Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Monday, June 9, 2014

New Reforms on Liberalization of Closed Professions

According to OECD data, new reforms liberalizing regulated (or so-called closed-shop) professions will be applied this summer until the beginning of 2015. The agreement with the country’s creditors will abolish regulations and restrictions for professions established by law, reportsThe Capital, a Greek site for business and financial market news. Some categories of those closed professions are lawyers, engineers, notaries, architects, health professionals, hairdressers, geotechnicians etc. The liberal professions are subject to pervasive public regulation that covers many aspects of professional activities, among which are the exclusive exercise of certain functions, entry requirements and access mechanisms, minimum price determination, reforms at licensing procedures etc. In the legal profession, for example, the minimum wage of employed lawyers needs to be clarified with the Lawyers Code and in case of voluntary termination of service no retirement compensation will be given. Reforms will also be applied to the profession of engineers (including architects and surveyors).  According to the Hellenic Competition Commission, a new legislation has to be adopted for the amendment of unjustified or disproportionate requirements that restrict some activities in certain professions. The adoption of the new legislation and amendments will be completed between June until November 2014.


16 Terms That Will Make You Sound Smart When People Are Talking About The World Cup

The World Cup starts on June 12.

Over the next four weeks you may find yourself in a bar or a large group of people, and you may feel the social pressure to say something coherent about the game you are watching.

Even if you've never seen a soccer game before, there is hope. Most conversations about sports are an exchange of well-worn phrases and cliches, and soccer is no different.

Here are 16 terms that you can drop casually in conversation, impress some folks, and then recede back into your soccer-less universe without anyone noticing.

1. Panenka — A penalty kick that's chipped slowly right down the middle after the goalie dives to either side. Typically employed by suave attacking midfielders from Mediterranean nations. A Panenka is the ultimate expression of self-belief, and literally the only thing that can redeem a penalty shootout.

2. Azzurri — The nickname for Italy's national team. Never underestimate the well-timed use of a nickname in a foreign tongue. Some others: Les Bleus (France), La Roja (Spain), El Tri (Mexico), Socceroos (Australia), Oranje (Netherlands), the Black Stars (Ghana), and, amazingly, the Indomitable Lions (Cameroon).

3. #USMNT — An abbreviation for "United States men's national team." It's the Internet's preferred nickname/hashtag/shorthand for the U.S. World Cup team. Throw a #USMNT at the end of a timely World Cup tweet and your opinion will be taken 5% more seriously.

4. Howler —  Most popularly used when a goalie commits an error that results in a goal that wouldn't have otherwise been scored, drawing real-life LOL's (howls in the olden days) from the crowd. Robert Green committed a howler in England's opening game against the U.S. in 2010, letting a half-hearted Clint Dempsey shot from distance squirt off his hands. 

5. Parking the bus — The act of defending with all 11 players and not really trying to go forward to score, figuratively taking a bus and parking it directly in front of goal. Second-tier teams will do this against juggernauts like Brazil and Spain in order to earn a 0-0 draw. Teams that are leading late in games will do this to hold on to a result. Greece will do this at all times because it is, maddeningly, how they've been successful for a decade.

6. Dos a cero — Spanish for "2-0," the mystical final score in a freakish number of USMNT wins over Mexico in the last 15 years. The U.S. beat Mexico 2-0 in qualifying for the 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014 World Cups. They also beat Mexico 2-0 in the knockout stages of the 2002 World Cup — the biggest game the two rivals have ever played. The phrase has now extended beyond Mexico, so feel free to use it when the U.S. beats Brazil 2-0 in the final at the Maracana.

7. Tiki-taka (pronounced "ticky-tacka") — A style of play, most popularly employed by Spain, that's based on short passing and keeping possession. Players will dink passes around the field in small triangles, eventually coaxing the defense out of position and tapping in a goal from a few yards out. When Spain is losing, say that tiki-taka is dead. When Spain is winning, say that tiki-taka is an inherently superior style that every team should adopt.

8. False 9 — A formation that doesn't include a traditional striker. Spain won Euro 2012 while using a false 9. This year, Germany, which only brought one nominal striker to Brazil, will likely try to do the same thing. The "9" in "false 9" refers to the absent striker, who traditionally wears the No. 9 shirt.

9. Dual national — A player that was eligible to play for two or more countries. Modern international soccer is a recruiting game. The USMNT has five German-Americans, an Icelandic-American, a Norwegian-American, and others who could have played for places like Haiti and Mexico. Diego Costa, a Brazilian-born striker who chose to play for Spain after living there for five years, may be the most hated man in Brazil.

10. Set piece — Any situation where a team has a goal-scoring opportunity on a stoppage in play — corner kicks, free kicks, and maybe some throw-ins near the box. Scoring a goal in soccer is one of the most difficult tasks in any sport. It takes creativity, organization, skill, and luck. The set piece is the great equalizer. A team can be getting dominated, only to earn a corner kick on a wacky deflection, fling a cross into the box, and have it skim off a body and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

11. Hold-up play — A forward's ability to receive a pass from long range with a defender at his back and retain possession. Strikers are ultimately judged by goals and goals alone. But if you want to prove yourself as a nuanced soccer watcher, go ahead and mention that a player's hold up play has been excellent even though he hasn't scored. It sounds smart and no one will question you on it.

12. Against the run of play — When a team scores a goal (or wins a free kick, corner kick, etc.) after getting dominated for most of the game. Soccer is a game where a team can totally and completely dismantle an opponent without scoring. If the team that's getting dismantled manages to muster a counterattack and score a goal out of thin air, the goal comes against the run of play.

13. Super sub — A star player who comes off the bench because his team is so ridiculously good. Typically applies to attacking players. Only the most adventurous among you will use this because it requires a rough knowledge of which players are good. But if you see the camera cut to an ominous shot of a hyper-focused player from Brazil, Spain, Argentina, or Germany waiting to come into the game, and the announcer's voice rises an octave in anticipation, you've probably got a super sub on your hands.

14. Golazo — An amazing goal. A goal that materializes out of nowhere from 30 yards out. A goal that bangs into the roof of the net from an impossible angle. A goal that swerves violently past a helpless, inanimate goalkeeper. You'll know it when you see it.

15. In form — Describes a player who has been playing well recently. "Form" is something a player is either "in" (playing well) or "out of" (playing poorly). This significantly affects how commentators talk about a team ("Neymar has been out of form for Barcelona, are Brazil doomed?!?"), but the the funny thing about form is that you can fall out of it at any moment, and fall into it just as easily.

16. Final third — The last one-third of the field. The area immediately surrounding your opponent's box, where the level of skill and technique necessary to break down the defense increases, and games are won and lost. If your team lost and you're walking out of the bar despondent, lament the lack of "execution in the final third." Use those precise words, and then slink off quietly.

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Greece names Gikas Hardouvelis finance minister

The GuardianGreece names Gikas Hardouvelis finance ministerFinancial TimesGreece has named Gikas Hardouvelis, chief economist at a private Athens bank, as finance minister in a government reshuffle prompted by the ruling New Democracy party's defeat by the far-left Syriza in last month's European parliament elections.Greece Replaces Finance Minister in Cabinet ShuffleNew York TimesGreek PM replaces finance minister in reshuffleMiamiHerald.comGreece PM Samaras Names Gikas Hardouvelis New Finance MinisterMNI Newsall 60 news articles »


Greek Government Reshuffles Cabinet

Greece's coalition government announced a cabinet reshuffle, including the appointment of a new finance minister, in a bid to boost its popularity after losing ground in last month's European Parliament elections.


