Σάββατο, 12 Μαΐου 2012

marilena: ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΠΟΛΛΑ ΜΑΜΑ !!!!

marilena: ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΠΟΛΛΑ ΜΑΜΑ !!!!: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq9ei9_best-job-p-g-london-2012-olympic-games-film_people#from=embediframe


marilena: Greece lurches towards new vote, hard left leads

marilena: Greece lurches towards new vote, hard left leads: (Reuters) - Greek politicians abandoned their quest to form a government on Saturday, leaving the president with one final opportunity to...

Greece lurches towards new vote, hard left leads

(Reuters) - Greek politicians abandoned their quest to form a government on Saturday, leaving the president with one final opportunity to avert new elections that could drive the debt-choked country out of the European single currency.
Leader of the Socialists PASOK party Evangelos Venizelos (R) meets leader of Conservatives New Democracy party Antonis Samaras in Athens May 11, 2012. REUTERS-Yorgos Karahalis
Greece's political landscape is in disarray after voters humiliated the only parties backing a rescue plan tied to spending cuts, leaving no bloc with sufficient seats to form a government to secure the next tranche of financial aid.
Without aid from the EU and IMF, the country risks bankruptcy in weeks and - as European leaders now openly acknowledge - potential ejection from the euro zone.
On Saturday morning, Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos met President Karolos Papoulias in the presidential mansion to formally confirm he had been unable to persuade other parties to form a broad coalition that would keep the bailout agreement but try to improve its terms.
The holdout was Alexis Tsipras, a charismatic 37-year-old radical leftist, who has emerged as the standard bearer for opponents of the bailout's harsh austerity measures and has the most to gain from a new election.
Papoulias has one last chance to press all political leaders to form a coalition. If he fails, he must call a new election in June. In televised remarks during their meeting, Venizelos urged the president to lean on Tsipras to join an "ecumenical government".
"I put this forth to Mr Tsipras. I haven't received a positive response," Venizelos said. "I believe that is where your efforts should be focused during the consultations."
The president replied: "There are signs of optimism in what you are telling me and I hope I can contribute to the formation of a government - because things are rather difficult."
Papoulias will meet the leaders of the country's three biggest parties on Sunday at 0900 GMT, his office said in a statement. He will then hold individual meetings with the leaders of the smaller parties.
The lurch towards a new election has caused havoc in financial markets, both in Greece and across Europe, where the prospect of Athens leaving the euro is viewed as a risk for bank balance sheets and the credit ratings of other vulnerable countries, although the EU is better prepared than it was a few months ago.
On Friday, as politicians acknowledged their failure to agree a coalition, the euro sank to its lowest point since January near $1.29.
Opinion polls conducted in the week since the election show Tsipras's SYRIZA coalition surging into first place - a prize that would give it an automatic bonus of 50 extra seats in the 300 seat house at the expense of the conservatives.
Tsipras says the bailout deal must be torn up, though like most Greeks he says he wants to keep the euro, a position seen in Brussels as untenable without the bailout.
Last Sunday's election saw voters punish the two parties that dominated the country for generations - Venizelos's PASOK and the conservative New Democracy party of Antonis Samaras.
The two, which usually account for around 80 percent of votes, saw their combined tally collapse to just 32 percent. The rest of the votes were cast for small parties that oppose the bailout, ranging from the Communists to the far right.
Polls conducted since then show the anti-bailout vote consolidating around Tsipras, whose good looks and self confident manner have helped make him a hero for young people.
Venizelos and Samaras say that without their bailout deal Greece would be headed for certain ejection from the euro and bankruptcy. If a second election does take place, they will be hoping that frightened voters return to the traditional parties.
But the momentum is clearly behind Tsipras, who has tapped into generational rage in a country where more than half of young people are unemployed and blame the narrow interests of the middle aged political class for squandering their future.
A cartoon on the front page of the Ta Nea newspaper showed the boyish Tsipras riding off with the ballot box on a toy horse. One of his supporters' slogans on the internet rhymes: "Come on Alexi - for a Greece that's sexy!"
A poll by Metron Analysis for the Epenenditis weekly published on Saturday showed SYRIZA would take 25.5 percent of votes - almost 9 points higher than its Sunday result. A poll earlier this week gave SYRIZA 27.7 percent. Such results would put it way ahead of New Democracy and PASOK.
The European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout requires Greece to cut wages, raise taxes, fire state employees, sell off state assets and reform labor laws. EU leaders say it is needed if Athens is ever to become solvent.
But opponents say the harsh medicine is self-defeating, making it impossible for Greece to grow its economy and emerge from the depths of the euro zone's worst recession, which has ground on relentlessly for five years.
Head of Greece's Left Coalition party Alexis Tsipras walks towards to the exit after a news conference at the parliament in Athens May 11, 2012. REUTERS-John Kolesidis
SYRIZA argues that Greece can abandon the bailout and that European leaders will not carry out their threats to withhold funding, because they cannot risk the damage to other EU countries that would be caused by a Greek collapse.
"They will be begging us to take the money," SYRIZA deputy Dimitris Stratoulis said on Friday.
But European leaders say the next tranche of loans due in late June is in jeopardy if Greece does not emerge with a government committed to the bailout. In a second election, voters would face a stark choice, said Chris Williamson, chief economist at London-based research firm Markit.
"I think it is going to be increasingly presented as a vote to effectively leave the euro. That's how it will be seen outside of Greece and the rhetoric will build up to ensure that voters are aware of the implications."


