travels, contemporary travels in Europe, Africa and sustainable eco-tourism, and the politics of tourism. Essays also address experiences of Grenada's Spice Islando identity, and the effects of globalization and migrations on personal identity".







Monday, 9 November 2015

British Diplomacy: Investing for influence - LSE Diplomacy Commission Report



Read the report here (pdf) - ideas concerning the purpose of British diplomacy

"The UK is a significant global power. But there is a great deal of disquiet among the UK’s diplomatic community that British foreign policy lacks a clear purpose, and that as a result there is an approach to the distribution of resources that lacks strategic coherence. This report has sought to highlight those issues, and to spark a debate about British purpose that is free from imperial conceit or bureaucratic interest".

Article from The Guardian - "British foreign policy is in crisis, warn senior diplomatic figures".

More

Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 3 in D Minor


I wish I could have been at the John F. Kennedy Centre in Washington DC, to listen to my first grandson singing in the choir (the Fifth Movement) on November 5, 6 and 7.



Here's a YouTube version by a Puerto Rican choir - Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico


UK: Hospital Construction Costs


From Svenska Dagbladet

"Sjukhusavtal gräver hål i budget: "Galenskap" - St Barts och Royal London hospital som SvD berättade om på lördagen, och som har stått som förebild för NKS i Solna, är långt ifrån de enda brittiska sjukhus som byggts av Skanska. På flera håll har avtalen orsakat stora hål i landets sjukvårdsbudgetar"

Public-Private Partnership hospital construction projects struggling with rising costs.

On the financial state of the NHS (The Guardian, Christopher Smallwood)

More grim news:

"Two-fifths of Britain's care homes below standard as budget cuts finally tell" (The Guardian, Graham Ruddick




Sunday, 8 November 2015

Corfu enters competition to become Cultural Capital of Europe, 2021 - the year that Greece acts as one of two candidate host countries



From iefimerida - Κέρκυρα: Διεκδικεί τον τίτλο της Πολιτιστικής Πρωτεύουσας της Ευρώπης για το 2021

«Διεκδικούμε τον τίτλο προβάλλοντας την ιδιότυπη πολιτιστική μας ταυτότητα που διαμορφώνεται από την εποχή του Ομήρου μέχρι σήμερα, αναπτύσσοντας χαρακτηριστικά με ευρύτατη απήχηση και άξια να οδηγούν την Κέρκυρα στο διάλογο των πολιτισμών και στην ανάδειξη του Υψηλού και του Ωραίου μέσω των Γραμμάτων, των Τεχνών και του Πολιτισμού».

Ioannina also bidding to be the Cultural Capital in 2021

The procedure for application (EC documentation)

"The European Capitals of Culture initiative is designed to:

Highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe;
Celebrate the cultural features Europeans share;
Increase European citizens' sense of belonging to a common cultural area;
Foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities.


In addition to this, experience has shown that the event is an excellent opportunity for: 

Regenerating cities;
Raising the international profile of cities;
Enhancing the image of cities in the eyes of their own inhabitants;
Breathing new life into a city's culture;
Boosting tourism".

"How does it work?

Designation of European Capitals of Culture in EU member states

Six years before the title-year the selected host member states publish a call for applications, usually through their Ministry for Culture. Cities interested in participating in the competition must submit a proposal for consideration.

The submitted applications are reviewed against a set of established criteria during a pre-selection phase by a panel of independent experts in the field of culture. The panel agrees on a short-list of cities, which are then asked to submit more detailed applications.

The panel then reconvenes to assess the final applications and recommends one city per host country for the title. The recommended city will then be formally designated as European Capital of Culture.

The role of the European Commission is to ensure that the rules established at EU level are respected all along the way.

From designation to implementation…

European Capitals of Culture are formally designated four years before the actual year. This long period of time is necessary for the planning and preparation of such a complex event. The panel, supported by the European Commission, has a continuing role during these four years in supporting European Capitals of Culture with advice and guidance and taking stock of their preparations.

At the end of this monitoring period, the panel will consider whether to recommend or not that the European Commission pays the Melina Mercouri Prize (currently €1.5m funded from the EU Creative Europe programme).

… to evaluation of the outcomes

Each year the European Commission publishes an evaluation report on the outcomes of the European Capitals of Culture of the previous year. For the Capitals post 2019, the cities themselves will carry out their own evaluation and send it to the Commission by the end of the year following that of the title.
What has been done so far?

The initiative was developed in 1985 and has, to date, been awarded to more than 50 cities across the European Union. The 2015 European Capitals of Culture are:

Mons (Belgium)
Plzeň (Czech Republic)

What are the next steps?

