Archive February 2017

 - - - - N e w s   S n i p p e t s   February - - - -

Exclusion of farmland from 'forest' maps. In an unusual procedure, the Environment and Energy Ministry is trying to solve the Gordian knot created by the draft forest maps, by excluding many areas of farmland, especially disaster-stricken areas, and farms, many of which are subsidized, which were not 'of forest character', either in 1945 or in 2008, This move, according to a report in the "STEP" is expected to solve one of the main problems highlighted by the suspension of maps. Tharros (26-2-17)

Funding request for Community Centre: On Feb 20th, the Kalamata Municipality submitted a funding request to the Special Management Service of the Operational Programme of the Region of Peloponnese, for funds from the NSRF 2014 - 2020. This initiative concerns the operation of an enlarged Community Centre as a one-stop shop to serve vulnerable groups of Messinia. Note that West Mani, Triphylia Oihalia, Pylos-Nestor, and Messina will be supported via a Mobile Unit, which will constitute the outreach arm of the Community Centre. The purpose of Community Centers is to support the implementation of social protection policies, the development of a local reference point for the reception, service and interface between citizens and all social programs and services implemented in the Community Centre area of ​​intervention, and promote the employment of vulnerable groups of the local population. Three social workers, two psychologists and a guide, will be recruited for the staffing of the Community Centre and the Mobile Unit Tharros (22-2-17)

The new Archaeological Museum of Pylos has opened: In the new space, in the Maizonos building of the fortress Niokastro Pylos, the new Museum of Pylos has opened, where unique archaeological exhibits and innovative modes of presentation, supported by digital applications, present the story of Pylia from the earliest Prehistory to Roman times. Educational support material is available suggesting interesting approaches, which can be used by students of Primary and Secondary Education, as well as individual visitors. Opening hours: 8: 00-15: 00 except Mondays Tel. Contact: EFA Messinia: 27210-63100 email: , Fortress Niokastro: 27230-22955.  Tharros   (17-2-17)

4.1 Miles A Greek Documentary Nominated For A 2017 Academy Award :This documentary short film, ‘4.1 Miles’ by Daphne Matziaraki, was nominated for a 2017 Academy Award! The film is about a coast guard captain on a small Greek island who is suddenly charged with saving thousands of refugees from drowning at sea. ‘When I returned home to Greece last fall to make a film about the refugee crisis, I discovered a situation I had never imagined possible. The turquoise sea that surrounds the beautiful Greek island of Lesbos, just 4.1 miles from the Turkish coast, is these days a deadly gantlet, choked with terrified adults and small children on flimsy, dangerous boats. I had never seen people escaping war before, and neither had the island’s residents. I couldn’t believe there was no support for these families to safely escape whatever conflict had caused them to flee. The scene was haunting.’ full article and video NY times (14-2-17) 

Angry protests in Stoupa about the the forest maps: Residents, reportedly seemed outraged by the mere presence of forest officials. Two forestry officers who stopped in the area on Wednesday, were subjected to sharp verbal attack by a group of 15-20 people. Also a burning book was thrown at the Forest Service jeep, thereby damaging to the vehicle, fortunately without any injury. The angry residents chanted to forest officials about the problems that exist with the forest maps of Mani. tharros (10-2-17)

Recycling of electrical and electronic equipment :In 2016, the Municipality of Kalamata collected and delivered for recycling, a total quantity of 2,490 kg of electrical and electronic equipment, being one of the municipalities with the best performance nationwide, which is generally the case for recycling for years. Citizens can deposit electrical and electronic equipment in green bins,for recycling. Bins are located in the municipality buildings, electronics stores and supermarkets. The increase of this activity contributes to environmental protection, but also sensitizes citizens about the development of recycling.kalamata gr (9-2-17)

