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Cyprus to raise golf course total to 14 June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Golf.
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According to the Cyprus News Agency, Cyprus is promoting the development of golf courses with foreign investment, offering the local and overseas business community attractive incentives, Finance Minister Michael Sarris has said.

Addressing a golf business forum in Paphos Saturday, he appeared very confident that the government’s strategic objective to adopt the euro by January 1, 2008, will be achieved.

Commenting on the economy, he said it is growing at a satisfactory pace underpinned by long term macroeconomic stability.

Cyprus, he noted, offers a number of comparative advantages as an international business centre, including its strategic geographical location, a high educational level of its workforce, social cohesion and a safe tourist environment with a pleasant climate.

Investment policy, he explained, is completely liberal and allows 100% foreign participation in all sectors of the economy not only for EU citizens but also for investors from third countries.

All restrictions concerning maximum allowable percentage of foreign participation, as well as minimum level of foreign investment in any enterprise in Cyprus, have been lifted as from January 2000 for EU-citizens and from October 1, 2004, for non–EU citizens, unless otherwise stated in the legislation.

Outlining the new strategy for the development of golf courses, he said this allows for the development of up to 14 golf courses in total and includes incentives to upgrade the image of Cyprus as a qualitative tourist destination and contribute towards the enrichment and diversification of the tourist product.  

Greek Taste > Food Of Cyprus June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Cyprus.
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Cyprus, the island of sunshine, exotic fragrances and Eastern Mediterranean flavours.

Relax and let yourself slip into the Cypriot pace of life. Why not take a seat by the sea, under a vine pergola or mimosa tree and sip your first brandy sour, or an ouzo. Nibble on a nut or even better, pass the time with a handful of sunflower seeds or passatempo as the Cypriots call them.

Just sniff Cyprus and you could become intoxicated by, the tang of fresh lemons and the delicate citrus blossom, the wholesome smell of freshly baked bread or the fermenting grapes from the wine harvest.

Cypriots, as you will soon discover, are a naturally hospitable people and generous to the extreme, in a way that is so much part of the Mediterranean. Cyprus lies at the crossroads of the Levant, as this eastern end of the Mediterranean is known. Just take a glance at its history and you will see how various empires, invasions, foreign settlers and traders over the past :3,000 years have brought their influence to Cyprus.

They have also brought their recipes and many of these have been introduced into Cypriot cooking, the main ones coming from Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Italy, France and latterly Britain. These foreign flavours have combined with the food produced on the island to give Cyprus its own traditional cuisine.

Its turbulent past has made Cyprus self-sufficient and in rural areas Cypriot families still produce almost everything they need, from pourgouri (cracked wheat) to cheese, home baked bread and smoked cured pork. Not so long ago the grain, oil and wine were stored in pitharia, those enormous onion shaped terracotta pots that adorn the countryside. The island has always produced a huge variety of food due to its fine climate. In fact everyday foods such as figs, beans, chick peas, bitter herbs, olives, dates, almonds and nuts date back to the Bible.

The Cypriots cook with less oil than their Mediterranean neighbours and their diet is a healthy one, apart from their love of syrup soaked pastries! Everything is cooked fresh, daily, and the quality of the produce is superb, due no doubt to the motto of the Cypriot housewife, ‘If it isn’t fresh we don’t want it.’

If you are in a hurry, then you can find fast food in the shape of a pitta bread envelop, filled with souvlakia (kebab) and salad, but slow food is is more the order of the day in Cyprus. After all, why rush when there is time to enjoy your meal.

Politics and art in divided Cyprus June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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Authorities pull the plug on contemporary art event over activities planned in Turkish Occupied Cypriot North

The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, founded to tie all of Europe closer together after the fall of the Berlin Wall, has come undone in the long-divided capital of Nicosia. For the first time in the 10-year history of the International Foundation Manifesta (IFM), lawyers are reading the contractual small print after Cyprus pulled the plug on Manifesta 6 over political sensitivities.

Cypriot authorities were unhappy that part of Manifesta 6 would take place in the Turkish Occupied Cypriot North, offering a semblance of recognition to an illegal breakaway state only recognized by Ankara.

