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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-12-06

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Battle in Brussels
  • [02] Tragedy in Iran
  • [03] Mr Christmas
  • [04] Olympic Flame to the Italians
  • [05] Renewed Tension for the F16s
  • [06] Molyviatis' Meetings in Kosovo
  • [07] Xmas Trading Hours as of 12/12
  • [08] Popular Athens
  • [09] Overshadowed by CIA Secret Flights
  • [10] Battle in Brussels
  • [11] Pension Rises and Contribution Cuts
  • [12] Competitiveness Deemed Positive
  • [13] Olympic Flame at Kallimarmaro
  • [14] Turner Prize 2005
  • [15] Green Energy in Greece

  • [01] Tough Negotiations before Summit Battle in Brussels

    06 Dec 2005 19:37:00 (Last updated: 06 Dec 2005 22:33:00)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    The matter of the 2007-2013 European Budget is turning into an unsolvable puzzle for the 25 Member-States. The British Presidencys proposals for fund cuts to the new countries were rejected by all sides, which have entered a tough negotiation battle in view of the crucial Summit, scheduled for next week in Brussels. According to Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, Greece disagrees with the allocation of funds for the agricultural sector and will give a battle to secure its rights. The 25 Foreign Ministers will meet on Wednesday, at which time they are expected to record the views of all the Member-States on the British Presidencys proposals. Greece will be represented at the meeting by Deputy Foreign Minister Giannis Valinakis. The Ecofins discussion focused on the prospects of the Member-States economies and especially those that have high fiscal deficits, which includes Greece. Mr Alogoskoufis noted that the Greek fiscal deficit is decreasing at a steady and considerable rate.

    Greece Does not Agree

    Greece voiced its opposition to the British Presidencys proposal for the 2007-2013 EU Budget. After saying that the proposal, which is being reviewed by Greece, was incompatible to the Greek views, Giorgos Alogoskoufis noted that there are margins for improvement in the negotiations to follow.

    On his part, Deputy Foreign Minister Giannis Valinakis said that the Greek side will examine the proposal, developing initiatives and alliances during a tough and arduous, as he described it, negotiation process, whose outcome cannot be predetermined.

    Mr Valinakis also clarified that Greece is entering negotiations with a double aim. On the one hand, it will focus on achieving a final agreement, which is necessary for the EU, so that it could send the message that it is capable of taking major decisions. On the other hand, Greece will try, up until the last minute, to claim every last euro that is necessary for the country and its development.

    Tonight, Mr Valinakis will represent Greece at a working dinner for the 20 Member-States of "Friends of Cohesion", during which the members will exchange their views on the British proposals for the first time.

    In the meantime, referring to the 2007-2013 EU Budget, Government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos stressed, "Greece wishes for a solution to be found this year at the December Summit on the fiscal prospects for 2007-2013, because this continuous poise is detrimental to Europe, while the Union will enter a new era of introversion. As for the rest of the matters, we are negotiating continuously, in order to achieve the best possible result. He also added, "We continue to believe that this new basis for cohesion will have to follow the mentality of the compromising proposal, presented last June by the Luxembourgian Presidency."

    European Reactions

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it absolutely clear today that she is expecting improvement concerning the British proposals for the EUs 2007-2013 Budget, which, as she stressed, has a number of rough edges that have to be smoothed out.

    In the meantime, French President Jacques Chirac asked Tony Blair to come up with new proposals for the 2007-2013 Budget, while he invited London to play its full part in the financing of the enlarged Europe.

    At the same time, the Italian Foreign Ministry stressed that the proposal in question has to be reviewed before gaining Italys support.

    Moreover, Josef Proll, the Agricultural Minister of Austria, which is taking over the EU presidency as of 1 January 2006, considered the relevant British proposals as non-viable, while he stressed that his Government is not afraid of the possibility that the matter of the EU Budget will remain unresolved after the upcoming Summit on 15 and 16 December.

    Furthermore, Hungarian PM Ferenc Gyurcsany declared that his country will not be supporting the British proposal.

    Finally, Estonian PM Andrus Ansips representative, Inga Jagomae, described the proposal as unfair.

    However, the European Commission toned down its criticism, stressing that an agreement can be reached, but more work is needed.

    Greek Deficit Decreasing

    With regard to the Greek fiscal deficit, Mr Alogoskoufis declared it is decreasing at a steady and considerable rate.

    Specifically, he mentioned that it will have dropped by 4% of the GNP (i.e. from 6.6% to 2.6%) in the years 2004-2006, a fact that will be achieved through curbing expenditures - without burdening economic growth and weakening the effectiveness of st6ate interventions - and reducing unemployment.

    Referring to the Greek economys growth rates, he noted, "They are proof of the government policys effectiveness." Furthermore, with respect to 2005, the Minister noted that the efforts made by Greece are being recognised, while, referring to the 2006 Budget, he mentioned that it is being reviewed by the competent European Commission agencies, which are being assisted by the relevant Greek services.

    As for the prospects for 2007 and 2008, the Economy Minister mentioned that the efforts for fiscal adjustment will continue, so that the fiscal deficit can shrink to 2.3% and 1.7% respectively, as required by the Growth and Stability Pact governing the euro Member-States.

    Upon concluding, Mr Alogoskoufis stressed that the European Commission and the EU Member-States recognise the effectiveness of the efforts made by the Greek Government and will continue to support it in the coming years.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Budget at Focus

    Eurogroup and Ecofin in Brussels

    [02] Plane Crashed in Tehran Tragedy in Iran

    06 Dec 2005 13:45:00 (Last updated: 06 Dec 2005 20:34:54)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    A C-130 military aircraft crashed on Tuesday into a ten-storey block of flats in the south of Tehran killing hundreds of people. Police announced that the number of deads has risen to 116, including all the passengers on board, as well as residents of the building. As per the IRNA, the aircraft was carrying 94 people, including 40 reporters and technicians of the state television, who were to cover an extensive military exercise. First evidence put down the crash to a technical failure.

    Technical Failures

    The C-130 had just taken off en route to the city of Bandar Abbas in south Iran.

    However, it presented technical difficulties and the pilot had to return to the Mehrabad International Airport.

    Iranian Media, citing eyewitnesses, reported that one of the aircrafts wings was ablaze while taking off.

    While performing an emergency landing, the aircraft crashed into a ten-storey building in a residential area neighbouring with the airport and residing by army officers and their families.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    CNN: Iran military plane carrying 90 crashes in Tehran

    BBC: Plane crashes in suburb of Tehran

    [03] Festive Nutrition Mr Christmas

    06 Dec 2005 18:14:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: Reuters

    Andy Parks lives in Britain, is 45 years old and an electrician, but he has an unbelievable fetish: he is stuck on Christmas. For the last 12 years, the festive fundamentalist has been celebrating the greatest holiday of the year on a daily basis, following all the British traditions, from breakfast to dinner and from eating turkey to exchanging gifts, which he indulges in by himself!

    Mr Christmas, as the locals in Melksham, Wiltshire, southwest England, call him, has so far eaten 4,380 turkeys, 87,600 mince pies and 26,280 roast potatoes; has exchanged 21,900 gifts with himself; and has drunk 4,380 bottles of champagne and 5,000 bottles of wine. In addition, he has spent a fortune on Christmas lights and decorations, which, needless to say, he uses all year round. He has estimated that he has spent 365,000 euros so far in order to satisfy his peculiar obsession, but he is not worried at all. On the contrary, he declares he is very satisfied with this situation and he is determined to continue his festive habits for another 12 years.

