LATEST ARTICLES

Greece Looking for New Football Coach as Van ‘t Schip Resigns

Greece’s National Football Coach John van ‘t Schip resigned from his post on Friday citing the indecision by the Hellenic Football Federation to renew his contract, which expires on December 31.

Van ‘t Schip, who was at the helm of the Greek National Team for two and half years, defended his record despite Greece failing to qualify for next year’s World Cup. It finished third in the group, behind Spain and Sweden.

“We started our journey together in August 2019 and firstly focused on changing the culture and the formation of the team. We introduced an overall younger squad with talented promising players to boost the future of the Greek national team,” the Dutch coach said on Instagram.

Van ‘t Schip joined the Greek Football Association in the summer of 2019. Before that, he worked in the Eredivisie at FC Twente and PEC Zwolle. Between 2004 and 2008 he was assistant to national coach Marco van Basten at the Dutch National team.

He worked together with players from the Dutch league, including Pantelis Hatzidiakos, Vangelis Pavlidis (both AZ), Dimitrios Limnios (FC Twente), and Anastasios Douvikas (FC Utrecht).

No decision on Van ‘t Schip’s replacement

“We worked hard together and changed the training process and the style of play that started to give a new identity to our team. In this process, we have achieved good and less good results, but always within our vision of how we want to play and grow as a team,” he said.

“There have been talks to continue on this road, however, the Hellenic Football Federation has taken so much time to make a decision for the future, that I felt that it was time for me to move on,” he added.

The Hellenic Football Federation has not named a replacement and said the selection process “will not be hurried.”

In 2004 Greece achieved perhaps the most astonishing victory, not only in the history of football but in the history of sports in general.

It beat the tournament’s hosts, Portugal, by 1-0 and won the European Cup. It was regarded by media and fans all around the globe as one of the biggest shockers ever since Greece came out of nowhere and was the ultimate underdog to win the Cup.

Those days are long gone, however. The 58-year-old former Ajax winger stepped down at a time when Greek football is mired in crisis. Greece has not reached a major tournament since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

 

Greece Donates 200,000 Doses of Covid Vaccine to Gabon

Dendias Gabon
Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba with Greek Foreign Minster Nikos Dendias as Dendias donates 200,000 vaccine doses to the the African nation. Dendias’ visit on Friday is the first trip made by any Greek official to the country. Credit: Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Greek Foreign Minster Nikos Dendias made the first trip to Gabon of any Greek official on Friday, bringing with him 200,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines.

Meeting with Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Dendias stated to the press afterward that there was “a great deal of room for cooperation between Greece and Gabon” regarding the international law of the sea and maritime communications security. “It was for me a great joy and a great honor to be the first Greek minister to visit the country,” Dendias told reporters.

He also stated that other areas in which the two countries might cooperate in the future included the protection of the environment.

Dendias pointed out that Gabon is heavily forested and the African country has also done well in protecting its large population of elephants.

Greece donates 200,000 coronavirus vaccines to Gabon

Dendias and Ondimba also discussed investments and assistance that might be forthcoming from Greece in helping the nation to tackle Covid, on top of the 200,000 vaccine shots from the Greek government that Dendias delivered to the country earlier on Friday.

The Minister added that he had also conveyed an invitation from the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, inviting Gabon’s president to visit Greece.

“Relations between Greece and Gabon are emerging relations but we have a great interest in a fertile mutual ground to develop these relations,” Dendias said, noting that Gabon was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council beginning in 2022, with the support of Greece.

Dendias meets with Lee White, Gabon’s Minister of Forests

In a bilateral meeting with Gabon’s Minister of Forests, Oceans, Environment and Climate Change Lee White, Dendias was briefed on the impact of climate change on security issues in Africa, including migration flows and access to basic goods, according to a Foreign Ministry tweet.

Dendias stressed that Greece is paying special attention to the issue of climate change and makes efforts to address it, the Ministry said.

The two ministers discussed the prospects of Greece-Gabon cooperation, especially in matters concerning the protection of the marine environment. Cooperation with African countries is part of European countries’ strategy to better understand the security challenges of climate change, the Ministry added.

Dendias’ statement issued after the high-level meetings acknowledged the fact that Friday’s visit was the first-ever meeting between a Greek foreign minister and Gabon officials.

He said in the statement “Relations between Greece and Gabon are developing relations. However, there exists a particularly interesting and fertile common ground to develop these relations, whether it be environmental protection, maritime safety or investment.”

Earlier in the week, Dendias had also visited the African nation of Ghana in the first such meeting in that country as well.

Greece donated over 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to Ghana during the visit of foreign minister Nikos Dendias to the African country last week.

The donation is expected to augment the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination exercise in Ghana and help the government achieve its target of reaching 20 million people with the life-saving vaccine.

Handing over the consignment at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Dendias said the donation is “an expression of solidarity of Greece in Ghana and its people. Greece actively supports Ghana in fighting the pandemic.”

He added that it is important for countries to share their resources so together they can win the fight against the pandemic.

“This is our contribution to your effort to tackle the pandemic that affects us all. If we do not share our resources globally, we will not be able to deal with it.”

In his remarks after that meeting, Dendias said “Ghana is a member of the UNCLOS Group of Friends, it is a country that will become a member of the UN Security Council from January 1, 2022, and it is the fastest growing economy in West Africa with already more than 100 million of Greek investments.

“Consequently, my meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs this morning, and also with the President of the country this evening, is to be seen in the sense of deepening both political and economic relations.

“I think this is a very good start,” he concluded. “I believe that our country, Greece, needs to be present in sub-Saharan Africa as well. And also to be able to expound the issues of Africa in the European Union, as a country that is in greater proximity to this great developing continent.”

What Did India Learn from the Ancient Greeks?

Ancient Greek India
A woman from India in traditional clothing. Ancient Greece and India interacted in antiquity. Credit:Amitsah8888 /Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

The interaction of the two great ancient civilizations of Greece and India, which began with the invasion of Alexander the Great in 326 BC and lasted for more than two centuries, has been the subject of numerous books by Indian and western scholars over the years.

While visiting Greece in 2018, Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India, praised the contributions of Alexander the Great to the history of his nation.

“The most famous Greek to come to India was of course Alexander the Great. He arrived at the head of an invading army in 326 BC – but he left as a friend,” Kovind wrote on Twitter.

alexander the great
Mosaic of Alexander the Great in Pompeii, c. 100 BC. Credit: Public domain

The historical presence of Greeks in India and how the two civilizations interacted has always been controversial, says Dr. Richard Stoneman, a scholar and the author of a recently published book on the subject in an interview with Greek Reporter.

“The British scholars who were the first to really look at the art of ancient India in the middle of the nineteenth century assumed that there was wholesale influence from the Greeks on India. Then the was a big reaction among Indian scholars, who said that actually India invented everything without any outside influence whatever,” he explains.

An influential book, “They Came, They Saw, but India Conquered,” written by the historian A.K. Narain in 1957, is characteristic of this later line of scholarly thought.

But Stoneman maintains that one must find a happy medium between these two extreme theoretical positions.

Ancient Greek IndiaHis new book, titled “The Greek Experience of India – Two Centuries of Greek Presence,” attempts to do just that. “I hope that my book provides a medium position which would help someone understand the two-way interaction between the Greeks and the Indians, those last centuries BC.”

Stoneman, an honorary visiting professor at Exeter University in the UK, says that his new book is “focused on how the ancient Greeks, led by Alexander the Great, set about understanding India.”

His new work delves not only into Alexander’s invasion of the Indus Valley in 327 BC — the first large-scale encounter between Greek and Indian civilizations — but also into the era which followed, when Hellenic-style successor kingdoms ruled by strongmen rose and fell in northwest India and Bactria, its neighbor to the west.

