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News shots January 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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The images that have told the story of the island over the last year in our print media go on show in a Nicosia exhibition in January

It is often said that a picture can speak a thousand words. When it comes to photojournalism, not only does one photo have an entire story to tell, it also speaks truths that may otherwise remain unsaid, leaving behind an image that will be remembered for years to come. Who can forget the images of destruction left by the fall of the Twin Towers, the recent war in Iraq, or the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004? To imagine a newspaper without any pictures these days would be almost impossible.

But the press didn’t always contain such graphic shots with the power to transport us to the scene of the latest drama or tragedy. The practice of illustrating news stories with photographs was first made possible by printing and photography innovations that occurred in the late 1880s. Despite these innovations however, limitations remained and many of the most sensational newspaper and magazine stories were illustrated with simple engravings. It was not until the development of the commercial 35mm Leica camera in 1925, and the first flash bulbs between 1927 and 1930, that all the elements were in place for the ‘golden age’ of photojournalism. By the 1950s, some magazines, such as Picture Post, Paris Match and Sports Illustrated as well as the Daily Mirror and Daily Graphic newspapers, built their huge readerships and reputations largely on the use of photography. Since the 1970s, photojournalism has been accorded a place in some of the most renowned galleries of the world alongside fine art photography.

If all this is of interest to you, the New Year brings with it the chance to see the work of 12 local photojournalists: Stephanos Kouratsis, Stavros Ioannides, Filippos Christou, Katia Christodoulidou, Andreas Manoli, Alex Mitas, Petros Karatsias, Yiannis Nisiotis, Andreas Lazarou, Sakis Savvides, Pavlos Vrionides and Takis Kyriakides. All are currently working in Cyprus.

Colour and black and white pictures will be on show, each with their own story to tell about the island. In particular, the photographers will be showing shots taken in the past year that have all had some kind of influence on public opinion. From the elections for archbishop, to the war in Lebanon, each shot will bring back memories of the hundreds of stories of the year. Organised by the photographers themselves, this marks the first time that such an exhibition is being held on the island.

While photojournalists often have to rush to capture the latest news on camera, they are also called upon to wait patiently for hours to get the right shot. But more than that, they are sometimes exposed to risks that many of us would not be willing to take, be it a crime scene, a riot, or at worst, a war zone. “We all work together every day as we rush to various sites, and we came to realise how great each other’s work is,” explained one of the photographers taking part. “So we thought it was about time we strengthened our bonds and came together to put our work on show for the public to appreciate.”

All proceeds from the upcoming exhibition, which the photographers intend to become an annual event, will be given to the Red Cross for their campaign against AIDS. Once the exhibition closes on January 5, the works will be placed on display at the House of Representatives.

Photojournalists 2005-2006 exhibition
Showing work of 12 local photojournalists. Famagusta Gate, Nicosia. Opens January 2, until January 5. Tel: 99 360200


Greek PM writes in ‘Economist’ special edition January 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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‘Greece entering a new era’, Karamanlis writes in ‘Economist’ special edition

Greece is entering a new era of tangible, measurable results, in which Greeks demand changes and support reforms, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis wrote in an article appearing in a special edition published by “The Economist” entitled “Greece in 2007″. This was on newsstands on Friday alongside the 21st edition of the The Economists annual compilation of forecasts, “The World in 2007”.

“In 2007 we will steadfastly follow the same course and complete all important reforms, while preparing many more,” Karamanlis underlined.

The prime minister stressed that 2007 will be the year “to reinforce the momentum leading to the reform of the economy” but also “an upgrading of the social state”.

He also noted that people are today aware that the path followed by the country leads to a better future, and that Greece is gradually getting rid of the burdens and inflexibility of the past.

“The citizens, with every passing day, can with ever increasing certainty calculate whether the decision they took two and a half years ago is being vindicated,” he said.

Pointing to improvements in economic figures achieved by his government, such as a reduction in the public deficit, increasing exports and rising tourist arrivals, Karamanlis noted that the benefits of his government’s economic policy were gradually spreading to all Greek society by boosting employment and gradually reducing unemployment.

“This are incontrovertible proof that the changes and reforms we are carrying out, planning and promoting are not for the few but for all society,” he added.

The prime minister stressed that 2007 would be the year when the government would begin to fulfil pledges to upgrade the social state, starting with those who were economically weakest by significantly increasing the farmers’ pensions (OGA), the low pension benefit (EKAS), and the minimum unemployment benefit as of January 1 and through tax reforms that relieved 3 million people from having to pay taxes at all.

The prime minister underlined that new actions will be undertaken in 2007 guaranteeing a new momentum and prospect. A major role in this direction will be played by the new adjustments included in the developmental law benefiting small- and medium-sized businesses and the country’s regions. He also referred to the drawing up of a complete map on land use, the promotion of major infrastructure projects in the regions, the continuation of the new energy strategy placing Greece on the World Energy Map and the simplification of the necessary procedures for the opening of new businesses.

Karamanlis also mentioned plans for the revision of Bankruptcy Law, the implementation of an e-governance plan in public administration aimed at limiting red tape and increasing transparency in transactions and the full activation of the new institutional framework on DEKO (public utility companies) putting an end to the uncontrolled spending of public funds while, at the same time, guaranteeing their social role and improving the services provided to the people.

He also referred to plans for new privatizations, starting with the OTE telecoms and the banking sector as a priority.

Karamanlis said that, in view of the 2008 elections and looking beyond that, the government was continuing to pursue its strategy through continuous, exhaustive, honest and unbiased dialogue with society and the social partners. Among its objectives were reforming the framework of laws governing state-sector tertiary education and establishing an organised regulatory framework to reinforce the social insurance system.

He also underlined that the government’s efforts enjoyed the backing of the electorate, which knew that the future could not be won with policies that had already been tried and failed.

”A Taste of Greece” in the US January 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Leaving a very sweet taste, the “Kerasma” festival organized by the Foreign Trade Organization and Economic Affairs office in N.Y. in cooperation with the Greek Tourism Organization, under the auspices of the Greek Economy Ministry ended successfully in New York.

The festival was participated by 25 of the most popular Greek and American restaurants. Following the positive response of the American people, consumers and professionals, the Foreign Trade Organization decided to organize similar events within the framework of its 2007 action program.

The “Kerasma” festival’s, three new events entitled “A Taste of Greece” are slated to take place in the U.S. in 2007, announced Economy Minister, George Alogoskoufis. The first will be held in spring, 2007, at Greek restaurants in Astoria and the second again in N.Y. at American restaurants. The third, however, will be simultaneously held in the country’s five food metropolises, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Washington and Atlanta.

Greeks launch 2007 in style January 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Culture.
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Greeks welcomed the start of the new year in all-night celebrations around the country, including a showcase fiesta in Athens with music, dance and fireworks in three central squares.

The events arranged by the outgoing mayor of Athens, Theodoros Behrakis, also marked handover of the city to his successor, Nikitas Kaklamanis.

“Together we are ushering in 2007, and together we will work to make Athens brighter, more beautiful and more humane, so that it becomes Europe’s perpetual cultural capital,” Kaklamanis told cheering crowds.

On Monday, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias received the country’s political, religious, military, judicial and law enforcement leaders, who paid a customary visit to the head of state for an exchange of good wishes.

Among Papoulias’ guests were the prime minister, Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, opposition party leaders, ministers, and parliamentary deputies.

Earlier in the day, the Archbishop led a traditional New Year’s Day service at Athens Cathedral.

Happy New Year 2007, World! January 1, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Editorial.
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