marilena: €-group chief calls for patience with Greece

marilena: €-group chief calls for patience with Greece: The government in Athens poker turns into a farce - and the growing discontent in Europe.  Now the head of the euro group has warned aga...

€-group chief calls for patience with Greece

Euro-group leader Juncker: 'We should be decided by the Greeks themselves "

The government in Athens poker turns into a farce - and the growing discontent in Europe. Now the head of the euro group has warned against too much pressure on urgent Greece. The Europeans would have to check their schedule and if necessary, rework the contracts, said Jean-Claude Juncker.

Athens / Brussels - The discussion about the financial future of Greece is the increasingly shrill tone, the longer the coalition negotiations in Athens. Now €-group boss Jean-Claude Juncker urged to be patient. He wants to give more time to save Greece. The European partners would have to check their schedule and rework the contracts in question, said Luxembourg's Prime Minister.

The politician warned that thepressure on Greece to raise them further. "I advise strongly against it, that we call the Greeks over the fence, what they do. We should allow the Greeks to decide."

Patience is urgently needed because the government is increasingly coming to poker in Athens farce. On Saturday, the leader of the Socialists, Evangelos Venizelos, his mandate to form a government of President Karolos Papoulias returned.

As head of the third-strongest party was Venizelos the last to be asked to form a coalition alliance. Only one round of all party leaders at Papoulias may now lead to the formation of the government. The President has called for it Sunday. Otherwise, be re-elected in June. If that is the radical left Syriza party come to power - the battles against the austerity of the country. In a recent poll, the party comes to 25.5 percent of the vote.
Despite this disturbing trend Juncker urges patience. "I'm not a priori determined that we are now the exact month the agreed scheduling goal fulfillment is essential to maintain a budgetary nature," said Juncker. He had no problem with the fact that Greece, for example, one year get more time to implement the agreed contractual consolidation program. But this must be negotiated at a European level.

Only one option for Europe: Wait
One week after the election in Greece, Europe would at first only the wait. "We are able to talk about the timing of the Greek state only after a remediation tight together, the Greek government," said Juncker. "We can not now enter into negotiations with the various Greek parties. That will not be possible."
At the contract consolidation targets should not be shaken. Greece had to rehabilitate himself and to fulfill the agreements when it wanted to retain the European grants and €.
A withdrawal of Greece from the euro-zone is not an option for him. "I would be a complete departure from the agreed consolidation programs in Greece nor an option," Juncker said.

