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Offseason deals mean cheap trips October 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Tourism.
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Europe’s offseason, from late October through April, is full of deals for the smart traveler. Plus, you’ll avoid the crowds that can make a European vacation insufferable in the summer.

According to CheapTickets.com, one of the leading sellers of discounted travel packages, the five places where vacationers will find hot deals in the last months of 2006 are Austria, Ireland, Germany, Greece and Iceland. In fact, the average discount on the cost of air travel to Austria and hotel there during this time is 56 percent, great for travelers interested in the country’s traditional Christmas celebrations or Vienna’s legendary Ball Season.

Call tourist offices ahead of time since they often close early in winter months. Pack layers of clothing, both for daytime excursions and for nighttime wear.

Yiasoo > The first Greek Instant Messenger October 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web.
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Made in Cyprus

Yiasoo is the first instant messenger of its kind to use the Greek language to communicate, so you can write and read Greek, in real time and in complete confidence.

It’s a great way to meet new people or to keep in touch with friends and family far and wide who all speak the same language. It’s also a fun way to stay in touch with what’s happening in the Greek community. Pick up tips on where to go locally and what to see. Find out about the latest events and the wider issues affecting Greek communities across the world. Build this knowledge and contacts into a working online community where you can exchange ideas and thoughts on what is important to you as a Greek person. The easy to download and installation process, together with our easy to read Greek and English interface are designed to make the process of communication so much easier and simple, and to bring Greeks and the Greek world closer.

For more information and downloads >

http://www.yiasoo.com/gr/home.html

http://www.yiasoo.com/download/?lang=gr

http://www.yiasoo.com/download/?lang=en

By the way, what happened to Pathfinder’s (Made in Greece) instant messenger?

Naked ambition October 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Nicosia, Lifestyle.
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Great tan, great abs, Cypriot stripper Mediterranean promises a good time

I’m here to meet a stripper. Although I introduce myself, he wishes to remain anonymous. His stage name is Mediterranean Fever and that’s all I’m getting out of him. Think Zorro without the sword: he wears a mask, he has a great tan, he struts his well-engineered body with abs that Superman would be jealous of, as though he is nine feet tall and has absolutely no modesty. But then again, anyone with an ounce of modesty might well not end up taking their clothes off while sexily gyrating in front of groups of laughing, screaming, and sometimes groping women. He’s a man of mystery, but a man with a mission: to be seen as something more than just a “piece of meat”. It’s almost an impossible task here in Cyprus, where the word “stripper” automatically conjures up parallel images of a prostitute.

His story is the same as many who follow his path: desperate for money, he needed to find a way to get himself back on his feet. He considered his virtues: he was a Latin dancer, did body sculpting, and was fun-loving. In addition, he was a university graduate, in economics, so felt sure he could “manage” himself. To him, it seemed obvious. And, every time he went somewhere he ended up exposing himself, so thought, why not make some money out of it. However, he is quick to assert that he is purely “professional”.

“I don’t do it for the women,” he starts to say, then realises what he’s said is completely contradictory and he smiles a boyish smile that has probably won – and broken – many hearts. “I mean, I do do it for the women… to please women… but not for sex.”

He continues, “Most Cypriots don’t see a stripper as a professional, just a mindless person or a prostitute. They underestimate me… I’m an educated stripper. I’m offering something different. My most exciting strip, most satisfying, was at a place with a group of traditional Cypriot women, who had lived in the village all their lives. They looked at me like I was an alien. It was a real challenge.”

He does speak fluent English and Greek, so brawn and brains? It’s a hard concept to swallow, but he is convincing. And stripping is not his full-time job. He works every summer for a water sports business, so keeps in shape and maintains his tan, while earning a bit extra. He’s also an “entertainer”, singing karaoke, and is currently working on becoming a fitness trainer.

We get down to the nitty-gritty. How long does the show last? Does he travel island-wide? What comes off? What stays on? Is it an “interactive” show? How much does it cost? He smiles that smile again, and you know that even though he’s been doing this for four years professionally, that smile has taken a lot longer to perfect. Each show is 15 minutes, all movement and dancing. Yes, he travels anywhere and has worked in all towns… nowhere is too far. He strips down to a G-string, though in hushed tones, he tells me “anything further needs to be discussed”. It seems it’s not out of the question to get a Full Monty if you require. Interactive performances depend on prior arrangements, as generally he performs a show and that means no touching. Costs begin at £150.

I find that a bit steep but Mediterranean Fever doesn’t even flinch. “How many strippers do you know in Cyprus?” he asks. It’s true. It’s an open market, therefore he can ask what he likes.