Greek cabinet reshuffle appoints professor as finance minister

The Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, has forged ahead with a wide-ranging reshuffle, appointing a non-partisan US-trained academic as finance minister in an attempt to rejuvenate a government clinging to power with a majority of two. The shake-up ...


Festival brings Greek culture to Surrey, on now to June 15

SURREY — Don't stir a Greek coffee. This is some of the sage advice you can find while waiting for a drink at Surrey's annual Greek Food Festival. The coffee, says Stamati Charalambidis who you can find masterfully brewing up cups, has to boil to a foamy ...


Samaras Shakes It Up, Hardouvelis New Finance Chief

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, his New Democracy Conservatives still reeling from being beaten in the European Parliament elections by the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), made changes in his Cabinet on June 9, with the prime post of Finance Minister going to economist Gikas Hardouvelis. He takes over from outgoing finance chief Yannis Stournaras who was reportedly being considered to take over the job as Governor of the Bank of Greece from Giorgos Provopoulos. Hardouvelis will now take over talks with the country’s international lenders, the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB), including negotiating a hoped-for debt restructuring or write down of the 240 billion euros ($327 billion) Greece got in two bailouts. Among other changes was the naming of former PASOK Socialist minister Andreas Loverdos – who had quit the party last year but just returned after saying he wouldn’t – as Education Minister. PASOK is a partner in Samaras’ coalition government and he will keep the Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos as Deputy Premier/Foreign Minister. Hardouvelis is a Professor of Finance & Economics at the University of Piraeus and Chief Economist & Director of Research at Eurobank, one of the state banks which received a huge injection of free state money in a recapitalization made necessary when a previous PASOK government – with Venizelos as Finance Minister – stiffed investors and banks with 74 percent losses to write down the country’s debt, which remains a staggering 315 billion euros ($430 billion). Hardouvelis served as Director of the Economic Office of interim Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, who served in a transition government from November, 2011, when then Premier and PASOK leader George Papandreou quit after relentless protests, strikes and riots against austerity measures demanded by the Troika, until the May, 2012 elections. Those failed to elect a government and a second vote a month later was won by New Democracy, but without enough support to control Parliament, leading Samaras to bring in PASOK and the Democratic Left (DIMAR) as partners. DIMAR walked out last year in a dispute over the firing of public workers. Hardouvelis holds a doctorate in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Applied Mathematics from Harvard. He was Assistant Professor at Barnard College, Columbia University and a professor at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey.


All The Names Of The (Partially) New Greek Government

Greek Prime Minister kept most of his Cabinet intact on June 9, but shook it up a bit in the wake of his New Democracy Conservatives taking a beating in the European Parliament elections to the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). Samaras, as expected because had had to keep the votes of his coalition partner PASOK to control Parliament, retained Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos as Deputy Premier/Foreign Minister. Venizelos is under siege in his own party, however, with dissident lawmakers asking for his head as the party fell precipitously in polls after he backed austerity measures. His party keeps ministerial positions in the government though. Gikas Hardouvelis got the plum job of Finance Minister, replacing Yannis Stournaras, who is reportedly in line to be Governor of the Bank of Greece. Nikos Dendias, a lawyer, moves from Public Order to Development and Competitiveness although he has no experience in the field. Vassilis Kikilias, a former basketball player, replaces Dendias, who replaced Costis Hatzidakis, who was left out in the cold. New Democracy MP Gerasimos Giakoumatos, who is Deputy Development Minister, had to fight in March to keep his Parliamentary immunity and verbally attacked Dendias after being charged with a tax offense. It’s common for Greek Ministers to be given political appointments in fields where they have little or no experience to jump from one ministry to the other. Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, a former member of the far right-wing LAOS party before moving to New Democracy, was canned in favor of another former LAOS member, Makis Voridis, who has been accused of extremist right-wing, homophobic and anti-Semitic views – which he has denied although he headed the extremist Hellenic Front. He has no experience in the health care field and takes over a portfolio under fire, with the system crumbling under big budget reductions that has left hospitals without essential supplies and even toilet paper or toilet seats. Georgiadis had been Samaras’ pit bull attack dog, confronting opponents of reforms and austerity measures in a series of combative confrontations and defended health care cuts. Andreas Loverdos, a former PASOK minister who quit the party to form his own, only to recently come back, replaces Constantinos Arvanitopoulos as Education Minister. Loverdos’ return gave the government a three-vote majority in the 300-member Parliament. Argyris Dinopoulos takes over from Yiannis Michelakis as Interior Minister. Panos Panagiotopoulos was ousted in favor of Constandinos Tasoulas as Culture Minister, while Angela Gerekou, whose husband is a convicted tax cheat, is the new deputy. The new government will have 46 members, including 32 from New Democracy, although Samaras had promised to have a smaller Cabinet when he was elected. The Cabinet will be sworn in on June 10 at 3:30 p.m. by Archbishop Ieronymos, before Greek President Karolos Papoulias. As announced by the new government spokeswoman, Sofia Voultepsi – who replaced Simos Kedikoglou – it will be the following: Prime Minister: Antonis Samaras Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister: Evangelos Venizelos Deputy: Dimitris Kourkoulas Deputy: Akis Gerontopoulos Finance Minister: Gikas Hardouvelis Alternate: Christos Staikouras Deputy: Giorgos Mavraganis Administrative Reform and E-Governance Minister: Kyriakos Mitsotakis Deputy: Evi Christophilopoulou Interior Minister: Argyris Dinopoulos Deputy: Theofilos Leontaridis Deputy: Giorgos Dolios National Defence Minister: Dimitris Avramopoulos Alternate: Fofi Genimata Deputy: Giannis Lambropoulos Development and Competitiveness Minister: Nikos Dendias Deputy: Odysseas Constantinopoulos Deputy: Gerasimos Giakoumatos Deputy: Notis Mitarachi Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister: Michalis Chryssohoidis Deputy: Michalis Papadopoulos Environment, Energy & Climate Change Minister: Yiannis Maniatis Alternate: Nikolaos Tagaras Deputy: Asimakis Papageorgiou Education and Religious Affairs Minister: Andreas Loverdos Deputy: Alexandros Dermetzopoulos Deputy: Constantinos Koukodimos Culture and Sports Minister: Constantinos Tassoulas Deputy: Angela Gerekou Deputy Minister for Sports: Yiannis Andrianos Labour, Social Security and Welfare Minister: Yiannis Vroutsis Deputy: Vassilis Kegeroglou Deputy: Antonios Bezas Deputy: Yiannis Plakiotakis Health Minister: Makis Voridis Alternate: Leonidas Grigorakos Deputy: Katerina Papakosta Rural Development and Food Minister: Giorgos Karasmanis Alternate: Paris Koukoulopoulos Justice, Transparency and Human Rights Minister: Charalambos Athanassiou Public Order and Citizen Protection Minister: Vassilios Kikilias Tourism Minister: Olga Kefalogianni Shippping and Aegean Minister: Miltiadis Varvitsiotis Macedonia-Thrace Minister: Giorgos Orfanos State Minister: Dimitris Stamatis Government Spokesman and Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister: Sofia Voultepsi


Samaras Shuffles His Cabinet: Hardouvelis Named Finance Minister

Shaking up his Cabinet, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on June 9 gave the top job of Finance Minister to economist Gikas Hardouvelis, who taught at Columbia and Rutgers, and now has the tough task of negotiating debt restructuring with the country's international lenders.