Less diplomatically remarked the ECB Irish banker Patrick Honohan. For him, an exit of Greece from the euro zone would be perfectly acceptable.This could be technically feasible, but would trust in the euro-zone damage as a whole, the head of the Irish Central Bank said on Saturday. "It is not necessarily fatal, but not too attractive," said Honohan.
Clear warnings of Westerwelle and Weidmann
A clear statement toward Greece sent the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle(FDP). He has made ​​more European aid to observance of the savings and reform course by the future government in Athens dependent. "When a new government unilaterally terminated the agreement, then it will be able to give any further European aid money," he told the newspaper "Die Welt".
"We want that Greece made ​​it. Why we can help. But the Greeks have to comply in return for their commitments to reform," Westerwelle said. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Jens Weidmann future had mandatory funding subject to the respect of existing contracts with the Athens International Monetary Fund and the EU .
jok / dpa


marilena: Greek president to seek to form unity government B...

marilena: Greek president to seek to form unity government B...: Athens, Greece (CNN)  -- Greek President Karolos Papoulias is to hold talks in the next day with party leaders in a bid to create a na...

Greek president to seek to form unity government By Elinda Labropoulou, for CN

Greek President Karolos Papoulias (right) pictured with Socialist PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday.

Athens, Greece (CNN) -- Greek President Karolos Papoulias is to hold talks in the next day with party leaders in a bid to create a national unity government, his office said Saturday.
Evangelos Venizelos, leader of the country's socialist party, PASOK, met with the president Saturday after it became the third party to fail to form a coalition, a week after parliamentary elections gave no one a majority.
Speaking after the meeting, Venizelos said PASOK, New Democracy and the Democratic Left have said they would be willing to go into a grand coalition on the condition of remaining in the euro, offering a possible way out of the impasse.
But this could still be problematic as the Democratic Left has previously said it will only join a coalition if the party which placed second in Sunday's election, the Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, also joined.
Papoulias described this as a "grain of hope."
He said he hoped he could help form a unity government, adding that "things in Greece are quite difficult."
Papoulias is expected to meet with the leaders of PASOK, New Democracy and Syriza at noon Sunday, his office said. He will meet with other party leaders later.
If the president's bid to form a unity government does not succeed by May 17, fresh elections must be called. They would take place next month.
Deep uncertainty surrounds the political situation in Greece after large numbers of voters in last Sunday's election backed parties opposed to the country's bailout deal.
Severe austerity measures are required under the terms of the bailout, agreed by the outgoing coalition government of PASOK and New Democracy.
Headlines in Saturday's papers talk about "Elections on the Titanic" and "Opening the door to an exit from the euro."
A poll earlier this week suggested that if new elections are held, Syriza would come first with 28% of the vote, although without achieving a majority. Syriza came in second in Sunday's election with 16.8%.
The party is opposed to the terms of the bailout agreed with the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, and has even suggested implementing a moratorium on part of the repayments.
The country's lenders have said that if Greece does not comply with the bailout terms then payments will stop.
Greece has been forced to impose punishing austerity measures to get international loans that have kept it from defaulting on debts so far.
But this week's election results were widely seen as a message to politicians to back away from the economic measures, which include policies to cut spending and raise taxes to reduce public debts.
Seven parties won seats in parliament, but none captured more than 19% of the vote, leading to a week of political turmoil.
The stakes are potentially huge for the rest of the eurozone, the group of 17 European countries that use the euro as single currency.
There is concern that the lack of leadership could jeopardize Greece's bailout agreement. That could lead to a disorderly default by Greece, which would force the nation out of the eurozone.
A default by Greece also could drag down other troubled governments such as Spain and Portugal. The eurozone economy is fragile, and any financial shock could plunge the region into a deep recession, a development that would ripple across the globe.

marilena: Greece bailout crisis: President seeks unity gover...

marilena: Greece bailout crisis: President seeks unity gover...: Greek President Karolos Papoulias has called the country's leaders to a meeting on Sunday in a last-ditch attempt to forge a unity govern...

