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Austerity versus populism | New Europe

Austerity versus populism | New Europe | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it

Silvio Berlusconi wants to buy the Italian premiership. The multi-millionaire media baron and former prime minister - mired in scandal, yet still attempting an against-all-odds political comeback - has now cast himself as the anti-austerity candidate; the friend of the working family. 

Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

Currently, the EU is in protracted negotiations over its long-term budget. The UK, backed-up by Germany (whose fiscally-austere, conservative-led government face elections in the Autumn, and who do not want to appear two-faced to domestic voters by agreeing to an expansion of European spending) have managed to get a decrease for the period 2014-2020.  The institutional battle is now on for the perspectives of that reduced budget; old spending (on the CAP, for instance) versus new innovations.  But while this battle continues in Brussels, domestic European governments continue to be vulnerable from a dismayed populace, leading the way for a populist opposition, and which at this juncture seems an altogether sensible response to the way things are.   

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καμια σύνδεση αυγών και χοληστερίνης ...είναι πλέον αποδεδειγμένο !

καμια σύνδεση αυγών και χοληστερίνης ...είναι πλέον αποδεδειγμένο ! | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
For decades, the U.S. government’s dietary guidelines have warned Americans off eggs and other cholesterol-rich foods on the theory that dietary cholesterol increases one’s risk for heart disease. But last week, Americans woke up to a new egg paradigm. According to the nutrition experts on the government’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, cholesterol is no longer a “nutrient of concern.” In fact, if they have their way, the government’s new dietary guidelines won’t include any prohibition against cholesterol at all. Why the reversal? Ira discusses the latest science on cholesterol and fat with the Harvard School of Public Health’s Walter Willett and the Cleveland Clinic’s Steven Nissen.
Produced by Annie Minoff, SciArts Producer
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

καμια σύνδεση αυγών και χοληστερίνης ...είναι πλέον αποδεδειγμένο ! 

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#Greek #archaeologists find remains of embracing couple in #Neolithic #tomb

#Greek #archaeologists find remains of embracing couple in #Neolithic #tomb | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
The remains of a man and woman locked in an embrace, which were found at an archaeological site near the Diros Caves in the Peloponnese, constitute a “stunning discovery” dating to around 3,800 BC, the head of the dig has told Kathimerini.

“It is possibly the oldest grave to have ever been found,” according to Giorgos Papathanassopoulos, who has led excavation work at the Diros site since the 1970s. “It is the most stunning discovery,” he added, noting that the fact the couple were buried together indicated the importance given to the institution of family after death in ancient times.

The remains, which were unearthed last year and in 2013, were analyzed using radiocarbon dating. The results of the analysis, which were made public last week, showed that the bones belonged to a man and a woman, both aged between 20 and 25.

Archaeologists were also studying the remains of another couple whose remains were found in an adjacent grave to the one containing the embracing pair. The second couple are believed to be older and were found buried in a more “conventional” fashion, Papathanassopoulos said.

The fact that an ossuary and several ceramic urns, beads and other offerings were found in the grave points to “an organized society,” he said.
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The Final Countdown: Will Greece Ruin Euro? / Sputnik International

The Final Countdown: Will Greece Ruin Euro? / Sputnik International | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Because of Brussels' blustering, the Euro is in a perilous position. Marine Le Pen, PEGIDA, Golden Dawn don't even have to recruit any more as Merkel and Draghi provide all the marketing they need. The future of Europe lies directly in the hands of one man, Alexis Tsipras.
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

Because of Brussels' blustering, the Euro is in a perilous position. Marine Le Pen, PEGIDA, Golden Dawn don't even have to recruit any more as Merkel and Draghi provide all the marketing they need. The future of Europe lies directly in the hands of one man, Alexis Tsipras.

