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Public.gr to open books, music store in Cyprus July 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Shopping.
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The ‘Mall of Cyprus’ in the Shacolas Emporium Park will also include a Carrefour supermarket, food outlets (Burger King, McDonald’s), a Starbucks coffee shop, and retail stores from the Shacolas groups (Debenhams, Next, Zako, etc.).

The main ‘Mall of Cyprus’ will have total shop space of 27,500 sq.m., the new IKEA store and two adjacent retail buildings with a further 10,000 sq.m. In addition, the nearby DIY Home Centre will continue to operate independently, but will eventually be engulfed by the new complex.

One of the newcomers is Public, the books, music, games and peripherals store that already operates three outlets in Greece and plans to open the Nicosia store by the end of the year. The 1,900 sq.m. store will include sections or departments for books, music, sound and vision CDs and DVDs, computers, mobile phones, photography and gaming.

The holding company, PublicWorld SA, has already embarked on an ambitious recruitment drive to hire as many as 180 staff for all levels of work, from mid-management department heads, to marketing and sales, as well as engineers, cashiers and store keepers.

Public also attracts customers through its marketing gimmicks such as ‘in-store’ events, music downloading and surfing the Internet.

Hygeia Medical Center expands in Cyprus July 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Health & Fitness.
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Greek-listed Medical Center Hygeia said yesterday it has bought a private hospital in Cyprus for 8 million Cyprus pounds ($18.88 million) as part of its plans to expand its operations abroad.

Hygeia acquired a 56.7 percent in Chrysaliniotissa Public Ltd which owns the private Achillion Hospital in Limassol, it said in a stock-market filing. It said the acquisition in Cyprus was part of the firm’s plans to become the biggest healthcare group in Southeastern Europe. The deal is subject to Hygeia’s due diligence and Cyprus competition commission approval.

Hygeia, majority-owned by Marfin Investment Group, recently set up a firm in Albania to build the first private clinic in the country.

Unemployment on its way down July 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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The Greek government said yesterday that the start of the tourism season had helped lower the country’s unemployment rate to 8.4 percent in April from 9.5 percent in March, amid accusations from political opponents of using creative accounting to impress.

The National Statistics Service (NSS) said the jobless rate eased to 8.4 percent in April from 9.0 percent in the same period a year earlier.

“Greece’s tourism season begins in spring, so more people are hired during this period than in winter,” the NSS said. “Unemployment fell across the eurozone, and Greece is following these European trends,” it added.

Joblessness continued to affect women more than men. In April, female unemployment was 13.3 percent compared with 5.0 percent for men. Hardest hit were the young, with unemployment among the 15-24 age group at 21.2 percent.

Despite years of strong economic growth in Greece, the country’s unemployment figures have remained stubbornly high due to what economists refer to as structural rigidities in the market. The problems include inflexible labor laws, mainly with regard to the country’s large state organizations, and a lack of alignment between University graduates and labor market demand.

Boom in postgrad courses revealed July 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Education.
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The number of students taking postgraduate courses in Greece has more than doubled in the last five years, according to figures made public yesterday 24 hours after the government proposed allowing Universities to cooperate more with foreign institutions and businesses.

The data from the Education Ministry show that there are now some 25,000 postgraduate students compared to 12,000 in the 2002-3 academic year. The number of courses has also increased from 233 to 435. There is now one postgraduate student for every 15 undergraduate students in Greece.

The government said that its proposal on Tuesday, regarding giving greater flexibility to Universities over their postgraduate courses, was in reaction to the huge leap in students extending their studies.

«We are trying to resolve issues that have developed because of the increase in postgraduate courses,» Education Ministry special secretary Athanassios Kyriazis said. «At the same time, we are trying to make postgraduate courses more flexible, while retaining checks and transparency,» he said.

Education Minister Marietta Giannakou yesterday underlined that at the moment the government has put the proposals to the National Educational Council and is not about to change current legislation. Giannakou added that the proposals did not include the wider application of fees for postgraduate students.

Study less, study better > Wouldn’t it be great news if the surge in demand for postgraduate programs reflected a higher level of studies at Greece’s tertiary institutions? Unfortunately, though, it is more telling of a decline in the worth of graduate diplomas.

