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Antiques to go under the hammer March 22, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Auctions, Arts Events Greece.
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The Art Dealers Association holds its yearly show this weekend > Paintings, rare period furniture, jewelry, old books, coins, banknotes, silverware, sculptures and an assortment of other collectible works of art go on display at the Association of Greek Antique and Art Dealers’s annual show this weekend at Zappeion Hall.

22-03-08_art_auction2.jpg  A chair, first half of 20th century, from the Gerasimos Kougianos collection. For the first time since its launch 14 years ago, an auction has been incorporated into this popular event for antique lovers. It is scheduled for Sunday at 1.30 p.m. Bidding for a select number of items will begin at 50 percent of their estimated worth. The participating collectors estimate the values of items to be auctioned off at between 300 and 10,000 euros.

22-03-08_art_auction1.jpg  Golden earrings with diamonds, end 19th century, from Evangelos Vitalis collection. A total of 24 collectors, each boasting distinct treasures, will be taking part at the event. Gerasimos Kougianos, for example, brings to the event old furniture and lighting fixtures that date back to the first half of the previous century. Stavros Michalarias of Michalarias Art will take part with paintings and sculptures by significant Greek and foreign artists as well as antiquities.

22-03-08_art_auction3.jpg  Silver metallic belts from the Nikos Roussos collection. Dimitra Panagopoulou, representing the Mevagissey antique store, will exhibit English furniture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Nikos Roussos brings to the show antiquities, banknotes, jewelry, silverware, watches, guns and porcelain items. Stratos Fotopoulos’s focus is on paintings by 19th and 20th century Greek artists.

22-03-08_art_auction4.jpg  A sculpture from the Eleni Stavropoulou collection. The 14th exhibition of the Association of Greek Antique and Art Dealers opens Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Sunday, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For further information, call 210 3225427.

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“Tosca” at the Olympia Theater March 22, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Ballet Dance Opera.
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22-03-08_tosca.jpg  A poster for the performance.

Yet another premiere of Puccini’s popular opera “Tosca” by the National Opera has created a marvelous feeling of anticipation among fans of the genre.

Last night at the Olympia Theater, the Chairman of the Opera’s Board, Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, and the Opera’s Artistic Director Giovanni Pacor were present when the curtain went up. Official guests were shown to their seats in the presidential box by Maria Karanagnosti. In the interval and after the performance, the foyer was abuzz with members of the audience exchanging impressions.

Seats can be booked by calling 210 3612461, or, for National Opera subscribers, 210 3623404. National Opera of Greece, Olympia Theater, 59 Academias Street, Athens. 

Related Links > http://www.nationalopera.gr

An exhibition of photographs on fire-stricken Ileia March 22, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
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Exhibition of before-and-after images of fire-stricken Ileia at the Gaia Center

An exhibition of photographs by Katerina Aidoni titled “A View of Ileia, Before and After”, that is, before and after last summer’s forest fires – opened at the Gaia Center last night to mark World Forestry Day celebrated on March 21.

The exhibition was launched last night by Niki Goulandris, head of the Goulandris Natural History Museum and its board. The photograph featured here shows the Hill of Cronus, Ancient Olympia, as it is now. The fires that engulfed the prefecture of Ileia threatened the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony but fortunately the gods of Olympus intervened and saved the site.

The Gaia Center, 100 Othonos Street, Kifissia, Athens.

Related Links > http://www.gnhm.gr/MuseumSelect.aspx?lang=en-US

Greek Police to be freed from VIP guard duty March 22, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News.
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New legal provisions will curb the number of policemen available to guard politicians and other VIPs, freeing up hundreds of officers for active duty, Interior Ministry sources said yesterday.

A Presidential decree submitted to the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, stipulates the maximum number of officers that can be appointed to guard specific VIPs. To date, police chiefs have appointed guards on an ad hoc basis and without any restrictions.

If the new decree is approved, some 800 officers will be relieved of these duties and available for full-time public policing, ministry sources said.

