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Government announced austerity plan

» PM: “Sacrifices will Bear Fruits”

The government announced yesterday an additional set of measures bound to slash the double-digit public deficit.
Speaking yesterday at a Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Papandreou said that the emphasis is now shifting to what the European Union will do. 
The new measures aim at bringing into public coffers some €4.8 billion, amount which corresponds to 2% of the country’s GDP.  

» Pay Cuts

In particular, the new measures include a 30% pay cut of public sector’s supplements allocated annually, and a 12% across the board cut of public servants’ benefits. Moreover, subsidies to public entities and their social security funds will be reduced by 10%.
Any additional remuneration in the public sector will be trimmed by 50%, and compensation for overtime work will shrink by 30%.

Executive bonuses in the public sector will be abolished and the Public Investment Budget will be curtailed by 5% (€500 million). As of 2011, the ratio for public sector hirings will be one for every five retirees.

» Taxation

VAT is expected to rise at all cases by an average 1% to 2% and an extra levy on fuel, cigarettes, liqueur and luxury products will be imposed.
A one-off tax of 1% on personal incomes above €100.000 will also be introduced, together with a 15% rise in taxation of offshore companies’ real estate property.
Kathimerini daily: Further Cuts and Tax Hikes Announced


Theodore Kyriakou – The Chef who Changed the Image of Greek Food

(www.minpress.gr) Athens-born Chef Theodore Kyriakou has changed the image of a Greece’s food  in the UK. In 1999 Kyriakou opened  in London the Real Greek, a restaurant specialising in the kind of food his mother used to make: by recreating many of the dishes he remembered, he introduced authentic Greek cuisine to a new audience, showning that Greek food can be fresh and vibrant, not oily and third-rate. Deciding to try something new, Kyriakou sold his restaurant business and chartered a sailing boat to take friends on a  tour of the Aegean. The result is a new book of his recipes, A Culinary Voyage Around the Greek Islands, all cooked and photographed on board. He admits that many of his dishes are not traditionally Greek: “My mother wouldn’t recognise them.” But they do feature Greek ingredients cooked in a Greek style: without fuss. “Our food is simple. When you have stunning tomatoes, great olive oil, lovely feta, what more do you need?” 
 Theodore Kyriakou: Greek voyage to vibrancy (Telegraph.co.uk, 13.06.2008)  
 The best Greek island tavernas (Times Online, 09.06.2008)