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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

New advertiser on the Parea sti Mani website,  AUDENSA FINANCIAL.  We were contacted by a local property owner in Pigi,  Nathalie Monnot, who is an FX consultant with Audensa, about the possibility of advertising this company which offers regular advice on financial matters, especially currency transfers  using the advantages of the  FX market.  If you would like to know more, contact Virginie on 0203 582 3957  or www.audensa.com (Audensa Financial is an FCA authorised currency specialist based in the City of London)   (22-6-17 JvK)

Audensa Financial

Limitations on the collection of herbs. The forestry service in Kalamata have imposed limits on the herbs that can be picked and the period in which picking is allowed. These measures apply to areas deemed 'forestry' land and are designed to preserve many of the indigenous herbs and plants which are threatened with extinction. Picking is forbidden until after the flowering season of the plant. The herbs/ plants specified are: Oregano, Sage, Peppermint, St John's Wort, Savory, Thyme (although there may be others!). For personal use, each individual is allowed to pick 2 kilos of Oregano and 1 kilo of any of the others. For professional use the quantities are increased to 20 kilos of Oregano and 10 kilos of any of the others however a professional licence must be obtained from the Forestry service in Kalamata and any application for this year must be submitted by 30/6/17. Plants where picking is absolutely forbidden include: Taygetus mountain tea (Sideritis Clandestina), Diktamo (Oregano dictammus) and Taygetus Oregano. Tharros  (21/6/17 HS)

Increase in interest in real estate market in Messinia...latest figures from the bank of Greece as reported in Kathemerini and Tharros indicate, based on the transfer of funds from abroad for property purchases, there is a 61.7% increase in the first quarter of 2017. Based on the current rate, more than €430 million euros could be invested from abroad in the Greek property market this year . The figures are for the whole of Greece but Messinia is mentioned as one of the main places of interest. The major countries involved are Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and the Scandinavian countries.
Tharros (21/6/17 HS)

open theatre kalamata
New open air theatre planned for Kalamata:  To be funded by the NSRF, (the Operational Program "Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development 2014-2020"), the Open Theater of Kalamata will have a capacity of about 2,000 seats. Next to the Open Theater there will be hundreds of parking spaces (the Central Market and close to it), while the public will have the opportunity to access the theater on foot. The plan includes maintaining existing trees, and the location and  planting of trees shading the traffic areas to enhance the pleasant microclimate of the location. The  perimeter walking paths will be widened with sitting areas to rest , so that the area can become a functional space for outdoor cultural events. There will be a single-storey building of 350 m2, with planted roofs. This and other measures will be used to maintain a natural environment. Kalamata journal (21-6-17)
sea elf
"Elf of the Sea"  The sculpture entitled "Elf of the Sea" by Dionysis Gerolymatou has been moved from the marina to the seashore of East Beach Kalamata, opposite the reconstructed square of the Church of the Resurrection. The sculpture was created during the symposium of sculpture "Kalamata 2000" and is now located next to the south sidewalk of Navarino road, resting on pebbles. The new position is directly related to the waves of the sea and highlights. There, on the seaside promenade the sculpture will become a reference point   for the city's residents and visitors. messiniablogspot  (18-6-17)
Click image to enlarge

Receipt lottery to launch by the end of the month: From late June,  50 lucky Greek shoppers who use their credit or debit cards for payments at stores across the country, will win credit for future purchases as the Finance Ministry tries to contain the drop in tax revenues by adding to the incentives to make consumers ask for receipts.  Consumers who pay by card will automatically stand the chance of earning free credit for their next purchases, which will depend on the amount they spent. For example, a consumer who pays a bill of €40 and gets a “2” multiplier on the retailers’ card terminal will get € 80’ worth of credit for future use. Once a week there will also be a draw offering credit of €500-1,000 for one lucky consumer.  Ekathimerini   (14-6-17)

According to recent tax returns, Messinia is almost the poorest prefecture of the Peloponnese. In 2015 the average reported income was € 10,935 , and in 2016, it was down to €9,734. However, in view of the general feeling that there are signs of improvement in the economic situation in Messinia, there is some doubt that this is the true situation. But the Finance Ministry pointed out that  because inhabitants declare much less income does not necessarily mean that citizens evade taxes, although it can be a factor.  It is, however, challenging that some people continue to " fall below the radar "of tax authorities, and  take social benefits while at the same time having a "black income" while there are taxpayers who cannot hide a single euro, such as, for example , employees and retirees.  Tharros (14-6-7)

Further work needed on the main road from Kalamata: This particular road is of great importance, as the only Kalamata route connecting with the wider area of Mani and which consequently has a large traffic volume, especially in the summer months. However, the road is old with many problems and restoration require large expenditures, and the work completed so far, has encountered problems related to Koskaraka bridge  up to Kardamili. Necessarily interventions were made only in the most dangerous places because of limited funding, but work will continue until the end of June.Tharros (14-6-17)

Serious earthquake between Chios & Lesbos: One dead, more than12 injured transferred to hospitals, and dozens with minor injuries, plus enormous damage to homes, is the tragic account of the large earthquake that occurred at noon on Monday June 12th in the sea area between Lesvos and Chios. According to the Euro-Mediterranean Geodynamic Institute, the earthquake was magnitude 6.3 on the Richter scale, while since that time there have been over 22 aftershocks in the region. Tharros (13-6-17)

Children take Trump to court over climate issues:  AVAAZ is asking for financial support  to help them. "One lawsuit could stop Trump wrecking our planet. And here’s the kicker -- it’s a case brought by 21 children! A US court ruled that 21 young people suing the US government have a constitutional right to a safe climate. Now, a Federal court will hear their case against the President! If they win, Trump will be forced to rein in the fossil fuel industry! This case could change everything.  These courageous children and their case could be our last, best chance to stop Trump’s war on our planet."  AVAAZ   Back the Climate Children  (11-6-17)

Bureaucracy for home sale transactions increases: It can take as long as 3 months to complete a property transaction in Greece, particularly when it comes to countryside homes. The main reason is the huge bureaucracy the process entails, as a transaction requires from 10 to 23 certificates and documents, a figure that grows with each legislative intervention, instead of diminishing. The recent  and on-going controversy about the new forest maps, has only added to the delays. Ekathimerini  ( 10-6-17)

Greek pensions not enough to cover costs of medicines, bills and food:  According to a survey conducted by the United Pensioners network, three in every four pensioners already find themselves financially crippled, while upcoming cuts to pensions combined with bailout interventions in their allowances are expected to lead to a total reduction of pensioners’ incomes by up to 70 % by 2019. New main pensions will not exceed €655 per month for average-paid workers. 74% of the total figure of 2.89 million pensioners, have to make ends meet on monthly pensions that do not exceed €1,000 Ekathimerini (10-6-17)

Gargaliani School campaign against plastic bags They have designed and produced cloth bags to replace plastic bags. The bags have just arrived and ... ".... as Parent clubs, kindergarten and 2nd grade we continue with our campaign against plastic bags. Today we handed out cloth bags with the 'no plastic' logo, to all the students of 2nd grade. Next step is to remove plastic bags from the fence! Come with your scissors on Monday (12th) morning at 09:00!
More pictures on  stavroula.nikoloudi (9-6-17)

Stricter criteria for unemployment benefit: According to reports a decision taken on May 26th, means stricter criteria for receiving unemployment benefit. The new decision is a huge blow for hundreds of thousands of unemployed people who have been outside the labor market and lose essentially, the right of sporadic/casual employment..  It is estimated that the implementation of this measure will further enhance the' black' work. Tharros  (9-6-17)

open spaces for earthquake survivalIn the event of an earthquake….The municipality of Kalamata civil protection office has issued information on the local open spaces where inhabitants of Kalamata should collect in the event of an earthquake. Tharros (HS 9-6-17)
Note: If your house has been built to withstand earthquakes, then hiding under solid pieces of furniture such as a table may be appropriate. Otherwise the ‘triangle of life’ curling up into  foetal position alongside solid furniture might be a better option. For further information refer to our Earthquake Survival page.

Ag Nikolaos - Bird's eye view and potted history : "Agios Nikolaos is a picturesque fishing village in Messinian Mani. It lies in the municipality of Lefktro and is located 49 km southeast of Kalamata. The picturesque scenery has made Agios Nikolaos a popular holiday destination in recent years. Ag. Nikolaos is a relatively new village. First inhabited during the period 1830-1840. Built right next to the beach, in one of the few lowland areas of the Municipality, it  forced its inhabitants to engage exclusively in fishing and trade by exchanging fish with other products in neighboring villages.
The first name of the village was Selinitsa, meaning little Moon or little Helen. According to myth, Paris landed on the beach in the area and grabbed the beautiful Helen. The area of ​​Ag. Nikolaos is the same as the ancient Pefnos. Opposite the neighboring village of Ag. Dimitrios, there is the island of Pefnos, where, according to mythology, the Dioscuri (Castor & Pollux) were born
". Agios Nikolaos Manis  YOUTUBE  (7-6-17)

Oil exploration in the Ionian Sea….Several areas have been identified in the Ionian Sea for potential oil exploration. This includes an area in the Gulf of Kiparissia (block 10) and an area south of Cape Tainaron (block 11). The environmental impact assessment for block 10 was discussed on the 22nd of May by the Regional Council of Patras and following the agreement to proceed, the exploration rights will be put out to tender. On 17th of March an exploration rights deal was signed for block 2 (an area west of Corfu), this awaits approval by the Court of Auditors and the Greek parliament. The same consortium (Hellenic Petroleum, Total and Edison) hope to sign a deal for block 10 shortly. However, matters may be delayed, because it has been reported that 'Greece launches gas and oil exploration in the Ionian Sea without Albania’s consent' !  Tirana today  Other sources include Tharros   which shows the areas involved (HS 5-6-17)

Penny Marathon logo competition result :Respected Greek actress and stray animal advocate Joyce Evidi was the esteemed judge of the Penny Marathon’s 2017 Children’s Drawing Competition. As she said herself, with close to 240 unique and insightful entries from children from Greece, Hungary and the Netherlands, it was next to impossible to decide on the winner.  “Truthfully, I made a decision with a lot off difficulty based on the drawings I saw … The three specific ones I chose touched me a little more than the others and had less complexity with regard to their being printed on tshirts. I went crazy for that orange cat, created by quite a talented and sweet little artist with a bright future …. I adore the drawing with the big hug and went crazy for the cat drawn by Faoudi, a young refugee, whose drawing spoke to my soul.(3-6-17)
The Penny Marathon will take place in Kalamata and other Greek cities as well as in Sydney, Australia on July 16  Penny Marathon competition

Music in Kalamata: On May 6th, the symphony orchestra and choir of the Music School of Kalamata created a 'Flash mob '
The performance, 'Come to the music' took place  on Aristomenous Pedestrian Street  outside the City Hall Building. It was sponsored by the  Municipality of Kalamata. Gradually as more musicians came to join the solo cellist, more and more passers-by stopped to watch and listen, until a big crowd had gathered
YouTube Music Flash mob Kalamata  (3-6-17)


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