The presence of these Hellenic states in that region of the world, and their occasional forays even further east, created a zone of Greco-Indian contact, influence, and exchange, as well as occasional conflict, stretching from Central Asia to the Ganges.

Stoneman argues that the two civilizations influenced each other in the arts and philosophy, but as he points out “in many ways the influence primarily went the other way, from India to the Greeks, although of course there are many instances where Greek influences are very perceptible.”

“The chief ways are in painting and sculpture,” the researcher says. He relates that large-scale sculpture began to be created in the city of Mathura in the third century BC, and about two centuries later another school of sculptural art, heavily influenced by Hellenistic models, grew up in Gandhara, in today’s northern Pakistan.

Ancient Greek India
An Indo-Corinthian capital with a palmette and the Buddha at its centre. Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Public domain

Art is “most important, evident” Ancient Greek influence on India

Stoneman declares that “Art is the most important, and most evident, and the most lasting feature of the Greek influence in India.”

“From the very first moment that western scholars and visitors set eyes on Gandharan art, they were immediately struck by the stylistic similarities to Hellenistic art, the kind of relative realism of the depictions and the style in which the figures are depicted,” the author notes.

“I think you can see the same in the earlier art of Mathura, which is particularly interesting because until the third century BC there is no large scale sculpture in India. All there was were small scale, mainly clay, figurines, and bronze workings the size of one’s hand.

“But when the Greeks arrived in northwestern India suddenly they started making life-size or even larger statues out of stone,” Stoneman explains to Greek Reporter.

Ancient Greek India
The story of the Trojan Horse was depicted in the art of Gandhara. This shows interaction between Greece and India. British Museum. Photo Source: Wikimedia commons/ Public domain

“There are many similarities to Greek statues. Gandhara is very widely recognized as being very much influenced by Greek and also Roman art. The Mathuran style is more stiff, not as flexible or fluid as Greek sculpture; but still there are similarities because they are of large size and they are in important respects realistic,” he states.

The British scholar notes that there are also small details, such as how the subjects’ drapery is depicted with the naturalistic folds, as well as the knots in their tied sashes, which also proves how much Hellenistic art influenced India.

Stoneman also points to a second area analyzed in his book which is the interaction between the two civilizations in the realms of philosophy and the sciences, saying “Indian scholars are very ready to admit that sciences in the early centuries of the AD era were much influenced by Greek mathematicians and astronomers.”

But what is really interesting is the way these philosophical ideas interacted, he notes. The Greek philosopher Pyrrho of Elis, who traveled with Alexander, was himself influenced by Indian philosophy. Soon after that, he says, we find a great deal of interaction of ideas and theories between the two cultures.

“The philosophical ideas of Democritus and Epicurus have remained a living tradition in Sanskrit philosophical thought for a thousand years,” Stoneman argues, referring to the primary sacred language of Hinduism which has been used as a philosophical language in the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

During the two centuries of the Indo-Greek era the philosophical interaction between Greece and India was very productive for later civilizations, states the author, who points to its influence on the development of the philosophy of skepticism.

The author gives as an example of this “The way that skepticism seems to be rooted in a Buddhist perceptive, which denies permanence to anything at all. We see very interesting echoes of that in the philosophy of Epicurus. We also know that later Greek philosophers were interested in Indian thought. This kind of mystical perspective on the universe is very much shared between.”

Greece Restricts Travel to Save Christmas from Africa Covid Variant

covid greece
Greece seeks to avoid another Christmas lockdown in the face of the threat posed by the new southern Africa variant of the coronavirus. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece announced on Friday tough measures to keep the country open for this year’s Christmas festivities against the latest Covid-19 variant that was discovered in Southern Africa.

According to the latest measures, foreign travelers coming into Greece from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Eswatini, and Zambia will have to get special permission from the Greek consulate to enter the country, and they must be fully vaccinated.