    The ritual starts daily with a traditional breakfast, which includes six mince pies and a turkey sandwich. At 2:00pm he eats lunch and then pulls crackers. At 3:00pm he watches a video of Queen Elizabeth IIs annual Christmas message to the Commonwealth, with a glass of sherry in hand. Dinner is roast turkey with all the trimmings, including brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, stuffing, gravy and mushy peas, as well as sherry, wine and a bottle of champagne. He lays his present under the Christmas tree at 8:00pm and then he watches Christmas films. Furthermore, he completely ignores his girlfriend and daughter when they call him a "crackpot" and opens his gifts, acting surprised. And Parks is not cheap when it comes to gifts. He gave himself a dinner jacket on Monday and a suit on Tuesday. But what happens when he goes out? He insists on a full Christmas dinner if he goes to a restaurant or to a friends house for dinner.

    Parks, however, is also an aspiring singer, with grand plans for the coming holidays. On 9 December, he will release his single "Its Christmas Every Day", which he wishes will top the charts, while he hopes it will not have the same unfortunate luck as his previous singles, "The Christmas Man", "Yuletide Oh Yeah" and "Alleluia Its Christmas".

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Greek President Attended the Ceremony Olympic Flame to the Italians

    06 Dec 2005 17:36:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    Sources: ANA

    The Handover Ceremony of the Olympic Flame for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino took place in Athens Kallimarmaro and was attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias. The President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), Minos Kyriakou, handed over the Flame to the organisers of the 2006 Winter Games, so that the torch relay can continue on Italian ground and other neighbouring countries, until it arrives in Torino for the Opening Ceremony of the XX Winter Olympics on 10 February 2006. The Flame arrived at Kallimarmaro at 16:30, while golden 400m Athens Olympian Fani Chalkia was the one who lit the cauldron. After the Lighting Ceremony in Ancient Olympia, the Olympic Flame travelled around Greece for 10 days, passing through many cities, while this was the first time ever that it passed through eight Greek ski resorts.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Olympic Flame at Kallimarmaro

    [05] At the Parliament's Committee for Defence Renewed Tension for the F16s

    06 Dec 2005 19:17:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Disputes arose during the meeting of the Parliaments Standing Committee for Defence, due to the Oppositions request that the General Secretary for Equipment, Giorgos Zorbas, as well as the Chief of GEETHA (Joint Chiefs of Staff), Admiral Panagiotis Chinofotis, be present at the discussion of the bill for the purchase of F16 aircrafts. ND MP Christos Zois said that the proposal serves public relations. On the other hand, PASOK MP Christos Papoutsis accused the Government of having no regard for transparency and introducing the bill clearly for public relations, since it is proceeding with direct contacts for the F16s and other equipment anyway. It should be noted that on Tuesday, Giorgos Zorbas was appointed to the position of President of a new independent body for combating money laundering.

    In the meantime, Deputy Defence Minister Ioannis Lambropoulos described the contract signed in 2001, whereby the army was to use the anti-explosive tank fuel material Deto Stop, as unacceptable.

    Speaking at the Parliaments Committee, after accusations were launched by KKE MP Liana Kanelli, Mr Lambropoulos said that the material in question is not of any use, while at the same time, it minimises the reliability of the equipment.

    "What was done is unacceptable to us. The contract is unacceptable. It will not proceed in any way, while legal responsibilities will be sought."

    On her part, Ms Kanelli said that neither the Air Force nor the Navy wanted the hazardous material.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [06] In Pristina and Belgrade Molyviatis' Meetings in Kosovo

    06 Dec 2005 16:41:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis is on a two-day visit to Pristina and Belgrade, in order to discuss the future of the Kosovo. Today, the leader of Greek diplomacy, along the Alternate Foreign Ministers of Romania and Croatia, will hold successive meetings with Kosovos PM, Bajram Kosumi; Kosovos President, Ibrahim Rugova; the leader of the Opposition, Hasim Taci; the leader of the "Serbian List" for Kosovo; and the special representative of the UN Secretary-General and leader of the UNMIK Peace Corps, Soren Jessen-Petersen. Later tonight, the three officials will depart for Belgrade, as tomorrow they are scheduled to meet with Serbian President Boris Tadic, Serbian PM Vojislav Ko&#353;tunica and the Foreign Minister of Serbia-Montenegro, Vuk Draskovic.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Xmas Trading Hours as of 12/12

