Halkidiki Promoted As Major Tourist Attraction

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Greece’s young: Dreams on hold as fight for jobs looms

Greek students study in classSchool leavers will enter a jobs market where almost seven out of 10 young people are out of work

Greece’s school exam season has arrived. But for many now facing the final-year tests known as the Panhellenics, the stress is twofold: last-minute cramming and the knowledge that they’ll soon enter the worst jobs climate in Europe.

At 64.2%, youth unemployment in Greece is the highest in the continent. Those between the ages of 16 and 25 are now the crisis generation.

At the Spoudi school in Athens, dreams have been put on hold. The school leavers longed for a stable job, for a future full of opportunity. But instead, unemployment and uncertainty beckon.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

Christina Zahagou

The economy won’t recover because the educated ones will go abroad and only the older people will stay here”

End Quote
Christina Zahagou
Law graduate, 23

In a final maths class, students pore over complex algebra problems. But how to stay positive in today’s Greece might just be the most difficult equation to solve.

“I’m not sure about my future,” says Nathalie Scholden, an 18-year-old who hopes to study economics. “I think I won’t stay in Greece because there’s high unemployment and bad salaries. A lot of kids my age feel the same. If we’re here and nobody gets the life they want, why should we stay?”

Among the other students, few are optimistic. One thinks of leaving Athens for the countryside, another of going into farming because of a lack of opportunities.

“In Greece today you can’t do what you want,” says Alexandros Delakouras, 17. “It will be very difficult to get a job in my country but I will try hard.” He adds with a smile: “Maybe, with God’s help, I’ll succeed.”

Before Greece’s first bailout three years ago – and the spending cuts that ensued – unemployment in the country was under 12%. Now it’s at 27%.

And among the youth, it’s more than doubled from around 31% in May 2010. Recession has hit hard but it’s the austerity demanded by the country’s international lenders that has had such a devastating impact.

Brain drain

Continue reading the main story

Doing the sums

Student studies maths

In Greece, 64.2% of 16 to 25-year olds are out of work

This has risen from 31.2% three years ago when Greece received its first international bailout

The economy is expected to stay in recession for the sixth consecutive year in 2013

Unemployment continues to rise and is not expected to start falling until 2015, the Greek central bank says

And so the brightest, like 23-year-old law graduate Christina Zahagou, are leaving. Greek emigration to Germany jumped by more than 40% last year. She is now following suit after failing to find work.

“I don’t want to leave my friends and family,” she says. “Abroad I will struggle to find friends, at least in the first year. But I have no other choice. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make because I can’t find anything hopeful here in Greece.”

The brain drain is quickening. A recent study by the University of Thessaloniki found that more than 120,000 professionals, including doctors, engineers and scientists, have left Greece since the start of the crisis in 2010.

And when young, talented Greeks are emigrating, it spells trouble for the future. An ageing population and declining birth rate could stunt Greece’s longed-for growth.

“The economy won’t recover,” says Christina, “because the educated ones will go abroad and only the older people will stay here. That means Greece can’t develop.”

Positive action

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

Aris Konstanidis

We want to mobilise young people to stand on their own two feet. They – we – must become the leaders of Greece”

End Quote
Aris Konstanidis
Co-founder, Glovo

But some young hopefuls are fighting back. The youth start-up scene here is growing fast. One success story is Glovo, recently launched by a group of twenty-something entrepreneurs. The company finds and trains volunteers for large events, and won funding from investors in a recent start-up competition.

At Art Athina, the capital’s international art fair, a few dozen volunteers perform a range of functions, including welcoming visitors and providing information about enigmatic paintings. Co-founder Aris Konstanidis tells me young Greeks must not accept the scourge of unemployment.

“Many people think the financial crisis is a dead end,” he says, “but I think it’s an opportunity to go out of our comfort zone, shape our future and get rid of all the old negative ways of doing things.”

His is a refreshing approach to the problem of youth unemployment, though it is still a rare voice of optimism.

“Many young people in Greece are afraid of trying new things. They do what their parents advise. But now you can’t get a job like that.

“We want to mobilise young people to stand on their own two feet. They – we – must become the leaders of Greece.”

A Glovo volunteer at Art AthinaGlovo’s trainees work unpaid at big events, but gain valuable work experience

Even though most of its young workforce is unpaid, the can-do attitude is catching.

Konstantinos Angelosopoulos, 21, has been volunteering for Glovo for five months. He says he’s trying to get as much experience as he can.

