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

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

Discounts on ΔΕΗ electricity bills: In times when prices are going up everywhere, all discounts are welcome. Since July 2016, it is possible to save 15% on your ΔΕΗ electricity bill - simply by paying on time. As described on the ΔΕΗ website (15% discount). This discount will be deducted from your next bill if you pay before the due date shown on the invoice.  It is also possible to pay online, INCLUDING from your bank account in another EU country. The banking details for SEPA transfers are described on YOUR ELECTRICITY ACCOUNT page.   (24-4-17)

Electricity bill shock: Soaring PPC accounts have been  arriving in the last month, causing distress to consumers. Complaints are arriving from everywhere. eg  A single-person household that used a single panel for heating all winter received a PPC account with the total amount payable of €500. A household of two people who usually pay € 180 at this time of year,  received a €375 euro bill. However, the increases are mostly NOT because of increased consumption, but the adjustable charge of SGI (services of general interest) The SGI tariff methodology, approved by law in 2012, provides  a tiered charge based on the quarterly consumption, and the rate goes up as consumption increases . For consumption up to 1,600 kilowatt hours in 4 months, the SGI costs € 0.00699/ kWh, but over 3,000 kilowatt hours the rate is up to € 0.04488/ kilowatt hour, and the pricing for all your consumption is calculated at the highest consumption rate you reach!  Tharros  (22-4-17)

Donation of 143 ambulances from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation : The Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced details of the new donation in the health sector to the National Center of Emergency (Ambulance), amounting to 14 million euros.. The donation is part of the Initiative Against Crisis and covers  the supply of 143 ultra-modern ambulance vehicles and their full maintenance for eight years. However, the aim of SNF is to  support and supplement  the institutions to address important needs, and not their replenishment. The vehicles will be available in all regions of Greece, the islands of the Aegean and Ionian Sea, in order to meet the basic need for open access to secondary and tertiary care of all tharros (22-4-17)

Road improvements section Stoupa - Ag. Nikon, completion extension to the end of May :The project involves maintenance/improvement of the road from Kalamitsi to Ag. Nikon. It is particularly important, as it is the only road connecting Kalamata to Mani region and therefore receives traffic volume, especially in the summer months.  The original completion deadline expired in March 2016 and was extended to March 2017. This project encountered problems relating to section Stoupa - Ag. Nikon namely from Kalamitsi to Nomitsi. They have only been interventions in the most dangerous positions. Kalogria : 90% of the project has been completed and the remaining construction of the widening of Kalogria road requires the movement of a PPC pole and fencing, the main reason for the delayed completion Tharros (22-4-17)

Burning prohibited in rural areas from May 1st  -The Governor of the Regional Fire Management issued the Peloponnese No. 1/2017 Fire provision, which concerns the calculation of the time limits for the use of fire in forests, grassland and farmland. Among other things, from May 1, 2017 to October 31 2017,  burning on agricultural land is prohibited without authorization from the competent fire department and the necessary security measures. kalamata gr (20-4-17)

Two Greek microsatellites launched on April 18th: Two Greek construction microsatellites, the UPSat and DUTHSat, the first from the south and the second from northern Greece were launched along with 26 other similar microsatellites, from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The Microsatellites (CubeSats -as is the common name) were transferred onto a rocket-carrier «Atlas V», destined for the International Space Station (ISS). Due to successive technical problems in the hydraulic rocket "Atlas" systems, the firing was postponed several times. The microsatellite UPSat, the first is open source and free software, developed by researchers from the Polytechnic School of the University of Patras. The "little brother" of UPSat, the DUTHSat, was built at the Polytechnic School of Democritus University of Thrace. These satellites, despite their small size, have a variety of sophisticated sensors and will be used for data collection and study of the upper layer of Earth's atmosphere.  The 28 microsatellites  will be launched one after another into space, in order to start their scientific work. Watch the launch of the rocket «Atlas V» with the Greek microsatellites on YouTube Orbital ATK’s Cygnus Cargo Spacecraft Launches to the ISS - Tharros (19-4-17)

