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World Poetry Day – 2011 Elytis Year

Odysseas Elytis and his work will be the focus of this year’s World Poetry Day, which is celebrated each year on March 21.
The National Book Centre of Greece (EKEBI) launches a poetry campaign including several events.
One of the day’s highlights is an event jointly organized by EKEBI and the Hellenic Authors’ Society which brings together well-known poets and writers such as Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, Vassilis Vasilikos, Kiki Dimoula and Evgenia Fakinou to recite poems by Odysseas Elytis.
Athenians and citizens of Thessaloniki, Mytillini, Rhodes and Zakynthos will have the opportunity to come across illustrated verses by Elytis as public transport means will feature some of the Nobel laureate’s most beloved and renowned poems. Poetry reading nights, with young poets will also be held in Athens and Thessaloniki.
Moreover in Athens, poet Nanos Valaoritis will present a new theory regarding Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey at the Hellenic American Union, while at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, World Poetry Day will be celebrated through poetry, music and stand-up poetry.
The year 2011 has been designated as an Elytis Year by Culture and Tourism Ministry, in order to mark the 100th anniversary since the birth of the Nobel laureate poet.
Nobel Prize Organisation: Excerpt from Worthy It Is, Poetry International Web- Odysseas Elytis: I Lived the Beloved Name, Drinking the Sun of Corinth, Marina of the Rocks, The Wind That Loiters.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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PM George Papandreou in “Foreign Policy” Magazine

Prime Minister George Papandreou in an in-depth interview in the American magazine Foreign Policy (July 19) explained the reasons behind the crisis and the measures taken by his government in order to tackle it.
He stressed that with the support of the European Union, Greece decided against defaulting, which would cause insurmountable problems especially for the banking institutions in Greece and Europe alike.
He recognized that there was a lack of transparency; there was a lot of money that was lost, wasted, through a huge bureaucracy and patronage. Nevertheless, he highlighted that “we’re committed to changing the situation.
My government, for example, has now brought in laws such as total transparency in all signatures in the public sector, putting more and more tax reform resources and contracts online.”
The premier empathised with Greeks’ sentiments of unhappiness and pain, but “the wide majority of the people realize that we needed to make changes that were long overdue in our country, such as making governance much more responsible, and running the country much more transparent.”
Finally, he debunked recent media stereotypes of Greeks being lazy and concluded saying that: “we’ve seen in this crisis is that we need more Europe, not less…[ ]
…We need to find global governance and we need to find it based on some common values on which we can agree – democratic values.”
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Karamanlis – Obama hold telephone talks

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis held a telephone conversation with U.S. President-elect Barakaramanliskaramanlis1ck Obama yesterday, congratulating him on his election and stressing that he is looking forward to meeting him in the near future. Karamanlis told Obama that he appreciates the clear and steadfast position which he has expressed on a number of issues of Greek interest and added that he hopes for the bilateral cooperation to be reinforced even further, especially through the Greek-American Community which has so far contributed immensely to this end. On his part, Obama thanked the prime minister and underlined his esteem for the work of the Greek-American Community, members of which have been already placed in high ranks of his team. He further acknowledged Greece’s role in crafting solutions to many European issues and expressed his will to visit the country in the future. (The picture is from Karamanlis’ first official visit to the United States as Prime Minister in 2004)  Athens News Agency: Karamanlis, Obama hold telephone conversation; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-USA bilateral relations; World Council of Hellenes Abroad: USA Region

Traces of an Ancient Greek Colony

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of excavations in Emporion, the Cervantes Institute in Athens, the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Catalonia and the Hellenic American Union (HAU) are organising a series of events and panel discussions with the participation of experts from both Spain and Greece. The events, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture, take place from November 25 to November 28, at the HAU. Emporion (market for Greek), the ancient Phocian colony along the Mediterranean coastline of Catalonia (Empúries), was the westernmost Greek settlement of ancient world and a gateway for Classical culture into the Iberian Peninsula. After centuries of abandonment and pillaging, the official excavations, which revealed amongst others the great statue of Asclepios (see picture), began in 1908. 

Rebetika: The Greek Blues

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   British music journalist Peter Paphides writes about the music of rebetika, “the Greek blues” in the Times (UK). Rembetika as a genre has often been compared to the American blues, due to its underground roots and its themes of exile, loss of family, substance abuse, unrequited love, imprisonment and death. Paphides makes special mention to legendary rebetika musician Markos Vamvakaris, “the Robert Johnson of rebetika, with a back story just as mythical as Johnson’s crossroads encounter with the Devil” and to famous composer Manos Hadjidakis. Hadjidakis assimilated rebetika melodies and lyrics into his own music, setting about to create a music “that Greece could call its own, using rebetika, traditional rural folk songs and Byzantine influences.  Times Online: Rebetika – I guess that’s why they call it the Greek bluesWorld Media on Greece – Culture and Education ; Secretariat General of Information: