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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Se thelo - Ploutarhos

Min aporis pou skeftome pali esena - Remos

Eimai afto pou zitas - Kostas Martakis & Thirio

Athens and Kifissia first in Biowaste Management

For the first time in Greece, municipal waste -- both household and commercial -- will be composted under a pilot programme launched in two municipalities.
The ambitious project kicked off in Athens and the northern suburb of Kifissia in September, with the participation of 6,000 residents. It aims to boost awareness regarding sustainable biowaste management in Greece.

"Our main goal is to raise awareness on composting and attempt to change people's understanding of biowaste as a source that can be utilised," explains Dr Dimitris Malamis, who is co-ordinating the project on behalf of the National Technical University of Athens.
Three organizations -- the Association of Communities and Municipalities in the Attica Region, the National Technical University of Athens, EPTA Ltd Environmental Engineers and Consultants – have teamed up with the municipalities of Athens and Kifissia in launching the effort.
It is expected to cost more than 1.3m euros, 48% of which will be covered by the European Commission under the ongoing LIFE-Environment project.
The pilot programme will run for 36 months, or until mid-2014, with the goal of identifying at least five biowaste parameters to be employed when designing future biological treatment plants in Athens and throughout Greece.

Makis Psomiadis

One of the voices was a familiar figure in Greek football: Makis Psomiadis, owner of the second division team Kavala. Psomiadis is known for a big mustache, bigger cigars and a long history of run-ins with both the league and the law. These include charges of gold smuggling, embezzlement, blackmail, tax evasion and even a role in torture squads during Greece's notorious right-wing Junta of the 1970's.
He became a fugitive from justice on June 26th after he was charged in match-fixing. When he was apprehended two and a half months later, a judge promptly released him, even though he was also accused of failing to pay 300,000 euros in taxes.
This comes at a time when Greeks are being taxed to the gills and enduring pay cuts required by austerity measures aimed at keeping the country afloat and to get a series of 113 billion euros in bailout rescue loans from the EU-IMF-ECB Troika.
When an uproar prompted the courts to call Psomiadis back, he disappeared again, but not before announcing "I am a political prisoner." The judge, before questioning Psomiadis, read a statement the defendant handed him decrying the accusations. He wasn’t on the lam too long.
On November 9th, Psomiadis was arrested at a cafeteria in Macedonia, near the Greek consulate. Authorities said he was staying with a former player.

For Greeks, A Sad Shift In Self Image : NPR

For Greeks, A Sad Shift In Self Image : NPR
November 25, 2011
There was a time when Greeks were proud of being Greek, of being a people known for dancing, being happy without material wealth, enjoying life. Now, Greeks are known for being deeply in debt, accused by some of living the high life on other people's money, of dragging Europe's economy to the brink of disaster.

Worlds most earthquake-prone countries

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 2:17 p.m. on Wednesday, 69 miles south of the island's city of Iraklion and 262 miles southeast of the Greek capital, Athens.
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Center gave the preliminary magnitude as 5.5. Magnitudes given by different seismological centers often vary.
Greece is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries, but most quakes are of small magnitude and rarely cause severe damage or injuries.

Read more:

Greek Tax evader names will be published online

What's been happening in Greece over the last few days is something of a small revolution: top businessman George Petzetakis, head of the world's leading company in plastic pipe and hose systems, was taken into custody to face trial for tax evasion to the tune of two million euros.
And then the powerful publisher and television producer Kostas Giannikos was seen in handcuffs, likewise charged with tax evasion. And the Greek tax authorities say that further arrests are to follow.
Now Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has threatened to put all evaders on the chopping block - unless they turn themselves into authorities before Thursday evening and clear their debts.
More empty threats?
Finance Minister Venizelos has been threatening for months to pursue tax evaders publicly. In mid-October he sad he would publish online entire lists of names "next week." That deadline, however, had to be postponed for data privacy reasons.
On Monday, he set Thursday as the final deadline for all tax evaders - or at least, every citizen owing the government over 150,000 euros in back taxes - to pay up. If they don't report to the authorities by then, they risk having their names published online.
Despite the urgency with which Venizelos has gone after evaders, observers like political activist Dionyssis Goussetis are still waiting to see action. "We're all waiting with our tongues out for the list of tax evaders, which is constantly being postponed. I wonder if this delay is to give evaders one last chance to settle their debts, or whether some people are trying to gain a little time to cover up their crimes."
Too often have Greek politicians issued similar threats in the past, Goussetis added, only for them to disappear: It's therefore "no surprise" that the black-market economy accounts for over 30 percent of Greece's output.

