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Greece’s Public opens first Cyprus store October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Lifestyle, Shopping.
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Limassol to follow, third in Paphos > Greek company, Public, has opened its first store in Cyprus and plans to open two more in the near future, challenging the local bookstores and opening up a new market for home entertainment.

Many years ago, the limited choice for bookstores were the Moufflon and the Bridgehouse [later Soloneion] in Nicosia and Kyriacou Bookshops in Limassol. Recently though, despite the growing trend for online bookstores, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, this segment has grown to include Metropolitan and newcomer Savalas, with traditional bookshops now stocking stationery supplies, music and DVDs, while the chain of Play music stores has opened up in all towns.

Public’s flagship 1,700-square metre store opened in the ‘Mall of Cyprus’ in the Shacolas Emporium Park last month with an estimated 5,000 people visiting the books section that boasts 80,000 titles, as well as the home entertainment, music, games and computer departments on the first day.

The holding company, Publicworld SA, embarked on an ambitious recruitment drive and employs 35 staff at all levels, from mid-management department heads to marketing and sales, as well as engineers, cashiers and store keepers.

ICT Publicworld Ltd., owned directly by the Greek investor Panos Germanos, has pumped some 2,5 million euros into the Cyprus operations and plans to open its second Public store in Limassol and possibly a third one in Paphos. This is in line with the Group’s expansion plans to have a total of 15 stores in Greece and Cyprus by the end of 2011.

Hardware in stock include LCD TVs, home and portable DVD players and recorders, MP3 players, games and gadgets, 50,000 music CDs, 10,000 films and series on DVDs. The product mix on the shelves is about 60% for IT, home and communications technology, 20% for books and 20% for music and movies.

But it will have to work hard to attract the English-speaking consumers who are proportionally more than in Greece where Public has two stores and will open a new one in Athens’ Syntagma area scheduled for opening in early December.

The books section has a good selection of English-language books and recent bestsellers, but the children’s section is almost primarily Greek.

Public also attracts customers through its marketing gimmicks such as ‘in-store’ events, music downloading, digital photo printing and surfing the Internet through wireless hot spots, while it also plans to introduce new services such as ticket sales [cinema, theatres].

The only other shortcoming the store faces is the lack of magazines and newspapers, even though in the stores in Greece they do stock specialist magazines such as for music, art, architecture and technology.

Marcos passed into second round of Madrid Masters October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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Cypriot tennis player Marcos Baghdatis passed into the second round of the Madrid Masters Tournament on Monday, by beating Romanian Andrei Pavel, ranking 82nd, 2-1 set.

Baghdatis won the first set with 6-3, lost the second by 4-6 and won the third with 6-1.

In the second round, Baghdatis will be playing against Spaniard Rafael Nadal, 2nd in the world, who qualified without playing.

A week of Greek cinema in Sofia, Bulgaria October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe, Movies Life, Movies Life Greek.
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Hellenic Business Council in Bulgaria organises a week of Greek cinema from October 22 to 26 2007.

Eight, specially selected films of famous Greek directors, will be screened during the week in the Sofia’s Dom na Kinoto. The entrance will be free.

The initiative aims at bringing together Bulgarian and Greek nations by showing the magic of Greek cinema, which is not very popular in Bulgaria. Never on Sunday, A Touch of Spice, Sweet Bunch, In Good Company, The Suspended Step of the Stork, The Cherry Orchard, Fading Light and To the Inn are the films to be screened. The event will be held under the aegis of Bulgarian Culture Minister Stefan Danailov.

Organisers plan to turn the Greek cinema week into an annual event. The organiser, Hellenic Business Council in Bulgaria, is a private, non-profit NGO which provides its members with a network of contacts and assists in information exchange.

Year of Greek Culture starts in China October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Asia.
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“The year of Greek Culture in China” featuring an ambitious array of events was launched to showcase both ancient Hellenic culture and modern Greece.

Opening the event on Wednesday, Greek Culture Minister Michalis Liapis said the aim of the event was to attract global interest “by constantly presenting a flavor of Greek culture in the country which is organizing the 2008 Olympic Games“. The Minister noted that they aimed to “present the modern character and the development over history of Greek civilization to the Chinese people”. He added that the Year of Greek Culture would further enhance ties between the two countries.

The event will officially begin on October 19 with a concert featuring Greek composer Stamatis Spanoudakis’ new work “Alexander: Paths You Haven’t Travelled” at the Beijing Poly Theater.

An exhibition, named “Classical Memories in Contemporary Greek Art”, runs from October 16 to November 16 in the Beijing-based Capital Museum.

Others events include theatrical and dance performances, cinema tributes, archaeological and modern art exhibitions, opera, folk concerts, modern and popular music, conferences and book exhibitions. The theatrical performances include classical dramas with a history of over 2000 years, like Aristophanes’ comedy “The Birds” and Sophocles’ tragedy “Aias”.

Dance performance “Medea,” whose director is also the artistic director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, will be performed in May and June 2008.

As part of one-year long program, the Hellenic Cultural Center has been set up adjacent to Beijing’s Forbidden City, and activities including exhibitions, seminars and lectures will be held there.

Savannah Greek Festival begins today October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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The Savannah Greek Festival gets underway Thursday morning. The annual festival kicks off three days of fun today at the Hellenic Center.

The event will have authentic Greek foods, pastries, merchandise, live music, and much more.

The festival runs today through Saturday from 11am to 9pm at the Hellenic Center located on West Anderson Street. Drive-through orders will be accepted, but you should call well in advance at 912 236 8256.

Survey cites increasingly unhealthy Greek lifestyle October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Lifestyle.
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21st century Greeks have adopted a lifestyle significantly less healthy than that of previous generations, according to the findings of a survey released on Thursday, with one result showing life expectancy plummeting from the 2nd highest in European Union, in 1991, to just 11th place in 2004.

According to its results, present-day Greeks are “committing a slow suicide” on a daily basis by eating too much, smoking incessantly, spending too much time in front of the television and completely ignoring the need to exercise or undergo regular medical exams.

The results of the survey were announced by Athens University professor of social and preventative medicine Ioannis Tountas and were based on an analysis of a number of European and Greek studies regarding lifestyle and habits.

They indicated that Greece currently holds one of the highest positions worldwide for rates of smoking, since 49.9 percent of men and 30.8 percent of women are smokers and the numbers are tending to increase.

About 60 percent of the population is overweight, with Greeks ranking as the most overweight and obese nationality in Europe after the British.

They also tend not to exercise, with one third of men and about half of women saying they do not do any exercise.

Most worrying is the evidence that Greeks have to a great extent abandoned their previously healthy Mediterranean diet, with current dietary trends diverging as much as 50 percent from the “Med diet” model, while they do not take precautionary action against disease, with 35 of Greek adults suffering from some chronic ailment.

Studies carried out by Dr. Tountas showed that the lower socio-economic classes tended to have more health problems, with a rate of 36.9 percent, compared to the higher classes (30.4 percent).

The inverse relationship between income and health also held true across regions, since areas with a low per capita GDP, like eastern Macedonia and Thrace, tended to have a higher mortality index and a higher rate of cardiovascular disease.

Cyprus’ Mitica acquires stake in Greece’s Titan Cement October 18, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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Cypriot holding company Mitica has acquired a stake of about 5% in Greece’s Titan Cement, sources close to the matter said to Thomson Financial News.

The sources explained that Mitica was making a long-term investment in Titan to achieve a capital gain. A formal announcement on the acquisition of the share stake is expected soon, the sources added.