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Stance on FYROM sorted October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Politics.
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Greek Prime Minister, Foreign Minister brief envoy ahead of UN-buffered talks in New York over name dispute

Greece will make no specific proposal at this week’s negotiations in New York aimed at resolving a 15-year dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the latter’s name but will insist on a “composite” formula that distinguishes the neighboring country from the region of Macedonia in northern Greece, government sources said yesterday.

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis yesterday briefed Adamantios Vassilakis, Greece’s Ambassador to the United Nations, on what line to take with his FYROM counterpart in Thursday’s talks, stressing the need for a settlement by April when NATO is set to decide whether to open its doors to FYROM. “For Skopje’s leadership, there is a very obvious choice to be made,” Bakoyannis said. “On the one hand there are Euro-Atlantic prospects coupled with economic and regional stability, while on the other there is intransigence.”

Diplomatic sources said that Athens is flexible as long as the name clearly distinguishes FYROM from Greece’s Macedonia region. “Of the many proposals for a composite name put forward over the years, Greece has said it would accept around 10, let them choose one,” a source said. Vassilakis struck a positive note ahead of Thursday’s talks, saying, “You must have persistence and patience to succeed.”

In an interview with Eleftheros Typos daily, FYROM’s Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki described Greece’s stance toward his country as “absurd.” “Our constitutional name is a reality that is globally recognized and we are waiting for Greece to respect this fact,” Milososki said. FYROM will consider appealing to the UN if Greece decides to use its veto, as a NATO member, against FYROM, Milososki said.

Mount Hymettus protection issue boost October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment, Nature.
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Government holds talks with local authorities on protection of mountain

Efforts to protect areas of Mount Hymettus, east of Athens and burned by wildfires in the summer, received a boost yesterday when the government held talks with representatives from the 15 Municipalities that border the mountain.

“This meeting is the beginning of a fruitful cooperation,” said Deputy Agricultural Development Minister Costas Kiltidis. “We are demanding the end of any undesirable activity on the mountain, such as quarries, landfills and army barracks, and the implementation of a national park-style management scheme for Hymettus,” said the head of Association for the Protection and Development of Hymettus (SPAY) and Mayor of Vyronas, Nikos Hardalias.

Police helicopter to help ground forces October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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Police will use a helicopter to help ground forces provide improved traffic supervison of congested Athens streets in a recent decision made by senior government officials.

The helicopter will fly above the capital between 7.30 and 9.30 a.m on days when traffic conditions are particularly bad and will provide police headquarters with images of city streets in real time through the use of a wireless camera.

Stolen Νeolithic artifacts returned back home October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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A collection of 94 Neolithic-era artifacts that had been stolen from the central Greek city of Larissa in 1985 have been returned to Greece, the Culture Ministry announced on Tuesday.

neolithic_artifacts1.jpg  The heads of Neolithic figurines dating back more than 7,000 years. The artifacts are part of a stolen collection of 94 Neolithic works returned to Greece from Germany. Archaeologists said the “expressive” figurines may have been modeled on real people.

neolithic_artifacts2.jpg  The antiquities have been temporarily stored at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens while awaiting transfer to the Archaeological Museum of Larissa. The archaeological treasure was stolen 22 years earlier during an armed robbery at the house of collector Constantinos Theodoropoulos in Larissa and was then sold to a Museum in Munich. They include stone and clay seals, stone tools and vials and some 63 marble and clay figurines. According to the National Museum’s curator, these last stand out because depictions of the human form “were special in the Neolithic era”.

Commenting on the return, Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis stressed that dealing with theft and the illegal trade in antiquities remained at the centre of the Culture Ministry’s policies and said he was satisfied with the outcome in this specific case.

The Minister also read out a message from his predecessor George Voulgarakis, who was unable to attend the ceremony for the handover of the antiquities. “An effort that had remained outstanding for about 20 years has been completed and brought to the surface a huge political issue: the inefficiency that exists in public affairs when there is no continuity in the state and its functionaries” Voulgarakis’ statement stressed.

Liapis particularly concurred with a statement by Voulgarakis that “Greek successes in the area of stamping out antiquities smuggling create and reinforce a new climate in Greece and abroad for a new approach to the great moral problem of illegal trade in cultural treasures”.

