Archive June 2016

- - - - N e w s   S n i p p e t s   June - - - -

Blackouts and floods : The severe storms with torrential rain and hail across Messinia on 25/26th June caused damage to the power supply which resulted in Messinia wide power cuts for several hours. They turned roads in Kalamata into rivers, and blocked the national highway, which was closed for 4 hours, with mudslides trapping hundreds of cars. tharros and YouTube Kalamata summer! (28-6-16)

Elusive balloons : The press releases earlier in the year heralded ' Balloons over Messinia' and promised hot-air balloon trips from Kalamata daily from May to October (Archive Apr) , but according to recent information, the tour operator who had apparently undertaken to assist the project in Kalamata, the story was published by an intermediary, and it was a wish rather than a reality, There is no sign of the balloons! tharros (27-6-16)

West Mani ' drowning in rubbish ' : The current problem of inadequate trash disposal has made the local papers. " With relief residents in West Mani saw the garbage removed from bins that had been not only full but overflowing into a 'sea' of rubbish . However, as a local resident said, the ugly picture comes back almost at once! Within a day or so the Municipality bins are full of garbage again, while in combination with high temperatures, makes the situation a danger for public health. A solution to the problem of waste diposal is urgently needed." tharros (25-6-16)

Long delays to exit K'mata car park: Daily suffering at the "exit" from the parking lot on Nedontas. An enraged driver contacted Tharros after it took about 20 minutes to leave the parking Nedonta where there is the new electronic payment system ... It is very slow process, thus causing long queues and people to suffer under adverse weather conditions(heat). Also it seems that young Gypsies have found new "profession", as they are next to the automatic payment and undertake to show senior citizens how to use the machines ... asking at the end and a little help for the "services " tharros (25-6-16)

'Pop-up' tech support scams target victims via their ISP: A new scam, in which fraudsters pose as legitimate ISPs to offer bogus tech support, either via the phone or on the net, is on the rise. The scam involves a realistic 'pop-up' which interrupts a victim's normal browsing session with a message that appears to be legitimate and seems to come from the victim's real ISP. Older, less tech-savvy individuals tend to be the main targets of such scammers and, once they fall for it, are called again and again by fraudsters. The pop-up scam seems to be mainly focused in the US at the moment, with Verizon, AT&T and TimeWarner all being impersonated, but Malwarebytes also discovered fake pages set up for BT, PlusNet, Sky and TalkTalk. BBCtech (22-6-16)

Epidauros acoustic mystery solved : The ancient mystery revolving around the great acoustics of the Greek amphitheater in Epidaurus has finally been solved. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered that the limestone material of the seats provide a filtering effect, suppressing low frequencies of voices, thus minimizing background crowd noise. Further, the rows of limestone seats reflect high-frequencies back towards the audience, enhancing the effect. greekreporter (21-6-16)

Ferry starts from Kalamata to Kythira and Crete: The first sailing of "Vitsentzos Cornaro" ANEK Lines is on Monday June 20th, but the regular sailings will be in SATURDAYS leaving Kalamata at 00.30, and reaching Kythera at 5:40, and 9:50 in Kissamos. The return trip departs at 14:00 and arrives in Kythira at 18:30 and 23:40 in Kalamata. Typical ticket prices are € 26 for Crete and € 17 for Kythira. This is a temporary route scheduled until September 10th. This may be extended, depending on how successful the route is. This route, combined with the "Vitsentzos Kornaros" sailings from Gythio every Wednesday, will facilitate many who do not have the time or can afford to stay for a week in Kalamata, Kythira and Crete respectively. For booking and information issues, contact the Psaras 150, daily from Monday to Friday, 9: 00-15: 00 and 18 : 00-21: 00 and Saturday from 9.00 am until the departure or telephone 2721028080. tharros (20-6-16)

