#SilverLinings: A boy’s cancer treatment got successfully crowdfunded 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. Despite the financial crisis, Greeks donated almost half a million euro so a boy’s life can be saved.
A large number of people from all over Greece, while the country is still in a deep financial crisis, managed to gather in record time the amount that gives Vangelis the hope that one day he will play and smile like other children of his age without thoughts of hospitals and chemotherapy. “Hello, Vangelis is my name and I am five years old. I love super heroes, play soccer, basketball and go for a walk in the park. I am like all the children of my age, but instead of going to school I go almost daily to the hospital,” we read in the post on Facebook, through which Vangelis’ parents appealed to the crowd to raise money.
A new treatment promises Vangelis that it will increase its chances of surviving, from 15% today to 80%. Now Evangelos family is trying to raise more money to fund the 5 year old’s life saving cancer treatment in NYC: You can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/evangelos-cancerfund
2. Tilos wins the first prize for the 2017 European Union’s Sustainable Energy Awards
Being powered exclusively through the wind and the sun? This is the bet, the Greek island of Tilos has made… And it’s a great success. Yesterday night (20 June 2017), the island of the Dodecanese archipelago has won the 2017 European Union’s Sustainable Energy Awards in the “Energy Islands” category for the introduction of a hybrid energy system.
A nice encouragement for Tilos that will be the first fully-fledged Greek island, fueled solely by wind and solar energy. The Greece’s first hybrid, renewable energy-based battery station will be effective on next September and will cover around 70% of local demand with ambition to get close to 100% in the near future.
The first prize won by Tilos is a cash award of €20.000 that the authorities will use to install photovoltaic and solar panels at the refugee camp situated on the island. Indeed, its mayor, Maria Kamma, has invited refugee families to settle on the island, in partnership with NGOs such as SolidarityNow and the UNHCR to provide accommodation, language classes and mentoring programs to help asylum-seekers set up organic farming businesses working with locals.
3. Five-Month Primary Surplus Beats Target
According to the Finance Ministry’s preliminary budget execution bulletin, Greece attained a primary budget surplus of 1.84 billion euros in the first five months of the year, beating its target thanks to lower spending.
The central government surplus indicates the state of the country’s finances.
Interestingly, this figure exceeded last year’s figure by 26.5%, as well as this year’s target by 792 million euros.
The rise of the surplus was entirely due to primary expenditure being lower than expected, namely, 791 million euros lower than the target.
Gross revenues before tax were rebounded by 8% in May after failing by 6,5% in the previous month and amounts to 3,66%… missing the target by 91 millions.
Yet, gross revenues rose by 0.6% to 18.53 billion euros in the five-month period, reaching 443 million euros.
For the second consecutive month, primary expenditure decreased by 11.8% in May to 3.05 billion, or 396 million above the target. In addition, interest payments decreased by 0.7% to 3.08, exactly on target.
4. A Big Win by Athens Law School
Athens Law School was distinguished in the final round of global university competition “ELSA Moot Court Competition on World Trade Organization Law (EMC2)” in Geneva. The EMC2 is a virtual court competition, specifically, a simulation of the legal proceedings aiming to resolve transnational trade disputes. The competition was organized for the 15th time by the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA), under the auspices of the World Trade Organization.
The Greek all-female student group managed to attain first place globally in written performance, winning the Award for Best Respondent Written Submission.
Because of their win, the students were all granted scholarships to attend classes of advanced international economic law in the esteemed program offered by the University of Barcelona.
5. Progress Towards a National Green Public Procurement Policy
According to a decision by Minister of Economy, Dimitris Papadimitriou, a committee has been formed with purpose to draft a national policy regarding Green Public Procurement in the next 18 months.
Green Public Procurement (GPP) is a crucial element of environmental politics, aiming to procure goods and services with a reduced environmental impact. For instance, such policies help reach objectives against climate change, as well as support the sustainable consumption and production.
Among other things, the committee will be responsible for setting environmental standards according to technical and scientific counsel, for promoting the principles of GPP through seminars and lectures, as well as for monitoring the policy once it takes effect.
If GPP is promoted in a proper manner, it can also motivate industry to develop green technologies and products. Therefore, the establishment of a GPP in Greece is a step forward towards a healthier planet and a greener Greek industry.
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