“I think of the jobless situation all the time. But this is the only way to overcome the crisis. We have to go forward and fight. If we stop and ask what’s happening or what am I going to do, nothing will improve.”

Traditional attitudes are being profoundly shaken by today’s climate – and that could be for the better. But tackling the crisis head-on requires energy and luck, and many here lack both.

This ancient nation is full of youthful vitality. They are the ones the country needs to keep to rebuild it in years to come. But for now they are too often stranded by the crisis – left jobless or pushed abroad, the lost generation of today’s Greece.


Book Early and Receive Exceptional Value on Autumn Holidays with Sovereign Luxury Travel

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(PRWEB UK) 28 May 2013

Sovereign is offering customers incredible autumn holidays across destinations in Europe and beyond. Autumn presents holidaymakers a fantastic opportunity for a relaxing break coupled with great savings and added value.

October half term continues to be a popular time for families as they have something to look forward to after summer. Families who book early will benefit from a range of upgrades and savings so they can be sure to receive the best value on their next getaway. September has proven to be a favourable time for couples to enjoy a romantic getaway. As the first month after the peak of school summer holidays, couples can experience a quieter break with reliable weather in most European destinations. Booking early also means customers can take advantage of other benefits such as a wider range of flight times and room types to create the perfect holiday.

Sovereign Luxury Travel is delighted to offer customers a seven night family holiday at the opulent Porto Sani Village in Halkidiki Greece starting from £1,985 per family of three and a saving of up to £1,269 per booking. Customers who book early will receive a 20% early booking discount, one free child place, a complimentary half board upgrade and an online booking discount. Flights depart 26 October from London Gatwick with British Airways. Located in the picturesque five star Sani Resort, the family-friendly hotel boasts of a private sand beach just 300 metres away where guests can receive courtesy beach toys for the children. The resort provides three outstanding kids’ clubs for different age groups – Melissa Creche, Melissa Mini Club and Teenagers club – while adults can enjoy the spectacular spa suite complete with tailor made luxury aromatherapy treatments by Anne Semonin.

Families can also enjoy a luxury break to the beautiful island of Tenerife. Staying in the family friendly Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque, guests will fall in love with the hotel’s charming 19th century colonial architecture and five pools which cascade delicately in tiers towards the sea and revel in the unique village atmosphere. As a member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ group, the resort offers exceptional services and facilities where younger guests receive extra special care including daily kids activities, two children’s clubs and a gift upon arrival, whilst milk and cookies can be delivered to the room. The hotel’s close proximity to the sea means parents can make use of its unrivalled selection of water sports. A seven night’s bed and breakfast accommodation starts from £3,619 per family of three – a saving of up to £491 per booking. The package includes one free child place, an online booking discount and return flights departing 26 October from London Gatwick with Thomson Airways.

The coastal city of Paphos in Cyprus sets the perfect backdrop for a romantic getaway for two. Couples will be captivated during their stay at the five star Annabelle Hotel, nestled in six acres of manicured gardens, vibrant tropical flowers and a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. With four bars and five restaurants serving delicious local produce, traditional dishes and the finest wines, guests will be spoilt for choice. The surrounding natural landscape creates the perfect setting for romantic walks, and guests can even enjoy the facilities of the nearby five star Almyra, the Annabelle’s sister hotel. Packages start from £849 per person with a saving of up to £790 per couple on a half board basis and includes a 15% accommodation discount and an online booking discount. Flights depart 27 September from London Gatwick with Monarch.

Cancun continues to be a popular destination for those who seek the warm climate of the Caribbean coast. The Hard Rock Hotel is located in the bustling hotel zone where guests can experience the vibrant nightlife. The hotel also offers fantastic entertainment with a music theme throughout living up to it’sits Hard Rock name. An all inclusive luxury holiday starts from £1,339 per person, saving up to £1,217 per couple and includes $1500 resort credit and an online booking discount. Offer based on flights departing 15 September from London Gatwick with British Airways.

For more information on Sovereign’s luxury holidays, read its new customer magazine arrival online at http://www.sovereign.com/arrival-ebook, or visit http://www.sovereign.com or call our expert travel advisors on 0843 770 4013.

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Greece’s 2014 bond issue will be small, finmin says


PARIS |
Wed May 29, 2013 11:58am EDT

PARIS May 29 (Reuters) – Greece plans to end its four-year
exclusion from debt markets with a small bond issue next year,
the country’s finance minister Yannis Stournaras told Reuters on
Wednesday.