    06 Dec 2005 21:22:00

    Sources: NET

    The extended Christmas trading hours for shops in Athens will be effective as of Monday 12 December 2005. The hours proposed by the Athens Trade Association are continuous and are as follows:

    Weekdays (as of 12/12): 9am to 9pm Saturdays: 9am to 6pm Sunday 18 December: 10am to 6pm

    Shops will remain closed on Monday 2 January 2006, while they will return to normal trading hours on 3 January 2006.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Favourite Tourist Destination Popular Athens

    06 Dec 2005 19:57:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    Athens is in fourth place among the most popular European tourist destinations, as per a survey conducted by the Tourist Development Organisation of the Municipality of Athens, in collaboration with the Attica Region. The Greek capital comes after Paris, Barcelona and Rome, while 90% of the visitors who participated in the survey declared very satisfied with their stay in the city. According to those asked, the positive aspects of Athens include the public transport, the friendliness of the Greeks and the sense of security, while high prices for services (eg food) compared to their quality and taxis were among the negative aspects.

    "One and a half years after the Olympic Games, Athens has a distinguished tourist infrastructure, for which we worked hard," stressed the Mayor of Athens, Dora Bakoyannis, who also referred to the Eurovision Song Contest, which will be hosted in Athens and is expected to attract many tourists.

    Mrs Bakoyannis also noted that the collaboration between Greek Public network ERT and the Municipality is excellent, while she expressed the belief that the people who will visit Athens during the Contest will be left satisfied.

    Dora Bakoyannis Voted World Mayor

    Mayor Bakoyannis was short listed among 65 of her counterparts from across the globe, including Mayors Walter Veltroni of Rome, Ken Livingstone of London, Bertrand Delanoe of Paris, and Klaus Wowereit of Berlin.

    More than 85,000 people from around the world cast their votes via the Internet between June and October 2005 for this years World Mayor Award. Participants voted for the mayor they thought had contributed to the welfare of the city and effectively met the needs of the citizens with dedication and efficiency.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Condoleezza Rice in Germany Overshadowed by CIA Secret Flights

    06 Dec 2005 16:58:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: - Reuters

    Amid new allegations of CIAs secret flights and transfer of detainees to countries allowing tortures, the US Secretary of State started her tour in Europe. Prior to her arrival in Berlin, Condoleezza Rice defended the US methods and spoke of European who are also involved in the case. At her meeting with the German Chancellor, Condolleezza Rice admitted that mistakes were made in the battle against terrorism and she pointed out that Washington will try to rectify them. The US Secretary of State called on the democratic countries to enhance the cooperation among the intelligence services, stating that "intelligence is the key to success," in the US fight against terrorism. On her part, Angela Merkel said that Rices statements constitute a "sound basis" upon which the cooperation between the two countries will grow stronger.

    "We Will Rectify Our Mistakes"

    As per a new report released by Amnesty International, the flights over the European FIR amount to 800 and they all headed to countries that use tortures as an integral part of the interrogation process.

    At the same time, US television network ABC claimed that two CIA secret prisons running in Europe shut down last month due to the disclosures.

    Referring to the issue of CIA flights and the secret prisons, the US Secretary of State reminded that the new war on terror is a "challenge" and went on to say, "We have an obligation to defend our people." "We respect the sovereignty of our allies," Condoleezza Rice assured.

    However, she argued that the USA "condemn tortures, for it is a practice that runs contrary to the US law and contradicts the US commitments to the international community."

    She further added that Washington will rectify any mistakes made in its battle against terror, but she declined to comment on the case of a German national called Khaled el-Masri, who was allegedly kidnapped in 2003 by the CIA in the FYROM, transferred to Afghanistan, where he was detained for five months until the Americans realized they had got the wrong man.