 

Boisterous “What Ever It Takes” Mario Draghi and Merkel are trying to 'parent' Greece before its contagion rips all of Europe apart. The children of Athens have grown up though, after nearly seven years of austerity, massive unemployment, and a return of nationalism. Now, they are muddling their way into adolescence. Syriza's rejection of the status quo and its demands for a “Grexit” are its first real protestations, a youthful rebellion.

Unfortunately for the Troika, they know their threats are baseless. Greece's departure would signal an end to the EU as we know it today. Italy and Spain would not be far behind in raising similar demands seeing how their Southern neighbors were able to negotiate for a preferable debt deal.



Read more: http://sputniknews.com/analysis/20150210/1018045224.html#ixzz3RMT3kNvx

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Munich Security Conference exposes divisions over Ukraine.

Munich Security Conference exposes divisions over Ukraine. | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Saturday's session of the annual Munich Security Conference began with a speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who took the podium just hours after returning from Moscow, where she and French President Francois Hollande presented a new peace initiative to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In her first direct comments since Friday's more than four hours of talks, the chancellor did not appear overly optimistic that the German-French initiative would bring an end to the fighting between pro-Russia separatists and government forces in eastern Ukraine.
"After the talks yesterday in Moscow that the French president and I had, it is uncertain if it will succeed," Merkel said.
"But it is in my view and the French president's view definitely worth trying. We owe it to the people affected in Ukraine, at the very least," the chancellor said.
Addressing the conference a little later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov seemed slightly more optimistic.
"These talks will continue as you know; we believe there is every possibility that we will reach a result and agree the recommendations that will allow the sides to really untie this knot of a conflict," Russia's top diplomat said.
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

However, he also took the opportunity to lay the blame for the 10-month-old conflict squarely on the West.

"The United States and the European Union have taken steps to escalate the Ukraine crisis at every turn," Lavrov said.

He also denounced "growing appeals in the West to ... pump Ukraine full with lethal weapons and to involve it in NATO."

Discord over supplying weapons

This followed an earlier statement made to a group of reporters by the military commander of NATO, US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, who said the Western alliance should not rule out the idea of providing weapons to Ukraine.

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Ο Αντώνης Σαμαράς δεν σηκώθηκε να χαιρετήσει τον Τσίπρα

Ο Αντώνης Σαμαράς δεν σηκώθηκε να χαιρετήσει τον Τσίπρα | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Νέο ατόπημα μετά τη μη παράδοση παραλαβή στο Μέγαρο Μαξίμου… Το στιγμιότυπο κατεγράφη λίγο πριν από την έναρξη της τελετής όταν ο Αλέξης Τσίπρας κατέβηκε από το πρωθυπουργικό έδρανο και κατέβηκε στην Ολομέλεια για να χαιρετήσει τους βουλευτές που κάθονταν στην πρώτη σειρά των εδράνων.
Κι ενώ ο ένας μετά τον άλλον οι βουλευτές σηκώθηκαν από τη θέση τους για να χαιρετήσουν τον Πρωθυπουργό, μεταξύ αυτών και ο γ.γ του ΚΚΕ Δημήτρης Κουτσούμπας ο μόνος που δεν σηκώθηκε από τη θέση του ήταν ο Πρόεδρος της Νέας Δημοκρατίας, Αντώνης Σαμαράς ο οποίος έμεινε στη θέση του και απλώς άπλωσε αδιάφορα το χέρι του προς τον Αλεξη Τσίπρα.
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Για τις κινήσεις της νέας κυβέρνησης: Μια αρνητική και μια θετική εξέλιξη

Για τις κινήσεις της νέας κυβέρνησης: Μια αρνητική και μια θετική εξέλιξη | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Η Φιλελεύθερη Συμμαχία παρακολουθεί με ιδιαίτερο ενδιαφέρον τις κινήσεις της νέας κυβέρνησης. Τα επικοινωνιακά τρικ δεν μας απασχολούν, ελπίζουμε δε ότι τα λάθη και οι υπερβολές στον τομέα αυτό δεν θα έχουν ανεπανόρθωτες επιπτώσεις. Από την εβδομάδα που πέρασε θα θέλαμε να επισημάνουμε μια αρνητική και μια θετική εξέλιξη.