Encouraged by falling bond yields amid growing market
sentiment that his country will remain in the euro zone, Prime
Minister Antonis Samaras said earlier this month he was planning
a bond sale in the first half of 2014.

Asked on Reuters Insider to comment on the size of the
issue, Stournaras said: “It will be small”. He added he was not
sure if it would happen in the first or the second half of the
year. Greece is slated to receive its final bailout payment in
the last quarter of 2014.

The country did not need to raise a large amount, Stournaras
said, because debt relief measures Athens obtained by the
European Union and the International Monetary Fund have
significantly smoothened its debt profile.

“Interest payments have fallen a lot, a lot of amortisation
was pushed to the future, so it’s (the bond issue) going to be
small,” he said.

According to ThomsonReuters data, about 40 percent of
Greece’s outstanding debt falls due in 2042.

The euro zone, which holds most of the country’s sovereign
debt, agreed late last year to lower the interest rate and
extend the maturities on the 240 billion euros of rescue loans
Athens has obtained since mid-2010 to avoid bankruptcy and a
chaotic euro zone exit.

Ireland and Portugal, which also obtained EU/IMF rescue
loans, have already managed to sell long-term debt again, moving
closer to a bailout exit.

Greek 10-year bond yields dropped below 9 percent earlier
this month, according to TradeWeb data, hitting their lowest
level since October 2010. They had risen to 41 percent in March
2012, when Athens restructured its privately-held bonds.


Greek-Turkish Relationships and Tourism

Hellas-TurkeyDuring an event held in Thessaloniki, the Minister Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs at the Greek Embassy in Ankara, Charalambos Kounalakis, argued that Greek investments in Turkey promote visitors to Greece, based on evidence. Tourism is only a parameter of the bilateral cooperation, which is reflected as well in the activation of Greek companies of interest (approximately 500) in Turkey, in areas such as banking, food and energy. The approximately 250 businesses are located in the city of Istanbul. Of these, many remain dormant and about 60 are considered the most important.

Presenting data on tourism cooperation between Greece and Turkey, Kounalakis stated that more than 30 major travel agencies in Turkey include Greece among their tourist destinations. Turkish tourists seem to prefer Greek destinations with historical and cultural background, which also offer them the possibility of shopping and entertainment. They also travel for religious reasons, he stressed.

Meanwhile, the pilot program which was first implemented in 2012 for five entry points in Greece, began being applied since the beginning of May and in 2013 for six points (Mytilene, Chios, Rhodes, Samos, Kos and Castelorizo) and is to end at the end of October 2013, he said.

Moreover, recently, the Joint Tourism Committee agreed to further strengthen the Greek-Turkish tourism cooperation and its goal was to jointly promote tourism products in the markets of China, Japan, India and the U.S, as Kounalakis noted.


Greece’s Garbage Crisis: A Stinky Metaphor for an Economy in the Dumps

A flock of seagulls flies over the landfill at Ano Liosia, west of Athens proper, Thursday 18 January 2007.
Pantelis Saitas / EPA

A flock of seagulls flies over the landfill at Ano Liosia, west of Athens, on Jan. 18, 2007.

It is like a dark inversion of the tourist images of Greece. Seagulls circle not over the clear blue waters of the Aegean, but a bleak, cratered landscape, swooping down to compete with human scavengers and mangy dogs for spoils in a sea of waste. The landfill in the municipality of Fyli receives the lion’s share of the 6,000 tonnes of garbage produced every day in Attica, the region that is home to the Greek capital Athens and 35% of the country’s entire population.

Greece’s surfeit of garbage has become one of the most visible—and pungent—symptoms of its debt crisis. A report commissioned by the European Commission last year ranked the country as the European Union’s least efficient in its implementation of European waste management directives. It still buries 80% of its waste, while the EU average is 38% and some member states have deployed recycling and recovery to reduce the amount that ends up in the ground to less than 1%. Moreover, Greece’s landscape is still littered with hundreds of illegal dump sites. This doesn’t just threaten public health and the environment, but also the recovery prospects for its long-suffering public finances. The European Commission said in February that it is taking Greece back to court, proposing a daily penalty of 71,193 euros for each of the 396 illegal sites that are either still active or have not yet been cleaned and rehabilitated.