So how does he feel about taking his clothes off in front of total strangers? “At first I just did it for the money… now I like to do it. I feel I can give something that not many people can, so why not?” Why not indeed?

When asked how long he would continue doing if for, his answer – referring to tone of his body – was “as long as I’m still ripped to shreds”. That smile again. Finally, I asked him why people should call him if they need a stripper for a hens’ night, party or fun night at the pub. “Because I guarantee satisfaction”, he whispers, a twinkle in his eye.

Mediterranean Fever Strip Show. Tel: 99 838156. From £150.

Source and Copyright > The Cyprus Mail by Tracy Roth-Rotsas

Greece kicks off second round of municipal elections October 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Politics.
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Greece kicked off the second and final round of Nationwide Municipal elections on Sunday, 22 October 2006.

The second round involves areas where no candidate won more than 42 percent of the vote last Sunday. Voters will choose Mayors in 247 towns and cities, and regional governors in seven prefectures.

The main battle is unfolding between the ruling New Democracy party and the main opposition Pasok socialists in Greece’s second largest city of Thessaloniki, where government-backed mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos is seeking re-election against socialist deputy Christina Arapoglou.

In the first round of voting last Sunday, conservative-backed candidates swept 28 of the 54 regional prefectures, while socialist-backed candidates won an outright majority in 19.

The municipal elections came ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for 2008. The vote is seen as a test for Greece’s political parties.

UPDATE @ Sunday 22 October, 10:30 local Greek time > Exit polls on mayoral race in Thessaloniki, Patras

According to the first exit polls broadcast on national television on Sunday evening, Thessaloniki mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, who is backed by the ruling New Democracy party (ND), appeared clearly set for re-election in Sunday’s run-off local government elections, with a proportion of 50.3-56.8 percent, against 43.2-46.2 percent for main opposition PASOK-backed candidate Chrysa Arapoglou.

In the western port city of Patras, PASOK former deputy minister Andreas Fouras also appeared poised to carry the run-off, with a 50.3-53.3 percentage, against 46.7-49.7 for the ND-backed Evangelos Floratos.

In the first round of voting last Sunday, Papageorgopoulos amassed 41.43 percent against 21.6 percent for Arapoglou, while Fouras received 34.70 percent against 34.06 percent for Floratos.

The polls closed at 7:00 p.m. Sunday in run-off local government elections in 7 prefectures and 247 municipalities throughout Greece.

Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos saidd on Sunday evening that the run-offs in the second round of the local government elections were “a complete success and ended at 7 .p.m. without any problerms.”

The interior minister stressed that “the electoral process for the 2006 prefectural and municipal elections was exemplarly of the quality of our democracy and the institution of local government, which is the great winner of this electoral process.”

Baghdatis top-seeded in Lyon October 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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MARCOS BAGHDATIS will face frenchman Arnaud Clement in the first round of the Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon tomorrow.

The Cypriot goes into the tournament as top seed after the world’s number three Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia and the world’s number six American Andy Roddick were forced to pull out of the tournament due to a viral infection and an ankle injury respectively. A good performance in Lyon would provide a vital boost to Baghdatis’ chase of the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.

The tournament winner will be awarded 175 points, while making it to the final earns 120. However, a return to form must be the top priority for Baghdatis prior to the upcoming BNP Paribas Masters in Paris which will finally decide whether he makes it in to the top eight qualifying places. If Baghdatis succeeds to overcome the 28 year-old Clement he will meet the winner of the match between another local player Michael Llodra and a qualifier.

Given the quality of the rest of the field the young Cypriot has an excellent chance of winning his second career title I as many months.

Meanwhile, world number one Roger Federer continued his smooth progress towards his 10th title of the year with an crushing 6-4 6-0 victory over fourth seed David Nalbandian in the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters yesterday. The 25-year-old Swiss overwhelmed the Argentine with his usual brand of precision tennis to reach his 14th final of the year and notch up his seventh win in the last eight meetings between the two players.

The world number four looked jaded after two tough three-set matches on his way to the semi-finals and was never able to match the top seed who wrapped up victory in under an hour to take his winning streak to 18 matches. The only tournament this year in which Federer has failed to make the final was the Masters Series event in Cincinnati in August when he lost to British number one Andy Murray in the second round. The Madrid Masters is one of the few tournaments to have evaded the grasp of the Swiss who missed the last two editions because of injury.