Such permission will only be granted if the traveler needs to enter Greece for very serious or urgent reasons.

Those who are able to enter Greece from the region will have to immediately enter a 10-day quarantine, and they must take three PCR tests throughout the process — one before the trip, one when they arrive in Greece, and one after the quarantine is completed.

Greek citizens traveling back to the country from Southern African countries will not need to acquire special permission to re-enter Greece, but they must also enter a 10-day quarantine and complete Covid three tests. They must also be fully vaccinated against the virus.

The EU has already proposed imposing a total travel ban on visitors from the region in order to stop the spread of the variant.

The European Union’s executive body “will propose, in close coordination with member states, to activate the emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region,” EU chief Ursula von Der Leyen stated on Twitter.

Germany and Italy joined Britain on Friday in banning most travel from South Africa as governments scramble to prevent the spread of the new variant with its large number of mutations.

Covid variant from Southern Africa may be resistant against vaccine

The new strain of the virus has a different type of spike protein than those seen in other known coronavirus strains and therefore may be less susceptible to the vaccine, since the inoculations are designed to target spike proteins.

The new mutation, known as the B.1.1.529 variant, is believed to be the most evolved strain since the pandemic began in late 2019.

B.1.1.529 had mutated a total of 32 times when it was first discovered in Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa. The strain has since been found in neighboring South Africa, with one case in a traveler returning home to Hong Kong after visiting the continent. There are a total of 10 cases that have been confirmed to be from the B.1.1.529 strain.

Although the strain’s spread has been limited, experts around the world are sounding the alarm over the sheer number of mutations in the variant’s spike protein: “the incredibly high amount of spike mutations suggest this could be of real concern,” said virologist Dr. Tom Peacock.

Peacock later tweeted that it “very, very much should be monitored due to that horrific spike profile,” but that this intense evolution may not necessarily mean that the strain is highly transmissible, and it could just amount to an “odd cluster.”

Greece records 6,602 new Covid cases, 86 deaths, 630 people on ventilators

Greece recorded a total of 6,602 cases of Covid-19 on Friday.

The record for the highest number of coronavirus cases recorded in one day in Greece was broken on November 9, when 8,623 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed.

In the past day, a total of 516,487 coronavirus tests have been administered, including both PCR and rapid tests, bringing the positivity rate in Greece to 1.27%.

A total of 86 people with the virus passed away in the country on Friday alone.

Just 14 of Friday’s cases were identified during routine Covid-19 testing of tourists at the country’s borders.

Currently, there are 630 patients with the coronavirus on ventilators in Greece.

The Rise — and Fall — of Hellenic Coin, Greece’s First Cryptocurrency

Hellenic Coin Greece Cryptocurrency
The . Credit: Facebook/HNC Coin

Hellenic Coin (HNC), Greece’s first cryptocurrency, collapsed earlier in November after the CEO went off the radar for about two weeks, alarming investors about the future of the crypto.

The price of Hellenic Coin plunged as Vangelis Tsapas became unavailable – from over $1.20 on Nov. 8, to under $0.36 on Friday. That came after it had reached its all-time high of $4.84 back on June 14, 2021.

Tsapas, a businessman and owner of the basketball team Ionikos Nikaia, eventually reappeared and announced he would soon return to his business obligations at Hellenic Coin. Claiming media reports were responsible for the plummeting price, he insisted his absence didn’t play any role and stated:

“It’s falling, right, in which I, of course, have no involvement. Because I have never sold a single cryptocurrency. I do not have any, because I transferred everything last Friday for free, as I have the right, without taking a single euro,” he told the website Proto Thema.

His reappearance was too little too late, though, for the managing team of Hellenic Coin, which in a statement informed the public that he was not heading the project any longer.