(MORE: As Greece Struggles with Debt Crisis, Its Shipping Tycoons Still Cut a Profit)

The short-term solution would be to create more official “sanitary” dumps. But one attempt to do so in Attica provoked an insurgency. In December 2010, Keratea, a sleepy, conservative town of 10,000 souls southeast of Athens exploded in rage against government plans to dig a new landfill on its outskirts. For 128 days hitherto ordinary citizens fought police, lobbing Molotov cocktails amid tear gas, torching bulldozers and even digging a trench, six feet deep, across the main thoroughfare connecting Athens to the port of Lavrio.

Erupting, as it did, a few months after Greece’s first bailout, the Keratea uprising was seized on by politicians and activists ranging from the hard left to the far right as a model of civil disobedience against government policies seeking to make the people shoulder the costs of adjustment for the failures of the elites. Others, including members of the government at the time, saw the events as an extreme symptom of the wider breakdown of law and order, demanding a show of force by the state. Either way, it highlighted the collapse in relations between government and the people in Greece in an era of national bankruptcy and externally-imposed austerity.

Today, 25 months after the end of hostilities in Keratea, brokered in part by a local bishop, no waste management facilities operate there. In August last year, EDSNA, the local government association responsible for waste management, approved the construction of four waste processing facilities in Attica, to be realized through private-public partnerships at a projected cost of over 430 million euros. EDSNA has not even announced the shortlist of candidates for three out of the four projects, including the one in Keratea.

The landfill that will accompany the processing plant is now envisaged to be a tenth the size of the dump originally proposed. It is unclear, however, by how much the amount of waste expected to head to Keratea for processing and burial will be reduced, and whether these concessions are enough to placate lingering opposition in the town.

Yannis Sgouros, the elected head of the region of Attica and president of EDSNA, says there is no stalemate. “We are within the preset timetables,” he tells TIME. “The shortlists for Keratea will soon be announced. These are among the biggest development projects in the country, and we hope to have completed the tender process on all of them by year’s end.”

(MORE: Crisis in the Euro Zone: Alexis Tsipras Is the Greek Who Makes Europe Tremble)

Speed is of the essence. The Fyli landfill – still the only legal one operating in Attica, ten years after parliament voted for three to be built in the region – is a testament to the unsustainability of the existing arrangements. Gangs of rag collectors make daily raids into the site. They are mostly after copper and iron, which they extract by burning cables and other items, releasing toxic dioxins into the atmosphere. There has been sporadic violence, between gangs and towards workers at the landfill, and at least four gang members have been killed while scavenging, buried unseen by bulldozers throwing dirt to cover the garbage. The area of the landfill has already been expanded to prolong its lifespan. Sgouros says it has less than two more years of operation left.

But Sgouros also admits his waste management goals will not be met unless government institutions step up the pace in creating new facilities and more effective approaches. Cleaning up Attica would be a boon for the environment and a boost for economic activity, in a country where infrastructure spending has collapsed during the crisis. But if red tape and clogged court proceedings don’t allow things to move forward in the next few months, the garbage crisis will deepen, local tensions will increase and Greece’s budding, fragile reputation as a place to do business will be heading for a heap of trash.

MORE: Germany Wins a Popularity Poll


Hotels4U.com Sees 5.52% Increase in Online Hotel Bookings With Webtrends

LONDON, May 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —

Webtrends Optimize helps Hotels4U drive visitor conversions and increase searches on mobile devices

Webtrends, the global leader in digital marketing optimisation and relevance through real-time, unified analytics and customer intelligence, today announced that Hotels4U.com has implemented Webtrends Optimize resulting in a 5.52% increase in online hotel bookings and a 61% increase in searches on mobile devices.

While overall holiday bookings have continued to see flat growth, online bookings have grown rapidly, making it an increasingly popular way for holidaymakers, business travellers and travel agents to purchase hotel reservations. However, in a highly competitive marketplace Hotels4U needed to ensure it stood out from the crowd by improving and simplifying the search-to-book process to increase conversions from website visits and capitalise on the mobile opportunity presented by the rise of smartphones.

Hotels4U selected Webtrends due to its ability to deliver a complete selection of test and target types, including A/B, multivariate tests, advanced segmentation and behavioural targeting. Using Optimize, the team were able to deliver an exclusive testing package capable of detailed analysis and recommendations for website amendments. The team built multivariate test plans that could be rolled out and updated over a period of time to continually improve the customer experience.

Since first implementing Webtrends Optimize, Hotels4U has experienced a 5.52% lift in online bookings following a number of tests to the latter pages of the buying cycle. On its mobile site, Hotels4U experienced a 61% increase in searches on mobile devices, with a 22% lift in visitors viewing hotel pages on the mobile channel.

