Posts tagged with "Athens"

travel illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for use by 360 Magazine

Greece: Europe’s Next, Best Expat Haven

By: International Living

Greece is positioning itself to be Europe’s next, best expat haven, according to the overseas experts at International Living, who say that as a travel destination or live-abroad base, Greece should be on North Americans’ radar. In addition to offering warm weather year-round and easy low-cost living —Greece’s new digital nomad visa coming soon will make it easier for people working remotely to stay for extended periods and even gain citizenship and a passport. What’s more, Greece’s borders are set to open to international travelers May 14, 2021.

Greece offers an enthralling mixture of sun-drenched islands, towering mountains, buzzing cities, and timeless traditions. Wrapped in the warm embrace of the Aegean Sea, it’s vibrant, welcoming, and offers great-value living for North American expats. A couple could live comfortably there for as little as $2,000 a month, according to International Living.

“We’ve seen a sharp uptick in online traffic to our Greece content in 2021, with the overall traffic to our Greece pages up 41% in the first three months of 2021, when compared to the last period (Oct-Dec) of 2020,” says Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor, International Living.

“The appetite for on-the-ground Greece intel has increased, and we’re happy to see that because this is a nation that can make good sense for all sorts of expats—younger, older, full-time or part-time. If you like the idea of a travel-rich life in Europe, Greece could make a very good base.”

Exploration in Greece will be a possibility again as soon as May 14, 2021 when, according to the Greece tourism minister, the borders are set to open to international travelers who show proof of vaccination, covid-19 antibodies, or a negative test result taken within 72 hours of departure.

Greece offers expats easy, good-value living in the sun. After 15 years in San Francisco where she worked as a Certified Public Accountant, IL contributor Lynn Roulo moved to Greece—with her dog, her two cats, and one suitcase in tow.

“I moved without a local job or a significant relationship waiting for me in Athens, so it was a big step into the unknown,” says Roulo. “But it didn’t feel scary or anxiety-provoking. The idea of moving and starting a fresh new life energized me. That was in 2012, and I still feel a sense of excitement that I get to live here.

“When I moved from San Francisco to Athens, I was pleasantly shocked to learn I could rent a comfortable 70-meter apartment with a modern bathroom and kitchen, as well as a huge private roof deck with a view of the Parthenon for less money than it would have cost me to rent a studio basement apartment in the worst neighborhood in San Francisco.

“Greece is a great choice for expats because of its amazing weather, hospitable people, its relatively low cost of living and its location, giving visitors easy access to travel to a wide range of other countries. You can go to London or Lebanon for a long weekend.”

“And if you have a dream to move, don’t give up on it. These dreams come from somewhere, and moving abroad may just be the best decision of your entire life. I know it was for me.”

Greece already has in place a “Golden Visa,” (effectively an investment visa) which grants long-term residence—with a path to citizenship and a passport—to people who make an investment in real estate valued at EUR250,000 (roughly $300,000) or higher. That’s about half the investment threshold required for a similar visa in places like Portugal or Italy where the necessary investment is closer to $600,000.

Most exciting, though, is a new visa aimed at attracting digital nomads, set to come online soon, the editors at International Living report. They argue it makes very good sense for a person who has the flexibility to work remotely and likes the idea of a sunny European base.

“Finally—a remote worker incentive plan that actually makes a lot of sense,” says Jeff D. Opdyke, editor of Global Intelligence Letter, a publication of International Living.

The new plan that Greece is now in the process of assembling…it looks to be one of the smartest remote-worker visas I’ve come across. That’s because under the Greek plan as currently envisioned, a ‘digital migrant,’ as the Greeks call us, will be eligible for a 50% exemption on earned income for the first seven years. In essence, you owe local taxes on only half your income.

For someone who’s still in the workforce and looking to maximize their savings opportunities as they approach retirement, sharply reducing your tax burden for seven years represents an intriguing opportunity to squirrel away more money.

