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Country profile for Greece

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Green (Low Risk)
Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Athens
  • Major Languages: Greek
  • Currency: Euro
  • Timezone: GMT +2:00

Country Map

Map of Greece

Greece has been heavily impacted by a deep economic crisis that hit the country back in 2009. Widespread civil unrest became common in Athens and other major cities after extensive austerity measures were launched to address hampering levels of public spending. In November 2012, the Greek parliament approved massive spending cuts reaching up to 9.4bn euros in the next year’s budget. For several months, protests engulfed the capital and other cities amid an emerging political crisis. In January 2015, the left-wing Syriza was elected after promoting an aggressive anti-austerity platform. Despite his initial campaign promises, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was forced to accept further assistance from the EU, while reaching an agreement with international creditors to establish a strict debt repayment plan. Months after taking office, Tsipras resigned when Syriza MPs rebelled against him. However, after calling for a snap election, Tsipras was re-elected as the Greek prime minister. In July 2019, PM Tsipras called a snap election after his embattled Syriza recorded poor performance in the EU elections held months earlier. In the vote, the centre-right opposition New Democracy (ND) was victorious. ND's leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis was sworn into office as the country’s new prime minister. ND’s success came after the party’s strong results in the local elections in Athens and Thessaloniki. Although civil unrest in Greece has subsided, large rallies and nationwide strikes are still common. Protests mostly occur during national celebrations and political discussions around further austerity and economic reforms.

As a result of the deep crisis in Greece, the far-right Golden Dawn has made significant gains in the 2012 parliamentary elections. However, despite its initial success, the party has lost most of its influence due to increasing internal disputes and successive defections. Its downfall was materialised after the party failed to secure a single seat in the last parliamentary elections in 2019. Initially, the party was also supported over its anti-immigration rhetoric at the height of the European migration crisis in 2015. Due to its proximity to the Middle East, especially Turkey, Greece has been one of the main destinations of migrants attempting to reach Europe. Several of its Aegean Sea islands, such as Lesbos and Kos, have been the main points of transit of migrants crossing from Turkey. After numerous EU countries began imposing restrictions, thousands of migrants were left stranded in Greece in makeshift camps, which often led to violent protests in several border towns. In September 2019, Greek authorities started to transfer hundreds of migrants from an overcrowded camp in Lesbos. For years, Rights organisations have raised concerns over living conditions and security in the Moria camp, considered to be the biggest in Europe. Mass migration has also led to increasing diplomatic tensions with neighbouring Macedonia.

After decades of negotiations, Greece and Macedonia have finally reached a controversial name-change agreement. In January 2019, the Greek parliament ratified the Prespa deal. The agreement dictates that the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will now be called the Republic of North Macedonia. The dispute, which lasted for nearly 30 years, prevented Macedonia aspirations of joining the EU and NATO.

International terrorism poses a limited threat to Greece despite the country's close cooperation with US-led missions and NATO operations in Iraq and Syria. Domestically, the country also faces a reduced terrorist threat from internal left-wing anarchist groups, which traditionally operate in large urban areas, especially Athens. In June 2015, anarchist groups carried out a bomb attack against offices of the Syriza. Months later, a small bomb exploded outside the Greek parliament in the capital. Sporadic low-scale incidents linked to anarchist groups are still reported in Greece. Most attacks tend to occur near government buildings, police stations, political parties’ headquarters and foreign embassies.

Crime levels in Greece are relatively low, although there has been an increase in petty street crime in recent years. Incidents of bag-snatching and pick-pocketing often occur at popular tourist destinations and on public transport, such as on the Athens Metro. On the tourist islands, thefts from hotels and beaches have been previously reported. There have also been reported incidents of sexual assault and rape against foreign nationals in the popular island resort towns frequented by youth tourists. Visitors to such resorts are advised to avoid travelling alone wherever possible, especially at night.

Wildfires usually affect Greece during the summer months. Roads and access to some areas are often restricted during an emergency. Additionally, the country may also be impacted by Mediterranean meteorological phenomena, which could lead to flash flooding and landslides in some rural areas. Due to the country’s location in a highly seismic region, low to medium-intensity earthquakes are often reported. Casualties and damage rarely occur, but large-scale events should not be ruled out.

Greece is among a number of countries worldwide which have been hit by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The latest case figures can be viewed here.

Alerts for Greece

Coastguard blocks hundreds of migrants from crossing Aegean

The Greek coastguard has prevented boats carrying hundreds of migrants from crossing the Aegean Sea into its territorial waters. Around 600 people in five sailboats and four dinghies were trying to reach Greece from Turkey when they were intercepted. “Greek patrol vessels were able to quickly locate the vessels and inform the Turkish coastguard,” a spokesman for the coastguard told AFP. The incident occurred close to the islands of Chios and Samos.

Protests held in Athens

Protests have been staged in Athens on Thursday to demonstrate against US-Greek military cooperation. The protests have been led by left-wing groups and have largely been taking place in the Klafthmonos Square area. The protests were organised to demonstrate protesters' opposition to the US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement and to call for the withdrawal of US bases stationed in Greece.

Thessaloniki hospital fire kills one

A hospital fire which broke out in the Covid-19 ward of the Papanikolaou hospital on Wednesday morning has reportedly resulted in the death of at least one person. The fire broke out at around 09:00 local time, leaving one person dead and two others injured. Investigations into the cause of the deadly fire have bene launched and remain underway.

Police detain 15 amid Thessaloniki riot

Fifteen people have been arrested by riot police in Thessaloniki after police clashes with rioters over the weekend. The violence broke out on Sunday, during the early hours of the morning, when a group reportedly attacked police personnel with Molotov cocktails near the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. No casualties have been reported.

Seven migrants found dead off Lesbos

Seven migrants have been found dead after their boat sank in the sea, just off the coast of Lesbos. Their bodies reportedly washed up onto a beach in the Epano Skala area of Mitilini on Tuesday morning. It is unclear precisely what caused their vessel to sink.

Rescue operations continue amid ferry fire

Rescue efforts have continued after a major fire broke out in the car deck of a ferry near Corfu. While some 290 passengers and crew have been safely evacuated, two people are thought to remain trapped on the Euroferry Olympia. Rescuers have continued efforts to reach those who were trapped in the hold - a helicopter has been dispatched in an attempt to airlift them off the ship, which is now said to be engulfed in flames.

Ferry fire triggers evacuations near Corfu

A large fire which has broken out on a ferry near Corfu has triggered evacuations of passengers. A fire reportedly broke out on a deck of the Euroferry Olympia after it departed Igoumenitsa in Greece and was en route to the Italian port of Brindisi. Greek officials have stated that everyone on board has successfully been evacuated; however, unofficial reports claim 10 people remain unaccounted for.

Twelve migrants freeze to death near Turkish border

Twelve migrants have been found dead near the Greek-Turkish border amid freezing conditions. The group are were found by Turkish officials, prompting allegations that Greek border guards had stripped the migrants of their clothes and shoes upon arrival before turning them back and forcing the group back across the border in freezing conditions - resulting in their deaths. One of the 12 was found alive, but died in hospital from severe frostbite. Greek officials have rejected the accusations, saying the migrants had never made it to the border.

Athens building explosion injures one

An explosion which has occurred in a building in Athens has reportedly left at least one person injured. The blast occurred on Wednesday morning at around 06:45 local time in a building on Syngrou Avenue. The building is said to have been under renovation at the time. The explosion triggered a fire which has since been extinguished by firefighting crews. Several nearby commercial properties have been damaged as a result of the incident, leading to temporary closures. An investigation has been launched into the cause of the blast, which has yet to be determined.

Thousands stranded on motorway amid snowstorm

Thousands of motorists have been rescued after becoming stranded on a motorway overnight amid a snowstorm near Athens. Groups were taken to the city's airport for shelter, as dozens of cars remained trapped on the road by the snow. Efforts to clear affected roads remain ongoing.

MeToo rape trial underway

A high-profile MeToo rape trial involving a Greek sailing coach has got underway in Athens. Triantafyllos Apostolou is accused of raping an 11-year-old girl, in a case which came to light when gold medal-winning athlete Sofia Bekatorou spoke out about sexual abuse in sport in 2020 - sparking a MeToo campaign movement which saw other athletes go public with similar experiences of sexual assault.

European countries report record Covid cases

Several European countries reported record daily case numbers of Covid-19 on Tuesday. France recorded almost 180,000 new cases, breaking the previous record of 104,611 that was set on Saturday.  The UK reported almost 130,000 cases, which did not include Northern Ireland and Scotland, up from the high of 122,000 on Christmas Eve. Portugal (17,172), Cyprus (2,241), Italy (78,300) and Greece (21,657) also broke their previous daily records as the Omicron variant continues to spread across the continent.

Sixteen dead after migrant boat capsizes near Paros

At least 16 people have been killed after the boat they were travelling in overturned near the island of Paros. A search-and-rescue operation was launched but the bodies of 12 men, three women and a child were recovered from the sea. More than 60 people have been rescued, officials said on Saturday. There have been several fatal accidents off Greece in recent weeks, all involving migrants who were trying to reach Europe. “This shipwreck is a painful reminder that people continue to embark on perilous voyages in search of safety,” said Adriano Silvestri, the UNHCR’s assistant representative in Greece.

Three dead after migrant boat sinks off Greece

Three people have died and dozens more are missing after a migrant boat sank off Greece. Search and rescue operations are underway in the Aegean Sea following the incident on Tuesday night. Twelve people, reportedly from Iraq, were rescued in an inflatable dinghy near the island of Folegandros. There were as many as 50 people on the main boat.

Flights grounded due to system outage

Flight have been grounded across airports nationwide due to a partial systems outage. According to reports, flights were temporarily grounded on Thursday afternoon for approximately 40 minutes after the Athens and Macedonia Regional Control Centres system suffered a significant outage. Dozens of flights remain delayed as airports now work through a back-log.

Unvaccinated over-60s to face fine

Greece is preparing to slap those over the age of 60 who refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19 with a fine, as it makes vaccinations mandatory for anyone aged over 60. The 100 euro (£85) fines will be imposed at monthly intervals from mid-January, with the money going towards the national health system. The measure is still to be put to a parliamentary vote, but lawmakers are widely expected to approve it.

Seven migrants killed in Iasmos vehichle crash

Seven migrants have been killed and eight other have also been injured following a deadly crash which occurred near Iasmos. According to local reports, a vehicles which was transporting a group of migrants is understood to have crashed whilst travelling along the highway towards Thessaloniki during the early hours of Friday morning. The accident happened at around 00:20 local time. The cause has yet to be confirmed as investigations get underway. It's believed the vehicle had come from a border area near Turkey.

Transport strike to be held in Athens

A transport strike is due to be held on Friday 19 November. The strike has been organised by transportation workers in Athens and will last for approximately three hours, starting at 11:00 local time and finishing by 14:00. The strike is expected to impact most metro and bus services in the capital, as well as the Athens Green Line Train and some tram services.

Espionage trial of 24 aid workers begins

Twenty-four aid workers are set to go on trial over their role in helping migrants reach Greece. The trial gets underway on Thursday, with the defendants facing a raft of charges, including espionage, forgery, and hijacking radio frequencies. The trial has been condemned by human rights groups as politically motivated. Prosecutors allege that the group were affiliated with a search and rescue group and illegally monitored the Greek Coast Guard's radio channels and used a vehicle with a fake military licence plates to enter restricted areas on Lesbos. If found guilty, many of the activists could face up to five-year prison sentences.

Transport strike to take place in Athens

Transport workers are set to go on strike in the capital, Athens. The strike is to take place tomorrow, on Thursday 18 November, and comes in response to the recent death of a transport worker in Athens, who died in an incident on Tuesday 16 November. The strike is due to impact all public transport systems in the capital, with widespread delays and cancellations to services, including the metro, tram, and public bus services.

Police clash with football fans in Athens

Riot police have clashed with football fans in the capital city of Athens. The clashes broke out on Wednesday evening, when a large group of Athens supporters began to seek out supporters of the away team - Germany's Eintracht Frankfurt. The police were dispatched to Athinas Street in the Monastiraki area to restore calm. It's estimated that some 250 people were involved in the clashes, although no arrests have been made following the incident and no casualties have been reported.

Health workers protest in Athens

Health workers have taken to protesting in the capital city of Athens to demonstrate against mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations. The protest has been taking place in front of the Hellenic Parliament on Wednesday. According to reports, the demonstration comes after the government announced additional measures for those who have yet to be fully vaccinated against the virus. The latest restrictions are set to come into effect over the course of the coming weekend and will only apply to unvaccinated citizens.

Sea workers to launch 48-hour strike

Workers associated with the Panhellenic Seam Federation (PNO) have announced intentions to hold a 48-hour strike next week. The two-day strike has been scheduled to last from Thursday 11 November, until the early hours of Saturday 13 November, starting at 06:01 local time on the Thursday. The move comes to protest a lack of pay rises for sea workers. Ferry and boat transport services are likely to face disruption due to the strike.

Three migrants killed after boat capsizes off Chios

At least three migrants have died after their boat capsized off Chios, North Aegean. The boat reportedly capsized on Tuesday morning  shortly before 06:00 local time. The coast guard apparently received a distress signal and responded to the incident a short while later, at around 06:10 local time. While three fatalities have been confirmed, three others also remain missing as search and rescue operations continue. According to reports, 21 people were successfully rescued.

Clashes break out in Athens

Clashes have reportedly broken out amid riots in Athens, prompting police officers to use tear gas to disperse protesters. The unrest took place on Monday evening, when demonstrators gathered in the Panepistimiou Avenue area to protest over the recent fatal shooting of a Roma man by police. Riot police reportedly clashed with protesters, leading to various scuffles and altercations before the tear gas was dispensed, although no serious casualties have been reported following the incident.

Athens shooting kills one

A recent shooting incident which reportedly occurred in Athens on Monday has apparently left at least one victim dead. The shooting allegedly took place on Tatoiou Avenue in the Nea Erithrea area of northern Athens. Two individuals were reportedly targeted by an armed suspect who has since been detained. While one victim sustained fatal wounds, the other has also been injured, although not critically. Both victims have been identified as gas company workers. Police have confirmed details of the incident, stating that initial investigations indicate the suspect has suffered from mental health-related issues.

Healthcare workers launch strike

Healthcare workers in Greece have launched a strike on Thursday to protest recent staff shortages. Doctors and medical workers at private hospitals, health centres, regional clinic, and the ambulance service are taking part in the strike, which has been organised by the Federation of Greek Hospital Doctors' Associations. A demonstration is also set to take place outside the Ministry of Health in the Aristotelous area of Athens.

Protest held outside Athens courthouse

A protest has been staged outside a courthouse in Athens on Wednesday. The demonstration has been held on Delgeri road, outside the Mixed Jury Court, where police were forced to cordon off the road due to the protest, which comes on the first day two businessmen and four police officers go on trial over charges related to an incident in 2018, in which an activist was allegedly fatally harmed by the suspects.

Strong earthquake strikes in Mediterranean

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake has struck in the Mediterranean Sea. Tremors were felt across several Greek islands, as well as the Antalya region of Turkey and parts of northern Egypt. The quake struck at 06:32 on Tuesday morning at a depth of 37.8km, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Stormy weather kills one in Attica

Storm Ballos has wreaked havoc across parts of the Attica region, killing at least one person and leaving thousands trapped in vehicles or forced to abandon them amid floodwaters. The deceased has been identified as a 69-year-old shepherd who went missing in Evia on Thursday night. Widespread disruption to public transport systems has been reported as a result of the torrential downpours, while local schools have been forced to temporarily close.

Earthquake hit Crete

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake has hit Crete, resulting in some buildings being damaged. The earthquake occurred at 09:24 GMT on Tuesday 12 October and was followed by several aftershocks. Tremors were reportedly felt across the Dodecanese islands. No casualties have been reported so far. The earthquake comes after a 5.8-magnitude quake hit Crete last month, killing one person.

One killed in Thessaloniki stabbing

At least one person has reportedly died following a recent stabbing incident in Thessaloniki in Central Macedonia. According to recent local reports, the stabbing occurred on Melenikou Street on Saturday. The deceased has been identified as a 59-year-old male who was allegedly attacked with a knife by a 58-year-old male foreign national - thought to be Algerian. The police have detained the individual in question.

One killed in Athens shooting

At least one person has been killed in a recent shooting incident which allegedly occurred in Athens over the weekend. It's been reported that the shooting took place in the Agios Pavlos area in downtown Athens on Sunday evening, at around 21:00 local time. Police have indicated officers were dispatched in response to the incident on Liosion Street shortly after receiving reports of gunfire. One man was confirmed dead following the incident - no further details have been confirmed so far.

Protesters clash in Thessaloniki

Clashes have reportedly broken out in Thessaloniki after protests turned violent on Wednesday. At least 20 people have allegedly been detained after clashes erupted between left and right-wing protesters in Thessaloniki's Stavroupolis area. The violence apparently broke out after a group of youths broke into a nearby school and threw projectiles at rival protest groups, including flares, rocks, and gasoline bombs. Police were dispatched to the scene, where they reportedly used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Earthquake strikes Crete

A 5.8-magnitude earthquake has struck the southern Greek island of Crete. At least one person has reportedly been killed while nine others are also believed to have been injured. The earthquake occurred at 09:17 local time, and was followed by multiple aftershocks. Local reports claim the casualties were incurred when a church collapsed in the village of Arkalohori.

Fire breaks out at Samos migrant camp

A fire has reportedly broken out at a migrant camp in Samos, North Aegean. According to local reports, the blaze broke out over the weekend, spreading through several abandoned buildings inside the migrant camp on Sunday. In response to the fire, local authorities organised the precautionary evacuation of some 550 migrants who had been temporarily settled nearby where the fire broke out. No casualties have been reported as a result of the blaze, which has since been extinguished. The cause of the fire remains unclear as investigations are carried out.

Right-wing rally to take place in Athens

A right-wing rally is due to be held in Athens on Friday evening. The rally is set to begin at 20:00 local time on Friday, in the Karaiskaki Square area. The demonstration has been organised by members of extreme right-wing groups as a counter-protest to a left-wing parade being held by activists at the same time and in the same area. Clashes and outbreaks of violence are thought likely.

Police fire tear gas during protest against Covid-19 vaccinations

Greek police have fired tear gas and water cannons at protests against Covid-19 vaccines in central Athens. Around 7,000 people joined the rally outside the Greek parliament on Sunday to denounce the policy of mandatory vaccinations for some sectors of society. Flares and other objects were thrown at police during the protest. Last week healthcare workers demonstrated against a plan to make vaccinations mandatory for the care sector from next month.

Forest fire triggers evacuations in Kaza

A forest fire has triggered the evacuation of two villages in Kaza, Attica. The evacuations were carried out on Monday afternoon after strong winds fanned the flames, spreading the forest fire further towards inhabited areas. The fire has also led to some travel disruption, as traffic along the Elefsina-Thivon highway has been stopped in the direction of Thiva.

Greece installs fence at Turkish border

Greece has installed a 40km fence at the border with Turkey. During a visit to the Evros region on Friday, Citizens' Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis said: "We cannot wait, passively, for the possible impact," referring to concerns about a surge of migrants from Afghanistan. Around 60,000 migrants remained in Greece following the migrant crisis in 2015, which saw more than one million people flee conflict in the Middle East and Central Asia. Earlier this week Turkish President said there would be a new wave of migration unless "necessary measures" are taken in Afghanistan and Iran.

Covid-19 curfew imposed in Rethymno

A Covid-19 night time curfew has been imposed in Rethymno, Crete. The curfew is to remain in place for a week, lasting from Wednesday 18 August until Wednesday 25 August. The measure will apply between the hours of 01:00 - 06:00 local time. The move comes in response to the reporting of Covid-19 cases there. Measures have also been taken to impose a 24-hour ban on entertainment and hospitality venues, such as cafes and bars from having music play.

PM apologises over Evia island wildfires

Greek Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has apologised for failures in tackling recent wildfires on Evia island. Hundreds of firefighters have been tackling the fires, which have broken out across parts of the country amid high temperatures - forcing many to flee their homes and dozens of properties destroyed. The island of Evia, has been ablaze for a week, with thick smoke still coming off of the fires. Public anger has grown over delays and breakdowns in the government's response, including an apparent lack of water-dropping planes. Mitsotakis has promised that all failures will be identified as firefighters continue efforts to contain the fires. Firefighters from several European countries have also joined efforts to contain the wildfires.

Hundreds evacuated from Evia due to wildfires

Hundreds of people have been evacuated by boat from the island of Evia as wildfires continue to rage across Greece. Tourists and locals were transported from the country's second-largest island on Sunday, while houses and power lines have been destroyed. A number of smaller fires continue to burn elsewhere in Greece following a heatwave that has seen temperatures reach 45C. “We have ahead of us another difficult evening, another difficult night,” Greece’s deputy civil protection minister, Nikos Hardalias, said on Sunday,

Wildfires continue on Evia

Wildfires have continued to burn on the Greek island of Evia, where scores of people have reportedly been forces to flee the island by boat. The wildfires have spread rapidly, fuelled by hot temperatures and dry conditions. Several homes on the island have allegedly been destroyed. No casualties have been reported thus far. The wildfires come as fires have also broken out in areas north of the Greek capital of Athens over the past week.

Wildfires cause road disruption near Athens

Wildfires have led to travel disruption near Athens, where a section of the Athens-Lamia highway has reportedly been closed. The wildfires have broken out in the suburban area of Varympompi, where local residents have also reported power cuts due to the fires. It's understood the wildfires have caused significant damage to an electricity transmitter, leading to power outages across parts of Athens. Firefighters have been dispatched to the area to tackle the blaze, which broke out amid high temperatures.

Forest fire reported near Athens

A forest fire has allegedly broken out in an area near Athens. The fire has broken out amid high temperatures, ripping through a pine forest in the Samanta area, some 30km north of Athens, destroying multiple homes before a crew of 300 firefighters brought it under control. Local residents were evacuated while others were warned to keep doors and windows shut, with smoke from the fire limiting visibility in some parts of Athens. The cause of the fire is not yet known but an investigation is now under way. Several parts of Greece remain on high alert for fires as temperatures are set to reach 40 degrees Celsius this week.

Athens to hold freedom rally

The Greek capital city of Athens is due to stage a World Wide Rally for Freedom on Saturday 24 July. The demonstration is set to be held in the Thiseio area of the capital and will start at 19:30 local time. Elsewhere, another rally will also be held in Thessaloniki's Lefkos Pirgos area on the same day, also starting at 19:30. The demonstrations coincide with multiple other similar rallies being held under the World Wide Demonstration banner calling for five key freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of choice, freedom of assembly, and freedom of health. 

Anti-vaccination protesters dispersed in Athens

Anti-vaccination protesters have been dispersed by police in Athens. The demonstration was held outside parliament in Syntagma Square on Wednesday to protest against Covid-19 vaccination programmes. Police personnel were deployed to the scene to monitor the protest - which more than 3,500 people are estimated to have participated in. Clashes reportedly broke out, prompting law enforcement to use water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Mykonos gang dispute leaves one dead

A 27-year-old Albanian national has been killed following a clash which broke out between rival gangs in Mykonos, South Aegean. The incident allegedly occurred on Monday evening at around 23:00 local time in the Agios Fanourios area of Mykonos. It's understood a dispute broke out between two Albanian gangs over a financial matter, leading to a violent clash in which one person was stabbed to death. The police have confirmed the incident, indicating that at least four suspects have since been detained in connection with the clash, which is estimated to have involved a total of around 15 people.

Metro workers to strike in Athens

Metro workers are due to launch a strike in the capital city of Athens tomorrow. The strike is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 7 July, starting at 21:00 local time in the evening and lasting until the end of the shift. Both metro and ISAP electric rail workers are expected to participate in the strike, which has been organised to demand better working conditions. According to local sources, services for metro lines 1, 2 and 3 are expected will be temporarily suspended. Transport delays should be anticipated during the strike.

Neo-Nazi fugitive detained in Athens

Police have detained Christos Pappas - fugitive leader of Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn - following months-long efforts to arrest him. Pappas was detained at a private residential property in the Athens district of Zografou, having been wanted by police since October, when the entirety of Golden Dawn's leadership were convicted for running a criminal organisation. Pappas was sentenced to 13 years in prison but refused to hand himself in, triggering an almost nine-month manhunt. It's understood a 52-year-old woman who had been harbouring Pappas and hiding him was also detained.

Protests to take place in Thessaloniki

Two demonstrations have been scheduled to take place in the city of Thessaloniki on Tuesday 29 June. The first of the two protests is due to start at 13:00 local time, when participants are expected to begin gathering at the Statue of Eleftherios Venizelos in the Egnatia area of the city. The second demonstration is scheduled for a 19:00 start time, with protesters due to congregate in the Kamara area. Some general disruption should be anticipated in both areas.

Acid attack reported in Athens

An acid attack has allegedly been reported in the Greek capital city of Athens. The incident apparently occurred on Wednesday at the Monastery of Asomaton in the Petraki area, where a meeting of senior Greek Orthodox bishops was being held. It's understood the acid attack targeted the bishops and was carried out by a priest who was facing a disciplinary hearing over allegations of involvement in drug trafficking. Ten people were injured in the attack, including three bishops who are receiving hospital treatment. A police officer who ran to help the bishops has also been taken to hospital. The police have detained the suspect as investigations get underway.

Man found dead in Katerini

A man has reportedly been found dead, tied to a pole with a hood on his head, in the Katerini area of Central Macedonia. According to local reports, the 45-year-old victim is believed to have been burned alive in an area behind the cemeteries of Kallithea. The deceased is believed to be a local resident of the area, who had been missing since Monday. Investigations into the killing have been launched, with police suspecting the incident may have been linked to a settling of accounts.

Thessaloniki courthouse evacuated over bomb threat

The courthouse in Thessaloniki has been evacuated as a precaution following a bomb threat on Tuesday. The building was evacuated on Tuesday morning shortly after a bomb threat was received at around 09:00 local time. Police cordoned off the area while a bomb squad unit was dispatched to sweep the scene. Street closures were temporarily in place, causing some traffic disruption throughout the immediate area.

ADEDY union calls for 24-hour strike

A 24-hour strike has been called for by the ADEDY workers' union, scheduled for Wednesday 16 June. The union is the country's biggest representative group of the public-sector workforce, with thousands expected to join the strike nationwide. The industrial action comes in response to new labour legislation announced by the government. A demonstration will be held at 11:00 local time in Klafthmonos Square. Public transport services are expected to be heavily impacted by the strike and protest, with severe delays and disruption anticipated.

Five injured in Thebes shooting

Five people have reportedly been injured following a shooting incident which occurred in Thebes (aka Thiva), Central Greece. The shooting apparently happened in the Gypsi Pyri settlement area, in Voria Periferiaki, north-west Thebes. The police have launched an investigation into the incident and - according to the latest reports - have made at least three arrests in connection with the shooting. A motive has yet to be confirmed, although preliminary investigations indicate the shooting may have come about as a result of an unsettled dispute.

Corfu resort shooting kills two

Two people have been shot dead near a hotel resort on the island of Corfu. The shooting occurred on Sunday at the coastal resort of Dassia and has been confirmed by police. A manhunt was apparently launched following the incident; however, reports later indicated the suspect had killed himself. The suspect has allegedly been identified as local 60-year-old male. It's believed the suspect opened fire on his neighbours, a local man and woman, over a private dispute. No casualties have been reported amongst hotel guests.

Calls for protest in Corfu

Calls have been made for a protest to be staged in Corfu over the coming weekend. The demonstration is planned to take place at the Temploni landfill site, where protesters plan to rally against the landfill. The protest has been organised by the Corfu Waste Management Observatory and will take place on Saturday 5 June, coinciding with World Environment Day. Demonstrators are expected to begin gathering outside the entrance to the landfill from 09:00 local time onwards for a 09:30 start.

Former boxer killed in drive-by shooting, Athens

A former boxer has been killed in a drive-by shooting in southern Athens. Tasos Berdesis, a former Greek champion, was targeted on Andrea Papandreou Street in the Vari area on Monday morning. Police said that Berdesis was connected to criminal groups and the shooting is believed to be part of a gang feud. In a separate incident, an Albanian national was killed at a cafe in the western district of Sepolia.

Firefighters battle blaze west of Athens

Hundreds of firefighters have been tackling a forest fire to the west of the capital, Athens. The army and 16 aircraft have been deployed to assist more than 270 firefighters in the Gereneia mountains. Fire chief Stefanos Kolokouris told local reporters that improving weather conditions had made it possible to control the bulk of the fire, although some scattered fires remain active. No injuries have been reported but several houses have been damaged or destroyed in the area.

Lockdown measures ease

Covid-19 lockdown measures in Greece have begun to ease as the country prepares to open up to tourists. Most remaining restrictions on movement have been lifted, although some restrictions still remain in place. The night-time curfew has now been limited to be applicable between the hours of 00:30 - 05:00 local time. Movement is now allowed between regions and residents no longer are required to text a hotline when they leave their homes. Visitors from a list of 53 approved countries will be allowed to enter the country, but will have to fill in a passenger locator form the day before travel, detailing their accommodation plans and supplying a vaccine certificate along with a negative PCR test or proof of recent recovery.

Pro-Palestine protest to take place in Athens

A Pro-Palestine protest is due to be held in the capital city of Athens over the coming weekend. The demonstration is to take place on Saturday 15 May, outside the Israeli embassy in the Panormou area. Participants are due to gather at 17:00 local time to show solidarity with the Palestinian people. The protest comes in response to a recent escalation in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Protests will also mark the 73rd anniversary of the 1948 Palestinian exodus.

Domestic flight restrictions extended

Restrictions on domestic flights have been extended in Greece. Previously due to expire on Saturday 8 May, restrictions on domestic flights now remain in place until Friday 14 May. The week-long extension does not apply to essential flights, such as journeys being made for professional or medical reasons. Flights facilitating family reunification and repatriations will also be exempt from restrictions. The extension comes as a preventative measure to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus ahead of the country's scheduled re-opening to international visitors on Saturday 15 May.

Protesters clash with police in Athens

Demonstrators in Athens have reportedly clashed with the police during a workers rally. The demonstration was staged in the capital on Thursday, with protesters congregating to demand better working conditions. The protest turned violent when a group of protesters allegedly began throwing projectiles, including Molotov cocktails and stones, at the police forces, prompting officers to use tear gas in a bid to disperse the crowd. It's been reported that government building were also splattered with paint by several protesters. Traffic disruption was temporarily reported throughout the immediate area.

Covid-19 lockdown measures imposed on Kalymnos Island

A total lockdown has been imposed on Kalymnos Island in South Aegean as part of local measures to combat the spread of Covid-19. The latest measure has been enforced in response to rising Covid-19 cases in the area. The lockdown is to take effect from Wednesday 5 May and is set to last for five days, until Monday 10 May. It's hoped the five-day circuit-breaker lockdown will limit social movement over the coming weekend and suppress the spread of the virus at a community level.

Protest to be held in Athens

A protest has reportedly been scheduled to take place in the capital city of Athens on Thursday 22 April. The demonstration has apparently been organised by a group of workers' unions and labour movements opposed to the new anti-labour bill. Reports indicate the protest is due to be held near the Propylaea gateway area of the Acropolis of Athens, where the rally will commence at 18:00 local time. The demonstration is anticipated to have a significant attendance and will likely cause general disruption throughout affected areas. 

Nationwide strike to be held in May

A nationwide strike is due to be held in Greece next month. The industrial action is being organised by workers' unions, with scheduled events and rallies due to take place on Thursday 6 May in most major cities, including the capital. In Athens, a rally is due to get underway in Syntagma square from 10:00 local time onwards, while in Thessaloniki, another rally will begin at 10:30, with participants gathering near the Statue of Venizelos. Elsewhere, demonstrations have also been planned for Piraeus' Karaiskaki square, Patras' Labor Center, and Solomou square in Zakynthos - all starting at 10:30.  Another rally is also expected to be held at 10:00 outside the town hall in Igoumenitsa. Significant disruption should be anticipated throughout all affected areas.

Protesters clash with police in Thessaloniki

Groups of protesters have reportedly clashed with police in the city of Thessaloniki in Central Macedonia. The clashes were reported on Thursday, when thousands of people took to the streets to protest against a new law which will empower police to deploy personnel to university campuses. As many as 7,000 people are estimated to have taken part in the protest, which started peacefully but quickly escalated when a group of protesters began throwing projectiles at police personnel. Further reports indicate round a hundred people were involved in throwing Molotov cocktails and other objects at riot police, prompting the security forces to disperse the crowds by using stun grenades and tear gas.

Nationwide strike to be held in May

A nationwide strike is due to be held in Greece next month. The industrial action has been organised by the Executive Committee of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) to petition the government to consult with trade unions on labour policy. According to reports, the strike is expected to take place on Tuesday 4 May and will protest potential law changes to workers' rights. Further strikes and demonstrations could be held.

Teachers to stage protest in Zakynthos

A group of protesting teachers are to stage a demonstration in Zakynthos (aka Zante). The protest is due to take place on Wednesday, when it will start at 14:00 local time outside the building of the Regional Unit of Zakynthos. The demonstration has been organised to protest against lax health and safety measures in schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with protesters demanding improved measures be installed. 

Demonstrations held in Kozani, West Macedonia

Protests have been held in Kozani, West Macedonia, where a group of demonstrators gathered on Monday to protest against the continued enforced closure of local shops and businesses. The closure comes as part of local Covid-19 measures aid the ongoing pandemic. The protest was staged outside the Kozani Town Hall in Nikis Square. It's understood the demonstration was triggered by the recent reopening of shops and businesses in other towns, including Achaia and Thessaloniki, prompting local residents to call for a similar relaxation of measures in Kozani.

Journalist shot dead in Alimos district of Athens

A journalist has been shot dead in the Alimos district of Athens. Giorgos Karaivaz was targeted by two gunmen on a motorcycle outside his home on Monday afternoon. Police said the assailants used a weapon with a silencer and seventeen bullet casings were found at the scene. Karaivaz specialised in crime reporting and worked for the private station Star TV.

Sit-in protest held in Thessaloniki

A group of market traders have organised a sit-in protest in Thessaloniki. The demonstration has been held on Wednesday morning in the Toumpa area, where those taking part in the protest reportedly gave out products for no charge and waved black flags to protest against law changes targeting operating hours of public markets. Further protests remain likely, along with possible strike action.

Spike in Covid-19 cases recorded

A spike in Covid019 figures has been recorded in Greece over the last 24 hours. The latest daily increase shows 3,586 new cases of infection have been diagnosed in the last day or so - marking a distinct increase on single-day figures over the last 10 days. According to outbreak data analysis, approximately half of all new cases reported in the last 24 hours were detected in the Attica region. The second-most cases were recorded in Thessaloniki. Overall, the country's total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases now stands at 242,347, while its death toll has increased by 51 to 7,582.

Protesters clash with police in Thessaloniki

Student protesters have reportedly clashes with Greek police officers in Thessaloniki on Thursday evening. The violence broke out during a demonstration outside a Aristotle University building near the city centre. According to reports, the police were prompted to use tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowds when protesters began throwing stones and petrol bombs at the police officers. Several arrests have reportedly been made following the clashes.

Protests held against police violence, Attica

Protests have been held in the Nikaia suburb of Athens in the Attica region against alleged police violence. The demonstration was staged on Thursday afternoon, when participants began gathering in Nikaia's Davaki Square. Police officers were dispatched in response to the demonstration. Violence and clashes reportedly broke out when protesters began throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the police, prompting officers to use tear gas to disperse the crowds. The protest came a day after violent riots caused significant disruption in Athens. 

Police clash with protesters in Athens

Greek police have clashed with protesting youths in the capital Athens. More than 5,000 people joined a march on Tuesday in the Nea Smyrni to denounce police violence after a video was posted on social media which appeared to show an officer beating a young man on Sunday. A small group of masked protesters then headed towards the local police station, leading to a confrontation with officers. Police fired tear gas and water cannons, while the protesters hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails. The number of casualties has not been confirmed.

Strong earthquake strikes central Greece

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit central Greece on Wednesday. The epicentre was 20km south of Elassona at a depth of 10km, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). Tremors were felt across the country and as far as Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro, although no serious damage or injuries were reported.

Protest rally to be held in Thessaloniki

A protest rally is reportedly due to be held in Thessaloniki on Thursday 4 March. The demonstration has been organised by groups of teachers and students, who plan to stage the protest by the statue of Eleftherios Venizelos to protest against a range of topics, including: images of barbarism at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the university evaluation procedures, the lack of protection measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and allegations surrounding fake university council elections. A list of demands have been drawn up by the protesters. The protest is due to begin at 13:00 local time.

Deadly fire breaks out at Thebes refugee camp

A deadly fire has reportedly broken out at a refugee camp in Thebes (aka Thiva). Local reports suggest the blaze broke out on Tuesday at the Temporary Refugee Reception Structure in the Haraindini area of Thebes. Firefighters have confirmed the incident, stating that at least one victim has died in the fire - a child, who was found dead at the scene. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Fires can often spread out of control in refugee camps during the winter, due to the close quarters of the camps and lack of alternative means for warmth amid deteriorating camp conditions.

Protest held against Culture Minister in Athens

Actors and artists have reportedly congregated in Athens to stage a demonstration against Culture Minister Lina Mendoni. The protest has taken place on Monday, outside the Ministry of Culture building on Bouboulinas Street. The protesting group is calling for Mendoni's resignation over her involvement in the Lignadis case. As a result of the protest, street closures have been enforced in the area.

Assailants attack former fashion house in Athens

A building formerly used by luxury fashion house 'Zeus & Dione' has been attacked by assailants in Athens. The building, located in the Psyrri area of the capital, was reportedly targeted in an arson attack on Wednesday evening, which caused an explosion to occur in the building. No casualties have been reported following the incident. The fashion house was founded by the Greek Prime Minister's wife, Mareva Grabowski Mitsotakis. Police are investigating potential political links to the attack, which government officials have condemned. The same building was also targeted in 2018, in an attack claimed by the 'Partnership of Unrepentant Anarchists'.

Protesters detained in Athens

Several arrests have been made by police amid protests in Athens. The demonstrations have been organised to protest against continued Covid-19 measures and restrictions being enforced during the ongoing pandemic. According to reports, some 400 protesters gathered in Syntagma Square outside the houses of parliament to take part in the demonstration on Sunday. Clashes broke out when a protesters allegedly threw a projectile at a police officer, prompting the police to use tear gas to disperse crowds.

Lockdown restrictions extended in Athens

Lockdown restrictions have have been extended to the end of the month in Athens and the Attica region amid a continued rise in Covid-19 cases. The extension will see lockdown measures continue from 11 February until 28 February, meaning all non-essential shops and businesses will have to remain closed, as will schools. The extension aims to curb the recent spike in coronavirus cases which has been reported in the region.

Air travel restrictions extended

Restrictions on air travel have been extended amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. According to recent reports, domestic air travel restrictions will now remain in place until 15 February, while restrictions on international air travel will be extended until 22 February. Restrictions include a requirement for all foreign travellers to quarantine upon arrival for seven days. All arrivals must produce a negative Covid-19 test, taken 72 hours prior to arrival, and travellers from the UK will be required to take a rapid test upon arrival. Most flights outside of the EU remain banned while only essential travel is permitted on domestic flights.

Clashes break out amid protests in Athens and Thessaloniki

Clashes have reportedly broken out between protesters and police personnel in the capital city of Athens, as well as the city of Thessaloniki. The clashes were reported amid demonstrations which took place on Thursday. Protesters gathered in both cities to march against the education bill. Although the protests started out peacefully, clashes broke out when protesters began throwing Molotov cocktails - prompting the police to intervene, using tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Former minister found dead at sea off Evia

Former Minister Sifis Valyrakis has been found dead off the central island of Evia. According to reports, his wife alerted the authorities on Sunday after he went missing. He was found several hours later after his inflatable boat was located. Investigations are ongoing to assess the causes of death. Valyarakis is a former resistance fighter and served as public order minister between 1995 and 1996. He also held cabinet positions during the government of Andreas Papandreou.

Police clash with protesters in central Athens

Police have clashed with protesters in Athens over government plans to create a police force to patrol university campuses. Despite coronavirus restrictions on mass gatherings, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in central Athens to protest against the plan. Prime Minister Kyriakos's government intends to lift a ban that forbids campus police. The debate emerged over allegations that open access to university areas was fueling criminal activity. The ban has been in place for several decades. Critics claim that the move could lead to the suppression of protests and assembly rights.

Deadly shooting reported in Athens

A deadly shooting incident has been reported in the Greek capital city of Athens. According to reports, the incident occurred on Monday evening shortly after 18:00 local time on Leof. Andrea Syggrou. It's understood the victim was shot at outside a cafe near the Church of the Ayios Sostis. While one person has been confirmed dead, three others were also injured. Preliminary investigations suggest the victim was targeted in a planned attack. The police suspect the killing was motivated by a settling of accounts. No suspects have been identified or arrested thus far as investigations continue.

Lockdown extended by a week

The coronavirus lockdown in Greece has been extended for another week. The national lockdown had been due to end on Monday 11 January; however, over the weekend, the government confirmed that the lockdown would remain in place until 18 January due to a continued rise in the reporting of Covid-19 cases. This means that all non-essential retailers and shops will be required to stay closed, including hairdressers, clothes shops, and beauty salons. Schools and nurseries will also not be allowed to reopen yet.

Greek Coast Guard vessel crashes into Turkish counterpart off Imia

A Greek Coast Guard vessel in the Mediterranean has crashed into a Turkish patrol boat off the islet of Imia. AP reported that the crash happened on Wednesday morning. No injuries have been reported. Both coast guards blamed each other for the incident. In recent months, political tensions have emerged in the Eastern Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey. Tension is mainly related to the region's geopolitics and the delimitation of their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Covid-19 restrictions extended in Sperchiada

Covid-19 restrictions have been extended in Sperchiada, Central Greece, amid the continued rise in new cases there. From Tuesday 05 January, the restrictions will be extended an additional nine days, until Thursday 14 January. This means that recent measures - including: a night time curfew between 18:00 and 05:00 local time; a ban on travelling in or out of Sperchiada; shop closures; a suspension of religious services - will remain in effect.

Prime Minister announces government reshuffle

The Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has announced plans to reshuffle government. Mitsotakis is reportedly reshuffling his cabinet with the aim of making it more effective in governing. News of which cabinet members will be stepping down from their roles and who their replacements will be is expected from midday local time.

Flight restrictions from some areas extended until early-January

Flight restrictions from some regions and countries have been extended until early-January as part of enhanced coronavirus measures in Greece. The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that flights from Turkey and Catalonia will be forbidden until 07 January 2021. In addition, people arriving from abroad will be required to self-isolate for three days and to hold a recent PCR test before departure. The government has also introduced a new form to be completed upon arrival. Further information on travel to Greece is available on the official government's website. Greece is facing stringent lockdown measures until early-January, with some restrictions being relaxed from later on this week. The country has reported nearly 125,000 coronavirus cases and 3,600 deaths so far.

New travel restrictions announced

New travel restrictions have been announced amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The restrictions will apply for all travellers arriving in the country between 18 December 2020 and 07 January 2021. All arrivals will be required to commit to a 10-day quarantine period and to take a rapid antigen test. Travellers will also need to have tested negative for coronavirus within 72 hours prior to their arrival.

Coronavirus lockdown extended

Lockdown restrictions in Greece have been extended amid the continued reporting of new cases of Covid-19 infection. Athens confirmed the measure on Thursday, stating that the coronavirus lockdown will now be extended by another week, lasting until Monday 14 December. The extension has been justified as a necessary measure to combat infection rates.

Public sector workers launch nationwide strike

Public sector workers have launched a nationwide strike to demand better coronavirus protection in workplaces. Public transport disruption was reported in Athens and other major cities after transportation workers also joined the strike. Ferry services between islands were also disrupted. Hundreds of people gathered in central Athens despite coronavirus restrictions in Greece. The country is under a stringent coronavirus lockdown that is expected to last until next month.

Lockdown measures in Greece extended

Lockdown measures in Greece are expected to be extended beyond late-November due to an increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalisation. Currently, stringent lockdown measures are being enforced across Greece until 30 November. Areas of most concern include Athens and Thessaloniki. In the latter, government data shows that only four per cent of intensive care unit beds for coronavirus patients are available - the national occupancy rate currently sits at 86 percent. Coronavirus cases in Greece are nearing 100,000, with the number of deaths at 1,800. 

One killed as boat smuggling migrants crash off Rhodes

A migrant boat transporting migrants from Turkey to Greece has sunk off Rhodes. According to the Greek Coast Guard, one person aboard the speedboat died. AP reported that more than a dozen people were rescued on the nearby shoreline. Greek islands located in the north-eastern region of the Aegean Sea are part of a major smuggling route for migrants departing from Turkey. There are no reports that any arrests were made.

Orthodox Church leader hospitalised over coronavirus

Archbishop Ieronymos, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, has been hospitalised after testing positive for coronavirus. The Archdiocese of Athens confirmed that he was taken to the Evangelismos Hospital in the capital after experiencing mild coronavirus symptoms. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has recently met with the archbishop but is believed to not have been infected. Earlier this month, the bishop of Lagadas died after testing positive for coronavirus. Church officials have been avid supporters of continuing communion and other ceremonies despite the restrictions.

Police deployed to prevent unauthorised celebrations in Athens and Thessaloniki

Thousands of police officers have been deployed to Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki to prevent illegal gatherings during celebrations to commemorate the 1973 student uprising. Demonstrators clashed with the police after hundreds took part in unauthorised demonstrations in Thessaloniki and central Athens. This year's celebrations were cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. In 1973, students of the Athens Polytechnic protested against several military juntas which ruled Greece.

SMS required for those leaving home during second lockdown

People in Greece will be required to obtain authorisation from the government to leave their homes during the country's second lockdown. As part of enhanced measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, those leaving their homes will need to send a text message stating their name and reasons for going outside. People in the country should send a free SMS to 13033 before leaving. Further information on how to fill in the movement request form is available on the government's website. Greece has now entered a three-week-long lockdown. The country has reported an increase in cases since late-October, with nearly 60,000 cases already confirmed.

Intense rainfall triggers flooding across Crete

Intense rainfall has triggered widespread flooding across the island of Crete. Extensive damage has been reported on the island's roads. Damages were also reported in Heraklion while flooding affected the towns of Hersonissos, Gouves, Gournes, Malia, Stalis, Analipsi and Anissaras. No casualties were reported. Inclement weather is forecast to persist until at least Thursday.

Coast Guard intercepts migrant vessel off western Greece

Greek authorities have intercepted a boat transporting dozens of migrants to Italy. AP reported that the Coast Guard intercepted the vessel off the country's western Ionian Sea coast. According to the government, more than half of those on board were from Turkey. This is the second migrant vessel to be intercepted on the Ionian Sea in less than a week. The route between Italy and Greece is popular with migrant smugglers. So far this year, 4,000 migrants arrived in Italy through this route.

Three-week national lockdown ordered

A three-week national lockdown has been ordered in Greece as Covid-19 cases continue to rise there. The lockdown will come into effect from Friday 06 November and will remain in place until 28 November. The decision to enforce the measure came after an additional 18 fatalities and 2,646 new cases of infection were confirmed on Wednesday - taking the country's totals, respectively, up to 673 and 46,892.

Fire breaks out at refugee camp in Samos

A fire has broken out at a refugee camp in the eastern island of Samos. According to the government, a dozen tents were destroyed when the blaze broke out at the Samos Health Centre. No injuries were reported. It is still unclear what caused the fire. Fires at refugee centres have been previously reported in Greece. At the Samos camp, two arson attacks were reported in September.

Powerful earthquake hits Greece and Turkey

A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake has hit Greece and Turkey, causing some buildings to collapse. According to the BBC, the quake epicentre has been located about 17km off the coast of Turkey's western Izmir province, north of the Greek island of Samos. Data from the USGS shows the quake occurred at approximately 11:51 UTC on Friday and had a shallow depth of just 10km. Provisional reports have given no indication of casualties as of yet, although images from the Turkish city of Izmir show significant building damage. Tremors were reportedly felt as far away as Athens and Istanbul, as well as on the Greek island of Crete.

Two tourists die in parasailing accident

Two British teenagers have died and a third person has been injured in a parasailing accident on the Greek island of Rhodes. The victims have been identified as brothers, aged 13 and 15, and their female cousin, also aged 15. The teens were on holiday with family when they went parasailing near Lindos; however, the rope holding their parachute snapped. Both the younger boy and the girl have been confirmed dead, while the elder boy is being treated for serious injuries in hospital. Two people connected with the speedboat which was towing the trio have been arrested an investigation gets underway.

Warship collides with cargo vessel off Athens

A warship has collided with a Portuguese-flagged cargo vessel near Athens. According to the Greek Navy, the accident happened close to the Piraeus coast in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Reports indicate that two crew members were injured. Official reports said that the warship suffered extensive damage and was towed to the naval base of Salamina. The vessels involved were the Greek Navy's NTHI Kallisto mine-sweeper and the Maersk Launceston.

Greece extends border wall to curb migration from Turkey

Greece will extend a border wall to curb migration from Turkey. Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said that the six-mile fence will be expanded due to a high influx of migrants heading to the Greek-Turkish border. Petsas said that the fence will be extended by 16 miles, while other existing areas will be upgraded and reinforced. Since February, migrants have flocked to the border in attempts to cross into Europe. The situation worsened as the Turkish government said that it would not adhere to a previous migration deal with the EU. In addition, diplomatic relations between Greece and Turkey have been strained by territorial disputes in the Mediterranean.

Golden Dawn leaders sentenced to up to 13 years in prison

The leaders of the far-right Golden Dawn have been sentenced after being charged for belonging to a criminal group. Among those sentenced is the party's leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, who was jailed for 13 years. More than a dozen other Golden Dawn members were also sentenced to up to seven years in prison. A criminal case against Golden Dawn leaders began in 2013 after the murder of the Greek rapper Pavlos Fyssas. The party garnered prominence at the height of the financial crisis in Greece. It was flushed out of parliament after losing all seats in the 2019 elections.

Golden Dawn leader found guilty of leading criminal organisation

The leader of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn has been found guilty of leading a criminal organisation. Nikos Michaloliakos faced trial alongside 67 other people, which include 18 former politicians that were elected to parliament back in 2012. Thousands have gathered outside the court building in central Athens while the case was being trialled. The case started after the murder of Pavos Fyssas, a left-wing rapper that was stabbed to death in 2013. Other charges were also filed. Golden Dawn gained prominence at the height of the financial crisis in Greece. In the elections held in 2019, the party was removed from parliament after failing to secure a single seat.

Deadly shooting reported in Peloponnese

A deadly shooting incident has been reported in Messinia, Peloponnese, where one person has been killed. The incident was reported on Monday in the Piperitsa area, where it's believed the victim was shot dead at around 14:30 local time. The victim has been identified as being of Roma origin, while a Greek national has been arrested in connection with the case. It's understood the deceased had been in the process of breaking into a private residence with two other teenage accomplices when the occupant of the property opened fire on them. A police investigation is underway.

Police clash with protesters in Athens

Greek police officers have allegedly clashed with anti-US protesters in the capital city of Athens. The rally was held outside the US embassy on Monday, at the same time a similar demonstration was held outside the US consulate building in Thessaloniki. According to reports, the police used batons and tear gas to disperse the crowd. The protests coincided with a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Greece.

Cruise ship returns to Piraeus due to coronavirus outbreak

A cruise ship has been forced to make an emergency stop in the port of Piraeus after coronavirus cases were identified on board. Reuters reported that around 900 passengers are on board the Mein Shiff 6, which departed Crete on Sunday. Mein Shiff was sailing off Milos and was forced to return to Piraeus. The vessel is operated by the German-based TUI Cruises. In total, a dozen crew members tested positive for the virus. Since mid-August, Greece has reported an increase in coronavirus cases. So far, more than 17,000 cases and 380 deaths were confirmed in Greece.

Cyclone Ianos leaves three dead

At least three people have died and two others remain missing after Cyclone Ianos swept across parts of Greece over the weekend. The so-called 'medicane' (a Mediterranean hurricane) hit areas north of Athens before heading south, bringing torrential rain and strong winds. Widespread flash flooding was reported, along with power cuts and significant travel disruption. It's understood one oman died in a roof collapse in a village nar Karditsa, north of Athens, while another man was found dead on his farm in the same region. The body of a woman was also recovered from a flooded property in a nearby town. Search and recovery efforts remain ongoing.

Storm Ianos lashes western Greece

Storm Ianos is lashing islands in western Greece, bringing severe heavy rainfall and causing power cuts. The storm is a so-called 'medicane' - a Mediterranean hurricane - a relatively rare weather phenomenon closely resembling a tropical cyclone which was first observed in the region in the 90s but has since become more frequent. Currently, the weather system is moving in an easterly direction and looks set to bring winds of up to 117kmh to the Peloponnese over the course of the weekend, before hitting Athens and Crete. The storm has already caused power cuts and localised flooding in parts and is expected to cause significant widespread travel disruption - especially on the islands of Ithaca, Kefalonia, and Zakynthos.

Social restrictions tightened in Attica

Social restrictions have been tightened across the Attica region of Greece following a recent increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19. The measures include: a maximum of six people per table in restaurants; a 14-day closure for all music venues; 60 percent capacity caps for cinemas and threats; the mandatory wearing of face masks in workspaces, and in all open-air public spaces in Athens when the 1.5m social distancing rule cannot be observed. Those over the age of 65 are also being encouraged to wear face coverings at all times. The latest restrictions come as part of an effort to combat rising daily cases in the region.

Five arrests made over Lesbos migrant camp fire

Five people have been arrested in connection with a recent fire which destroyed much of a migrant camp based on the Greek island of Lesbos. According to reports, the five detainees have been identified as young foreign nationals. A sixth suspect is also being sought. The vast majority of the 12,000 migrants and refugees who had been stationed at the camp have since been sleeping rough, bar 800 who have moved to a new camp. Of those 800, at least 21 have tested positive for coronavirus. It's feared rough conditions could exacerbate a Covid-19 outbreak. The Greek government has accused migrants of deliberately starting the fire to protest coronavirus isolation measures; however, the migrants claim the fire was started by hostile locals. Plans to rebuild a permanent refugee camp on the island sparked protests amongst migrants earlier this week, who wish to be settled.

Three die after migrant boat sinks off Crete

At least three migrants have died after their boat sank in waters off the Greek island of Crete. The boat contained at least 56 people - three of whom have since been confirmed dead, while 53 others were rescued by the Greek coast guard. The boat had reportedly capsized amid strong winds. The nationalities of the refugees have not been disclosed by the Greek authorities.

Permanent migrant centre to be build on Lesbos

A permanent migrant centre is to be built ont he Greek island of Lesbobs to replace the destroyed Moria camp. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new centre was a chance to reset policy on handling migrant arrivals. The overcrowded camp burnt down last week, leaving some 12,000 without shelter or sanitisation. The situation has led to protests against plans to build another camp, as most migrants want to be resettled in other EU countries.

Turkish research ship leaves disputed Mediterranean waters

A Turkish ship has reportedly left disputed waters in the Eastern Mediterranean amid a row with Greece. The deployment of the Oruc Reis seismic research ship by Ankara caused tensions to flare last month, leading to a fallout over oil and gas exploration in the disputed area, which is claimed by Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus. The EU has backed Greece and threatened sanctions on Turkey over the issue. The ship's return to waters near southern Turkey has been welcomed by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who described the withdrawal as a "positive first step", while Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar insisted the retreat did not mean Ankara was giving up its claim to the area.

Tensions remain high after fire at Moria camp in Lesbos

Tensions remain high in the eastern island of Lesbos after a major fire completely destroyed the Moira migrant camp, considered one of the largest in Europe. More than 12,000 people are under an extremely vulnerable condition after a fire destroyed the camp earlier this week. Police have erected roadblocks in the region, while groups of locals have been involved in grievances with migrants. Initial reports suggest that several arson incidents were reported recently. Rights groups claim that without shelter and basic conditions, the situation could lead to a serious humanitarian crisis. Moria was already facing scrutiny due to poor security and sanitary conditions.

Major wildfire triggers evacuations near Athens

A major wildfire has broken out near Athens, forcing several neighbourhoods to be evacuated. Reuters reported that six areas located south of the capital were threatened by the blaze. Dozens of firefighters are currently deployed in the area around Feriza. Another fire is also active in the town of Nea Makri, north-east of Athens. Wildfires are common during the summer months in Greece.

Major fire breaks out at Moria camp in Lesbos

A major fire has broken out at the Moria camp in Lesbos forcing thousands to be evacuated. It is still unclear what the origins of the fire are. Conflictive reports show that the incident could have either been caused by locals or by the migrants themselves. Moria is considered one of the largest migrant camps in Europe. In total, more than 13,000 people were living in the camp which has been completely destroyed. Rights groups have previously raised concerns over the camp's living conditions. Most recently, the camp has been isolated due to a number of coronavirus cases. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to attend an emergency meeting with his cabinet.

Greece to revamp its military amid tensions with Turkey

Greece has announced plans to revamp its military amid tensions with neighbouring Turkey. The NATO allies have been at odds due to disputes over maritime borders. Tensions escalated after Turkish seismic survey vessels headed to disputed areas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to announce a full list of military improvements on Saturday. Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan called for dialogue and criticised the EU for supporting Greece. He stated that "Turkey will continue to follow a determined and active policy in the eastern Mediterranean."

Greek islands added to UK FCDO quarantine list

Seven Greek islands have been added to the UK FCDO quarantine list after a spike in cases were reported in some parts of Greece. Passengers arriving from the islands of Lesbos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zante will be required to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK. The measure will be imposed on all arrivals after 04:00 on Wednesday, UK time. Mykonos, Zante, Crete and Lesbos are already included on the quarantine list of the Welsh government. Quarantine measures have been imposed at different levels across the UK. For further information on travel restrictions, UK nationals in Greece are advised to follow FCDO recommendations.

Nine test positive at Moria migrant camp in Lesbos

At least nine coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the infamous Moria migrant camp in the island of Lesbos. An official with the migration ministry told Reuters that the number of cases may increase. Moria is one of the largest migrant camps in Greece. With the continuous arrival of migrants in the country, thousands are currently under quarantine at this facility. NGOs have raised concerns over healthcare, security and living conditions at Moria. Data from the UNHCR shows that nearly 12,000 migrants have already arrived in Greece so far this year.

Greece remains on list of travel corridors to the UK

Greece remains on the list of travel corridors with the UK following a government review. UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that no countries would be removed nor added to the list of travel corridors. The decision comes despite several flights arriving from Greece reported coronavirus outbreaks on board. Greece still has a lower infection rate when compared with other European countries but the number of cases has increased in recent days. People heading to Greece should monitor FCDO alerts and be aware that new measures may be implemented at short notice. The corridor does not cover Wales, which has imposed its own quarantine restrictions on the Greek islands of Crete, Zakynthos, Mykonos, Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos.

Eight test positive for coronavirus on board flight from Crete

At least eight people have tested positive for coronavirus on a flight from Crete to the UK. Wizz Air flight 8168 departed from Heraklion Airport to London's Luton Airport in late-August. More than 210 people were on board the plane. BBC reported that those infected were eight teenagers from southern England who were part of a group of 12. This is the second UK-bound flight from Greece to report a coronavirus outbreak on board. Last week, 16 passengers tested positive on a flight from Zante. Greece has reported an increase in coronavirus cases, which could threaten the country's air corridor with the UK. So far, nearly 11,000 cases have been confirmed in the country.

Greece added to Scotland's quarantine list

Greece has been added to the Scottish quarantine list after a surge in coronavirus cases was reported in the country. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that those returning from Greece after 04:00 local time on Thursday will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Scotland has a different quarantine list of countries from that of the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Wales has also introduced quarantine measures for those returning from the Greek island of Zante, where recent clusters have been reported. Similar measures could be brought in for those returning to England and the rest of the UK. People in Greece should monitor FCDO alerts for further updates. Since late-July, Greece has reported an increase in coronavirus cases.

Coronavirus outbreak reported on TUI flight from Zante

All passengers on a flight from the Greek island of Zante have been required to self-isolate after several coronavirus cases were confirmed on board. In total, 193 passengers and crew members have been notified to self-isolate for 14 days. TUI flight 6215 departed from Zante to Cardiff on 25 August. At least seven people tested positive for coronavirus whilst on board. After news of the outbreak emerged, new restrictions were imposed in Zante, which includes a curfew at midnight. Greece is one of the few European countries that still have an active travel corridor with the UK.

Lawmakers ratify maritime boundaries deal with Egypt

Lawmakers have ratified an agreement that will define maritime borders with Egypt as tensions in the Mediterranean escalate. The deal was already approved in Egypt and is similar to another deal reached with Italy. Defining maritime borders in the Mediterranean comes as Turkey launched a series of military exercises near disputed territories. The deal came in response to another agreement signed last year between Libya and Turkey. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis previously announced another bill that will expand the country's territorial waters in the Ionian Sea.

PM Mitsotakis plans to expand Greece's western territorial waters

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced plans to extend the country's territorial waters in the western Ionian Sea. As part of a deal reached with Italy, the move would lead to the end of a long-standing dispute. The plan includes extending the country's territorial waters from six to 12 nautical miles. A similar agreement with Egypt is also being debated in parliament. Most recently, the established limits on Greek territorial waters have led to tensions with neighbouring Turkey. Tensions have led to military movements in the region, also involving other NATO members.

Dozens of migrants rescued in major operation off Halki

Nearly 100 migrants have been rescued when a vessel was intercepted off the island of Halki. Greek authorities said that a large scale operation was launched just after an incident was reported on Tuesday. Greece is a major route of migrants heading from Turkey to the European Union. Despite several agreements being reached to monitor illegal crossings and sea travel, the Eastern Mediterranean route is still one of the most used. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 46 people have died so far this year while attempting to cross from Turkey.

UK FCO reassessing travel corridor with Greece

The UK FCO is currently reassessing the travel corridor with Greece after a surge in coronavirus cases was reported in the country. Similar to other countries in Europe, Greece could be removed from the list at short notice. In the event that Greece is removed from the UK FCO 'quarantine-free' list, people returning to the UK would be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival. People in Greece are advised to closely follow updates and recommendations from the UK FCO.

Additional coronavirus restrictions enforces in Mykonos

Additional coronavirus restrictions have been imposed on the island of Mykonos in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Greece's Civil Protection Authority said that a ban on parties and festivities will be imposed, while public gatherings will be limited to nine people. The use of masks will also be mandatory in both closed and open spaces until the end of the month. The restrictions will come into effect on Friday. Similar restrictions will be imposed in the northern coastal region of Chalkidiki. Greece has reported 7,400 coronavirus cases and more than 230 deaths.

Armed forces on high alert as Turkish vessel enters disputed waters

The Greek armed forces have been placed on high alert after a Turkish vessel entered disputed waters in the Mediterranean Sea. The vessel has been identified as a Turkish seismic research ship, which was dispatched into disputed territorial waters in the eastern Mediterranean earlier this week, prompting the Greek Navy to send communications requesting the vessel's removal from the area. Turkey's president has recently insisted that research and survey operations will continue in the region, despite Greece's objections. Greece claims the area as part of its continental shelf.

Passengers landing in Greece required to fill in a PLF

Passengers travelling to Greece are required to fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before arriving in the country. According to the UK FCO, those that fail to fill in the form in advance could be fined and be denied entry into the country. The PFL was introduced on 1 July and is available on the website of the Greek government. Greece reopened for international travel in July. A number of restrictions may still be imposed on travellers from several EU and non-EU countries. Among the requirements may include the presentation of a recent RT-PCR negative test.

Several killed as heavy rainfall hits Evia

At least seven people have been killed after a heavy downpour hit the southern island of Evia. Officials said that inclement weather battered the island over the weekend, triggering widespread flooding in the areas of Politika, Amfithea and Bourtzi. Several vehicles were swept away when local rivers burst their banks. At least one person was reported missing, while dozens of people were evacuated and rescued. During the summer months, thunderstorms rarely occur.

Armed forces on high alert after Turkish military drill near Rhodes

Greece's armed forces have been put on high alert after the Turkish military launched live ammunition drills near some eastern Greek islands. Reports indicate that the Turkish government issued an alert to sailors to avoid the areas around the Greek islands of Kastellorizo and Rhodes due to a military exercise. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to meet with his National Security Council, the EU and NATO to monitor the situation. Tensions between Turkey and Greece have intensified in June when Turkey resumed gas explorations in the Mediterranean.

Greece reports steady increase in coronavirus cases

Greece has reported one of its highest increases in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Reports show that in the last 24 hours, 121 coronavirus cases were confirmed in the country. In the past week, Greece has confirmed a steady increase in cases, bringing the total number to nearly 5,000. The country started to reopen its economy in early-July, months after imposing strict lockdown measures. Similar to other countries in Europe, outbreak clusters were reported in Greece. Health officials said that in the past few weeks, infections amongst younger people have increased.

PM Mitsotakis announces minor cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced a cabinet reshuffle over claims that the government needs to improve its operational performance. Considered a technical reshuffle, the government is replacing a number of deputy and junior ministers in the ministries of health, environment and social security. Cabinet changes come as Greece is gradually reopening its economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. So far, the country has reported 4,700 cases.

Use of face masks in Greece extended to other public venues

The compulsory use of face masks in Greece has been extended. From Wednesday 29 July, people will be required to wear face masks in additional enclosed spaces, such as banks and small shops. People that fail to adhere to those requirements could be fine in up to €150. The compulsory use of face masks is already enforced in public transports and other venues. Greece has recently reopened its border for international travel in a bid to revamp tourism. So far, the country has reported more than 4,200 coronavirus cases and some 200 deaths.

Ports in Greece to reopen for international tourism

Ports across Greece will reopen for tourists on 1 August as the Greek government attempts to rescue its tourism industry. Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis said that the ports of Volos, Corfu, Iraklio, Katakolo, Piraeus and Rhodes will reopen for travel ships. People in Greece are still required to follow social distancing guidelines and wear face masks in enclosed spaces. Greece is reopening for international tourism despite an increase in cases in Athens and Thessaloniki.

Wildfires trigger evacuations in Corinth

Evacuation orders have been issued for several areas around Corinth after wildfires spread across southern Greece. Local authorities said that the fires are currently out of control as they raged for a second consecutive day. The blaze ignited in the town of Kechries, located south-west of Athens. Due to extreme temperatures, wildfires in Greece are common during the summer months.

Enhanced restrictions imposed in land crossings from Bulgaria

People arriving in Greece via the Bulgarian border will be required to prove that they have tested negative for coronavirus. AP reported that from Monday 14 July, people will need to present a certificate proving that they tested negative for  the virus in the past 72 hours. Currently, non-essential travel between Bulgaria and Greece is only possible through the Promachomas crossing. The decision comes after a surge in coronavirus cases being reported in the Balkans.

Police clash with protesters in Athens

Clashes have broken out between the police and protesters in the Greek capital city of Athens following a protest against the new demonstration law. Protesters gathered outside the parliament building in Syntagma Square on Thursday to rally against the law, which aims to regulate street protests and demonstrations. The police were reportedly called in when demonstrators began throwing petrol bombs, prompting officers to use tear gas to disperse the crowds. It's estimated that hundreds of people took part in the demonstration.

Government extends ban on direct flights from the UK

Direct flights from the UK will be banned until 15 July, generating some doubts over future travel agreements between Greece and the UK. As the UK government is planning to announce a list of countries considered safe, the so-called 'air-bridges' were initially expected to include Greece. A similar ban was also introduced on flights from Sweden. Some border crossings in Greece are expected to reopen from Wednesday, while airports nationwide will reopen to international flights on 1 July. Passengers with scheduled flights to Greece should directly contact their respective airlines for more information.

Lockdown to be extended in Echinos

Coronavirus lockdown measures have reportedly been extended in the village of Echinos in the Myki municipality of Xanthi. The five-day extension is the fourth lockdown extension to be implemented in the village following continued reports of new coronavirus cases being detected there. The extension will be in effect until 30 June and means all shops will remain closed, barring supermarkets and pharmacies.

Greece reopens for international tourism

Major airports in Greece have reopened as the country attempts to restart international tourism. From Monday, nationals from several EU and non-EU countries - including South Korea, New Zeland, Australia and Japan - will be allowed to enter Greece. Nationals from other countries - including the UK - will be allowed into the country from 1 July. Some restrictions will still be imposed at some beach resorts and major cities. For further information on restrictions and travel in Greece and to other EU countries, visitors are advised to consult the European Commission's Re-open EU website.

Greece to open international travel from several countries

Greece's government has announced that citizens from more than 20 countries will be allowed entry into the country as part of the first wave of visitors. The government has announced plans to relax some international travel restrictions as the country reopens for tourism. Reuters reported that among those to be allowed include nationals from Cyprus, Israel and some countries in Europe. Flights to Thessaloniki are expected to resume from mid-June. Nationals from most countries in the EU are allowed in Greece, but they are currently subject to a 14-day quarantine. The same is applied for non-EU nationals and UK citizens. Tourism-dependent countries in the EU are currently working on plans to reopen the sector, they include Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Croatia and Malta.

Increasing migrant tensions expected along the Turkish border

Increasing tensions along the Turkish-Greek border are expected as both countries relax some coronavirus restrictions. Earlier this year, thousands of migrants rushed to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria after Turkey withdrew from a previous border agreement with the EU. Weeks of protests and clashes at the border were halted when the government imposed movement restrictions in the region. Concerns from the Greek government emerged after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned about the high-influx of migrants once the measures are relaxed. According to reports, there are more than 37,000 people stranded at the border.

Powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake recorded off Methoni

A powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake has been recorded off south-western Greece. According to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), the quake struck in the early hours of Thursday morning, at a shallow depth of 10km. EMSC said that its epicentre was in the Ionian Sea, more than 200km off Methoni. Initially, there were no reports of casualties or damage. Greece is located in a quake-prone region, where low and medium-scale earthquakes are common.

Further two migrants tested positive for coronavirus in Lesbos

The migration ministry has said that a further two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the eastern island of Lesbos. Reuters reported that the cases concerned two asylum seekers who had just recently arrived in the country part of a larger group. Reports suggest that they were part of the same group of another two people who also tested positive for the virus yesterday. The government is monitoring the coronavirus threat to migrants, especially in overcrowded camps, such as Moira. 

Migrants in Lesbos test positive for coronavirus

Government officials have said that two migrants who arrived from Turkey last week have tested positive for coronavirus. AP reported that the cases were confirmed in the eastern island of Lesbos. Officials added that 68 others will be tested for coronavirus. They are considered the first cases to affect migrants in Greece. Since the coronavirus pandemic emerged, rights groups have raised concerns over the spread of covid-19 in overcrowded migrant facilities. Reports indicate that the patients were on board the first migrant boat to arrive in Greece in over a month despite Turkey announcing the opening of its borders with the EU in late-March.

Police detain 25 amid protest in Evros

At least 25 people have been arrested by the police during a protest in Evros. The demonstration took place outside the reception of a migrant centre near the Turkish border, where people had gathered on Tuesday morning to protest against delays in processing asylum claims due to the coronavirus pandemic. While no casualties were reported, demonstrators allegedly set fire to mattresses and damage was also inflicted to a number of other facilities.

Some tourist venues across Greece to reopen from mid-May

Some tourist venues across Greece, including the historical monuments in Athens, are expected to be reopened from mid-May. According to the government, the Acropolis in Athens and other major tourist attractions will reopen from 18 May, while museums will resume operations from June. The Greek government is rushing to reopen the country for international travel at least by the beginning of July. However, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis acknowledged that some challenges on social distancing will be faced. Greece was one of the first countries in Europe to impose lockdown measures. So far, more than 2,600 coronavirus cases were confirmed in Greece.

Police clash with youths in Athens

Greek police officers have clashed with a group of youths in the capital city of Athens. The incident occurred overnight, during the early hours of Wednesday morning at Agiou Ioannou Square in the Agia Paraskevi suburb, where police were dispatched to respond to reports of a public gathering comprised of some 400 youths. Such gatherings remain banned under coronavirus lockdown measures. According to reports, the youths resisted attempts to break up the gathering and attacked police officers with stones and bottles; however, no injuries have been reported and the crowd was eventually dispersed.

Two new coronavirus deaths reported

At least two new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Greece throughout the past 24 hours - taking the death toll there up to 146. An additional six new cases of infection have also been diagnosed, bringing the national total number of confirmed coronavirus cases to 2,632.

Hundreds of migrants to be moved to mainland Greece

Hundreds of migrants will be sent to mainland Greece from the overcrowded migrant facilities in the island of Lesbos. Concerns emerged amid the coronavirus crisis, which could pose serious risks to overcrowded facilities in the Mediterranean. A police source told Reuters that up to 395 migrants will be moved from the infamous Moria camp in the eastern side of the island. According to the government, no coronavirus cases were confirmed in migrant camps in Greece.

May Day rally held in Athens despite virus lockdown

A May Ray rally is being held by trade unions despite coronavirus lockdown measures in the capital city of Athens. The rally was reportedly organised by trade unions and social distancing measures have been enforced. The Greek government recently encouraged the postponement of all rallies and demonstrations due to the high risk associated with crowded public areas and the spreading of the coronavirus.

One dead and five missing in military helicopter crash off Greece

Greek authorities have recovered one body after a Canadian military helicopter crashed on the Mediterranean Coast. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that five soldiers are still missing. The CH-148 Cyclone helicopter was taking part in a NATO operation off Greece.

Coronavirus lockdown measures extended until 4 May

Greece's coronavirus lockdown has been extended until at least 4 May. Authorities have already said that the relaxation of measures could begin to be implemented from mid-May and June. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to announce a coronavirus 'exit plan' next week. Greece has so far confirmed more than 2,200 coronavirus cases, including 121 deaths.

Fire breaks out at migrant camp after civil unrest erupted in Chios

A fire broke out at a migrant camp in the eastern Chios island after a protest broke out due to the death of a migrant woman. Civil unrest erupted after an Iraqi woman died on Saturday. Reports suggest that the unnamed woman was taken to a hospital after having a fever. ANA reported that she had not tested positive for coronavirus. At least three people were detained after extensive damage was reported at the Vial camp and three vehicles set ablaze. Although some cases were already confirmed in other camps, none of them has been reported in Vial, which is one of the largest camps in Greece. In total, more than 36,000 migrants are sheltered in camps on Greek islands.

Restrictions on refugee movements extended

Restrictions which have been placed on the movement of refugees in Greece have been extended amid the continued coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions apply to refugees and migrants living in camps or accommodation centres and will now remain in effect until 10 May. The extension comes after another migrant camp near Athens was quarantined after they reported a case of covid-19 last week. Greece has recorded a total of 2,235 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including 113 deaths.

Unaccompanied migrant children transferred to Luxembourg

Dozens of unaccompanied children currently housed at migrant camps across Greece have been transferred to Luxembourg. As international organisations rush to protect groups vulnerable to the coronavirus, more than 1,000 relocations of unaccompanied children are expected within the next few weeks. Other flights are expected to depart from Athens to other EU countries. Greece has already raised concerns over the coronavirus pandemic affecting overcrowded camps nationwide. Migration tensions increased last month after Turkey temporarily opened the border with the EU.

Second migrant facility quarantined

A second Greek migrant facility has been quarantined following reported of a coronavirus case within the camp. According to reports, the measures were enforced on Malakasa camp after a 53-year-old Afghan man tested positive for the virus. The man is understood to have been in close contact with potentially dozens of people. The quarantine comes just days after another migrant camp near Athens was also put under lockdown after a woman in labour tested positive. Such camps face a particularly high risk of coronavirus outbreaks, due to overcrowding, close living quarters, and poor sanitation.

Migrant camp quarantined

The Ritsona migrant cap near Athens has reportedly been quarantined by the Greek authorities after 20 asylum seekers tested positive for the virus. Officials started testing people in the camp after a woman from the camp recently tested positive after giving birth in an Athens hospital - she was the first refugee in Greece to contract the virus. The camp is home to at least 2,500 people and - due to the often overcrowded and close living quarters of refugee camps - it's feared that it could become an outbreak epicentre if the situation there isn't quickly contained. The quarantine will remain in effect for 14 days. Greece has reported at least 1,415 cases and 15 deaths.

Government imposes nationwide lockdown over coronavirus

Greece's government has imposed a nationwide lockdown from Monday, 23 March, to address the spread of the coronavirus in the country. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address: “It is maybe the last step, one that must be taken promptly and not in vain." Greece has so far confirmed more than 620 coronavirus cases, including 15 deaths. Foreign nationals have already been banned from entering the country. With the curfew measures, which came into effect on Monday morning, people will still be able to head to shops and pharmacies to buy essentials. Authorities may stop people on the streets to request documentation.

Government introduces series of measures to curb coronavirus spread

Foreign nationals have been banned from entering Greece as part of new measures to address the spread of the coronavirus in the country. EU nationals may still head to Greece, but some restrictions may be imposed on people arriving from Italy, France and Spain. Most public places nationwide are closed, while hotels and accommodations are expected to remain shut until the end of April. Some reports indicate that a very limited number of accommodations remain open. Ferry services to Italy have been suspended alongside air travel. All borders with Albania, North Macedonia and Turkey are closed. Greece has reported 464 coronavirus cases and six deaths.

Scores detained as anti-terror police seize weapons in Athens

Greece's anti-terrorism police have recovered several pieces of artillery from a secret tunnel in Athens. Reuters reported that more than 20 people were detained after raids were conducted across the capital on Thursday. Operations took place in the neighbourhoods of Sepolia and Exarchia. All of those arrested were foreign nationals with suspected links to a Turkish-based military group. Ekathimerini identified the group as the leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), which is accused of smuggling weapons and explosives from Turkey.

Fresh clashes reported as hundreds attempt to cross Greek-Turkish border

Fresh clashes have been reported along the Greek-Turkish border as more than 500 migrants attempted to forcefully jump a border fence in Kastanies. Since the Turkish government announced the opening of the borders with the EU, thousands of migrants have rushed towards the Greek and Bulgarian border. Overnight on Wednesday, police officers were forced to fire tear gas at protesters that attempted to jump a border fence. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the decision as he seeks the renegotiation of a previous migration deal reached with the EU back in 2016.

Daily border clashes continue to be reported in Evros

Daily clashes are still being reported in the bordering region of Evros as thousands of migrants attempt to cross the Greek-Turkish border. Tensions have been high since earlier this month when the Turkish government announced the opening of the border with Greece and Bulgaria. Incidents have been reported in the Kastanies crossing, where police have been forced to fire tear gas at the crowd. According to reports, more than 45,000 migrants have already attempted to cross the border.

First coronavirus death reported

Greece's first fatal coronavirus case has been reported, with officials confirming the death on Thursday morning. The patient is understood to have been a 66-year-old man who had recently travelled to Israel and Egypt last month. The death was reported near Patras in Western Greece. Overall, Greece has at least 99 confirmed cases.

Schools and universities to close over coronavirus

Schools and universities are to shut for two weeks amid coronavirus fears. The measure comes as a precaution in response to the continued spread of the virus. The country's health minister confirmed the measures on Tuesday. At least 89 cases have been reported in Greece, including five newly diagnosed cases within the last 24 hours.

Migrant centre torched on Lesbos

A migrant shelter has been torched on the island of Lesbos. The One Happy Family centre was set on fire on Saturday amid increasing tensions over the rise in migration from Turkey. No casualties have been reported and an investigation into the cause of the fire is underway. Thousands of migrants, many of them from Syria, have left Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was "opening the doors" to Europe. Clashes have also been reported at the land border between Greece and Turkey as migrants attempt to cross. On Saturday Greek border guards fired tear gas at crowds at the Kastanies crossing.

Cruise ship quarantined in Piraeus

A cruise ship has been quarantined in Piraeus, a port city near Athens, after a former passenger tested positive for the coronavirus. All current passengers aboard the MSC Opera are required to stay on board the vessel for now. The former passenger in question is an Austrian national who disembarked from the ship in Italy before travelling home to neighbouring Austria. Italy remains the worst-affected country in Europe with more than 2,500 cases of coronavirus.

Eighth coronavirus case confirmed

An eighth coronavirus case has been confirmed in Greece after another new case was diagnosed on Wednesday. The latest case involved a Greek citizen who is a close contact of a previously infected person in the city of Thessaloniki - indicating the virus was transmitted locally.

EU leaders head to Greece to assess migrant crisis

Top EU leaders are due to visit Greece's border with Turkey to assess the developing migrant crisis there. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council chief Charles Michel, and European Parliament speaker David Sassoli will visit the area, where some 24,000 people have been stopped from crossing the border since Turkey lifted controls on migrants exiting for the EU on Friday. Turkey lifted controls after suffering heavy military losses in north-west Syria. Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis is hoping for EU support in defending the Greek border. Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is due to visit Ankara in Turkey to discuss their decision to lift restrictions on migrant travel, abandoning the 2016 EU-Turkey deal.

Asylum applications suspended

New asylum applications have been suspended for the next month after Turkey "opened the doors" for migrants seeking to leave Turkey and travel to the EU. According to reports, Greek officials claim to have stopped nearly 10,000 migrants crossing the land border between Greece and Turkey as border security measures were ramped up to deter migrants. Greece invoked an emergency clause of an EU treaty to "ensure full European support". Turkey allowed migrants to pass into neighbouring EU member states Greece and Bulgaria on Friday, claiming it couldn't cope with the influx of refugees fleeing the war in Syria. The move came after airstrikes killed 33 Turkish soldiers in Syria's Idlib last week. Turkey previously stopped migrants from Syria and other countries from leaving for Europe under an aid-linked deal with the EU; however, that deal appears to be dead in the water now after Turkish President accused the EU of breaking promises made in 2016, when Ankara helped shore up the EU's south-western border. 

Border security beefed up after Turkey threatens to open border

Border security along the Turkish border has been reinforced due to a potential influx of migrants over the next few days. According to reports, the government has reinforced border controls after Turkey announced that they will not bar the crossing of migrants heading towards Europe. Reports indicate that members of the Turkish security forces were ordered to stand down on Thursday. Turkey's decision comes after the death of 33 Turkish soldiers in a government airstrike in the northern Syrian city of Idlib. Turkey signed a deal with the EU to block migrants at the height of the migrant crisis in 2016. People heading to the bordering region of Evros should exercise extreme caution as previous incidents along the Turkish border have turned violent.

Health ministry confirms two other case of coronavirus

Greece's health ministry has confirmed that two more cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the country. Reports show that one of the patients is a woman in Thessaloniki who had just returned from Italy. Another case, also linked to recent travel to Italy, has affected a woman in the capital, Athens. Authorities have said that carnival celebrations nationwide will be cancelled. In total, three coronavirus cases have already been confirmed in Greece.

First coronavirus case confirmed

The Greek authorities have confirmed their first coronavirus case after a 38-year-old Greek woman tested positive for the virus. The woman had recently travelled to northern Italy, where the Italian authorities have been battling an outbreak of the virus. The Greek government has issued a decree that stipulates temporary travel bans to and from countries with a large number of infections and the shutdown of "indoor public gathering areas" such as schools, places of worship, cinemas, theatres, sports halls.

Clashes break out in protest against migrant camps in Lesbos and Chios

Clashes have broken out as police officers escorted workers due to excavate new grounds for new migrant camps in Lesbos and Chios. Violence broke out overnight on Monday when locals clashed with riot police. Several bins were set ablaze, while roadblocks also affected some areas around the port. New migrant detention facilities will be built on those islands due to overcrowding and other safety concerns. Issues emerged after hundreds of migrants were relocated from the Moira camp, one of the biggest in the region. Last month, a general strike was launched Lesbos, Samos and Chios against the government's policies on migration. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), more than 60,000 migrants arrived in Greece in 2019.

Greece and US launch military drill near Mount Olympus

The Greek and the US military have launched a joint training exercise after a major deal between both countries was ratified. Military drills took place on Wednesday near the Mount Olympus in northern Greece. The exercises come as part of enhanced military cooperation between both countries which was agreed after the US and NATO were granted further access to Greek military bases. Furthermore, Greece has been engaged in increasing diplomatic tensions with Turkey due to long-standing issues in the eastern Mediterranean region.

Transport workers launch strike against pension reforms

Transport workers have launched a fresh strike in Athens against proposed pension reforms in the public sector. Train, bus and metro services were suspended on Tuesday, bringing the roads of the capital to a standstill. Protests are expected to happen on Tuesday afternoon outside the parliament. Pension legislation is currently being discussed in parliament, where the opposition and unions accuse the government of attempting to privatise pension funds.

Greece and Turkey to hold new round of talks to ease diplomatic tensions

A new round of talks between Greece and Turkey will take place in late-February as diplomatic tensions between both countries are high. For years, Greece and Turkey have been engaged in disputes over their maritime borders. Tensions on the matter escalated after the Turkish government signed a maritime deal with the UN-backed government in Libya. The deal would mainly block several countries from exploring natural gas in an extensive region in the eastern Mediterranean. Since taking office last year, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has pushed for the normalisation of relations with Turkey.

Migrant camps trigger general strike across several Greek islands

A general strike has been launched on the islands of Lesbos, Samos and Chios to demand the immediate relocation of migrants. Protesters demand that the central government in Athens redistribute migrants across the country. Those islands are the most affected by the arrival of migrants via Turkey, with Lesbos housing the largest migrant camp in Greece. In recent weeks, severe concerns have been raised due to overcrowding and health issues at Moira camp. According to the UN refugee agency, so far this year, more than 1,400 migrants have arrived in the country by sea - the majority of them arrived in Lesbos.

Lawmakers elect top judge as new parliament speaker

Greece's parliament has elected Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou as the new parliament speaker. Sakellaropoulou was the head of the Council of State, the highest administrative court in the country. She takes over the parliament leadership after winning a cross-party bid, especially from the leftist Syriza and KINAL. Sakellaropoulou will be the first woman to head the lower house of Congress. She replaces Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose term ends in March.

Man killed at refugee camp in Lesbos

A man has reportedly been killed in a refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, North Aegean. According to local reports, a 20-year-old male migrant was allegedly stabbed to death at the overcrowded Moria refugee camp during the night on Wednesday. The victim was rushed to a local hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Police have launched an investigation to find the culprit and have allegedly detained several people already. The incident is the second stabbing to occur in the camp within the last month.

Leftist opposition to support presidential nomination of Katrina Sakellaropoulou

The leftist opposition Syriza has confirmed that they will support the presidential nomination of Katrina Sakellaropoulou. Her nomination was made by conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose New Democracy party came to power after winning the general elections in July. Sakellaropoulou is the current head of Greece's Council of State. Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has said: “We will allow the new president to be elected with a wide majority, as this is appropriate for anyone who takes on the heavy responsibility, under the constitution, of expressing the unity of the people and our democracy."

Local authorities in North Aegean islands to launch strike

Local authorities in the North Aegean islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios are expected to launch a strike in late-January. According to reports, officials based on those islands are launching industrial action to protest against the current migrant crisis that is affecting the region. The islands are believed to be the most affected by the daily arrival of migrants from Turkey. According to the UN Refugee Agency, a large majority of those entering the country through the sea arrive via one of those three islands. Shops and local businesses will be shut, while travel disruption may impact access to those islands.

Greece, Cyprus and Israel sign agreement on East Med pipeline

Cyprus, Greece and Israel have signed an agreement to start the construction of the East Med gas pipeline. Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Cypriot and Israeli counterparts signed the deal on the multi-billion-euro project that will transport gas from Israel and Cyprus to Greece and Italy. According to the preliminary phase of the deal, the pipeline's construction will be led by the Public Gas Corporation of Greece (DEPA) and the Italian-based Edison. Europe is continuously attempting to meet the increasing demand for gas and other sources of energy as it moves away from coal. The project has been under negotiation since 2013. It may still face some setbacks as Turkey has recently claimed parts of the Mediterranean where the pipeline is expected to cross.

Police clash with migrants outside camp in Samos

A demonstration involving more than 300 migrants has turned violent in the North Aegean island of Samos. Reuters reported that demonstrators took to the streets to protest against living conditions and their ban to leave the island. Similar to other migrant camps in Greece, the camp in Vathy is heavily overcrowded. Police officers clashed with demonstrators on Thursday, firing tear gas against them. Since taking office in July, the conservative government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has launched a stronger stance on immigration. Recent plans include shutting down several camps across Greece.

Athens hotel evacuated after fire breaks out

A hotel in Athens has been evacuated after a fire broke out shortly before midday on Thursday. The emergency services and firefighting crews have responded to the scene at the Athenaeum Palace Hotel on Syggrou Avenue, with preliminary reports indicating at least five people are thought to have been injured in the blaze. Search and rescue operations remain ongoing amid fears there may still be a number trapped inside the building. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Three wounded in migrant camp brawl

Three casualties have been reported following a brawl at a migrant camp in North Aegean. The incident occurred on Sunday at the Vial Centre migrant camp in the Chios area, where a violent clash allegedly broke out between two groups of migrants. As a result of the fight, three people were injured while three others were also arrested. The particular camp where the incident occurred is known to suffer from severe overcrowding issues. It's estimated capacity is thought to be around 1,000; however, recent reports indicate the camp could be housing up to five times that amount.

Student protesters clash with riot police in Athens

Student protesters have reportedly clashed with riot police in the capital city of Athens. According to reports, university students had gathered on Poseidonos Avenue in the suburb of Kabouri to protest outside a hotels were university officials were allegedly holding a meeting. The police were deployed in response to reports of violent unrest in the area, leading to riot police cordoning off the eastern end of the road. The cordon has had an adverse effect on traffic, causing travel delays and disruption to roads throughout the surrounding area, particularly along expressway 91.

Strong earthquake hits off Crete

A strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake has reportedly hit off the coast of the Greek island of Crete. The earthquake struck on Wednesday morning at around 07:23 UTC. Data from the US Geological Survey (USGS) shows the quake's epicentre was located approximately 41km north-west of Platanos, at a depth of 71.8km. No major damage or casualties have been reported as a result of the earthquake, which struck a day after a 6.3-magnitude killed 24 people and injured 650 others in Albania.

Police clash with protesters in Athens

The police have reportedly clashed with protesters in Athens, using tear gas and stun grenades to disperse crowds. At least six people have allegedly been injured following the clash, which occurred near the Athens University of Economics and Business. Protests broke out on Monday in response to a police raid on the campus which was carried out over the weekend. A number of students and members of a political party have also been arrested by the police during protests. 

Golden Dawn's leader to stand trial for 2013 killing

The leader of the far-right Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, is set to stand trial in the murder case of an anti-fascist rapper back in 2013. Michaloliakos could face up to 20 years in prison if his involvement in the murder is confirmed. The case investigates the death of Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed to death by a man who claimed to belong to the party. The trial, which started four years ago, includes more than 70 defendants. The Golden Dawn emerged in Greek politics nearly seven years ago, during one of the worst periods of the country's economic crisis. The party has significantly lost its support due to its hardline neo-fascist discourse. Its decay of popularity was materialised in the general election held in July, where it failed to win a single seat in parliament.

Lawmakers approve law on tougher aslylum policies

Lawmakers have approved legislation on tougher asylum policies to curb a high-rate of migration in Greece. Parliament has passed a bill that will speed up the decision making on asylum requests and facilitate the deportation of those that are ineligible. In the past three years, Greece has returned 2,000 migrants back to Turkey. This is the first pledge of the recently elected conservative government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to halt mass migration.

European creditors allow Greece to make early IMF repayment

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras has said that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) has agreed to allow Greece to make a partial earlier repayment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In order to avoid interest charges, the country will now be spared from simultaneously making early payments to both the ESM and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). Staikouras said that the move would ensure that Greece is improving its debt sustainability while boosting its market confidence. ESM and EFSF chief Klaus Regling said: "Greece’s early partial repayment to the IMF will be beneficial for both Greece and the ESM. It will generate savings as Greece can now finance itself on the market at a lower cost compared to the cost of servicing the tranche to be repaid to the IMF". Greece was set to repay $3bn to the IMF with an annual interest rate average of 4.9 percent.

Fatal collision reported between patrol boat and migrant vessel near Kos

A fatal collision has reportedly happened between a patrol boat and a migrant vessel near Kos, South Aegean. The crash occurred as a migrant vessel was transporting 34 migrants overnight without its lights on, leading to it colliding with a Greek coast guard patrol boat. At least one fatality has been confirmed, while six others have also been injured and two people remain missing. A search and rescue operation has been launched and remains underway in a bid to locate the two missing people.

Strong 5.1-magnitude earthquake recorded off Rhodes

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake has been recorded near the eastern island of Rhodes. Athens' Geodynamic Institute and the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) have confirmed that the tremor struck on Thursday morning at a shallow depth. No casualties or major damage were reported. Authorities have warned that potential aftershocks reaching a magnitude of up to 4.5 could be still reported during the next few hours.

Strike action may affect operations at Athens airport and ports

Scheduled strike action may affect operations at ports and airports in Athens on Wednesday and Thursday. Operations at Athens International Airport may be impacted alongside ferry services from the capital as private-sector unions will launch a 24-hour strike action. Demonstrations are also expected in the central neighbourhoods of Athens. Several protests have taken place in recent weeks as parliament discuss a controversial development law.

Fire triggers protests at refugee camp

A deadly fire has triggered protests at the overcrowded Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. At least one person has been confirmed dead after the charred body of a female refugee was found, although unconfirmed reports suggest another person, a child, also died in the fire. According to the BBC, teargas was fired at refugees after they gathered to protest against firefighters, who they accused of being too slow in their response to the fire. The Moria camp is severely overcrowded, housing some 12,000 when its official capacity is only 3,000. This was likely a key factor which led to the deadly fire.

Several migrants killed in boat capsize off Chios

Seven people have been killed after a boat carrying migrants capsized off Chios. According to the Greek coastguard, the accident happened near Oinousses, several kilometres from the Turkish coast. In total, a dozen people were rescued. Reports indicate that more than 9,000 migrants have arrived in Greece during August. Earlier this month, hundreds of migrants were transferred from a camp in Lesbos due to appalling sanitary conditions. Data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) shows that so far this year 54 migrants have died while attempting to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey.

Deadly thunderstorms batter western Greece

At least two people have been killed after inclement weather battered western Greece. Reuters reported that powerful storms hit the islands of Ithaca and Cephalonia in the Peloponnese region. Mudslides, flash flooding and power outages were reported on Tuesday. Weather alerts are expected to remain active until the end of the day. Weather conditions are forecast to improve on Wednesday as the storm moves eastwards. According to the Hellenic National Met Service (HNMS), the storm is forecast to head towards the North East Aegean Islands and Dodecanese Islands, located off western Turkey.

Public transport strike may affect services across Athens

Disruption is expected on public transports across Athens due to scheduled strike action. Workers from buses, tram, metro and ferry services are planning to launch a strike in response to a development bill set to be submitted in parliament. Services by Athens Piraeus Electric Railway (ISAP) may also be impacted. Disruption is expected to affected passengers at different times between Tuesday and Thursday. TrainOSE services are also among those affected. The company has stated that despite some sectors calling the strike, TrainOSE services will operate normally on Tuesday.

Wildfire triggers evacuations in Keri, Zakynthos

Dozens of tourists have been preventatively evacuated after a major wildfire threatened residential areas in Zakynthos. Ekathimerini reported that the fire is posing a threat to some houses in the southern village of Keri. According to the Greek fire service, emergency services have stepped up efforts to control the fire, which remains active as of Monday morning. Greece's Civil Protection authority has issued a wildfire warning to most regions in the country. The risk of wildfires in Greece is highest during the summer months. Several incidents which have led to evacuations have been reported in recent months nationwide.

Authorities investigate disappearance of military material from navy base in Leros

Authorities are investigating the suspected disappearance of military material from a base in Leros, eastern Greece. According to the Navy, the material was reported missing on Monday. It has not been stated which material had disappeared, but unconfirmed media reports suggest that among it may include explosives. AP reported that the police's special anti-terrorism unit was taking part in the investigations.

Large-scale demonstrations may take place during trade fair in Thessaloniki

Large-scale demonstrations are expected to take place during the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), which runs between 07 and 15 September. TIF is one of the biggest trade events in south-eastern Europe and attracts thousands of people and businesses every year. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is scheduled to make a speech at the fair on Saturday. The event is held annually at the Helexpo on Egnatias Street. For the duration of the event, road restrictions will be imposed and traffic disruption is highly expected to affect major routes surrounding the venue.

Hundreds of migrants to be transferred from Moria camp in Lesbos

Hundreds of migrants and asylum-seekers have been transferred from an overcrowded camp in Lesbos. Reuters reported than 600 people were transferred to another facility in northern Greece from the Moria camp, the biggest in Europe. In August, the government has announced plans to relocate hundreds of migrants after Rights groups raised concerns over living conditions and security. Last week, a teenager was stabbed to death during an altercation at Moria. It is estimated that more than 11,000 migrants that took the perilous Mediterranean route to Europe are currently housed in the camp.

Teenager stabbed to death at a refugee camp in Lesbos

A teenager has died following an altercation at a refugee camp in Lesbos. ANA reported that the victim was targeted at the juvenile ward of the Moria camp. The incident happened on Saturday evening when another teenager attacked several people. Similar to other refugee camps in Lesbos, the Moria camp is claimed to be overcrowded. According to Medical Without Borders (MSF), there are "between 9,500 and 10,000 people here and the transfers out are not at all proportional to the arrivals, which just in the last month have been 750 a week.” MSF's Marco Sandrone added: “The extreme overcrowding is provoking a tense dynamic between those living in the camp, which has inadequate services and a lack of security. The already precarious situation is just continuing to deteriorate, as we have seen with the death of this boy.” Lesbos is one of the main Greek refugee points for those travelling the Mediterranean route.

Hundreds evacuated due to wildfire in Samos

Hundreds have been forced to evacuate after a major wildfire broke out in the eastern island of Samos, located just off Turkey. ANA reported that the beaches in Glykoriza and Proteas were preventatively evacuated to the town of Pythagoreio. According to the Greek Civil Protection authority, over the weekend, more than 50 wildfires were reported nationwide. Authorities urged people to notify local authorities over wildfires by calling 199 or 112. The risk of wildfires in Greece is highest during the summer months. Several incidents which have led to evacuations have been reported in recent months across Greece.

Wildfire triggers preventative evacuation in Lakki, Leros

Some areas on the Leros island have been evacuated after a fire broke out. According to local media, the fire has caused the evacuation of a local hospital and sections of the Lakki beach. Mayor Michael Colia said that the fire is currently under control and that it poses no further risk to residential areas and the population. The risk of wildfires in Greece is highest during the summer months.

International assistance requested to tackle wildfire in Evia

Greece has officially requested international assistance through the EU Civil Protection mechanism to tackle a major wildfire in central Evia. Dozens of people from the towns of Makrimalli, Kondodespoti, Stravos and Platanias have been preventatively evacuated. Greece's General Secretariat for Civil Protection (GSCP) has declared a state of emergency in the town of Messapia. According to the UK FCO, the road between Payras and Pyrgos has been closed. Other roads across the central region of Evia may also be affected and closed in short notice. Travellers are advised to follow advice from the local authorities. GSCP has confirmed a high risk of wildfires across southern and north-eastern Greece and it may persist throughout the week.

Evacuation alerts issued as wildfire threatens villages in Evia

At least three villages on the island of Evia are on evacuation alert after a major wildfire broke out at a pine forest on Tuesday morning. Local media reported that the blaze broke out near the town of Agrilitsa in Dirfys-Messapia. Reuters reported that the Panagia Makrymallis monastery was already evacuated. Large smoke plumes have spread towards Athens, while the villages of Makrymalli and Kondodespoti are ready to evacuate. Greece's health ministry has raised issues over a significant decrease in air quality in the region due to the fire. People have been advised caution and to remain indoors. The risk of wildfires may still persist across Greece due to strong winds and high temperatures that are forecast to affect the country throughout the week.

Tourist camp evacuated after wildfire breaks out in Elafonisos

A tourist camp in the southern Greek island of Elafonisos has been evacuated after a wildfire threatened a populated area over the weekend. Dozens of firefighters were deployed to the area on Saturday after a wildfire broke out at a landfill. Authorities confirmed that the fire was already brought under control. Meanwhile in the town of Peania, east of Athens, another fire destroyed several houses. Reports suggest that an area around Mount Hymettus was threatened. Dozens of wildfires were active in Greece during the weekend. Wildfires in Greece are common, especially during the summer. The risk of wildfires may still persist across Greece due to strong winds and high temperatures that are forecast to affect the country throughout the week.

Missing British woman found dead in deep ravine in Ikaria

A British woman who was reported missing on Monday has been found dead in a ravine on the Greek island of Ikaria. Natalie Christopher was reported missing after going for a morning run near the island's Kerame area. Police confirmed that the 35-year-old was found at the bottom of a 20-metre-deep ravine. Christopher was on holiday with her Cypriot partner. She was due to return to Cyprus hours before she was reported missing.

Police search for missing British woman in Ikaria

A large-scale search operation has been launched to locate a missing British tourist on the island of Ikaria, south-eastern Greece. Ekathimerini reported that 35-year-old Natalie Christopher was reported missing by her husband on Monday after she went for her morning jog in the Kerame area. Both arrived in Greece on Saturday and were expected to return to Cyprus on Monday evening.

Warnings issued over high risk of wildfires

The Greek authorities have issued warnings over the high risk of wildfires breaking out as temperatures rise nationwide. The warning particularly applies to the Attica, Central Greece, Crete, and Peloponnese regions, which are at the highest risk of wildfires breaking out and spreading quickly. Hot and dry conditions, combined with strong winds mean large uncontrolled fires can suddenly present a deadly threat. Residents and tourists have been asked to avoid activities which could spark such fires, such as camp site fires, barbecues, or burning dead vegetation. Smokers should also take extra caution when stamping out cigarettes in grassy areas.

Strong 5.3-magnitude earthquake recorded in Athens

A powerful 5.3-magnitude earthquake has been recorded near Athens According to BBC, telecoms and power have been knocked down in some parts of the city, while no preliminary damage or casualties were initially reported. The US Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed that the quake's epicentre was near the town of Magoula at a 10-kilometre depth. Greece usually experiences low to medium-magnitude tremors on a daily basis. Seismic activity in the country is mainly attributed to the convergence of the Africa and Eurasia tectonic plates.

Two cases of WNV confirmed in northern Greece

The National Organisation for Public Health has confirmed two cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in northern Greece. Reports show that the cases were reported in the northern regions of Xanthi and Katerini. This is the first two cases of WNV to be confirmed in Greece during 2019. Last year, more than 300 cases, including 50 deaths, were confirmed. The Athens Medical Association has severely criticised the government for failing to address the surge in WNV cases in Greece. People have been urged to remain alert and take the necessary precautions to avoid contracting the disease. Recommendations include the use of insect repellent, keep windows and door shut, and remove stagnant water from open spaces. WNV is a disease carried by mosquitoes. Most cases of West Nile virus present mild symptoms, such as fever and headaches. However, a small percentage may develop severe neurological infections.

Red weather alerts issued to western and central Greece

The Hellenic National Met Service (HNMS) has issued red weather alerts to most regions across central and western Greece. Adverse weather conditions and severe thunderstorms are forecast to persist until at least Wednesday in the regions of West Peloponnisos, East Sterea and Evvoia, Epirus, West Sterea, West Makedonia and the Ionian Islands. Lower alerts are also in place in East Peloponisos, Central Makedonia, Thessalia and Attiki. Ferry services between Greek islands are also expected to face some disruption, especially in the southern and northern regions. Last week, at least six people were killed when gale-force winds battered northern Greece. Travellers are advised to follow updates and recommendations provided by the HNMS.

Greek police arrest man linked to death of US scientist in Crete

Greek police have arrested a 27-year-old man in connection to the death of US scientist Suzanne Eaton. According to the police, the cause of death includes asphyxiation, while the motives behind it may be linked to sexual abuse. Further investigations are ongoing. Eaton was found dead last week in an abandoned World War II cave in Hania, north-western Crete. She was on the island to attend a scientific conference.

Anarchist Nikos Romanos released after six years in prison

Nikos Romanos, a Greek anarchist sentenced to spend 18 years in prison, has been released on Wednesday. Romanos was charged for the possession of explosives after he placed several bombs outside banks and the house of Greek politicians, including former Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou of the socialist PASOK. He was arrested in 2012 when he was 18 years of age. His release came after a criminal court of appeals reduced his initial sentence and the Supreme Court ordered his release for good behaviour. Romanos has been known as one of the main faces on the anarchist movement in Greece.

Several tourists killed as strong winds batter northern Greece

At least six tourists have been killed and 30 others injured after a violent hailstorm suddenly hit northern Greece. Reports show that adverse weather battered Halkidiki, located near Thessaloniki. A state of emergency was declared in the city while widespread power cuts have also been reported. Power is expected to be restored by Thursday evening. Local officials said that the storm knocked down a utility pole which was part of a power grid. Although the Hellenic National Met Service has issued no new weather alerts for Greece, the Greek Civil Protection authority said that adverse weather conditions could intensify Thursday morning, while localised thunderstorms may affect some areas across Imathia, Pieria, Evia, Thessaly and the northern Aegean Islands.

Central Greek village near Lamia evacuated due to wildfire risks

A village in central Greece has been evacuated after four wildfires simultaneously broke out on Wednesday. Ekathimerini reported that the wildfires remain active in the northern parts of Lamia, where the village of Divri is located. Fire fronts include a forest area near Agia Anna Monastery, the Domokos mines and Lygaria. Earlier this week, several villages in Evia were evacuated due to wildfire risks. Wildfires in Greece are common, especially during the summer.

Missing US scientist found dead in Crete

A 59-year-old US scientist reported missing since last week has been found dead in Crete. Ekathimerini reported that Suzanne Eaton was found inside a cave near the town of Xamoudochori, Hania. Reports suggest that Eaton was reported missing last Tuesday after going for a run in a nearby location. She was in Crete to attend a conference at the Orthodox Academy. Eaton was affiliated to Germany's Dresden Technic University and the Max Plank Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-MCG). MPI-MCG said that: "The authorities have not yet completed their investigation regarding the events."

UK nationals killed in car crash in Malia, Crete

Two UK nationals have been killed in a car crash in Malia, Crete. The Guardian reported that four people were on board a jeep when they crashed into a parked motorcycle. The accident happened on Monday morning. One of the occupants was taken to the hospital in serious condition. An FCO spokesman told UK media that: ‘We are supporting the families of three British people involved in a car accident in Crete, and are in contact with local authorities".

Centre-right opposition wins snap general elections

Centre-right leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis is set to become Greece's new prime minister after his New Democracy (ND) won last Sunday's snap general elections. Preliminary results show that the ND garnered nearly 40 percent of the votes against the ruling leftist Syriza, which got over 31 percent. Embattled Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will step down on Monday afternoon when Mitsotakis will be sworn into office after meeting President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. PM Tsipras has called the snap elections after a poor Syriza performance in the EU elections. Last week, the ND has also made significant gains in the local elections, winning contested seats in Athens and Thessaloniki. The new government will face a confidence vote on 21 July.

Greek authorities make massive amphetamine seizure

The Greek authorities have made a massive drug bust after seizing three shipping containers from Syria full of amphetamine. Reuters reported that a joint operation led to the seizure of over five tonnes or 33 million pills of Captagon. In a statement, the Greek financial crimes unit, the SDOE, said: “It is the largest quantity that has ever been seized globally, depriving organised crime of proceeds that would have exceeded $660 million.” Captagon is claimed to be popular in the Arabian Peninsula, with Syria being one of the drug's top producers and exporters. It is still unknown what the intended destination of the shipment was. Previously, Captagon was used as a medicine, but since it was discontinued due to addiction, it has been widely linked to the illicit drug trade. According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), some insurgent groups in Syria have trafficked the drug as a source of revenue.

Several villages evacuated due to wildfire near Kymi, Evia

Several villages in the south-eastern island of Evia have been evacuated after a wildfire broke out on Thursday evening. Reports show that the fire erupted in Makrychori, located in the coastal town of Kymi. Hundreds of firefighters were deployed to the scene. Firefighting efforts are still ongoing. Beside Kymi, the towns of Pyrgri and Aghios Georgios were also affected. Evacuation orders were issued to the villages of Gavalas, Dafni, Neohori and Lofiskos. AP reported that a 64-year-old man was detained for deliberately setting a terrain ablaze. Wildfires in Greece are common, especially during the summer.

Ferry and passenger boat services suspended due to strike action

Ferry and passenger boat services have been suspended on Wednesday due to 24-hour strike action. Port workers are demanding better salaries after previous negotiations were held with major shipping companies. Local media reported that ferry services between Greece and Italy are also being affected.

Nationwide alert issued for high temperatures

The National Observatory of Athens weather service has issued a nationwide alert for high temperatures.  With effect from 3 July, temperatures are expected to rise to 41 degrees centigrade in northe-eastern Aegean and 38 degrees centigrade in Athens.  Cooler weather is forecast from 5 July with storms and rainfall expected in the northern and central parts of the country.  Members of the public are advised to monitor local media for weather updates and possible risks such as wildfires.

Precautionary measures advised over surge in WNV cases in Greece

Health authorities in Greece are warning tourists to take precautionary measures over mosquito-borne diseases during the Summer months. After more than 300 cases of West Nile virus (WNV) were confirmed last year, authorities are concerned over a fresh outbreak in the next few months. A public health official for Keelpno told The Guardian: "The virus has established itself in Greece through migratory birds and we are recommending that everyone takes personal protective measures such as wearing long sleeves, avoiding places with stagnant water and using mosquito nets and repellent.” Most cases of West Nile virus present mild symptoms, such as fever and headaches. However, last year, most cases were more serious, leading to 50 deaths. Both urban and rural areas are vulnerable to WNV.

Six migrants killed in boat capsize off Lesbos

Six people have died after a boat transporting migrants capsized off Lesbos. Emergency services were deployed to the scene to rescue more than 60 people on board a vessel which sank in the Aegean Sea. Reports suggest that the accident happened near the shores of the town of Mytilene. Latest reports from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) indicate that 34 people have been killed between January and May in the Eastern Mediterranean Route. Greece continues to be one of the main routes, where 10,200 people arrived by sea this year - nearly half of the overall total in Mediterranean countries.

Vehicles set ablaze in suspected arson attack in Thessaloniki

At least six vehicles have been damaged in a suspected arson attack in Thessaloniki, northern Greece. AP reported that two cars parked on the street were deliberately targeted in the early hours of Monday morning. It is believed that the owner of the one vehicle is a worker at the Turkish consulate. It is still unclear who is behind the suspected attacks.

Greece's New Democracy makes massive gains in local elections

Greece's right-wing New Democracy (ND) party has made significant gains in the second round of the local elections. The main opposition party struck a fresh defeat to the ruling Syriza after securing 12 out of 13 regions in Greece. The turnout was around 48 percent. The party has also won the contested seats in Athens and Thessaloniki, where Kostas Bakoyannis and Konstantinos Zervas were respectively elected. The results come after the ND achieved strong results in last week's EU elections. ND's Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to be the front-runner of the upcoming general vote on 07 July. He is the main contender against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who called the snap elections after a poor Syriza performance in the EU vote.

General election to be held in July

The Greek government has set a date for the next general election, having called for an early election earlier this week. The election will be held on 07 July and was called following the ruling left-wing Syriza party's poor results in the EU election over the weekend. All 200 seats in the Hellenic parliament will be contested in the upcoming snap election.

May Day protests to take place across Athens

Several protests are scheduled to take place across Athens in celebration of the International Workers' Day on Wednesday. Demonstrators are expected to gather just outside parliament and around Syntagma Square. Like previous years, security measures will be reinforced, while roadblocks around the city may trigger travel disruption. Public transport may also be affected throughout the day. Travellers are advised to avoid large gatherings as protests may turn violent. This year's May Day protests come months before the legislative elections, scheduled for 20 October.

Drug trafficking gangs dismantled in Attica region

Police said on Wednesday that they had dismantled a gang dedicated to importing vast quantities of cocaine from Iran.  Five foreign nationals were arrested and 45 kilos of the drug and a gun were seized in raids across various areas of Attica.  In a separate incident, police made two further arrests of foreign nationals  on suspicion of the distribution of cocaine and hashish.  Meanwhile in Piraeus, 15 people were arrested charged with membership of a gang dedicated to distributing cocaine.  

One injured in Athens hostage situation

A police unit stormed an Athens apartment on Thursday morning to end a hostage situation which had gone on for 16 hours.  According to reports, a 35-year-old man had held his father at gunpoint following an argument with his parents, barricading the two of them into a room of the first-floor apartment in the suburb of Nea Smyrni.  Police said that the man has serious psychological problems.  

Nine members of robbery gang arrested in Pella

On 16 April, nine men were arrested in Pella, on suspicion of running a gang that is responsible for numerous robberies over the last five years.  According to preliminary reports, the gang may be behind more than a dozen robberies against kiosks, churches and shops, some of them including the use of violence and armed threats.  The authorities suggest that the value of goods and money stolen could amount to around 120,000 euros. 