15% discount on electricity bills, for prompt payment: :As of  July 1st 2016, PPC will grant 15% reduction to those private and business customers who pay their bills in time. The reduction refers to the bill part concerning the consumption of electricity only and before the Value added Tax and not to the total bill amount which contains taxes and fees to municipality, state broadcaster ERT and power distributions and others. keeptalkinggreece (20-6-16)

Free phone power for refugees: A team of students from Edinburgh have designed a mobile phone charging station powered only by the sun. They have installed two units in camps, each configured to generate electricity for 12 plugs an hour using solar energy alone, providing free power to as many as 240 people per unit each day. At the Kara Tepe camp on Lesvos where the first unit was installed, authorities and residents are thrilled. “I told them – you should’ve brought it yesterday and not one, but four,” said Stavros Miroyannis, who manages the camp for families which is run by the local municipality. “They’ve promised me three more and I’m expecting them with great pleasure.ekathimerini (20-6-16)

Orato Village Restaurant is open : 'ORATO VILLAGE villas & restaurant ' has 4 villas with private swimming pools and a restaurant with pool and separate baby pool - all with excellent views looking down over Ag Nikolaos. "One of the advantages of the location of the ORATO Village is the ideal climate, like the evening sea breeze that makes even the hot summer days a pleasant atmosphere."  Orato Restaurant . 2721 064003, 6972712978 open 19:00 to 24:00 and on ,, Orato village restaurant  (19-6-16)

Unraveling the Mysteries of the “Oldest Computer” of Mankind : For the first time since the discovery in of the 2,100-year-old Antikythera mechanism over a hundred years ago in an ancient shipwreck off the southwestern Aegean isle of ‪‎Antikythera, a complete rendering of all the inscriptions found inside this mechanism, often described as ‪an ancient‪ astronomical calculator, was unveiled in Piraeus on June 9th, at the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation. greeknewsagenda (19-6-16)

Gov’t lets tax evasion grow by the day : Restaurants in certain parts of the country have already started presenting patrons with two menus listing different prices: one with VAT and the other without it. The menu presented, had the prices without VAT, i.e. the 23% charge that has now risen to 24%, with both the patrons and the restaurants being happy for defrauding the state that appears unreliable, inconsistent, inefficient and at times even sinister. The phenomenon has apparently started since Easter and has even been witnessed in areas that attract high-end tourism, usually not the ideal setting for this form of fraud. Ekathimerini (15-6-16)

For the first time, more businesses close than open : New hikes in taxes and social security contributions introduced at the start of the month, coupled with pension cuts, are leading to a deeper recession, the closure of businesses and more people losing their jobs, experts warn. In the first 5 months of the year the number of new companies was for the first time smaller than those that shut down, by 2,949, as 12,486 enterprises were set up against 15,435 that closed. The number of closures in the January-May period, meanwhile, was 45.87% higher than in the same period in 2015, at 10,581.Ekathimerini (15-6-16)

"Palace of Nestor" reopens: After about four years, the archaeological site reopens its doors to the public. Now it has a new roof, modern architechture and a modern electronic tour service. It was officially reopened onJune 12th. The "Palace of Nestor" has the best preserved Mycenaean palace of the mainland. At the same time the findings and fragments of frescoes illustrate the high Mycenaean art expertise of artists and cosmopolitan character of the Palace. The upgraded archaeological site has new navigation infrastructure which exploits new information and communication technology and provides convenient access to all audiences Tharros (14-6-16)

430 'Blue Flag' beaches in Greece: With 430 beaches and 9 marinas, Greece clinched third spot during the 1st International “Blue Flags” Awards ceremony held in Halkidiki. The country also recently came 4th in Europe with the European Environment Agency verifying that 97.2 % of its beaches are of the highest quality for swimming  gtp gr  On the map you can see the Blue Flag sites awarded around the world in 2016. If you wish to see more detail about the sites, and filter them according to your needs (access for the disabled, type of beach, type of boating activity, etc.) we recommend you visit the custom made maps for beaches, marinas and boats. bleflag global Locally, Verga- Almyros, Mikri Mantinia, East and West Kalamata, Skoutari, Vathi(E Mani), Mavrovouni and Gythio, are in the ranking  blueflag  (15-6-16)