European Capitals of Culture have already been designated until 2019:

2016 – Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain) and Wrocław (Poland)
2017 – Aarhus (Denmark) and Paphos (Cyprus)
2018 – Leeuwarden (Netherlands) and Valetta (Malta)
2019 – Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and Matera (Italy)

A new framework for the initiative, post 2019, has been adopted by the European Parliament and Council in April 2014. It includes the chronological list of member states that can host the title from 2020 until 2033. Croatia and Ireland will host the event in 2020, and launched their respective competitions in June and December 2014. 

Romania and Greece will host the event in 2021 and launched their national competitions in December 2014. Luxembourg and Lithuania will host the event in 2022, and launched their respective competitions in July 2015.

This new framework makes it possible for a city in a candidate country or potential candidate for EU membership to hold the title every third year as of 2021. This will be selected through an open competition, meaning that cities from various countries may compete with each other. In December 2014, the Commission published a call for the 2021 title.

Cities wishing to take part in future should await the announcement of a competition in their own country, and then complete and submit a bid in response to the call for applications(342 kB) published by the authority in charge of the competition (usually the Ministry of Culture)".

More information

European Capital of Culture Consultation Report (after 2019)


"New Homes, Strange Lands"


From BBC, Radio 4, Something Understood

"Mark Tully explores the pleasures, the pain and the potentials of making your home in a new country, both for those who choose to do so and for those forced to by circumstance. He talks to Syrian poet, writer and refugee Ghias Aljundi about his experiences of becoming a British citizen and he draws on the work of musicians and writers from all round the world, who have lived in more than one country".

Quote: from Carol Ann Duffy's poem "Foreign" -

"Imagine living in a strange, dark city for twenty years.
There are some dismal dwellings on the east side
and one of them is yours. On the landing, you hear
your foreign accent echo down the stairs. You think
in a language of your own and talk in theirs.

Then you are writing home. The voice in your head
recites the letter in a local dialect; behind that
is the sound of your mother singing to you,
all that time ago, and now you do not know
why your eyes are watering and what's the word for this".

Friday, 6 November 2015

Greece: Prior Actions and Pending Issues



From eKathimerini: "Eurogroup unlikely to release next 2 billion after failure to settle pending issues"

"There are several key matters on which the eurozone is expecting initiatives from the coalition. Top of this list is the criteria for the repossession and foreclosure of primary residences. Also, the government has yet to come up with a definitive fiscal alternative to imposing value-added tax on private education".

"Last ditch" efforts. Kathimerini

"On the issue of primary residence repossessions, the Greek government is trying to find a formula that would protect at least half of local homeowners, compared to the proposal from the institutions, which would lead to just 20 percent not facing the threat of losing their home if they do not keep up with their mortgage repayments".

From The Telegraph: OECD - "On Complete Lack of Compliance"

"The challenges in Greece are so big”, Mr Saint-Amans told The Telegraph.
“It's about the complete lack of compliance, it's about a very weak tax administration, it's about the fact that paying taxes remains something that people don't want to do because they don't see how the money is spent.”

The Greek proposals, Kathimerini - Η πρώτη κατοικία «μπλοκάρει» την υποδόση των 2 δισ.

Sapin: "One thorny issue remains: the seizure of homes for households who can't pay their debts. I want an agreement to be reached today. France wants an agreement today."

«Αγκάθι» οι πλειστηριασμοί πρώτης κατοικίας - complicated suggestions from Greek side to protect most home-owners from risk of primary residence foreclosure

Reuters report in April

"Greece's draft law to protect primary residences from foreclosures goes beyond protecting low-income debtors and could encourage strategic defaults, the European Central Bank said in a legal opinion..."

"The very broad scope of eligible debtors, which goes beyond the protection of vulnerable and low-income debtors, may create moral hazard and could lead to strategic defaults, undermining the payment culture and future credit growth," the ECB said."

"It is likely that the prohibitions in the draft law will incentivize debtors who are not in real need of protection to stop meeting their obligations or reduce them significantly, even if they have the means to meet them in full."

Greek Debt Deal - Euclid Tsakalotos claims lenders have delayed debt relief talks for fear of emboldening anti-austerity movements in the Mediterranean (The Telegraph)

Why property prices remain firm in Corfu despite wider Greek woes, Financial Times - "Foreign buyers continue to favour the north of the island whose local communities and ancient landscapes have been protected".

"Changeless habitat"? "Little obvious effect on the environment?"

I wish it were so....





Gerald Durrell, writing in the 1980s

Paul Whyles, 2008

Only one side of the story, but it can't be hidden: I still love the island!

Food price hikes