Greek Businessman On Hunger Strike Against Cartels

A Greek businessman has been on hunger strike for over 40 days now against the cartel system in Greece. I only found out about this by chance on the internet as it hasn't been reported anywhere in the Greek media!

Mr. Theodoros Tenezos is the 39 year-old president and CEO of IRON TENCO S.A., a steel retailer, who saw his company collapse as a direct result of the sudden refusal of members of a hard-core steel cartel operating in Greece to supply him with raw materials.

He is staging his hunger strike in front of the offices of the Greek Competition Commission in central Athens, after having officially reported the matter and a lodged a complaint 2½ years ago. According to the report on the video below, he was then offered 1 million Euros by the cartel to withdraw the complaint and disappear!

This is the first Antitrust Hunger Strike in the world, according to Stop Cartel, where you can read more about the story. Mr. Tenezos had over 200 employees and the amazing and ahocking thing is that, though there is a British TV report (see below), absolutely nothing has been mentioned in the Greek media over the last 40 days!

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Earth Hour

In case you haven't heard, 8.30p.m. on Saturday March 28th is Earth Hour. People and organisations all over the world are being encouraged to 'switch off' for 1 hour at that time. The target is 1 billion people, which will be like a vote to take decisive action on climate change. This global vote is particularly aimed at the meeting of world leaders in December, 2009 in Copenhagen to agree on a post-Kyoto policy for tackling climate change.

I think this is a good and powerful idea, but I have a bit of an issue with how it is being promoted here in Greece. The impression being given is that it is a kind of competition, with the media constantly telling us that the response in Greece is No. 1 worldwide.

Now I don't doubt that a lot of people and organisations here genuinely want to do something, but in a country which has a dreadful record regarding sustainability and environmental sensitivity it seems that perhaps the understanding is missing when we think that it is more important just to turn off our lights for one hour - which is quite easy - and be the 'best' in the world than to actually do something in our lives and on a permanent basis.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe that Earth Hour is a great initiative, but there is something a lot more serious that needs to go hand in hand with it. Being first in the world at turning off your lights for an hour is just not enough.

Take a look at the short Earth Hour video below.

Kapou - New Greek Geo-Multimedia Site

I've just come across a new geo-multimedia site that has recently been developed in Greece - The aim of the site is to act as a guide with 3D photos and maps, allowing visitors to 'virtually' visit towns and places of interest in Greece. At the moment, Kapou (which means 'somewhere' in Greek) is still in Public Beta and still has limited information, but it has the potential to become something extremely useful to both Greek residents and visitors to the country.

Being a company based in Thessaloniki in the north of Greece, they have started off with that city. Hotels, restaurants, important sites, shops and entertainment centres have been listed and you can follow the 3D photos and map for each of them.

As far as I can gather, they aim to cover the whole of Greece eventually (I hope they do Corfu soon!) and I presume it will also be in English and other languages - at the moment it is only in Greek.

But I wish them well. I think it's a great idea and has all the potential to become an indispensable virtual guide.

Good luck, guys!

Corfu Music Festival

For the past 6 years, the month of July in Corfu has seen a series of concerts, seminars and discussions - The Corfu Festival, including the Ionian Concerts. I'm glad to see that this has been gradually developing from year to year - these things usually do take some time to get established - especially since the island has such a rich musical heritage.

The performances are separated into categories - Winds and Percussion, Ethnomusicology, Jazz and the Classical Experience. The performers come from Greece, USA and the Far East.

As I said, I think this is a wonderful enterprise, but I am disappointed in their website. The general design and layout I find good, but the English translation is terrible and the information in the site is obviously not properly updated. Such a shame that such a great venture should again (in Greece) be let down by poor basic organisational skills.

Anyway, I think it's a great opportunity for someone to combine a holiday on the island with some good music. The main venues for the events can be seen below.

Ionian Academy
The main venue for the Festival performances is the auditorium of Corfu University, housed in the historic Ionian Academy building.

St. George's Church
A large basilica, in the style of an ancient Doric temple, which was built about 1840 and functioned as the official Anglican church during the time of the British Protectorate.
The Old Fort
This was built by the Venetians upon the remains of a Byzantine castle and was completed in two stages. During the first period (1400-1500) the Venetians strengthened the Byzantine walls and dug the Contra Fossa moat, turning the promontory into an artificial island accessed by a movable bridge.
The second period (16th-18th centuries) began with the completion of this work (1546-1588) and ended with the additions and alterations made by the British.

Art Café
Located next to the Gardens of the Palace of St. Michael and St. George. A picturesque terrace overlooking the sea with a marvellous view and peaceful atmosphere.

For more information about this year's events, you can visit the Corfu Festival website.

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