Trachila news: Message from Claire:- Although it was announced that work on repairing the Trachila sea-front, would start in March, very little has happened so far. However, despite its delapidated condition, it is still a delightful, tranquil spot for a swim, a beer or a good meal at one of the two tavernas. BUT we have been told that work WILL start in around 10 days, so enjoy Trachila while you can! (14-6-16)

The Weirdest Greek Superstitions! Explanations/origins of some strange cultural traditions 'Beware of the Evil Eye', 'Spitting for Good Luck', 'Steal Plants You Want to Root', 'Bread is Holy and Has Magic Powers', 'Never Hand Someone a Knife', 'Sprinkling Salt to Make Someone Leave', 'Salt, Eggs and Bread: Forbidden to Leave Your Home After Sundown' Greeknewsreporter (13-6-16)

Greek ambassador's address for the Queen's 90th Birthday : John Kittmer, HMA to Greece, at a service at St Paul's Anglican Church in Athens, gave an address to commemorate Her Majesty The Queen's 90th Birthday.Given at Athens, Sunday 5 June 2016, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of London, the UK Minister of Shipping, the Australian Ambassador to Greece, the New Zealand Honorary Consul and a large congregation. gov uk (13-6-16)

Embassies lend support to Athens Pride 2016: The embassies of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA are supporting the Athens Pride festival and parade on June 11. “Our countries strongly support the rights of all LGBT people as part of our commitment to universal human rights,” the embassies said in a joint statement. Ekathimerini (9-6-16)

Threat to PDO status of 'feta' and 'Kalamata olives': The Messinia Chamber of Commerce expresses its opposition to acceptance by the Greek government of the European Union (EU) and 15 countries of South Africa Economic and Trade Agreement (SADC), because it includes the scandalous single exception of two products of designated origin (PDO). They believe that without the veto Greece loses the protection of feta and Kalamata olives. The protection of all flagship and certified agricultural products and the protection of the name feta and Kalamata olives, is a national issue tharros (9-6-16)

Schooling Plans for Refugee Children in Greece : The Greek Ministry of Education and UNICEF are working together to help refugee children stranded in Greece complete their education. In this context,UNICEF's Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe Marie-Pierre Poirier visited Athens and Lesvos, with the aim to collaborate with the Greek authorities in the design of a short-term and long-term plan, seeking to provide refugee children with access to education. greeknewsagenda (9-6-16)

"Albatros II" and "Odyssey" have started cruising the Messinian Bay: The vessel "Albatros II" will reach Methoni- Finikounda and the "Odyssey" will head for the Diros Caves. 10:00 time of departure and return at 17:00 tharros " Escape for a day now and enjoy the sun, the sea, the majestic landscapes with a one-day cruise to the crystal clear waters of the Messinian gulf ". Phones for booking information at: 6980745314 and 6982816398.  odysseyboatalbatros (9-6-16)

Sunnyclist gets award for innovation : SUNNYCLIST, ' the world's greenest vehicle', created by a group of young entrepreneurs, striving to make a difference in sunny Greece, has been awarded third place in the 6th Innovation & Technology Competition "NBG Business Seeds". However, they are still operating on a shoe-string, as they did not get the crowdfunding they had hoped for. (9-6-16)

Upgraded Nestor's palace reopens The Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Antiquities announced the official reopening of one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece: the palace of Nestor lies15 km from modern Pylos, and was discovered in 1939. After three years of effort by many people and services, the palace reopens its doors the public with new roof protection and innovative navigation and information infrastructure. The Palace of Nestor was a two-storey building with warehouses, workshops, baths, skylights, lobbies and central drainage system. The palace complex used by King Nestor, was destroyed by fire around 1200 BC .greeknewsreporter (9-6-16)