The post Samaras Shuffles His Cabinet: Hardouvelis Named Finance Minister appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Coast Guard Saves 29 Migrants

Greece's Coast Guard says one of its patrol boats has rescued 29 migrants from a small vessel taking on water near the eastern Aegean island of Samos.

The post Greek Coast Guard Saves 29 Migrants appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Jewish Lawmaker Says Golden Dawn Would Send Her to 'Concentration ...

Jewish Daily ForwardGreek Jewish Lawmaker Says Golden Dawn Would Send Her to 'Concentration ...Jewish Daily ForwardGreek lawmaker warned her colleagues that if the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party comes to power it would send her and her family to the crematoria because of her Jewish ancestry. Anna Asimakopoulou, the spokesperson for the ruling New Democracy party, ...Greek politician: Golden Dawn would send my family to crematoriaJewish Telegraphic AgencyGreek MP: Golden Dawn would send my family to the crematoriumHaaretzSS songs and antisemitism: the week Golden Dawn turned openly NaziThe GuardianThe Daily Starall 15 news articles »


Greek detained at Serbian-FYROM border for drug possession

A Serbian prosecutor ordered the arrest of a 40-year-old Greek national on Monday after Serbian border police stationed at the Presevo border crossing between Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) allegedly discovered 56 kilos of ma... ...


Dead fish remain on Samos beach

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Road traffic down by 25-30 percent over Pentecost holiday

The number of drivers on Greece’s roads was considerably lower over the Pentecost holiday this past long weekend compared to the previous year, according to data from Athens-Lamia and Athens-Corinth national highway toll stations. Meanwhile, road traffic ... ...


Greek tanker missing in Gulf of Guinea amid piracy fears

The fate of a Greek oil tanker that disappeared in the Gulf of Guinea last week remained unclear on Monday as the firm that owns the vessel said it had lost contact with it amid fears of an attack by pirates. The Liberia-flagged MT Fair Artemis last commu... ...


Foreign groups pick Greece for assembly lines, Euro gateway

Several of the major international firms that have chosen Piraeus to be their products’ gateway to Europe are apparently close to moving along to the second step, which is the creation and operation of assembly lines in Greece. At the same time, foreign g... ...


Liquidity rises as firms repay their loans

Liquidity in the Greek economy is showing signs of recovery, as a slow rise has been noted in the issue of loans for the first time after five years of contraction. Bank data point to a small increase in the flow of credit, mostly to enterprises, which ar... ...


Watchdog: ‘Illegal betting bigger than legal market’

Illegal gambling activities in Greece probably make more money than the country’s legal market, the president of the sector’s watchdog, Evgenios Giannakopoulos, has admitted. In an interview with Kathimerini, the head of the Hellenic Gaming Commission (EE... ...


Great window for another bond issue

The European Central Bank’s wide range of measures to boost liquidity, reverse low inflation dynamics and help economic recovery in the eurozone are expected to solidify and even improve conditions for sovereign debt issuance. Greece should take advantage... ...


'The Prairie Home Companion' Live at The Greek Theater

'The Prairie Home Companion' Live at The Greek TheaterHuffington PostThe Greek Theater in Los Angeles is a unique venue; an outdoor amphitheater (hence it's name) like the Hollywood Bowl, but small enough at under 6000 seats to feel intimate, which is the theater's real charm. If you've never been there all I can say is ...


CV of new Greek Finance Minister Pr. Gikas Hardouvelis

Professor Gikas A. Hardouvelis Curriculum Vitae: The new Greek Finance Minister Gikas A. Hardouvelis is Professor of Finance and Economics at the University of Piraeus-Greece and Chief Economist of the EUROBANK Group. He is Research Fellow at the Centre for.


Greek Restaurant Creates Food Portrait of Queen Elizabeth

The Real Greek restaurant has created a food portrait of Queen Elizabeth II for the occasion of her official birthday and the opening of a new branch in Windsor. The food artist Nathan Wyburn was working for four hours to complete the food portrait.


Greek govt names economist as finance minister in cabinet reshuffle

* Economist Gikas Hardouvelis appointed new Greek finance minister * Hardouvelis has advised two previous prime ministers (Adds details, background) ATHENS, June 9 (Reuters) - Greece's government named economist Gikas Hardouvelis as finance minister on Monday, replacing Yannis Stournaras, who has steered Greece towards economic recovery after it nearly crashed out of the euro zone in 2012 ...


Greek food, music and culture attract large crowd to Kalamazoo's Greek Festival

Greek food, music and culture attract large crowd to Kalamazoo's Greek FestivalWestern HeraldKalamazoo's Arcadia Creek Festival Place was bursting with Greek gyros, music and culture this weekend, as the annual Greek Festival was held. The festival, founded by restaurant owners Theo and Stacy, was held from June 5 to 7, and attracted large ...and more »


Extensive government reshuffle in Greece

An non partisan, Ghikas Chardouvelis, is the new minister of Finance in Greece, after an extensive reshuffle of the government announced Monday, 9 June.

Mr. Chardouvelis is a professor at the University of Pireus and head of financial analysis of the Greek banking group, EUROBANK.

He is a research fellow of the London Centre for Economic Policy Research and at the Centre for Money, Banking and Institutions of Surrey Business School.  

Ghikas Chardouvelis is replacing Giannis Stournaras, an economist whose role was critical to Greece's relations with the EU, ECB and IMF “Troika”.

Another post, important to Greece's cooperation with the “troika”, this of the minister of Development and Competitiveness goes to Nikos Dendias, up to now Minister of Citizen Protection (order).

According to information, the former minister of Development and Competitiveness, Kostis Chatzidakis, is slated to become Greece's Commissioner in Brussels.



Woman Found Dead in Rhodes Hotel

A 35 year-old Swiss woman, was found dead in the swimming pool of a luxury hotel resort on the island of Rhodes, in the eastern Aegean Sea, Greece. The body of the woman was found early on Monday by hotel employees. The coroner who rushed to the hotel after the incident and the Greek police authorities claim that so far evidence shows that the woman was not murdered. However, given that there were no eyewitnesses, the police are carrying out an investigation to exclude any possibility of foul play and to confirm that the woman’s death accidental. On Friday June 7, another tragedy occurred at a hotel in Rhodes. A 37-year old hotel employee committed suicide, falling from the fourth floor of the hotel where she was employed. The 37 year-old Albanian woman, was immediately transferred to the local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. The woman was working at the hotel for many years and it appears that she was not suffering from psychological problems.


Is Greece European? Brussels Must Wonder Sometimes

The West - as a humanist ideal -- began in ancient Athens where compassion for the individual began to replace the brutality of Egypt and Mesopotamia.

The post Is Greece European? Brussels Must Wonder Sometimes appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek Ports On The Block

the Greek government is reportedly considering selling off its major ports to bring in billions of euros in investments and jobs to counter an economic crisis.

The post Greek Ports On The Block appeared first on The National Herald.


Greek PM appoints economist Hardouvelis as new finance minister

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras appointed economist Gikas Hardouvelis as finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, replacing Yannis Stournaras who has led Greece's negotiations with its EU/IMF ...


