News Far-right party Golden Dawn is expected to perform well in municipal and European Parliament elections

Athens plays centre stage to a worrying political development

Greek strikes greet debt inspectors

Strikes and demonstrations over government cuts hit Athens today as international debt inspectors returned to continue examining the reforms.

Eurozone bailout fund downgraded

Fears of another acute crisis in the eurozone eased somewhat yesterday despite the area's official bailout fund seeing its own credit rating downgraded, following the marking down of nine EU nations debt last week.

Greek bondholders warn of obstacles to deal after talks

The group representing private-sector holders of Greek bonds has warned that obstacles to a deal on a voluntary debt exchange remain unresolved and time is "running short".

Christine Lagarde met Angela Merkel in Berlin yesterday

Time is running out for Greece to avoid default

Chancellor Angela Merkel met the International Monetary Fund's managing director Christine Lagarde in Berlin yesterday for talks dominated by the worsening Greek debt crisis and Athens's race against time to avoid a disorderly default in little over two months time

Ben Chu: Europe needs to wake up to Greece's unsustainable debt

Economic Life: They had the devil's own job persuading banks to accept a 50 per cent writedown

Lucas Papademos has won a confidence vote in parliament with a comfortable majority

Greek PM Lucas Papademos in talks with unions

Greece's prime minister is due to hold talks with labour unions and trade federations ahead of a crucial visit by the country's debt inspectors while Athens negotiates the terms of a second multimillion-euro international bailout.

Ellie Simmonds: 'Three more Games after London would be good. I want to be recognisable'

Golden girl aiming to be the next Grey-Thompson

Ellie Simmonds already has two Paralympic golds but she knows 2012 will be the pinnacle of her swimming career. Not that she plans to stop after that, she tells Robin Scott-Elliot

Greece is waiting for news on its new leaders and EU bailout

Greeks locked in search for coalition leader

Public anger and lack of leadership has created a gridlock between the main parties

'He's either mad – or a genius'

As fast as the headlines exploded yesterday, they were swept away by developments in a country that thought it had exhausted its capacity for "chaos" and "crisis".

Skopelos: Subtle charms of a wild isle

Skopelos is difficult and brooding, but this authentic Greek outcrop never fails to seduce, says Stephen Bayley

Grief-stricken SAS hero dies, aged 62

The former SAS soldier who was seen on television leading the raid that ended the 1980 Iranian embassy siege in London has died. John McAleese, 62, was said by his family to have died of a broken heart, two years after his son, Serjeant Paul McAleese, 29, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

92 Acharnon Street, By John Lucas

You know you're in safe hands when the author details the defects of his Athenian flat for a lecturing stint in 1984: no light, no hot water, stench from the butcher's shop next door, frantic sexual activity in the flat above and traffic. Intriguingly given recent events, Lucas notes, "Nobody ever declared their full earnings.

Greece bans short sales for third time

Short-selling will be banned on the Athens stock exchange for two months from today, Greece's financial regulator said in an effort to stem a stockmarket slump last night.

My Edinburgh: Dave Gorman, comedian

Something odd happens to performers during the Fringe. They lose any sense of perspective. For three weeks they become even more self-obsessed than normal. When you understand what they're putting themselves through it's easy to see why. The financial commitment alone is scary. In order to bring up a show many comics take on debts that would scare Greece. (Maybe that's why they call it the Athens of the North). No wonder we think it's all about us.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Fairyland is missing some magic
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
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Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
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Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
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X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
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Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
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The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
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The male exhibits strange behaviour

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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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