Η αρνητική εξέλιξη αφορά στην απαράδεκτη υποστήριξη των ρωσικών θέσεων στο θέμα της Ουκρανίας. Με τη στάση της η κυβέρνηση υποστήριξε εμπράκτως την επέμβαση της Ρωσίας, η κυβέρνηση της οποίας καταπατά συστηματικά τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα των Ρώσων πολιτών, σε μια γειτονική χώρα με την επίφαση της προστασίας ρωσόφωνων πληθυσμών. Σε τι ακριβώς διαφέρει η ρωσική εισβολή στην Ουκρανία από την τουρκική εισβολή στην Κύπρο;

Η θετική εξέλιξη αφορά στις ξεκάθαρες κυβερνητικές δηλώσεις ότι δεν θα προβεί σε μονομερείς ενέργειες, αλλά και τη διατύπωση ξεκάθαρα φιλελεύθερων θέσεων όπως:

ισοσκελισμένοι προϋπολογισμοί και πρωτογενή πλεονάσματα στο διηνεκές,
ριζοσπαστικές διαρθρωτικές μεταρρυθμίσεις,
μεταρρυθμίσεις για την αντιμετώπιση των πελατειακών σχέσεων και
προσπάθεια προσέλκυσης ξένων επενδύσεων.
Είμαστε βέβαιοι ότι κατά τις επόμενες εβδομάδες θα υπάρξουν συνεχείς εξελίξεις. Ευχόμαστε η κυβέρνηση να διορθώσει τα λάθη της και να συνεχίσει να υποστηρίζει τις φιλελεύθερες θέσεις της. Και κυρίως να καταφέρει να τις εφαρμόσει στην πράξη.
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Greece has suffered too much — we must give our new leader a chance | The Times

Greece has suffered too much — we must give our new leader a chance | The Times | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
King Constantine has returned from exile and sees hope in anti-austerity politics
Deep in the Greek countryside, past snowy Mount Olympus and along olive groves shrouded in mist, lives a king who has finally returned after 47 years of weary exile to find his country once more in turmoil.
His Royal Highness King Constantine II, King Con to his friends and Tino to his queen, now lives in a rented beach villa. “It’s always flooding, we have mud all over the basement,” he says.
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

όχι δεν είναι τρολιά ... 3 άρθρα σε 2 ήμερες ...αλήθεια τι παίζει; 

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Grexit Part III: TheEUropean Perspective

Grexit Part III: TheEUropean Perspective | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Who is responsible for the crisis?
Joseph Stiglitz, professor at the University of Columbia, is of the opinion that ‘EU’s malaise is self-inflicted’ and that is owed ‘to an unprecedented succession of bad economic decisions, beginning with the creation of the euro’. This is an opinion that, in light of recent events, has been embraced by more and more Europeans.
Who is responsible for the management of this situation?
Taking into account the deep implications that the situation of Greece has on the European Union as a whole, I am inclined to say that the EU is the one responsible for its development. I do not think that the EU can afford to mismanage yet another (European) crisis, as it is related to a state that has been a member of the EU for more than three decades and is the bedrock of Western civilisation. The sensibility of the situation and the multiple layers on which it unwinds (political, economic, cultural, social) are signs that this will not be an easy task for the EU. Good management will have to involve communication, diplomacy and effective actions. Obstacles have already appeared as Greece has objected to the Statement of the Heads of State or Government published on the 27th of January with regard to the killings that took place in Ukraine in the city of Mariupol on the 24th of January. Greece has accused the EU of circulating the statement ‘without the proper procedures being followed in order to obtain the consent of Member States and specifically Greece’s consent’.
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

Ligia Corduneanu explores the reasons behind the downfall of the Greek economy in the third and final edition of the question of Grexit which seems to be on everyone's mind ever since the far left political party Syriza, was elected in Greece last Sunday. How will Europe react and what implications will the new power in Greece have on managing the crisis still remains to be seen.