Hellenic Coin under new management

“Mr. Tsapas joined the project, as CEO, in February 2020. HNC Coin was founded in February 2015 as the first Greek cryptocurrency. It is understood that Mr. Tsapas is neither the founder nor the owner of HNC Coin, as many articles in the print and electronic media incorrectly mention. No cryptocurrency has an owner and HNC Coin could not be an exception,” the firm’s statement said.

“HNC Coin is owned by thousands from all over the world. The existing team of HNC Coin makes a feverish effort with continuous discussions and contacts with existing and new investors and has already managed to create the backbone of an experienced team with investment knowledge, consistency, and responsibility that undertakes the continuation and development of the project.”

Failed to break from margins of the cryptocurrency market

HNC Coin calls itself a “dual-purpose currency,” both as a means of payment and as an innovative investment scheme. It is an open-source blockchain and cryptocurrency based on the blockchain technology of Dash cryptocurrency focused on offering a fast, cheap global payments network that is decentralized in nature.

According to HNC, it seeks to overtake widely established cryptocurrencies with similar technologies. Since July 2021, HNC has grown and adapted Dash blockchain technology.

However, its acceptance by exchanges is relatively limited, financial experts are noting. Despite being around for six years it has failed to break from the margins of the cryptocurrencies market.

In the past couple of years, cryptocurrency has invaded Greek society, mostly because of high taxation and the pandemic. While the average Greek person might not know what “bitcoin” means, interest in its mining has risen significantly.

In Greece, an estimated double-digit percentage of the population is into cryptocurrency trading on various platforms. Mining, on the other hand, is a much more expensive and energy-consuming business for Greek individuals.

The cost of cryptocurrency mining equipment and the rising costs of electricity in Greece make crypto mining a prohibitive task for Greek citizens.

Related: All You Needed to Know About Cryptocurrency in Greece

EU Proposes Southern Africa Travel Ban in Fear of New Variant

Botswana, Southern Africa
The EU is proposing a ban on all flights out of southern African countries after a new mutation of the coronavirus was detected there this week. Great Britain already announced its ban on travel to and from the region. Credit: Greek Reporter

A so-called “emergency brake” may soon be applied in the fight against the coronavirus as the EU proposes a Southern Africa travel ban because of a new variant that has developed there.

The new strain of the virus has a different type of spike protein than those seen in other known coronavirus strains and therefore may be less susceptible to the vaccine since the inoculations are designed to target spike proteins.

The European Union’s executive body “will propose, in close coordination with member states, to activate the emergency brake to stop air travel from the southern African region,” EU chief Ursula von Der Leyen stated on Twitter.

Southern Africa travel ban

The new mutation, known as the B.1.1.529 variant, is believed to be the most evolved strain since the pandemic began in late 2019.

B.1.1.529 had mutated a total of 32 times when it was first discovered in Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa. The strain has since been found in neighboring South Africa, with one case in a traveler returning home to Hong Kong after visiting the continent. There are a total of 10 cases that have been confirmed to be the B.1.1.529 strain.

Germany and Italy joined Britain on Friday in banning most travel from South Africa as governments scramble to prevent the spread of the new variant with its large number of mutations.

 

The new travel rules laid down by Germany, which will come into effect on Friday night, will be targeted on South Africa and “probably neighboring nations”, Jens Spahn, the German Minister of Health Jens stated; as of tonight, only German nationals will be allowed entry to Germany if they originate from these areas.

In addition, these travelers, once admitted back into Germany, must quarantine for 14 days — even if they are fully vaccinated.

“The last thing we need now is an introduced new variant that causes even more problems,” Spahn stated. Like almost all other European nations, Germany finds itself in the midst of a tremendous surge which amounts to a fourth wave of the pandemic.

Southern Africa variant graph
The Southern Africa coronavirus variant’s growth compared to the Delta and Beta mutations. Credit: Financial Times

Southern Africa travel ban comes after Great Britain bans flights

B.1.1.529’s many mutations have led scientists to believe that the strain could potentially resist the vaccine and evade antibodies.