“Though Greece hasn’t finalized details of its plan yet, the Greek approach looks to allow for longer living arrangements, given the seven years of tax breaks. And it just so happens that ‘long-term migrants,’ which is what you’d be as a digital worker, are eligible for Greek citizenship after seven years. Which means you could apply for a Greek passport…which is an E.U. passport…which would give you unfettered access to live and work across the rest of the European Union, no different than if you were moving from Tampa to Tucson.”

A person considering a move to Greece will want to carefully research the options for visas and residence permits. International Living’s report details the best of them for expats looking for a full- or part-time retirement in Greece, including a discussion of this new digital nomad visa on the horizon.

But accessible residence is just one of the many reasons to love living in Greece. It’s an easy place to adopt a healthy lifestyle, the entire country is physically breathtaking, and the Greek people have a well-earned reputation for being friendly, helpful, and genuinely caring.

Here are four more reasons why International Living recommends Greece as a potential destination for anybody ready to move out of the U.S.:

1.     Good-Value Cost of Living

Greece is super-affordable, especially when compared to North America and much of the rest of Europe. Prices for daily essentials (food, transport, etc.) are at least 20% cheaper than in the U.S., and costs to rent an apartment can be as much as 70% less.

Throughout Greece, expats will save money by using public transport, avoiding touristy areas, shopping at local markets, and eating out where the Greeks do. A budget-conscious expat can live comfortably in Greece for $1,830 a month or less.

2.     Welcoming and Easy Lifestyle

Greece is a proud nation that emphasizes family, tradition, and a love of the outdoors. Because tourism plays such an important part in the Greek economy, English is widely spoken in many areas and the country’s infrastructure caters well for locals and visitors alike.

Expats enjoy lots of options in terms of lifestyle: from a sturdy lakefront cabin in the mountains, to a rooftop apartment on the outskirts of Thessaloniki, to a low-maintenance beachfront unit on Mykonos, residents are guaranteed plenty of sunshine and four distinct (though mild) seasons—even though the Greeks tend to think in terms of ‘summer and everything else’.

3.     Excellent Healthcare

The quality of medical care in Greece is generally excellent, especially in major centers like Athens and Thessaloniki. Emergency healthcare in Greece is free regardless of nationality. Pharmacies are abundant throughout the country—Greece has more pharmacists per capita than any other nation in Europe.

4.     Safety

Greece is one of the safest countries in Europe, and has an easy-going, relaxed feel.

Roulo, based in Athens, says, “As a single woman, I feel very safe living here. Crime here is significantly lower than in the United States, the police presence is strong, and there is no need for ‘active shooter’ drills in Greece.”

Basic precautions with regard to personal belongings will prevent rare cases of petty theft.

About International Living

Since 1979, InternationalLiving has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, InternationalLiving provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. Their website has more than 200 contributors traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

ATHEN JOINS AIR ITALY NETWORK

Athens joins Air Italy network thanks to new agreement with Aegean Airlines

Air Italy US passengers can reach Athens via seamless connection in Malpensa. Athens easily reachable via Milan for Air Italy customers from central and southern Italy

Starting from today, Air Italy has added Athens as a new destination to its network, thanks to the signing of a new Special Prorate Agreement with Aegean Airlines.

Air Italy passengers travelling from our four US destinations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New York – and from Toronto can now easily reach the Greek capital via Air Italy’s Milan Malpensa hub, continuing with flights directly to Athens on Aegean Airlines.

In addition, all Air Italy customers departing from the main airports of central and southern Italy, such as Rome, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari and Olbia will now have the opportunity to fly Athens via Malpensa.

Rossen Dimitrov, Air Italy’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “This partnership between Air Italy and Aegean Airlines offers significant new travel opportunities for the passengers of both carriers, adding a wide range of options and attractive destinations to both airlines.

“With a large Greek expatriate population in the United States and many Greeks wanting to access our Italian and US destinations, I’m confident this new SPA will bring many benefits to both carriers as well as countless passengers of both airlines.

