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Greek firm awarded a $17.2m Shams Abu Dhabi project February 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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The Chief Executive at Sorouh Real Estate announced that the company has awarded its $17.2 million Shams Abu Dhabi to a Greek contractor, Athena SA, Gulf News reported.

The project, which is expected to be completed in 2011, occupies an area of more than 1.56 million square feet on Reem Island near Abu Dhabi shore, he said. The residential area will represent 80 percent of the project, while 20 percent will be allocated for commercial and recreational facilities, he added.

Shams Abu Dhabi project is expected to provide residential units for more than 70,000 people.


Cyprus intervenes to avert overseas trade & tourist offices of illegal regime February 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
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The Cyprus Government is monitoring the promotion of establishing trade and tourist offices of the Turkish Cypriot puppet regime abroad and is intervening in a strong diplomatic manner to avert such development, Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardes said on Monday.

Replying to questions, Pashiardes said that these actions by the Turkish side are made in the framework of the organized effort to politically upgrade an illegal secessionist entity and do not concern the economic strengthening of the Turkish Cypriots.

“This effort by the Turkish side in combination with other actions towards the same direction merely adds to the justified doubting of its intentions to reach a mutually acceptable settlement of the Cyprus question, through substantive negotiations,” he concluded.

Greek judo champ impresses again February 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Martial Arts.
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Greek Olympic Champion Ilias Iliadis wins gold medal at Super World Cup in Hamburg in 90-kilo division

iliasiliadis.jpg  Ilias Iliadis’s gold medal win took him to the top of the world rankings.

Olympic Judo Champion Ilias Iliadis, who won gold at the 2004 Athens Games in the 90-kilogram division, emerged victorious from the latest round of Super World Cup competition in Hamburg over the weekend. The gold-medal feat, Greece’s first ever in this tournament, elevated Iliadis to the top of the world rankings.

Iliadis, who went to Hamburg having won a silver medal in the previous round two weeks ago, defeated Spain’s David Alarza in the final, in just two minutes.

This latest performance from Iliadis, a naturalized Greek from the former Soviet Union, prompted an enthusiastic response from the Greek Judo Federation head, Vangelis Soufleris, who lauded the athlete in an extended posting on the federation’s official website.

«He is a sporting prototype. Not just in Greece but all over the world,» noted Soufleris. «If he was based in France, Germany, Russia, or Japan, where judo is a popular sport, he would, without exaggeration, have been a national hero. In Greece, judo has not reached the place it deserves in the field of sports, but we’re striving for this on a daily basis.

«We want this sport to enter the conscience of all Greeks, as it is one of the few solo sports that continues to offer us joy and distinction on every occasion,» he added.

Soufleris predicted that, besides Iliadis, there was a lot more to judo. The depth of local talent in the sport would produce more future champions, he asserted.

«Tariel Zintiridis is just 20 years old and has already won medals at both the worlds and Europeans in junior and youth-level competition,» noted Soufleris. «The same goes for Tentore Masmandis, Alexandros Gordeev, and many more stars that will soon shine.»

Greek singer charming UK audience with her debut album February 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe, Music Life Greek.
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Athena Andreadis begins promising British tour

athenaandreadis.jpg  Reputable British media rate the London-based musician as one of the year’s discoveries.

She belongs to the generation of younger musicians spreading the word about their work through the myspace.com website, writes her own music and lyrics and remains reserved despite predictions by reputable British media that she stands to go down as one of the year’s major discoveries.

Born in London and raised in Thessaloniki, Athena Andreadis eventually returned to her birthplace where she has been based over the past 12 years. Though she studied business administration, Andreadis, it seems, was guided by an artistic undercurrent from early on, as suggested by her penchant for penning poems in both English and Greek from an early age. That led to additional studies in classical music and jazz.

Enthusiastic press coverage, based mostly on favorable impressions generated by her performances, including one at the Womad festival, had begun surfacing long before Andreadis put out her debut album, “Breathe With Me” released in the UK earlier this month. Andreadis’s work carries world-music influences and atmospheric acoustic instrumentation, draped in a warm voice seeped in journey and emotion. Most of “Breathe With Me” was recorded in Athens with plenty of Greek musicians on board. Local musician Giorgos Andreou contributed to the production. We caught up for an interview in London on the eve of a 20-date British tour.

Did you return to London for greater opportunities regarding your business studies or was it for the music?

I returned only for the music. I thought the possibilities here would be different. This, however, didn’t concern the musicians and collaborators I would find, because in Greece there are exceptional musicians who have nothing to envy in Europeans. It was a matter of language. Despite the fact that I had also written some songs in Greek, I had decided that I would begin with songs in English.

Does London remain a meeting point for musicians from all over the world? Is it still a fertile place for new things?

Of course. I’ve met lots of musicians and, through MySpace on the Internet, continue to meet some London-based musicians who are easy to get together with. But you’ve got to find your way alone and make a huge effort to draw the attention of a record label that will cover the production costs of your album. Despite the press’s positive response to my shows, I paid for it myself and an independent label will take on the distribution only.

What direction have new trends taken? Is there any music that’s new and definitive?

New fusions are being created which cannot be easily defined or categorized, not even by journalists. New things aren’t focused in any one direction.

Does the mass media, and I mean the mainstream media, support this kind of musical activity? Are there any major TV channels and radio stations offering support?

