July 31, 2013 |
LONDON - The number of jobless workers in the 17 nations that use the euro dropped very slightly in June, but unemployment remains at a record rate as the currency zone continues to grapple with a lingering recession, statistics released Wednesday show. Nearly 19.27 million people were out of work in the Eurozone in June, the European Union's statistical office reported . That's 24,000 fewer than in May , a marginal improvement that did not impact the overall jobless rate, which has held steady since March at a record 12.1%.
July 17, 2013 |
ATHENS - Bowing to pressure from international lenders, Greece on Wednesday moved to put more than 25,000 state workers on notice for dismissal by the end of the year in the first official winnowing of its costly civil sector. The legislation, backed by 153 lawmakers in the 300-member Parliament, was needed to unlock rescue funds and ease fresh fears of fiscal derailment in the bailed-out country. The workers will be given an opportunity to find other public employment, so the plan does not necessarily mean that all those who receive notice will lose their jobs.
June 20, 2013 |
Sixty years after leaving destitute Greece to pursue the quintessential immigrant's dream of striking it rich in America, Eftichios “Van” Vlahakis is back trying to do business in his again-impoverished homeland. Vlahakis, who at age 18 arrived in Chicago with a student visa and $23, slept in homeless shelters and did odd jobs at bars and restaurants while earning a chemistry degree at Roosevelt University in the 1950s. But he soon abandoned the toxins and caustic substances in use at his first jobs with companies producing aerosols, polishes and solvents, redirecting his knowledge of the Earth's elements to the creation of environmentally safe cleaning products.
June 15, 2013 |
After years of unrelenting austerity, Europe seems to have turned a corner on its debt crisis -- right into a dead-end street. Since the turmoil erupted in 2009, countries from Ireland to Greece have focused almost exclusively on slashing budget deficits and debt as the road back to economic health. Prodded by Germany and its insistence on fiscal virtue, governments elsewhere have fired workers, chopped welfare benefits and shelved big-ticket projects, turning the continent into what some call one giant "Austerity-land.
May 31, 2013 |
ATHENS -- Greece's government grappled with deepening disarray Friday as coalition partners clashed over an anti-racism bill intended to rein in the rise of Golden Dawn, a far-right party represented in parliament but blamed for violent attacks on migrants and which critics say has neo-Nazi sympathies. The embarrassing squabble over the proposed measure comes amid growing calls by the European Union and the World Jewish Congress to toughen Greece's anti-racism laws. It also comes less than a year after conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras cobbled together a fragile coalition with two leftist parties to revive an economy reeling from harsh austerity measures and two international bailouts while at the same time protecting people from soaring crime.
May 27, 2013 |
ATHENS - Four years ago the emir of Qatar was sailing his yacht through the Ionian Sea when he spotted a patch of tiny islands. Spellbound by what he saw - six specks of sun-soaked lush greenery jutting from translucent, turquoise Greek waters - the oil-rich monarch decided to buy them. The purchase proved a royal headache. Although the ownership deeds were clear and the government had waived its right to reclaim the pine-covered atolls, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani was put at the maddening mercy of Greek bureaucracy.
May 25, 2013 |
ATHENS - Costas Papanicolaou is stuffing his souvenir shop with extra merchandise and stringing his store entrance with welcome flags from umpteen countries. He's also slashing his prices by as much as 50%, and in a scheme that bears a whiff of desperation, he's even thinking of throwing a Greek toga on a Chinese employee to help lure Asian tourists. A painful but relatively peaceful year after Greece was beset by grim headlines of political pandemonium and violent protests, tourism experts and the government are expecting a surge in vacationers, and with it a boost to Greece's struggling economy.
May 21, 2013 |
Ideally, governmental bodies would refrain from including prayers - even ecumenical, "lowest-common-denominator" ones - in their public proceedings. But if prayers are to be offered, they certainly shouldn't be monopolized by a single religious tradition. That is how the Supreme Court should rule in a case involving a town in New York state. On Monday, the justices agreed to hear a case involving the town of Greece, N.Y., which since 1999 has begun its official meetings with a prayer.
April 15, 2013 |
ATHENS - International debt inspectors gave conditional approval Monday to an additional $13 billion in rescue aid for the beleaguered Greek government, but insisted that it cut thousands of civil service jobs as part of an effort to slash spending on the country's costly public sector. Lenders from Europe and the International Monetary Fund have pressed successive Greek governments to carry out mass layoffs since Athens signed up for its first bailout, worth $150 billion, three years ago. Despite widespread opposition, Greece's three-party coalition agreed to the plan over the weekend, acceding to the tough terms of a new multibillion-dollar bailout hammered out in December.
April 15, 2013 |
ATHENS - With a critical monitoring mission completed, international debt inspectors gave Greece the nod Monday for an additional $13 billion in rescue aid but insisted that it had to ax thousands of civil servants as part of efforts to slash the country's bloated - and costly - public sector. Lenders from Europe and the International Monetary Fund have pressed successive Greek governments to implement mass layoffs since Athens signed up for its first bailout, worth $150 billion, three years ago. Despite widespread opposition, Greece's three-party coalition agreed to the plan over the weekend, bowing to the tough new terms contained in a new multibillion-dollar bailout hammered out in December.