Kellan Lutz will star in the upcoming “Immortals”

Kellan Lutz will star in the upcoming “Immortals” film with Henry Cavill (“The Tudors”), Stephen Dorff (Public Enemies), Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Luke Evans (Robin Hood), with John Hurt (Hellboy), and Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2).
Kellan will star as the Greek God “Poseidon”

Greek robin hood gives power to the needy

VERIA, Greece -- The Robin Hoods in this northern Greek town sport rubber gloves, fuses and orange stickers.
Nearly two years of pay cuts, job cuts and tax hikes have pummeled living standards in debt-crippled Greece and the country is facing record unemployment and a fourth year of recession in 2012. On a personal level, that means many in Veria can't pay for basic necessities such as electricity and end up getting cut off from the grid.
That's where the "Citizens of Veria" activists step in.
The group illegally reconnects needy households back to the electric grid in a direct challenge to the country's dominant power provider, the Public Power Corporation.
"By cutting off power, (PPC) punishes young children, elderly people and generally those who can't cope without it," said activist Nikos Aslanoglou. "We decided that we had to reconnect them. We're not hiding, everybody knows who we are."
He says the group has so far reconnected dozens of households, particularly in the villages and small towns outlying Veria.
Greece sank into a financial crisis in 2009 after it emerged that authorities had been falsifying financial data for years. The fallout from that blocked the country's access to bond markets. Greece only escaped bankruptcy with a euro110 billion ($147 billion) international rescue loan in May 2010, and when that was not enough, a second, euro130 billion ($174 billion) rescue deal that awaits final approval.
In return, the government has promised to slash bloated budget deficits through harsh austerity measures.
As jobs become rarer and worse-paid, many in this northern farming region are falling through a weakening social safety net. In the village of Agia Marina, 9 miles (15 kilometers) from Veria, activists recently reconnected the house of a disabled, 34-year-old single mother, who lives with four of her five children.
As they left, they placed an orange sticker on the electricity meter that reads: "Citizens of Veria. Social solidarity. We are reconnecting the power."
The woman's eldest daughter, a 19-year-old student, said before the activists came her siblings - aged from 6 to 18 - had to study by candlelight or with oil lamps in an unheated house.
"Our only income is a euro400-euro500 ($535-$668) welfare payment every two months," said the student, Vasso. "PPC disconnected us because we owed them money, and we were left in the dark for about a month, but then some gentlemen came and reconnected us. Now we have heating again."
She didn't want her full name used because she was afraid authorities would track down her family.
What the activists are doing is illegal and can be punished by more than ten years' imprisonment depending on the size of the outstanding bills, although in most cases sentences do not exceed five years.
"Greek law treats the theft of electricity like any other common theft," University of Thessaloniki law professor Lambros Margaritis said.
Undeterred, a three-strong activist team recently reconnected a house in the small town of Meliki, where a 54-year-old woman lives with her two unemployed sons in their thirties. Working deftly, it took them 15 minutes.
"We're not stealing, the electricity consumption is recorded," Aslanoglou said. "The poor houseowners can't face consequences, it's us who do the reconnecting."
Hence the stickers.

Greece Privatization may miss its target

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece may miss its target for privatization revenues next year because of the worsening economic climate in Europe, the head of the agency responsible for selling state assets said in an interview to be published on Sunday.
Greece's repeated failure to meet budget targets including for privatization revenues has angered international lenders, raising questions about whether they will continue indefinitely to keep the country afloat with bailout loans.
Costas Mitropoulos, head of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, told the Kathimerini newspaper the privatization revenue target of 9.3 billion euros ($12.3 billion) for 2012 was "achievable," based on the draft budget assumptions.
"But reality will show whether these assumptions were right. In order to be able to sell, there should be buyers," he said, noting that even Germany failed this week to sell all its bonds at an auction.
"If this (difficult economic) situation continues, then it is certain that it will be difficult for us to find buyers for our assets."
Greece initially agreed with its international lenders to raise five billion euros from state asset sales this year. But government delays in setting up the privatization fund and imploding market values on the Athens bourse forced the government to cut the target to 4 billion euros.
Now Greece is seen raising only about 1.8 billion euros this year.
Under the terms of last year's 110 billion euro bailout, Greece is meant to sell state assets worth 50 billion euros by 2015 to convince its lenders it is serious about reforming its uncompetitive economy and also to shoulder part of the cost.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stephano Barberis - Bravo sou !!

(November 21, 2011) - Stephano Barberis has collected his 13th consecutive BCCMA for Video Director Of The Year last night at The Red Robinson Show Theatre in Coquitlam, BC.  The win was based on music videos for Doc Walker, Melissa Rae Barrie, Adaline, and Marlee Scott. 

This award makes the director's buckling mantle look like a small glass mountain range.  Barberis' total hardware of 21 Video and Directorial awards out of over 50 nominations further crystallizes his reputation of being one of the most, if not the most, winningest music video directors in Canadian history.

