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Summer drinks > Campari Cooler July 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes, Wine And Spirits.
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The versatility and bitterness of Campari mixed with juices makes an ideal base for cool summer cocktails. The drink featured today can be served equally well in a pitcher or a highball glass. In my opinion, pitchers are a great way to serve drinks to friends in the garden on a hot evening, they are an exiting alternative to cocktails by the glass. Salute!

  • Ingredients >
    4cl Campari
    3cl Peach Schnapps
    5cl cranberry juice
    5cl fresh orange juice
    2cl fresh lime juice
    1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Method >
    Pour all the ingredients except the lemonade into a shaker half filled with ice. Shake sharply. Strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Top up with the lemonade. Add more crushed ice and garnish with a slice of orange.

Life in Athens > July’s last weekend July 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Greece Athens, Lifestyle.
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presidential_guard.jpg  The Presidential Guard > Hundreds of tourists watch the changing of the Presidential Guard in front of Parliament on Sunday 29 July, 2007, taking advantage of the slightly cooler temperature in central Athens after last week’s heat wave.

Weathermen have forecast high temperatures for this week too but do not expect it to be as hot as last week. The highest temperature in Greece this week is not expected to exceed 40C (104F).

french_dance.jpg  Members of the French Dance Troupe > Members of the French dance troupe Pockemon Crew perform at Technopolis in Gazi, central Athens, on Saturday 28 July, 2007, as part of the Hellenic Festival, which has seen a number of foreign artists display their talents in the city this summer.

The Pockemon Crew are a French hip-hop dance group from Lyon. They were crowned European Champions in 2004.

Kirov Ballet to appear in Athens and Thessaloniki July 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Ballet Dance Opera.
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The celebrated ballet company will appear at the Lycabettus Theater in Athens and the Dassos Theater in Thessaloniki, next September.

There’s some good news for Greek ballet aficionados as the Kirov Mariinsky Ballet prepares to make one of its rare appearances in Greece this September, with shows in Athens on 5, 6, 7 September, Lycabettus Theater, and Thessaloniki on 10 and 11 September, Dassos Theater.

The celebrated ensemble, invited by the company Culture Factory, will present a two-part program covering the entire history of classical and romantic ballet from the 19th century to the present.

We will see “Chopiniana”, the original dance adapted to the orchestra suite and which later became the renowned ballet blanc “Les Sylphides”, followed by an interlude with the Gala de Etoiles, in which the soloists of the ensemble will perform a series of dances so rarely presented that even experts may know them only by name.

Next, there will be two pieces by George Balanchine, the “Tchaikovski Pas de Deux” and the duet from “Ruby Slipper” to the music of Stravinsky, followed by “In the Middle Somewhat Elevated” by William Forsythe and three choreographies by Marius Petipa > the popular pas de deux from his revival of “Le Corsaire” and two more pieces that will again see the stage lights one century after they were first performed, the pas de deux from “The Talisman” and “Harlequinade” from “Harlequin’s Millions”.

For further information and tickets call > tel 210 8840600. Tickets are also available at the Virgin Megastores and the box office of the Hellenic Athens Festival. Or check at > http://www.ticketnet.gr/parastaseis.html

Polish composer prepares for world premiere in Greece July 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Hellenic Athens Festival, Music Life Classical.
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Zbigniew Preisner’s ‘Silence, Night and Dreams’ > ‘Music and culture cannot really change things dramatically, but we have an obligation to speak up,’ says Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner.

The celebrated Polish film score composer Zbigniew Preisner will be presenting a selection of works composed for the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski, as well as a new piece featuring Madredeus singer Teresa Salgueiro on vocals at the Herod Atticus Theater on September 4.

The composer recently presented the program for the evening, when Preisner will conduct, in the first part, the Contemporary Music Orchestra of ERT – Greek Radio and Television, the Athens University Chorus, singers Salgueiro and Thomas Cully from Liberia, and a group of Polish, Swedish and English instrumental soloists, in the world premiere of “Silence, Night and Dreams,” which is expected to be released worldwide by EMI Classics in September/October 2007.

Sung in Latin and English and based on texts from the Old Testament’s Book of Job and St Matthew’s Gospel, as well as words by Pope John Paul II and the Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert, the lyrics of the title song are written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz, Polish lawyer, screenwriter and politician.

At the press presentation, Preisner said that he drew his inspiration for the large-scale piece by looking at the world around him as it is today. “There is a lot going on that is not necessarily for the best,” he said. “Walking around Athens, I think it is a metaphysical experience to be walking in the footsteps of ancient philosophers and it gets me thinking about the fall of ancient civilizations. I don’t want to see the same happening to ours. Music and culture cannot really change things dramatically, but we have an obligation to speak up.”

The uncontrolled evolution of civilization is something that bothers him. “I remember that in the 1960s there was no electricity in my grandparents’ village. Today we have iPods, cell phones, e-mail. But we are becoming lonely and unhappy.” Preisner does not dispense with technology however, arguing that it should be used where necessary. “I see cases where the technology outdoes the artist and I find that pathetic. I am not interested in replacing the orchestra with electronic instruments. I use technology to create sounds that a symphonic orchestra cannot.”