    Khaled el-Masri intends to file a lawsuit against the USA.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that she would ask Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to report on the Masri case to the parliamentary committee responsible for supervising the security services.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Read the story on other sources:

    ABC: Sources Tell ABC News Top Al Qaeda Figures Held in Secret CIA Prisons

    Related News:

    Rice: Anti-Terror Practices Are Lawful

    Related Links:

    Amnesty International

    [10] Tough Negotiations before Summit Battle in Brussels

    06 Dec 2005 19:37:00 (Last updated: 06 Dec 2005 22:34:04)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET - ANA

    The matter of the 2007-2013 European Budget is turning into an unsolvable puzzle for the 25 Member-States. The British Presidencys proposals for fund cuts to the new countries were rejected by all sides, which have entered a tough negotiation battle in view of the crucial Summit, scheduled for next week in Brussels. According to Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, Greece disagrees with the allocation of funds for the agricultural sector and will give a battle to secure its rights. The 25 Foreign Ministers will meet on Wednesday, at which time they are expected to record the views of all the Member-States on the British Presidencys proposals. Greece will be represented at the meeting by Deputy Foreign Minister Giannis Valinakis. The Ecofins discussion focused on the prospects of the Member-States economies and especially those that have high fiscal deficits, which includes Greece. Mr Alogoskoufis noted that the Greek fiscal deficit is decreasing at a steady and considerable rate.

    Greece Does not Agree

    Greece voiced its opposition to the British Presidencys proposal for the 2007-2013 EU Budget. After saying that the proposal, which is being reviewed by Greece, was incompatible to the Greek views, Giorgos Alogoskoufis noted that there are margins for improvement in the negotiations to follow.

    On his part, Deputy Foreign Minister Giannis Valinakis said that the Greek side will examine the proposal, developing initiatives and alliances during a tough and arduous, as he described it, negotiation process, whose outcome cannot be predetermined.

    Mr Valinakis also clarified that Greece is entering negotiations with a double aim. On the one hand, it will focus on achieving a final agreement, which is necessary for the EU, so that it could send the message that it is capable of taking major decisions. On the other hand, Greece will try, up until the last minute, to claim every last euro that is necessary for the country and its development.

    Tonight, Mr Valinakis will represent Greece at a working dinner for the 20 Member-States of "Friends of Cohesion", during which the members will exchange their views on the British proposals for the first time.

    In the meantime, referring to the 2007-2013 EU Budget, Government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos stressed, "Greece wishes for a solution to be found this year at the December Summit on the fiscal prospects for 2007-2013, because this continuous poise is detrimental to Europe, while the Union will enter a new era of introversion. As for the rest of the matters, we are negotiating continuously, in order to achieve the best possible result. He also added, "We continue to believe that this new basis for cohesion will have to follow the mentality of the compromising proposal, presented last June by the Luxembourgian Presidency."

    European Reactions

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it absolutely clear today that she is expecting improvement concerning the British proposals for the EUs 2007-2013 Budget, which, as she stressed, has a number of rough edges that have to be smoothed out.

    In the meantime, French President Jacques Chirac asked Tony Blair to come up with new proposals for the 2007-2013 Budget, while he invited London to play its full part in the financing of the enlarged Europe.

    At the same time, the Italian Foreign Ministry stressed that the proposal in question has to be reviewed before gaining Italys support.

    Moreover, Josef Proll, the Agricultural Minister of Austria, which is taking over the EU presidency as of 1 January 2006, considered the relevant British proposals as non-viable, while he stressed that his Government is not afraid of the possibility that the matter of the EU Budget will remain unresolved after the upcoming Summit on 15 and 16 December.

    Furthermore, Hungarian PM Ferenc Gyurcsany declared that his country will not be supporting the British proposal.

    Finally, Estonian PM Andrus Ansips representative, Inga Jagomae, described the proposal as unfair.

    However, the European Commission toned down its criticism, stressing that an agreement can be reached, but more work is needed.

    Greek Deficit Decreasing

    With regard to the Greek fiscal deficit, Mr Alogoskoufis declared it is decreasing at a steady and considerable rate.

    Specifically, he mentioned that it will have dropped by 4% of the GNP (i.e. from 6.6% to 2.6%) in the years 2004-2006, a fact that will be achieved through curbing expenditures - without burdening economic growth and weakening the effectiveness of st6ate interventions - and reducing unemployment.