The decree foresees certain quotas: 50 guards for the main opposition party leader, 20 for other party leaders, eight for ministers and one for every Attica MP. Senior judges will be assigned four officers each.

Will Greece warm to renewable energy? March 22, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Energy.
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Wind power generators in Greece currently produce 746 megawatts, while a further 1,600 MW are presently under development > Renewable energy generation in Greece is still at low levels, despite the country’s excellent potential, according to a survey by Kantor Management Consultants SA.

Wind power accounts for the largest share of renewable energy in Greece (excluding the major hydroelectric plants operated by the Public Power Corporation), with a wind generator capacity amounting to 746 megawatts (end 2006 data).

The domestic wind power market is operated by only a few but large groups which have the necessary expertise and capital. Some of the major players include Rokas-Iberdrola, Kopelouzos-ENEL, PPC Renewable-EDF and Terna. Currently under development are another 600 MW by Terna and 1,000 MW by Kopelouzos.

European Union targets are to double the gross primary energy generation from renewable sources to 12 percent of total production in 2010 and to 20 percent in 2020. But this target would be hard for Greece to achieve under current conditions, as it would require the country to almost double its renewable energy generation in just three years.

The main reasons for Greece’s lower-than-expected penetration into renewable energy sources, according to Kantor’s survey, include complex and time-consuming licensing procedures, network and connection problems, ineffective incentives and the lack of a comprehensive town-planning program for development of energy production regions.

Despite having incorporated EU directives, Greek legislation provides a rather vague framework. In addition, subsidies for renewable energy investments are excessively high.

For instance, photovoltaic systems in Greece are subsidized up to 45 percent of the required amount, and this, Kantor says, has invited oversupply in small-scale projects, which are not capable of creating the required impetus for a shift to large-scale photovoltaic development.

To speed up the penetration of renewable energy in the country’s energy balance, Kantor believes that policy should revolve around the following main axes: the reduction of subsidies for small-scale investments and the channeling of funds to larger-scale renewable energy projects; the designation and, where appropriate, expropriation of expanses of land to be used for renewable energy installations; plus the better organization of licensing and town-planning procedures.

Greek Government may sell 8% of OTE to Deutsche Telekom March 22, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Telecoms.
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The Greek government may sell up to 8 percent of telecom group OTE to suitor Deutsche Telekom as part of its plans to lock in the German telco as a strategic partner, Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said yesterday.

Deutsche Telekom on Monday agreed to buy 20 percent of OTE [Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation] for 2.5 billion euro from buyout firm MIG and has entered talks to buy a stake from the government, which owns about 28 percent, but OTE unions have called for strikes against the deal.

“A 20 percent holding in OTE by the state should be assumed as a basic fact, given that such a stake is strategic and grants the holder certain rights,” Alogoskoufis said on Flash Radio.

Greece has long sought a strategic investor for OTE, even sounding out Deutsche Telekom in the past, but had no luck as it did not want to cede management control.

“We have entered discussions, through our advisers, with DT and believe we can reach an understanding on the levels of shareholding and the form of management,” Alogoskoufis said.

Media have reported the government is willing to share the positions of chairman and chief executive of the company. Earlier yesterday OTE’s workers union called a three-day strike next week to protest against the proposed deal.

“A total strike from March 26 to 28 will be held throughout the group,” OTE’s workers union OME-OTE said in a statement. “OTE is a piece of Greece and is not for sale.”

The union will hold a meeting on March 28 to consider further strikes, it said. OTE’s powerful unions have scuttled deals in the past amid concerns that further stake sales will lead to job cuts and affect job security.

Another gold for Greece March 22, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Aquatics.
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Yiannis Drymonakos celebrates after winning the gold

22-03-08_yiannis_drymonakos.jpg  Greek swimmer Yiannis Drymonakos celebrates after winning the gold in the 200-meter butterfly at the European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, yesterday. Drymonakos touched in ahead of Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski and Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsov.