ATHENS (AP)— Greece's Parliament failed to elect a new president for the financially struggling country in the first round of voting Wednesday, leaving another two tries before the government falls and early elections are called. The conservative-led government's candidate, former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, received 160 votes — far short of the 200 needed— with all opposition parties rejecting his candidacy. If a second ballot on Dec. 23, which also requires 200 votes, is inconclusive, a third will take place on Dec. 29, when a reduced tally of 180 votes would suffice.
With no victor, parliament would be dissolved and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras must call snap national elections in early 2015, a year and a half before his mandate expires.
"What happened today opens the way to (parliamentary) elections,'' said Fotis Kouvelis, head of the small Democratic Left party, a former coalition partner.
The left-wing Syriza party, which wants to renegotiate Greece's international bailout, is ahead in opinion polls, but with too small a lead to govern alone.
The uncertainty, amid stalled negotiations with Greece's creditors, has hammered Greek stocks and bonds just as the country was nearing the end of its bailout and edging out of a six-year recession.
The two-party governing coalition has 155 seats and requires backing from opposition or independent lawmakers to ensure Dimas' election.
"There are another two rounds ahead of us,'' Samaras said while leaving parliament Wednesday. "I hold hope that a (new) president will be elected. The conditions are difficult for the country, and I am certain that lawmakers are aware that the country must not enter troubled times.''
Earlier Wednesday, Samaras' office said a vote for Dimas would mean avoiding "a political adventure that could prove fatal to (Greece's) European course.''
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said he is confident snap elections would be held, saying: "Very soon our people will play a leading part in developments.''
That possibility, comments about reversing reforms, and hints about the possibility of Greece not repaying some of its debts have spooked international markets.
The weather is cold here in Chicago and visions of jetting off to someplace warm is only a dream for many. But for Joanna Kalafatis it is a life she has lived since childhood.
Kalafatis is a 25-year-old actress, writer, and frequent traveler. According to her website Go Road Trippin’ she explains she is trying to set up her ideal life, “namely, exploring the world and going on adventures while doing what I love.”
Her blog is a creative and worthy read that she hopes “inspires and helps people to do the same — travel and live their dream!” Log on to her website at goroadtrippin.com and her blog will inspire you to jet off to that next vacation destination you long to visit.
I recently caught up with Kalafatis to find out more about her recent trip to attend the international travel blogging conference (TBEX) in Athens and well—all things travel.
Every lesson I learned as a kid was at the dinner table. Being Greek, Sicilian and Ruthenian - we are an emotional bunch. It is where we laughed, cried and yelled - but most importantly, where we bonded and connected.
Christmas is just around the corner. The Greek Star is proud to present its annual Christmas issue filled with holiday wishes from our generous advertisers, contributors and staff. In a few days families will gather to renew ties, welcome in the New Year and share in the Greek traditions celebrating this holiday season.
Every year, I look forward to the bond that brings families together at the Christmas table. Something magical seems to always happen during Christmas dinner. The array of food becomes the focal point rather than our phones, email, and Facebook. It reminds young and old alike to plug in to what is essential—breaking bread together.
The conversation at a holiday dinner is priceless. There seems to always be someone at the table who can capture a memory from year’s past and retell it in a way that has the room filled with laughter. Resentment, hurts and a sense of loneliness turn away as friends and family delight their palate with love, sincerity and thankfulness.
As we look to 2015, I am reminded of the Greek tradition of the pomegranate. Ever since I was a kid I have been amazed at this beautiful fruit—which to my husband’s credit has been passed on to my children. This powerful fruit filled with countless seeds also serves to fill us with countless hopes for the new year. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
According to an old tradition once a pomegranate is “broken” and the seeds are exposed at the house after New Year’s prosperity and good will are sure to follow.
From our table to yours. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Today is Thanksgiving. The day when families and friends gather for one sole purpose. To give thanks. The Greek Star wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
If you are like me, sometimes you see all the images of the Parthenon and you just wish you were there—in fact—at this moment. Well thanks to a brilliant new website you can.
If you wish to take a stroll around the Acropolis and search for details, log on to http://acropolis-virtualtour.gr
Virtual tours are common but this one takes you take places that are not on the beaten path. In fact you will see some "hidden spots," not found if you were at the Acropolis. Go figure!
ATHENS (AP) —Parliament has approved draft legislation that would give distressed Greeks more than eight years to settle unpaid taxes imposed under the country's austerity measures.
Lawmakers Friday backed the measure allowing tax settlements to be extended to a maximum of 100 monthly payments, up from previous rules allowing 48. Two small opposition parties also voting in favor, in a rare display of consensus.
Despite a steep rise in unemployment and extensive wage cuts, Greeks have been hammered with additional taxes, levied under bailout agreements between the country and rescue lenders from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund.
Greece's governing conservatives have seen a sharp drop in opinion poll ratings in recent months, after announcing that emergency taxes due to end this year would be made permanent or extended through 2016.
The Greek Women’s University Club’s Membership Drive will feature Rebecca Roula, an independent Chocolatier and truffle maker with Dove Chocolate Discoveries. On Saturday, November 15, from 1-4 PM you will be treated to the “History of Chocolate and Truffle Making” with hands on activities.
The event will be held at the Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church at 2501 South Wolf Road,Westchester, IL. A five dollar donation will be applied to the GWUC ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS and the making of truffles. Premium Dove Chocolates will be used for the presentation.
Rebecca Roulo is an Independent Chocolatier with Dove Chocolate DiscoveriesTM. Backed by MARS, Incorporated – one of the world’s largest and iconic chocolate companies, Rebecca helps bring people’s love of chocolate into their daily lives in more ways than just candy. Rebecca jumped at the opportunity to supplement her family’s income with a fun and unique company. Over two and half years later, Rebecca continues to bring her love of chocolate into the sweet, savory, drink, and healthy part of our lives through education, instruction, and chocolate parties.
MIAMI—South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center and Culture Shock Miami Presents collaborate to bring world-acclaimed Flamenco dancer Soledad Barrio and her internationally sought company, Noche Flamenca, to Miami-Dade County for an evening of world-class Flamenco dance and music including Martin Santangelo’s 5-part adaption of the timeless Greek tragedy, Antigone. The company takes the Main Stage of South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center on Saturday, Nov, 15, at 8:00 pm.
Ticket prices are $27.50 to $47.50 online at SMDCAC.org or through the SMDCAC box office by calling 786-573-5300. The performance is also available through South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center’s subscription program. $5 tickets are available to 13-22 year olds and one accompanying guest each, exclusively through CultureShockMiami.com. $5 Culture Shock Miami tickets are not sold through the SMDCAC Box Office. Culture Shock Miami ticket sales for this performance end on Friday, November 14, 2014 at midnight.
Artistic Director and Producer Martín Santangelo has reimagined the ancient Greek play by Sophocles, Antigone, through his adaptation in the authentic Flamenco tradition. Titled Antigona, the 5-part work, which is performed by a cast of 16 dancers and musicians, tells the tragic story of the daughter of a Greek nobleman and soldier who would rather die than dishonor her father. The role of Antigona is performed by Soledad Barrio.
To see a preview of Noche Flamenca’s Antigona, paste http://youtu.be/sGfJYLEoPlY into your browser.