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Promoting Greece Down Under April 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis met yesterday in Melbourne with the treasurer of Victoria, John Brumby.

Greece is the center of Southeastern Europe, a market of 140 million people, and offers financial security and political stability, said Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis here yesterday, inviting Australian companies to invest in Greece.

Addressing a forum of Greek and Australian entrepreneurs, organized by the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (OPE), Alogoskoufis explained the investment advantages Greece offers compared with the region around it, such as higher living standards, rapid economic growth and the most effective market in Southeastern Europe. When a company invests in Greece, he added, it gets to use a major transit center and automatically gains links with the up to 3,600 companies that are active in the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean, with investments that top $15 billion in total. Furthermore, with the progress of the Greek economy to date, he said, there is constantly increasing interest from many international enterprises for investment in a broad specter of activities, ranging from mining and energy to services and the use of property.

Thirty-four Greek entrepreneurs are accompanying the finance minister on his trip to Australia and, with the help of OPE, they have already been engaged in contacts with Australian businesspeople. OPE officials said yesterday that some 300 business appointments would be held in a climate that was described as more than just encouraging. Panayiotis Drosos, the CEO of OPE, stated that a major Greek cuisine festival has started in Melbourne and will continue on to Sydney, aimed at promoting Greek food and drink.

Australians show even greater interest in the energy sector, following the signing of the agreement for the construction of the oil pipeline to link the Bulgarian port of Burgas with the Greek city of Alexandroupolis. Interest has also focused on sectors untouched until recently by Greek-Australian business relations, such as the furniture and design sector and those of construction materials and new technologies.

Contacts on trade may have only started yesterday, but cooperation between the two countries is far from negligible, as 30 percent of Australian exports are transported on Greek ships. Alogoskoufis praised the role of the Greek community in Australia in furthering economic relations between the two countries since in just 110 years the Greek community in Australia has increased from 200 people to 300,000 people. In 2004 there were about 10,000 Greek-Australian enterprises of all sizes across the country, while many Greek-Australian firms have in recent years turned to Greece and Southeastern Europe. Alogoskoufis met yesterday with the treasurer of the state of Victoria, John Brumby, and today will meet Victoria’s Minister for Industry and State Development, Major Projects and Small Business Theo Theophanous and Tourism Minister Tim Holding. Even more important will be tomorrow’s meeting with Australia’s Treasurer Peter Costello.

Drive Me in Greece April 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web, Transport Air Sea Land.
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Forthnet’s electronic roadmap, DriveMe, is now also available in English.

Visit >  www.driveme.gr 

The service covers all of Greece, with full street numbering in most major cities.

Gekas’s goal makes him the top scorer April 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Greece striker Fanis Gekas kept up his incredible scoring in the Bundesliga on the weekend to become the German league’s top scorer after his opening goal in Bochum’s 2-0 win over Hannover.

Gekas has scored seven times in the last six games for a total of 14 goals this season. Also last weekend, defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos of Eintracht Frankfurt scored his fifth goal for the season.

Greek deals for FremantleMedia’s hit formats April 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV.
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FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) has licensed a number of its hit international formats to broadcasters in Greece, including Got Talent, Betty La Fea, The X Factor, Let’s Make A Deal and Distraction.

Antenna TV in Greece has acquired the format rights to Got Talent, in which the show’s contestants take to the stage for an open audition before a studio audience and a panel of celebrity judges, before going on to a public vote in a live finale. The format originated in the U.S. for NBC in 2006 as America’s Got Talent, produced by FremantleMedia North America, with a second season now confirmed. Other broadcasters that have also acquired the format include Seven Network in Australia, M6 in France, ITV1 in the U.K., TV4 in Sweden, Channel 1 in Russia, RTP in Portugal and SBS in Belgium.

The Greek terrestrial broadcaster Mega Channel has acquired the format rights to Betty La Fea. Greece’s version, produced by On Productions, premiered on January 1 as the 200×30-minute Maria, I Aschimi, and has earned audience shares of up to 40 percent of all individuals, and achieving results 100 percent above Mega Channel’s daytime average.

Alpha TV in Greece has picked up rights to three of FremantleMedia’s formats, including the talent search show The X Factor and the game shows Let’s Make A Deal and Distraction. The Greek version of Let’s Make A Deal, produced by On Productions, will launch in Greece later this year as a 140×1-hour series. The 40×40-minute local version of Distraction, produced by Ata Productions, launched last year, peaking with a 25.7 percent audience share for all individuals. It will return to the channel this spring.

David Ellender, the CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises, which handles format deals in those markets where FremantleMedia Productions does not have a local operation, commented: “Greece is an important European market and continues to consolidate its position as a key international player. We’re thrilled to be working with these leading Greek broadcasters and delighted that they have embraced our portfolio of international smash hit formats. We are proud to offer broadcasters a diverse cache of programming both on tape and as formats, meeting their needs in collaboration with FremantleMedia Productions.”

Greek Eleni Daniilidou stuns Bartoli in Amelia Island opener April 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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Greece’s Eleni Daniilidou caused the biggest upset on the opening day of the Amelia Island championship when she cruised to a 6-0 6-4 victory over French tenth seed Marion Bartoli.

The 24-year-old player raced through the match in 71 minutes to set up a second-round encounter against either Aiko Nakamura of Japan or another Frenchwoman, Nathalie Dechy. The only other seed to lose of the seven in action was number 14 Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain, who fell to a 7-6 6-2 defeat to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

There were no such problems for the remainder of the seeds, with number 13 Sybille Bammer of Austria easing past Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn by a 6-3 6-1 margin and 17th-ranked Martina Muller of Germany beating American Ashley Harkleroad 7-5 6-1. They were joined by Zheng Jie of China, Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine, who all recorded straight sets victories.