“We are very proud to welcome the passengers of Aegean, traveling from Athens, on board our Air Italy flights, connecting via Malpensa to Rome, Naples, Catania, Palermo, Lamezia Terme, Cagliari and Olbia, to discover the best of our “Bel Paese”.”

“And we are just as pleased to host them on our new intercontinental flights, where they can experience the extreme comfort of our long-haul Airbus A330-200 aircraft, with our new service for both Business and Economy Class.”

Business Class customers on board the new Air Italy intercontinental flights can enjoy Air Italy’s completely new on-board business product, that was revealed just this spring on the first Milan-Los Angeles flight.

Featuring an entirely new tableware, in-flight dining menus, cutlery and chinaware that have all been specially crafted to meet travellers’ expectations, Air Italy’s Business Class passengers will also enjoy an even more elevated experience thanks to the introduction of a dining-on-demand service.

“Complementing our new product, we have our new dine-on-demand service, meaning our Business Class customers can select from our extensive à la carte menu at any time, and in any order, to create their own unique dining experience – all of which delivers yet again on our brand promise as we help our customers to – Imagine The World Differently,” added Mr Dimitrov.

Air Italy’s customers can also take advantage of the Wi-Fi service, an extensive inflight entertainment service and the personalized attention of the on-board staff.

URL : http://press.airitaly.com/athens-joins-air-italy-network-thanks-to-new-agreement-with-aegean-airlines/

Treatment of Afghan Interpreters

Approximately one month, the Director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, highlighted the plight of Afghan Interpreter, Mohammed Nabi, and how he was sleeping rough on the streets of Athens. Nabi’s case was initially documented and he was assisted by Jess Webster, who works with refugees in Greece.

Having heard of the case, the petition by the Director of Faith Matters, has now reached over 116,000 signatories within 5 weeks. It is now being backed by the Sun on Sunday and has also been highlighted by the Daily Mail and the Metro. Yet, the Government have made no headway in addressing this issue. There is therefore a groundswell of public opinion backing Nabi’s case, yet the politicians refuse to even acknowledge this case.

Mohammed Nabi worked for ISAF and British forces in Afghanistan between 2008-2011. He has received numerous commendations for his work with British Forces such as from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He was instrumental in interpreting Taliban commands in real time when in the field with British soldiers and thereby he was key to tracking Taliban troop movements and attack points against British soldiers.

Speaking to Mughal in Athens he said that:
“My role was to work with commanding officers and I was the bridge between Afghan forces and British commanding officers. When officers from the British army went to speak to village elders, I was with them. There was an unwritten command that Taliban leaders gave to their forces to kill Afghan Interpreters first so that British and ISAF forces would be blind in the field. I was at risk of suicide bombers in such situations in villages as they tried to target British commanding officers and their interpreters”.

Nabi left working with the British armed forces after 1 year, (in 2009), because of threats from senior Afghan commanders made against his family and against him. He rejoined ISAF and British forces within 3 months of leaving since his skills were suited to armed forces work and he could not find other work and served again as an Afghan interpreter until 2011.

In 2016, an attempted kidnap against him failed and ‘night knocks’ against his front door raised threat levels against him and he fled on foot through Iran and into Turkey where he lounged for 18 months with no assistance from aid agencies who were assisting families. They were therefore not focused on assisting young single men.

Repeated attempts to highlight his case and the threat to his four children and wife failed in Turkey and he was left destitute and penniless, where he took up shepherding for basic subsistence. Each month though, saw the Taliban makes gains and come closer to his village and Nabi said that the policy of the Taliban to the children of people who assisted ISAF forces was to call them ‘sons of snakes, who were snakes themselves’. In other words, the children of Afghan interpreters were at serious of attack.

In 2016, to highlight his case he left Turkey and ended up being arrested in Greece and jailed. He was eventually released and claimed asylum though ended up penniless sleeping on a park bench in Athens where the Director of Faith Matters met up with him.