    Referring to the Greek economys growth rates, he noted, "They are proof of the government policys effectiveness." Furthermore, with respect to 2005, the Minister noted that the efforts made by Greece are being recognised, while, referring to the 2006 Budget, he mentioned that it is being reviewed by the competent European Commission agencies, which are being assisted by the relevant Greek services.

    As for the prospects for 2007 and 2008, the Economy Minister mentioned that the efforts for fiscal adjustment will continue, so that the fiscal deficit can shrink to 2.3% and 1.7% respectively, as required by the Growth and Stability Pact governing the euro Member-States.

    Upon concluding, Mr Alogoskoufis stressed that the European Commission and the EU Member-States recognise the effectiveness of the efforts made by the Greek Government and will continue to support it in the coming years.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Budget at Focus

    Eurogroup and Ecofin in Brussels

    [11] For Freelancers Pension Rises and Contribution Cuts

    06 Dec 2005 17:41:00 (Last updated: 06 Dec 2005 20:40:06)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources:

    The Board of Directors of the Independent Professionals Insurance Organisation (OAEE) decided to raise the pensions of freelancers by 4% and to cut their contributions to 6% as opposed to 8%. The OAEEs proposal will be brought before the Ministries of Employment and Economy on the premise that the rises should range at the inflation levels, while the cuts in the contributions are viewed as mandatory to facilitate the insured.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [12] As Per a Study on Behalf of FGI Competitiveness Deemed Positive

    06 Dec 2005 16:57:00 (Last updated: 06 Dec 2005 18:38:12)

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    An opinion poll was conducted by MRB on behalf of the Federation of Greek Industries to record the stance of the Greek people on the notion of competitiveness. On the whole, the Greek citizens view competitiveness positively, since they believe that it equals to better standards of living and lower prices. However, 51.9% of the participants in the poll is of the opinion that the Greek economy will worsen in 2006, while 38% predict that their financial situation is also to worsen. In the meantime, the National Statistical Service of Greece announced that inflation posted a remarkable fall in November to 3.5% compared to 3.8% in October. The fall is mainly due to the drop in the fuel prices, as well as in the restrained appreciations in the food sector.

    The findings of the poll were presented on Tuesday at the Open Forum for Competitiveness and Growth organized by the Federation of Greek Industries (FGI). The FGI President, Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, noticed that the Greek businessmen are fighting the State instead of battling for competition in the international market.

    Odysseas Kyriakopoulos also referred to the vested interested, which, as he said, harm the society. He then went on to underline the need for a strong competitiveness committee to monitor both the private and state monopolies.

    The poll showed that 68.5% of the participants view competitiveness positively, although 72.4% deem that the Greek economy is not competitive. The Greeks view competitiveness as a means to improve standards of living, while they think it will contribute to job creation.

    On the contrary, 20.6% of those asked attribute responsibilities, sacrifices, more working hours and stress to competitiveness.

    As per the overwhelming majority of the participants in the poll, boosting competitiveness should elevate into a keynote priority for Greece. However, it will be achieved if factors, including the educated and expert workforce, good quality of products, top-level services, competitive prices of the domestic products, the tax system and red tape, improve.

    In the question regarding the gravest issues troubling Greece, unemployment, inflation, high prices, health, education and economic growth, rank among the first on the list.

