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Greece beats 2012 deficit targets

According to an official announcement issued on January 10 by the Ministry of Finance, Greece has beaten budget and primary deficit targets for 2012.
stournaras123The data indicate a state budget deficit of €15.908 billion, compared to a target of €16.312 billion deficit. The report on government budget execution also showed a primary deficit of €3,684 billion, as opposed to a target of €4.577 billion.
Compared to the previous year, the budget deficit fell by €6.866 billion, while the primary deficit is also lower by €2.742 billion, with the state budget balance shrinking by 30.1% compared to 2011.This was due to drastic expenditure cutbacks, which counterbalanced a shortfall in revenues attributed to the reduced inflow of funds from the EU toward the Public Investment Programme.
State budget spending was €355 million lower compared to the target fixed in the national budget.
In a related development, Haris Theoharis head of Finance ministry’s General Secretariat of Information Systems was also appointed to the post of permanent a General Secretary for state revenues, it was announced on January 9.
Ministry of Finance: Announcement on 2012 Budget Execution (in Greek) & Report on 12-month Budget Execution (in Greek); Greek News Agenda: Primary Budget Record Surplus

Tribute to poet Odysseus Elytis

On November 2, 2011 Greece commemorates the 100th anniversary since the birth of poet laureate Odysseus Elytis. To mark the centenary of his birth, 2011 has been designated as Elytis Year by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Odysseus Elytis was born in Heraklion, Crete on November 2, 1911 and died in Athens on March 18, 1996.
A major poet in Greek language, Elytis is also one of the outstanding international figures of 20th-century poetry. Elytis’ poetry has marked, through an active presence of over forty years, a broad spectrum of subjects with a rarefied and passionate stylistic touch. The first collections of poetry (Orientations, 1939, and Sun the First, 1943) are joyous and radiant, celebrating the Greek landscape as an ideal world of sensual enjoyment and moral purity.
His experience of the war in 1940s marks a departure from the sunny atmosphere of his early youth and poetry, colouring his long poem Heroic and Elegiac Song for the Lost Second Lieutenant of Albania (1943). The attempt of Elytis to identify himself with the nation and speak for himself and also for his country reaches its peak with Axion Esti (‘Worthy It Is,’ 1959), his central and most ambitious work for which he was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature.
His experience of the war in 1940s marks a departure from the sunny atmosphere of his early youth and poetry, colouring his long poem Heroic and Elegiac Song for the Lost Second Lieutenant of Albania (1943). The attempt of Elytis to identify himself with the nation and speak for himself and also for his country reaches its peak with Axion Esti (‘Worthy It Is,’ 1959), his central and most ambitious work for which he was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Centenary Celebrations
The Athens Concert Hall is paying tribute to Odysseus Elytis by holding a two-day (October 31 to November 1) international conference titled Odysseus Elytis: The 20th century in the poetry of Elytis. The poetry of Elytis in the 21st century, exploring new approaches in the interpretation of his work.
On November 2 and 3, there will be an event of original music by George Kouroupos under the title Odysseus Elytis’ This Small, this Great World!, with poetry and prose set to music, representing the main facets of the work of Odysseus Elytis: lyricism, a restless spirit of inquiry, courage, spirituality, sensation and true emotions. Continue reading

Πρόγραμμα “Φράσις” του Εθνικού Κέντρου Βιβλίου για την στήριξη μεταφράσεων της ελληνικής γραμματείας στο εξωτερικό

Tο Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού και Τουρισμού ανέθεσε στο Εθνικό Κέντρο Βιβλίου (EKEBI) τη λειτουργία του νέου προγράμματος στήριξης μεταφράσεων «Φράσις», το οποίο φιλοδοξεί να μεταλαμπαδεύσει τον ελληνικό λόγο στο εξωτερικό μέσα από τη μετάφραση έργων της σύγχρονης και την παλαιότερης γραμματείας, της πνευματικής, επιστημονικής και καλλιτεχνικής δημιουργίας της χώρας μας σε ξένες γλώσσες.
Το πρόγραμμα αφορά σε όλα τα είδη του γραπτού λόγου. Έχει σχεδιαστεί και υλοποιείται άμεσα με την επιχορήγηση μεταφράσεων σε ποσοστό 100% σε ενδιαφερόμενους πολιτιστικούς φορείς, εκδοτικούς οίκους, πανεπιστήμια και εκπαιδευτικά ιδρύματα της αλλοδαπής.
Στόχος του προγράμματος είναι η όσο το δυνατόν πιο δυναμική παρουσία της Ελλάδας στις ξένες αγορές βιβλίου και, κατ’ επέκταση, η «συνάντηση» των Ελλήνων δημιουργών με ομοτέχνους τους αλλά και με το ευρύτερο αναγνωστικό κοινό σε παγκόσμια κλίμακα.
Οι αιτήσεις συμμετοχής είναι διαθέσιμες στον κόμβο του προγράμματος (www.frasis.gr) ή (www.frasis.eu), καθώς και στον επίσημο κόμβο του EKEBI (www.ekebi.gr).