Alternative methods of using wind energy : Following concerns about the huge wind farm installations proposed for the Mani, WIND TURBINES IN MANI, and the reference to the wind turbines being 'old' technology, Helen Suddards has investigated some of the new,  alternative ways of harnessing wind energy, that are more environmentally friendly. These are VORTEX , ENERGY KITES and WIND TREES for details see Wind power surges ahead (16-4-17)

New Primary Health Care Units for K'mata : The universal coverage of health needs, equal access of citizens to services and financial protection of citizens, currently paying out of their pocket, are the key growth drivers of Primary Health planning by the Health Ministry. The new system will be launched in 62 regions, the development of 240 Local Health Units, covering 25% of the population. Local Units will be staffed with a total of 3,053 young doctors (general, internists, pediatricians) and nurses, social workers and health visitors. Offering holistic care, with emphasis on prevention and health education. The Kalamata Municipality will assist the Health Region to find space to operate clinics in Kalamata, as soon as possible. The new system annual operating costs are estimated at EUR 1.5 million for Kalamata, and the funding will come initially from EU funds. As the system gradually expands, national resources will be used , as the aim is for "the new Primary Health Care System is for it to constitute an integral part of the NHS. "  Tharros  Note: More about the new scheme in  GreekNews Agenda (13-4-17)

Increasing International reputation of the Kalamata Archaeometry Laboratory : It was founded in 2009 by Professor Nikos Zacharias, as part of the department of History, Archeology and Cultural Management. The laboratory has a modern equipped laboratory at European level, and offers an English Language Masters course to students who previously went to the UK to study, and hosted the "World Congress of Archaeometry" in 2016, sponsored by the Karelia Foundation. The basic equipment of the Archaeometry Laboratory includes six stereo microscopes, a petrography-metallographic microscope, XRF device, material processing plants, and a scanning electron microscope which makes both magnifications up to 100,000 times while analyzing objects. Since its establishment, the Laboratory has teamed with universities and research groups from Italy, Germany, Oxford, Spain, America, Australia. Professor Nikos Zacharias is continuing to develop the facilities and reputation, with an Underwater Archeology Laboratory, and plans for three self-funded graduate programs for the department, within five years, making Kalamata a top destination providing higher quality education. Tharros  (11-4-17)

Taygetos Challenge featured on Greek 'Skyrunners': This year, The Taygetos Challenge in Kardamyli was the first of a series of 7 'Skyrunners' races , organized by Salomon and sponsored by Cosmote TV. A video promoting Skyrunners, gives a good impression of the Kardamyli Event (April 7) . Skyrunning Greece. For running enthusiasts the other 6 events are April 23 Parnassus Path, May 29 Ursa Trail Metsovo, June 24 Olympus Marathion, July 22 Zagori Mountain running, Sep17 Ypati Hercules Marathon and Oct 1 Alpamay pro trailrace Parnitha. For more about Skyrunning see skyrunner gr ( 9-4-17)

Free museum Days in Greece : Greece, being so rich in history and culture, not surprisingly has some of the best museums in the world! Below are dates and days with free admission to museums and archaelogical sites in Greece!
April 18 - International Day of Monuments, May 18 - International Museum Day, June 5 - World Environment Day
Additional Days : All Sundays from November 1 to March 31, Οfficial holidays, and the 1st Sunday of each month, except for the months of July, August and September XpatAthens ( 8-4-17)

The Forest Maps saga continues : Because of the continuing problems associated with the new forest maps, a further extension has been made to the time during which objections can be submitted. The Forest Department Messinia wrote to the Municipality of Kalamata, saying that any objections to the forest map Messinia can be submitted until May 8 Monday. For residents abroad, the deadline is Monday May 29th.Tharros Nearly a year ago, in May 2016, controversial changes to forest maps were abandoned after a protest campaign Ekathimerini, but the isue did not go away. In January 2017 the issue hit the headlines, when new draft maps were published ArchiveJan, and protests have continued ever since. On March 3rd, About 1,000 Maniots, from Athens, Gytheio, Areopolis, Stoupa, Kardamili and Kambos held a protest rally in Athens  ArchiveMar ,and this week there have been public meetings in Kambos and Kardamyli snippets (4/4) (8-4-17)