Syriza has won the elections. Now what?

Germany called a Grexit from the Eurozone as being manageable at the beginning of January, and from an economic point of view, maybe it will be. Some reasons are given: the setting of a bail-out mechanism, the better shape of the European banks and enhanced ability of foreign investors to better distinguish among the members of the Eurozone. Furthermore, it is believed that European officials will not let their guard down as they fear that such an approach will support the rise of anti-austerity movements in other countries that have struggled during the euro crisis .However, a deal is strongly believed to be taking place.

But what if Greece will want to leave the Eurozone at some point? Mike Dolan, in an article for Reuters, has analysed the conditions in which such an exit is possible, from the treaties’ point of view. He states that ‘there is no legal provision or framework in EU treaties for a country to leave the euro’ and that an alternative route would be to leave the Union altogether. With 75% of Greeks not wanting to leave the Eurozone or the EU, it seems to not be the case of such a scenario just yet, but opinions can change.

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Why We Should All Learn Coding | Infographic

Why We Should All Learn Coding | Infographic | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
The Why We Should All Learn Coding Infographic presents the importance of learning to code. Enthusiasm for learning how to code is on the rise.

 

Learn more:

 

https://gustmees.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/coding-a-new-trend-in-education-and-a-big-responsibility/

 


Via Gust MEES
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Gust MEES's curator insight, January 24, 11:21 AM
The Why We Should All Learn Coding Infographic presents the importance of learning to code. Enthusiasm for learning how to code is on the rise.


Learn more:


https://gustmees.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/coding-a-new-trend-in-education-and-a-big-responsibility/


Aris P. Louvris's curator insight, January 25, 5:30 AM

Η αυτοκρατορία του κώδικα αντεπιτίθεται

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The Iceberg That Sinks Organizational Change

The Iceberg That Sinks Organizational Change | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it

Some aspects of organizational culture are visible on the surface, like the tip of an iceberg, while others are implicit and submerged within the organization. Because these ingrained assumptions are tacit and below the surface, they are not easy to see or deal with, although they affect everything the organization does.


Via Vicki Kossoff @ The Learning Factor
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Chinwendu's curator insight, February 15, 5:54 PM

Metaphors of change

AnnC's curator insight, February 15, 7:19 PM

We need to discover the hidden variables that affect the change process in order to fully understand the task before us.

Roselyne Lecuyer's curator insight, February 16, 6:01 AM

Interesting iceberg representation of organisation culture

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Greek Left’s New Issue: All-Inclusive Resorts άρχισαν τα όργανα νο 2

Greek Left’s New Issue: All-Inclusive Resorts άρχισαν τα όργανα νο 2 | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
The travel industry may not emerge unscathed in any electoral outcome. In addition to Syriza’s threat to go after all-inclusive deals — Mr. Tsipras has said the business model “largely alienates tourism from the local economy” — the party has said it will reopen big privatization deals already agreed upon. That could include deals to sell public land to resort developers and a plan to privatize 14 small but crucial airports that serve Greek cities and islands.
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Labor Minister: We will restore the minimum wage to 751 euros” #φασιστερα

Labor Minister: We will restore the minimum wage to 751 euros” #φασιστερα | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
The new Minister of Labor and Social Solidarity Panos Skourletis announced that he intends to immediate restore the minimum wage to 751 euros, in an interview he gave to the ANT1 television network.

[ATHENS JAN 28]

Mr. Skourletis explained the first bills the government intends to pass include acts related to collective labor agreements, civil mobilization, collective redundancies and the minimum wage.

According to Mr. Skourletis the serious problems in employment pose a challenge to the SYRIZA-led government, but he was confident and noted that the legislative acts are nearly ready for submission.