Graffiti village: Do you know the village of Graffiti in Messinia? In a small village in the middle of the Messinian plain, the walls of houses are adorned with graffiti, painted by the well-known and beloved Kalamatan artist Skitsofrenis. The village of Glyfada, Messinia, has become a modern art museum, with graffiti from the rural world and its struggles. Lots of images on messiniaradio (4-6-16)

New UK ambassador to Greece : Ms Kate Smith CMG has been appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic in succession to Mr John Kittmer. Ms Smith will take up her appointment during January uk (4-6-16)

First Aegean direct flight from Lyon to Kalamata: The first flight from Lyon arrived on June 1st at 2.30 in the afternoon carrying 88 passengers and launching direct air between the Messinian capital and that French city. In the evening (at 10.40) the first direct flight of the year arrived from Paris, carrying 78 passengers. Direct flights Lyon - Kalamata will continue every Tuesday until October 4th. The Paris-Kalamata flight will continue until September 27th tharros (4-6-16)

Lonely Planet Names Peloponnese the Top European Destination In 2016 : Travellers to Greece tend to flock to the myriad islands or marvel at the iconic Acropolis, but one of the country’s most diverse, vibrant regions is often forgotten: the Peloponnese. It remains an affordable enclave of magnificent ancient sights like Olympia, Mycenae and Mystras, which are scattered across a rich landscape of stone villages, teal seas and snow-capped mountains. Lonely Planet has recently released their 'Best In Europe' list for European destinations you must see in 2016. Coming in at #1 is the Peloponnese in Greece! lonely planet (4-6-16)

Abandoned refugee life jackets recycled into revenue-raising items

Odyssea is a not-for-profit nongovernmental organization and one of the initiatives formed to deal with the issue of refuse from refugee inflows. It was started by two young people, Jai Mexis and Irene Psifidi, who gave up jobs abroad to come to Greece and do their bit. Odyssea is now in Chios. “We signed a contract with the municipality and paid a token amount for 55,000 life jackets,” says Psifidi. “We will create a unit in Chios to sort the material, clean it and package it for shipment to Athens, where we will manufacture a series of products such as bags, wallets and notebooks. Some things are already being made in workshops by refugees staying in Athens right now. The proceeds from sales will go toward funding a mobile medical unit to travel around the villages of Lesvos and Chios, so that any profits go back to the local communities.”   Ekathimerini

3-day music festival in the "Farmhouse Marini" for the World Music Day

The weekend schedule includes parallel events starting Wednesday June 16, with a frantic treasure hunt throughout the city, looking for 5 guitars legend of Gipsy Jazz Django Reinhardt, which offer 5 double invitations for the whole festival. on Saturday, June 18, 6-8 pm the ARTwo (Christiana Kanellakopoulou-Dionisia Skarpalezos) display more Art handmade jewelry in a jazzy cocktail party Tharros

The Art Farm - Farmhouse Marini is a farm in Megáli Mandínia, which highlights the rural and cultural heritage of the region and aims at informing, education and entertainment of visitors .. In an area of ​​5.500sq.m The Art Farm combines the uniqueness of nature and human inspiration, offering experiences to children and adults. The multi-space composed of the stone amphitheater, which hosts cultural events during the summer season, the main building of 120m, which diexagontai all types of seminars, concentration and social events, as well as five specially equipped workshops where organized learning seminars rural culture. +30 693 248 3630      Art Farm Αγρόκτημα Μαρίνη and YouTube Art Farm Agroktima Marini


To Lokakee opens in Kardamyli

Tourist gift shop-Greek memorabilia Kardamili 
Mon-Sun: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

tel: 2721073808 m: 6976718040  email
    το λοκάλι lokalee        (το λοκάλι = a local person in Greek slang)