Greek politician: Golden Dawn would send my family to crematoria

HaaretzGreek politician: Golden Dawn would send my family to crematoriaJewish Telegraphic AgencyATHENS, Greece (JTA) — A Greek lawmaker warned her colleagues that if the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party comes to power it would send her and her family to the crematoria because of her Jewish ancestry. Anna Asimakopoulou, the spokesperson for the ...SS songs and antisemitism: the week Golden Dawn turned openly NaziThe GuardianGreek MP: Golden Dawn would send my family to the crematoriumHaaretzGreeks demand compensation for Nazi crimesThe Daily Starall 15 news articles »


Grilled Greek Salad: Recipe of the Day

Grilled Greek Salad: Recipe of the DayThe Express-TimesSlice the onion into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Spear the slices across the grain with a small wooden skewer. In a zip-close plastic bag, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the vinegar, oregano, lemon zest and juice, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and a ...


National Bank of Greece Is Among JPM Top Picks

National Bank of Greece Is Among JPM Top PicksTheStreet.comNEW YORK (TheStreet) --National Bank of Greece (NBG) was added to the "model portfolio" of JPMorgan's European banking analysts Monday, who also added Banco Popular to the list following last week's moves by the European Central Bank to improve ...


Greek coast guard: 29 migrants rescued in Aegean

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's coast guard says one of its patrol boats has rescued 29 migrants from a small vessel taking on water near the eastern Aegean island of Samos.


Why Fulham need Kostas Mitroglou to be a World Cup star for Greece at Brazil ...

Evening StandardWhy Fulham need Kostas Mitroglou to be a World Cup star for Greece at Brazil ...MetroIf Mitroglou fires in the group stages and takes Greece into the knockout rounds, he'll have plenty of European suitors vying for his signature. This would be the best result that Fulham could hope for, as it would drive his re-sell value up ...World Cup Team Profile: GreeceStarAfrica.comWorld Cup 2014 Greece profile: Goal hopes resting on Fulham flop Kostas ...Evening StandardVideo: Greece World Cup Profile by FIFAGreek ReporterScotzineall 5 news articles »


How The UAE Is Mastering Happiness

What is happiness and how do we become happy? This is the type of question, seemingly impossible to answer, that has engaged thinkers from at least the time of Aristotle, the Ancient Greek philosopher who lived in a period when the distinction was being made between the pleasure of the moment and long-term satisfaction.


"The Reckoning" Author Jacob Soll Urges Greece to Implement GAAP

FRANKFURT, Germany, June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Professor Jacob Soll, author of "The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations", urges the Greek government to implement generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).


Historic Cars at Coys’ Athens Auction

The British auction house Coys will include in this year’s auction about 130 classic cars and motorcycles mostly from the 1970s, some of them belonging to government officials such as the late Greek President of the Republic, Konstantinos Karamanlis. The auction includes a Lancia Stratos chassis estimated at 30,000 to 35,000 euros, with a separately sold selection of parts (€20,000 – €25,000), a rare Alfa Romeo 1900 AR51 estimated at 14,000 to 16,000 euros and a 1965 Panhard CT 24, one of the few cars in the sale not to have Greek provenance, at 4,500 to 5,500 euros. The lotlist also includes an armored 1988 Mercedes-Benz 500 SEL (W126) used by the late President of the Greek Republic, Konstantinos Karamanlis in the 1980s. The historic vehicle is estimated at 20,000 to 25,000 euros which is a rather reasonable estimate given its presidential provenance and the fact it’s described as being “preserved in immaculate condition.” Coys’ Athens auction will be held on June 14, 2014 at the Astir Palace Resort in Athens, Greece.


Greece Deports 811 Immigrants

Greece's ongoing project to get illegal immigrants rounded up and out of the country led to the deportation of 811 in May, the police Aliens Bureau said.

The post Greece Deports 811 Immigrants appeared first on The National Herald.


Alpha Omega Honors Maria Stephanos

BOSTON, MA – The Alfa Omega Council of Boston in its annual dinner at the Westin Copley Place Hotel, attended by more than 300 guests honored anchor Maria Stephanos from Fox 25 News of Boston with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Former Massachusetts Governor and presidential candidate Michael Dukakis served as Master of Ceremonies. Stephanos is […]

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Greek PM set to name well-known anti-Semite as minister

HaaretzGreek PM set to name well-known anti-Semite as ministerHaaretzGreek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is expected to promote the far-right politician Makis Voridis to his cabinet this week. Voridis, who is said to consider France's Jean-Marie Le Pen a mentor and friend, is known for promoting anti-Semitic views, has ...


A Plan to Revitalize Greece

Greece is finally showing signs of recovering from its 2008 crash. However, as much as macroeconomic reforms are needed, the future of the Greek economy will be determined by its competitiveness, which concerns costs, but is also measured by innovation.


Every 2014 World Cup national anthem reviewed by a pop star!

Theyve had 25 No1 singles (more than Elvis) and 19 No1 albums (more than The Beatles), had their first hit in 1967 and their latest this year theyre the Guardians World Cup national anthem review panel!

The committed World Cup viewer, determined to watch every single match from Brazil in full including build-ups and preambles, will hear the 32 national anthems played a total of 128 times over the course of the tournament. If each airing takes 90 seconds a conservative estimate, as anyone who has ever watched Uruguay will attest that adds up to a full three hours and 12 minutes of anthem-listening. But which of these anthems are worth hearing, and which best avoided? We asked some leading hitmakers for their opinions

Brazil have a wonderfully jaunty national anthem that climbs up and down the scales with the agility of a young Jairzinho. Dating from 1822, its florid lines were never designed to be sung by 80,000 people in a massive stadium, so it is not unusual for the crowd and the music to fall out of sync. The opening line places us beside a stream in the vicinity of São Paulo and the lyrics make passing reference to a death-defying chest and the bosom of freedom. And unlike our own God Save the Queen, it does mention the name of their country, surely the bare minimum requirement of a national anthem.

Lyrically its an unapologetic heads up to the glory of the beautiful homeland. You wouldnt expect anything less from a national anthem. With instructions to Drava to keep on flowing and the Danube to not lose its vigour. A real Croat love fest. What is surprising is the tune. Nothing prepares you for the brazen ferocity of the Croatian anthem. It sounds not unlike a child with a wooden spoon and a biscuit tin followed by a stern beating. Percussion supplied by dustbin lids on boots and sledgehammers. At least its mercifully short. It should fire up the team in Brazil. Anything less than victory and Luka Modric will be forced to listen to it repeatedly on the bus home.

My first thought was that it sounded like a war march, and when I read the lyrics it is a sort of war cry. I suppose a call to arms is a fitting thing for a sportsman to hear before they go into battle. The other thing was how complex the melodic structure was in comparison with the British and American anthems. Our anthems are like nursery rhymes; theyve gone for the equivalent of Schuberts fifth symphony. I imagine its hard for their kids to learn at nursery. Im not a massive football fan myself, but I get into the big international competitions, as I suppose everyone does. My weddings actually in the middle of the World Cup, so the biggest thing for me was that we didnt have to compete with an England game. Thankfully weve got away with that one.

Suitably overblown and pompous, this is a proper national anthem. Translated from its native French, the libretto does become a mish-mash of fourth-form poetry (O Cameroon, cradle of our ancestors/Go, stand, be jealous of your freedom, and other beauties such as, May [your children] serve you as their sole purpose/To fulfil their duty forever), but given the full-blown orchestral treatment, with percussion, flutes, and horns of every type, played in a marching tempo, all-the-while betraying its French ancestry, it is a really stirring piece. It is musical and charming. Plus, it is short.