Government to repay IMF debt ahead of schedule

The Greek government is negotiating to repay a significant part of its' 9.6 billion euro debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) early.  The announcement comes a month after the IMF said that the country had entered a period of economic growth "that puts it among the top performers in the eurozone".  IMF loans are expensive, with an interest rate of 5.1 percent, and the left-wing government is planning to boost funding for social programmes with money saved from cheaper loan repayments.

Demonstrations expected in Athens on 16 April

NGO workers and human rights organizations are expected to march in Exarchia in Athens on 16 April, to show their solidarity with refugees.  The planned demonstrations come following a raid which took place on 11 April to evict squatters, who were mainly refugees, in buildings in the area.  Three people were arrested and over 90 others briefly detained in the police operation which the authorities said was targeted at drug dealers.  Individuals are advised to follow the instructions of local authorities, and avoid the area whenever possible as clashes between protesters and police are likely.

Parliament closed due to bomb threat

The Hellenic Parliament in Athens has been temporarily closed following a bomb threat on Friday. An anonymous threat was allegedly made via telephone to a local news site, claiming explosives had been places inside and outside parliament. The bomb squad were dispatched to the scene, where the buildings have been cordoned off and were swept for explosives. No bombs have been found although the investigation remains ongoing, causing significant disruption throughout the surrounding area.

Crete floods spark state of emergency

Recent flood on the Greek island of Crete have sparked a local state of emergency. Heavy rainfall has triggered widespread flooding and general disruption over the last few days. Among the worst-affected areas are the towns of Ierapetra and Sitia, where relief efforts remain ongoing. No casualties have been reported; however, significant damage to buildings and roads has been caused by the floods.

Heavy rainfall triggers state of emergency in South Aegean

A state of emergency has been declared after intense rainfall caused extensive damage in South Aegean. Governor Giorgos Hadjimarkos has called for a state of emergency to the islands of Karpathos and Kasos. Adverse weather conditions hit both islands on Thursday and Friday. Some local rivers burst their banks and landslide blocked major roads. Local media reported that a section of the road between Spoa and Olympos was affected, while damage also hit the beach of Apella. Since then, weather conditions have significantly improved. Currently, there are no weather warnings active by the Hellenic National Met Service.

Small explosive thrown at Russian Consulate in Athens

A hand grenade has been thrown at the Russian Consulate in Athens. Police reports revealed that the attack happened on Friday morning when individuals riding a motorcycle threw a small explosive device at the building. No major damage or casualties were reported. Reuters reported that the suspected vehicle used in the attack was found burned out in the central district of Exarchia. It is still unclear what the motivations behind the incident are. Although diplomatic relations between Greece and Russia are relatively stable, in recent months it was hindered over allegations of Russian meddling in the historic Macedonia deal.

Five injured in Macedonia name change protests

Police used tear gas to break up protests in the northern Greek town of Ptolemaida on Wednesday.  The participants had gathered to express their opposition to the agreement under which FYROM was renamed "The Republic of North Macedonia".  Demonstrators have accused the police of using excessive force, and five people were injured in scuffles, including four police officers.  The agreement paves the way for North Macedonia's entry into NATO and the EU.

Powerful winds cause extensive damage across Crete

Inclement weather has caused extensive damage across the southern island of Crete. Local media reported that a 61-year-old farmer was found dead after his vehicle was swept away. Widespread flooding was reported after heavy rainfall and strong winds hit the island for a week. Some high-risk areas were evacuated. According to the Hellenic National Met Service (HNMS), strong winds are forecast to persist in the region.

Over 50 people killed by flu in three months

The country's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) has confirmed that 56 people have died in the last three months due to the influenza strain H1N1.  There have been around 226 serious cases, around 29 of whom had been vaccinated.  Health officials are urging individuals to ensure they are vaccinated, take preventative measures such as washing hands and avoiding contact with sick individuals and seek medical attention if they display symptoms.  

Conditions in refugee camps denounced by Council of Europe

On 19 February the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture issued a report denouncing Greece for the conditions within their refugee and migrant camps.  The document highlights a lack of doctors and medicine, leading to a number of health problems, as well as allegations of abuse and violence by police towards refugees.  The Greek government responded that they were not aware of any evidence to back up such allegations, and that the poor conditions were the result of overcrowding caused by the influx of migrants over the Turkish border in 2018.  

Four missing following flooding in Crete

Four people who were travelling in a car are missing after the vehicle was swept away following torrential rainfall on the island of Crete.  The incident happened on Sunday morning in the Messara region of the island and the local fire and search and rescue units are continuing the search for the three women and one man on Monday.  

Magnitude 4.4 earthquake reported in Western Greece

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.4 has struck in the early hours of 18 February.  The quake happened 44km west of Pyrgos.  No injuries or damage have been reported.

Constitution to be revised to fight corruption

On 14 February, parliament voted to revise several articles of the Constitution to enable easier prosecution of corrupt officials, including politicians.  Current rules state that ministers cannot be prosecuted if the alleged infractions occurred more than two terms ago.  A further vote is scheduled for March. 

IED explodes outside Peristeri court

Police have reported that an explosion took place outside a court in Peristeri, western Athens at around 03:00 on 15 February.  The device was formed of gas canisters which were thought to be remotely detonated, and caused damage to the gates of the court and a nearby vehicle, but no injuries were reported.  

Hundreds to stage protest in Thessaloniki

Hundreds of people are expected to take part in a demonstration in central Thessaloniki. Protests are expected to kick off on Thursday at 18:00 local time, when protesters will gather around the Venizelos Statue and the Arch of Galerius. Demonstrators may also march around the vicinity of the US Consulate General on Tsimiski road and the Port of Thessaloniki. According to the US Consulate General in Thessaloniki, the protest comes "to protest the transit of U.S. and NATO helicopters and military equipment via the Port of Thessaloniki". The Port of Thessaloniki has been used as one of the main hubs to deliver NATO equipment in the region since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Last January, US and Greek troops launched a joint military exercise near Mount Olympus, south of Thessaloniki - the area is also close to the Larisa Air Force Base, where the US temporarily houses part of its drone programme.

IED attack on Golden Dawn offices reported

On 11 February an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in front of the offices of Golden Dawn in Aspropyrgos in Attica.  The incident took place at around 02:30 causing some damage to the building.  No injuries were reported.  Golden Dawn is an ultra-nationalist far-right Greek political party who use Nazi symbolism and admire former Greek dictators Ioannis Metaxas and Georgios Papadopoulos.  

Protest held against Samos migrant camp

On 7 February, around 2,500 people marched peacefully in Vathy to demand the closure of the migrant and refugee centre on Samos Island and the transfer of the inhabitants to the mainland.  The migrant facility currently houses 3,600 residents, which is more than five times its' intended capacity.  Participants in the rally have expressed concern over living conditions at the camp, with many living in summer tents and poor conditions including inadequate sanitation and safety.  

Thunderstorms forecast to hit southern Greece

The Hellenic National Met Service (HNMS) has issued weather warnings as powerful thunderstorms are forecast to hit southern Greece. Adverse weather conditions are expected to hit the regions of Attiki, East Peloponnisos, West Peloponnisos and East Sterea and Evvoia on Tuesday and Wednesday. Strong winds and hail mays also hit those regions, while disruption to ferry services are also possible. For further information, it is advised to follow updates from the HNMS.

Earthquake strikes off Epirus coast

A 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck around 18 kilometres northwest of Preveza in the early hours of 5 February.  Individuals in the area are advised to expect aftershocks in the coming hours and days and to monitor the situation and follow the instructions of local authorities.  

Maritime police rescue 20 migrants off Greek coast

Maritime Police have announced that they rescued 20 migrants off the Greek coast near the island of Lesbos during the early hours of Saturday.  According to reports, the group included five children and a pregnant woman.  The migrants were taken to the port of Skala Skamineas where they were handed over to the authorities.

Six arrested in Thessaloniki drug operation

Three locals and three Albanian nationals have been arrested as part of drugs operation in Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki.  The six are suspected of involvement in a criminal network dedicated to the importation and distribution of cannabis.  As a result of the arrests, police also discovered the location of the drugs haul, leading to the seizure of around 93 kg of cannabis.  

Prime Minister announces rise to minimum wage

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has announced an 11 percent increase to the minimum wage, and the abolition of the lower-wage category for young employees, in the first step towards ending austerity.  It is the first increase in a decade, and Mr Tsipras said the move would invigorate the economy.  He is facing general elections later in the year and is keen to reverse some of the unpopular measures that Athens were compelled to take by creditors of the bailout that the country received nine years ago.  Over 800,000 people will benefit from the ruling which will see the standard monthly minimum wage rise from 586 euros to 650.  

Arrests made over firebomb attack on MP's home

The Katerini home of Syriza MP Betty Skoufa was the location of a firebomb incident on Friday night.  No-one was injured in the attack, which was one of several on the homes of MPs who voted in favour of the name deal between the government and Macedonia, which was ratified on Friday.  Nine people have been arrested on suspicion of arson, attempted bodily harm and resisting arrest.  

Parliament ratifies Macedonia's name-change deal

Greece's parliament has ratified the controversial Macedonian name-change agreement known as the Prespa deal. The agreement dictates that the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will now be called the Republic of North Macedonia. The dispute, which lasted for nearly 30 years, prevented Macedonia aspirations of joining the EU and NATO. Macedonia is also the name of a northern Greek region. For several days, a wave of protests has been reported across Greece, especially in Athens and Thessaloniki. Further demonstrations are expected to occur over the weekend. Travellers are advised to remain vigilant as previous demonstrations turned violent. In Athens, most protests are being held on the Syntagma Square, just outside parliament. Some disruption to public transports and road travel are also possible.

Fresh protests scheduled ahead of parliament vote on Macedonia's name-change deal

A demonstration is scheduled to take place on Thursday in Athens ahead of the parliament vote on the controversial name-change agreement with Macedonia. According to the US Embassy in Athens, the demonstration will take place around the Eleftherias Park and Syntagma Square. Protests in Athens are scheduled to kick off at 18:00 local time. Demonstrations are also scheduled in Thessaloniki near the Venizelos Statue and the Arch of Galerius. Road closures and disruption to public transportation are possible. Travellers have been advised to avoid large gatherings as protests may turn violent.

Clashes over name change in Athens

Clashes have been reported in Athens over the government's name change deal with neighbouring Macedonia. A rally was organised by groups opposed to the deal, attracting tens of thousands of participants on Sunday. According to the BBC, protesters clashed with the police, with the police firing tear gas at protesters. It's been reported that fighting initially broke out when masked protesters started throwing stones and fireworks at the police near parliament. 

Mass demonstration scheduled in Athens over Macedonia name-change deal

Over 150,000 people are expected to take part in a massive demonstration in Athens. Protests are scheduled to kick off at 14:00 local time on Sunday. Demonstrators are expected to gather around Syntagma Square and the Athens University. Road closures and severe travel disruption may affect the capital from Sunday morning. The protest is against the controversial name-change deal that the government reached with neighbouring Macedonia. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has recently survived a confidence vote as he seeks to introduce a number of political reforms ahead of the Greek general elections in October.

PM survives no-confidence vote

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has reportedly won a no-confidence vote. The parliamentary vote took place on Wednesday and resulted in a government victory as 151 of the 300-seat chamber supported the left-wing Syriza party. According to reports, the vote was called by the PM himself after his party's coalition partner, the right-wing Independent Greeks, quit the coalition over a name-change deal with neighbouring Macedonia.

Prime Minister Tsipras to face confidence vote after coalition collapse

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to face a confidence vote in parliament after the government coalition collapsed. Last Sunday, Defence Minister Panos Kammenos handed over his resignation. Kammenos is the leader of Syriza's coalition partner, Independent Greeks (Anel). He is against the controversial name-changing deal that Greece reached with Macedonia. With the collapse of the coalition, PM Tsipras needs at least 151 votes in favour from 300 - Syriza currently holds 145 seats in parliament, while the main opposition, the New Democracy (NA) has 78 seats. The so-called Prespa deal still has to be approved in the Greek parliament. Lawmakers in Macedonia already approved the deal to change the country's name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

Violent protests possible during Angela Merkel's visit to Athens

Over 2,000 extra police officers have been deployed in Athens on 11 January, during the visit of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel to the city.  Mrs Merkel is unpopular after pushing for austerity measures when Greece was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2015.  Several of the city's streets will be closed around the presidential palace, the Syntagma metro station will be closed to the public and some transport services will be affected.  

Heavy snowfall causes disruption

Heavy snow affected Athens and surrounding areas as well as the northern and central regions of the country on Tuesday.  Public transportation services were affected and schools and courts were closed.  Some roads were closed to traffic, and flight and train disruptions are likely.  

Three bodies found after car is dragged by current near Athens

Emergency services have recovered three bodies after a car was dragged away by a strong current in a creek near Athens. AP reported that heavy rainfall battered the area around Keratea, southeastern Attica, and triggered widespread flooding. Two victims were initially recovered on Saturday, while another was found a day later nearly 10 kilometres away. Weather conditions across Greece are forecast to improve from Tuesday.

Explosion reported at Attica ATM

On 19 December, an explosion was reported at a cash machine at a bank in Glyka Nera, Attica.  The incident happened at 03:15 local time when an improvised explosive device (IED) was placed by the machine.  There was extensive damage to the facade of the building, but the ATM was not broken open.  Police have started an investigation.  

Explosion reported at Athens TV office

On 17 December at around 02:40 local time, an explosion occurred at the Skai TV office in the Neo Faliro area of Athens. The offices had been evacuated shortly beforehand following an anonymous telephone tip-off, and no injuries were reported, although the building suffered extensive damage.  Preliminary reports suggest that the improvised explosive device (IED) had been placed in a backpack near the premises, and a major investigation is under way.    

Explosion reported at Athens bus depot

On 11 December, there was a small explosion at the KTEL intercity bus depot in Athens.  The incident happened at around 02:00 local time, and no injuries were reported.  Preliminary investigations indicate that the improvised explosive device consisted of four gas canisters, and that a security guard had been able to extinguish the resulting blaze before it spread.  The motive for the attack was unknown, and no group has claimed responsibility.    

Violence flares at Athens commemorative march

Marches in the Exarcheia area of Athens to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the killing of a teenager by police, turned violent on Thursday.  Protesters erected barricades to block roads, burned cars and threw Molatov cocktails at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.  Tensions are likely to remain high in the following days and visitors and residents are advised to avoid the area and follow instructions from local authorities.

Prime Minister to visit President Putin in Moscow

On 7 December, Prime Minister Tsipras is to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.  It is their first meeting since Greece expelled two Russian diplomats during the Summer over accusations the country had meddled in Greek affairs.  The topics to be discussed will include energy cooperation.  Also likely to be discussed is the name deal currently under discussion between Greece and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which Russia objects to as the Balkan state could then join NATO. 

Protests expected in Athens 6 December

Protests are expected in Athens on Thursday 6 December to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the killing of a teenager by police.  Around 5,000 police are to be deployed in an attempt to avoid clashes between demonstrators and the authorities.  Individuals are advised to avoid the Exarcheia area of the city and follow the instructions of the local authorities.

Court acquits gold mining raiders

A Thessaloniki court has acquitted 21 people who were accused of raiding prospective gold mining facilities at Skouries in the Halkidiki peninsula in 2103.  Around 40 people had attacked the facility, assaulting security guards and setting fire to assets and buildings.  The mining project has split the local residents, as many welcome the jobs it provides, whereas others object on environmental grounds.  All of the accused denied the charges of attempted murder, possession of explosives and arms offences, which were dismissed for lack of evidence.

Bodies of three foreign nationals found on railway tracks

Greek authorities have said that the dismembered bodies of three people have been found on railway tracks at the village of Fylakas near the border with Turkey.  Preliminary reports suggest that they are believed to be migrants who were hit by a train.  There have been several fatal accidents in the area as migrants cross the border and then sleep on the lines or walk along them in the dark.  

Football fans clash at Olympic Stadium in Athens

On 27 November several people were injured in clashes between rival fans ahead of a Champion's League match between Greece's AEK Athens and the Netherland's Ajax.  A petrol bomb exploded in the stands, and several people were injured.  Police in riot gear were deployed to control the situation.  Some minor disturbances had also occurred in parts of central Athens before the match.

General strike to cause widespread disruption nationwide

Major labour unions across Greece are to stage a general strike on 28 November.  Transport and service disruptions are likely, as well as protests in major cities.  The dispute is over wage increases and a series of reforms which the government has implemented, including additional austerity measures.  Residents and visitors are advised to expect delays and cancellations on public transport and services.

Athens march to commemorate student uprising turns violent

Around 15,000 people marched peacefully in Athens on Saturday to commemorate the 1973 student uprising.  However later in the day around 300 youths wearing balaclavas and dressed in black clashed with police in the city, using flares and petrol bombs.  Over 5,000 riot police were deployed in Athens alone, using tear gas and stun grenades to disperse crowds.  Nineteen people were arrested and two officers injured.  In 2011, a conservative government scrapped a controversial law which barred police from setting foot on campus grounds, but this was reinstated last year by the radical left leadership of Alexis Tsipras.  Last month, university professors walked out in protest, demanding the authorities crack down on anarchists and criminal elements in state universities, who use their protected status to launch attacks on the police. 

Demonstrations in Athens on Saturday

On Saturday 17 November, demonstrations are expected across Athens to commemorate the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising.  The authorities have advised that several metro stations will close at 15:30 local time, and there will be traffic restrictions in the city centre.  Extra police, including drones and helicopters will be deployed and there may be clashes between demonstrators and security forces.  Around 10,000 people marched peacefully at the event in 2017, but the evening was marred by violent clashes in anti-government protests against austerity measures.  Travellers to the area are advised to avoid demonstrations where possible, and anticipate travel disruptions.  

Train derails in Phthiotis Region

On 16 November, a train travelling to Athens from Leianokladi in the Phthiotis region, derailed at 06:52 local time.  The incident has caused delays on the rail network, but no injuries were reported.  Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.

Marine operations to face disruptions due to strike action

Marine operations nationwide are expected to be affected due to a scheduled strike in late-November. Workers represented by the Panhellenic Seamen's Union (PNO) are set to launch a 24-hour strike on 28 November amid a long-standing salary dispute. Travel disruptions among Greek islands are widely expected. Seamen strike actions intensified after the summer when the Greek third bailout programme expired.

Taxi drivers to launch strike action against ride-hailing apps

Taxi drivers nationwide are set to launch a 12-hour strike on Thursday against ride-hailing services such as Uber and Beat. According to local media, taxi drivers will launch a strike from 04:00 local time. Protesters accuse the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of failing to implement legislation to regulate such services. Ride-hailing companies and taxi drivers have been engaged in a long-standing dispute in Greece. Similar to other European countries, several protests and strikes have been launched nationwide in recent months.

Flights between Skopje and Greece to resume after 12 years

Flights between Athens and the Macedonian capital, Skopje, are set to resume after more than 12 years. The first flight, which will be operated by Greek-flagged Aegean Airlines, will take off on Thursday from Athens. Both countries have been engaged in a long-standing dispute regarding the name of the former Yugoslav republic. Macedonia's Ambassador in Greece, Darko Angelov, told the Guardian that: “This is indicative of the big improvement in our relations. As neighbouring countries, it was long needed and will be greatly welcomed by the business community." This has been announced as the newest route of Aegean Airlines, which will offer the service twice a week. Air travel between both countries was halted back in 2006. In June, Macedonia and Greece agreed to rename Macedonia - the same name of a northern Greek region - as North Macedonia.

Fresh earthquake hits island of Zakynthos

A new 5.5-magnitude earthquake has been recorded off the coast of Zakynthos, which was last week affected by another powerful tremor. Reports suggest that the quake struck on Tuesday morning at a shallow depth of 10km. No major damages or casualties were reported. Last week a powerful 6.4-magnitude quake hit the island, causing landslides and damaging roads. According to reports, the earthquake was so strong that it permanently moved the island at least three centimetres southwest. The island is a popular tourist destination in south-western Greece.

Student-led protest turns violent in Athens

Violent clashes erupted outside the Greek parliament in Athens during a student-led demonstration. Protesters took to the streets on Sunday to protest against government plans to change the requirements of access to higher education. Reuters reported that stones, petrol bombs and at least three cocktail Molotovs were thrown at riot police, which clashed with protesters on the Syntagma Square.

Strong earthquake hits island of Zakynthos

The Greek Civil Protection Agency has said that a strong earthquake hit the tourist island of Zakynthos at 02:00 local time on 26 October.  The main harbour for the island was damaged, while several rockfalls blocked roads and power outages affected the main town.  Several minor injuries have been reported.  The undersea quake had a magnitude of 6.8 with the epicentre 20 miles south-west of Mouzaki in the south of the island.

Over 30 people dead from West Nile virus

Thirty-four people have died from West Nile fever, with 238 cases reported across the country, mostly in Attica and Central Macedonia regions.  West Nile virus is a disease carried by mosquitoes, and the majority of people affected will show no symptoms.  However, one percent may develop severe neurological infections with permanent effects.  Travellers to Greece are advised to take precautions against mosquitoes including using insect repellant and covered clothing, and to avoid potential breeding grounds such as stagnant water.  

Foreign minister Kotzias resigns after heated cabinet meeting

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has taken over the Greek foreign ministry after Nikos Kotzias resigned from office. Kotzias handed over his resignation on Wednesday a day after a cabinet meeting, where he reportedly engaged in an argument with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos. Both disagreed over the Greek position on the Macedonian name-changing deal, which intends to change its name to Northern Macedonia to allow a potential NATO membership - move which has been long opposed by Greece as the neighbouring country shares the same name as a Greek province. Kammenos has been publicly against the deal. He is a key ally to the government as he heads the Independent Greeks.

Anarchists injure four Athens police officers

Dozens of anarchists hurled Molotov cocktails at a police station on 15 October, resulting in four police officers being wounded and damage to several vehicles.  The incident happened at a police station in Omonia in Athens on Monday evening.  

Delays due to technical fault at Kos International Airport

Eurocontrol has reported that ongoing technical issues are causing moderate delays at Kos Island International Airport (KGS).  Passengers are advised to contact their airline for further information.

Protestors gather at the border against Macedonian name change

On 30 September Greek protestors holding banners rallied against a proposed name-change deal with neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) near the Evzonoi border crossing.  Meanwhile, a referendum was taking place in FYROM, but at close of polls it seemed unlikely that the referendum would be declared legal as turnout stood at 34 percent, falling short of the 50 percent required to validate it. 

Three missing following flash floods in Evia

A rare type of tropical storm on Saturday caused swirling winds and torrential rain as well as flash floods through the southern Peloponnese peninsula and the island of Evia.  A search and rescue operation was underway on Sunday for three people who were reported missing from the island.  Across the country, ships were held at ports and traffic was disrupted due to flooding, while power cuts and falling trees were reported.  Authorities have expressed concern that the storm could also bring mudslides and floods in the wider Athens area which was recently hit by deadly fires and earlier floods.

Advisory for weather conditions for Greek islands

A fresh weather advisory has been issued for Greek islands from 28 to 30 September due to a low pressure system in the Mediterranean Sea.  Winds have been predicted to reach 120 to 150 km per hour, and the weather system may track towards Athens by 08:00 on 29 September.  There is a high likelihood of flight disruptions during this period.

Delays reported at Athens Airport

On 28 September, Eurocontrol reported moderate delays at Athens Airport (ATH) due to technical issues with traffic control.  Passengers are advised to contact their airline for further information.

Finance ministry to remove cash withdrawal limits

Greece's finance ministry has announced on Thursday that restrictions on domestic cash withdrawals will be scrapped as the country recently finished its latest bailout programme. The measure will be implemented from Monday 01 October. For nearly three years, Greeks were imposed with cash withdrawal limits after the economic crisis hit the country. Under the current law, depositors are limited to withdraw up to 5,000 euros a month. The restrictions came over fears of a potential banking system collapse after thousands rushed to the banks to empty their savings.

Adverse weather forecast to hit south-western Greece

Weather alerts have been issued to locations along the Ionian Sea as gale-force winds battered the region on Thursday. Ferry services between islands were suspended while several schools across mainland Greece were forced to close. Travel disruption has also been reported in the outskirts of Athens, where several trees and power lines were knocked down. Adverse weather conditions are forecast to continue on Friday, which include the risk of formation of a cyclone on the Ionian Sea. Travellers are advised to follow weather updates from the Hellenic National Met Service.

Pastra high school evacuated due to fire threat

On 27 September, the high school in Pastra on the island of Cephalonia was evacuated due to a wild fire which broke out between the village and Katelio.  No casualties have been reported.

Delays due to technical fault at Kos International Airport

A technical problem with a beacon at Kos International Airport (LGKO) is causing disruption to flight operations on Thursday morning.  Arrivals are being regulated causing delays which are expected to last for the remainder of the morning.  Passengers are advised to contact their airline for further information.  

Volotea flight forced to make emergency landing at Athens

On 25 September, a Volotea Airlines flight from Mikonos to Venice was forced to divert and make an emergency landing at Athens Airport (ATH) because of engine problems. None of the 116 people on board were injured, and the aircraft landed safely at 15:25 local time.  

Two thousand asylum seekers to be transported from Lesbos to mainland

On 18 September, the government confirmed that around 2,000 asylum seekers currently in migrant camps on the island of Lesbos, would be transported to the mainland by the end of the month.  The move has been prompted by severe criticism from NGOs and charities about the conditions in the camps which currently house around 9,000 people.  

Violence breaks out at vigils for slain rapper

On 18 September, violence broke out at at various rallies which had been held to mark the fifth anniversary of the killing of a rapper, Pavlos Fyssas.  Clashes between protestors and police occurred near Athens, Patras and Thessaloniki, where rocks, bottles and firebombs were thrown at officers.  A member of far-right party Golden Dawn was arrested for the 2013 murder of Fyssas who was stabbed in the street and died at the age of 34.  The incident sparked a crackdown against the extreme right political party, which has 15 lawmakers in Greece's parliament.

Three injured in rockfall at Navagio beach, Zante

At least three people have been injured in a rock fall at the iconic Navagio beach in Zante island, south-western Greece. Witnesses told Athens News Agency (ANA) that "there was a rumble and a rock fell, followed by a larger rock and then another. They whipped up a whirlpool that overturned boats." Navagio beach is surrounded by a 200-metre cliff and is also known as the 'Shipwreck Beach'. It is only accessible by boat - access to the beach has been temporarily suspended.

Fifteen injured in Macedonia name-change protests

On 8 September around 6,000 people took to the streets of Thessaloniki to protest over the renaming of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  During the demonstration, around 100 people threw stones and molotov cocktails at police, who responded with tear gas and concussion grenades.  Around 15 police officers were injured and eight people, including two minors, were arrested.  On 17 June, the Greek and Macedonian foreign ministers signed an agreement that the former Yugoslav Republic would be renamed the Republic of North Macedonia, following a decades-long dispute because of a Greek territory of the same name.  Macedonian supporters are keen for the issue to be approved so that the country can seek NATO and European Union membership, which had previously been vetoed by Greece.  

West Nile fever death toll rises

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (HCDCP) reported on Thursday that the death toll from West Nile fever has now reached 21, with 178 people affected so far.  The disease is mosquito-borne and is not contagious.   Italy has also reported a West Nile epidemic.  

British and Greek police smash Crete people smuggling ring

Greek police, supported by the UK National Crime Agency, have dismantled an organized crime gang responsible for people-smuggling between Egypt and Crete.  Six people between the ages of 23 and 49 have been arrested.   According to preliminary reports, the gang would charge around £4,500 to take migrants from Egypt to Crete and then on into northern European countries such as the UK, often via another boat journey to Italy.  The same gang is suspected of organising an attempt to cross to Italy in an unseaworthy vessel in May which led to 60 migrants being rescued.  

Protests to take place in Thessaloniki on 8 September

On 8 September, protests are expected in Thessaloniki in response to an agreement between Macedonia and Greece over a referendum relating to the name change of Macedonia.  The protest is due to take place while Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is in the city to support the name change.

Greek ferry strike affects thousands

Thousands of travelers and tourists are being affected on Monday by a one-day ferry strike to and from the islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Crete.  Many of the islands have no air connections, leaving people stranded.  The main PNO crew union are seeking a five percent pay rise for crews after an eight-year pay freeze due to the country's debt crisis, and said that around 180,000 people would be affected by the industrial action.  Tourism is a key industry in Greece.

Fire on Greek ferry forces evacuation

More than 1,000 passengers and crew on a ferry to Chania in Crete had to be evacuated when fire broke out in a parking area on board, spreading quickly and forcing the boat to return to the port of Piraeus near Athens.  The coastguard dispatched 13 ships to assist although the evacuation was only a precaution.  All those on board evacuated safely.  The majority of passengers were thought to be tourists.  