WASP Kicked off “The Crimson Idol Tour” in Greece October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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W.A.S.P. kicked off their “The Crimson Idol Tour” Friday night, October 26, in Thessaloniki, Greece. The band performed the 1992 album in its entirety while never-before-seen video footage was shown throughout the show. After a short break the group returned for another a 30-minute set of W.A.S.P. classics.

The setlist was as follows >
01. Titanic Overture
02. Invisible Boy
03. Arena Of Pleasure
04. Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)
05. Gypsy Meets The Boy
06. Dr. Rockter
07. I Am One
08. The Idol
09. Hold On To My Heart
10. The Great Misconceptions Of Me
11. Hate To Love Me
12. L.O.V.E. Machine
13. Wild Child
14. Take Me Up
15. I Wanna Be Somebody
16. Blind In Texas

Watch fan-filmed video footage of W.A.S.P. performing “The Idol” on May 3, 2007 in Copenhagen, Denmark >

The Pilobolus > Bodies that are flexible October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Ballet Dance Opera, Stage & Theater.
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Act that defies limits, gravity > The Pilobolus dance troupe will give a series of performances at the Badminton Theater until Friday

Founded in 1971, the company, considered to be one of the greatest American dance companies today, has toured extensively around the world. Its two Athens performances in 2003 were much discussed and took place in front of a tightly packed Herod Atticus Theater.

Bodies that are so flexible they seem to be able to take on any shape, in a never-ending battle against gravity and the limits of the human body, are about to make their appearance in Athens. The world-renowned Pilobolus Dance Theater, a highly unusual dance company, will embark on a series of shows at the Badminton Theater, starting tonight and running to Friday.

The group is named after Pilobolus crystallinus, a tiny fungus that loves the sun and has a unique way of reproducing. The company, founded in 1971 at Dartmouth College, may rank as one of the greatest American dance companies today, but it still functions as a collective. Pilobolus is a tightly knit ensemble, with a general director, three artistic directors and seven dancers, all of whom work together for the production of new material.

The company is based in Connecticut but performs live as well as on television all over the world. Since 1973, it has been performing every year at the American Dance Festival. It has given shows on Broadway and at New York’s Joyce Theater, as well as London’s Sadler’s Wells, Rome’s Teatro Olimpico, Paris’s Theatre de la Ville and Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. The ensemble has toured extensively in South America, Asia and Europe.

Pilobolus’s reputation spread even further when it performed at the 79th Academy Award Ceremony in Los Angeles last February and then Oprah Winfrey screened its choreographies in a special tribute on her television show.

The ensemble’s latest productions of the past few years, some of which it will perform at the Badminton Theater, include the choreographies “Memento Mori,” “Prism” and “B’yzrk.”

The Badminton Theater, Goudi Military Park, Athens, tel 211 1086024. Tickets can be purchased at the theater box office, open daily between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., at Virgin Megastores, over the phone on 210 8840600 and online at www.ticketnet.gr

Contrasting worlds of two dance masters united October 30, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Ballet Dance Opera.
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Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan perform their culture-bridging ‘Sacred Monsters’ at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall this week.

Their class shone through when they performed in Greece last summer at the Herod Atticus in Athens. Now Sylvie Guillem and Akram Khan are returning to the country for their first ever performances in Thessaloniki at the northern city’s Concert Hall this Wednesday and Thursday. Their project, “Sacred Monsters” bridges dance styles from East and West.

“I’m a classical dancer and have been trained for this, but I can’t say that what I support,  my religion, is one style, one technique, one tradition,” says Guillem, the acclaimed French ballet dancer who has performed with the Paris Opera Ballet and is currently a guest principal dancer with the Royal Ballet in London. “What I can say is that the place I dance in, guided by any technique, is a sacred place for me. The stage is a monster. My sacred monster,” continued Guillem, who set herself free for her collaboration with Khan after the 33-year-old British choreographer of Bangladeshi descent came up with a novel and impressive proposal.

In the words of Khan, a master of Kathak, the classical dance style of northern India, the duo, through this project, get to display their “common but also personal experiences from the field of classical dance. ‘Sacred Monsters’ is a meditative work on the journey from classical world to contemporary world… the body has the ability to absorb the transition from one world to the other… that’s when it finds ways to combine the contrasts.”

Thessaloniki Concert Hall, 25th Martiou Street, Thessaloniki. For ticket information and bookings, call 2310 895938 or 2310 895939.