Cause of recent plane noise : Starting on March 27th, an 11 day international Air Force training exercise has created an unusual amount of plane noise in Mani. Pilots from Israel and the United Arab Emirates have been flying alongside one another as part of a Greek air force training exercise.
The United States and Italy are also taking part in the this year’s ' Iniohos' exercise, the Hellenic Air Force announced on its website. The 11-day drill will consist of “complex air operations” and also include naval and ground forces haf gr (5-4-17)

Kalamata "Green Points" for garden waste to start from April 3rd: 6 "Green Points" have been set up in urban Kalamata , and land owners warned that if they do not clear their land, and those who disregard this, will be faced not only with a financial penalty specified by the municipality, but may also be sued by the Fire Dept. However, those unable to cleanse the land themselves can get help from the municipality. The "Green Points" for pruning gardens and fields, become operational in East Center, in West Center, the nursery of the municipality, in Nedonta, in Municipal Railway Park near the lake, in the Industrial Park, and the site of the new City Hall. The product from the crushing of the waste will be used by the municipality as a soil improver for the flower beds in public areas. The "Green Points" will be fenced with green shading net, so there is no visual pollution, and will have information signs for the world. Already 70 notices have been issued to land owners who need to clear their land, and thes include a number who live abroad.  kalama journal (5-4-17)

New 'Common Quiet Hours' In Greece : The Greek Police have announced the seasonal common 'quiet hours,' with the summer season beginning April 1st. Summer Period (April 1st through September 30th): 15:00 - 17:30 & 23:00 - 07:00 Winter Period (October 1st through March 31st): 15:30 - 17:30 & 22:30 - 07:30 Offenders of this particular law, should be reported to the Police. The complainant,  if they choose, can make a report in writing.. xpatathens (5-4-17)

More local protest meetings re Forest maps: The Mani Protest Committee is continuing its campaign "...to correct the injustice taking place against Mani property, on the forest maps." Everyone everywhere is being called to support Mani , and protest gatherings are planned for Wednesday, April 5, at 8.00 pm in the main square of Kambos, Avia and an open meeting Friday, April 7, at 8:00 pm, in the main square of Kardamili These events will be collecting signatures and fundraising to cover the costs of the appeal to the State Council, which has already been done, Mani will not bow its head in much difficult times - the struggle continues. Tharros 
Click on image to enlarge >>> (4-4-17)

New competition for handling garbage in W Mani : For another year there is a risk of trash in the streets! The project budget is €248,000 and the submission of tenders began on March 29th, and will be closed on April 20th . Meanwhile at a recent Council Meeting it was decided to extend the declaration of a state of emergency for a period of 6 months more, for public health and environmental protection reasons, because of garbage. Last year the the first open competition for waste disposal in West Mani, was unsuccessful and ended in the state of emergency that has been in force for nearly a year already. tharros (3-4-17)

Patrick Leigh Fermor's house in Kalamitsi can still be visited until the end of April. Scheduled visits will take place every Thursday at 17:00 and every Saturday at 11:00, upon arrangement with the Benaki Museum. After that, preparation for the long awaited repair works will start. The architectural survey has been approved by the Board of Architecture of the Peripheral Unit of Kalamata and the required certificate from the Forest Inspection Service has been issued. However, changes in the procedures have occurred due to the recent completion of the Forest Mapping Program, which is now in effect for the region of Messinia, causing delays to the issuing of the final permit, - at the same time, the project tendering is being prepared. See UPDATES on The house of Patrick and Joan Leigh Fermor(Benaki Museum) (1-4-17)

SNIPPETS FROM THE PREVIOUS MONTH ARE IN THE MONTHLY ARCHIVE


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