A woman and her dog walk through a fountain in Athens during a day with high temperatures, on Wednesday July 8, 2015. Photo: Panayiotis Tzamaros / FOS PHOTOS

#SilverLinings (20–27/06): Athens will provide water dispensers for stray animals to survive the heat wave and four more positive news from Greece.

Are you sick of bad news from Greece? Do you need some confidence and optimism? We’ve got you covered every week.

1. Water dispensers for stray animals to survive the heat wave in Athens

In anticipation of the heatwave expected from Wednesday, the municipal authority of Athens has put in place water dispensers around the capital for stray dogs and cats to stay hydrated.

Syntagma, Monastiraki, Viktoria, Klafthmonos, Aghiou Nikolaou, Kaningos squares, in various parks and touristic places. The water dispensers have been placed in 35 key locations around the city and are supposed to be restock by residents or visitors.

Greece is known for its large percentage of stray dogs, living especially in the streets of Athens. Dogs are usually cared for, not only by the locals but by the government as well.

2. Greece and Bulgaria to accelerate natural gas Interconnector Project

Bulgaria and Greece will accelerate the activities required for the completion of the natural gas interconnection project between the two countries.

During a meeting, the Bulgaria’s Energy Minister, Mrs Petkova and Greece’s Environment, Energy and Climate change, Mr Stathakis focused on the construction of the Gas-Greece-Bulgaria Interconnection. Both agreed to concentrate their efforts on the procedures for selecting a construction and building permitting company and all other necessary documents in both countries.

George Stathakis George Stathakis. Minister of Economy, Development & Tourism. Photo: Panayiotis Tzamaros / FOS PHOTOS

3. Greece credit rating upgraded at Moody’s, outlook revised to stable

The US rating agency Moody’s raised the Greek debt rating by a notch. It passes from Caa3 to Caa2. The country’s perspective is also revised to “positive” versus “stable” previously.

Moody’s justifies this increase by various factors. First of all, by an agreement reached in mid-June between Greece, the Eurogroup and the International Monetary Fund. This agreement has rekindled the financial plan, blocked for months, thus avoiding the specter of a new crisis. A tranche of aid of €8.5 billion will have to be paid soon.

The agency notes the support of creditors, including the fact that the IMF remains involved and intends to lobby for further relief from Greek debt.

Moody’s also hails the efforts of Athens. Tsipras’ government has taken a number of measures, some of which are politically difficult, such as tax increases or labor market reform.

A return to growth would be welcome. Greece saw its GDP increase by 0.4% in the first quarter of 2017, after eight years marked by stagnation and recession.

4. Happy 180th birthday National and Kapodistrian University of Athens!

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens celebrates 180 years since its founding.

Detail at the Faculty of Law at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. PHOTO: Natasha Pantazopoulou / FOS PHOTOS

Founded in 1837, it became the first university of Greece — as well as the first university of South-East Europe — comprised of just 52 students. Since then, it has become the Greek pillar of scientific, social and cultural life with millions of students having passed through its gates.

Over the years, student movements claiming political, social, national and academic demands, have emerged as an integral part of the university. For instance, movements expressing anti-war sentiments in the 1940’s, the uprising of the Law School against the Greek dictators in 1972, and many more.

A musical festival in Odeon of Herodes Atticus will be held on the 1st of July to commemorate the anniversary, with many Greek musicians performing the historic songs that were associated with those socio-political student struggles.

Watch this very interesting WWF documentary about the disaster. No English subs are included but the footage tells it’s own story.

5. Hope from Parnitha Mountain

Ten years have passed since the catastrophic forest fire in Parnitha, and we’re glad to report that its current situation looks very promising.

Several processes of reforestation have occurred since the fire. Specifically, 4.500 acres have been planted with approximately 400.000 plants. An additional 180.000 are also cultivated in the forest nursery garden of Parnitha, which are going to be planted in the mountain in the next couple of years.

According to the Parnitha forest authority, Parnitha’s ecosystem has changed for the better since the devastating fire. We see pine trees in higher altitudes than before, which helps provide the necessary shadow that firs need to develop. That means that in 40–50 years Parnitha might include a fir forest section. There has also been a rise in the numbers of deer because of the prosperity of the forest, which has attracted the reappearance of wolves.

The growth of the flora and the fauna is very good news, considering that Parnitha is the last remaining forested mountain of Attica that has not been completely wiped out by fires.

Do you have positive stories from Greece?

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