Students know well that their four or five-year graduate study programs are not enough to guarantee them a place in Greece’s labor market. As a result, they hope that an extra year of study will increase their chances of getting a job.

Postgraduate programs have something to offer when they are conductive to research or further specialization. But they cannot make up for the shortcomings of graduate courses. Greek institutions should aim at upgrading their diplomas and not at broadening the range of their postgraduate courses.

Worlds of Lightning in Greece July 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Aquatics.
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International championships in this sailing class are to start today off the coast of Athens

The heart of Lightning Class sailing beats in Greece as of today, as the World, European and Masters International championships are to be staged this week and next in the Saronic Gulf, off the Athens coast.

Organized by the historic Yacht Club of Greece (YCG), the races will involve more than 50 entries from all over the world, of which at least 10 are from Greece. There are many entries from the USA, while participants will also hail from Brazil, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the UK, Italy, Finland and Switzerland.

“This treble competition we are hosting this year is a significant event for tourism, too, as 50 boats from 12 countries are taking part in the races,” stated YCG President Alexandros Papadoggonas.

The official opening ceremony took place last night and the warning signal is scheduled for 1 p.m. today for the European and the Masters championships, with up to two races planned, weather permitting. Up to three races per day are scheduled for tomorrow and Saturday, with the awards ceremony to follow.

Then on Monday the World Championship will begin with up to three races scheduled each day on July 23, 24, 26 and 27. Wednesday, July 25, is the reserve day. Prizes will be given next Friday evening.

Giorgos Andreadis, the Vice President of the International Federation, the International Lightning Class and the YCG, stated that this is an historic class with a very well-organized system around the world. “This year our race, too, will be under the flag of the International Sailing Federation as it celebrates 110 years since its foundation,” he said.

“There is a significant increase in participants compared with the previous championship held two years ago in Chile. The athletes in this particular class are amateurs, however they spend plenty of money in order to take part in the races,” said Liza Stathatou, the head of the organizing committee.

“This is going to be a tough contest, and a great experience for all of us, as it has been a long time since such a contest was last staged in Greece,” said Pavlos Caseley, a crew member aboard one of the Greek entries, that of the Yacht Club of Tzitzifies-Kallithea (NOTK) with Yiannis Pagakis as skipper.

The championships are held under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism Development and the Deputy Ministry of Sports, and are supported by the Municipality of Piraeus and Superfast Ferries.

Greek athletes win in Rethymnon July 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Athletics.
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Periklis Iakovakis clocked a remarkable 48.51 seconds in the men’s 400-meter hurdles to win his heat at the 23rd Vardinoyiannia track and field meeting in Rethymnon, Crete yesterday.

A championship record, it was the Greek champion’s second-best performance this year after posting a time of 48.35 seconds in June. His brother Sotiris finished fifth in the same heat with a time of 50.19 seconds.

Pigi Devetzi finished second in the women’s long jump with 6.55 meters, behind Russia’s Tatiana Lebedeva who registered five jumps over 6.70 meters to win with 6.86 meters. Stella Pilatou impressed with a jump of 6.51 meters that gave her third place.

Finally, in the women’s javelin, Savva Lika won with 60.62 meters.

Cypriot Kontides qualifies for sailing event 2008 Olympics July 19, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Aquatics, Olympic Games.
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The 17-year old Pavlos Kontides will represent Cyprus in sailing at the Olympic Games in Beijing after winning the laser class competition of the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championship that was held in Portugal.

Pavlos Kontides has maintained his good form and is leading midway through the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship which is being held in Kingston, Canada. Facing some of the world’s elite senior sailors Kontides victory secured on the final day of the competition with Cyprus battling Japan for the final Olympic berth.

“It came down to the last race. Twenty-nine countries were to qualify and we were 29th with Japan,” Kontides said after the race. “I had to pass Japan by five points and I passed by 12 points. It was very exciting to do that,” he added.

Kontides is not facing such a nerve-racking time in Canada. He already has a six-point lead with only New Zealand’s Josh Junior and Phillip Buhl of Germany close enough to challenge. With two wins so far this season, Kontides said he is using the experience he gained at last year’s world youth championship in Weymouth, England, where he came seventh.

“I was close to the podium and I’ve learned from my mistakes. To be on the podium or to win you have to be consistent. It’s not the one who has the most wins, it’s the one who is the most consistent,” Kontides said.