“I was really pleased with the way I played,” Federer told a news conference. “I was aggressive and he was the best returner I played all week. “The second set was phenomenal especially at the end when I started to hit freely and take my chances. It’s a great feeling. There were more and more good shots coming from my end and it was great fun for me. “It was nice to make the fans feel as though they are living through something special.”

Federer issued an early statement of intent by winning the opening service game to love, while Nalbandian looked sluggish after his tough path to the semi-finals and lost his serve in the fourth. The Argentine rallied briefly, breaking back in the seventh and then saving three break points to draw level at 4-4. Federer continued to play his customary compact tennis and turned the screw at 5-4 up to manufacture two set points with a wonderful forehand pass, grasping the second opportunity with a pin-point shot on to the baseline.
In the second set the Swiss refused to let Nalbandian off the hook and rattled through the games in just 21 minutes to chalk up one of his most emphatic victories over the player who beat him in the final of last year’s Masters Cup.

Final countdown for Troodos Rally October 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Racing & Motors.
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Next weekend’s Troodos Rally, the penultimate round of the 2006 FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), will see some of the region’s top drivers battling for honours.

45 teams from 8 different countries are taking part, with crews from Qatar, the UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, the UK and of course Cyprus all hoping for victory in the October sunshine. 2005 Middle East Rally Champion Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar returns to the island again looking to add to his hat-trick of Troodos Rally wins.

A driver of considerable international repute, Al-Attiyah will be competing in a Subaru Impreza N12 2006 alongside his regular co-driver Chris Patterson. If successful here, he could again secure the championship, as his closest rival, Suhail Al Maktoum of the UAE, is currently 18 points behind in the standings.

The line up of Cypriot drivers will include familiar faces like Andreas Tsouloftas, Andreas Peratikos, Chris Thomas and Charalambos Timotheou.

This year’s rally will be centred around the International State Fair grounds in Nicosia. The competing crews will cover a total of 734.01km over the 2 days, including 236.4km of special stage action. There will be 12 special stages in total, providing plenty of thrills for spectators.

Speaking ahead of the event, Press Officer Chris Christodoulou said: “Many of the best drivers in the region have already confirmed their participation, which is sure to make it a fantastic weekend for motorsport fans. We’re encouraging as many people as possible to head out to the stages to watch the action and also to come along to the ceremonial start at 8.30 pm on Thursday 26th at Nicosia’s Eleftheria Square.”

UPDATE > Cyprus Troodos Rally kicks off

The Cyprus Troodos Rally, the penultimate round of the 2006 FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), kicked off Friday with four gravel stages. The ceremonial start of the Rally was held Thursday night in Eleftherias Square, Nicosia, in the presence of Cyprus Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Antonis Michaelides.

Attracting exceptional talents from Cyprus and the region, the Troodos Rally, which is organized by the Cyprus Automobile Association (CAA), has proven a popular event with local drivers such as Andreas Tsouloftas and Andreas Peratikos. The two most recent events were won by Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, who is also competing this year.

The 2005 Middle East Rally Champion Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar with a Subaru Impreza returned to the island again to add to his hat-trick of Troodos Rally wins.

The line up of Cypriot drivers will include familiar faces like Andreas Tsouloftas, Andreas Peratikos, Chris Thomas and Charalambos Timotheou. The Troodos Rally will end on Saturday afternoon at Eleftherias Square in downtown Nicosia.

Capture of the first trophy of the season October 22, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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DTL EKA AEL capture the first trophy of the season

Jeron Roberts scored 25 points and two other players scored in double figures for DTL EKA AEL in a 86-74 OPAP Super Cup victory over Keravnos Cyprus College on Friday night in Limassol.

The reigning champions opened the game with a 6-0 run gaining an advantage they kept until the end of the first period, 24-18. The Nicosia side tried to get back in the game in the second quarter, but the hosts gave us a glimpse of what we can expect from them in the upcoming season performing exceptionally well with Roberts and Mike King leading the way, 47-32 the half-time score.

The closest Keravnos Cyprus College came to endanger the DTL EKA AEL’s lead was 76-70, four minutes from the final buzzer. But once again the Limassol side proved too strong and deservedly claimed the first trophy of the season, the OPAP Super Cup, winning the game 86-74. Mike King added 18 points; Ryan Randle had 14 and Milutin Aleksic nine for DTL EKA AEL who never trailed after taking the lead at the start of the game.

Serbian small forward Predrag Kosanovic had 18 points to lead Keravnos Cyprus College, who only got 11 points from Jerel Blassingame the best point guard in the Cyprus league last season. Bernard King and Panayiotis Trisokkas had 13 points apiece.