Spains national anthem, written in 1761, has no lyrics, so fans repeat just one word - lo. This translates as well nothing. Its meaningless. And surely, if youre going to sing a song at football matches, thats what you want? Watching our lads pretending to mouth questionable lyrics about God giving the Queen near-immortal life, and her being the victor when shes not really of fighting age, is silly. We should strip our own national anthem back, and replace the lyrics with our own best-known meaningless word oi! Unless of course Big Liz turns up, and then we can stick in those other words but shes not going to, is she?

I always enjoyed Holland as a national team, Im sure most people that grew up in my generation will feel the same. They always seem to have a few exciting players and obviously always had a great attacking philosophy. Plus Van Der Sar and Van Nistelrooy were incredible for my club; and even though he was Arsenal Bergkamp is one of the best players ever. I like the sound of the Dutch anthem, its quite epic like a lot of national anthems. The strings and melody are nice. I dont speak Dutch so couldnt understand the lyrics at first, when I had a read through a translation I found them interesting, with references to Germany and Spain in there turns out its officially the oldest national anthem in the world and also is written in the first person perspective of William of Orange who fought for The Netherlands independence. This national anthem will definitely provide a talking point with locals the next time I visit some of my favourite cafes in Amsterdam! I like it.

This track is an absolute belter, that wouldnt go amiss as the soundtrack to a good Sunday afternoon war film, which in turn conjures up images of that classic war/football movie Escape to Victory. I know nothing of football but I can hear pride in a rhythm from 50 yards and this tune blew my tits clean off. The Chileans have seen their fair share of political upheaval over the years and if this reflection of national spirit is anything to go by, then they more than deserve to win the World Cup and have a film made about it thats loosely based around World War Two. Is it possible to get Sylvester Stallone to play in goal for them? Can we get them a dressing room with a giant bath that leads to an escape tunnel? Is there any chance we can get Ossie Ardilles to come on as a ball boy for them? I just dont know, but at least every time I hear this great piece of music I can picture all this and more in my tiny drug-addled mind. Go Team Chile. My fave new football heroes.

Australias national anthem begins with the flourish of a classic Hollywood movie. I have no intention of ever watching Baz Luhrmanns Australia but if he didnt use this piece of music to kickstart his reputedly overblown depiction of early Aussie settlers then hes missed a trick. As with many national anthems theres a whiff of an ice skating hall to the whole affair and the word gala comes to mind when listening. In that respect, it resembles the pompous tune it replaced as official anthem in 1984 - God Save The Queen. At least it trumps its predecessor thanks to the inclusion of the word girt, which undercuts all the guff about golden soil and being young and free by virtue of sounding like an Irishman saying girth.

Before reading up on the story of the Colombian national anthem, I thought I would probably just create a history of my own, as very few would be any the wiser. But the truth is actually strange enough. ¡Oh Gloria Inmarcesible! (O Unfading Glory) essentially started life as a poem by former President Rafael Núñez. It was bought to life in 1887, one year after the Republic of Colombia was declared, when an actor from Bogotá, named José Domingo Torres, asked his friend, the opera singer Oreste Sindici, to compose music against the words. It wasnt actually officially adopted until 1920. As a result of its poetic origins, and possibly its resemblance to Italian opera too, it is long. Too long I would say. Typically just one of its eleven verses, normally the first, is sandwiched between two choruses. And the lyrics are as impassioned, emotive and colourful youd expect from a South American President in the 19th Century; In agony, the virgin tears out her hair and the river runs with blood and weeping, for example. Good to know the next time we find ourselves lined up against them on the football field.

Glenn One of the versions of this on Youtube is 55 minutes long give or take a couple of seconds, which is befitting as according to Wikipedia its the longest national anthem in the world.Chris If they sang the complete anthem at a football match, the game would kick off about 4pm and not 3pm.Glenn It makes you realise how skilled those early Hollywood songwriters were because they parody these sorts of things. It sounds almost Slavic with the stirring choir and the jaunty piano.Chris You go Slav if you like when I first heard it it kind of reminded me of something that the Marx Brothers would interrupt. Does it make you feel patriotic?Glenn Im not Greek so I cant really say that it does.Chris They say Grease is the word, but it is like thousands of words by the sound of it.Glenn Its a fact that if we gave you a review of all 185 verses of the Greek national anthem we would have this entire feature to ourselvesChris What I like most about football when they sing the national anthem is the ambient vocal mic picking up the goalie singing really out of tune, and not really knowing the wordsGlenn We did just scan down a YouTube of the Greek team singing the national anthem (short version!) and there was a good deal of bluffing going onChris Anyway we will be back in a couple of days once this is over

Normally Ive got all these electronic noises coming out of my office, and when I was listening to this my wife came in to check I was OK. I think its quite a good one. Its in A flat major, which is always a stirring key. Thats one semi-tone higher than God Save the Queen, if youre interested. Its a very traditional marching pace. It sounds like the Marseilleise part two, which is interesting as its a post French-colonial effort. The lyrics are very traditional national-anthem stuff about a land of hope and full gallant legions, and the pay-off at the end is the fatherland of true brotherhood, which is half right-wing and half left-wing, which is probably what any good national anthem should aspire to. If you watch the team singing it before matches you learn a couple of things: some countries dont look very interested in their anthems but the Ivorians are quite stirred, and Yaya Touré is a loud singer but hes absolutely awful.

I thought it was a lovely piece of music. Its very short so they often sing it twice. It was composed in the 1800s, and I could tell it was in the time of Tchaikovsky, in the classical romantic period. When I was listenting to it Ben thought it sounded like church music, because with the classical music behind it it might sound a bit churchy. I thought it was a nice piece of music and quite emotional and moving. Wherever youre from, when your anthem comes on you get quite patriotic, it seems to really rev you up. I want Ben play, and he gets so fired up when hes singing his anthem. Im sure its the same for footballers, and helps to release the nerves and the adrenaline when theyre waiting for the game. Im sure Ill watch a bit of the World Cup, even though theres no Irish team. I can still remember watching Italia 90, aged eight, with Niall Quinn and Paul McGrath in the team. I can still remember most of the team from then, but I could hardly name a player now.

Im getting oodles of eastern pride with lusty overtones of death or glory, Im getting a spine of florid pomposity with top notes of Tom and Jerry, Im getting Viennese marching music with a strong hint of moustache oil, Im getting really bored, this thing goes on and on Weighing in at a hefty five minutes, six seconds, this is officially the longest national anthem in the world.

Its an incredibly grandiose and rousing tune, extremely jolly and strident, almost like an operatic piece. Its a big anthem, and a big lyric, for a small country. The words talk about peace and blue skies and the nation as a loving mother its not as sabre-rattling as some other countries. I can imagine it played in the stadium, with all the fans Im not sure how many fans Costa Rica take to a World Cup, but however many of them there are singing and feeling very proud. There might be a few tears. I know from experience that when youre in that situation, singing a song thats meaningful to you and thousands of people joining in whether its a national anthem or Gold it brings a sense of pride. Its a special moment. I visited Costa Rica a few years ago, and trekked from one side to the other to raise money for Action Medical Research, so Ive been there and experienced the country and the jungle. Its a fascinating and beautiful place. It took about 14 days to go from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific and it was a fabulous trip. We took a couple of short cuts.

