Crete News August 2006 – Page 2

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Pensioners at 75 in Greece

If you are thinking of moving to Greece to work here, think again if you’re under 30. According to a study by Alpha Bank, in 1970 there were 17 pensioners to 100 workers, rising to 27 in 2005 and a projected 54 in 2050. This leads to the unpleasant prediction that young workers entering the labour market after 1995 will have to work until they are 75 (health permitting).

“Supposing”, say the researchers involved in the study, “that the labour force remains stable as to age and sex, then the number of people leaving the labour force in the 15-country EU will steadily outrun the number of entrants, and by 2030 this difference will be over one million annually.”

These developments are expected to lead to a situation in which employers face severe shortages in labour supply (especially in skilled and experienced staff) in most European countries

Given these facts, the researchers believe that one of the most important sources of labour in future will be older workers, for whom existing disincentives must be replaced by incentives to remain in the labour market for longer.

Fishing port at Plakias

The new fishing port at Plakias, offering berths for 80 fishing boats large and small, will be ready in 2 years, aiding the development of fishing in this part of Crete. The harbour will accommodate professional and amateur vessels, ensuring a safe and easy approach and protection from bad weather.

The project will cost 4,306,375.16 euros, with 75% provided by EC funding and 25% by the Greek State. The harbour will conform to the natural environment and include the construction of a windward jetty 150 m. long, a lee jetty 80 m. long, breakwaters and the necessary shore facilities.

A road will also be constructed, connecting the port to the nearby Plakias-Souda road.

Greek ferryboats full

97-98% of Greek ferry tickets have already been booked and paid for by Greeks and foreigners who have planned their holidays in good time. The President of the Union of Coastal Shipowners, Stelios Sarris, stated that there is no intention of increasing ticket prices until the end of the summer, unless some major unforeseen event takes place.

Kavoussi excavation
Impressive archaeological finds in East Crete

Archaeologists of the American School of Classical Studies, in collaboration with the 24th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, have brought to light another ancient Cretan settlement. The settlement is in the “Azorias” area of Kavoussi, between Agios Nikolaos and Sitia.

The famous archaeologist Harriet Boyd Hawes originally undertook a small excavation on the peak of Azorias in 1900, uncovering some strange buildings in four different phases. Inspired by this dig, the Greek-American Professor Lefteris Hatzopoulos, of the Classics Department of the University of North Carolina, began a systematic excavation, bringing to light an extremely interesting Archaic settlement. There were large public buildings in the centre, such as the Andreion and the Prytaneion with their storerooms, surrounded by dozens of contemporary houses full of pottery.

This season, Professor Hatzopoulos and his colleagues have uncovered a remarkable place of worship – a sanctuary with an altar – and various figurines which have been removed to the Pachia Ammos Research Centre for conservation.

“This Archaic settlement covers an area of about 150,000 square metres. It seems that in the large public buildings we have brought to light, the inhabitants of those times held communal banquets, ceremonies and sacrifices. The black destruction layer shows that there was a fire, but only after the inhabitants had abandoned the settlement”, explains Professor Hatzopoulos. “We have found many animal bones but few human bones. I believe that the settlement cemetery lies around the huge old olive tree of Kavoussi, visited by dozens of tourists every day”, he adds.

Work on the Azorias excavation will be completed next week. This will be followed by the conservation and study of finds, which will take about five years. “But we need to find money for conservation. We hope to have financial support from the Municipality of Ierapetra, to which we will apply”, concluded the Greek-American scientist.

It should be noted that 40 archaeology students from the USA, Canada, Britain, Germany and Greece are also taking part in the dig. Most students not only work for free, but some even pay for the privilege of gaining the unique experience of participating in such an important excavation.

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