The Alternate Minister of Social Insurance Dimitris Stratoulis also told ANT1 that the government intends to restore pensions.
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Opa! After radical left-wing win in Greece, eurozone leaders open to dialogue on debt issues

Opa! After radical left-wing win in Greece, eurozone leaders open to dialogue on debt issues | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
The election of Tsipras and his radical Syriza party had been accompanied by much hand-wringing in European capitals. Besides calling for the cancellation of some of Greece's rescue loans, Tsipras has pledged to undo some of the spending cuts and tax hikes eurozone countries had required in exchange for the loans.

Politicians and investors worried that a tough stance on either side could even lead the country to drop out of the euro, a move that would devastate Greece's economy and destabilize the currency union.

But while discussions on Greece's debt have yet to start — and could yet turn sour — the rhetoric on Monday from both sides was one of compromise rather than ultimatums. Financial markets retained their poise.
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

It won't give quite the fireworks that some people were expecting," said Professor Hendrik Vos of the University of Ghent. Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Union's executive commission, agreed: "I am not excessively nervous about this."

That may be an attempt to calm down the political rhetoric before Greece's new government enters negotiations with its eurozone counterparts.

But at the very least, Tsipras' election is likely to give new momentum to policymakers in Europe who want the region to focus less on debt reduction, as Germany has insisted for years, and more on spending to get growth going.

The recognition that the region needs more action to encourage growth was highlighted by the European Central Bank's announcement last week it would start buying 1.1 trillion euros in bonds to stimulate the economy. The European Commission earlier launched a 315 billion euro investment plan.

Greece has since 2010 needed 240 billion euros ($270 billion) in loans from fellow eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund to avoid bankruptcy.

Those loans came only on strict conditions that Greece cut its debts sharply. It cut spending and raised taxes — measures that had the side-effect of hurting growth. Greece suffered an economic depression and a surge in unemployment to above 25 per cent.

Riding popular discontent over this austerity imposed by the eurozone creditor nations, Tsipras rode to power on a promise to undo some of the painful policies and demand a cut on the rescue loans it owes.

Despite the tough rhetoric, both Syriza officials and eurozone leaders said they were willing to be flexible.

"France will be at Greece's side," said French President Francois Hollande.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutchman who chairs eurozone finance ministers' meetings, said that even though "there is very little support for debt write-offs," there is room to consider ways to make Greece's debt more sustainable, if necessary.

His views were echoed by the leaders of Belgium and Finland, a country that has long been among the most unmovable on austerity issues.

Regional heavyweight Germany, however, was non-committal beyond stressing that Greece needs to honour its commitments. "Greece is still in the process of building a new government," said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

Yanis Varoufakis, a Syriza member who is tipped by some to become the next finance minister, sought to downplay concerns that the new government would take an aggressive stance in negotiations.

He said the government would seek to convince its euro partners that reducing Greece's debt burden by linking repayments to growth, say, would be positive for all sides. At present, Greece has to repay its loans whatever the state of its economy, further worsening the country's debt. At over 170 per cent of GDP, Greece's debt is way beyond levels most economists consider manageable.

He has also dismissed suggestions that Syriza would threaten to pull Greece out of the euro, so-called Grexit.

"We, who happen to be in the eurozone, must be very careful not to toy with loose and fast talk about Grexit or fragmentation," he told BBC radio. "Grexit is not on the cards; we are not going to Brussels and to Frankfurt and to Berlin in confrontational style. There is plenty of room for mutual gains and benefits."

Amid the calmer rhetoric, the main stock market in Athens recovered much of its sharp losses of the day to close down 3.2 per cent. European stocks also largely closed higher while the euro clambered up from 11-year lows.

At the height of Europe's debt crisis a few years ago, the main concerns was that a possible Grexit would spell the end of the euro project as investors looked for other countries to fall out as well. However, many European politicians have said that contagion fear is not applicable now as Europe has built up institutions and financial firewalls to prevent it.

Not everyone in the markets is convinced with that argument.