Pilot killed in Sparta Air Force crash

The pilot of a Greek Air Force aircraft was killed when the plane crashed north of Sparta during a training flight on Tuesday morning.  The Athens News Agency reported that the two crew had ejected from the aircraft, and although the co-pilot survived, the body of the pilot was discovered later.

Island of Hydra without electricity and water for 24 hours

On Sunday 26 August the island of Hydra was left without electricity and water for more than 24 hours.  A state of emergency was declared, and on Monday, authorities confirmed that power and water had been restored.  The state power grid operator said that the incident was caused by a prolem with an undersea electricity cable.   The island suffered huge economic losses as many tourists departed early, health facilities were forced to operate with generators, cash machines were not available, and shops suffered huge losses as their stock defrosted or rotted in the intense heat.  Hydra is an island near Athens popular with local and international tourists.

Severe delays reported at Greek island airports

On 27 August, capacity and staffing issues caused severe delays to air operations across the Greek islands.  The facilities affected were: Athens International Airport (ATH), Santorini National Airport (JTR), Heraklion International Airport (HER), Kephalonia International Airport (EFL), Chania International Airport (CHQ) and Mykonos Island National Airport (JMK).  Passengers are advised to contact their airline for information.

Petroleum workers picket refineries in privatisation plans

Workers at Hellenic Petroleum prevented potential buyers from entering two sites in protest at plans to privatise the utility.  Privatisation has been a key part of the country's bailout agreements since 2010, and under the terms of a deal which ended last week, 50 percent of Hellenic Petroleum must be sold, a move which has met with strong political resistance.  Anglo-Swiss Glencore Energy and Switzerland's Vitol Holding are bidding for the deal.  Greece has raised about 5 billion euros from state assets since 2010, but has a target of around 50 billion euros.  

West Nile virus outbreak reported

77 cases of West Nile virus have been reported throughout Greece so far this year, with the deaths of five elderly patients. West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease with seasonal outbreaks.  Symptoms are mild flu-like illness with less than one percent, usually elderly or compromised patients, developing serious complications such as meningitis or encephalitis.  Preventative measures include using mosquito repellent, wearing adequate clothing when outdoors and using screens or nets to prevent exposure in areas where mosquitos may be present. 

Greece emerges from Eurozone bail-out

After years of austerity, Greece has finally emerged from its' third and last bailout from the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  The economic reforms demanded by the creditors brought extreme hardship to Greece with a quarter of the gross domestic product used for repayments and unemployment soaring to more than 27 percent.  The Greek government now estimates that its' financing needs are now covered, the public deficit has been turned into a budget surplus and unemployment has fallen to below 20 percent.  However the country has legislated for further reform in 2019 and 2020 and will remain under supervision for several years to come, while households continue to feel the effects of unpopular austerity.  

Europe sees sharp rise in measles cases in 2018

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that there has been a sharp rise in the numbers of measles cases in the first half of 2018, with 41,000 people affected, and 37 deaths.  More than half of the cases were reported in Ukraine, with France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Russia and Serbia had more than 1,000 cases each.  Vaccine scepticism remains high in many parts of Europe, and although measles can be prevented by a vaccine which has been available since the 1960's, health officials say that vaccination rates of 95 percent are necessary to prevent epidemics.  Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through coughing or sneezing.  Symptoms include a high fever and a rash on the face and neck.  Most people who fall ill do recover, but measles can be dangerous for young children.

Firefighters tackle wildfire in Dafniotissa, Amaliada

At least 80 firefighters have been deployed to tackle a wildfire in Amaliada, south-western Greece. The fire broke out on Monday in the village of Dafniotissa. No casualties or damages have been reported so far. During the summer months, the risk of wildfires in Greece significantly increases. Last month, more than 90 people were killed when a major fire broke out on the outskirts of Athens.

Wildfire forces evacuations on island of Evia

A wildfire has forced the evacuation of hundreds of people from two villages on the island of Evia, near Athens.  Around 250 firefighters and 62 fire engines were deployed from the local areas to battle the blaze.  The incident comes only two weeks after 94 people were killed in the nearby coastal resort of Mati, with over 30 people still in hospital.  

Greek wildfire death toll reaches 93

Greek authorities have confirmed that the death toll of last month's wildfires has risen to 93. Initial reports revealed that at least 70 people were killed when a massive wildfire broke out in the seaside town of Mati on the outskirts of Athens. More than 30 people are still hospitalised, including six people in critical conditions. The wildfires are the worst to hit Greece since 2007, when scores of people were killed in the south. Risks of wildfires in Greece significantly increase during the summer months.

Delays expected at Kefallinia and Mykonos airports

Eurocontrol reported on 2 August that delays and disruptions are to be expected at both Kefallinia and Mykonos airports due to air traffic control capacity and staffing issues.  Delays of at least 45 minutes are to be expected and are likely to continue throughout the day. 

Authorities suspect arson in recent Athens fires

Greek authorities say that they are "indications" that arson may have been responsible for the recently deadly fires near Athens last Monday, which killed 83 and left dozens injured, some of them still in intensive care.  Many people are still missing, particularly from the Mati area, which was the worse affected.  Opposition politicians have accused the government of not acting quickly enough to evacuate people from the area, and not deploying enough resources in an area that was known to be a high fire risk.  More than 500 homes were destroyed and hundreds of people jumped into the sea to escape the flames.  The government retaliated by saying that illegal construction in the area had blocked some escape routes.   

Bulgaria warns neighbours of flooding risk

Bulgaria has warned its' neighbours to the south that they could face floods as heavy rains are predicted to swell the Arda and Maritsa rivers, which flow through the territories of Greece and Turkey.  The Foreign Minister said that the Ivaylovgrad dam in the eastern Rhodope Mountains was likely to overflow in the next few days, sending floodwater through the river Arda into Greece and joining the Maritsa river on their border with Turkey.  A state of emergency has been declared in several Bulgarian municipalities following heavy rainfall.

Search for the missing commences after forest fires

At least 79 people have been declared dead in the wildfires near Athens on Tuesday, and searches have commenced for dozens of missing people, including those who took to the sea to escape the blaze. More than 180 people were injured, including children. High winds were responsible for driving the flames, trapping many in homes and vehicles and forcing others to jump into the water.  Fires are a recurring problem in the hot summer months, but this is reported to be the deadliest in Greek history, and three days of mourning have been declared by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.  

Foreign office issues advisory for travel to Greece

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued the following advisory for travel to Greece:  "On 23 and 24 July, there have been wildfires in a number of areas in southern Greece, including close to Athens; they have been confined to limited areas, but within those the impact has been high, with significant loss of life; most visits to Greece, including to Athens, are unaffected; you should keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of the Greek authorities in affected areas."

Two Ukranians sentenced to 180 years for people trafficking

Two Ukranian nationals have been sentenced to 180 years in prison for illegally transporting migrants, after they were arrested by Greek authorities as they sailed a yacht with 63 migrants on board.  The families of the accused said that the men had gone to Turkey to work legally on a tourist boat and were forced to transport the illegal migrants under duress.  Their lawyer plans to appeal the sentence.  

More than 70 killed in wildfires

Hundreds of firefighters are battling wildfires across the Attica region around Athens, and at least 70 people are feared dead. In the seaside village of Mati, 26 bodies were discovered in homes and vehicles, while hundreds of others were injured, some running into the sea to avoid the flames.  A search and rescue operation is also seeking 10 tourists who fled in a boat to avoid the fire.  The first major fire broke out in a pine forest in Kineta east of Athens, and spread to other locations.  Local communities were evacuated, and two highways linking the Peloponnese Peninsula with central Greece were closed. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said about the fire, "We will do whatever is humanly possible to control it", and asked for international assistance, particularly helicopters and fire fighting crews to battle the blazes.  The wildfires are the worst to hit Greece since 2007, when scores of people were killed in the south.

Futher disruption to Athens public transport in July

The Athenian metro driver's federation plans to hold meetings to vote on further 24-hour strikes in the next few days, which could cause disruption to public transport in July.  A wave of industrial action has already caused severe delays and cancellations to services throughout the month of June. 

Defense Minister calls on party to block Macedonia's change of name

Greece's Minister of Defense Panos Kammenos has said that his nationalist party, Independent Greeks (ANEL), will block the agreement reached between Greece and Macedonia to change the latter's official name. Macedonia's name-changing row has significantly increased diplomatic tensions between both countries, which already led to threats of Greek opposition to Macedonia's aspirations to join NATO and the European Union. Last week, an ANEL lawmaker resigned amid ongoing grievances with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Athens doctors strike on 3 July

On 3 July, Athens state hospital doctors and staff are taking industrial action from 11:00 until the end of their shifts, in a protest demanding that more staff are taken on permanently to cope with staff shortages.  The strike has been organized by the union of Athens and Piraeus doctors (EINAP).  

Flight delays reported across several Greek airports

Eurocontrol has informed that flight delays are currently impacting operations across Greece. Disruption is currently being reported in Mykonos, Santorini, Chania and Heraklion due to issues related to the airports' capacity and staffing. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Coalition lawmaker quits amid Macedonia name-changing row

A coalition lawmaker of the right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL) has resigned amid an ongoing row linked to the name-changing agreement with Macedonia. The government majority in the 300-seat parliament has fallen to 152. ANEL is currently engaged in grievances with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who survived a no-confidence vote in mid-June. An agreement between Greece and Macedonia has recently been reached to change the latter's name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

Strong 5.2-magnitude earthquake strikes western Greece

A strong 5.2-magnitude earthquake has been recorded off the western coast of Greece. According to the USGS, the quake struck in the early hours of Monday morning, near the towns of Methoni and Pylos, Peloponnese. No immediate reports of injuries or damage have been reported. 

Tourists evacuates in Alonissos over fire

Tourists were evacuated after a fire erupted in southern Alonissos on Wednesday. Around 70 people were evacuated by sea from a five-star resort in Marpounta as a precaution and transferred to Patitiri. The fire started in a pine forest in the Gerakini Laka area and was fuelled by strong winds.

Name deal reached with Macedonia

After 27 years of dispute, Greece has reached a deal with its' northern neighbour, which called itself Macedonia after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.  Greece had objected to the name, fearing territorial claims on its' own region of the same name, and had vetoed the country's bid to join NATO and the European Union.  The new name will be "Republic of North Macedonia", and needs to be approved by the Macedonian people and the Greek parliament.  If Macedonia's parliament backs an agreement before the EU summit on 28 June, Greece will send a letter to the EU withdrawing its' objection to accession to the bloc and to NATO.  Some Greek political parties may oppose the idea, as large protests were held in 25 cities earlier this month against any form of use of the name Macedonia.  

Severe delays affecting flights in Santorini and Mykonos

Severe delays are currently being reported at the airports of Santorini (JTR) and Mykonos (JMK) on Friday morning. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Protests called amid negotiations on Macedonia's official name dispute

Protests are being called across most cities in northern Greece against ongoing negotiations regarding the official name of the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Organisers said that more than a dozen cities in the region will face demonstrations on Wednesday, while it remains unclear if protests will occur in Athens and Thessaloniki. The name dispute lasts for nearly 27 years since Macedonia got independence from the Yugoslav republic. A northern Greek region shares the name with the country.

Air traffic control strike likely to cause delays

On 30 May, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) and Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEP) are expected to strike between 10:00 and 13:59 local time.  Travellers are advised to contact their airline as delays and disruptions are likely.

Strike action to trigger flight delays nationwide

Eurocontrol has stated that travellers may face flight disruptions ahead of strike action on Wednesday morning. According to reports, members of the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority will launch an industrial action from 07:00 until 11:59 local time. Travellers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport. 

Forty arrested at Iraklio airport for forged documents

Greek authorities announced that 40 foreign nationals had been arrested at Iraklio airport on the island of Crete in the space of one week, for the possession and use of forged documents. The arrested individuals were Afghan nationals, Syrians, Iraqis and Algerians, and the documents were thought to originate from a number of European states.  

Migrants complain about conditions at Macedonian camp

Asylum-seekers at a camp in the Macedonian region in northern Greece are protesting about conditions and overcrowding.  The camp contains prefabricated housing for around 750 people, but is currently housing around 1,850 because of the increase in immigration flows across the land border with Turkey.  

Burglary gang dismantled

At least ten members of a gang that was responsible for numerous burglaries in the affluent suburbs of Athens were arrested on Tuesday.  The men, of Georgian nationality, have been linked to more than 100 burglaries and robberies in the Attica area of the city, and apparently acted in groups of four, sending the proceeds of their crimes back to Georgia.

Mayor attacked by far-right protestors

The mayor of Thessaloniki has been assaulted by far-right extremists whilst attending an event to commemorate the first world war massacre of Black Sea Greeks by Turks.  Yiannis Boutaris, who is 75-years-old, was forced to the ground and punched and kicked.  Mr Boutaris has been credited with turning round the fortunes of Thessaloniki by promoting its' multicultural past, including recognising it as the birthplace of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, and the building of a Holocaust museum.  As a result, tourism from Turkey and Israel has soared, but his policies have made him unpopular with far-right groups such as Golden Dawn, one of Europe's most violent ultra-nationalist organizations.

Four arrested following shooting incident in Athens

On 17 May, four people were arrested near a Roma camp in Ano Liosia when residents fired shots at police officers as they inspected a suspicious vehicle with four passengers.  Police fired back in response and arrested the four occupants of the vehicle.  

Opium growers arrested

On 15 May, four foreign nationals were detained on suspicion of growing thousands of opium poppy plants in Viotia.  The suspects were from India and Pakistan, and a fifth suspect, a Greek national, is being sought.

Metro strike to affect passengers on 14 May

On 14 May, metro workers in Athens are planning industrial action, which is likely to suspend service on Metro lines 2 and 3 in the city, including travel to the airport.  The strike is to protest about lack of equipment and understaffing.

102 migrants rescued off Lesbos

In two separate incidents, a total of 102 migrants were rescued off the coast of Lesbos on Wednesday.  Frontex located a boat carrying 61 people in the early hours, while the Greek coastguard intercepted another carrying 41 migrants off the coast of Molyvos.  Those rescued were taken to the port of Skala Sykamnias on the north of the island.

14 arrested on terrorism charges

Greek counter-terrorism police arrested 14 people on Tuesday on charges of funding a terrorist group and money laundering.  The charges relate to payments made into an account used by Constantinos Giagtzoglou, who is a terrorist currently in prison for sending a letter bomb to former prime minister Lucas Papademos in 2017, seriously injuring him.  

Torrential rain causes flooding in Southern Greece

Torrential rainfall caused flooding in the area of Ileia in southern Greece, and disruption on the Pyrgos-Tripoli national highway.  The River Enipea in the Olenia municipality burst its' banks, causing problems for the Latzoi community.  Local authorities have declared a state of emergency.

More than 200 people involved in clashes at refugee centre

More than 200 people were involved in clashes at a refugee centre outside Thessaloniki on Sunday night, resulting in six people being hospitalised with injuries.  Four people were arrested.  

Workers' Day protests to be held in Athens and Thessaloniki

Protesters are expected to take to the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki during the International Workers' Day. In Athens, protesters are set to gather around Syntagma Square, while a march will pass through Omonia Square, Klafthmonos Square, the Archeological Museum, Areos Park and Karaiskakis Square. In Thessaloniki, protesters will march from Agias Sofias Square, Arch of Galerius and the Venizelos Statue. Marches are scheduled to start at 10:00 local time and last until late afternoon.

Flight delays reported at Thessaloniki Airport

Flight delays are being reported at Thessaloniki Airport (SKG) in north-western Greece. Eurocontrol has stated on Thursday that the delays are being caused by issues with air traffic control (ATC) equipment. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Ferries to remain stranded amid strike action

Greece's Seamen Federation (PNO) has announced on Wednesday the extension of the current 24-hour strike action. PNO revealed that the strike will continue until Friday as workers protest against government-led reforms on the sector. Ferries are vital to residents and visitors to smaller Greek islands, which rely on them to transport food and thousands of passengers.

Police and anti-war protesters clash in Athens

On Monday, two days after airstrikes on Syria were launched by the US, the UK and France,  police and anti-war protesters clashed in Athens.  The protesters who were part of the Greek Communist Party, targeted a statue of US President Harry Truman.  Two people were arrested and at least three were injured.

Uber to suspend operations in Greece

Uber has announced that it is to temporarily suspend its' operations in Athens following the approval of local legislation that imposes stricter regulations, to see if it will be able to operate within the law.  The new regulations mean that trips must start and end in a designated headquarters or parking area, something which Uber drivers are not able to do as they are allocated work through an app.  Uber has faced worldwide opposition from taxi drivers who accuse them of undercutting fares and taking their business.

EU approves fresh instalment of bailout loans

On 27 March, the EU approved a fresh tranche of bailout funds to the sum of 6.7 billion euros, after the Greek government had implemented the reforms in tax policy, privatization and the resolution of unstable loans that the bloc had requested in March.  

Fifteen migrants drown off Greek island

Fifteen people, including at least five children, drowned on Saturday when their small boat capsized off Greece's Agothonisi island, close to the Turkish coast.  Coast guard vessels and helicopters searched for more survivors as officials believe that there were 22 people on board. Hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees arrived in Greece in 2015 from Turkey, making the short but dangerous crossing.  Numbers decreased following a 2016 EU agreement with Turkey, where anyone who arrives on the Greek islands but is not eligible for asylum must be returned.  However, procedures take months to complete, leading to overcrowded conditions on the tiny islands. 

Bomb attack on homeware store in Athens

A bomb exploded in a homeware store in the Athens suburb of Halandri on Tuesday, after the perpetrators broke into the store and placed the device in the entrance area.  The explosion took place at around 02:00 causing extensive damage to the premises, but no injuries were reported as the shop was closed.  Police are investigating whether the incident is linked to other similar events which have taken place over the last few months.

Demonstrators call for release of soldiers detained in Turkey

Thousands of protestors took to the streets of the border town Orestiada on Sunday, to demand the release of two Greek soldiers who strayed over the Turkish border in bad weather two weeks ago, and who have been detained by authorities there for entering a prohibited military zone.  Turkey has so far refused to release the pair.

Athens seeks help from EU over diplomatic row

Athens has asked the EU to help secure the release of two soldiers who were arrested in Turkey last week when they strayed across the border whilst on patrol because of bad weather.  The soldiers have been remanded in custody by a Turkish court for attempted military espionage and entering a prohibited military zone.  Brussels is keen to see a swift resolution between the neighbouring countries, who are both members of NATO.

Six members of extreme right group arrested

In the early hours of Tuesday, Greek counter-terrorism police arrested six men suspected of arson and attacks using explosives.  Those detained are members of a far-right criminal group called Combat 18 Hellas, and petrol bombs, knives and explosives as well as far-right promotinal material was discovered when eight properties were raided across the country.  Combat 18 is a group that emerged in the UK in the 1990s with a clear neo-Nazi stigma, known for attacks against immigrants.  The name is inspired by the first and eighth letters of the alphabet, A and H, the initials of Adolf Hitler.

Thousands protest in FYR Macedonia about countrys' name change

Despite snow and freezing conditions, thousands protested in Skopje about proposed amendments to the country's' name "Macedonia", which is being demanded by Greece in order to end a decades-long dispute.  Greece objects to the use of the name which suggests that Skopje might have a claim to the Greek historic northern territory of the same name, and has threatened to block the country's bid to join NATO and the EU.  Macedonia has made significant reforms and progress recently and the EU is keen that the neighbouring countries find a solution by the Summer.

MPs vote to probe bribery scandal

The Greek parliament voted this week to investigate 10 politicians, including two ex-prime ministers, under suspicion of allowing Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis to bribe doctors to prescribe their drugs at inflated prices.  Prosecutors say that he scandal could have cost the state over three billion euros amid an extreme financial crisis that caused hardship to many families.  Only parliament can investigate its' own members and lift their immunity under Greek law.  The 10 politicians deny any wrongdoing, and Novartis has said it is co-operating with the investigation.  

Greek Ministers linked to corruption scandal

A total of 30 politicians from various parties, including ministers and ex prime ministers, are accused of receiving bribes from Swiss drug company Novartis.  The bribes linked to drug pricing, were said to have been paid between 2006 and 2015 and total 50 million euros.  The company has said that it will continue to cooperate with requests from local and foreign authorities.

Hundreds of thousands protest over Macedonia name

Hundreds of thousands of Greeks protested in Athens yestereday over the on-going row about the ex-Yugoslav republic's use of the name Macedonia.  They object to the use of the name because it implies territorial claims over a region in the north of Greece called Macedonia, an ancient kingdom ruled by Alexander The Great and of great cultural heritage.  Talks between the two countries have been inconclusive, and led to the ex-Yugoslav republic using the provisional name of "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" in order to join the United Nations.  The two countries have agreed to step up negotiations to resolve the decades-long row, mediated by the United Nations, which has frustrated the aspirations of Greece's neighbour to join NATO and the European Union.  

Explosion damages Athens furniture showroom

An explosion which occurred in the early hours of Thursday morning cause extensive damage to a furniture showroom in the Athens suburb of Maroussi.  No injuries were reported but a security camera nearby recorded two men arriving on a motorcycle, leaving a passage at the entrance of the shop, and moving away at high speed.  Police are conducting enquiries, and have closed the right-hand lane of Kifissias Avenue heading into the city centre, causing distruption to rush-hour traffic.  

Greece refuses to extradite Turkish soldiers

Greece will not extradite eight Turkish soldiers who fled to the country following a failed 2016 coup attempt, but may try them in Athens, the Greek Justice Minister said yesterday. The men, three majors, three captains and two sergeant-majors, arrived in Greece by helicopter in July 2016 to request asylum, saying they feared for their lives.  Turkey views the soldiers as traitors and the issue has been the subject of tension between the two countries, who also disagree over other matters such as Cyprus and jet flights over the Aegean Sea.   

Massive protest over use of Macedonian name

On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of Greeks gathered in Thessaloniki to protest about the use of the name Macedonia by the neighbouring ex-Yugoslav republic.  The citizens say that the use of the name Macedonia in any form implies a territorial claim over their own northern region of that name.  Earlier this month the two countries agreed to renew efforts to find a compromise, particularly because the issue has blocked the republic's attempts to join NATO and the European Union.  A temporary agreement meant that the republic is referred to as FYROM - Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, but a more permanent solution must be found.  The republic suggest that the name Macedonia be used with a geological qualifier, whereas the Greeks do not want Macedonia used in any context.  If the issue can be settled, it would be a success for Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who came to power in 2015 who has strained relations with his coalition allies over the matter. 

Fresh protests as government passes reforms

A fresh wave of demonstrations took place on Monday as 20,000 people protested outside parliament where the government approved a package of reforms intended to appease international lenders and secure new bailout funds.  The reforms restructure family benefits, change the process of foreclosure on overdue loans and crucially make it more difficult for Greeks to strike. Police fired tear gas as some demonstrators hurled petrol bombs and stones at security forces.  The vote means that the government has succeeded in complying with demands before a meeting on 22 January of EU finance ministers who will conclude whether Greece has done enough to qualify for a further 6.5 billion euros in bailouts.

Athens metro shutdown causes chaos

The Athens metro came to a halt on Friday as Greeks protested against new reforms that are likely to be approved by parliament on 15 January in return for bailout funds.  The new bill would reduce family benefits, affect processes for foreclosure on loans, and make it harder to strike. At present unions can strike with the agreement of one-third of their members, but the new law would raise this to 50 percent, a move which is likely to limit the frequency of strikes and improve Greek production which lags behind the European average.  The subway service is used by over 900,000 commuters daily, and its' closure caused traffic gridlock in the city.  In addition ships were unable to sail as workers protested, and state hospitals had to rely on reserve staff.  Some union members are angry that "a so-called left-wing government" intends to limit their right to take industrial action. The government says that it needs the reforms to receive a further tranche of bailout funds worth around 4.5 billion euros.   

Coastguard seize ship with explosives heading for Libya

Greek coastguards seized a Tanzanian-registered ship on the island of Crete on Saturday, and discovered materials used to make explosives, which they believe were destined for Libya.  The vessel Andromeda's bill of lading showed that the cargo had been loaded at the Turkish ports of Mersin and Iskenderum, and was destined for Djibouti and Oman, but no shipping maps for those areas were found on the vessel.  The captain eventually revealed that he had been ordered by the ship's owner to sail to the Libyan city of Misrata to unload instead.  The ship's cargo was impounded, and in addition, numerous violations of the safety code were discovered, endangering the lives of the crew.  Embargoes by the European Union and the United Nations have prohibited the sale, supply or transfer of arms to Libya since 2011. 

Eco terrorists claim to have poisoned food and drink in Greece

The Eco-terrorist group "Blackgreen Arsonists" claims to have injected hydrochloric acid and chlorine into drink bottles, packets of processed meat and milk cartons which they said are to be distributed onto shop shelves in Athens and Thessaloniki from 19 to 24 December.  As a result, supermarkets have been forced to remove plastic 1.5 litre bottles of Coca Cola and Coca Cola Light, Yfantis luncheon meat in 500 and 350-gram -packets, and blue 1-litre cartons of fresh milk manufactured by Delta.  The group made the threat online, including photographs of them injecting packaging, as a protest against consumerism, particularly at Christmas time.   Similar threats have emerged in the past without any consequences.  

Anarchists target Saudi embassy

An anarchist group threw paint at the Athens Saudi Arabian embassy on Thursday, as a protest against their record of repression and involvement in the Yemen conflict.  The Rouvikonas group issued a video of the incident, and there was no attempt to stop the assault and no arrests were made.  In an online statement, the group said: "what IS has been doing which rightly caused global revulsion, has been happening in Saudi Arabia for decades".  Rouvikonas. which emerged in 2015, often stages such protests against embassies, businesses and governmental offices.  At least 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since Saudi Arabia joined the government's fight against Houthi rebels, triggering one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, according to a UN envoy.   

Easyjet invests in Greek routes

Budget airline Easyjet has announced the introduction of seven new flight services between Volos and London Gatwick, to start in June 2018.  In addition, with a new flight from Basel to commence in August, the company has linked Athens to 11 other European destinations.  Over 2.5 million passengers travelled with Easyjet to and from Greece in the last year, representing an increase of 7.2 percent compared to 2016.  

Restricted services in Athens due to strike action

On Thursday there will be restrictions to metro and tram services in Athens, due to strike action by the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE).  Hellenic Railways will join the strike and there will be trains from midnight on Wednesday to midnight on Thursday.  Olympic Air's flights will also be affected due to a stoppage called by the employees of the Civil Aviation authority, with some flights leaving earlier than scheduled.  Passengers are advised to contact their travel operator for changes and updates.

Greek union members clash with riot police

On Tuesday members of the Greek Communist labour union clashed with riot police during a demonstration over labour reforms and the right to strike.  A new agreement between the government and bail-out creditors from the 19 Eurozone countries makes it more difficult for union members to withdraw their labour, sparking outrage among workers' groups and opposition parties who demanded an immediate retraction.  Protestors forced their way into the Greek Labour Ministry and clashed with riot police outside the Prime Ministers' office.  Labour reforms are often unpopular in Greece, where unemployment runs at 20 percent and poverty levels have soared since the first international financial rescue in 2010.

Nine charged over links to banned Turkish group

On Monday an Athens court ordered the detention of nine Turkish citizens for terrorism-related charges, including links to a banned militant group who are believed to be behind a number of suicide bombings in Turkey since 1990.  The suspects all denied the offences, and their lawyers said the defendants had not been fully briefed on the case against them, and that charges were not clear. Under Greek law, people can be held pending trial for up to 18 months, during which time it is likely they will apply for asylum.  Greece and Turkey are NATO allies but have some disputes over issues such as Aegean territorial rights and the ethnically divided island of Cyprus. 

Easyjet cancels flights to Macedonia for 48 hours

On Friday Easyjet cancelled all flights to and from Macedonia airport for the next 48 hours because of urgent works being done on the runway.  Bad weather over the last few days have led to several cancellations and delays, but repair works started two weeks ago forced the budget airline to make the decision.  Aircraft are using an auxiliary runway that does not have radio control facility, and Easyjet has decided it is inappropriate for its' aircraft.  Passengers are being transferred by bus to Athens where they can continue their journey.  The upgrading of the two main runways has been a source of dispute between Greece's infrastructure Ministry and the German company that took over the airport in April this year.