Although the strain’s spread has been limited, experts around the world are sounding the alarm over the sheer number of mutations in the variant’s spike protein: “the incredibly high amount of spike mutations suggest this could be of real concern,” said virologist Dr. Tom Peacock.

Peacock later tweeted that it “very, very much should be monitored due to that horrific spike profile,” but that this intense evolution may not necessarily mean that the strain is highly transmissible, and it could just amount to an “odd cluster.”

Officials from the Italian government announced on Friday that their country will also ban entry to those who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia or Eswatini in the last two weeks.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza stated that while scientists were still studying the troubling new variant, “we will follow the path of maximum caution.”

Great Britain was the first nation to ban all flights from South Africa neighboring nations would be prohibited starting 1200 GMT on Friday.

Meanwhile, South Africa condemned its decision, with its Foreign Ministry issuing a statement that said “Whilst South Africa respects the right of all countries to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect their citizens, the UK’s decision to temporarily ban South Africans from entering the UK seems to have been rushed as even the World Health Organization is yet to advise on the next steps.”

Later today the World Health Organization (WHO) will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the fast-spreading and mutating new strain found in South Africa and Botswana, according to a report from the Financial Times.

The Daily Mail reports that British scientists state that the mutations indicate its high transmissibility and resistance to vaccines, since the strain has more changes in the spike protein than any other variants currently known.

The South African National Institute of Infectious Diseases officially confirmed that there have been 22 cases of the new strain diagnosed to date. Less than 30% of South Africans have had Covid-19 inoculations.

According to CBS News, scientists there are attempting to reverse-engineer the Moderna vaccine since they state they have not received enough of the vaccines from abroad to inoculate as many people as they had hoped.

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas Turns Philosophical after Elbow Surgery

Stafanos Tsitsipas
World Number 4 tennis player Stefanos Tsitsipas turns philosophical in his hospital bed after recovering from surgery. Credit: Twitter/Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who recently underwent elbow surgery, is beginning the recovery process in order to be able to participate in the Australia Open, a tournament in which he has enjoyed huge success, including reaching the semi-finals in 2021.

The world’s No. 4 tennis player posted a photo of himself in his the hospital bed reading the No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller: “The Comfort Book,” a collection of consolations learned in hard times and suggestions for making the bad days better, by author Matt Haig.

Tsitsipas, who often cites quotes from himself and noted philosophers, wrote on Twitter: “I used to think the quiet patches felt dead. Now they feel more alive. Like leaning over and listening to the earth’s heartbeat.”

Earlier he said on Facebook that he is “focused on a healthier and happier future. Next stop, pre-season in Dubai two weeks from now and then looking forward to Australia.”

Tsitsipas forced to pull out of ATP Finals

Before his surgery, Tsitsipas finally agreed to get his vaccination against Covid-19. A huge public and social media row took place last August, when Tsitsipas revealed in an interview that he was not yet vaccinated. “No one has made it a mandatory thing to be vaccinated. At some point I will have to, I’m pretty sure about it. But so far it hasn’t been mandatory to compete, so I haven’t done it, no,” he said.

The Greek star was forced to pull out during the early stages of the ATP Finals in Turin as a result of the right elbow. The right-handed player said that inflammation in the joint was the cause, which he’d been dealing with for some time.

In a Facebook post published after his Paris Masters exit, Tsitsipas said “injuries are our best teachers of how much love we have for a sport, and yesterday I had to exit a match due to inflammation in my elbow that I have been dealing with for some time now.

“I have been silently competing for a few tournaments now and coping with the injury, but at a certain point, I need to prioritize my health to have longevity in the sport that is very near to my heart.”

Tsitsipas has had another solid year in 2021. He claimed his first Masters 1000 event by easily moving past Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo’s final and he also gave Novak Djokovic a run for his money in the Roland Garros final — when he soared to two sets to nothing lead.