In addition to this, Webtrends helped maximise conversions from aggregator websites by providing real-time options and alternatives for bookings if preferences were unavailable. This had a direct impact on improvements to the customer experience and increased the retention rate from these sites by 18.29%.

Steven Moore, Head of eCommerce, Hotels4U: “Through mobile site optimisation with Webtrends, we have been able to solve part of the puzzle that plagues every marketer today – the multi-channel problem. We felt we were missing a clear opportunity with visitors who browse on their smartphones on the go. Webtrends was able to develop a solution without placing additional burden on internal resources. Their recommended designs have driven a 61% increase in search and 22% lift in visitors seeing our hotel pages through our mobile channel, effectively making it easier for our customers to find what they are looking for and facilitating the multi-channel journey.”

Geoff Pennells, Regional Director, Travel, Webtrends: “The travel industry is very, very competitive as online has now become the preferred way for consumers to book their holidays. Hotels4U understands the importance of optimising its website to be as competitive as possible, and has been working alongside Webtrends to create and run detailed testing campaigns.”

“To see a 5.52% increase in conversions is a fantastic result for a company that processes as many bookings as Hotels4U does. Hotesl4U is wise to the opportunities presented by the boom in smartphones and has moved early to optimise its mobile platform and become a true multi-channel player. We look forward to continuing the optimisation journey with Hotels4U across multiple channels.”

About Hotels4U.com

Hotels4U.com offers an extensive array of top quality accommodation worldwide. Hotels4U.com is an independent website that takes away the headache of booking hotels, apartments, villas and transfers for independently minded customers. Featuring over 90,000 properties worldwide, including core product in Spain, the Balearics, Canaries, Algarve, Madeira, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Bulgaria, Croatia, French Riviera, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, the Caribbean and a wide range of City Break and ski hotels worldwide.

Part of the Thomas Cook Group, Hotels4u.com offers customers a wide choice of product in beach and city destinations, fast becoming the market leader in the wholesale travel trade market through the Medhotels brand, acquired in 2009. Participating hotels gain access to the UK Thomas Cook stores, the European Thomas Cook Group companies and over 6000 trade agents worldwide.

About Webtrends, Inc.

Webtrends power digital marketing success and are at the forefront of digital marketing relevance and customer experience management through unified customer intelligence. Our industry-leading analytics and optimisation solutions, delivered across mobile, social and web enable marketers to optimise campaigns, maximise customer lifetime value and deliver highly relevant digital brand experiences..

Webtrends dramatically improve digital marketing results for more than 3,500 global brands including, BMW, Alitalia, Lloyds Banking Group, Lastminute.com, Barclays, HSBC, ASOS, Orange, Everything Everywhere, Microsoft, Toyota, Play.com, AllSaints, The Telegraph, and many more.

Web: http://www.webtrends.com

Twitter: @webtrends

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/webtrendsemea

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/webtrends-emea


Greek strikes halt air travel

Flights in Greece halted for 4 hours as unions hold work stoppages against government

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Flights in Greece were halted for four hours Thursday as the country’s two largest labor unions staged work stoppages to protest austerity measures and a government decision to cancel a teachers’ strike.

Flights resumed after being grounded between 12:00 and 4:00 p.m. (0900-1300 GMT), when air traffic controllers joined the protest called by labor unions GSEE and ADEDY.

The government this week issued an emergency order to force high school teachers to work through the May 17-31 university entrance exams and cancel plans for rolling strikes. It was the third time the conservative-led government used the emergency civil mobilization order to end a strike this year.

The government is pursuing unpopular budget cuts to reduce debt as a condition of its international rescue package. It claims it will be able to return to borrowing on bond markets next year, when it also hopes the country’s crippling recession will end.

Greece’s bond market borrowing rates this week dropped to their lowest levels since 2010, when the country lost market access and was bailed out by its euro partners and the International Monetary Fund.

Interest rates on the 10-year bonds tumbled to below 9 percent, from levels of more than 35 percent last year, after Fitch ratings agency upgraded Greece’s sovereign credit rate by one notch on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Fitch also upgraded the ratings of National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and Eurobank, citing the lenders’ ability to raise money and the country’s more stable economic environment.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. Users may not download or reproduce a substantial portion of the AP material found on this web site. AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.