The new Hellenic Space Agency: The planned Greek Space Agency will be a limited company under the name National Space Applications Centre (CEEP) and will cover a large deficit in Greece. With the launch this year of the satellite Hellas Sat, trading opportunities are created which, according to information of the Ministry PSIPTE, will be used by a space policy company, corresponding to the European standards. The CEEP is expected to take over the lease -with private economic criteria. They will also build research and scientific applications in the field of civil protection, Earth monitoring, prevention and fire fighting, illegal building etc. The CEEP, will be connected as a hub with major Greek and international research centers, will interconnect research to the production of Greek businesses. Minister for Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information Nikos Pappas, noted that it is simply inconceivable that our country today should lacks a space agency. Up to now, Greece has been one of the few European countries that do not have the body to utilize commercial, scientific and research rights, nor the plethora of research and scientific applications and resources available in the European Space Agency. tharros (9-2-17)

Follow up on Forest Map protest

January 30th: At a meeting between Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy, Socrates Famellos, and Messinian representatives, issues related to the suspension of forest maps, were discussed. Among other things, the deputy minister pledged to adopt the best possible solutions for the issues raised by Members, including:
• expanding the categories exempted from the obligation to pay the fee for the exercise of opposition
• the reimbursement of administration fees if the applicants are justified

Ms. Kozompoli, "...stressed that in any case the suspension of forest maps is a process that will ultimately result in the strengthening of property rights, and the safeguarding of forests as precious and well-defined wealth of our country. "  The Forest Registry (Greece is the only country in Europe that has no forest registry) is a serious matter, which will protect the rural property of citizens against arbitrary acts of the administration, and at the same time protect public property from trespassers. Tharros


January 29th


"Με μεγάλη επιτυχία η παμμανιάτικη αγωνιστική εκδήλωση απόψε στη Στουπα! Διατρανώθηκε -σε όλους τους τόνους!- η απόφαση των Μανιατών για ενημέρωση, αντίσταση κι αγώνα... Η απόφαση να υπερασπιστούν την πατρώα Γη και την Τιμή τους. Θα ακολουθήσουν νέες εκδηλώσεις σε Γυθειο και Αρεόπολη και δημιουργία συντονιστικής επιτροπής..."    Antreas Pifeas
The meeting at the Stoupa Cultural Centre was very well attended, and the mood was defiant. The decision of the meeting was to demand more information and defend the land. More events will follow in Gytheio and Areopoli

Call to minimize fees and allow more time for objections : The older aerial photos used for the maps of the prefecture of Messinia were made in 1945 and the most recent, in 2008. The forest map does not show property boundaries, but types of vegetation cover. The code AN shows the areas that have been declared to be reforested with management operations either by fire or due to clearing. The difference between the forested areas shown in 2008 and 1945 totals 83,000 acres throughout Messinia. The call is for the State to ratify the owners who cultivate this land, with minimum bureaucracy. Many of these properties have been developed with great effort and sacrifice and created income and rural development, in difficult post-war times. Tharros (29-1-17)

Information summary from PsM  ► FEBRUARY 2017 ◄

PsM Website reminder: Message from Claire:- From tomorrow until March 3rd 2017, I shall have limited internet access, and may not be able to update the website very frequently. You can post urgent/important information on the  Parea sti Mani page, while I am away, but please note that as I do not use Facebook on a regular basis, I do not respond to 'friend' requests.

Ag Nikolaos Health Centre Petition: In October 2016, after the loss of 2 more doctors, and no sign of them being replaced , the Director of the centre, Dr Gioulos, published proposals for closing the Health Centre some days. However, he was told that the centre must remain open 24 /7 and that there would be temporary doctors seconded until permanent staff could be appointed. Note: For details see Ag Nikolaos Health Centre. Now, with still no solution, the staff , increasingly concerned about the potential risk to life, have launched a petition for an urgent solution. AG NIKOLAOS HEALTH CENTRE PETITION

Government help for the very poor and for small businesses: A welfare programme has just been launched by the Μinistry of Labor and Social Solidarity, aimed at providing a safety net to households living under extreme poverty. The program is based on three pillars: a) income support, b) connection with social integration services, and c) connection with activation services aimed towards the integration or reintegration of beneficiaries into the labor market. GreekNewsAgenda. It has been announced that NSRF( ΕΣΠΑ) funding will be available by March. The program involves the upgrading of existing micro, small and medium enterprises in the retail and service sector around the four categories of interventions: energy saving, information technology, health & safety of premises, and enhancing supply chains. The budget for these actions amounts to € 50 million snippets27/1.

