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A Chinese Navy destroyer, a Chinese frigate and a Chinese supply vessel sailed into Poland's navy port of Gdynia on Wednesday on the first such visit ever, marking 66 years of diplomatic ties and aiming to strengthen them even more.
Capt. Maj. Przemyslaw Plonecki, the spokesman for Poland's 3rd Navy Flotilla, told The Associated Press that the flotilla's command officers paid a visit to the destroyer in an official welcoming ceremony.
At Statiris Tavern, the patrons' faces are hardened from a life of hard work — truck drivers, builders, and farmers who've just ended their grueling grape harvest.
A close relative of the Greek spirit ouzo, tsipouro has become increasingly popular during the recession as an affordable alternative to imported drinks, but is now facing a tax increase under European Union rules that could almost double its price.
Farmers will also feel the effects of many new government budget measures, with bailout lenders demanding an end to cheaper fuel used in agriculture, higher income tax rates, and larger advance payments on annual tax bills for the self-employed.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' newly re-elected government is pledging to push through a battery of cost-cutting measures over the next six weeks that will affect farmers, the health service, pension system, and public administration, in exchange for continued bailout loan payouts and rescue money for its troubled banks.
Despite its humble origins — the word tsipouro is derived from the Turkish word for grape pomace, dating back to the time of Ottoman rule — the drink is a huge source of pride here and owning a still is a symbol of status.
Patrons at Statiris Tavern keep the tiny bottles coming as they sit by walls decorated with old shipping paraphernalia, religious icons, and two large photographs of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.