Speaking about the plight of Afghan Interpreters and in particular Nabi’s case, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, who developed the petition and who worked with the Sun on Sunday to highlight his case, said:

“Nabi has been denied entry into the UK and given no assistance when he approached UK Government agencies. How can this be right when he saw Afghan colleagues die in battle and Nabi was there saving British lives by interpreting Taliban commands whilst rounds went over his head. The only possessions he has are the plastic-coated commendations from officers because of his work in the field. It is disgusting the way that this man has been treated.

“The treatment of Afghan interpreters is a national disgrace and what the petition and the support from national newspapers shows is that the public care, whilst politicians have shown little courage in addressing this matter. I believe that anyone who has served more than a year in Afghanistan supporting our armed forces and who can show that their lives are in danger because of their work, must be let in. We relied on them to keep our armed forces safe, and now they need our help. This national disgrace must end and I will keep speaking out”.

Kimora Lee Simmons Joins The Unmentionables to Aid Refugees in Greece

Athens, Greece, June 20th, 2018: In an impassioned show of support for today’s World Refugee Day, fashion designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Kimora Lee Simmons and her family are on the ground in Greece with international nonprofit The Unmentionables working with refugees, listening to their stories and learning what can be done to help this vulnerable population. In April of this year, Simmons was named Global Ambassador to The Unmentionables, and together with her family she is helping protect refugees from exploitation and trafficking. Coupled with her business acumen and passion for empowering others, she has emerged as a powerful voice for human rights via her desire to bring awareness to the annual World Refugee Day on Wednesday, June 20th.

Simmons and her family are taking a hands-on approach to giving, dedicating time this summer to migrant and refugee families on behalf of The Unmentionables, who provide training, supplies and education to the refugee community in Greece. Through funds raised on 2017’s Giving Tuesday and a generous personal donation from Simmons, a new resource center for refugees in Athens, Greece was opened earlier this year. Simmons and her family will work from the center and along the migrant path, providing safe and consistent access to basic, important intimate health products as well as sexual health and reproductive education and care to refugees.

According to the International Rescue Committee, Greece, a popular European entry point to migrants escaping perilous conditions in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, currently hosts approximately 50,000 refugees. Earlier this year, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), expressed grave concerns for the safety of women and children in what are known as “hotspots” on Greece’s islands — specifically focusing on overcrowding and lack of hygiene and sanitation. Five camps on Greek islands close to the Turkish coast have surpassed double their capacity as reported by Public Radio International in May 2018. UNICEF warned that in 2017, over 1,800 unaccompanied children were without proper shelter and care in Greece alone. The number of children arriving separated from their families is unprecedented, and currently more than 75% of migrant and refugee children trying to reach Europe via the Central Mediterranean route face appalling levels of sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking. EU border agency, Frontex, has reported that human trafficking has been on the rise over the past few years (April 2018, ANSA). Human trafficking is prevalent for refugees, especially on the Central Mediterranean route according to an IOM report— 76% of male and 67% of female respondents answered “yes” to at least one of four human trafficking indicators. The indicators include experience of physical violence, work without payment and imprisonment. 80% of males and 66% of females experienced physical violence of any sort during their journey, while 64% of male and 56% of female were held against their will (2017, IOM).

Trafficking and sexual exploitation is not just limited to girls. Although adolescent boys comprise a substantial majority of the population of unaccompanied and separated children, they are rarely the focus of policy discussions and are consistently left out of gender-based violence prevention and response efforts (2018, PLoS Med). The majority of unaccompanied minors in Greece particularly are boys between ages 14-17, stranded and awaiting decisions on asylum and processing, without adequate shelter or ways to generate income. As a result of increasingly dire circumstances, sexual exploitation of minors is rapidly increasing everywhere from encampments to public spaces, where young boys desperate to survive are exploited by older men for payment.