Stephano has just finished a cinematic music video for Default frontman Dallas Smith, and is in pre-production for three more in the next month, including ones for newcomers Samara Yung and Josh Macumber.  Of special note, Samara Yung's video will be the director's 100th.

Papademos - Souvlaki on a stick

By Markos N. Kaminis
It seems Greeks are coming to grips with the reality that their new leader, Lucas Papademos, may offer a different face to watch on television, but he comes with even stauncher support of the troika’s austerity medicine than the embattled George Papandreou. Indeed, the European Union’s man and once #2 at the European Central Bank (ECB) has openly stated that exit from the euro zone is not an option. Well, Greeks are learning that this means the austerity forced down their throats is also not clearing out. So, it seems, it may not be long before the popular support for Papademos turns out to actually be a sort of marinade.
Political jockeying ahead of a likely February election has Greece’s new Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos, being held out on a stick like a souvlaki cooking over the fires of Greek rioters, the IMF and Greece’s European brothers. Papandreou’s referendum concession was either a show of pure stupidity, unequivocal ethical heart or political genius. From the political perspective, Papandreou’s calling on the Greek people to decide whether to go forth with the European plan, and thus accept austerity and also ongoing euro zone membership, forced Greeks to take a second look at the situation and also at the PASOK Party. His stepping back has placed PASOK into a position that allows for potential reconciliation come election time.
New Democracy, not missing a beat and with its eye on February, has been publicly promoting an idea to ditch the digging austerity plan and to instead take a sort of American Republican approach to promote economic growth and trust in trickle-down economics; though the Greek version might look more like Chios mastic’s slow and painful ooze down a dry bark. The other, more radical parties are of course offering more radical solutions.

Minoan-era stone seal in Hania Crete

Hania.- An inscripted Minoan-era stone seal is the most important archaeological find made during this year’s excavations at the Minoan peak sanctuary on Mt. Vryssinas, south of the Cretan port city of Hania.
The deep red-coloured jasper quadrangular seal is the only — up to the present day — evidence of the presence of hieroglyphic Minoan script in western Crete.
This year alone, during the last excavation conducted on the north and northeastern slope of Vryssinas from July 4 to 15, a total of 820 figurines and a large quantity of clay items were discovered. These finds led to the designation of a wider area surrounding the sanctuary as an archaeological site.
Excavations in the area began in 2004, and the extended archaeological site now covers an area of 672 stremma (168 acres).
During the Geometric and Daedalian period (1100-620 BC) important cities such as Eleftherna and Axos (Oaxos), in the Mylopotamos area, flourished, while at the same time a settlement existed on Mount Vryssina, on the plateau of Onythe.
Peak sanctuaries are widespread throughout Crete, and were used for religious rites. In all the peak sanctuaries, most of which are found in eastern and east-central Crete, human and clay figurines have been found, while clay body parts, also called votive body parts, have been found in most of these open-air sanctuaries.
Mt. Vryssina was the most important peak sanctuary in western Crete, and dates from the Proto-palatial period (1900-1700 BC) to the end of the Minoan era (1450-1050 BC).

Will Samaras stop playing "Political games"

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Antonis Samaras, head of Greece’s New Democracy party, was told by the president of the European Commission to quit playing “political games” and drop his refusal to pledge written support for Greek budget cuts as a condition for the next installment of international aid.
“For the European Union and IMF to support, they need to be sure that this is for a sustainable effort,” commission President Jose Barroso said yesterday in a joint press conference with Greek Premier Lucas Papademos. “What we have to do now is to concentrate on implementation -- less politics and more commitment. It’s not just a sprint; it’s a marathon.”
The comment underscores mounting pressure on Samaras, whose party is a member of Greece’s unity government and who has balked at the demand for a written endorsement of budget cuts. He says he has told officials from the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank that he has already taken five actions that show his full commitment to the austerity program, state-run Athens News Agency said on Nov. 19.
Greece needs a sixth disbursement of loans under last year’s 110 billion-euro ($148 billion) rescue and a planned second package of 130 billion euros to avoid economic collapse. The euro area and IMF, which are funding the two packages including the next payment of 8 billion euros, want Greece’s main political leaders including Samaras to commit to spending cuts beyond the life of the Papademos-led unity government.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Said A Prayer For You Today

I said a prayer for you today,

And know God must have heard.

I felt the answer in my heart

Although He spoke no word.

I didn't ask for wealth or fame,

I knew you wouldn't mind.

I asked Him to send treasures

Of a far more lasting kind.

I asked that He'd be near you

At the start of each new day,

To grant you health and blessings

And friends to share your way.

I asked for happiness for you

In all things great and small,

But it was for His loving care

I prayed the most of all.

Author Unknown

In my life , I'll love you more - Beatles

There are places I'll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I'll love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I'll love you more