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Cyprus gets three new Universities September 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Education.
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The number of Universities in Cyprus increased by three to six following the decision by the Cabinet to approve the applications filed by three colleges to register as private universities.

Intercollege has been renamed as University of Nicosia, Cyprus College as European University of Cyprus and Frederick College as Frederick University. Two other local colleges, Philips and Neapolis that had applied for evaluation by the Education Ministry’s Evaluation Committee of Private Universities (ECPU) are still under review.

Education Minister Akis Kleanthous described the decision as historic, opening a new page and era for the education history of the island. “We believe that the government has achieved its goals to upgrade tertiary education and as of this year a new age is dawning for tertiary education,” he added.

He said the Cabinet had defined the schools and course programmes that the three new universities would have to adhere to in order to secure their operating licences.


Ayia Napa hopes for Guinness record September 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Ayia Napa, Greek Culture Heritage.
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The Cyprus’ tourist resort of Ayia Napa is seeking to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, having organised a half-kilometre-long Greek ”syrtaki” folk dance on Sunday.

A total of 268 members of eight dancing groups danced in step to ”Zorbas” on the sandy beach near the Ayia Napa harbour, giving the village a chance to enter the book of records.

Ayia Napa Mayor Antonis Tsokkos said the aim of the event was to send the message that the village was interested in Greek culture and to promote the tourist resort abroad.
Head of the cultural services of the Municipality Maria Tofini said that, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the dancers had to perform in synchonised step for the attempt to qualify.

The event drew the attention of tourists and locals, many of which danced to ‘‘Zorbas” on the beach and in the sea.

Air China connects Athens with Beijing September 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in News Flights.
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The Chinese flag carrier Air China is to launch new service from Athens to Beijing, starting from November 28th 2007.

The new route will connect the capitals of the two countries: Greece and China. The service is conducted by Boeing 767 twice a week via Dubai.

Every Wednesdays and Sundays, the outbound flight (CA943) departs from Beijing at 8:40 p.m., arriving in Athens at 5:50 a.m. the following day including a stop in Dubai. The return flight (CA944) will be offered on Mondays and Thursdays, departs from Athens at 9:30 a.m., stops also in Dubai and arrives in Beijing the following day at 5:20 a.m. (all local times).

Related Links > http://www.airchina.com.cn/en/index.jsp

Photographs bring back memories in Drama September 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece, Books Life Greek.
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The Short Film Festival in Drama and the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography present Camillo Nollas’ exhibition “Tobacco Factories”. The exhibition is on view from September 17 to September 23 at the Central Library of Drama.

Without any prior relation to the history of tobacco, Camillo Nollas began to shoot the tobacco factories in Agrinio in 2003. The creative process later led him upnorth to towns such as Drama, Kavala and Xanthi. The suite of images that resulted from a long period of work consists the content of the book “Tobacco Factories” published by Kastaniotis Editions. Under the same title, the exhibition in Drama features this work.

It’s worth mentioning that Nollas’ book is shortlisted for the award for the best photographic book of the year 2007 that is being awarded by this year’s Kythera Photographic Encounters, in Kythera island.

Central Library of Drama, 5 Aghias Varvaras Street, Drama, tel 25210 47575.

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New OTE strategy and orientation September 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Telecoms.
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After a three-year focus, primarily on its domestic activities, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) is now set to review its policy for international expansion.

This was confirmed by OTE President Panagis Vourloumis in statements made during the recent Thessaloniki International Fair.

He acknowledged that OTE is now eyeing Telecom Slovenia (Telekom Slovenje) which is soon to be up for privatization. Nevertheless, he said that because of the high price, it was unlikely that OTE would take part in a bid. The Slovenian government is to sell a 49 percent stake in the firm, whose value is estimated at 3.1 billion, an amount equaling its capitalization on the Ljubljana stock exchange. The Slovenian state currently holds a stake of 62.5 percent, while the company’s management would fall into the hands of the strategic investor as majority shareholder.

Telecom Slovenia provides services in both fixed-line and mobile telephony and owns a number of subsidiaries in Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

OTE is still monitoring developments on a technical level, according to sources, and decisions, of course, could not be taken before Sunday’s national election. The deadline for expressions of interest in the tender for Telecom Slovenia expires on September 28. So far, 11 companies have expressed interest in buying the firm, the Slovenian government said.

Given the rather small number of its customers, approximately 2 million, OTE believes that the Slovenian telecom firm is pricey. Telecom Slovenia’s turnover stands at 750 million on an annual basis, with net profits at around 100 million.

Irrespective of the bid’s outcome, it is the first time in the past four years that OTE is considering a takeover beyond Greek borders. Until recently, the sole reference with regard to OTE’s acquisitions was that of Telecom Serbia, which is still pending.

But fresh buyouts are also being eyed by OTE subsidiary Cosmote, a mobile telephony provider. Managing Director Evangelos Martigopoulos recently said that until 2009 the company would return capital to its shareholders, unless there was some takeover on the horizon. Even though Cosmote has heavy debts of approximately 3 billion, primarily due to its takeover of Germanos, the company is open to its likely expansion into new geographical markets.

The firm’s management is even willing to get its hands on markets beyond the close borders of Southeastern Europe, provided the specific moves are rational and realistic. To this end, the group seems to have got used to the idea of building on a move by businessman Panos Germanos into Poland. Germanos controls a stake in the country’s fourth-largest mobile phone company, which is majority controlled by investment firm Novator, known in Greece for its holding in Forthnet.

Flamenco’s everlasting magic September 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Ballet Dance Opera.
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Dance great Cristina Hoyos upcoming Athens production

“Flamenco is about the dance more than the music. I was born with the urge to dance. When I was a little girl, I would switch on the radio and dance to whatever was playing at that moment” says Hoyos.

Along with her ensemble, the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia, she will perform ‘Viaje al Sur’ at Athens’s Badminton Theater from September 26 to 28.

When Cristina Hoyos says, “Hola!” with a broad smile on her face, I’m left somewhat speechless. I remember her performing at the Herod Atticus Ancient Theater years ago. It is a distant memory, yet a very intense one. Cristina Hoyos. Carlos Saura’s muse. She danced with the legendary Antonio Gades. She had walked onstage, picked up her skirt with the fingers of one hand, and raised the other into the air. These small, simple gestures set the theater on fire. It has been a long time since then. I look at her again, hoping my indiscretion does not show. She is still as beautiful, as luminous. She is wearing a red dress, a black shawl and black espadrilles. Her hair is gathered into a bun and covered in a fine black net woven with small pearls.

Hoyos turns 60 this year. She has spent the last two years touring Europe with her ensemble, the Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia.

«Viaje al Sur» (Voyage to the South), at the Badminton Theater in Goudi, Athens, on September 26, 27 and 28. 

Related Links > http://www.badmintontheater.gr/wwwenglish/main.asp

More shorts at Drama’s Short Film Festival September 17, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life, Movies Life Greek.
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Lukas Miko’s production “The Frozen Sea” will compete at Drama’s Short Film Festival

It has already been 30 years since Drama’s first Short Film Festival, which started off on a small, almost amateur, basis. This year’s rich event, which kicks off today and will run to Sunday, will feature 230 films, three competition sections, a variety of parallel activities and a master class by famous Russian filmmaker Konstantin Lopushansky, among other activities.

The festival’s 30-year anniversary will be celebrated in various ways, the highlight being the screening of 20 films that have been distinguished and received awards in Drama since the festival’s beginning. Part of the tribute will be screened at the Olympia Hall during the opening ceremony and will then move to the Alexandros open-air cinema. The tribute will also travel to Athens later.

Apart from the international competition section, which will feature 75 films, and the Greek competition section, with 51 films, this year a third competition section has been introduced, “digi2007”. It has been designed for digital films of a maximum duration of 15 minutes and out of the 53 productions that were submitted, the selection committee chose 23 for participation.

Highlights of the parallel sections will be the 14 award-winning shorts of the European Film Academy as well as the 21 productions in the Spanish tribute, which will take place in collaboration with the Cervantes Institute in Athens. The 10-minute film extracts from the ERT Greek Radio & TV Historical Film Archives, which will be shown before the screenings of the Greek competition section, are also bound to be very interesting.

The festival’s open-air literary afternoons will have four thematic units: cinema, photography, prose and poetry. Participants will include Ioulita Iliopoulou, Amanda Michalopoulou, Giorgos Bramos, Aristotelis Sarrikostas, Andreas Pagoulatos and Achilleas Kyriakidis, among others.

Konstantin Lopushansky’s master class will be one of this year’s most promising moments. The famous Russian filmmaker will give a lecture titled “From the Idea Conception to the Big Screen: The Role of the Director” at Drama’s Municipal Conservatory. A workshop of familiarization with the use of a camera and 16mm film will also be held.

Related Links > http://www.dramafilmfestival.gr/30th/en/index.html