“It’s incredibly important to me to expose this global crisis and bring attention to the level of deep, humanitarian need that exists to support persecuted people around the world,” comments Simmons. “I am deeply grateful to support World Refugee Day and that I can expose my own children to opportunities to make true, hands-on impact for the greater good. There are so many strife-torn families and separated children that need our collective protection as fellow humans to ensure their safety – how can we turn a blind eye? These kids look a lot like mine – they are young, hopeful, beautiful souls.” World Refugee Day, founded by the UN and held annually every June 20th, was designed to spotlight the plight of migrant refugees fleeing for their lives. A staggering 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home, and among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Nearly 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict or persecution across our world (UNHCR).

Simmons’ partnership with The Unmentionables initially began in 2017, and her role in the organization has steadily grown. She will further her philanthropic commitment to this cause throughout the year, dedicating fundraising efforts to further the impact of the humanitarian global aid The Unmentionables provides to those most in need. Along with her unwavering commitment, Simmons will continue to advocate for refugees at risk of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

_________________________

About The Unmentionables

The Unmentionables is a non-profit organization committed to providing forcibly displaced individuals and communities around the world with safe and consistent access to sexual and reproductive health education, services, protection and empowerment programs, providing them the knowledge, tools, and skills to make well-informed decisions for their futures. Since 2016, The Unmentionables has supplied more than 147,581 intimate health products. The Unmentionables is legally based in the USA and is a tax-exempt charity designated as a 501(c)(3) organization.

Find more information about The Unmentionables on the organization’s website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or by emailing info@theunmentionablesglobal.org.

About Kimora Lee Simmons

Kimora Lee Simmons has had a successful career as a fashion model, creative director, fashion and lifestyle entrepreneur and philanthropist. She is currently founder and CEO of KLS Holdings LLC and the KIMORA LEE SIMMONS designer brand. A native of St. Louis, Mo., Simmons began her career as a fashion model at the early age of 13, when she was personally chosen by well-known fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld as his muse for the house of Chanel in Paris. Her success as a runway model gave her an innate sense of style that propels her as a fashion designer. As a venture capitalist, Kimora manages KLS Holdings and its dynamic portfolio which encompasses fashion, beauty, technology, nutrition and fitness.

Simmons has also made her mark in Hollywood. Her upbeat, fun, and charismatic personality keeps her in demand as a media personality and lifestyle authority. She has hosted E!’s Fashion Police and went on to produce and star in Style Network’s highest rated series, Life in the Fab Lane. An enthusiastic philanthropist and patron of the arts, Simmons lends her time and support to numerous charitable organizations, especially those institutions that target disadvantaged youth. She established the Kimora Lee Simmons Scholarship Fund with New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and FIDM in Los Angeles for students who aspire to pursue careers in all areas of the fashion industry. She also lends her time and resources to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Dress for Success and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, where she is on the board of directors.

As part of her collaboration with The Unmentionables, Simmons and her family traveled to Texas last summer to help with organization’s relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey. She also has helped to fund the distribution of reusable menstrual products through the organization’s partners in Kenya and matched donations on Giving Tuesday, raising a record breaking fundraising amount for The Unmentionables with the help of her large and enthusiastic social network.

RETROGRADE

 

“A perfectly balanced duo. They both have incredible skills. They both have wonderful voices. The harmonies are fabulous. And they play the heck out of the guitar…” – NPR Music

Capitol Records will release Retrograde, the new EP from Striking Matches, on February 9. The EP’s title track and “Desire” are selections from the band’s upcoming full-length album, due out later this year. The collection also includes the duo’s compelling version of Buffalo Springfield’s classic protest song, “For What It’s Worth.”

 

Striking Matches will join Phillip Phillips on the first leg of The Magnetic Tour. The North American run will include a two-night stand at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA (February 14 & 15), a February 18 show at Irving Plaza in New York City and a concert at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville on February 25. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.strikingmatches.com/#/tour

 

The duo – comprising Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis – recently made its Sundance Film Festival debut, performing at the ASCAP Music Café. The pair was also featured on the NFL’s “Heart of the Game” webseries.