Greece bailout crisis: President seeks unity government

Greek President Karolos Papoulias has called the country's leaders to a meeting on Sunday in a last-ditch attempt to forge a unity government.
If the president's bid fails, another election will have to be held.
Earlier, Pasok became the third party to fail in coalition talks when leader Evangelos Venizelos formally returned the mandate to the president.
Last Sunday, voters backed parties opposed to Greece's bailout deal, which requires deep budget cuts.
Greece's political turmoil has raised the possibility that it could default on its debts and be forced out of the eurozone.
Mr Papoulias said in a statement he would hold a meeting at 09:00 GMT on Sunday with the leaders of the three largest parties - the socialist Pasok, the centre-right New Democracy, and far-left bloc Syriza.
He will then hold talks with fringe parties including Golden Dawn, an extreme right-wing anti-immigration group.
Analysts say the president's bid is unlikely to succeed because the parties are so divided over the bailout.
Greek President Karolos Papoulias, right, with Antonis Samaras
Austerity 'denounced'
Mr Venizelos abandoned efforts to form a new government on Friday, and met the president on Saturday morning to confirm his decision.
He had held talks with New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, whose party came first in the election, but could not find a third partner to give them a majority in parliament.
"I hope that during the negotiations chaired by Mr Papoulias everyone will be more mature and responsible in their thinking," Mr Venizelos said.
New Democracy also failed to form a coalition earlier in the week, as did Syriza, which came second in the election.
Syriza firmly rejects the terms of the most recent EU-IMF bailout, which requires tough austerity measures in return for loans worth 130bn euros ($170bn; £105bn).
Its leader, Alexis Tsipras, said on Friday he could not join any coalition that intended to implement the bailout deal.
"The bailout austerity has already been denounced by the Greek people with its vote, and no government has the right to enforce it," he said.
Analysts say Syriza could be hoping for another election after one opinion poll put them in first position in any new ballot, albeit without an overall majority.
Meanwhile, Germany has reiterated that Greece's exit from the eurozone would have dire consequences, and urged Athens to continue its deep budget cuts.
"For Greece the consequences would be much more grave than for the rest of the eurozone," said Jens Weidmann, head of Germany's central bank.
The Bundesbank chief told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that Greece must continue its austerity reforms to justify further loans from the international community.
"If Athens does not stand by its word, then that's a democratic decision. The result is that there is no more basis for further financial aid," he said.
Sunday's election saw a backlash against Pasok and New Democracy, the two parties that agreed the terms of the latest bailout.
The once-dominant Pasok, which was seen as the architect of austerity, came third with just 41 seats in the 300-seat parliament.
The Greek crisis is continuing to create unease is global financial circles.
The Fitch ratings agency warned that if Greece did leave the euro, it would probably place all 16 remaining euro nations' sovereign ratings on "rating watch negative" - meaning they would be in danger of being downgraded.
"A Greek exit would break a fundamental tenet underpinning the euro - that membership of EMU [Economic and Monetary Union] is irrevocable," Fitch said.
bbc news

Nikos Vertis | An eisai ena asteri | Greece 2012

Παρασκευή, 11 Μαΐου 2012

marilena: Germany Signals It Will Permit Small Steps to Prom...

marilena: Germany Signals It Will Permit Small Steps to Prom...: Despite marked differences in tone, Ms. Merkel and Mr. Hollande may not be so far apart in substance, said Mujtaba Rahman, an analyst ...