Researching this, I got really curious and spent an evening listening to the various anthems of the world. There are some good ones in there. I like the Danish one because its very sweet, the Dutch one is very majestic, and Australias reflects the way Australians are theyre very bright, joyful, easygoing, happy people and Germanys quite militaristic. And God Save the Queen does that too its very subtle, calm and controlled, in the way people outside the UK think British people are. I wouldnt want to put these lyrics into a pop song, but they also reflect that mannered, reserved attitude. It was written in the middle of the 18th century, and it reflects I think the era it was made. Its how people spoke in those days. Its quite a good tune to sing along to, very simple, but Im not sure everyone connects with the words now. Watching the team as the anthem plays before a match some of the players are just mumbling along. I think that you should maybe rewrite the anthems every 50 years, because the world is moving so fast, and I think it would be interesting to hear what would be created

The National Anthem of Italy Il Canto degli Italiani, which translates as The Song of the Italians is a lively patriotic lyric, a musical mix between a church hymn and a military march. A rousing and bloody oompah-oompah call to arms against foreign occupiers. Theres drinking blood, heartburn, Roman slaves, cohorts Italians really are the experts at sticking it up authority. And partying afterwards. This song was sung by Garibaldi when he kicked the Bourbons out of Sicily. Some have said that its not that challenging musically (I personally prefer the Russian National Anthem which is written in a minor key and sounds bitchin on the accordion) but Verdi himself championed this song as being of equal stature to God Save the Queen. And whos going to argue with Verdi?

Its not the most gripping, Ive got to say. I think it lacks that crowd appeal I cant really imagine anyone singing along with it. Its important at a World Cup that the anthem rallies the fans and team before the game, and thats definitely missing here. Its very slow and doesnt really go anywhere, it kind of ploddles along. And then the lyrics are all about the weather and mountains and sunsets and clouds. I read that theyre looking for a new one at the moment, and lets just say I can understand why. Theres a prize of about £7,000 for whoever writes the winning song, so maybe next time Im in the studio Ill stay behind for a bit and submit one to the parliament of Switzerland. An anthem is important for a country, it needs to be relevant and it needs to work, and if it isnt working theyve got to change it. I have to say I like God Save the Queen, I think that should stay just the way it is. Maybe a bit of guitar would be cool, but I think thats a solid national anthem. I think many countries will look at it and go, Wow, thats a good one. Theyll be very jealous. Especially the Swiss.

I love Latin music and culture! My recent hit Dibby Sound with Jay Fay was heavily influenced by Brazilian samba axa music. Its so weird hearing other national anthems because you grow up with your national anthem, its in your blood (literally). Im sure if I was Ecuadorean this would sound a lot less like a cross between jingle bells and onward Christian soldiers. I guess I was hoping for some of that incredible latin rhythmic heat! But hey, I grew up in maidenhead, so what do I know?

The pomp, power and military bombast of La Marseillaise draws me into the history of France, and my own. The surname I was born with was French: DOrsay; perhaps an ancestor was amongst those troops that marched to this evocative anthem for the first time as they entered Paris 200 years ago! I think also of my dear friend Charles Aznavour, hes 90 now but we sang together on my latest album, Engelbert Calling. La Marseillaise sounds best ringing around a packed sports stadium. Its lyrics evoke revolution, conflict, taking up arms, preparing for the fight everything my music does not! Even in our largely peaceful times it retains its rousing, martial air that gives it a power that hasnt diminished. A great stirring, inspiring anthem to take the field to!

When you think of God Save the Queen, its just one melody all the way through. This, though, is structured like a song its got a verse, a pre-chorus and then it goes into what I would call a chorus and then back to a verse. Its quite a jolly, memorable melody, punctuated with a lot of cymbals, which lock the melody down. The lyrics are almost a battle cry, full of dramatic lyrics crashing waves, volcanoes, marching to the death. Personally I think our anthem is really dreary, but this has a better tempo, a more interesting structure. I think its a good singalong, and can really picture them bellowing that out, very proud, before kick-off. Im not much of a football person, but Im a glory girl, so Ill tune in for the final, perhaps a semi-final. I doubt Ill see much of Honduras this summer.

Ive watched a few videos of the national team whilst the anthems being played. They dont seem to know the words. Or care that its playing. This is odd because most Argentinian people I know are hugely patriotic. Its got a bit of an odd time signature to it, its not as easy to singalong to as our own national anthem - maybe its hard to sing along to something like this when you have a tango rhythm in your bones like the South Americans do? Also its not every anthemic in my opinion, its more like The Marriage Of Figaro. Apparently the old version had anti-Spanish lyrics! Naughty. Theyve obviously changed that since for something a bit more Gallagher-esque as the translation goes: Let us live crowned in glory or let us swear in glory to die!. Could be straight from Champagne Supernova couldnt it?

Ceremoniously slow and with a mood of solemn self-satisfaction and reflective pride, the most I can say about this is every note of it is archetypal national anthem fodder. The melody is reminiscent of any number of late Victorian hymn tunes- its verses end with perfect cadences following imperfect cadences at the halfway points, which creates comfortable if tired-sounding resolutions. In footballing terms its the stodgy 4-5-1 of a relegation-battling team of cloggers looking to flood the midfield and frustrate creativity. The lyrics arent much better, praising Herzegovinas wonderful blue sky- not the strongest USP there. Id speculate that at B-Hs inception something so bland was chosen to not inflame tensions between the ethnicities of the new state, what with Bosnian Serbs, Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims all having separate (and hopefully way more banging) anthems with which they identify.

On first listening, the Iran teams national anthem Soroud-e Melli-e Jomhouri-e Eslami-e Iran sounds like yer standard pomptastic European 19th-century neo-classicism. But do some musicology, and you find that Irans precursor, Persia, has a strong clam to be the originator of the operatic form, with its song and drama tradition of Tazieh. Symphonic music is hugely important in contemporary Iran, often inspired by a native classic tradition that goes back to the Sasanian empire in the 2nd century. Dont know how the teamll do. But the anthem composed in 1990 is competitive and fighting fit.

The lyric line, One Nation bound in freedom, Peace and Unity is a bit of a tall order for most countries but sadly for Nigeria it is at most a hopeful dream. The song which cannot be described as great art - like many National Anthems including our own, is strident and solemn, and could be hymn. Indeed several of its melodic lines are ripped straight from familiar hymns, specifically Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer (Bread Of Heaven). It serves the purpose as a familiar anthem and call for loyalty and togetherness. Its lack of originality combined with its passionate formulaic construction is probably why it sounds like most other National Anthems on Earth, and why it does the job and very little more!

I have a great connection with this piece of music, which was written by Haydn in 1797. I went to Marlborough College in Wiltshire, and they had a beautiful chapel where we had matins most days. I remember singing the hymn Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken, to this tune, which with 800 voices was a thrilling sound. I was brought up Church of Ireland, and one of my earliest memories would have been in church with mum and dad, listening to this melody. Theres an interesting thing with music like this, how the beat falls with the melody; they often say music is mathematical in construction and this is a very good example. The melodic pattern repeats itself several times throughout, then you have a mid eight, and for me the most thrilling part is the reprise, those rising notes, and then it hits the top. Its a hell of a piece of music.