Although he struggled to tie wins together in the last quarter of the season and took a few hard-hitting losses, he’s focused on what’s ahead of him and will gear up for the 2022 season in Dubai.

Tornados, Landslides Hit Western Greece as Weather Front Moves East

tornados Greece
A tornado and torrential rain hit the Greek island of Zakynthos early on Friday. Illustration: Greek Reporter

Several parts of western Greece were hit by tornados, landslides and heavy rain on Friday, causing damage to buildings and flooding on many roads ghtourghout the region.

Tornado hits Zakynthos, Greece

Particularly hard-hit was the Ionian island of Zakynthos. Several hotels were damaged when a tornado hit the area of Kalamaki, which is a popular tourist resort in the summer.

No injuries were reported.

Severe weather also hit the city of Zakynthos, Argassi, and Vasiliko, where houses and businesses were flooded, while tons of mud closed the provincial road leading from Argassi to Vasiliko. Gale-force winds and torrential rains caused landslides in other parts of the island as well.

The severe weather also hit further west on mainland Greece, causing landslides in the city of Nafpaktos. Two police cars that had been parked at the foot of a hill were badly damaged.

Weather front moves eastward to the mainland

According to the National Meteorological Service, the storm system is affecting Greece on Friday from the west, bringing strong rain, thunderstorms, and gale-force south south-westerly winds of up to 8 on the Beaufort scale (39-46 mph).

The weather phenomena which started in the Ionian Sea on Friday morning will gradually spread to Epirus, west mainland Greece, the western Peloponnese, and then to eastern Macedonia, Thrace, and the north Aegean.

Temperatures will range from 7C to 16C in the north, 10C to 18C in the west, 9C to 18C on the eastern mainland, and from 12C to 22C on the islands.

Rain and storms are forecast for the Attica region, with temperatures ranging between 10C and 17C. The same applies to Thessaloniki, with temperatures hovering between 10C to 15C.

Another weather front is forecast to arrive in Greece on Saturday, bringing more strong rains and storms, with the phenomena continuing into Sunday and Monday; some areas of the country may also have hail.

Greek FM in Emotional Visit to St. Nicholas School in Ghana

St, Nicholas Greek School Dendias
FM Dendias visited the St. Nicholas Greek school in one of the most impoverished areas in Ghana. Credit: Insyagram/Nikos Dendias

Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited the Greek School of St. Nicholas in Uganda during his official visit to the African country last week.

Amid emotional scenes, students who are learning the Greek language and the culture of the country welcomed their guest by parading with Greek flags and dancing to Greek tunes. Dendias said he was filled with great emotion and pride.

“The Greek School of St. Nicholas in Tema is a proud example of how we can help our fellow human beings on another continent. On the map, it looks very far, but when you are here it looks very close to home,” Dendias said.

On behalf of the Greek government, Dendias made a donation to support the School’s activities, and he donated books to them as well.

St. Nicholas Ghana Dendias
An emotional scene as a young student embraces Greek FM Nikos Dendias. Credit: Instagram/Nikos Dendias

St. Nicholas school offers hope for impoverished children of Ghana

The school, in one of the most impoverished areas of the world, offers hope and opportunity for hundreds of children who would otherwise probably end up sifting through mounds of trash for recyclables and items they could resell, as many do in Ghana.

St. Nicholas, which opened its doors in February of 2012, is the brainchild of Captain Alkiviadis Kapas and his Philhellene friend Deborah Eleazar. It is located in the port town of Tema New Town, close to Ghana’s capital city of Accra.

St. Nicholas School Ghana
Teachers and students of St. Nicholas School welcome the Greek FM. Credit: Instagram/Nikos Dendias

The school’s motto is the phrase ”Every Child has a Right to Education.” Without St. Nicholas, these children may never have received any formal schooling.

Katerina Kappa, the daughter of Alkiviadis, who is a volunteer at the school, told Greek Reporter recently that ”the kids are living in horrid conditions. If the school did not exist most of them would probably be wandering the streets.”