Germany Signals It Will Permit Small Steps to Promote Growth in Europe

Despite marked differences in tone, Ms. Merkel and Mr. Hollande may not be so far apart in substance, said Mujtaba Rahman, an analyst at Eurasia Group, a consultancy in New York. Germany may ultimately accept minor adjustments to Greece’s aid program if a viable government emerges, Mr. Rahman said.
“This is Germany’s way of signaling both to Hollande and the Greek political elite it is willing to be constructive to keep the system together,” he said.
German officials have been adamant in saying the bailout terms would not be renegotiated with Greece. The sharp reduction in public spending in the teeth of a recession has sent Greek unemployment to over 20 percent and, in Sunday’s elections, brought radical parties on the right and left into Parliament.
Speaking in Berlin on Thursday, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble repeated Germany’s mantra that Greece had to stand by its commitments, but this time he added that Berlin could tolerate a slightly higher inflation rate.
New York times

marilena: Hate Europe, Love the Euro

marilena: Hate Europe, Love the Euro: LONDON — The BBC ran an intriguing documentary  on Greece’s financial crisis this week, hosted by Michael Portillo, a former minister ...

Hate Europe, Love the Euro

Old one drachma coins.

LONDON — The BBC ran an intriguingdocumentary on Greece’s financial crisis this week, hosted by Michael Portillo, a former minister under Margaret Thatcher and a leading euro-skeptic.
During his travels through Greece, Mr. Portillo offered each of his interviewees the choice of a €20 bill and an alternative one denominated in defunct drachmas. To a man, and woman, they all reached for the euros.
The country’s European partners may not be too popular among Greeks these days but, if Mr. Portillo’s mini-experiment is anything to go by, the European currency still is.
Whether they get to keep it will likely depend on whether their politicians seize the last of several chances on Friday to cobble together a coalition government out of the inconclusive results of Sunday’s general election.
After a Friday morning meeting with Evangelos Venizelos, the Socialist leader, Antonis Samaras, the leader of the Conservative Party and a potential coalition partner, said Greece must remain within the euro zone.
“The only term we set is to secure Greece’s continued presence in the euro area,” Mr. Samaras told state TV. “It would be suicide to isolate Greece now that conditions are changing in Europe,” Bloomberg News quoted him as saying.
More meetings among politicians were scheduled for later in the day and into the evening.
Failure to form a government would prompt new elections, in which the anti-austerity Radical Left Movement of Alexis Tsipras is currently forecast to increase its share of the vote to become the largest party in Parliament.
Mr. Tsipras shares the twin aspirations expressed by many Greeks in Mr. Portillo’s broadcast — keep the euro but ease the austerity measures being imposed on Athens by its European partners.
No deal, says Germany, which is putting intense pressure on Greek politicians to reach a coalition deal that would include acceptance of conditions for further bailout loans.
Germany’s foreign minister kept up the pressure on Greece on Friday, saying there could be no more payments of aid unless Athens enacted reforms it has agreed with its international partners.
“We want to help Greece and we will help Greece,” Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister, told the German Parliament. “But Greece has to want to be helped. If they deviate from the agreed reform path, then the payment of further tranches of aid is not possible.”
A former radical student leader, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, meanwhile, urged Europe to ease the pressure on Greece or risk provoking a military takeover. Mr. Cohn-Bendit, a member of the European Parliament with the the Green alliance, raised the specter of a rerun of the Colonels’ coup of 1967 in an interview with Le Monde.
“They must be given some sign of hope,” he said. “If you leave the Greeks to sort themselves out, there’s a risk of a coup d’état.”
Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, said in an interview published Friday that the 17-nation euro zone could withstand Greece’s withdrawal from the single currency. “Europe won’t sink that easily,” he told the Rheinische Post.
A move back to the drachma could, however, prove to be a nightmare for the banking sector, which is reported to be preparing contingency plans.
Reuters reported from London on Thursday that some banks had never erased the old Greek currency from their systems and “would be ready at the flick of a switch” if Greece brought back national banknotes and coins.
But the report also noted that, if Greece forced an exchange rate of, for example, one euro to one new drachma, it could impose huge losses on foreign banks because such a rate would not be sustainable on the markets.