Yes, there are, and they help a great deal. The BBC helps a lot and there are lots of radio producers on Radio 3 that dig deep. But that’s got to be preceded by word-of-mouth publicity. In my case, that worked considerably well for me through the live shows I’ve performed. A few people heard about me and got involved.

Do you think there’s fanaticism and conflict between the listeners of different musical styles?

This exists but I don’t think it’s intense. The biggest problem is the rush by some people to categorize you. They believe that you’ve got to belong somewhere. If there isn’t a little tag placed on you, they can’t deal with you. And the existing labels are too few to cover all of us and our differences.

The press release I read about you refers to Manos Hadjidakis. Do you consider that to be your most important connection with regards to Greek music?

We listened to Hadjidakis at home during my childhood years. I would also add our traditional music, which I discovered at a later age. I often put on traditional Greek songs for my musicians to listen to. They like the material a lot and some have been influenced in the way they play.

Do you keep up to date with modern Greek music?

Whenever I’m in Greece, I buy CDs and make it a point to catch as many shows as I can. Recently, however, I experienced something for the first time: Though on all previous trips I couldn’t isolate the fact that I was Greek and listened to the music as a Greek, the last time I came down with some of my musicians and saw their reactions, I tried to experience it from their vantage point and listen from the perspective of my English side. The result was impressive. I drew strong energy, both from the musicians and the contact between audiences and the artists. My musicians were surprised to see all the people singing. We went to see Dionysis Savvopoulos, Christos Thivaios, and Giorgos Andreou. I realized, yet again, how powerful the lyrics are in Greek music. In England, too, the so-called songwriters who focus particularly on their lyrics have been on the rise over the past few years.

Would you consider your songs to be love songs?

Even when it comes to the love songs, I take care to add another dimension.

Would you write political songs?

I don’t know how easy it is today to write political songs in the form we know. The problems are major, like the environmental issue, but this can’t be expressed the way it was by Bob Dylan or Joan Baez. Even so, I really liked Neil Young’s last album.

Do you feel that the people in England want to react to certain things?

Definitely, I can see it. You should have seen what happened on the streets of London when Iraq was invaded. Everybody was out there. But there’s also disappointment that concerns our capabilities. The people feel that they don’t have options and often give up on what they’ve been fighting for.

Do you see any development of powerful collective movements with vision and interest for rebellion among the youth?

This is happening but the collective movements aren’t based on activist logic. They’re trying to find other ways. Everybody’s trying to do it his or her own way…

You’re currently preparing for a 20-date UK tour.

The shows will take place at small theaters with a capacity for about 500, and I’ll be accompanied by three musicians, guitar, double bass, percussion, with me on piano. Two of the musicians are English, and the guitarist is Norwegian.

Will the album be released in Greece?

It will, but not right now, in several months’ time. It’s a record that was mostly recorded in Athens, and to help cover the cost of its making, we needed to conduct a small fund raiser among friends and relatives.

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Metro stops offer a taste of young art February 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece.
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Performance art is always a favorite with the crowds

One of Greece’s most successful forums for young artists, the Dia-Roes Festival, is celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Running until Saturday, the event brings together a great number of artists from all around the country who will show their work at several of the capital’s metro stations. The festival is organized with the support of the Education Ministry’s General Secretariat for Youth.

The core of the events will be held at Syntagma metro station, one of the busiest commuter hubs in the city. The young artists who have been invited to participate have been assigned the task of creating works inspired by the concept of travel and movement of people and ideas, and of a city’s human networks.

Other stations that will be hosting a large number of events are Doukissis Plakentias, Aghios Antonios and Aghios Dimitrios. According to Vasso Kollia, the Secretary-General for youth: “At the city’s metro stations, youthful fervor is wedded to inspiration to take us on a journey of art… The next station is the public’s show of support for art through this surprising and exceptionally interesting event.”

There are over 100 artists from all around Greece taking part in Dia-Roes 2007 from the following fields: 31 participants in the category of painting, 22 in photography, 11 in video art, nine in dance, six in installations, four in music, four in performance art, two in theater and two in narrative, a well as a plethora of young filmmakers, presented by Cinema magazine within the context of the festival.

Telecoms regulator backs Tellas complaint February 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Telecoms.
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Telecoms regulator backs Tellas complaint against OTE

Greece’s National Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) yesterday gave main fixed-line operator OTE telecom 15 working days in which to deliver thousands of telephone lines to alternative provider Tellas.

EETT issued the provisional order after an injunction by Tellas, which claimed delays and refusals by OTE obstructed its capacity to provide the required services to new subscribers. In the framework of the liberalization of telecoms services, subscribers to alternative providers are no longer required to pay a fixed overhead charge to OTE.

EETT said its intervention was deemed necessary in view of the “serious economic and operational problems caused to Tellas by OTE’s behavior.” Applications by Tellas customers “have been pending for a long period of time, which cannot be considered reasonable, giving rise to distrust among its clients and causing damage to its reputation and credibility among the consumer public.”

Vestas awarded power plants orders in Greece February 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Energy.
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Vestas Hellas has received orders for three wind power plants in Greece totalling 15 units of the V80-2.0 MW turbine and 18 units of the V52-850 kW turbine.

The orders comprise delivery, supervision and installation of the wind power plants and a five-year warranty, operation and maintenance agreement. Delivery of the projects will start in the summer of 2007 and the wind power plants will be commissioned during the fourth quarter of 2007. The orders have been placed by Greek company Terna Energy S.A. member of the Terna Contruction Group.