Program “Frasis” Greckiego Centrum Ksiązki na rzecz wsparcia tłumaczeń na języki obce twórczości greckiej
Greckie Centrum Książki (EKEBI) otrzymało od Ministerstwa Kultury i Turystyki Grecji  zadanie wdrożenia nowego programu wsparcia tłumaczeń “Frasis”. Projekt ten ma prowadzić do popularyzacji kultury greckiej za granicą w oparciu o tłumaczenia na języki obce dzieł literatury zarówno współczesnej jak i starszej, a także tłumaczenia tekstów reprezentujących duchowy, naukowy i artystyczny dorobek kraju.
Program obejmuje wszystkie rodzaje twórczości pisanej. Zgodnie z założeniem jest skierowany do zainteresowanych instytucji kulturalnych, wydawnictw, uniwersytetów i instytucji edukacyjnych za granicą i realizowany przy użyciu bezpośrednich dotacji na tłumaczenia w wysokości 100%.
Celem programu jest bardziej dynamiczna obecność Grecji na zagranicznych rynkach książki, a w szerszym kontekście utworzenie płaszczyzny kontaktu dla twórców greckich i zagranicznych, jak i również możliwość zaprezentowania ich dorobku szerszemu gronu czytelniczemu na świecie.
Formularze wniosków są już dostępne na stronie internetowej programu http://www.frasis.gr i http://www.frasis.eu oraz na oficjalnej stronie Greckiego Centrum Książki http://www.ekebi.gr.

Extended visiting hours for museums and archaeological sites

Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Yeroulanos announced new extended visiting hoursof a number of museums and archeological sites in Greece on May 18.
The ministry said that the list will be further enriched in the future weeks, depending on the availability of staff.
The list includes some of the most popular sites and museums in Greece such as the Acropolis of Athens – Archaeological Site, which will be open from 8.00-19.00, all year round; the Thessaloniki Museum of Byzantine Culture; the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki; the Archaeological Site of Philippi; the Archeological Museum and site of Mycenae; the Archeological Museum and site of Epidaurus; the Archaeological site of Mystras; the Archeological site and Museum of Afaia, Aegina; the Archeological Museum of Messenia; the Archeological site of Ancient Messene; the Catacombs on Milos island; the Herakleion Archeological Museum; the Archeological site of Knossos and the Spinalonga island on Crete.
The list also includes the Archaeological Museum of Drama; the Church of Panagia Kosmosoteira (Our Lady, Saviour of the World), in Ferres; the Grevena Archaeological Collection; the Museum of Asian Art, Corfu; the Archaeological Collection of Arta; the Byzantine Museum of Ioannina; the Ioannina Treasury; the Fortress of Ioannina; the Igoumenitsa Archaeological Museum; the Nekromanteion of Acheron; the Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum in Volos; the Archeological site of Nea Aghialos, Magnesia; the Byzantine Museum of Fthiotida at Ypati; the Monastery of Osios Loukas; the Corinth Archeological Museum.
Ministry of Culture & Tourism:  Brief Guides to Archaeological Museums in Greece Part I & Part II; YouTube: Culture in Greece [VIDEO] [Photo 3: The Nekromanteion of Acheron – Oracle of the Dead]

Farewell to Iakovos Kambanellis

Iakovos Kambanellis, one of the most prominent figures of post-war Greek literature, died yesterday at the age of 89.
Kambanellis was born on the island of Naxos and studied design in Athens. During the Nazi occupation of Greece in WW2 he became actively involved in the Resistance movement. He was arrested by the German occupying forces in 1943 and was sent to Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp, from which he was liberated by the Allied Forces in 1945.
His legendary Mauthausen novel, which describes his experience as a concentration camp survivor, was set to music by Mikis Theodorakis and became one of the most influential works in Greek culture.
He wrote more than twenty plays and twelve film scripts, including Stella by Michael Cacoyannis and The Dragon by Nikos Koundouros. In an announcement, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism expressed deep regret for Kambanellis’ passing, noting that the deceased defined the style of post-war Greek theatre, adding that his works were deeply loved by the Greek audience, as they soberly and truthfully depicted the reality of life in Greece, its difficulties and joys.
ERT Digital Archive: Iakovos Kambanellis – Part 1& Part 2 (in Greek) [VIDEO]

Illegal Migration Action Plan on track

The Ministry of Citizen Protection, in a press release issued on March 9, reiterated that Greece with the assistance of the European Commission and European funding is making immense efforts to implement the Greek National Action Plan on mixed migration flows, despite the disproportionate burden that is being placed on the country as a result of the influx of a large number of irregular migrants.
The Ministry announced the new actions that are currently being implemented, stressing Greece’s commitment to deal with the problem as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

Local Elections Run-off

Following the second round of local elections yesterday, the ruling PASOK party won the majority of regional governorships (8 to 5).
In municipal elections and -despite a high abstention rate- there was a change of leadership in the three major cities.
In Athens, Giorgos Kaminis, the former Ombudsman, won the mayorship, with the support of Pasok, after defeating the incumbent New Democracy (ND) mayor, Nikitas Kaklamanis.
In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, the independent Yiannis Boutaris, supported by Pasok, defeated ND-backed candidate Costas Gioulekas, while in Pireus, Vassilis Michaloliakos, supported by ND defeated Pasok candidate Yiannis Michas.
Commenting on the results, Prime Minister George Papandreou said that the citizens “rejected the sirens of destabilisation and gave the government a clear three years of work to enable it to continue the effort for the country’s salvation and recovery.”
The premier also called on all political parties to “assume responsibility” and work together with the aim of saving the country. Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras said that “the second round confirmed the political conclusions of the first Sunday” and gave the opportunity to his party to emerge “renewed, strong and responsible.”
For more information: Ministry of Interior, Decentralization and E-Government: Regional & Municipal Elections 2010 Results (in Greek); Kathimerini Daily: Pasok gets regional upper hand; YouTube: PM’s nationwide televised press statement (in Greek)