In addition to a full curriculum as indicated by the Ghana Education Ministry, the children learn Greek grammar, history, poems — and even Greek dances. ”They learn to love Greece. We have the Greek flag, so dear to us,” said headmaster Emmanouel Dongo.

The coronavirus lockdown in Ghana in 2020 forced the school to close down for a time. Eleazar said that since the school closed, life for the pupils, who were also fed at the premises, has become very difficult. “There is real hunger,” she told Greek Reporter. She added that volunteers started an initiative to raise funds in order to give each family of the children that go to the school a food parcel, which should last about one week.

Things have improved since Ghana has introduced a Covid-19 vaccination campaign, however. The government hopes it will achieve its target of reaching 20 million people with the life-saving vaccine.

Greece has now donated over 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to Ghana. Handing over the consignment in Accra, Dendias said the donation is “an expression of solidarity of Greece in Ghana and its people. Greece actively supports Ghana in fighting the pandemic.”

He added that it is important for countries to share their resources so together they can win the fight against the pandemic.

Related: The Greek School Changing Lives in Ghana

Greece Donates 150,000 Doses of Covid Vaccine to Ghana

Greece Ghana vaccines
Greek FM Nikos Dendias hands over the vaccines to Uganda’s government. Credit: Instagram/Nikos Dendias

Greece donated over 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to Ghana during the visit of foreign minister Nikos Dendias to the African country last week.

The donation is expected to augment the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination exercise in Ghana and help the government achieve its target of reaching 20 million people with the life-saving vaccine.

Handing over the consignment at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Dendias said the donation is “an expression of solidarity of Greece in Ghana and its people. Greece actively supports Ghana in fighting the pandemic.”

He added that it is important for countries to share their resources so together they can win the fight against the pandemic.

“This is our contribution to your effort to tackle the pandemic that affects us all. If we do not share our resources globally, we will not be able to deal with it.”

Ghana thanks Greece for vaccines

Chief Director of Ghana’s Ministry of Health, Kwabena Boadu Oku Afari, who received the donation, thanked Greece for the kind gesture.

“Yesterday we received 100,000 doses and it is already in storage and you have accompanied another 50,000 here and we are grateful that you personally brought the vaccines here as arranged by our Foreign Affairs Minister,” he said.

He said the country was doing what it can to ensure that infections are brought down.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) as of November 18, 2021, has administered Covid-19 vaccines to 3,493,688 people out of which 2,820,092 have received their first dose and 673,596 their second dose.

The number of people who are fully vaccinated is 842,225 representing 4.2 percent of the population.

First-ever visit of Greek FM to Ghana

Dendias’ visit to Ghana is the first-ever visit of a Greek Foreign Minister to the African country.

Explaining the importance of his visit, Dendias said that Ghana “is a country that will become a member of the UN Security Council from January 1, 2022, and is the fastest-growing economy in West Africa with already more than 100 million of Greek investments.

“I believe that our country, Greece, needs to be present in sub-Saharan Africa as well. And also to be able to expound the issues of Africa in the European Union, as a country that is in greater proximity to this great developing continent,” he added.

Both Ghana and Gabon, the next stop of Dendias’ visit to sub-Saharan Africa, will become non-permanent members of the UN Security Council as of January 1, 2022, for two years.

According to diplomatic sources, Greece is strengthening ties with Security Council member countries ahead of its candidacy as a member (2025-26) of the Council, whose influence is key on issues of direct interest to Greece such as in Libya and Syria.

Dendias met earlier with his Ghanaian counterpart Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey. “What we should do is to try to put economic flesh to the bone of our existing relationship,” the Greek minister noted.

“The purpose of my visit is really to pave the way for the businessmen to invest more and do more,” Dendias underlined, adding that the two countries can also focus on collaborations in maritime security, energy, and tourism.”