"Once one country exits, who is to say that more would not follow," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.

Whatever transpires, Syriza's victory sends a message to European policymakers that voters are rejecting austerity and could bolster other anti-bailout parties, such as Podemos in Spain. It is an election-heavy year in Europe.

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Δύο χιλιάδες χρυσά νομίσματα έκρυβε ο βυθός της Μεσογείου

Δύο χιλιάδες χρυσά νομίσματα έκρυβε ο βυθός της Μεσογείου | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Oπως μεταδίδει το BBC, αρχικά οι δύτες θεώρησαν ότι τα νομίσματα είναι ψεύτικα. Εν συνεχεία, και προς μεγάλη τους έκπληξη, διαπίστωσαν ότι είναι αληθινά. Αμέσως ενημερώθηκε η υπηρεσία αρχαιοτήτων και στην έρευνα που ακολούθησε ήρθαν στην επιφάνεια περίπου 2.000 νομίσματα.

Πρόκειται για θησαυρό «ανεκτίμητης αξίας» ανέφερε η υπηρεσία, σημειώνοντας πως πρόκειται για νομίσματα από την εποχή του Χαλιφάτου των Φατιμιδών, του οποίου η κυριαρχία (909 μ.Χ. ώς 1171 μ.Χ.) εκτεινόταν από την Ερυθρά Θάλασσα μέχρι τις ακτές του Μαρόκο.

Προς το παρόν οι αρχαιολόγοι δεν μπορούν να πουν με βεβαιότητα εάν ο θησαυρός προέρχεται από κάποιο ναυάγιο. Φως στην προέλευση των νομισμάτων αναμένεται να δώσουν οι ενάλιες έρευνες, όπως δήλωσε ο επικεφαλής της υπηρεσίας εναλίων αρχαιοτήτων Κόμπι Σαρβίτ.

«Ενδεχομένως να πρόκειται για ναυάγιο πλοίου που μετέφερε προς την Αίγυπτο, έδρα του Χαλιφάτου, νομίσματα από την πληρωμή φόρων» ανέφερε ο Σαρβίτ.
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Best places to travel in 2015 - Europe's Best Destinations #Athens, #Greece

Best places to travel in 2015 - Europe's Best Destinations #Athens, #Greece | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
From Bordeaux to Riga, travellers have selected the best places to visit in Europe. Discover now the best destinations to travel this year !
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

Athens is considered the cradle of western civilization. Over the years, a multitude of conquerors occupied Athens, and erected unique, splendid monuments - a rare historical palimpsest, evident everywhere in the city.

 

The contemporary urban scenery of the sprawling city reflects its exciting history, its multi-cultural modern personality as well as the infrastructure and facilities. In other words, Athens is a must destination that combines modern urban innovation with history, culture and natural beauty throughout the year.

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5 Simple Ways to Make Your Social Media Goals Stick

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Social Media Goals Stick | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Map your success! Here are 5 simple ways to make your social media goals stick including a FREE social media goal setting worksheet.
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του Αθανάσιου Γραμμένου @Athanasios Gram The Greek political orthodoxy

του Αθανάσιου Γραμμένου @Athanasios Gram The Greek political orthodoxy | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Regarding contemporary Greek politics and the first signs of the new Administration, one can trace both symbolism and essence, but not in the way described by Erasmus. The political oath, taken by PM Tsipras was a message that the people in this country are equal no matter what they believe about God, what is their sexual orientation or what is their color. Moreover, it says that the relations between Church and State must be reconsidered to agree on a mutually beneficiary set of reforms. By the way, the model of the Greek Orthodox Church does not differ from the common paradigm in the vast majority of the European States. Let’s not forget that the Queen of UK is also the leader of the Church, and the Americans portray their religious beliefs on the dollar.
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New Greek Leader Softens Rhetoric On Debt Talks With Europe

New Greek Leader Softens Rhetoric On Debt Talks With Europe | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Britain's Treasury chief warned that the standoff between Greece and the eurozone over the country's bailout is endangering the global economy, urging the new government in Athens to act responsibly.