Great concern about new forest maps: On January 23rd, the two-month period started for submitting objections to the new Forest Charter of Messinia, now officially posted. During the revision period, the inhabitants of the interior and exterior can submit objections to the plans. Last day for objections from the inhabitants of the interior is March 23rd of 2017, while for residents abroad, it is April 12th 2017 . There has already been a huge outcry since the publication, because it seems the new maps are based on old data, and there are many mis-classifications of land which could cost land owners a lot of money! Jan Archive

Revised KTEL Bus Schedule Kalamata < > Athens: For the schedules from January 23rd 2017 see Archive Jan2017

Reporting dangerous tree branches: If you have tree branches touching power lines, or near enough to get caught on the wires during strong winds, please report the matter to DEDDHE see DIMOS INFORMATION

Recycling at Katerina's supermarket in Stoupa: Keen to promote recycling and with their own compactor, Katerinas put bins for recyclable packaging, outside their front exit. However, they have had to move them to the rear of the building as the convenient location proved too much tempation, and some people were just dumping inappropriate rubbish in them!  KATERINAS

Recycle clothes/shoes in Kalamata: The RED bin scheme is getting increasing support in Kalamata, and in 2016 Kalamata ranked 2nd of the 18 municipalities that are offering the scheme, providing 35 tonnes of clothing-footwear for the RECYCOM company, a significant increase on 2015. The company gave the City Grocery 1,910 packs of food and hygiene items (eg legumes, pasta, flour, sugar, bleach, coffee, olive oil, etc.) and continues to contribute goods to the Municipality of Kalamata in order to help needy families. tharros

More burglaries : Over the Christmas holiday period there were several burglaries in the Pantazi/Riglia area. One was from Pat Brennan's house. She had jewellery taken, but is more concerned about the box it was in. It was a very special wooden box, with sentimental value, which has an engraving on the lid and a small brass plaque on the side with the name SAM on it. If you see it anywhere, perhaps dumped, Pat would be very pleased to hear from you, Tel: 6973919718 Thieves

Renewing a UK passport from Greece: Although the advice for passport renewal for UK adult residents says "Please send us your current passport and two photos. You will not normally need to provide extra supporting documents ", if you are applying from Greece you WILL need to provide an additional supporting document, which can present a problem for some people. The GOV UK website was updated on December 16th 2016 , and again on January 11th 2017, so if you need to renew your passport from Greece, check in good time, if you have a suitable 'supporting document'. BRITISH PASSPORT SERVICES

Warning to drivers of cars with foreign plates: There has been a big increase in cars in Greece with foreign plates, as their owners are able to avoid paying this country’s high road tax . While this is quite legal, there are certain condtions that must be fulfilled, in particular, being in Greece for no more than six months of the year, (and you need to carry documentary proof!). Failure to comply with this condition can lead to severe fines - €2,500 and €10,000! snippets15/1

New Indian restaurant in Kalamata : Milopetra in the old town used to serve Greek food, but since the New Year, they have a new menu and new chef, and local people speak very highly of it. It is open all day. MESSAGES 22/1

Money matters:-
• Increases in a range of indirect taxes from January 1st include fuel coffee and cigarettes snippets 2/1
• For the next few months, Kelly Vavali will only see people in Stoupa by appointment Stoupa Accountant
• Some people still need to keep paper receipts , for tax purposes snippets 14/1
• All shops should accept card payment by February 1st, and display the fact. snippets 6/1

Results from the GOV UK survey of expats : Early in 2016, the British Embassy conducted a survey aimed at British Passport holders in Greece , to gain a better understanding of their experiences, to help focus their future communications with central and local government and to further enhance their social media presence in Greece. The survey led to the development of an outreach programme offering meetings in various Greek cities. For results of the survey, the top 10 tips for 'happy living ' in Greece, and more about the FCO, see our ADVICE FROM THE FCO