In a traditional stone house of Kadramili in Mani, in the summer of 2016 the tourist-artistic shop the lokali / lo-ka-lee / has opened. Tradition and art. Greek artists with a focus on Greek tradition and tourist culture. The idea of the shop is a "home" decorated with vintage and contemporary furniture and objects that are created by people and which are hosted in it. The place exudes the sensation of visitation, friendliness and hospitality. Our theme is Greece, tourism, art, Greek folklore village, people, ordinary life and domestic Greek art scene. Objects such as t-shirts, hats, tote bags, books, children's clothing, etc., albums, vinyl records, tourist posters, postcards, paintings, utensils and other items for the decoration of all the areas of a house. In this shop tourism, memorampilia, art and freedom of expression find shelter in order to highlight all the quality of old and contemporary artistic side of Greece and it's creative people. Homage to the beautiful place of Kardamili in Mani.

Artists+ Designers:... Benaki museum ... We Design ... Psarokokalo Studio... Sophia ... UglyBell ... Eleni Kastrinogianni... TheGreenerPasture... GraciousGreece... MOMPSO... Paraskevi Alevizaki... Liv Mdrn Design... stelline

New Children's play area in Stoupa

There is a new supervised children's play area in Stoupa, just up the road by Patriko cafe/bar, before you get to Dionysos Restaurant

Open 18:30 - 23:30  Entrace 5€. Parents can sit nearby


Click on images to enlarge

Information summary from PsM - JUNE 2016 ◄

Gaia fund for a medical emergency vehicle:  On May 17th, Gaia were called to help with hospital transport for the 4th time this month! A reminder of the need for a speciaalized vehicle for Gaia.  The good news is that the community is already responding generously to the appeal for funds.  By May 25th, nearly € 4,000 had been raised. VEHICLE FUND  Other fund raising ideas/donations are being developed by the Art Group, Mani Walks and the Line dancing dancers. And Alan Parker is offering all the proceeds of the sale of his electric garage door - ANY offers welcome garagedoor

Regular summer events:  Now the season is getting going , Freda has restarted her regular Friday buffets at Greggs in Ag Nikolaos,  and there is live Greek music at Liastres in Stoupa, every Thursday.LOCAL EVENTS   The Friday morning Arts & Crafts Fayres continue at Pefko, and are making a donation to the Gaia vehicle fund each week

Fire season 2016: Before the fire season official started started on May 1st, the authorities were expressing concern about this year's fire season "... .. because of the mild winter ... and with zero funding, both Fire Kalamata Service and the forest Service Kalamata are concerned about the coming fire season....". MayArchive   More recently, the Hellenic Fire Brigade issued a reminder - FIRE WARNING  -  Between 1st May 2016 and 31st October 2016 is the annual Fire Season where any outdoor fires are forbidden. The Hellenic Fire Brigade advises citizens to not ignite or burn rubbish, dry grass and garden refuse and not to use outdoor barbecues especially in windy conditions and when there is low humidity. Fire Season

8th Music Summer : This year, the Mani-Sonnenlink Music Festival has been renamed. The new title represents the new view on this music venue. "....A more inclusive environment in which young musicians can play and train in a unique setting and foster their talents and their friendships." The sunset concerts on Fridays will Focus on Classical Music or very Authentic Folk Music. 1€ of each ticket sold will go to charity  8thMusicSummer

Volunteers tackle rubbish problems : By mid-May, volunteers from the Stoupa Business Association, plus other business people and volunteers, decided something had to be done about the growing piles of rubbish, and spent 9 hours clearing the stinking mess that had accumulated in many places.  For some before and after photos see  A BigCleanUp

Money Matters
25 new taxes in Greece, and when they will be implemented 25 NEW TAXES
• Explanation of the 1% bank levy from Hara (Mani Money) MayArchive
• Bank withdrawal still limited to 420
/week, but this means up to 840 for joint account holders  MESSAGES
 ​To tip or not to tip in Greece  XpatAthens
• Fact sheets on reforming Greece GreekNewsAgenda