    The poll was conducted from 24 to 31 October among a random national sample of 1,200 adults.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [13] Olympic Flame at Kallimarmaro

    06 Dec 2005 12:07:00

    By Stathis Petropoulos

    The Olympic Flame is expected to reach the Panathinaiko Stadium at 16:30 following a nine-day journey across Greece covering 2,006km. The Flame which rested at the facilities of Panellinios A.C. will finish its journey in Greece at the cauldron at Kallimarmaro, and Athens Olympic Womens 400m Hurdles Gold Medal Winner Fani Halkia will light it. In a special ceremony to be held before the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, Hellenic Olympic Committee President Minos Kyriakou will give the Flame to the President of Turin 2006 organizing committee Valentino Castellani and the Holy Light will embark on its journey to Italy. The Olympic Flame is scheduled to start its journey across Italy on December 8 to reach Turin on February 9.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [14] The Turner Goes to Simon Starling Turner Prize 2005

    06 Dec 2005 13:59:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NA-BBC-Reuters-Tate Britain

    Eccentric yet not provocative artist Simon Starling was awarded with the Turner Prize 2005. The 38-year-old conceptual artist won the prize with "Shedboatshed," an artistic creation that was first a wooden shed in the Suisse city of Schweizerhalle, it was then turned into a boat floating down the Rhine and it was then rebuilt as a shed again. Starling, who excelled over his rivals, stated that he is lucky, for he won three exceptional artists whom he thinks very high of them and that the shed he found and used as a raw material had a row by the side! His rivals were painter Gillian Carnegie well-known for depicting still life and pictures of her own bottom, Jim Lambie and Darren Almond with his four-screen video installation under the title "If I had you."

    "Shedboatshed"

    Reforming and rebuilding has been Starlings point of reference and the experts describe his work as an environmental absurdism.

    "Its a bit of mobile architecture. I set on a campaign on the banks of the Rhine searching for something that could be of use. It was then that I found the shed and it was pure luck that it had a row by its side," Starling argued and went on to explain that his work is about "slowing things down, about trying to retard this incredible speed at which we live." "I do not wish to be called eccentric. My work is pretty serious," he added and describe his creations as "the natural manifestation of a thought process."

    Another artwork by Starling under the title "Tabernas Desert Run 2004" includes an improvised electric bicycle, on which he crossed the Spanish desert. The water produced by the bicycle was then used to paint a cactus he had seen in the desert.

    The 38-year-old artist was awarded with the coveted 25,000-pound prize in London at a ceremony that took place on Monday.

    The Turner Prize has long been related to an artistic movement called "Brit Art." In the past many pretty eccentric artists have been awarded, including transvestite potter Grayson Perry, Chris Ofili and Damien Hirst who won the Prize with a pickled sheep. This years shortlist included more weird rather than controversial artists.

    Related Links:

    urner Prize 2005

    [15] Alterative Energy Discussed at all Levels Green Energy in Greece

    06 Dec 2005 16:09:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    Sources: NET - ANA

    The use of alternative energy sources in Greek government buildings was at the focus of meetings held today between Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and the PM, the President and the Speaker of Parliament. Mr Sioufas suggested that photovoltaic energy units be installed at the Presidential Mansion, Maximos Manions and the Parliament, while his proposal was widely accepted. "It is a move aiming at limiting the use of oil, saving energy and protecting the environment," pointed out the Development Minister, who noted that incentives will apply for the installation of such a system in other government buildings, as well as Local Self-Government buildings and Organisations. Upon exiting the Presidential Mansion, Mr Sioufas did not avoid questions on the issue of Paleokrassas, while he repeated the answer he gave yesterday concerning the former PPC Presidents comments, that he was surprised, but not touched.

    PPC's Future Promising

    The Development Minister was also asked to comment on the future of the Greek Public Power Corporation (PPC) after his meeting with the PM at Maximos Mansion. "The future of the PPC is promising and the company has great prospects," he declared.

    At the same time, the Government spokesperson referred to the way in which the Government handled the Paleokrassas case. "The Government faced Paleokrassas with sensitivity. The former PPC President is an executive who has served the party for a number of years in various top posts. With regard to his political comments, Mr Paleokrassas received answers from the relevant ministers," declared Thodoris Roussopoulos, answering to a relevant question.

    Referring to the stamping out of corruption, which was discussed by the former PPC President, Mr Roussopoulos reminded everyone of the various cases that Paleokrassas had referred to Justice.

    Finally, the Mayor of Athens, Dora Bakoyannis, also referred to the issue, underlining that the dynamic progress of the PPC is what matters.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis


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