Animal welfare news
• In 2016 they managed to rehome 40 abandoned dogs HAPPY ENDINGS
• Detailed advice from the Greek Police about how and why we should report animal neglect/cruelty   Report Animal Abuse Greece (2017) translation
• Currently MIAO are struggling to care for 14 more dogs that need forever homes
• Cookie, Coffee and Boots - 3 rescued pups now needing good homes 
• MIAO urgently need funds to feed, vaccinate and sterilize strays to help prevent them adding to the problem of unwanted animals
Misery of a cat abandoned in Pigi   MIAOManiInternationalAnimalOrganisation
• Have you seen Motso - a much loved cat is missing
Lost black cat? found at Sonnenlink
Lost brown dog? found in Tseria

A new book "Wildflowers of the Mani " : Roger Marchant , who spent his working life as a professional biologist in various universities, has produced his latest book as 'a labour of love'. In 2014 he published a botanical photographic record of some of the flowers of the Mani Peninsula Greece " Flowers of the Mani" His latest book is a compact handbook with descriptions of more than 930 plants, each one illustrated with at least one photograph and information about the flowering period habitat etc which will aid identification of local flora MESSAGES8/1

Torch of Peace Run : Sri Chinmoy Peace Centres have been created worldwide in over 60 countries to promote Peace, Culture, and Sport, as a continuation of the work of Sri Chinmoy (1931 -2007) Each ear around Christmas time, a city is chosen for the annual meeting & run. This year The city of Kalamata was chosen from among many others not only because of its rich history, its unique beauty and archaeological sites within walking distance, but also because the members of Peace Centres wishing to enhance the local community, highlighting the region throughout the world and showing that beyond the major tourist destinations, there is a Greece that deserves to be explored. Jan Archive

Initiatives for young people: The 'Kalamata 21' people worked hard on the bid to make Kalamata 'City of Culture 2021' and were very disappointed when they failed at the final hurdle. However, all their efforts and plans may not be wasted. It is proposed that Kalamata applies to be 'European Youth Capital 2020': snippets 16/1.In any case, the children of Kalamata, especially the less well off, will be getting support from the Children's Creative Centres (KDAP) in Kalamata, which are being funded by the EU . These will not only provide a range of out of school activities for youngsters, they will also create a sigificant number of jobs. snippets 22/1

International boost for Basketball in Kalamata : The 1st ALL STAR GAME (Men of A Class), is being held onThursday, February 2, 2017 at 17:00, in the Καλαμάτας "Τέντα". Basket ball fans have had a chance to vote for players who will take part in the AllSTAR game, through the EU website (ALLSTARS2017 ) . "The E.KA.S.KE.NO.P. Board, aiming to develop Basketball in Central and Southern Peloponnese, considers the championship of First Division Men, as one of the major sporting events in the region...."


Maria Garzon at the 3rd International Documentary Festival of the Peloponnese : This year the theme has been "Human Rights and Refugees " and included the award winning film 'Viktor Ullman: Biography of a recording', about the composer and pianists Edith Kraus and Alice Hertz-Sommer, who made music in the Theresienstadt. concentration camp in the Czech Republic during the Second World War. The seven sonatas composed by Viktor Ullman were recorded for the film by the Spanish pianist, Maria Garzon, and after the screening on January 20th, Maria gave a piano recital. Maria, who many local people heard at the MIAO fund raising concert in 2015, also collected money for MIAO .Archive Jan 2017

Keep Mani Clean January 20th: For the first gathering of 2017, and the 3rd cleaning session near the Valavani Olive press, Ag Nikolaos, volunteers of all ages spent around two and a half hours, clearing the rubbish, mainly unsightly plastic that had washed down during the September 7th flooding. Video There is still a lot of rubbish embedded in the stones and tangled with roots, which cannot be removed by hand, but at least the area looks clean now. Thank you everyone who came to help, especially Leonardo who had come all the way from Tseria. KeepMani Clean

Mani Cars
Vet in Stoupa
Mani Money Stoupa

Sea water temperature
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Sofia Nikolakea Language Studio
House in Peloponnese