It sounds like a good bit of music and its rousing, but I found the lyrics - to arms, to arms! For the fatherland, fight! - a bit steeped in warfare and the glory of battle. Anthems often revel in that, which I find personally is not in my mindset and hopefully most people in the modern world will feel like that. Anthems are a piece of your heritage, though, like your old racist grandma you dont tell her to get lost just because her views are a little outdated. Melodically and as a piece of rousing hymnal music its great. Its definitely the sort of thing Id drop in a DJ set not the whole thing, just 30 seconds or so - because you feel its the music of the people. I wrote with a friend something like a hymn, for the Olympics, and I played it to my dad whos a vicar and he said it was too lofty and wouldnt connect to the working man. Hopefully well complete it at some stage, but writing a hymn that connects to people and is uplifting is hard to do. Ill be watching the World Cup when I was at school football supporting was about fighting and violence, but those days are gone. Ill always watch England, and experience that groaning feeling of depression as theyre lauded and then they fail. I dont know why theyre lauded so much, all they do is kick a ball about.

Apparently, this was adopted to take over from God save the Queen when Ghana stopped being a British colony in 1957. Ironically, youd be hard pushed to find anything more British. Sounds like it was rescued from Elgars recycling bin. Im struggling to understand why they couldnt come up with something a little more independent sounding to celebrate their Independence. That said, it contains all the elements required to stir the loins: a glorious and triumphant opening string and brass salvo, followed by a regal and stately middle section (to the manor born), building to a rabble rousing climax. Classic stuff. Looking forward to hearing Michael Essien belt this one out.

Its a decent melody, actually quite rousing. Like most anthems its intended to create unity in the face of adversity, coming from a time when America was a new country trying to forge its identity. Its certainly better than God Save the Queen, because its less sturgy and ploddy, but my theory is that anthems should be changed quite frequently so they reflect the times we live in, in a language we understand. Oer the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming what does it mean? Its a martial national anthem and maybe in peacetime, or something close to it, we should be having more forward-thinking anthems, with lyrics that inspire us to be more inclusive of races and genders. I think in Britain were aware that our country has seen better days, and were a bit more cynical about the flag-waving thing. Americas a younger country, with more naivety and innocence to it, and they believe they were born into the best country on earth. They do what humans do when theyre extremely fortunate, which is to say God gave it to them, or that they earned it in some way, when in fact theres a lot of luck involved, and these things are always cyclical. I find the World Cup fascinating. Im less interested in the tribalism of soccer, but I watch Barcelona every week and when they play at their best its with a shoal mentality. Theyre like a murmur of crows, they seem able to read where their team-mates are going with something close to telepathy. Watching it can touch you, in a way some artists can when the ego disappears into the creation. And Barcelona at their best are art, and Spain, Brazil, Holland have been, and other teams will be.

I love the lyrics. Our heart and soul are dedicated to you. Our strength and the blood of our veins we offer. This is the kind of thing I want to hear from my next boyfriend. I also love the idea that it was originally written by some young people in a cafe. Im a fan of epic crescendos so Im glad thats how the piece ends. If I was in charge of re-recording, I think I would add more swooping crescendos that dont come down they just keep getting bigger. All in all, I feel like I should be windswept and on my way to overcoming something emotionally difficult when Im listening to this anthem. It sort of has a be the bigger person vibe. It feels sonically stoic, proud and dignified.

On first listening it didnt strike me as the catchiest national anthem that Ive heard, though Im not completely au fait with all the worlds national anthems. But then I listened to it a couple of times and it really started to grow on me. The music, all trumpets and strings, is quite rousing, quite full-on. Then I looked at the lyrics, and what strikes you is the crazy dichotomy of the very perky music, and these incredibly revolutionary lyrics. They use a poem that Mufdi Zakariah, a prisoner of French colonial forces in the 1950s, wrote in his own blood on the wall of his cell. Its very powerful, very stirring. Even in translation there are some great lines we have taken the drum of gunpowder as our rhythm and the sound of machine guns as our melody. Its a very positive, very proud lyric, very much of its time. Theres no mention of any one person, or any specific leader its a song to bind a people, and a nation. Its unusual for an anthem to mention another country like France is mentioned here, which roots it to a particular period of their history. Maybe they dont ever want to forget about the oppression, but I wonder if maybe in 100 years time someone might say, We can forget about France now.

The Algerian national anthem is quite an upbeat ditty but is pretty repetitive. The lyrics are from a poem called Qassaman by Mufdi Zakariah, which he wrote while he was being held as a political prisoner by France in 1957, so despite its chirpiness it talks of guns, blood, fighting, freedom and more blood. When Zakariah wrote so we have taken the drum of gunpowder as our rhythm, and the sound of machine guns as our melody, he wouldnt have known composer Mohamed Fawzi would accidentally borrow a bit from The Laughing Policeman. Not the greatest melody for a national anthem but the lyrics are bound to evoke memories of the bloody fight for independence. I find songs based on poems rarely work but it does have a pop at the French so its not all bad.

My first impression was: my god that does go on a bit. I always thought all anthems were like ours, 30 seconds long. But then there are loads of other verses to God Save the Queen that we never bother with because we get bored. The Russian ones got all the key attributes of a good anthem its grandiose, over the top, classical leaning, a bit intimidating but it just went on and on and on. Lyrically it is a bit overbearing, and theres no mention of food or vodka, which is a bit strange. I read that they only introduced this anthem in 2000. Imagine if someone tried to change our anthem thered be uproar. I can just picture the front page of the Sun. The thing about anthems is that you never listen to them because you want to its always forced upon you. Youre at a stadium, waiting for the start of a match, and youre trapped. Its like if youre taking a road trip in a mates car and he makes you listen to the whole of the new Duran Duran album. You cant get out. I remember we played a gig in Russia about five years ago. The fans were great, but someone gave us Russian dolls of ourselves, which was a bit weird. They were really well done. At least we got paid back in the 70s an English band called UFO played in Russia and they were paid in trombones. They werent allowed to bring roubles out of the country, so they were given things they could sell.Well be touring America during the World Cup but Ill watch every game I can. I might glue an iPad to my wedge so I can keep up with scores while were on. Are England going to win it? Of course not. On home soil Brazil have to have a chance, but then I dont really know how good their team is because I havent seen it.

I didnt know anthems were so long. Normally at a football match its about a minute, and this is about three and a half minutes long. The weird thing about anthems is that they all sound very similar, all those big melodies and stuff. Why are they all sung in an operatic style? I dont understand. Thats not where it is right now. To be fair, at first it had that epic appeal to it, almost like the Champions League opening music. Me personally, thats not going to get me excited for a game. I want to hear DMX or something. 2Pac maybe. Something energetic thats going to get you hyper. I might as well fall asleep as listen to this. The last international match I went to was England v Ghana at Wembley. Both of those anthems, theyre nice and simple about one minute, its done. Maybe the Koreans do a short version, a bit of an edit. I hope so.

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Greece destroys over 50,000 landmines

Geneva and Athens 9 June 2014 – Greece has announced that it has made significant advances in the destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel mines in accordance with its obligations under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention.


Greek Startup Success Hurdles Unusual Obstacles

ATHENS—Founding a tech startup isn't easy anywhere. But Greece, with its shattered economy only now showing signs of modest recovery, has to be one of the harder places to do it. Exhibit A: Alex Christodoulou, 37 years old, and his partner Grigoris ...


Meze Greek Tapas brings a slice of Greece to Shrewsbury Street in Worcester

Meze Greek Tapas brings a slice of Greece to Shrewsbury Street in WorcesterMassLive.comWORCESTER — Meze Greek Tapas seeks to not only to bring authentic Greek dishes crafted by Greek chefs to the area, but to create a space where the country's laid-back lifestyle can be enjoyed by anyone. "To save yourself a ticket to Greece, try it ...


