Monthly Archives: June 2015

What happened to the Greek bailout money?

Greek debt spirals as EU deadlock continuesThe EU is in turmoil

This is a big week for Greece – and the European Union. For the past few months there have been endless negotiations between Greece’s newly elected Syrzia government and the troika of lenders that have been providing fiscal support since the financial crisis. The talks have been bloody and acrimonious with Greek leader, Alexis Tsipras accusing other EU leaders of blackmailing his country into accepting impossibly punitive austerity measures in return for continued – if fragile – solvency, and IMF president Christine Lagarde doggedly sticking to the payback schedule.

With entrenched positions on both sides, talks have broken down and everyone faces a nail-biting wait to see what will happen in the final moments of June before Greece’s next loan payment is due. There’s a very real possibility of a Greek exit – or Grexit – from the single currency and from the union itself if Greece defaults on its debts.

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Do you live in one of the world’s safest cities?

Tokyo claims top spot in report into the world’s safest cities

Safety first

How safe do you feel in your city? Turns out it’s not such an easy question to answer as the concept itself differs from person to person – country-dwellers might not consider it possible to define any urban environment as safe, for instance. Last year’s Safer Cities project, commissioned by UN-Habitat with the aim of making urban areas safer to inhabit, gathered together some interesting initiatives with unexpected results – including the use of mime artists to improve road traffic safety in Bogota – yes, really!

Interestingly, the idea of safety isn’t directly related to the incidence of violent crime – terrorism and cybercrime are in the increase as urban areas rely more heavily on tech and systems that govern transport and communications targets for hackers.

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