George Osborne characterized his talks with Greece's new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Monday as "constructive," but cautioned that now was the time to "choose competence over chaos." He urged the eurozone countries to come up with a better plan for jobs and growth in Greece.

"It's clear that the standoff between Greece and the eurozone is fast becoming the biggest risk to the global economy, and it's a rising threat to our economy at home," Osborne said.

Greece's radical left Syriza party won parliamentary elections last week, alarming investors and eurozone governments. Party leader and new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said he wants to end years of budget austerity that eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund had required in exchange for 240 billion-euro ($270 billion) in rescue loans. He also wants to renegotiate payment of the bailout debt.

Greece's finance minister will meet with investors and fund managers in London on Monday as he continues his tour of European capitals to drum up support for his government's demands.

Though Britain is not part of the euro, Varoufakis sought to build rapport with Osborne with face-to-face talks. Downing Street described Britain's position is one of continuity — and that Greece should honor the terms of its bailout.
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World Freedom Index 2015

World Freedom Index 2015 | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Belarus shows the lowest levels of freedom in Europe
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

An independent organisation called Freedom House published its annual Freedom in the World report . 

According to the methodology of Freedom House each country is being evaluated on a scale from 1 to 7, where 1 stands for the highest result and 7 for the lowest. The factors taken into consideration are political rights and civil liberties.

Europe in general shows very positive results: the majority of the countries are free. Ukraine, Moldova, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia and Turkey are evaluated as "partially free".

At the same time Belarus was recognized as "worst of the worst" as far as freedom is concerned, along with China, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Sudan, Chad, Syria, Somalia and several other African and Asian countries.

How is it possible that Europe shows such dramatic contrasts?

What are the key factors that should be improved in order to reach a higher level of freedom?

Belarus is an issue for debates for 20 years, still practically nothing has changed there. Is the European Union helpless in improving the situation in Belarus?


You can have a precise look at the statistics and interactive maps at World Freedom Index 2015, find more details about the research and compare the countries indexes.

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Euro chief storms out of first meeting with Greek radicals | The Times

Euro chief storms out of first meeting with Greek radicals | The Times | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Tensions between Greece’s new left-wing government and the European creditors backing the country’s bailout spilled into the open yesterday when the first meeting between the two sides ended with the Dutch minister representing the lenders storming off.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs the eurogroup of finance ministers, was so annoyed by remarks made by Greece’s new finance minister during their first hour-long meeting and the subsequent joint press conference that he walked out on his host.
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GREEK NEWS AGENDA: Bloomberg Innovation Index: Greece ranks 29th

GREEK NEWS AGENDA: Bloomberg Innovation Index: Greece ranks 29th | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:
According to Bloomberg’s 2015 ranking of the world's 50 most innovative countries, Greece is in the 29th  place, among more than 200 countries evaluated. Bloomberg ranked countries based on their overall ability to innovate. It identified the top 50 in terms of: (i) R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP; (ii) manufacturing value-added per capita; (iii) high-tech companies domestically domiciled; (iv) education levels of a country’s workforce; (v) personnel engaged in R&D, and (vi) the number of patents granted. Postsecondary education in particular is measured in four different ways. Greece ranks first in one post-secondary education sub-category, which measures the percentage of college-age population. However, as the index stresses, excellence is multi-factored and success is a combination of many prerequisites. South Korea tops this year's overall ranking, while the U.S. places 6th, and China 22nd.
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Complete Guide to #SocialMedia Image Sizes 2015

Complete Guide to #SocialMedia Image Sizes 2015 | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it

There’s no question of a doubt that social media has become more visual over the past few years with over 63 percent of social media updates now incorporating images. This means that if you don’t have great images for your social updates you will not stand out from the hundreds of status updates streaming past your audience every day.