Herald Tribune

marilena: Germany drafts recipe for EU growth, warns Greece

marilena: Germany drafts recipe for EU growth, warns Greece: Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has called for a new approach to spending that boosts growth without increasing debt. He also warned ...

Germany drafts recipe for EU growth, warns Greece

Piles of euro coins

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has called for a new approach to spending that boosts growth without increasing debt. He also warned that Greece can expect help from the EU, but only if it sticks to its commitments.

In a speech to Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, Westerwelle on Friday unveiled a six-point plan to boost European economic growth. It includes stricter controls on spending and putting around 80 billion euros in EU funds into increasing the bloc's competitiveness. But the liberal FDP party politician said he rejected the idea of government stimulus to boost growth.
"One cannot buy growth by incurring new debt," he said, adding that "the European Union cannot spend more than before, but it must use its means better than it has so far."
The six-point plan from Westerwelle is meant to complement the EU fiscal pact, which requires governments to take steps to rein in public debt.

Germany's opposition expressed skepticism, with the Social Democrats criticizing the lack of measures to tackle high youth unemployment and the Left party calling for tax increases for the wealthy.

No plan to budge on fiscal pact

In an apparent reference to presidential elections in France, Westerwelle stressed Germany would not renegotiate the eurozone's fiscal pact, which requires governments to take steps to rein in public debt. Socialist President-elect Francois Hollande made redrafting the agreement one of the pillars of his campaign.
"The fiscal pact was agreed, and it remains valid," Westerwelle said. "Agreements between states do not become invalid through new elections."
Westerwelle also took the opportunity to issue a warning to Greece, where politicians are anxiously trying to build a viable government coalition. In Sunday's election, voters there punished the mainstream parties over austerity measures implemented as part of an EU-IMF bailout. If they fail to form a coalition to uphold Greece's international commitments, Athens could renege and become insolvent, putting at risk its membership in the eurozone.

"The future of Greece in the eurozone lies in the hands of Greece," Westerwelle said. "We want to and we will help Greece, but Greece has to be ready to accept help. If Greece strays from the agreed reform path, then the payment of further aid tranches won't be possible. Solidarity is not a one way street."

Earlier, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said in an interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper that Europe would survive if Greece decided to exit the euro.

"We want Greece to remain in the eurozone," Schäuble said. "But it also has to want this and to fulfill its obligations. We can't force anyone. Europe won't sink that easily."

Deutsche Welle

marilena: Greekonomics

marilena: Greekonomics: I've interviewed Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras once, on a street demonstration. He is, as all commentators say, very smart. Too sm...


Greek presidential guards

I've interviewed Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras once, on a street demonstration. He is, as all commentators say, very smart. Too smart to do something as dumb as take over the government of Greece at this juncture.

Economics editor, Newsnight

marilena: BBC News, Athens

marilena: BBC News, Athens: Mark Lowen The stable future that Greece craves is slipping further from its grasp. Five days after an inconclusive election, the wran...

BBC News, Athens

The stable future that Greece craves is slipping further from its grasp. Five days after an inconclusive election, the wrangling to form a government goes on and the country's hopes of remaining in the euro are fading fast.
In Sunday's poll, the majority voted against Greece's bailout and the public sector cuts that it entails. But most here want to keep the euro. Germany, though, has suggested Greece cannot have both.
German Finance Minister said Europe could survive without Greece. That may be brinkmanship, but if he had hoped that would jolt politicians here into action, he might be disappointed.
Failure to form a coalition would mean fresh elections and perilous instability. This is a critical period for Greece and the eurozone. Time is running out to steady the ship

Πέμπτη, 10 Μαΐου 2012

marilena: Brad Pitt, Chanel's new Cover Girl Even an A-list ...

marilena: Brad Pitt, Chanel's new Cover Girl Even an A-list ...: The world's best known perfume and the famous man set to get even more A-listy when he marries Angelina Jolie Photograph: Frank Baron...