NYU Professor Economides Next Greek Finance Minister?

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras may reach into the Greek-American Diaspora for his next Finance Minister and is reportedly considering tabbing highly-regarded New York University economics professor - and friend - Nicholas Economides for what is the country's toughest, and most thankless job. Economides was in Athens, where he had given a talk on the state of the Greek debt, just as Samaras is mulling a shakeup of his Cabinet.

The post NYU Professor Economides Next Greek Finance Minister? appeared first on The National Herald.


FIFA Finally Gets Greece to Brazil

FIFA had to step in to help Greece's national team get to its World Cup base in Brazil a day later than expected after a flight cancellation in the United States.

The post FIFA Finally Gets Greece to Brazil appeared first on The National Herald.


Stock markets on brink of record high, as eurozone bonds keep rallying

New figures show Japan's economy expanded by a punchy 6.7% on an annual basis, helping Asian markets rise to their highest levels since July 2011

Eurozone bonds rally to record levels...

..analysts fear trouble ahead

Japan's growth upgraded

11.53am BST

Back in the UK, former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy has weighed in on the supermarket chain's problems, saying he's "disappointed" with its current performance.

Former #Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy tells @SkyIanKingLive "as a shareholder I'm very disappointed (with Tesco's performance)"

11.41am BST

Greek newspapers reckon the long-awaited cabinet reshuffle could come today, including a new finance minister to replace Yannis Stournaras (who will probably become Bank of Greece governor)

Kathimerini reports:

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met with former Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Friday, sparking speculation that the New Democracy MP might succeed Yannis Stournaras as finance minister.

#Greece: A cabinet reshuffle could be announced today. Today's press summary:

11.26am BST

With Spanish government bonds now changing hands at lower interest rates than US Treasury bonds*, analysts are wondering quite how historic the ongoing rally in eurozone bond yields really is.

Well, Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid has taken a stab at it -- he claims we're now seeing the lowest borrowing costs for France, Italy and Spain in a couple of hundred years.

There's something... not quite right with an 'Italian' yield going back to 1808. (via Deutsche)

Unless they're using Piedmont or something for pre-Risorgimento yields

11.10am BST

Interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal today about the impact of adjusting Europe GDP data to include the Black Economy (sex workers, the drugs trade and other such shadowy activities)

It explains that EU countries are standardising and broadening their GDP measures to include areas not currently monitored -- which could actually help country's hit debt targets imposed by Brussels:

If a nation's deficit must remain below 3% of GDP, a profligate government would want the largest possible estimate of GDP. For others, a higher GDP may end up costing governments more. The 28-nation bloc uses measures of GDP to determine how much each country contributes to the EU's collective budget.

Across Europe, Finland and Sweden, hardly nations characterized by vast criminal economies, would see the biggest boosts. The main changes result not from drugs but from technical adjustments such as how to capitalize expenditures on research and development and how to account for pension programs and most types of insurance policies.

10.28am BST

Eurozone investors have not been cheered by the interest rate cuts and 400bn of new loans announced by the European Central Bank last week.

Sentix's monthly survey of investor confidence fell this month, for the second month running, despite the ECB's moves -- and Mario Draghi's promise that more measures are possible.

Investors judge the current situation to be much worse than in the previous month, and their 6-month expectations also declined.

10.22am BST

Another example of how the boom in eurozone bonds has pushed borrowing costs sharply lower...

'Italy is now more creditworthy than the US'. Quality trolling from Bank of America.

10.11am BST

Marc Ostwald of Monument Securities warns that the boom in eurozone government bonds will end in tears.

He writes that banks are piling into sovereign debt rather than lose money by paying negative interest rates at the ECB, driving prices to levels that cannot be justified when measured against credit risk.

As I have written many times this year, this is not an investment strategy, but a job preservation strategy, because if these guys resist and bemoan poor credit quality, they will underperform their peers and next thing they own is a P45!

In the long run this is the road to the next crisis and ruination, but there are very few people who take a long-term view when it might cost them their job!"

10.03am BST

The gap between the interest rates on UK and German government bonds has hit a new 16-year high today.

While German Bunds have shared in the rally in eurozone debt today, UK gilts have weakened. This pushed the gap in the yields between their respective 10-year bonds to over 133 basis points (with German debt yielding just 1.35% compared to the UK's 2.68%).

9.51am BST

Eurozone government bonds are rallying this morning, as the stimulus measures announced by the European Central Bank last week continue to ripple through the markets.

Irish debt has also benefitted from S&P upgrading Ireland's credit rating on Friday night. This has driven down the interest rate (yield) on its 10-year bonds to just 2.415%, a euro-era record low.

Portugal's 10-Year Yield Drops to 3.44%, Lowest Since Jan. 2006

9.40am BST

I should flag up this article from the Observer yesterday by Athens correspondent Helena Smith on Greece's Golden Dawn party, whose leaders were stripped of their immunity to prosecution last week:

9.27am BST

8.57am BST

Mike van Dulken, Head of Research at Accendo Markets, cites three reasons for stock markets inching higher:

A positive US jobs report on Friday, better Chinese trade data over the weekend and an upward revision to Japans Q1 GDP has provided a positive start to the week on what could be a quiet day on account of European holidays.

8.55am BST

Japan first quarter #GDP growth is revised up to 1.6% as recorded investment surges (7.6%) #Abenomics

8.47am BST

European stock markets have risen modestly in early trading, after Asian markets hit the highest level since July 2011.

The FTSE 100's up 13 points at 6872; dragged down a little by Lloyds, down 1.5% after announcing it is selling TSB for a substantial discount on its book value.

8.36am BST

Robert the Bruce might approve of Sports Direct's relentless attempts to give billionaire founder Mike Ashley a huge performance-related bonus, but its shareholders may not.

Who's the cat, who's the mouse? Sports Direct has third go at giving Mike Ashley a bonus after two shareholder revolts against it.

"The Board and the Remuneration Committee have responded to the feedback received from shareholders to develop a long-term share incentive scheme which not only will continue to motivate the Company's employees but which also recognises and rewards the substantial contribution made by Mike Ashley over many years. "

8.13am BST

Over to the City, and Lloyds Banking Group has priced the flotation of its TSB banking arm - at a substantial reduction to its face value.

Lloyds is going to sell 25% of TSB at between 220 pence and 290 pence each, giving it a mid-price of £1.275bn.

Priced to go: Lloyds will sell shares in TSB at 220 pence to 290 pence - at mid-point, values bank at £1,275 million. Final price June 20th

8.03am BST

The Japan Times has more details of the newly upgraded Japanese GDP figures:

Corporate capital spending, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abes Cabinet considers to be key for shoring up the economy, jumped 7.6 percent from the previous quarter, upgraded from a 4.9 percent increase in the preliminary report.

Private consumption accounting for roughly 60 percent of Japans GDP was also upwardly revised to a 2.2 percent rise from 2.1 percent growth.

"Output will surely shrink this quarter as consumers rein in spending after the consumption tax hike....However, the slowdown in domestic demand should lead to a decline in import volumes, so net exports should finally add to growth.

7.55am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the financial markets, the global economy, business and the eurozone.

Asia late... Sensex up 0.9% HK up 0.6% Nikkei, Taiex both end 0.3% up Shanghai up 0.2% $NIK $HSI

"It's remarkable how negative traders are feeling about this rally evidenced by the amount of clients that keep betting against it and getting short".

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