With the Greek economy in ruins and the Greek banks still closed, the Greek parliament approved the terms of the latest (3rd) Greek bailout deal offered to Geece by its creditors: the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A majority of 229 Greek parliament members voted yes to a new bill, turning into law the difficult terms of Greece’s 3rd bailout, a prerequisite set by Greece’s creditors.

According to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Greece had no other choice than accepting more austerity, if the country did not want to face a Grexit; an exclusion from the Eurozone and the introduction of a new currency in the country.

Fierce Debate

The Greek Parliament convened on Wednesday evening to discuss the bailout deal Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras agreed to with the country’s international creditors in Brussels on Monday.

The Greek Prime minister urged the Greek parliament to vote the deal, although he called it a bad deal he said that this is the only choice for debt-ridden Greece.

Following intense speeches from lawmakers of the various parties, Tsipras once again spoke of a hard and unequal battle between the people’s right and the economic powers and the ideological and political defferences that exist in Europe and which manifested these past few weeks.

Earlier in the night, Finance Minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, discussed the bailout deal, which he signed, noting that its effects will be judged in the future and will hinge on political developments in Europe.

“Monday was the hardest day of my life. It was decision that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I do not know if we did the right thing, I know we did not have many options,” he said.

Tsakalotos also talked about what needs to be done from here on and emphasised the need for anti-austerity alliances to form in Europe.

“I just know one thing. If the left cannot attack the old party system then this country has no future,” he said.

Party leaders and spokespersons addressed the parliament,in a session that had supporters as well as opposers of the deal who expressed their dismay with Greece’s government.

 by Anastasios Papapostolou – – See more at:

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Chalkidiki is characterised by its important historical and cultural wealth, which is inextricably linked to the mining activity in the area, and in particular in its northeastern part, which is rich in mixed sulfide ores. Furthermore, it is the area where mining activities began earlier than in other Roman areas, in the Roman era.

The Kassandra mines expand in a wider area of a total surface of 200 square kilometers among the villages of Olympiada, Stanou, Megali Panagia and Ierissos. They include the deposits of basic sulfide and precious sulfide metals of Olympiada, Madem Lakkos, Mavres Petres, the deposits of manganese-gold of Piavitsa and Varvara and the deposits of copper-gold of Skouries and Megali Panagia.

The mines of gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper and manganese of the Northern Chalkidiki (Stratoni and Olympiada) consisted the main financing source of the kingdom of Macedon and of the campaigns of Alexander the Great.

Cornel L. Sagui, in his article “The ancient Mining Works of Cassandra”, which has been published in the Economic Geology magazine, claims that he found here, in the galleries of the mines of Lipzada (Olympiada), coins of Philip and of Alexander.

In the area remain more than 300 wells and approximately 200,000 cubic meters of ancient metallurgical debris, the common “rust” which are remains of the ore smelting. Based on historical sources and on results of direct and indirect analyses and determinations that have been performed for the aforementioned rust, the beginning of the activity dates back to the beginning of the Classical antiquity.

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Pactolus, the gold-bearing river of Asia Minor originates in mount Tmolus. It was in the proximity of this river that the ancient inhabitants of the area found and used the Lydian stone (lydite). It was a black rock of an extraordinary hardness, a sort of black jasper. They carved on the Lydian stone a trace of a golden object and in this way they could determine the gold content of the object, that is, its carats. It is a method that is still used in order to find the gold content of gold alloys.

The exploitation of gold deposits in Asia Minor began rather early; ancient sources mention that the Lydians exploited mineral gold in the area of mount Tmolus and transported it through the rivers Pactolus and Hermus. However, researchers do not agree on the date the exploitations of the above deposits began. Some scientists believe that the exploitation began in the early Iron Age, others in the second half of the 8th century BC, or even in the 7th century BC. More recently scientists argued that the Pactolus gold was already mined in the 3d millennium BC. However the latest research studies do not confirm that gold was mined in Lydia in such an early period. From what Herodotus mentions about river Pactolus, it can be deduced that the Greeks regarded the city of Sardis as an important precious metals market. Close to very rich gold-bearing deposits on mount Tmolus lied Ephesus. Finally, it is possible that the exploitation of the gold-bearing area in Astyra, close to Abydos, which is reported by Strabo and Xenophon, began in the Classical era. The fact, however, that gold is the second most frequently mentioned metal by Homer cannot be accidental.

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