Brad Pitt, Chanel's new Cover Girl Even an A-list scent like Chanel Nº 5 could do with a refreshing ad campaign, says Katie Puckrik, and Brad Pitt makes more sense than you'd think as the face of a women's perfume

Chanel No5 and Brad Pitt

The world's best known perfume and the famous man set to get even more A-listy when he marries Angelina Jolie Photograph: Frank Baron/ MARK BLINCH/The Guardian/ REUTERS
A terse tweet this week announced Chanel Nº 5's latest cover girl, matinee idol Brad Pitt. This is the first time in the history of the iconic perfume that a man has been cast to represent the scent in their ad campaign. Considering the current amount of cross-dressing in thebeauty industry, you might be wondering "what's the big whoop?" After all, we've already encountered fragrance and lip gloss-flogging blokes in MAC ads, on YouTube tutorials, and behind the makeup counter of our local Boots.
But Chanel Nº 5 ain't no trendy tranny accessory. It's Chanel Nº 5, the olfactory embodiment of womanly mystery and sophistication. Coco Chanel herself pronounced it "a woman's perfume, with the scent of a woman." And up until Brad, women have been the only flavour of people smoldering from page and screen as the embodiment of its appeal. We've had the glamazons: Catherine Deneuve, Nicole Kidman, Ines de la Fressange - and the gamines: Audrey Tatou, Vanessa Paradis, Ali MacGraw. Despite the odd foray into coquettishness, the tone of the campaigns has been remarkably consistent. The model's demeanor is typically self-contained, with a cool, appraising stare down the lens of the camera. Almost masculine, you might say.
Chanel Nº 5 liberated perfume from its binary system of madonna (namby-pamby single note florals) and whore (heady jasmine and musk) to create an abstract blend of natural and synthetic notes that summed up the modern woman of the 1920s. What is remarkable about No. 5 is that almost a hundred years after its launch, it still smells modern: unsentimental yet plush, insinuating yet elegant. The buttery blur of jasmine, rose and ylang-ylang are contrasted by aldehydes, a compound that adds oomph and arctic shimmer. This chilly shimmer is warmed by mating-season musk - only revealed on the skin, like a secret between lovers.
But why Brad, and why now? Chanel Nº 5 still reigns supreme as the 'ultimate' perfume, the stuff even clueless Cro-Magnons can namecheck as proof that they know the score. However, the world of perfume has experienced a population explosion since Nº 5 was first introduced in 1921. With over 1,000 fragrances now launched yearly (many of them uninspiring spin-offs and celebrity cash-ins), the grande dame of the perfume counter has a harder time than ever being smelled over the din. Name brand recognition doesn't necessarily equal sales dominance, and indeed in France, Nº 5 is currently outsold by Dior's J'Adore.
There's nothing like hitching one's wagon to a star to get back on top, though, and with Brad planning to make a Mrs. Pitt out of Angelina Jolie in the near-ish future, Chanel will only benefit from the Hollywood hoopla (and rabid press interest) surrounding the wedding. A link with an A-list actor never hurts an A-list brand. Marilyn Monroe once boosted sales after an impertinent reporter asked what she wore in bed. She provocatively answered, "Chanel Nº 5". With their latest perfume model, Chanel offers a subliminal reframing of that answer. What does the modern woman wear to bed? Brad Pitt.


marilena: Vidal Sassoon - a life of style in pictures

marilena: Vidal Sassoon - a life of style in pictures: The celebrity hair stylist Vidal Sassoon , who revolutionised women's cuts in the 1960s with his sharp geometric styles, has died at his h...

Vidal Sassoon - a life of style in pictures

The celebrity hair stylist Vidal Sassoon, who revolutionised women's cuts in the 1960s with his sharp geometric styles, has died at his home in Los Angeles aged 84.

