Kérkyra

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A family in the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. Photograph:  Anthi Pazianouanthi/Getty Images

A lesson for today: in 1716 the Turks controlled most of the Balkans, including the Greek mainland, but they had failed to capture Corfu and the othe(...)

Everyone writes because there is an inner compulsion, what Deirdre Madden (above) called “bearing witness” because one carries “moral knowledge”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

“Writing and Identity” was the central topic of Novel Encounters, a recent meeting of Irish and Greek writers in Corfu that I helped to organise. The (...)

Santorini: the island is saturated with tourists and cannot absorb any greater numbers. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A restaurateur in the west of Ireland recently asked me what I would pay in Greece for a meal. My answer: a salad, a plate of roast lamb and potatoes,(...)

Yanis Varoufakis’s motto was “If you cannot imagine walking out of a negotiation, you should not enter it.” In the end, he was thrown out for trying to discuss the emperor’s new clothes. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

It is inconceivable that an Irish finance minister would resign on a question of principle. But Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister from Janu(...)

Lifejackets  inside a wrecked boat used by refugees and migrants to cross part of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece at a garbage dump site on the island of Lesbos. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

On March 25th last Greeks celebrated the 197th anniversary of independence. You might call it “virtual independence”, since it was the day when the wa(...)

A family of four who have checked in a 15kg  bag each will have to pay €280 to Spain or Italy, on top of their flights. Photograph: Getty

Aer Lingus has defended its decision to increase the cost of checking in a bag on flights to and from Spain, Italy and Greece by €10 just four months (...)

 Colin Farrell in Yorgos Lanthimos’ film The Lobster. The experience of independence continues to resonate in the Greek mind. Photograph: Despina Spyrou

I discovered the music of Alexis Zoumbas not from any Greek source but from Donal Dineen’s Sunken Treasure column in The Ticket (November 25th). Zou(...)

Turkish troops  land in Kyrenia, northern Cyprus, on July 23rd, 1974. The illegal Turkish invasion, ostensibly to protect the many Turkish people living in Cyprus, precipitated a crisis that continues today. Photograph: AP/Hurriyet

The predictable collapse of last month’s Cyprus peace talks underlines the fragility of borders and identities in the entire Balkan-Levant region. The(...)

Santorini: the island’s mayor  has become a national hero by saying vehemently that his island is so saturated by tourism that it cannot absorb any more. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Today, there is hardly a tourist to be seen in Corfu. Most hotels and tourist outlets have closed for the season. It’s blissfully empty and quiet. Th(...)

Taking a selfie before the marble Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, home of the first modern Olympics in 1896, illuminated in yellow and green, in honour of Brazil, ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Photograph: Reuters

When I remarked recently to a non-Greek cafe owner that the Greek economy was banjaxed, he replied “Why should I care?” This, from someone largely dep(...)

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