The Mediterranean island, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s Northern third in 1974.

The crux of the legal wrangle also appears to be over who was making decisions on the $2.3-million Manifesta 6 project, which was being financed by the Nicosia Municipality. Moreover, all three of Manifesta’s foreign curators have had their contracts terminated and Nicosia is also in dispute with the IFM. 

“Our contracts were terminated for breach of confidentiality and turning Manifesta 6 into a political issue but it was made clear from the start that it would be a bi-communal event,” said curator Florian Waldvogel.

He said the actions taken by Nicosia’s town hall were tantamount to censorship of the entire art world and argued there was no confidentiality agreement to break. “In terms of the agreement the curators had full autonomy over the project and forbidding it is censorship.”

Waldvogel claims there was a lack of transparency in the budget, a communications breakdown and that artists were kept in the dark on whether they could go ahead with their projects which needed funding. He called for a re-think about how Manifesta was run in the future.

When Nicosia got the nod to hold Manifesta 6 it was heralded as a prestige event for Cyprus and a means to bring the divided Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities closer together during a 90-day extravaganza. Previous editions of Manifesta had been staged in Rotterdam, Ljubljana and San Sebastian, in the Basque region of Spain. Cyprus beat out bids from Ireland and Estonia to host.

Only months before the event, planned for September 23 through December 17, Manifesta has collapsed in acrimony, and the mutual recriminations are expected to rumble on.

Although several reasons are given, the main stumbling-block was the opening of an international art school that would also operate in the Turkish occupied North Nicosia. The school was to be the central theme of Manifesta 6 where performances, workshops and lectures were to be staged.

Modeled on the Bauhaus and the legendary Black Mountain College in North Carolina, the postgraduate, interdisciplinary art school was to be organized into three departments, each run by one of the three curators. They had lined up an impressive roster of participants, many of them from or familiar to the regional art scene, including Maha Maamoun, Walid Raad, Jalal Toufic, Tirdad Zolghadr, Akram Zaatari, Ali Cherri, Anri Sala, Pierre Huyghe, Liam Gillick, Martha Rosler, Eyal Weizman and Boris Groys.

The Nicosia Municipality, through its organizers Nicosia for Art (NFA), said this was something they had not signed up for.

“The establishment and operation on a permanent basis of an essential part of the school in the occupied areas of Nicosia, apart from being in conflict with Cyprus and international law, was also outside the … terms of the respective agreements,” said an NFA statement.

The Municipality said the decision-making process about the school’s location, apart from the general program, was a “major obstacle in the continuation and realization of Manifesta 6.”

Nicosia also accused the curators and IMF of refusing to engage in talks in efforts to lift the deadlock. “The NFA considers as unacceptable the effort of assigning political dimensions to a cultural event,” the town hall said.

The intricacies of Cypriot politics may be lost on the culture world’s cognoscenti but scores of students and artists are left with a huge hole in their summer diary. “A lot of people quit their jobs and changed their lives to spend time here, so the intellectual damage is much bigger,” said Waldvogel.

Cyprus in Paris > UNESCO cultural events June 16, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe.
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A series of cultural events haven been planned for the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris until June 26, by the Cyprus Permanent Representation at UNESCO, entitled “Cyprus in Paris”.

The aim of the events is to promote culture and Cypriot artists at the UNESCO Headquarters and Paris in general. They are being held on the occasion of Cyprus’ recent ratification of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

A concert was held on June 6 by Cypriot singer Alkinoïs Ioannides and violinist Miltiades Papastamou, at the UNESCO Amphitheatre while from 15-26 works by Theodoulos Gregoriou will be presented at the UNESCO building, as well as an exhibition by Philippe Delord which will be opened on June 16 by the UNESCO General Secretary in the presence of First Lady Fotini Papadopoulou. Delord follows the steps of Louis-Francois Cassas who visited Cyprus in the 18th century and painted a series of works.

On June 26, the Ensemble Philarmonia, under the direction of Artistic Director of the Cyprus State Orchestra, Spiros Pisinos, will present the concert entitled The Whole Of Europe In Cyprus. Ensemble Philarmonia is made up of musicians from both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in Cyprus as well as soloists from various European countries.