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Ancient Greek Theater Festival in Austria June 30, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe.
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Ancient Greek Theater Festival dedicated to Euripides.

The program of this year’s internationally renowned Ancient Greek Theater Festival in Karnundum, Austria is dedicated to Euripides. The Festival opens on Saturday with Euripides tragedy “ Electra”, a co-production of Luxemburg and Croatian National Theaters.

The Ancient Greek Theater Festival was founded 17 years ago by Greek-Italian director, Piero Bordin and takes place at the ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheater in the city Karnundum, in today’s Austrian city Petronel near Austria-Slovakia borders.

Temperature Rise June 30, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment.
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Athens above 38C (100F) today.

Temperatures are set to rise today, reaching 40C (104F) degrees in central and northern parts of the country with 38C (100F) degrees expected for Athens.

Meteorologists said that weather conditions will remain hot over the next three days but will be mixed with rain and storms in the north, the Ionian Sea and the northern Aegean tomorrow afternoon.

RES on show June 30, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Energy, Shows & Conferences.
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The Center for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES) is participating in the “Science and Technology Week” exhibition organized by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology at the Zappeion Hall in Athens until July 5.

Titled “Creating a Sustainable Energy Future” the CRES kiosk informs visitors about modern power-saving methods in buildings and displays RES applications. Younger visitors will be able to participate in the “Creating our own wind park” activity tomorrow at 11 a.m. Entrance is free from 10 a.m to 8 p.m.

Panathinaikos’s new stadium June 30, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece, Sports & Games.
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New Panathinaikos stadium set to be completed by 2008
Home ground will open in time for Greek club’s centennial year

Panathinaikos’s new stadium to house the club’s soccer, basketball, and volleyball divisions will be completed within 2008, in time for the historic Greek club’s centennial year, the soccer division’s boss, Yiannis Vardinoyiannis, said yesterday.

His comments came following a meeting with Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias and Athens Mayor Theodoros Behrakis for talks over details ahead of a related law amendment that is expected to be submitted to Parliament for discussion and ratification either early today or Monday.

“We’re set. Everything is on schedule. It’s merely a matter of time now. I believe that construction work for the Votanikos [central Athens] stadium will begin early in 2007 and that we’ll celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary at our new ground in 2008,” said Vardinoyiannis.

The site for the prospective sporting complex lies in the downtown district of Votanikos, located just over a kilometer from Omonia Square.

Panathinaikos had originally expressed interest in developing parkland in the Goudi region, within the vicinity of central Athens, for its complex, but the idea stumbled after uncompromising resistance over residential and environmental concerns.

Behrakis said the project promised to help upgrade a region just off the city center.

“The important thing is that a region just five minutes away from central Athens will be upgraded,” Behrakis said.

Government and municipal officials have pledged that Panathinaikos’s traditional home base, the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, commonly referred to as Leoforos Alexandras after the avenue it lies on, will be transformed into a municipal park. It lies in the Ambelopiki district, one of the capital’s most congested areas.

Panathinaikos recently abandoned its traditional base to host matches at the Olympic Stadium.

Photo tribute to Thessaloniki French Institute June 30, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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At the beginning of the 20th century, Thessaloniki was the biggest port of the Ottoman Empire, a thriving city with an ethnically mixed population of Muslims, Jews, Turks, Greeks and Bulgarians. For the French Mission Laique, a non-profit association whose aim was to spread the teaching of the French language abroad, the city’s multicultural life made Thessaloniki an ideal destination. Pierre Deschamps, founder of Mission Laique, in 1902 had taught in Madagascar and through that experience had learned that for education to be effective, cultural differences had to be respected.

In 1906 Maurice Kuhn, general secretary to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was sent to Thessaloniki to explore education in the city’s non-religious schools. That same year, the Lycee Francais was established with Kuhn as its director. The institution, which was born out of the merging of the city’s three Catholic French schools, marked the birth of the institution that is today known as the French Institute, an educational establishment that has played a pivotal role in the cultural life of the country.

It is in honor of this establishment that the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography has held the exhibition “Salonique! Ca va?” and published a catalog with photographs that document moments from the 100-year life of this important institution.

The photographs that span the early days of the Lycee Francais, through its temporary closure during the German occupation and the school’s reopening under a different name (the French Institute in Thessaloniki) in the postwar period are a moving journey back in time.

On the occasion of this tribute, photographers Cathy Cunliffe and Lia Nalbantidou each created a photo-essay with images that continue the influence of this institution in the present day. In Cunliffe’s images people wearing masks are photographed in the institute’s classrooms. Lia Nalbantidou has photographed French residents in Thessaloniki and people associated with the life of this important, cultural and educational institution.

Follow St. Paul’s steps June 30, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece.
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Greece’s economy appears to have found an ally in St Paul, with tourism officials poised to promote the apostle’s wanderings in an effort to buttress the country’s top-earning industry. The move, nearly 2,000 years after the saint traversed the Mediterranean, caps a campaign to rebrand Greece as a destination for modern-day pilgrims.

“Religious tourism is the way forward,” said Themistokles Balaskas, director of tourist facilities at the national tourism organisation, EOT. “We can no longer rely exclusively on our sun, sea and sand. We have to diversify and come up with alternative forms of tourism that will extend the season.”

Thirty years after the arrival of mass tourism – thanks to tour operators triggering fantasies of escape from post-industrial societies – Greece’s tourist sector is eager to abandon the low-budget, “anything goes” image and upgrade its leading industry.

In St Paul, policymakers believe they have hit on the perfect formula to keep bawdiness at bay, not least from the hordes of young, alcohol-fuelled Britons who regularly descend on Greek shores.

At nearly 19%, tourism is the biggest single contributor to Greece’s gross national product, employing some 800,000 people, or 18 % of the workforce. Agriculture, the country’s second-biggest employer, accounts for just 7% of GDP.

Next week, officials will begin preparing sites along the route where the apostle preached, from the island of Samothrace in the north to ancient Corinth in the south.

Stavros Makarios, a senior adviser at the tourism ministry, said: “There is a growing, popular demand for this kind of tourism. Americans and older Britons have both expressed an interest in retracing St Paul’s steps. Many of the places he visited are in little known corners of the country that are spectacularly beautiful.”

The drive is part of a wider, EU-funded campaign, which Italy, Malta, Cyprus and the Palestinian authorities have also signed up to. Mr Makarios said he believed religious tourism, which may include “holy site” cruises around the Mediterranean, would be drawing crowds by the summer.

Monasteries were also being renovated to cater for visitors, he said.

“There is a very big market in the Orthodox Christian countries of the former Soviet Union that we are keen to tap,” he said. “EU funds have been earmarked to train young people for the industry, and international tour operators and travel agents will soon be meeting to discuss the creation of a Mediterranean network of religious tourism.”

Greece, which invested billions in hosting the most expensive and the most safe Olympic Games in history in 2004, is doing its best to trim its budget deficit, which at 4.3% of GDP is well above official EU limits.

Since assuming power two years ago, the conservative government has placed unprecedented emphasis on tourism as the driving force of the Greek economy, establishing a tourism ministry for the first time since the 1990s. Greece’s target is to attract 20 million visitors by 2014 – 9 million more than its population. Last year, about 12 million visited the country, with Britain the leading source of tourists.