 

But simply having great images is not enough.Unfortunately your photos and images display differently across the different social media channels so you need to make sure that your photos are optimized for each one. This can often lead to a lot of searching online to find out the correct dimensions for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

 

Wouldn’t it be useful if all this information was in one place? Thankfully the team at Setupablogtoday have done that in this easy to follow cheat sheet.

 

Whether you are an experienced Social Media Marketer or a novice this handy reference guide lists the dimensions for the images which the major social networks want you to use, as well as a few handy tips for selecting the perfect image for your profiles....


Via Jeff Domansky
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Lori Wilk's curator insight, January 27, 2:16 PM

Great reference on how the size of your #socialmedia #photos matter and vary with each platform. 

Chaman Jaan's comment, January 28, 2:46 AM
http://dramasonline24.com/mausam-drama-28-january-2015/
Fotografie Turismo Italia's curator insight, February 26, 4:00 AM

Guida per conoscere le dimensioni delle immagini dei vari Social Media.

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Ο θεσμός της πολιτιστικής πρωτεύουσας! The History of the European Capital of Culture Programme

Ο θεσμός της πολιτιστικής πρωτεύουσας! The History of the European Capital of Culture Programme | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
We've all heard about the European Capital of Culture, but did you ever wonder how did this program start?
Demetrios Georgalas's insight:

One of the most prestigious titles granted by the European Union is the “European Capital of Culture”.Every year, the EU selects a few cities from different countries, which have the chance to host cultural events for one year. During this time, the chosen city can show its cultural life and its cultural development on the European and international scene.

This way, the Capitals of Culture have a unique chance to transform their cultural infrastructures, boosting the local economy and attracting more tourists. This title became popular very quickly, and year after year, it attracted the attention of more and more cities, and for this reason, the EU needed to regulate the selection procedure. In fact, as it already happened for many others European projects, this programme has also changed completely from its origins.

The predecessor of the current Capital of Culture programme was known as the "European City of Culture", which was launched by the European Council of Ministers in 1985, when Athens became the first selected city. The current programme was only launched in 2000, when nine cities obtained this prestigious nomination.

Until 2004, the "European Cities of Culture" were designated on an intergovernmental basis. In 2005 the Irish city of Cork, was the first one to be awarded this title with the participation of the European institutions in the selection process.

In 2004, the European Capital of Culture, Lille introduced the innovative system of ambassadors, where inhabitants of the city and its surrounding areas could volunteer to receive and transmit information and updates, to assist in the production of events and participate in special activities. More than 17,000 volunteers from all social classes worked as ambassadors, forming a very popular system of information transmission.

This way, they also involved the local community, improving the image of the city and giving it a great public support. This demonstrated that a primary factor in the success of the European Capitals of Culture is the involvement of local people.

Apart from the European Capital of Culture, in 1992, the Ministries of Culture also launched the "European Cultural Month", an event similar to the European Cities of Culture, but with a shorter life. This programme was also granted by the European Commission, who could designate cities of both EU and non-EU countries. Unfortunately, the European Cultural Month Programme concluded in 2003.

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Should we cancel our Greek holiday? άρχισαν τα όργανα !

Should we cancel our Greek holiday? άρχισαν τα όργανα ! | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it
The election in Greece has triggered more political and economic instability in the euro zone, and great uncertainty about the year ahead. Around two million British holidaymakers visit the country annually. Should they reconsider? Simon Calder answers travellers’ concerns.
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Greece to freeze plans to privatize power utility PPC #φασιστερα

Greece to freeze plans to privatize power utility PPC #φασιστερα | Politically Incorrect | Scoop.it

#The new Greek government of leftwing SYRIZA will freeze plans to privatize the country's dominant power utility PPC, its energy minister said on Wednesday.

[ATHENS JAN 28]

“We will halt immediately any privatization of PPC,” Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis told Greek television.

The previous government had passed legislation last year to spin-off part of PPC and privatize it as part of its efforts to liberalize its energy market.[Reuters]

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