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One this page we put small items of news/information that may be of interest. They will be in order of receipt with the most recent first. If you have any news/links you would like to share, send them to claire4parea@gmail.com

Kalamata proposed as European Youth Capital 2020: Kalamata was a finalist in the bid to be European Capital of Culture 2021, and the organisers were disappointed that Kalamata did not win. However, with the valuable legacy of organization and effort of that was made for that bid, Manolis Makaris has proposed that the city applies to be "European youth capital" in 2020. Receiving the title 'European Youth Capital' would be a unique opportunity for the city of Kalamata. Bringing young people to the fore, enhances self confidence and The European Youth Capital is a rather new but very successful institution. The title of 'European Youth Capital' is given by the European Youth Forum to a European city for a whole year, during which are organized activities for young people related to cultural, sporting, social, political and economic life. Among other ideas, it includes cultural events (concerts, exhibitions, sports events, discussions and Colloquium) and meetings of voluntary youth organizations from across Europe in cooperation with the European Youth Forum. Tharros (16-1-17)

Chance for the public to correct revised forest maps: On January 23rd, the two-month period starts for submitting objections to the new Forest Charter of Messinia, now officially posted. During the revision period, the inhabitants of the interior and exterior can submit objections to the plans. Last day for objections from the inhabitants of the interior is March 23rd of 2017, while for residents abroad, it is April 12th 2017. The submission of objections relates exclusively to the nature or form of a displayed woodland area and not to ownership. In particular, objections may be submitted either because an area is classified forest or grassland or rocky or stony area (and is not) or vice versa. There will be a transition period, while the objections are reviewed, during which time matters relating to land use will be suspended. Tharros (16-1-17)

Success of RED bin clothes recycling in Kalamata : According to information provided by the RECYCOM company, which recycles the clothing and footwear deposited by citizens in the RED bins, Kalamata ranked 2nd out of a total of 18 municipalities nationwide. In 2016, the clothing-footwear recycling company RECYCOM received 35 tonnes of clothing-footwear overall, from the bins placed in Kalamata, thereby contributing to establishing a sound recycling network and co-responsibility awareness culture, which is a prerequisite for sustainable development. This is 12 tonnes more than in 2015. The company gave the City Grocery 1,910 various pieces of food and hygiene items (eg legumes, pasta, flour, sugar, bleach, coffee, olive oil, etc.) The company continues to contribute goods to the Municipality of Kalamata in order to help more needy families. tharros (15-1-17)

Foreign plates carry risk of high fines: Temporary circulation of vehicles in Greece with foreign plates is legal provided certain conditions are fulfilled, such as being in Greece for no more than six months of the year and that their owner’s main residence is outside Greece. If owners of cars with plates from other European Union states do not meet these requirements, they face fines of between 2,500 and 10,000 euros, while in the case of vehicles with plates from third countries, the owners may be charged with smuggling and face a fine three times the cost of vehicle registration and tax payments in Greece. Their vehicles will also be confiscated Ekathimerini (15-1-17)

E-spending discount details are out - Some people still need to keep paper receipts! :The Finance Ministry has finally issued a list detailing the types of electronic spending – credit and debit cards, e-banking and money forwarding – that will count toward the income tax discount granted to most taxpayers as of this year. Non-Greek EU citizens are exempt from the measure even if they submit an income tax declaration in Greece....BUT....Crucially, as the measure exempts those aged 70 and over, those with a disability rate of 80% or more, and non-Greeks who are citizens of European Union or European Economic Area countries who pay income tax in Greece, they will still have to collect paper receipts to secure a tax discount. Ekathimerini (14-1-17)

New demonstrations and blockades from 23 January: Farmers in response to the new tax and social security burdens, are planning new demonstrations and blockades from 23 January. From January 1st 2017 they will have to pay 14% of their income for contributions to pension, 17% in 2018 and 20% in 2019. Many farmers are already suffering because " Right now the biggest problem is that there is no production. Both in the olive crops and citrus, which are the two big "packages" of the Peloponnese, there is no production. " When there is no production, they cannot pay taxes, cannot pay insurance contributions, cannot live as farmers. Tharros (12-1-17)

