This post will play catch up on a few recent announcements.

kouros First, the National Archaeological Museum has added these two Kouros-style marble statues, dated to the 6th century BC to their display.  They were recovered just a few days before in a sting operation involving two farmers near the site of ancient Nemea.

The damage observed on them, cut limbs and a head is recent, probably caused by excavation machinery, although archaeologists said the statues will be restored in full.  They are 1.82 and 1.78 meters tall and unique in that they are almost identical works sharing the same facial characteristics.

A previous post on this subject:  Where Men Walked 3000 Years Ago

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The Athens Metro (Subway) is destined for major expansion in both the near and long term regardless of economic turmoil.  Imagine how many artefacts will be dug up there!  Actually you don’t have to imagine because much of what is found is on display in existing stations.

The new station in Holargos is due to open in June, while Agia Paraskevi will be ready by September.  Another six stations, extensions of the line 2 in the southeast and west, may possibly be added to the network by March 2011.  These are waiting the outcome of the Siemens bribery scandal before completing the electronic controls.

The Ministry also announced that tenders for projects worth 10.3 billion euro are to be launched up until 2012. These will extend and connect other lines.

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The government giveth and the the government taketh away: The Athens public transport organisation OASA announced that it will scrap a special bus service providing tours of Athens' ancient sites for tourists as of June 1, due to low levels of use.

The number 400 'Sights of Athens' bus was an open bus that tourists
could use to visit each of the city's archaeological sites and museums
using an all-day pass.

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Finally, we have another Value Added Tax (VAT) increase on top of the one just last January.

The regular VAT rate on most goods will increase from 21 percent at present to 23 percent, while the reduced rate of 10 percent currently charged on a range of goods and services will be increased to 11 percent. The lowest rate of 5 percent will increase to 5.5 percent.

The increases will also affect island areas, where current VAT rates of 15 percent, 7 percent and 4 percent will rise to 16 percent, 8 percent and 4 percent.

Only time will tell how much of this is passed on to the consumer and how much absorbed by the businesses.  Greek consumers are well aware that higher taxes on business eventually come out of their own pockets.  I am not convinced the same can be said of voters in those countries such as the USA and U.K. that do not have a large un-taxed economy.


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