Nine suspected terrorists arrested

On Thursday Greek police announced that they had arrested nine members of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).  The group was responsible for bombings and assassinations in Turkey and were allegedly planning an attack in Athens during President Erdogan's visit.  Forged passports and IDs, bomb-making materials and guns were recovered at the scene of the arrests.  

Nine questioned for banned Turkish militant link

On 28 November, the Greek Anti-Terrorism service detained nine people in central Athens on suspicion of links to DHKP/C, a far leftist militant group outlawed in Turkey.  Police confirmed that the men were Afghans and Kurds based on their identity papers and that they also recovered unspecified explosive material, cables, detonators and laptops.  Turkish President Tayip Erdogan is due to visit Greece in December. 

Several killed as heavy rainfall triggers floods near Athens

At least 15 people have been killed after heavy rainfall battered towns on the outskirts of Athens. Widespread flooding and destruction was reported in the towns of Mandra, Nea Peramos and Megara. Heavy downpour also caused serious damage to infrastructure and buildings on the island of Symi, Dodecanese, where a state of emergency has been declared. Torrential rain has been reported across Greece since last week.

Shots fired near Pasok Party HQ in Athens

On 6 November, shooting was reported outside the headquarters of the socialist Pasok Party in the Exarheia neighbourhood of Athens.  This is the second time in a few months that the premises have been the target of an armed attack. There were apparently 30 people inside the building when at least four shots were fired.  Two men were seen leaving the scene on a motorbike. The Pasok leader Fofi Gennimata blamed the government for not taking action to prevent such attacks. 

Greek warship runs aground

On Thursday, the Greek navy warship "Kanaris" ran aground near to the port of Piraeus, in the same spot as a tanker sank in September causing a huge oil spill across the Athens Riviera.  According to a Navy statement, no-one has been injured and there is no fuel leakage or environmental pollution.  The Greek Coast Guard will assist in towing the ship from the reef, after divers have checked for serious damage or other potential problems.

Turkish transport minister to visit Athens to discuss ferry ban

The Turkish transport minister, Ahmet Arslan, is due to travel to Athens for talks over the ferry ban. Arslan will visit the Greek capital later this month to discuss the ongoing diplomatic dispute surrounding the Turkish ban on tourist ferries sailing to Greek islands. The ban was brought in by the Turkish government last month after several Turkish-flagged vessels were seized by Greek maritime authorities during inspections. The Turkish authorities claim the seized vessels were tourist boats and were therefore exempt from inspection; however, Greek authorities disagree and no resolution has been achieved thus far. Travellers should be aware that the politics surrounding Arslan's visit may provoke public demonstration in the capital city.

Oil spill threatens Athens Riviera beaches

Popular beaches along the Athens Riviera have been threatened after a Greek oil tanker sank off the coast of Salamis island. The incident happened on Sunday when the 45-year-old tanker sank due to undisclosed causes. More than 2,500 tonnes of fuel were spilt across the Saronic Gulf and reached the popular resort of Glyfada as the beaches of Voula and Vouliagmeni are also under watch. Emergency services revealed that the vessel was already isolated and the spilling contained.

Wildfires threaten Greek touristic areas

Dozens of wildfires were reported across Greece on Monday as fires threatened popular touristic areas. Authorities revealed that dozens of homes were damaged on the outskirts of Athens after a massive blaze broke out in Kalamos, where a state of emergency has been declared after hundreds were ordered to evacuate. Several fires were also reported on the island of Zakynthos and in the Peloponnese region of Ilia. Some areas are still being affected while hundreds of firefighters have been deployed nationwide. Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis believes that most incidents were deliberate cases of arson. During July and August, Greece is prone to wildfires mainly due to hot temperatures and dry weather.

Two killed in Kos as strong earthquake hits off Turkey

Two people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded on the Greek island of Kos after a 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck off the Turkish coast. The quake struck 10km SSE off the Turkish resort of Bodrum at a depth of 10km. Several injuries have also been reported in Bodrum, while damage has been reported in both locations, particularly in Kos town. Several smaller quakes have also been recorded in the area, including two 4.7-magnitude tremors close to Kos.

Hundreds of hotel workers protest labour reforms in Athens

Hundreds of hotel workers marched on the streets of central Athens on Thursday to protest contested government labour reforms. The demonstration comes as part of a 24-hour strike against proposed minimum wage decreases to young employees and work-flexibility policies. Tourism is one of the most import sectors in the Greek economy, which is struggling to recover despite successive EU and IMF bailouts.

Health concerns raised amid garbage collectors' strike

Garbage collection workers are set to continue an ongoing strike action over contract status disputes with the government and local authorities. After failed negotiations with the interior ministry, workers' unions announced plans to proceed with the strike over the next few days. Health concerns have been raised due to the accumulation of garbage on the streets of Athens and other Greek cities ahead of the arrival of a summer heat wave over the weekend.

Athens police car attacked by protesters

Two police officers in a police car have been attacked by protesters in Athens. The police officers had detained a suspect and were driving back to the police station when their patrol car was attacked by a group of 20 self-styled anarchist protesters near the court complex on Evelpidon Street. The police officers were allegedly wounded and fled the scene, calling for back-up. Police support quickly arrived and managed to disperse the protesters before the detainee escaped from the police car. The protesters are not thought to be linked to the detainee.

Eurozone and IMF agree on bailout payment deal

Eurozone ministers and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed on Thursday at a meeting in Luxembourg to allow a bailout deal of €8.5bn to Greece. With an initial reluctance from IMF's chief Christine Legarde, the deal was approved to avoid Greece's default in July. The deal came with the condition for Eurozone to come up with a full debt relief plan, which has been completely countered by Germany. Even after three bailouts, Greece's debt remains the highest national debt in Europe.

Thousands protest against pension cuts in Athens

More than 2,000 elderly people marched on the streets of the capital Athens against further pension cuts as part of the government's austerity measures. Such cuts come amid Greece's efforts to guarantee the next loan instalment from European creditors. Eurozone ministers are set to meet in Luxembourg on Thursday to discuss the release a debt relief deal for Greece.

Earthquake's aftermath triggers emergency in Lesbos

A state of emergency has been declared in the Greek island of Lesbos a day after a powerful 6.3-magnitude quake killed one and left hundreds displaced. Officials revealed on Tuesday that a dozen villages in the island's southern region were severely damaged by the quake - the epicentre of which was close to the Turkish Aegean Sea coast.

Strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake hits Aegean

A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake was recorded on the eastern Greek islands on Monday afternoon. At least 10 people have been wounded and several houses and structures on the island of Lesbos were damaged. The quake's epicentre was in the Aegean Sea, close to the western coast of Turkey, between Izmir and Bergama.  Several aftershocks have also been recorded.

Demonstration to take place in Thessaloniki

A demonstration is due to take place in Thessaloniki on Tuesday evening. At 19:00 local time, supporters of the Iraklis 1908 Football Club (Iraklis FC) have planned to gather outside the Kaftanzoglio National Stadium. Travellers have been advised to anticipate some disruption in the surrounding area and to exercise caution should the gathering become rowdy.

Ex-PM wounded in car explosion, Athens

A former Greek prime minister, Lucas Papademos, and his driver have been wounded in a small explosion in a car in Athens. According to the BBC, Papademos and his driver were wounded in a blast which is thought to have originated from a letter-bomb. Another individual may have also been wounded in the blast; however, the third person has not been officially identified. No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Violence breaks out amid demonstrations, Athens

Violence has broken out amid protests outside the Greek parliament in Athens. According to reports, protesters began to throw petrol bombs and flares at riot police - prompting the police to deploy tear gas as a crowd control measure. The protest is just one of many demonstrations to take place against austerity measures this week amid a nationwide general strike. Travellers should anticipate significant travel disruption and avoid large crowds where possible.

Sea transport workers to take strike action

Sea transport workers who are members of the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) have decided to take strike action. The PNO strike is currently ongoing and will last until Friday 19 May. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised travellers to expect passenger ferry operations to be suspended during the strike. 

Air traffic controllers to go on strike

Air traffic controllers at most main airports in Greece are due to take strike action tomorrow. The strike will be in place between 11:00 local time and 15:00 on Wednesday 17 May. Travellers have been advised to anticipate delays and general disruption, and should also check for updates on the status of their flights on airport websites.

Doctors to launch 48-hour strike

On Wednesday 17 May, Greek doctors have arranged to take industrial action in the form of a 48-hour strike. The strike will start in the early hours on Wednesday, lasting until the late evening on Thursday 18 May. The Federation of Greek Hospital Doctors (OENGE) has organised the strike as a form of protest against the government dealing with international creditors. The strike will affect hospitals in most main towns and cities.

Three killed in train crash near Thessaloniki

At least three people have been killed and several more have been wounded in a train crash near Thessaloniki. A passenger train - en route from Athens - derailed in the village of Adendro, on the outskirts of the city of Thessaloniki. The five-carriage train - which had been carrying at least 70 passengers - smashed into a residential property as it came off the track on Saturday night. The cause of the accident remains unclear as investigations continue.

IED discovered on tourists' camper van, Imathia

An improvised explosive device (IED) has been discovered attached to a tourists' camper van in the Imathia region, Macedonia. A German couple discovered the suspicious looking package attached to their van after they pulled into a petrol station in the Alexandria area. A bomb squad was dispatched from Thessaloniki and confirmed the package was an IED. The bomb has been safely removed from the van and investigations have been launched to identify the motives and perpetrators behind the incident.

Ferry workers to launch 48-hour strike action

The Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) have called fresh strike action amid ongoing labour disputes. Ferry workers will launch a 48-hour strike on Tuesday 16 May, to demand the restoration of labour and insurance rights. It is advised to consult travel agents and port authorities for further information.

Protest to take place outside Israeli embassy, Athens

A demonstration is due to take place outside the Israeli embassy in Athens on Friday 28 April. The protest has been organised by Palestinians living in Greece and participants are due to start gathering outside the Embassy of Israel at 18:00 local time. Travellers should be aware of the possibility of traffic disruption and should try to avoid any large crowds where possible.

Ferry workers to launch strike action across Greece

Severe disruptions and cancellations are expected on ferry and train services across Greece due to a strike action scheduled for Monday 01 May. The 24-hour strike was called by the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO) due to labour and social security rights disputes. It is advised to consult travel agents and port authorities for further information.

Demonstration to take place, Thessaloniki

A demonstration is expected to take place in Thessaloniki. At 19:00 local time on Friday 21 April, demonstrators are expected to gather by the Venizelos statue on Egnatia Street to support the Committee for International Peace and Detente of Thessaloniki and the Palestinian Community. The demonstration will follow a similar demonstration being held in Athens an hour earlier in Syntagma Square. Traffic disruptions throughout the surrounding areas should be anticipated.

Robbers storm bank and hold hostages in Piraeus

Several people were held hostage on Wednesday afternoon during a bank robbery in Piraeus, southern Greece. Four unknown armed men stormed the Piraeus Bank branch in Kallipoli, holding customers and employees hostage for nearly three hours. An undisclosed amount of money and jewellery were taken before the criminals escaped. In August, a similar raid took place at the same bank near Athens.

Bank offices damaged by minor explosion in Athens

Offices of one of Greece's largest banks was targeted in a small explosion on Wednesday. Despite no casualties being reported, the Eurobank building in central Athens had its entrance and windows damaged. The motives behind the attack remain unknown but recent episodes of violence targeting political party offices and businesses have been reported across Greece.

Three arrested on charges of kidnap and ransom, Thessaloniki

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping 16 illegal migrants and holding them for ransom near Thessaloniki. The suspects have been identified as Pakistani nationals who are believed to have been involved with a human trafficking ring. The hostages were allegedly being held ransom for €2,500 each. All hostages were successfully freed by the police forces and investigations are underway.

Helicopter crash kills four army officers in Elassona

Four army officers have been killed and one has been injured in a military helicopter crash in Elassona, northern Greece. The accident happened on Wednesday when the aircraft was carrying out a routine border patrol flight. 

Eight-year-old dies due to H1N1 infection in Patra

An eight-year-old girl died in the early hours of Tuesday following an H1N1 flu virus infection in Patra, southern Greece. The child was previously under treatment in the Karamandaneio children's hospital but was later transferred to intensive care to Patras General Hospital. The H1N1 is the human strain of the Swine flu, which has similar symptoms to the common flu - fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Clashes erupt as anarchists target minister's home in Athens

A group of anarchists clashed with the police on the streets of Athens overnight on Tuesday. The confrontation erupted when several assailants attempted to target the home of State Minister Alekos Flambouraris in the Exarchia area. Earlier in the evening, nearly two dozen masked people targeted riot police guarding the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) headquarters. The incident comes just weeks after the ultra-right Golden Dawn party had its HQ attacked in Attica neighbourhood.

Athens police attacked with Molotov cocktails

Riot police in Athens have been attacked by unknown assailants with Molotov cocktails. The police units on Harilaou Trikoupi Street in the Exarchia district of Athens were attacked late on Tuesday night by several assailants throwing hand-made Molotov cocktails at the police officers. No police officers were wounded in the attack. Two suspects have been detained for questioning; however, the motives behind the attack remain unclear.

Bus strikes to take place in Athens

Trolley bus services are due to take strike action tomorrow in Athens. The strike will be in effect from 11:00 local time, until 16:00 on Wednesday 05 April. No trolley bus services will operate during this time and travellers should be prepared to talk alternative methods of transport. Trolley bus drivers have taken industrial action to demand improvements to labour agreements.

Golden Dawn headquarters attacked in Athens

The headquarters of the Golden Dawn party has been attacked on Friday morning. Preliminary reports suggest that the ultra-right party's office in Attica neighbourhood was vandalised by assailants armed with sledgehammers. Political offices and buildings were previously attacked in Athens. In February, criminals threw petrol bombs at the Syriza party headquarters.

Earthquake detected near Crete

A 4.4-magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of Crete on Thursday morning. The earthquake occurred at 05:12 UTC (08:12 local time) and its epicentre was located 13km south of Moirai at a depth of 57km. No infrastructural damages or casualties have been reported.

Further rallies planned in Thessaloniki

A demonstration has been scheduled to take in Thessaloniki. The Local Authorities Association of Workers has organised a demonstration by the Venizelos statue on Egnatia Street. The demonstration is due to start at 18:30 local time this evening. Travellers have been advised that although the event is expected to remain peaceful, large crowds should be avoided and travel disruption should be expected throughout the surrounding area.

Eight suspicious packages intercepted in Athens postal centre

Eight suspicious packages have been intercepted by Greek police in a postal sorting centre in Athens. According to Reuters, the parcels had been addressed to various officials at economic institutions and companies throughout several European countries - echoing similar attacks on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Paris and on a German Finance Minister last week. A Greek militant group called 'Conspiracy of Fire Cells' has allegedly claimed responsibility for the German attack. The urban guerilla group has become increasingly active in response to the economic crisis in Greece and is suspected of over 150 criminal charges.

Demonstrations to take place in Thessaloniki

Two demonstrations are due to take place in Thessaloniki this evening. According to OSAC, the first demonstration has been organised by anti-authoritarians and is scheduled to start at 19:00 by the Arch of Galerius on Egnatia Street. The second demonstration has been organised bu the Pan-Hellenic Struggle Front and is also due to start at 19:00 throughout the city. Travellers should expect potential traffic disruption throughout the capital city and should avoid large crowds where possible.

Tax workers protest in Athens

Tax workers have gathered in Athens today to protest against bailout-driven austerity. The protest comes as government ministers await approval from eurozone finance ministers as to whether or not the Greek government reforms are extensive enough. According to Reuters, the protesters claim that the reforms are repeatedly hitting the low and middle-income groups of society. Protesters claim the government has been favouring the rich and powerful in the austerity measures by instead targeting social groups who cannot afford to be hit.

Activist demonstration in Lesbos

Activists have conducted a demonstration on the Greek island of Lesbos to protest the European Union refugee deportation deal with Turkey which sees hundreds of migrants relocated to the Moira detention centre on Lesbos. The pro-refugee march called for the stoppage of forced deportations to the island - which is notoriously surrounded by dangerous waters which cause hundreds of migrants to lose their lives. The demonstration was held in Mytilene on Saturday. 

Demonstrations and running events to take place in Athens

Two demonstrations and a series of running events have been scheduled to take place in Athens over the weekend. An OSAC report details two demonstrations due to take place on Saturday 18 March: the first at 15:00 local time in Omonia Square, to be followed by a march to parliament; the second at 17:00 in front of Athens University, to be followed by a march to the European Commission offices. A series of running events have been organised for Sunday 19 March, starting at 08:00 and lasting until 14:00. A range of traffic restrictions will be in place through Athens, with the start and finish lines stationed in Syntagma Square. Travellers should expect significant travel disruption throughout the weekend.

Protest to take place in Athens

A protest has been scheduled to take place in Athens this evening. An anti-fascist protest has been organised to start at 18:00 local time and will be taking place in Victoria Square. Travellers should be aware that even peaceful demonstrations can quickly become violent and where possible the gathering should be avoided. 

Riot police clash with violent protesters in Athens

Greek riot police have been targeted by violent protesters overnight. Reports have revealed that police officers stationed in Athens's Exarchia neighbourhood were attacked by at least 30 people holding Molotov cocktails. Furthermore, dozens of protesters led an arson attack on a vehicle parked on the street.

Bomb attack targets politician's bookshop, Athens

A bookshop owned by a Greek politician has been targeted in a bomb attack on Wednesday. The incident occurred on Kifissia Avenue in Athens, where an improvised explosive device (IED) was placed outside the shop - owned by the vice president of the New Democracy Party, Adonis Georgiadis - and an anonymous phone call threatened to detonate the bomb. Police managed to evacuate the building and cordoned off the area prior to the explosion. The incident is not being treated as a terror attack, as businesses owned by Georgiadis have allegedly been targeted by arsonists in the past. No people were harmed in the explosion.

Three-day metro station closures in Athens

Two main metro stations in Athens have been closed for three days. The Peristeri station on line two (red line), and the Keramikos station on line 3 (blue line) have been closed to all train services. The three-day closure started on Tuesday 07 March and is set to last until Friday 10 March - when the stations will reopen and resume normal operations. Trains will pass through both stations without stopping.

Over 100 migrants rescued by Greek coastguards

Approximately 113 migrants have been rescued by Greek coastguards in the Ionian Sea. The vessel carrying the migrants allegedly called the emergency services and was ultimately found by coastguards, drifting 36 miles (59km) off the coast of Paxos in the Ionian Islands. Of the 113 migrants rescued, 109 were Pakistani nationals, 3 were Syrian nationals and one was an Indian national. 

Demonstration to take place amid Athens transport strike

A 24-hour transport strike and a demonstration have both been scheduled to take place in Athens today. Light rail transport workers have taken strike action throughout Athens. The 24-hour strike started at 05:00 am and will last until 05:00 tomorrow morning. Workers of the Metro, Electrical Train and Tram will join the strike action. A left-wing demonstration has also been scheduled to take place in front of the Venizelos statue on Egnatia Street at 18:00 pm this evening. Anti-authoritarians and extra-parliamentary leftists will take part in the demonstration. Foreign nationals should take extra caution and be prepared for travel disruptions.

French Institute in Athens targeted by arsonists

The French Institute in Athens has been targeted in an arson attack this morning. Two vehicles were also set ablaze, while authorities are investigating the motives. The incident comes a week after the Syriza party headquarters in the capital were targeted by unknown arsonists. 

Bomb defused outside police station in Athens

Greek police have defused a bomb which was planted outside a police station in the Athen's suburb of Dafni. An anonymous caller said that the device comprised of a small hand grenade with a timer and detonator. According to local media, the caller said that the attack was in retaliation to the death of Lambros Fountas - a former member of the Revolutionary Struggle movement - killed in March 2010.

Emergency services protest in Athens against austerity

Hundreds of emergency service workers have staged a protest in central Athens against the country's current economic situation. Coastguards, police forces and fire departments gathered for the demonstration in front of the parliament, to protest against austerity and poor working conditions. The strike comes just days after talks between the government and the European Union took place over further efforts in the Greek bailout.

Metro workers launch 24-hour strike in Athens

Metro workers in the capital Athens have launched a 24-hour strike on Thursday. The demonstrators demand the government scrap a controversial law that provides concession to commercial areas at stations to the Athens transport organisation. Bus and other transport services will not suffer disruptions; however, traffic is likely to face severe delays. 

Syriza headquarters targeted by petrol bombs in Athens

The Athens headquarters of the Syriza party was attacked by masked men in the early hours of Monday morning. The entrance of the building and two parked cars were targeted after five petrol bombs were fired. Dozens of suspects were brought in for questioning. The attack comes just hours before government members and Euro Zone finance ministers are set to discuss further austerity measures for Greece.

Transport strikes to take place

Transportation services have started a two-day strike today in Athens. The Suburban transport services and National train services will both be severely affected by the strike action - which has been scheduled to start on Tuesday 14 February and will last until Thursday 16 February - when services will return to normal. Transport services may be halted entirely between 05:00 - 08:00 and 21:00 - 00:00 on both days. Travellers have been advised to seek alternatives means of transport - such as taxis - and to anticipate a high demand for alternative public transport as well as busy traffic.

Farmers block border crossing with Macedonia

Greek farmers have blocked one of the main border crossings with Macedonia. The protest - which has lasted for nearly two weeks - concerns grievances over government plans to cut income forced by austerity measures. The protesters have gathered between the Greek city of Evzonoi and the Macedonian Gavgelija and they demand to meet with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Hundreds protest during minister visit at Athens migrant shelter

Hundreds of migrants have staged a protest in Athens during the visit of Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas. Migrants and refugees have been stranded for months in Athens old airport and Olympic Games venues as the government attempt to clear out the area. Previous disruptions also took place in the venue where 1,600 people, mostly Afghan nationals, are settled. According to Reuters more than 60,000 migrants are stranded in Greece following hardened migration policies and the border closure of Balkan region countries.

Protesters to block Bulgaria-Greece border checkpoint

Protesters have blocked a Bulgaria-Greece border checkpoint in Serres. The Promachonas-Kulata checkpoint has been targted by protesters as a point of demonstration to restrict access into Bulgaria. The demonstrators are a group of agricultural workers who have used their vehicles to block the access point as way to protest against the Greek government's tax reforms. Those in the area should anticipate travel disruption between Serres and Thessaloniki. Those hoping to cross the border to Bulgaria have been advised to allow extra time for delays, or to find an alternative official crossing point.

Policeman wounded in shooting outside political party headquarters, Athens

A policeman has been wounded in a shooting incident outside the headquarters of a political party in Athens. An unidentified assailant opened fire on a police bus outside the offices of the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) in an area of Athens which has frequently been subjected to clashes between the police and anarchist groups who oppose symbols of authority. It is suspected the assailant belonged to one of these groups. The policeman's wounds have been reported as not life-threatening as he receives treatment in Athens hospital. Those int he area have been advised to remain cautious of the violent activity of the anarchist groups.

Leading domestic terrorist arrested, Athens

Leading domestic terror suspect, Panagiota Roupa, has been arrested by Greek police in the Iliopuoli area of Athens. Roupa has been identified as a leader of the 'Revolutionary Struggle' terrorist group, which violently advocates strong anarchist beliefs. Greek police state that the notorious terrorist's arrest had been a priority for the counter-terrorism department for the last four years. 

Protests to take place over the weekend, Athens

Protests have been scheduled to take place in Athens over the weekend. Kurdish residents in Greece are due to march from Omonia Square to the French Embassy near Syntagma Square at 13:30pm local time on Saturday 07 January. Another protest has also been scheduled to take place in Athens for the following day: Greek Orthodox church followers are due to march from Iera Odos in the St. Votanikos area to the Seat Archdiocese of Athens near Syntagma Square at 13:00pm local time on Sunday 08 January. The Greek Orthodox demonstrators will be led by a priest in protest against the construction of a Mosque along the Iera Odos road in St. Votanikos. Travellers and residents in Athens should expect some traffic delays in the areas affected whilst the marches are ongoing, and should be aware of that there is always a risk of the outbreak of violence in large demonstrations.

Migrants clash on Chios

On 11 December, a clash broke out between Afghan and Algerian migrants on the island of Chios. The fight began when migrants from the Vial refugee camp tried to move to the already overcrowded Souda refugee camp. Six migrants were injured and taken to hospital and a local restaurant owner was arrested after trying to deter them from fighting by firing his rifle in the air. 

Explosive device found outside the Labour Ministry in Athens

On 12 December, police found and later detonated an explosive device that had been left outside the Labour Ministry in Athens. The device was located after a newspaper was tipped off about its whereabouts. It was found in a rucksack propped up against the shutters of the ministry building on one of the main roads in the city and was one of three suspected packages that police examined at the scene. The device was then destroyed in a controlled detonation. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the device. 

Migrants rescued on Paspargos

On 9 December, 66 migrants and refugees were rescued by an Italian Frontex ship after they were stranded on the islet of Paspargos, near Chios. The migrant boat had entered Greek territorial waters when it was spotted by Frontex. All of the passengers were transferred to the port of Chios. 

Two hundred migrants reach Lesvos

Between 03:00 and 06:00 local time, on 9 December, 200 refugees and migrants reached the shores of Lesvos. The majority of the arrivals are reportedly Africans who had been staying at closed camps in northwestern Turkey. 

Seaman's Union to extend strike for a further 48 hours

On 9 December, the Greek Seaman's union, PNO, announced that they will extend their strike action for a further 48 hours. Ships will remain docked in ports across the country from 06:00 local time on 9 December until 06:00 on 11 December. The ongoing strike has left islands without transport and essential supplies for the past week. 

Migrants to be returned to Greece

The European Commission has announced that it will allow EU member states to deport migrants back to Greece. The new policy will come into effect from March 2017 and will allow EU member states to make return deportation applications to Greece. Greek authorities will assess each application on an individual basis in order to avoid over-loading migrant camps and refugee centres. The European Commission's deputy leader, Frans Timmermans, has explained that the policy is intended to deter irregular entry attempts by migrants.

Strikes to take place, Athens

General strikes have been planned to take place in Athens today as unions protest tax increases and labour reforms. The demonstration is due to start at 11.00am from the Pedion tou Areos and will continue across the capital city throughout the day. Public sector workers from across the city will go on strike - including doctors, nurses, teachers and bank employees. Travellers have been advised to anticipate severe disturbances to public services and to expect major traffic disruption as there will be no metro services to the airport, no ferry services and no railway services.

Journalists go on 24-hour strikes

On 7 December, Greek journalists began a 24-hour strike as a protest against austerity. All television and radio news broadcasts have been pulled off the air and tomorrow's newspapers will not be published. News websites will also not be updated until Thursday morning. A nationwide general strike is set to take place on 8 December, with all services across the country being affected. 

Protesters clash with police in Athens

On 6 December, protesters and police clashed after a peaceful march in Athens turned violent, with protesters throwing petrol bombs, flares and firecrackers at the police and setting a car on fire. The police responded with tear gas and stun grenades. One officer was reported to have been injured, with 28 people arrested so far. The protest was organised to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, who was shot dead by police. 

One dead and six injured in a gas explosion in Athens

At 09:20 local time, on 1 December, a 38-year-old woman was killed and six others were injured in a gas explosion at a coffee shop at Victoria Square, central Athens. One of the wounded is reported to be in a critical condition. It is believed that the explosion and subsequent fire was likely caused by a leaking propane tank. The area has been cordoned off by the fire service as they attempt to extinguish the large blaze and Victoria Square subway station has been temporarily closed. Nearby stores and residences, as well as parked vehicles, were damaged in the explosion. 

Seaman's Union to hold a 48-hour strike

On 2-3 December, ferries will be docked in ports across Greece as seamen hold a 48-hour strike. The workers are protesting at the latest round of cuts to pensions and job insecurity. There will be an additional strike on 8 December, lasting 24 hours. 

Seventy Syrian migrants found in a forest near Thessaloniki

On 30 November, a group of approximately 70 Syrian migrants were found by Greek authorities in a forest near Thessaloniki. They had reportedly crossed the Evros River on the Greek-Turkish border in dinghies, before being brought to Thessaloniki in a truck. The truck driver then left them in the forest overnight in the snow. 

One dead in flooding in Zakynthos

On 27 November, a 33-year-old man was killed after heavy downpours caused extensive flooding in the island of Zakynthos. He was reported missing early that day, after his family had not heard from him since 23:00 local time the previous evening. His body was found 3km away from the flooded ravine in which his car had been discovered in Vanato. Many houses and cars were damaged in the floods, and several subway stations in Athens were closed due to flooding. 