Croatia’s Karolina Sprem enjoyed a winning start to her claycourt season with a 6-4 7-6 victory over American Meghann Shaughnessy, advancing to meeting against seventh-seeded Li Na of China. The world 107 battled back from a 4-0 deficit in the second set tiebreak to seal victory in just under two hours.

A majority of the higher-ranked players will be in action on Tuesday, including top seed and defending champion Nadia Petrova of Russia, third-seeded Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova and fifth seed Dinara Safina.

Easter > The Holy Light miracle April 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Special Features.
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Every Holy Saturday (Saturday of the Holy Week) at noon in the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem recurs the GREAT MIRACLE OF THE HOLY LIGHT that stirs, affects rejoices and gives delight and faith to those who have the honour and blessing to be there for the ceremony of the Holy Light.

1. PREPARATION OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE: In the morning of the Holy Saturday, before the ceremony of the Holy Light takes place a very thorough check of the tomb and after that they seal it with a mixture of honey and wax that was prepared in the morning. This check takes place so that everyone is ascertain that there is nothing in the Holy Sepulchre that can cause a fire. After the tomb is sealed the authorities affix the wax with their seals.

All the other doctrines who have rights in the Holy Sepulchre show great interest in this procedure. This interest is by no means accidental. If for one year the miracle of the Holy Light doesn’t happen when the Greek Orthodox Patriarch performs the ceremony the other doctrines will try to undertake the precedence in the Holy Sepulchre.

The checking begins at 10:00 and finishes at 11:00. While this takes place orthodox Arabs demonstrate in the church for the orthodox rights. It must be recorded that this pedantic check of the Holy Sepulchre watch representatives of the Armenians and of the other doctrines.

2. THE CEREMONY OF THE HOLY LIGHT: The ceremony of the Holy Light takes place at 12:00 and constitutes of three stages: a. The Litany, b. The entry of the Patriarch in the Holy Sepulchre and c. The prayers of the Patriarch in order for the Holy Light to come out.

Following the tradition, at noon of the Holy Saturday the Greek Orthodox Patriarch with his escort – archpriests, priests and deacons and the Armenian Patriarch – enter the Holy Sepulchre, while the bells strike mournfully. Before the entry of the Patriarch the keeper of the Sacristy of the Holy Temple carries the unsleeping oil lamp, (it is put out that day in order to turn on with the Holy Light). From the interior entry of the Temple of Apostle Jacob the Patriarch enters in the sanctuary and seats on the Patriarchal throne. Then the representatives of the Armenians, the Arabs, the Copts and others pass and kiss the hand of the Patriarch so that they will have the right to receive the Holy Light. According to the privileges if they don’t kiss the hand of the Orthodox Patriarch they do not have the right to receive the Holy Light from his hands. Immediately afterwards begins the Holy Litany that goes three times around the Holy Sepulchre and then it stops in front of the Holy Sepulchre where the officials stand.

After the litany the Holy Sepulchre is unsealed and the Patriarch takes off his pontifical vestments and remains only with his white priest’s tunic. Then the governor of Jerusalem and the police director examine the Patriarch in front of everybody so that everybody is assured that he doesn’t carry anything that can transmit light (fire).

After this his Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem takes the (extinct) torches and enters the Holy Ciborium with the Armenian draguman. All the lamps are off and nothing is on in the Holy Temple and the Holy Sepulchre.

Related Links > http://www.holylight.gr/agiofos/holyli.html

Greece hopes for the return of Parthenon Marbles April 3, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Vote For Return Greek Marbles.
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Greece’s Prime Minister said the British Museum’s case for keeping the Parthenon Marbles had “evaporated” after other major museums agreed to return ancient artifacts to Greece.

Costas Karamanlis attended a ceremony Thursday at Athens’ National Archeological Museum, where two ancient treasures returned by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles were put on display, a fourth century BC gold wreath and a sixth century BC marble statue of a young woman.

“It is our urgent priority to reclaim every ancient artifact that was illegally exported to museums and collectors abroad,” Karamanlis said.

The wreath’s return had helped “evaporate the feeble arguments put forward for the non-return” of the marbles. “There is universal demand for returning the Parthenon Marbles which is steadily gaining ground,” Karamanlis said.

Also known as the “Elgin Marbles”, the sculptures were illegally removed and stolen from the Parthenon and other monuments on the Acropolis 200 years ago by Lord Elgin, Britain’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire which then ruled Greece. They are now housed in the British Museum in London, and Athens has long sought their return.

Greece is building a new museum, due to be completed later this year, to house artifacts from the Acropolis, with space reserved to showcase the so-called Elgin Marbles. U.S.-based architect Bernard Tschumi designed the 20,000-square-metre glass-and-concrete building at the foot of the Acropolis.

“The new Acropolis Museum will be the most modern Museum in the world!” Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis told state ET-1 television. “After the Museum is inaugurated, part of the display where the marbles would be, will be left empty with a sign explaining the reason. I wouldn’t like to be in the shoes of the British Museum.”

The artwork put on display Monday is the last of four antiquities successfully reclaimed by Greece from the Getty, and follows a visit to Athens last month by Getty Museum director Michael Brand.

Greek authorities say the golden wreath was illegally excavated in the northern province of Macedonia. Designed as a burial gift, it was probably made shortly after the death of the Greek Macedonian warrior King Alexander the Great.

“The time when foreign museums and collectors could buy whatever they like in a grey suspect market has ended and will never return. . . . There is now a more responsible prevailing attitude against looting national heritage,” Voulgarakis said. “It’s not our intention to empty the displays of the world’s museums, and claim everything Greek. What we want back is everything that was illegally exported.”

Related Links >