Ban on hunting for a week. It has just been announced that there will be a ban on hunting throughout Greece, which will take immediate effect, and last until January 18th. This is because of the need to take emergency measures for the protection of all species of wildlife, due to ongoing adverse weather conditions (snow, long and intensive, total frost, habitat area reduction due to snow cover, etc.) affecting all living species. Some restrictions may continue for the rest of the hunting season tharros (11-1-17)

New Design for the SUNNYCLIST: Sunnyclist, the world's greenest vehicle, continues to evolve. Having won awards already, with the basic design, they hope to have the improved version on the market by the summer of 2017. " We work hard to fulfill our promise and offer an uncompromised new design. It took us longer but we think it was worth it. So here is the new look of the improved Sunnyclist that you will be able to drive the second quarter of 2017." SUNNYCLIST (Greek & English) There were 3 original models, ranging from €6500 to €6984 +VAT For details of how the project evolved from an idea in 2011 see project. They have also produced a fully functional miniature - an exciting educational toy for children Sunnyclist miniature (8-1-17)

All shops should accept card payments by February 1st:: Businesses that accept payment cards are required by February 1, 2017 to inform consumers about the acceptance of cards as a means of payment, and show clearly so that is not open to misinterpretation and to indicate the information at the entrance of the store. Those who violate this obligation will have an administrative fine of 1,000 euros imposed. tharros (6-1-17)

Quicker consensual divorce: While previously the waiting time for consensual divorces exceeded a year, now the process could be completed in less than half an hour, as the parties will not need to go to court at all. The notary, who will issue the necessary deed without further formalities, will be responsible for consensual divorces. Under the new arrangements promoted by the notarial act, custody and care of the children, and communication of divorced parents, can be agreed, so bureaucracy can be done away with . tharros (6-1-17)

Winter Sales: The winter sales start on Monday January 9 and will last until Tuesday, February 28. tharros  (6-1-17)

PsM income from advertising in 2016 : Thank you to everyone who used the Parea sti Mani website to advertise your goods and services. In 2016 we raised €1315 for the community. This includes €125 from 'small' ads. Most of the money went to Gaia, for their vehicle appeal, repair fund, or appeal for needy local families, but we were also able to make small contributions to the Ag Nikolaos sports field fund, and MIAO. (4-1-17)

NOMAD Christmas Delivery - A Success story ' Our final departure of the year (which we call the "Christmas Truck") had a record number of customers' goods this time, with almost 120 different families depending on us to deliver to Greece and the island of Crete in particular, before Christmas, not to mention several customers who we were moving to and from Greece with all of their worldly goods! We had planned for months for this, only to have our plans scuppered as our truck was stuck for more than a week, unable to move due to the strike! BUT thankfully some quick thinking and hard work by our team, led to a solution being found, and the truck arrived in Crete in time for our Crete Express customers to collect their Christmas presents, groceries and shopping before the Christmas holidays.' Note: NOMAD support several Greek Charities (4-1-17) NOMADnews

Response to Greece's public health meltdown : Data and anecdote, backed up by doctors and trade unions, suggest that Greece is in the midst of a public health meltdown. Figures released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recently revealed that about 10% of patients in Greece were at risk of developing potentially fatal hospital infections, with an estimated 3,000 deaths attributed to them. Although the data referred to outbreaks between 2011 and 2012 – the last official figures available – Giannakos (head the Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Employees) said the problem had only got worse Acknowledging the shortfalls, the government announced last month that it planned to appoint more than 8,000 doctors and nurses in 2017. theguardian (3-1-17)

Over 100 migrant arrivals on Greek islands in 24 hours :A total of 112 migrants and refugees landed on Greek shores in the first 24 hours of 2017, with 46 arriving on the eastern Aegean island of Chios and another 66 on Samos. While they were mainly from Syria, 11 different nationalities were represented. Ekathimerini (3-1-17)

Increase in indirect taxes from January 1st : From January 1st, a number of indirect taxes, have come into force which will extract more than € 1 billion from consumer pockets. These increase include :-
Excise duty on fuel : Petrol 3 c / liter, diesel the charge reaches 8 c / liter and on diesel LPG 10 c / liter.
Coffee : At least 10c / cup, and around 25% on average rate for coffee packets purchased off the shelf
Cigarettes: At least 50c/ packet of cigarettes, €1 on a pouch of tobacco. Also an extra charge on the liquid for electronic cigarettes.
Telephony bills: 6% increase on land lines and internet Tharros (2-1-17)


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