Two killed in gas explosion at Moria migrant camp

On 24 November, a woman and her six-year-old child were killed in a gas explosion as they were cooking in a tent in the Moria migrant camp on the island of Lesbos. Three children in the same tent were critically injured in the explosion. Following the explosion, angry migrants started a fire in the camp which destroyed more than 90 tents and dozens of temporary accommodation units. No one was injured in the fire and firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze. Clashes broke out between police and dozens of migrants, but government officials claim the skirmishes were brief.

Major public sector union calls nationwide strike

On 24 November, ADEDY, Greece's main public sector union, called a nationwide 24-hour strike. The move comes amid the current government's labour and pension reforms and negotiations on bailout loans. More than 3,000 people marched towards the parliament square in Athens to rally over the austerity measures imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Meanwhile, the country's main electricity company, the Public Power Corporation (PPC) approved a 24 percent sale to a foreign investor. Thousands of people have lost their jobs and suffered salary cuts amid the nearly seven-year austerity the country has been facing.

Public transport continues to be disrupted in Athens

On 22 November, public transport in Athens will continue to be disrupted as unions stage protests against plans to privatise the public transport sector. There will be no tram or metro services between 12:00 and 16:00 local time. Intermittent interruptions have also been scheduled for 24 November; after 21:00 on 26 November; up to 10:00 on 28 November; 12:00 to 16:00 on 30 November; and from 21:00 on 2 December.

Nurses protest over wage cuts

Overnight on 21-22 November, the federation of nursing staff protested over a proposed ‎‎‎€150 wage cut, expected to come into force in 2017. The protest occurred outside the Ministry of Health, with protesters stating that they will remain there until Minister of Health Andreas Xanthos arrives. The federation is also calling for an improvement of healthcare conditions. 

Ferry workers to stage 24-hour strike on 22 November

On 22 November, members of the Panhellenic Seaman's Federation will go on a 24-hour strike in protest against the violation of labour rights and a dispute over pensions and working conditions. During the strike, ferries will remain moored in ports across the country, impeding travel. 

Protests against migrant camp on Samos

At 13:00 local time, on 21 November, a demonstration began on Samos, with participants protesting against the impact that the refugee crisis has had on the island. One of the main demands made by the protesters is the decongestion of the camp, which currently holds three times as many migrants and refugees than its intended capacity. 

Thirty-seven arrested after riot at Chios migrant camp

On 16 November, riot police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse a group of migrants rioting in Chios. They were throwing bottles, fireworks and rocks at houses and passing cars and set tents on fire in Souda migrant camp. Several shops and vehicles were damaged and police arrested 37 people. 

Transport strike planned in Athens

Between 05:00 and 10:00 local time, on 18 November, the Metro and Tram services in Athens will be heavily disrupted as staff go on strike. The Electric Train (Green Line) and Regional trains will be on strike between 12:00 and 16:00 local time. Staff are protesting against a lack of job security. 

Police use tear gas to disperse protesters in Athens

On 15 November, police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of 7000 protesters in Athens. Many of the protesters were members of the Communist-affiliated PAME group. They marched through central Athens holding banners protesting against President Barack Obama's visit. Tear gas was deployed when the protesters attempted to break through security cordons to reach the US Embassy and parliament building. Two petrol bombs were thrown at police before the crowd dispersed into streets around Syntagma Square. 

Protests banned in Athens during President Obama's visit

On 14 November, Greek police banned all protests planned during US President Barack Obama's visit to Athens from 15 November. Central Athens will be closed to traffic for several hours on Tuesday while Obama holds talks with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. Security measures have been increased for the duration of his visit after a grenade was thrown at the French Embassy in Athens last week. 

Fire at Chios migrant camp

On 9 November, a fire broke out in the Chios migrant camp when three migrants started destroying staff facilities. No one was injured in the incident but several tents were burnt. 

Migrants clash with residents in Vhaty, Samos Island

On 8 November, migrants clashed with residents in Vhaty, on Samos Island. Officials state that the migrants claimed to have been attacked by residents, who, conversely, claim that the clashes started when migrants began throwing stones. The confrontation was ended by the intervention of the police. 

Police officer wounded in grenade attack on French Embassy in Athens

At 05:00 local time, on 10 November, a police officer was lightly wounded when two unidentified attackers threw a grenade at the French Embassy building in Athens. The attackers were riding a motorcycle and escaped into the Exarchia district of Athens.

Students march in Athens to demand more funds for education

Thousands of students staged a renewed protest on Monday in Athens to demand more public funding for education. Dozens of demonstrators engaged in clashes with the police by throwing petrol bombs and rocks at the authorities stationed near the parliament. Reports also show that protestors set garbage bins on fire, which led to a traffic disruption for several hours in the central areas of the capital. Severe cuts on the education budget has been caused by the successive bailout agreements imposed by the European Union.

Fifteen protesters arrested for illegally occupying mosque building site in Athens

On 4 November, police arrested 15 protesters who had occupied a building site of a new mosque in Athens for two weeks. The occupation ended after riot police were deployed. The protesters face charges of public disturbance and are due to appear at the prosecutor's office later today. The €950,000 project was voted through by parliament in August. 

Pensioners protest pension cuts in Athens

On 3 November, large numbers of pensioners gathered on Kotzia Square to protest against cuts in pensions and social benefits, marching peacefully to the labour ministry. The GSEE, Greece's largest labour union, has announced a 24-hour nationwide strike on 8 December in protest against austerity measures and labour reforms being called for by the country's official lenders. 

Three injured in fire at Oraiokastro migrant camp

At 04:45 local time on 2 November, three Syrian refugees were injured when a fire broke out at the Oraiokastro refugee camp near Thessalonika. An eight-year-old boy and nine-year-old girl were taken to hospital after suffering burns, and their 35-year-old mother suffered slight injuries, when their tent caught fire under unknown circumstances. Police have begun an investigation into the incident. 

Two jihadists arrested in Thessaloniki and Orestiada

On 31 October, Greek police reported that they had recently arrested two Islamic extremists in Thessaloniki and Orestiada. The two jihadists are linked to the Bataclan theatre massacre in Paris and the murder of a police officer in Hanover. 

Hellenic police launch de-radicalisation program

On 31 October, Hellenic police (ELAS) launched a de-radicalisation program aimed at preventing and handling radicalisation of Muslims in Greece. They have started a training program for policemen, prison wardens and guards, customs officials and immigration officials to help them identify terrorist elements within Muslim communities in Greece and among stranded migrants and asylum seekers. The program has a strong focus on Greek prisons, which are considered vulnerable to radicalisation. 

Three migrants wounded and one arrested after clashes in Souda refugee camp

On 29 October, three migrants were wounded and one was arrested after a clash broke out at the Souda refugee camp in Chios. Police state that a clash broke out between Afghan and Iraqi -Kurdish refugees, and that the three wounded migrants were taken to hospital after being hit by sharp objects. 

Traffic disrupted in Athens for 28 October celebration

On 28 October, traffic in Athens will be severely disrupted by parades and celebrations commemorating Oxi Day. Roads will close and traffic will stop from 09:00 local time until the end of the parade on Amalias avenue, Panepistimiou Street and Vassilisis Sofias avenue in the section between Panepistimiou and Sekeri. Both traffic lanes will be closed off. Both traffic lanes of Mitropoleos Street and Vasilisis Olgas avenue, near Athens Cathedral, will be closed from 06:00 until the end of the festivities. 

Anonymous bomb threat at Deposit and Loans Fund in Athens

On 21 October, an anonymous phone call warned of a bomb threat at a Deposit and Loans Fund in Athens. The caller identified themselves as a member of the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire and stated that the bomb had been placed in protest at the foreclosure of the site. Police have launched an investigation into the threat. 

Turkish fighter jets violate Greek airspace

Shortly before 16:00 local time on 19 October, two Turkish F-16 fighter jets violated Greek airspace southeast of Rhodes and south of Kastellorizo and were pursued by two Greek fighter jets. A separate pair of Turkish jets then entered Greek airspace and engaged in an aerial battle with the Greek aircraft. Greek defence officials state that the Turkish aircraft were all armed. The Turkish jets then reportedly withdrew back to Turkish airspace without further incident. On 20 October, another Turkish jet entered Greek airspace near the islet of Panagia and was intercepted by Greek fighters.

Bomb attack in Athens; no casualties

Shortly before 23:00 local time on 12 October, an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated outside a bookstore on Ippokratous Street in the Exarchia neighbourhood of Athens. Appeal Court Prosecutor Georgia Tsatani lives in the same building as the bookstore, leading police to believe it may have been a targeted attack. No casualties were reported in the explosion. At 22:22 local time, a man contacted the Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, warning them of an explosion in 25 minutes. Police evacuated the area and the device, placed in a plastic bag underneath a police car, exploded 10 minutes later than expected. 

Car bomb attack against prison guard in Korydallos; no casualties

At approximately 03:00 local time on 11 October, a bomb planted on a prison guard's car in Egaleo, Korydallos, exploded, destroying the car. No one was injured in the incident. The device was reportedly planted on the rear wheel on the driver's side. An investigation into the incident has been launched by police. 

Protesters clash with police in Athens

On 3 October, crowds of pensioners clashed with police in Athens during a rally over cutbacks to benefits imposed by the government. Approximately 1500 pensioners started marching to the Maximus Megaron, an official residence of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. A group of protesters began rocking a police bus, leading police to deploy tear gas against the crowd. Shortly after thew protest, Greek authorities banned the use of tear gas against pensioners and workers at rallies. 

Strike action expected to disrupt domestic flights between 4 and 8 October

Greek trade unions have announced strike action that is expected to cause disruption to domestic flights between 4 and 8 October. International flights are not expected to be affected. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) recommends that anyone travelling between these dates contacts their airline or tour operator for advice. 

Four migrants killed and twenty-three missing after boat capsizes in Aegean Sea

On 29 September, a dinghy carrying 31 migrants capsized in the Aegean sea, south-west of Bodrum, killing four. A further 23 migrants are still missing. The dinghy had reportedly left Turkey and was heading to Greece.

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits off Rhodes

On 27 September, a 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Rhodes. No casualties or damage was reported. The epicentre was out at sea, approximately 19 miles off the coast of Rhodes. 

Seafarers' Union to go on strike from 22 to 24 September

The Greek seafarers' union has announced that they will hold a 48-hour strike from 06:00 hours on 22 September until 06:00 hours on 24 September. The strike will affect all ferry services across Greece. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises anyone travelling during this time to contact their ferry company or tour operator for advice. 

Fire at Greek migrant camp causes thousands to evacuate

On 19 September, thousands of people were forced to flee the Moria migrant camp in Lesbos after a fire swept through tents and housing cabins as violence escalated between residents. The fire was extinguished by midday on 20 September, and no casualties were reported. The cause of the fire is not yet known, but the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has linked the fire to poor living conditions and a prevailing sense of insecurity among residents. Nearly 60 percent of the camp, including tents and metal-roofed cabins, has been destroyed by the fire. 18 people have since been arrested. 

Military helicopter crash lands in sea during training

A Greek military helicopter crash landed in the sea near to the coastal city of Thessaloniki after suffering an engine failure during training. Military authorities have stated that the Apache attack helicopter came down in the sea but the two crew members were rescued unharmed. Both were transported to a military hospital in Thessaloniki for precautionary observation. 

Floods caused by heavy rain kills four in southern Greece

Floods caused by heavy rain killed four people in the southern Peloponnese region of Greece. Authorities reported that three people were found dead in Kalamata, while one other victim was killed in Sparta. Hundreds of houses and businesses were flooded across the region, where the roads of the municipality of Thermaikos were severely damaged by the downpour. The rainy season in Greece starts in mid-October, however sporadic heavy rain is also reported in September and the beginning of the Autumn season.

Mexican embassy target of shooting in Athens

The Mexican embassy in Athens was the target of a shooting on Sunday. According to police an eye-witness claims to have seen two men riding on a motorcycle open fire towards the embassy. During preliminary investigations, authorities found fragments of a bullet at the scene as well as a bullet hole in a window. In June, the anarchist group Rouvikonas stormed the Mexican embassy to protest over corruption and human rights violations in Mexico. The group also vandalized the Turkish embassy following the President Erogan's crackdown after the recent failed coup attempt.

Protests continue ahead of austerity vote

Thousands of people have joined the latest anti-government protests in Athens, ahead of a vote on further austerity measures.  The parliament is due to make a decision on pension reforms and tax increases during a vote on Sunday night.  There were reports of demonstrations and rioting on Saturday night, while today a large crowd has congregated in the city's Syntagma Square, just outside the parliament building.

Greek workers stage nationwide strike against austerity

Greek workers began a 48-hour strike on Friday over government plans for further austerity measures. The strike came ahead of a government vote on tax changes, which is due to be held on Sunday. The private sector GSEE, Greece's largest labour union, claims that the left-wing government is destroying the Greek social security system by giving in to the demands of the country's creditors. All public transport services were cancelled in Athens and other services across the country were disrupted, including ferry services between the mainland and Greek islands.

Clashes erupt at migrant camp in Lesbos

Riot police have clashed with migrants during a protest on the Greek island of Lesbos.  Parts of the Moria detention centre were evacuated following the unrest, which broke out shortly after the Greek migration minister had visited the site with his Dutch counterpart.  Around 3,000 people are currently house at the camp, and the UN refugee agency said the migrants were becoming increasingly angry and frustrated.

One man stabbed at the port of Piraeus

An Afghan man was stabbed by another Afghan migrant during a meal distribution on Wednesday. The incident happened at the crowded port of Piraeus, where over 4,000 migrants are stranded and refuse to move to organized shelters. Several confrontations among migrants have been reported at the port.

Riot police clash with migrants at Greek border

Macedonian police have clashed with migrants at the Greek border, days after similar unrest left hundreds of people injured.  Police fired tear gas and stun grenades at a group of migrants at the border fence near the Greek town of Idomeni.  The incident happened close to the  Gevgelija reception centre, where Macedonia President Gjorge Ivanov was meeting with his Croatian and Slovenian counterparts.

Hundreds wounded in police clashes at Greece-Macedonia border

More than 300 people have been wounded in violent clashes between migrants and police at the Greece-Macedonia border.  Macedonian police fired tear gas and rubber bullets when a group of migrants tried to break through the border near the Idomeni camp on Sunday, an act which Greece described as “dangerous and deplorable”.  More than 10,000 people have been stranded on the Greek side of the border since Macedonia and other European companies shut their borders.

Thousands of public sector workers start 24-hour general strike

A 24-hour general strike by public sector workers has disrupted various services across Greece. Alongside the public servants, air traffic controllers joined the strike, causing the suspension of all flights at Athens International Airport. The action has been triggered by the public sector union ADEDY, which represents over 500,000 workers and pensioners. The strike comes at the same time as Greece's economic reforms are being review by the IMF and the EU.

Tensions arise during attempt to move refugess to temporary shelters

Tensions erupted on Wednesday when refugees and migrants at the  Port of Piraeus were ordered to move to temporary shelters. More than 4,500 people have been stuck for weeks outside the port, located south of the Greek capital Athens, with many of them refusing to move to the assigned camps. Several people held a sit-in protest demanding the opening of the borders.  The situation comes after the agreement between the EU and the Turkish government to deport migrants back to Turkey.

Refugees riot at Greek-Macedonia border

A riot has erupted at the Greek-Macedonia border after refugees knocked down a razor-wire fence.  Macedonian police fired tear gas after the migrants pushed through the fence near the Greek village of Idomeni.  Around 6,500 migrants have been living at a camp in the village - which has a capacity of 2,000.

Afghan migrants stranded at Macedonian border

Thousands of Afghan migrants are stranded at a border crossing in Greece after Macedonian officials prevented them from crossing.  Around 5,000 people are stuck at the border, while a further 3,000 are at temporary camps in Athens after arriving from the Aegean islands.  However, migrants from other countries, including Iraq and Syria, were allowed entry into Macedonia.  "We have begun diplomatic moves... we believe the problem will be resolved," Greece's junior interior minister for migration Yiannis Mouzalas said in a televised speech.

Protesters clash with riot police in Kos

Greek riot police have clashed with protesters on the holiday island of Kos.  Around 2,000 people joined a march against plans to build a refugee and migrant camp near the village of Pyli.  It is one of five facilities that Greece is building on islands near the Turkish coast - a key transit route for people fleeing Syria for Europe.

Farmers block highway in anti-austerity protest

Greek farmers have blocked the main highway as part of a nationwide protest against government austerity measures.  The protesters set up a tractor blockade on the main road linking the capital, Athens, to the northern city of Thessaloniki on Tuesday.  "They are asking farmers to pay higher taxes even if they have no income ... It's impossible," said Yiannis Zacharias, a blockade organizer in northern Greece.  Earlier this month farmers began blocking border crossings to Bulgaria and Turkey.

Tens of thousands protest in Athens over pension reform

Tens of thousands protesters marched on Thursday to the Hellenic Parliament in Athens during a protest against pension reforms. Among the demonstrators some anarchists threw petrol bombs and stones at the police. Unions and the protesters are angry over Syriza's inneficiency on fulfilling the promised reforms. The strikes come as result of the Greece's international debt inspectors visit to review the progress of the country's bailout obligations.

Two suspected extremists arrested in Greece

Two men with Swedish passports have been arrested near the Turkish border over suspected links to Islamic extremist groups.  A 28-year-old man  Bosnian descent and a 19-year-old originally from Yemen were detained in the northern city of Alexandroupolis.  Police said they found two machetes, army uniforms and "combat paraphernalia" in their luggage.

Riot police clash with protesting farmers in Thessaloniki

Around 5,000 farmers took part in a protest against the Syriza-led government's planned pension reforms in the city of Thessaloniki on Thursday.  The farmers set up roadblocks, while riot police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse the protests.  Greece's agriculture minister - who is a deeply unpopular figure among Greece's farmers - had been due to attend a meeting in the city, however his appearance was cancelled in response to the protests.

Social security protesters clash with police in Athens

Hundreds of protesters have clashed with Greek riot police during a rally in the capital, Athens.  An estimated 2,000 people gathered in the city to voice their anger at the latest round of proposed wage and pension cuts.  The changes are part of the bailout package agreed between the Greek government and its international lenders.

Civil aviation workers plan 24-hour strike

A 24-hour strike organised by the Federation of Civil Aviation Authority Unions (OSYPA) will result in a number of domestic Aegean and Olympic Air flights being delayed or cancelled on January 8. The strike will not affect international flights. 

Bomb explodes near Greek parliament in Athens

A small bomb exploded near the Greek parliament in Athens early on Tuesday.  Windows were shattered in nearby buildings but injuries were reported after the blast, which is the first since the Syriza party took power early this year.  Police suspected that domestic anarchist groups were responsible for the attack.

Migrants stranded at Greece-Macedonia border

Thousands of migrants have been left stranded at the Greece-Macedonia border after they were blocked from heading towards northern Europe.  Seven men sewed their mouths shut in protest, while a large group of Iranians, Moroccans and Pakistanis blocked a train line along the border.  According to the UN refugee agency one in 10 of the migrants are not from Syria, and last week Macedonia and other Balkan states said they would restrict entry to people escaping conflicts.

1973 anniversary rally ends in violence

Clashes have erupted in Athens following a rally to mark the anniversary of the 1973 student uprisings.  Rioting was reported in the Exarchia Square in central Athens late on Tuesday. "Some 200 people from the anti-establishment bloc entered Exarchia and started throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at the police officers," said a police spokesman.  Earlier in the evening around 16,000 people took part in a peacefully rally, which denounced the European Union and the IMF.

Deadly earthquake hits Greek island of Lefkada

Two people have been confirmed dead after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the Greek island of Lefkada.  The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the quake occurred at 09:10 local time on Tuesday morning, with the epicentre recorded at a depth of 10km.  An 82-year-old woman was killed when a wall collapsed on her in the village of Athani, while a 69-year-old woman died when a falling boulder hit her house in Ponti.

Police clash with anti-austerity protesters in Athens

Greek riot police have clashed with anti-austerity protesters in the capital, Athens.  Around 25,000 people took to the streets on Thursday morning, while public services shut down as part of a one-day general strike against the latest round of government spending cuts.  Transport services have been severely affected and hospitals are operating with emergency staff.

Syriza party wins snap election

The left-wing Syriza party has won a second general election is less than nine months.  The party won 35.5 percent of the vote and will continue its coalition with the nationalist Independent Greeks.  Syriza's leader Alex Tsipras said: "In front of us lies the long road of struggle and hard work."  The snap elections were called when Tsipras resigned last month over his decision to accept a third bailout package, despite being originally elected on an anti-bailout platform.

Air Traffic Controller strike called for 5 August

Air traffic controllers at airports across Greece have announced a four-hour work stoppage from 14.00-18.00 local time. Further air traffic control strike action is also possible throughout August. 

Eurozone leaders agree Greece bailout deal

Eurozone leaders have agreed a bailout deal for Greece following hours of negotiations.  Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, said that the 19 leaders had "unanimously reached an agreement" which will see Greece remain a member of the euro. Greece will now have to pass reforms demanded by the eurozone by Wednesday.

Greek Finance Minister quits after 'no' vote against bailout

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned from his post after Greek citizens voted to reject the terms of an international bailout. Thousands celebrated after hearing the final result 61.3% No, against 38.7% yes. As the Euro fell across the board in Asian markets, European officials warned that it could see the country ejected from the euro-zone.  

Greeks vote in bailout referendum

Millions of Greek nationals are voting to decide whether or not the Country is to accept the terms of a bailout by creditors to fund the payment of its debts. The ballot will open at 07.00 local time and the first results are expected on Sunday evening. Greek prime minister Yanis Varoufakis has tried to influence Greeks to reject the terms imposed by International creditors claiming that a 'No' vote will strenghten Greece's negotiating position.

Anti-austerity protesters occupy Siemens office in Athens

A small group of anti-austerity protesters occupied the offices of the German industrial company Siemens in Athens on Monday.  Around 30 people stormed the building in a northern Athens suburb before hanging a banner which read: "We are not negotiating with domestic and foreign capitalists".  A spokeswoman for Siemens said the protest was peaceful and ended after several hours.

Greek police end anarchist protest in Athens

Greek riot police and protesters have clashed with anti-establishment protesters at Athens University.  Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds, who were throwing rocks and starting fires.  The unrest was sparked when the police moved in to end a 19-day sit in by the protesters, while in the centre of the city thousands of miners attended a rally against the government's decision to block plans to develop a gold mine.

Anarchists storm ruling Syriza party HQ

A group of around 50 anarchists have stormed the official headquarters of ruling Greek party Syriza in Athens.  The group demaned that the anti-austerity Syriza party enact prison reform and free Savvas Xiros, the bomb-maker from the extremist 17 November group.  Greek's new government has already been accused of breaking their pre-election promises, namely to challenge the country's bailout deal with the EU.

Police clash with anti-austerity protesters in Athens

Greek riot police have clashed with dozens of anti-government protesters in the capital, Athens.  Around 450 far-left activists took part in the rally, the first since the left-wing Syriza party took power last month.  The protesters are angry over the deal agreed between the Greek parliament and the EU to extend the bailout program.

Left-wing Syriza party wins Greek election

The left-wing Syriza party has won Greece's general election and formed a government with the right-wing Independent Greeks party.  Syriza's leader, Alexis Tsipras, said he will confront international lenders - the European Union, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB) - and reverse years of severe austerity measures.  The victory has raised fears about a Greek debt default and a possible exit from the Eurozone.

Shots fired at Israeli embassy in Athens

A group of four unidentified assailants have opened fire on the Israeli embassy in the Greek capital, Athens.  Police said 54 bullet casings from an AK-47 were found in the embassy wall following the shooting at around 0300 on Friday morning. "Any terrorist attack hitting at the heart of democracy hits the heart of the country," said  a spokesman for the Greek government.

Clashes erupt during Athens protests

Clashes have erupted during protests in the Greek capital, Athens.  More than 5,000 people marched through the centre of the city to mark the sixth anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager.  Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters.

Car bomb explodes outside central bank

A large car bomb has exploded outside Greece's central bank in Athens, damaging nearby buildings but causing no injuries.  The blast occurred hours before the Greek government announced plans to return to the international bond market for the first time since the economic crisis took hold four years ago.  According to police a newspaper received an anonymous warning about the bomb around 45 minutes before it exploded.

Greek extremist threatens government over cuts

A convicted extremist who is currently on the run has threatened the government with armed action over its handling of the country's debt crisis.  Christodoulos Xiros, who was serving multiple life sentences for his role in the far-left November 17 guerrilla group, released a video online during which he said "I've decided to fire the guerrilla shotgun against those who stole our lives and sold our dreams for profit."

Shots fired at German ambassador's residence in Athens

Unknown gunmen have fired shots at the German ambassador's residence in the Greek capital, Athens.  No one was wounded during the incident, which occurred in the Halandri district around 03:30 local time.

Leftist militants claim Golden Dawn killings

A Greek socialist militant group has claimed responsibility for the killing of two members of the far-right Golden Dawn party earlier this month.  The previously unknown Militant People's Revolutionary Forces said that the attack was carried out in retaliation for the fatal stabbing of an anti-fascism musician by a Golden Dawn sympathiser.  In a statement published in the Greek media, the group said "the armed the starting point of the people's campaign to send the neo-Nazi scum of Golden Dawn where they belong, to the dustbin of history".

Riot police raid former state broadcaster HQ

Greek riot police have cleared the headquarters of the former state broadcaster ERT in north-eastern Athens.  The police used tear gas to disperse crowds before forming a cordon round the building and evacuating protesters.  The government closed ERT in June as part of cost-cutting measures, sacking its 2,600 staff members.

Greek workers hold 24-hour general strike

Service workers across Greece are holding a 24-hour general strike over further austerity measures in the country.  Flights and trains have been cancelled while schools and hospitals are operating with emergency staff.  Two separate protest marches have also been scheduled to take place in central Athens.

Memorial held for Golden Dawn activists

A memorial service has been held in Athens for two members of the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn party who were killed in a drive-by shooting.  Manolis Kapelonis and Giorgos Foudoulakis were outside the party's offices on Friday evening when gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on them.  A third Golden Dawn supporter was critically wounded in the shooting.

Parliament votes to freeze funding for Golden Dawn party

The Greek parliament has voted to suspend state funding for the far-right party Golden Dawn.  The assembly voted 235-0 in favour of the move after the party's leader and two of its MPs were charged with being members of a criminal organisation.

Golden Dawn leader arrested in Greece

Nikolaos Michaloliakos, leader of the far-right Golden Dawn party, has been arrested and formally charged with belonging to a criminal organisation.  Five other MPs, including deputy party leader Christos Pappas, have also been arrested along with 15 other party members.

Greek police raid Golden Dawn offices

Greek police have carried out a raid on the offices of the far-right Golden Dawn party in the central town of Agrinio.  The operation follows the fatal stabbing of an anti-fascist protester last week, reportedly by a supporter of the Golden Dawn.  The police also arrested one of their colleagues for allegedly working as a bodyguard for the group.

Anti-fascist protesters rally in Greece after activist killing

Thousands of anti-fascist protesters have rallied across Greece following the killing of a left-wing activist by a suspected neo-Nazi.  A 45-year old man, who is a member of the far-right Golden Dawn party, has reportedly admitting killing Pavlos Fyssas during a brawl in the Keratsini suburb of Athens. 

Greece braced for week of mass public sector strikes

Greece is preparing for a week of mass strike action in response to the government's massive redeployment plan, which is part of the bailout conditions imposed on it by international creditors.  State school teachers walked out on Monday, while civil servants and state doctors are expected to join in on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Greeks start general strike against austerity

Thousands of Greeks have taken part in a 24-hour general strike against government austerity measures.  The country's two largest trade unions have called for a mass mobilisation of protesters to mark labour day.

Adverse weather conditions to hit western Greece

Hazardous weather conditions are set to hit western Greece over the weekend as a low-pressure weather system is forming in the Mediterranean. Torrential rainfall and heavy winds are forecast to hit the country as the phenomenon - popularly known as 'Medicane' - is strengthening around eastern Italy. Although such a system is relatively rare, it usually occurs during autumn months. Rough weather conditions have battered Greece in recent days, where widespread flooding killed more than 15 people around Athens.

Greece Data Sheet

11.2 million (2009 est.)
Major Religion/s:
International dialing code:
International dialing prefix:
Emergency services:
Police 100, Medical 166, Fire 199
Ohter Major Cities:
Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Patras
Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey