Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2018 16:55:20 +0200

Athens, Sept 3, 2018 (AFP) - Tourists and locals in Greece were left stranded Monday as ferry workers halted inter-island transport and voted to extend a paralysing strike by 24 hours, union and industry officials said.   A port police official said there were "no maritime connections from the country's principal ports".   The powerful Greek Seamen's Federation (PNO) hailed support for the walkout, and announced the strike would continue from 6 am (0300 GMT) Tuesday until 6 am Wednesday for all categories of boats.

The labour action comes at the tail-end of Europe's summer holiday season, and extra pre-strike ferries were called into action Sunday to move people at the last minute.   Industry body SEEN said the strike had caused "serious problems", leaving tourists stuck on remote islands with no way of making it to the mainland to catch booked flights back home.   The action has also caused a string of cancelled hotel bookings, and halted deliveries of essential goods to the Greek islands.

The PNO launched its work stoppage after bosses rejected demands for a five-percent pay hike following years of austerity and salary freezes as the country emerges from a crippling economic crisis.   Despite two years of booming trade, industry representatives offered a one-percent rise in September, to be followed by another one percent next June.

The strike is the first since Greece emerged last month from three international bailouts and eight years of deep spending cuts.   Although budget cuts remain on the menu, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last week pledge to increase the minimum wage, which had fallen to 586 euros ($680) a month from some 760 euros before the crisis took hold.
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2018 21:10:27 +0200

Athens, Sept 2, 2018 (AFP) - Greek ferries will stay in port Monday, bringing inter-island links to a halt after the powerful federation of Greek seamen called a 24-hour strike over pay demands.   The stoppage comes at the tail end of the summer holiday season and ferry operators laid on extra services Sunday in order to cover weekend demand beforehand.

Highlighting recent pay freezes as Greece emerges from years of austerity, the seamen's PNO union launched the stoppage after bosses failed to agree their demand for a pay rise of five percent.    Despite two years of booming trade only a one-percent rise had been on the table  from September followed by another one percent from next June.

The strike is the first since Greece emerged on August 21 from three international bailouts and eight years of deep spending cuts.   Although budget cuts remain on the menu, Friday saw Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pledge to increase the minimum wage which had fallen to 586 euros ($680) a month from some 760 euros before the crisis took hold.
Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2018 20:19:24 +0200

Athens, Aug 26, 2018 (AFP) - The Greek holiday island of Hydra was without electricity on Sunday, leading to water shortages as the authorities and energy company Dedie scrambled to resume the power supply.   Dedie offered its apologies for the electricity outage which began in the small hours of Sunday morning and continued into the evening despite the efforts to re-establish the supply.   The energy company inspected the island's power network "in difficult conditions" -- cars are banned on the island --  as well as underwater cables which bring the supply onto the island, Dedie said in a statement cited by the Greek ANA press agency.

The lack of electricity affected in turn the water supply and a Greek navy vessel was preparing to transfer water to the island, an official told AFP.   A popular island with weekenders from nearby Athens, a ferry ride away, as well as tourists from further afield.   On Wednesday a power cut hit several parts of the capital Athens for over three hours, disrupting local train and tram traffic.
Date: Thu 16 Aug 2018 22:35 EEST
Source: Ekathimerini [edited]

The number of deaths from the West Nile virus has risen to 5, it emerged on [Thu 16 Aug 2018] as the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (KEELPNO) confirmed that a total of 77 cases of the infection have been recorded in Greece since the beginning of the summer [2018], 17 in the past week.

The death toll rose following the deaths of 2 people, both aged over 70, in the past 2 weeks.

The virus, which is carried by infected mosquitoes, has also spread geographically, with cases reported in 33 municipalities, including the municipality of Athens.

The virus has also infected people in Viotia, Halkidiki, Thessaloniki, Evia, Imathia, Pella, Corinth, Kilkis, and Rethymno on Crete. In most cases, those infected have suffered problems with their central nervous system -- mainly forms of encephalitis or meningitis.

The national federation of Greek hospital workers has accused authorities of "indifference" in response to the rise in cases of the virus.
[West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus causing to humans a variety of symptoms, from asymptomatic or mild infection, to severe, and often fatal, infection of the central nervous system. The 1st outbreak of WNV in Greece was recorded in 2010 and was considered to be the largest epidemic in Europe since the 1996 outbreak in Romania. Most outbreaks in western Europe have been caused by WNV lineage 1. In eastern Europe, however, lineage 2, which emerged in Hungary in 2004, has been responsible for human and bird mortality, particularly in Greece.

The WNV re-emerged and spread to new territories of Greece in 2017 following a 2-year hiatus in reported human cases, according to findings presented at the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID; <>]. During this re-emergence, in the summer and early autumn of 2017, researchers diagnosed 45 cases from blood samples and cerebral spinal fluid from 180 patients. All new cases emerged from southern Greece and most were reported in regions that had not been affected before.

Epidemiological surveillance, intensive mosquito management programmes, and community education about personal protective measures are essential to prevent WNV transmission, especially among susceptible population groups in the identified regions. - ProMED Mod.UBA]

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Greece:
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2018 20:39:57 +0200

Athens, Aug 12, 2018 (AFP) - A large fire broke out Sunday on the Greek island of Evia near Athens, the government said, with two villages evacuated, less than a month after over 90 people died in Greece's worst-ever wildfire.   "The prime minister is in close contact with the interior minister over the large fire in Evia," Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' office said.

Agriculture minister Vangelis Apostolou, who is on the scene, told state agency ANA that fire-fighting forces were bracing for an all-night struggle.   "Forces from the entire region have been transfered here," Apostolou said.   Some 500 people at the local villages of Kontodespoti and Stavros had earlier been evacuated as a precaution.

Some 250 firefighters with 62 fire engines supported by troops are operating in the area, about 92 kilometres (57 miles) north of Athens, officials said.   Greece is still mourning 94 dead from a wildfire that struck the coastal resort of Mati near Athens on July 23. Over 30 people are still in hospital, several in critical condition.   The country's worst fire calamity prompted the resignation or sacking of the heads of the police and fire brigade, in addition to the minister responsible for state security.
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