The second part of the evening will feature the same orchestra conducted by Andreas Pylarinos. The program includes a suite of Preisner’s film scores including the themes from “La Double Vie de Veronique” and “Three Colours Blue.”

On his long-time collaboration with Kieslowski, Presiner says: “The first thing he taught me was to think. The second was to try to describe the world around me and the third was that anything you do should be approached with seriousness and precision.”

Hellenic Festival, tel 210 3272000.

Related Links > http://www.greekfestival.gr/athens_fest/home_page?lang=en

Greece’s Bank of Piraeus begins road show July 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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Bank of Piraeus Deputy Managing Director Michael Colakides said that the bank will begin its road show for its 1.35 billion euro rights issue in Athens and several European capitals tomorrow, and is expected to finish at the end of the week.

Colakides, speaking at an analyst conference call, said that Piraeus Bank shares will trade ex-rights on August 1, and the trading of rights will begin on August 7 and end on September 3. The exercise period for rights will finish on September 7.

The senior executive explained that in terms of the banks’ expansion plans they are currently completing the acquisition of Ukraines ICB Bank and are planning a greenfield operation in Cyprus.

Bank of Piraeus is primarily interested in expanding or making acquisitions in the Balkan markets in which it is already present as well as entering Russia, Colakides added.

Electricity cost set for increase July 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Energy.
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Greece’s PPC gets annual electricity tariff rises below its request

Greek electricity utility Public Power Corp (PPC) has been granted an annual tariff rise below its request by the Ministry of Development after the Minister was advised by the local energy regulator RAE.

Households that consume less than 800 kWh in a four month period will see prices rise by 2.6 percent, while prices for those consuming above 801 kWh in the same time frame will rise 3.8 percent.

The Ministry said that the average household consumes 1,100 to 1,200 kWh over four months and will be paying an extra 1 euro per month. PPC had asked for a rise of 3.9 percent for households using less than 800 kWh per four month period and a hike of 6.3 percent for those using above 801 kWh.

The Ministry also gave financial incentives to save energy because any household that reduces its consumption by 6 percent over the next 12 months will get 5 percent of its total electricity bill refunded.

The Minister of Development, Dimitris Sioufas, said that his decision for the upward revision of electricity tariffs was based on the need for PPC to meet its higher operating costs while protecting consumers and especially those social strata that are most in need. Sioufas explained that for another year the rise in tariffs for farmers, large families, lower income households, and pensioners will be below the rate of inflation.

Last year, PPC faced an additional 524 million euro in costs due to the high price of petrol and natural gas compared to 2004. And in the first half of 2007, PPC has incurred 16 percent higher fuel costs compared to the first half of last year, Sioufas added.

UPDATE > 31 July 2007

Electricity bills up in August > The Development Ministry yesterday approved an annual increase to electricity bills ranging between 2.6 to 3.8 percent in a move that will add up to 12 euros to each household’s annual power costs.

The hikes, applicable as of August, will depend on each household’s annual power consumption. According to the Ministry, 45 percent of households will be hit with a 2.6 percent increase, translating into a yearly rise of 5 euros. The remainder (55 percent of households) will see their power costs upped by 3.8 percent, or 12 euros per year. The larger increase will apply to consumers who use more than 800 KWh every four months. The increase in tariffs for farmers, large families, with four or more children, and low income earners is below current inflation levels, said Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas.

Heartbreak in final for Greek Under-19s July 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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Greece’s Youth Soccer Team makes country proud, as coach speaks of unique opportunity for ensuring further success in the future

The Under-19 National Soccer Team may have lost 1-0 to Spain in the European Championship final on Friday, but the players filled Greek fans with pride and hope for the future of the sport in this country.

greek_u19a.jpg  Spain successfully defended its title thanks to a 38-minute goal from Daniel Parejo, which was Spain’s first real goal-scoring opportunity in the game. Parejo took a free kick quickly from the left and sent the ball straight into the net with Greek goalkeeper Kyriakos Stratilatis expecting the ball elsewhere.

Sotiris Ninis, Costas Mitroglou and Thanassis Papazoglou missed glorious chances for Greece, which finished second in the tournament after reaching a European final at this level for the first time.

greek_u19b.jpg  Dozens of fans greeted the team at Athens airport on Saturday, showing their gratitude for yet another international soccer success story for Greece, which proved that the triumph at Euro 2004 in Portugal was no flash in the pan for the game in this country.

Proud but disappointed, coach Nikos Nioplias said that the only thing his players needed was work: “This is a unique opportunity for Greek soccer to ensure it gets more success in the future, too,” he stated. Skipper Socratis Papastathopoulos, who was suspended for the final, said: “It was a great success. All the players have proven they can play in top sides and that the future belongs to them.”

The President of the Hellenic Republic, the Prime Minister and political leaders issued statements on Friday congratulating the U19 team and its coach.