Greece’s national elections will be held on 7 July. Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told Alpha Radio that the elections would be held under the current government and not an interim one. He said that there would be changes in the leadership of the Interior Ministry. He also said that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on 10 June to ask for the dissolution of parliament. The announcement of a July date dispels speculation that elections would have taken place in June. The reason for the delay was in order to avoid disrupting the end-of-year exam process at schools.
A British man, 35, was assaulted by two others outside a venue at Laganas, the tourist hotspot of Zakynthos that is notorious for outrageous behaviour by young foreigners who visit the island. The pair of attackers knocked the man to the ground and started punching and kicking him. The man was airlifted from the island to a hospital in Athens where he is in a critical condition. The Sun newspaper reports that he was left with a “severe head injury.” It is reported that two men, aged 22 and 25, have been arrested in connection with the attack. A Foreign Office spokesman said the attack is being investigated.
Deutsche Bank has released its 8th annual survey of global prices and living standards. This report places Melbourne as the seventh highest in the quality of life index, which takes into consideration a number of different factors, such as consumer buying power, crime rate, health care conditions, cost of living, property rates, commuting times and traffic, pollution levels and climate likeability. Melbourne was also ranked seventh in the disposable income index (money remaining after rent), and managed to enter the top ten of the monthly net salary of its citizens (ninth). The capital of Victoria is ranked first on the cost of bad habits (such as drinking) index, taking Oslo’s place in that specific category from last year. Melbourne also holds the highest cost in smoking, as one packet of cigarettes would cost someone almost five times as much as it would in Athens. The Greek capital also noted an improvement, albeit small, in regards to the previous survey, going up four places in the quality-of-life index (34th from 38th), one position in monthly salaries (42nd from 43rd) and two places in disposable income (40th from 42nd). Surprisingly though, Athens tops the list as one of the most expensive cities worldwide to buy an iPhone (127 per cent more expensive than the US).
Dr Konstantinos P Giapis, a Greek scientist teaching at the Caltech Chemistry and Chemical Engineering department in the United States, heads a team of US scientists that have developed a small, portable device that can generate oxygen from carbon dioxide. Potential uses for the technology include manned space exploration, allowing astronauts to generate the oxygen they breathe in spacecraft, space stations or future Mars colonies instead of transporting air from earth, while it may also inspire methods for reducing carbon dioxide on earth. His research into a new and unusual type of chemical reaction driven by kinetic energy “has allowed us to design a small plasma reactor, a portable device for producing oxygen that is the size of a coffee mug, which can function in the low-pressure atmosphere of Mars and utilises other processes, along with the specific reaction, to produce much more oxygen. “This technology is now available for testing and provides a viable alternative for breathing on Mars,” he added.
Masterchef judge George Calombaris, 40, has shared his story about his frightening battle to save the sight in his right eye following a horror sporting accident in March. Speaking to the Herald Sun, Mr Calombaris said that he was hit in the eye with a squash ball during a social game of squash. He was then rushed into the emergency ward for an operation. He said that he first thought he would potentially ‘lose his eye sight’. Following his first operation there was bleeding from the back of his eye. Once the bleeding stopped, it was discovered that he had torn his retina in several spots. Days after the original operation he was forced into another emergency operation ‘to save his sight’. He said that surgeons removed the lens from his damaged eye as well as the jelly from the eyeball that has been filled with oil which will be drained. He will also have to undergo another operation.
Greek director Vasilis Kekatos’ film, ‘The Distance Between Us and the Sky’, unanimously won the Palme d’Or for best short film at the 72nd Cannes Festival last Saturday. Kekatos is the first Greek to win the award for best short film at Cannes after his film stood out among 11 shortlisted films from 4,240 films submitted. The film also came away with the Queer Palm for Best Short Film for its sensitive approach to desire.
The oldest evidence of the cult of ancient mythological figure Hekate has been discovered by a team of Italian archaeologists in an ancient Greek city in Sicily. “They have detected the oldest ever evidence in the Greek world of the cult of Hekate, a pre-IndoEuropean god taken up by the Greeks who reigned over the evil demons, the night and the moon,” Selinunte Archaeological park Director Enrico Caruso told Italy’s Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA). Selinunte was an ancient Greek city on the south-western coast of Sicily in Italy, situated between the valleys of the Cottone and Modione rivers.