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New drug for diabetes on sale in Greece June 12, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.
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Inhalable insulin went on sale at Greek pharmacies yesterday.

The cost of the drug, which is sold in powder form, will be covered by the patient’s insurance fund. Inhalable insulin can be used by patients with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, those with the first cannot produce the hormone insulin, while people with the second do not process their naturally produced insulin properly.

The patient places the powder in a special inhaler device and breathes it in through the mouth. The cost of the device, 117 euros, will be paid by patients.

Former summer Royal Palace to be turned into Museum June 12, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece, Arts Museums.
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Greek gavernment said on Tuesday it plans to turn the long abandoned summer Royal Palace of its disenfranchised monarchy into a Museum, Reuters reports from Athens.

The Greek government said the Tatoi Palace north of Athens, which the Royal Family left behind when they fled the country in 1967, will be renovated, its contents restored and then turned over to the public in a move signaling that Greece is finally coming to terms with former King Constantine.

royal_palace2.jpg  A portrait of the former Queen of Greece, Frederika, is seen at a prefabricated storage facility on the former Royal estate at Tatoi, northwestern Athens.

“Whether we like it or not, these items and buildings are part of our history and they should be exhibited,” Culture Minister George Voulgarakis told reporters during a tour of the grounds. “This will become a Museum and a large park, an area of recreation and environmental education for Athenians.”

Located on the slopes of Mount Parnitha some 25 km (15 miles) from the Greek capital, the last of the Royal estates is buried deep in a lush forest of cypress and pine trees. Kings and Queens, including Constantine’s parents Paul and Frederika, are buried at its Royal cemetery and until 1967 it was a family haven for the monarchy.

The main Royal Palace in central Athens’ Syntagma Square, was given over to the government long before the Royal Family fled the country and was turned into Greece’s Parliament building. Former King Constantine fled Greece in 1967, shortly after a military junta took over, and was deposed in a 1974 referendum after democracy returned. He remains somehow unpopular because of his decision to swear in the colonels and briefly cooperate with them before staging a failed counter coup.

For decades the Tatoi Palace, a large stone mansion with Gothic details, was neglected to the point of collapse as lawyers fought over the property and governments hesitated to handle a Royal hot potato. The European Court eventually ordered Greece to compensate the former King for his family properties and pay him 12 million euros ($16.01 million) in 2002. Former King Constantine was allowed in the early 1990s to retrieve many items from Tatoi, filling up nine containers.

A group of archaeologists, scientists and other experts are now sifting through what was left behind, thousands of items ranging from paintings and priceless ancient artefacts to religious icons and children’s toys.

royal_palace1.jpg  An expert works on a painting inside a restoration lab set up at the former Royal Family’s summer Palace of Tatoi, northwest of Athens. 

 “We have made great strides in documenting and restoring the objects,” Dimitris Kazianis, who heads part of the recovery and restoration effort, said.

All objects still in the compound will be restored and then placed back in the Palace buildings, after they themselves are also renovated. The multi-million project should be finished in the next five years, Voulgarakis said. “We are doing a very systematic work to recover, restore and eventually exhibit all these objects.”

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Games of Small States in Europe > See you at Cyprus 2009 June 12, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Sports & Games.
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Closing ceremony brings the Monaco Games to an end  ‘See you at Cyprus 2009’ 

A fitting and colourful closing ceremony brought the Monaco Games to an end yesterday evening. It was held in the area in front of the Palace, the older part of the city of Monte Carlo, Monaco’s capital.

The arrival of the Sovereign Prince Albert triggered the start of the proceedings. After the playing of the Monagesque natonal anthem, there was a defile of the athletes, marching in alphabetical order with Monaco at the rear, from near the Cathedral to the square in front of the Palace. They all passed in front of the main enclosure where the various dignitaries were seated.

Ms Yvette Lambin-Berti, president of the Organising Committee of the Games, Henry Rey, vice president of the National Olympic Committee of Monaco and Charalambos Makrides, a member of the Cyprus Olympic Committee then proceeded to the rostrum from where Ms Lambin-Berti delivered her closing speech and this was followed by the lowering of the Games flag to mark the closure of these Games. Henry Rey presented the it to Charalambos Makrides. The next edition in 2009 is to be held in Cyprus.

A 20-minute spectacle was one of the highlights of the evening. The ceremony was brought to an end by the extinction of the flame. Later in the evening, a dinner was held on board the MSC Melody, the cruise liner which hosted the Games athletes and officials during these Games.

Cyprus came first in the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) thαt were held in Monaco. Yesterday, last day of the Cames, the Cypriot athletes secured 13 gold medals bringing the total number of gold’s to 36.  In the final medal table, Cyprus secured 36 gold medals, 33 silver and 24 bronze medals. Iceland came second with 31 gold medals.

The Cyprus 2009 programme is already official. There will be ten sport, athletics, basketball, gymnastics (rhythmic and artistic), judo, sailing, shooting (target and clay), swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.

Baghdatis advances in Gerry Webber Open June 12, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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Cypriot tennis player Marcos Baghdatis, 18th in the world Men’s Tennis rankings, defeated today France’s Gilles Simon, 52nd in the world, with 6-3, 6-3, advancing to the Gerry Webber Open held in Germany.

Baghdatis will face on Tuesday Sweden’s Robin, who ranks 28 in the world Men’s tennis rankings.

Baghdatis improved his position in the Men’s rankings after reaching the fourth round in the Roland Garros last week. He now ranks 18th.