3 New GOV UK leaflets with advice for British Citizens visiting or living in Greece : The Foreign and Commonwealth office has recently published new leaflets with advice on
- What the consulate can and cannot do for you Plus information on tax, healthcare, employment, property and voting
-A ​dvice on personal safety, local customs/culture, drink and drugs, driving, rentals and insurance

(EHIC) Who is entitled to a card, where you can use it and what you can use it for   ADVICE FROM THE FCO

Ex-pat survey about Brexit: Britain will vote on whether to remain in the EU on Thursday 23 June 2016. The Expat Survey team has done a survey on Brexit - The Big BreXpat survey. Results as at April 27th : When asked do you want to stay in the EU or not, the results were  68% IN 32% OUT.  For more results from the survey see 2016 UK Referendum

Creative Tailor in Mani: Emily (a skilled German seamstress) works with a wide range of materials incl. leather, for " ..... everything that I trust myself and my sewing machines to do." From clothing to accessories to soft furnishings for houses, boats and vehicles. Plus sewing lessons and workshops. See alo MAYARCHIVE   Contact Emily by email or call 6976717879 or 

Animal matters
• Alisée Schmucker is organising a Greek Dancing event to rise money for MIAO Details
• A friendly health young dog found - see Lost at Easter? LOST&FOUND
Hektor is lonely since his owwner died, and needs anew  home  LOST&FOUND
The story of Bobo - the Zen guru with the bright eyes now needs a home  BOBO
•  Have you seen  Mia? BACK HOME
 Her owner is worried as she does not usually stray  LOST&FOUND
• Much loved Rolly is still missing  LOST&FOUND

The 6th Nemead- June 11,12th: Like the Olympics, the Nemean Games only happen once every 4 years, but unlike the Olympics, the aims are friendhip and just to take part. No records were kept and no medals  awarded. Families with picnics on the slopes of the stadium are as much a part of the festival as the runners. Races are organized by gender and age, and are interspersed with music and dances. All the participants run barefoot and in ancient tunics which they put on in the ancient locker room. And they enter the stadium through the same tunnel where athletes passed in the 4th century B.C  Nemean Games

Burglaries : After a spate of burglaries between February & April, things seem to have quietened downSince the report of 3 houses in ΜΠΑΖΙΓΕΙΚΑ, (Tzokeika), being broken into on the evening of April 28/29, we have not had any further reports. However, what is still concerning is that all 3 houses had extra security measures, including alarms, bolts & bars on the doors & windows.  THIEVES

Environment Matters
​​• Following a campign by environmentalists, new legislation to change forest maps, has been abandoned ekathimerini
​• CycleHack comes to Kalamata June 24-26th - plans to promote cycling MESSINIAEVENTS
• 2 Greek islands encourage the reduction of plastic bag use ArchiveMay
Heavy fines for growing GM crops in Greece snippets(18/5)
• 'A day in the lagoon' A photographic exhibion  highlighting the unique environmental wealth of Messinia Tharros
• Creative recycling from Ocean Sole - unique gifts  ENVIRONMENT



Gaia Easter Bazaar - May 1st : Despite being rained off half way though, the Easter Bazaar managed to raise € 673  from stall fees €137, cakes €171: drinks €44, donations €101, raffle €144, name the bear €76 - In addition to the money raised for the emergency vehicle fund, the bazaar enabled Gaia volunteers to raised a much needed € 300 for vehicle and equipment maintenance. A further €80 was raised from the raffle and 'name the bear' on 6th and 7th. Judy Lisle won the bear with the name Calix which means handsome in Greek.EASTER BAZAAR


Sea water temperature
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- - - - - See local weather on the live WEBCAM at Asteria Apartments in Ag Dimitrios - - - - -