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Czech Ticketstream withdraws from Greece December 10, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Music Life.
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The Czech online event ticket sales company Ticketstream sold franchising rights to a new company, Ticketstream Ukraine. It will be the first company to provide online ticket purchasing throughout Ukraine.

The price of the transaction was undisclosed, with Ticketstream divulging only that it will receive a percentage of Ukraine’s annual profit. Ticketstream Ukraine opened its first office in Kiev last November, and will offer online sales and credit card payments for tickets to cultural, sports and entertainment events.  

According to the Kyiv Post, Ticketstream Ukraine will partner with Germanos Telecom Ukraine, a subsidiary of the Greek-based mobile phone retailer Germanos SA that operates as the official ticket agent for Ukraine’s Ticketstream, and with Euroset, a major Russian mobile handset retailer. Both intend to leverage their partnerships with Ticketstream to expand their sales network.

Currently, Ticketstream operates in the Czech Republic; in Russia through a daughter company; and in Bulgaria, Greece, and Ukraine through a franchise system. However, the company is considering closing its Greek office, as according to company representatives they don’t find enough events to sell here in Greece. The company will make a decision regarding the closure of the Greek office in about a month.

EDITOR’S OPINION > The reason, for closing the Greek office, is possible to be due to the last “fiasco” related to The Rolling Stones European tour and live performence in Athens which was cancelled. We called this as a “fiasco” because the local organizers, DiDi Music, at first refused to return the ticket-price plus the surcharge, in whole, back to the eligible individuals who opted for on-line ticket purchases via their system. Finally, the whole amount was returned. On the other hand, poor sales during a number of summer concerts lead to cancellations of those performances.

For more detailed background information you may browse through our ENTERTAINMENT MUSIC category. That’s, however, our opinion, we may or may not be wrong!

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Good or bad? Jury out on Aresti ruling December 10, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
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Debate raged yesterday as to whether the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) recognised the validity of the so-called and illegal compensation commission in the occupied north, after a ruling on the case of Myra Xenides-Arestis.

The controversial property commission came to life when the ECHR in December 2005 called on Turkey to find a way of offering Arestis “redress” for the loss of her property in Ammochostos (Varosha), now under Turkish military occupation. Turkey accepted the task, and in turn gave the so-called and illegal Turkish Cypriot authorities, as its ‘subordinate local authority’, the job of delivering justice on Greek Cypriot property claims. In making the ruling, the ECHR effectively adjourned around 1,400 Greek Cypriot applications, pending a later decision on whether the so-called and illegal Turkish Cypriot property commission truly fits the criteria spelled out by the ECHR.

On Thursday, the European court said that because of the commission’s newness, it would not be fair to force Arestis to apply to it. Arestis’ claim goes back to 1987, while the property commission has existed in its current form only since March this year. But in a case that was never cut and dry, the court pointed out that “the new compensation and restitution mechanism, in principle, has taken care of the requirements of the decision of the court.”

The ECHR ordered Turkey to pay 850,000 euros worth of damages to Arestis within the next three months. The figure includes 50,000 euros for non-pecuniary damages, and 35,000 for court costs. At around £460,000, the figure is considerably higher than the £240,000 compensation offered earlier this year to Arestis by the commission. However, it is also considerably lower than the £700,000 demanded in her original claim.

The main bone of contention now is whether the ECHR, having acknowledged the commission as a valid mechanism, will refer to it future claims by Greek Cypriot refugees. In other words, has the ECHR washed its hands of this tricky legal and political affair? The danger, as the south sees it, is that the compensation commission, which it regards as illegal, will now have free rein to handle all applications.

Needless to say, the government stands accused for this turn of events: its critics say that the dead-end policy on Cyprus of the Papadopoulos administration has led Greek Cypriots to give up hope on an overall political settlement, so people are seeking alternative ways of getting their property back.

But Attorney-general Petros Clerides yesterday cautioned against jumping to hasty conclusions. “Making too much noise [about the ruling] does not help our cause. We shall consult with a number of lawyers, both here and abroad, and then take action.
“The decision contains both good and bad elements. The positive reference to the [compensation] commission does not necessarily prejudge the outcome of the other cases. But rest assured, we are not taking this lightly, we are concerned, but there is no need to panic,” added Clerides.

“It is not a catastrophe, as a section of the media have presented it,” agreed Arestis’ lawyer Achilleas Demetriades. He said that, despite the references to the commission, the ECHR did not examine “in depth the question of the commission, it has left the matter open. “Yes, the ruling was not positive in that it did not pass a verdict on the commission. But on the other hand, the court did not give the green light to the commission.”

But lawyer Christos Klerides disagreed. “All this legalistic gobbledygook conceals the reality of things. It’s very simple: the ECHR welcomes the commission. It says so in Paragraph 37.”

And DIKO deputy Andreas Angelides warned that the decision set a precedent, saying the Cypriot side needed to contest the wording of the contentious paragraph.

Former Attorney-general Alecos Markides had a more detached take on the latest developments. In his view, the ruling did not stop the ECHR from examining future applications by Greek Cypriot refugees. What was alarming was not the decision per se, he added, but rather the “political message” it was sending out. “It’s not the final round,” he told state radio yesterday. “We can still appeal to the ECHR plenum to have the contentious paragraph amended. “What is most important is the need to change the unfavourable political climate. But I fear that our government’s policy makes that very hard,” said Markides.