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PM George Papandreou in 100 Top Global Thinkers

Prime Minister George Papandreou has been included in this year’s edition of the Foreign Policy magazine Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2010.
Papandreou ranks 79th and, according to the special report on the December issue of the magazine, was selected “for making the best of Greece’s worst year.”
Billionaire philanthropists Warren Buffett and Bill Gates top the list this year followed by IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and World Bank President Robert Zoellick while US President Barack Obama is in third place.
Nicholas Christakis, a Harvard University social scientist, of Greek origin, is also included in the list, in 83rd place.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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“Lady in Gold” unearthed on Crete

Archaeologists made an important discovery when they unearthed an ancient female skeleton covered with gold foil in a grave in the ancient city of Eleutherna on the northern foothills of Mount Ida near Rethymno, Crete. The finding dates back to the early Archaic Period.
The findings were inside a 2,700-year-old twin tomb, the only one in ancient Eleutherna, located very close to a necropolis of fallen warriors. The woman, of high social or religious status, was interred with a second skeleton in a large jar placed behind a false wall, to ward off body snatchers.
The tiny gold ornaments, ranging from 1 to 4cm long, in different forms (square, triangle, and diamond-shaped) were found next to the remains of the woman, discovered a few weeks ago by a team led by archaeology professor Nicholas Stampolidis of the University of Crete – head of the Eleutherna excavation.
A unique jewelry piece depicting a bee as a goddess was also found amongst the thousands of gold plaques. Excavators also unearthed perfume bottles, hundreds of amber, rock crystal and faience beads and a gold pendant in the form of a bee goddess.
The findings are so extraordinary that they justify the decision made recently by the Archaeological Institute of America to include the excavations at ancient Eleutherna among the best worldwide.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Southeastern Europe Faces a Real Danger of Desertification

(REEK NEWS AGENDA)   Southeastern Europe faces a real danger of desertification and becoming another Sahara Desert in 100-150 years, underlined Sir Nicholas Stern – the United Kingdom’s Head of the Government Economic Service and Adviser to the Government on the economics of climate change and development, during the presentation of the Greek-language Executive Summary of his Report at the foreign ministry on Thursday27 November 2008. The Stern Review is one of the most important documents to have been published in recent years on how to confront the greenhouse effect.  The review’s basic conclusion is that immediate action, on a global level, to deal with climate change is not only an environmental and social imperative, but is also dictated by economics. Sir Nicholas underlined that to deal with the desertification risk SE Europe can seek to become energy producer for the entire Europe by using solar and wind power. Addressing the event, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis praised the contribution of the British government in the study of the economic dimension of the greenhouse effect and maintained that there is immediate need for an agreement to deal with climate change.  Stern Review: Final Report; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Human Security Network Conference on Climate Change  

Bank of Greece Annual Report

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Bank of Greece Governor Nicholas Garganas, in his annual report of the economy released yesterday, forecasts continuous growth of the economy at higher rates than the rest of the eurozone, albeit at a slower pace. The country’s 2008 GDP growth forecast is revised downwards at 3.5% from a previous estimate of 3.7% in February. The slow down, as well as the inflation rate expected to rise to 4% this year from 3.4% previously, are inevitable and are due primarily to higher oil prices. The report also attributes these trends to higher pay rises and the presence of cartels in many markets. The Governor said the Central Bank favours mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector and called on banks to improve the quality of their portfolios, and on households to make careful appraisal of their ability to repay loans before borrowing. Garganas also welcomed the recent reform of the social security system.  Continue reading