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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-03-01

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>


  • [01] PASOK com't presents party's platform framework
  • [02] Sarbel to represent Greece at Eurovision 2007

  • [01] PASOK com't presents party's platform framework

    Main opposition PASOK party's programme committee, which was assigned the task of developing various policy statements and positions ahead of the next general elections, forwarded its proposals for a final "platform framework" to PASOK leader George Papandreou on Wednesday evening.

    The head of the committee, former minister and one-time EU Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou, accompanied the document with a preamble saying that the draft "answers the needs of Greek society and contributes to meeting the major targets set by PASOK."

    She also emphasised that the committee proposals eye a "new social pact" aimed at dealing with the huge inequalities, as she said, that characterise western societies and continue to worsen.

    The proposal is made up of nine chapters concerning technology, a "fairer society", an environmentally-sensitive economy and attitude, the new social pact, childcare and family support, leisure time and space, security, an effective and fair state, development and transparency.

    ANA-MPA file photo of Anna Diamantopoulou.

    [02] Sarbel to represent Greece at Eurovision 2007

    Young pop singer Sarbel will represent Greece at this year's 54th Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Helsinki in May, with his dance/pop song "Geia Sou Maria", composed by Alex Papaconstantinou and Marcus Englof.

    The 25-year-old Sarbel (pronounced Sharbel), a recent newcomer to the Greek musical scene, was chosen in the early hours of Thursday as Greece's entry in the 2007 Eurovision through televoting and a jury panel in Wednesday night's Greek National Final among the three contestants that made it to the final, winning out over well-loved veteran laika/pop/rock composer and singer Christos Dantis and his rock piece "No Madonna", and Tamta, another recent newcomer, with her tender ballad "With Love".

    The multi-ethnic rhythmical Geia Sou Maria clinched the ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest with 39.69 percent, followed by 31.28 percent for No Madonna and 29.02 percent for With Love.

    The Greek National Final was hosted by presenters Maria Bakodimou and Fotis Sergoulopoulos, while the jury panel included renowned Greek composer Mimis Plessas, Greek Radio (ERA) genera director and lyricist Antonis Andrikakis, composer Dimitris Contopoulos, magazine publisher Petros Costopoulos, tv show host Eleonora Meleti, and actress and former fashion model Rea Toutounzi.

    Guest performers included DJ BoBo, who will represent Switzerland at this year's Eurovision, Cyprus' entry Evridiki and Dimitris Korgialas, as well as Mihail Traistariu, who placed 4th for Romania in last year's Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Tornero".

    Greece's entry, Sarbel Michael, known professionally as simply Sarbel, is well known in Cyprus and Greece. He was born and raised in London, and is the son of a Greek Cypriot singer/bouzouki player, Elias Sarbel, and a Lebanese mother.

    He studied music, voice, drama and performing arts at university while earlier, from the age of 5 to 16, he performed at the English National Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He has recorded Tosca in English, as the shepherd boy. His family made frequent trips to Greece and Cyprus and, at the age of 18, he moved to the Greek island of Crete for his gap year, where he sang at the Heraklion Palladium.

    Sarbel was discovered, still in Crete, three years later by Sony music, which signed him up on a 6-year recording contract. By the following year, the then 22-year-old Sarbel became an instant hit on the Greek, Cypriot and Arab music scene.

    Geia Sou Maria composers Papaconstantionou and Englof have written several songs for Elena Paparizou, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, Greece's first-ever number one Eurovision placing, with the song "My Number One", which was composed by Sarbel's fellow-contestant Christos Dantis, with lyrics by Natalia Germanou.

    Caption: Sarbel, who will represent Greece at the 2007 Eurovosion Song Contest in Helsinki in May with the song "Geia Sou Maria", performs at the Greek National Final in Athens on Wednesday, February 28. (ANA-MPA/S. Pantzartzi)

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