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Latest News and Views

Here at Brits in Crete you share first hand experiences of those already living here through livelihood articles and professional advice. BritsinCrete.Net has dedicated pages on living on Crete. We guide you with a checklist of things you need to know when you plan to settle in Crete and the Islands of Greece, or plan a long stay including:

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After several years of faithful service, we thought it was finally time to re-vamp the old front page and replace it with a slicker, more topical one.

So what’s new?

We’re refreshing the content and tied it all in with our social media activity, by introducing a fresher and more dynamic “Latest News and Views” section which will keep you informed on what we’re up to and any useful insight we think is worth sharing.

The site gives us a fantastic platform to build on as we aim, as always, to continue to develop our service – so watch this space.

We know how busy you are but if you have a minute, have a browse and see what you think. We’d welcome any feedback and thoughts.

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In December 2012 the School Buildings Organisation [SBO] and the International Union of Architects [UIA] announced the Prize Winners of the international architectural competition "Innovative Bioclimatic European School in Crete, Greece". First prize was awarded to EuZen Architecture Team led by Greek architects Theodora Kyriafini and Fotini Lymperiadou. The Jury Panel, consisting of nine international judges, selected the winner amongst the 134 entries. The Architect Team awarded the first prize will sign a contract with SBO for the next phase of the project in order to implement the detailed design study.

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When the British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans discovered the 4,000-year-old Palace of Minos on Crete in 1900, he saw the vestiges of a long-lost civilization whose artefacts set it apart from later Bronze-Age Greeks. The Minoans, as Evans named them, were refugees from Northern Egypt who had been expelled by invaders from the South about 5,000 years ago, he claimed.

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Jellyfish bloomThe UK Foreign Office has updated its travel advice for Greece, warning that jellyfish blooms have been reported and for people to heed local advice.

Officials have already issued warnings about jellyfish in Mediterranean coastal waters for France and Italy.

But local marine biologists said this year's increase was "no different" from other years and that the blooms consisted of non-stinging species.

 

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Casa Festival2013 will mark the tenth year of The Casa dei Mezzo Music Festival - described by The Sunday Times Online as 'the most unique and intimate classical music Summer festival in Europe' - and the only exciting classical music festival on Crete offering a dynamic programme to complement the fascinating cultural heritage of this magnificent island. The festival lasts for seven days and features 12 concerts. Apart from the free opening concert next to Makrigialos Harbour, all of the other festival events take place at the Villa Casa dei Mezzo in Makrigialos. They are presenting the most daring programme for what they believe to be the most exciting Casa dei Mezzo Music Festival to date, their 10th anniversary.

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nerit-ert-300x148In it's hurry to appear cool, calm and collected and demonstrate that the recent closure of the Greek State Broadcaster ERT was well thought out, the Government announced the name of the new re-vamped state broadcaster NERIT, which stands for New Hellenic Radio Internet and Television complete with logo.

It did however forget the to register the internet domain name prior to this announcement. This resulted in some comedian from the blog Troktiko registering it first and setting up a website broadcasting the current NET news service with the assistance of the Europen Broadcasting Union.

There is also a jibe at the Prime Minister Antonis Samaras suggesting he should try should try “pitsaria-pou-eskise.gr,” a reference to comments by Samaras last year that he ran a pizza shop when he lived in the U.S. while he was in his 20s. The website can be found here

In the past I have known of some Domain Squatters as they are called making several hundreds of thousands from businesses by actions such as these. But in times of austerity I am not sure this one may be so lucky.

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The Greek recovery (whose GDP recently plunged to year 2000 levels) is progressing as expected, however following the latest news out of Greece that its national broadcaster ERT, with 2800 employees, will be shut down, it may no longer be televised. There is hope though: following its shutdown, it will be reopened... eventually...  following a substantial downsizing. It is not clear why ERT had to be shutdown just to fire a few hundred people, although union rules are likely implicated. It is also not clear how long until the process is completed. What is clear is that the local workers are unhappy and have already resorted to that favorite Greek pastime: protesting. But at least we still have the Euro.

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Greece GDP troika 0As has been widely reported in somewhat surprising news, the IMF admitted that not only is it an idiot (this was public knowledge) but also a liar (curious, as no "serious people" do this in polite company and certainly not publicly).

Subsequently, it released the full 51 page report about its treatment of Greece. Those who are inclined to read the IMF's admission that all the allegations about the international agency's credibility, competence and corruption (which, as it implicitly admits, was also using taxpayer funds from around the world to preserve the way of life for a few parasitic and unelected European technocratic dictators). But perhaps the funniest is that the "world's bailout organization" (at least in the days before the New Normal) is actually charging $18.00 for every hard copy of the report in which it admits it was morally (if not financially, at least not yet) bankrupt.

So wasting hundreds of billions in taxpayer funds to preserve a broken monetary model and the wealth of a few good bankers is acceptable, but when it comes to attaching a stamp to a letter, the IMF is suddenly prudent and responsible?

Just when one thinks the IMF can't shock any more, they go ahead and fully redeem themselves.

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c737dd031a33b8d5-COFFEEMASTERsmallThis is the latest work from the Omnikron Project. (click it to see full size) I am a big fan of theirs. They are a volunteer group that aim to show the world the untold side of Greece's crisis, and crush the negative stereotypes of the country. They have produced some excellent material in the past year which I have put in a gallery here.

This poster is the result of a study they carried out between March and April 2013 to map all the grassroots movements in Greece who are stepping in where the system is failing. It shows all the groups that are currently active in Greece, split into nine categories from neighbourhood assemblies to education movements to alternative micro-economies, with information on each group and details of an example group in each category.

These groups were all verified by them as grassroots, explicitly not-for-profit, Greece-based and active as of May 2013. If you notice any errors or omissions, let them know and they'll make the necessary changes to the list , as well as in the next version of the poster!

Like all their productions, this poster is made available under the Creative Commons license.

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olive-oil-eu 2571212bLike so many debacles in the EU, it started with the unelected European Commission. It’s immune to voters, but not to lobbyists and corporations. Under the guise of “consumer protection” or “food safety” or some other harmless moniker, it generates zany laws that tend to benefit large corporations. But last week, it went too far, even for Europeans – not that we don’t already have enough crises on our hands. It passed a law that banned restaurants from serving olive oil in refillable containers, such as cruets or dipping bowls.

On January 1, 2014, their use would become illegal. Instead, olive oil would have to be served in a one-use-only bottle, labeled in accordance with EU standards, and equipped with a tamper-proof “hygienic” spout. A restaurant owner in Greece, for example, who buys his special olive oil from an artisan producer in Crete, would be out of luck; that small producer wouldn’t be able to comply with the costly stipulations. The restaurant would have to switch to an industrial supplier that can ship the special restaurant bottles with their tamper-proof spout and EU label. The small producer would be cut out.

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Battle of CreteIn May each year, the island of Crete, and many Greek Communities around the World hold remembrance celebrations of the Battle of Crete - a battle which lasted for 11 days, from the 20th to the 31st of May 1941, and was one of the most significant battles of the Second World War..

This year is the 72nd Anniversary of that epic battle, and as always, some of the last surviving veteran soldiers of the battle are in Crete along with representatives of the allied governments to remember and pay tribute to all those heroes, both military and civilians, who fought and died so the rest of the world could be free, to honour and to be honoured...

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