Greek strikes halt air travel

Flights in Greece halted for 4 hours as unions hold work stoppages against government

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Flights in Greece were halted for four hours Thursday as the country’s two largest labor unions staged work stoppages to protest austerity measures and a government decision to cancel a teachers’ strike.

Flights resumed after being grounded between 12:00 and 4:00 p.m. (0900-1300 GMT), when air traffic controllers joined the protest called by labor unions GSEE and ADEDY.

The government this week issued an emergency order to force high school teachers to work through the May 17-31 university entrance exams and cancel plans for rolling strikes. It was the third time the conservative-led government used the emergency civil mobilization order to end a strike this year.

The government is pursuing unpopular budget cuts to reduce debt as a condition of its international rescue package. It claims it will be able to return to borrowing on bond markets next year, when it also hopes the country’s crippling recession will end.

Greece’s bond market borrowing rates this week dropped to their lowest levels since 2010, when the country lost market access and was bailed out by its euro partners and the International Monetary Fund.

Interest rates on the 10-year bonds tumbled to below 9 percent, from levels of more than 35 percent last year, after Fitch ratings agency upgraded Greece’s sovereign credit rate by one notch on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Fitch also upgraded the ratings of National Bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank and Eurobank, citing the lenders’ ability to raise money and the country’s more stable economic environment.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. Users may not download or reproduce a substantial portion of the AP material found on this web site. AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.


Who Owns This Land? In Greece, Who Knows?

But property ownership in Greece is often less than clear cut. So Mr. Hamodrakas put a padlock on his gate and waited to see what would happen. Soon enough, he heard from neighbors. Three of them claimed that they, too, had title to parts of the property.

In this age of satellite imagery, digital records and the instantaneous exchange of information, most of Greece’s land transaction records are still handwritten in ledgers, logged in by last names. No lot numbers. No clarity on boundaries or zoning. No obvious way to tell whether two people, or 10, have registered ownership of the same property.

As Greece tries to claw its way out of an economic crisis of historic proportions, one that has left 60 percent of young people without jobs, many experts cite the lack of a proper land registry as one of the biggest impediments to progress. It scares off foreign investors; makes it hard for the state to privatize its assets, as it has promised to do in exchange for bailout money; and makes it virtually impossible to collect property taxes.

Greece has resorted to tagging tax dues on to electricity bills as a way to flush out owners. Of course, that means that empty property and farmland has yet to be taxed.

Mr. Hamodrakas is far from resolving the dispute with his neighbors. The courts in Greece are flooded with such cases. “These things take years,” he said, “maybe a decade to settle.”

This state of affairs is particularly galling because Greece has thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at the problem over the past two decades, but has little to show for it. At one point, in the early 1990s, Greece took more than $100 million from the European Union to build a registry. But after seeing what was accomplished, the European Union demanded its money back.

Since then, Greece has tried, and tried again. But still, less than 7 percent of the country has been properly mapped, officials say. Experts say that even the Balkan states, recovering from years of Communism and civil war, are far ahead of Greece when it comes to land registries attached to zoning maps — an approach developed by the Romans and in wide use in much of the developed world since the 1800s.

But not in Greece. Here the extent of disputed land is enormous, experts say.

“If you calculated the total deeds that are registered,” said Dimitris Kaloudiotis, an engineer who took over as president of the national land registry authority last month, “the country would be twice as big as it is.”

Some experts wonder whether there is really the political will to sort things out. An army of lawyers, engineers and architects make their livings through the constant haggling over landownership and what kind of development is possible where. And the lack of zoning maps has proved profitable for some. Researchers, for instance, have found that enormous stretches of protected forest land have been developed in recent years after wildfires cleared the land.

Spyros Skouras, an economist at the Athens University of Economics and Business, who found that the fires increased significantly during election years, says that settling land issues once and for all is difficult politically. “Any government that locks in an outcome will disappoint someone, and no government has wanted to take responsibility.”

Land disputes are less acute in urban centers, where sidewalks, streets and building walls help clarify boundaries. But in the countryside, deeds reflect another era. Boundaries can be the “three olive trees near the well” or the spot “where you can hear a donkey on the path.”

“You had guys who had never been to school — who had 100 sheep — and they would throw a rock a certain distance and say: O.K., that’s mine,” said Mr. Hamodrakas, who in addition to his own problems has handled many landownership cases for clients. “The documents might say ‘from the tree to the stream.’ It is very hard to know what they are talking about.”

Dimitris Bounias contributed reporting.