 

After releasing the Shameless EP onCapitol Recordslast fall, Striking Matches toured North America and Europe with JOHNNYSWIM. The Tampa Bay Times said, “Striking Matches are both an amazing acoustic songwriting duo and a pair of bluesy electrifying performers…Their voices vibrantly bounce off each other to fun harmonies, most notably in ‘Medicine,’ a song that got the crowd singing along almost immediately.”

 

Watch Striking Matches perform “Medicine” live from Capitol Studios in Hollywood in this video.

Shameless, which was produced by Kennedy Karate (Børns), follows the duo’s 2015 debut album, Nothing But The Silence, which has racked up more than 10 million cumulative streams worldwide.

 

Nothing But The Silence, which was produced by T Bone Burnett,won acclaim in the U.S. and abroad. NPR’s “World Café” hailed Striking Matches as an “Artist to Watch” andBuzzfeednamed the duo as one of the “Artists You Need In Your Life.” USA Today said, “Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis give off sparks as singers and writers, but they’re even hotter guitarists. Incendiary.” American Songwriter observed, “these songs crackle and sizzle.” Nothing But The Silence debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes UK Country Chart and several tracks were featured on BBC Radio 2’s playlist.

 

Zimmermann grew up outside Philadelphia, and mastered the guitar, clarinet and violin before middle school. Davis, who is from Atlanta, began playing guitar at an early age. A professor at Belmont University in Nashville paired them up for class projects, and they soon started writing together. Nine of their songs were performed in the first four seasons of the hit television show “Nashville.” In addition to numerous headline outings, Striking Matches have opened for Train and toured the U.S. with The Secret Sisters on a co-headline tour.

 

Retrograde – Track Listing

 

  1. Retrograde
  2. Desire
  3. For What It’s Worth

 

Striking Matches – 2018 Tour Dates

Supporting Phillip Phillips

 

2/10 – Charlotte, NC @ The Neighborhood Theatre

2/11 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa Theater

2/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

2/14 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair

2/15 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair

2/17 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore

2/18 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza

2/20 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle

2/22 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre

2/23 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse

2/24 – Macon, GA @ Cox Capitol Theatre

2/25 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd and Lindsley

2/27 – Charleston, SC @ Music Farm

2/28 – Saint Petersburg, FL @ Palladium Theatre

3/2 – Jacksonville, FL @ Florida Theatre

3/3 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution Live

UNIVERSITY OF KENT CONTRIBUTE TO 5G TRIALS

Real-world tests of 5G technologies that could deliver dramatically faster data transfer speeds than 4G networks took place in Warsaw earlier this month.

The tests were conducted by the RAPID 5G consortium, which is a European Union-Japan Horizon 2020 research project which started in 2014 and is formed of universities, research institutes, telecom operators and infrastructure manufacturers, of which academics from the University of Kent’s School of Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA) are members. The tests examined the possibilities of running extremely high-speed data transfer rates of up to 10 Gb/s at very low latency to a large number of devices.

cropped-cropped-rapid5g-logo-e14273812555161

RAPID5G contributes to the future of mobile communications by developing technologies next generation mobile wireless networks. 

The trial, led by Polish telecoms company Exatel, involved a live ‘field test’ in a shopping centre in Warsaw which broadcast 4K and 8K video streams from 5G antennas to a computer fitted with VR goggles at speeds of 800Mb/s.

This was designed to test the interoperability of all the elements of the network infrastructure, with particular focus on the conversion of the video transmissions from back-end fibre networks to the 5G mobile spectrum in use.

There are now plans to test the technology again at a football stadium in Osaka, Japan next month.

canterbury-aerial-less-saturation

Established in 1965, the University of Kent – the UK’s European university – now has almost 20,000 students across campuses or study centres at Canterbury, Medway, Tonbridge, Brussels, Paris, Athens and Rome. Kent is ranked 17th in the UK for research intensity (REF 2014). It has world-leading research in all subjects and 97% of its research is deemed by the REF to be of international quality. (featured image: Canterbury Campus)