His wash-and-wear cuts marked the end of the beehive and the bouffant hair styles of the 50s, earning him many famous clients and admirers

Vidal Sassoon: Beth Rogan

Vidal Sassoon: Graduated bob

Vidal Sassoon: Lopsided asymmetric cut

Vidal Sassoon: Mia Farrow

Vidal Sassoon: Denney Dayviss

Vidal Sassoon: Vidal Sassoon with models

Vidal Sassoon: Greek Goddess

Vidal Sassoon: Albert Hall

marilena: Name of Federico García Lorca's lover emerges afte...

marilena: Name of Federico García Lorca's lover emerges afte...: Spanish playwright and poet Federico García Lorca. Photograph: Popperfoto The identity of the lover to whom  Federico García Lorca...

Name of Federico García Lorca's lover emerges after 70 years Box of mementoes reveals that young art critic Juan Ramírez de Lucas had brief affair with Spanish poet

Federico Garcia Lorca

Spanish playwright and poet Federico García Lorca. Photograph: Popperfoto
The identity of the lover to whom Federico García Lorca wrote passionate verse in his final months has been a mystery ever since the poet's assassination during the Spanish civil war. But now, more than 70 years later, his name has finally emerged.
The art critic and journalist Juan Ramírez de Lucas kept a box of mementoes of their brief but passionate relationship, including a previously unseen poem and a diary, hidden away throughout his life. He handed the box to his sister shortly before his death in 2010, and reportedly asked her to make the contents public only after he had died.
The box revealed that García Lorca and 19-year-old Ramírez de Lucas had planned to go to Mexico together after falling for each other in Madrid, where the latter was studying both public administration and theatre. But Ramírez de Lucas was too young to travel without his parents' permission, so he went back to his native Albacete to talk to them days before the Spanish civil war broke out, when rightwing rebels launched a coup attempt against the republican government.
García Lorca, meanwhile, had gone to his native Granada where – once the war started – he sought refuge in the house of his friends, the Rosales family. With Granada in the hands of the fascist-backed forces of General Francisco Franco, the notoriously leftwing poet was in danger of being detained and shot by death squads operating in the city.
In August 1936, aged 38, he was taken to a nearby hillside and shot along with two bullfighters and a one-legged schoolteacher. His body has never been found.
Ramírez de Lucas's conservative family had been appalled by his request to go to Mexico with García Lorca and refused him permission to travel, threatening to send the Civil Guard after him if he tried to leave. He could not legally travel abroad without their permission until he was 21.
García Lorca wrote him a letter, told him to be patient and assured him that it was important not to break with his family, saying they would eventually understand his desire. "Count on me always. I am your best friend and I ask you to be political and not allow yourself to be washed along by the river (of fate)," the poet wrote, according to a version of the letter published by El País newspaper.
The letter – accompanied by orange blossom from Granada – was one of the documents that Ramírez de Lucas held on to, along with a poem by Lorca which describes his hopeless attraction to the "blond young man from Albacete".
"I can't even look at him!" he repeats in the poem, which was apparently written on a journey the two lovers made to the southern city of Córdoba. The poem is handwritten on the back of a receipt for the Orad Academy in Madrid, where Ramírez de Lucas was studying. A handwriting expert has reviewed the poem and declared it to have been written by García Lorca.
The letters have been shown to author Manuel Francisco Reina, who has based a forthcoming novel around them.
"This is very important because he is the poet's last lover," said Miguel Caballero, author of a recent study of García Lorca's last days and assassination – who has helped Reina.
"I know that Reina has had access to the letter," said Caballero, who confirmed that Reina believed García Lorca's famous Sonnets of Dark Love had also been addressed to Ramírez de Lucas.
Lorca spent his final days in the Rosales house carefully revising and correcting the sonnets. "It seems likely that the sonnets were addressed to him," Caballero said. "The investigation into this has been carried out in a serious fashion."
The Guardian was unable to speak to Reina or the Ramírez family, who have refused to talk to the Spanish press..
Ramírez later joined the volunteer Blue Division to fight for Hitler against the Russians in an attempt to give himself the necessary credentials to survive in Franco's Spain. He also kept his relationship with García Lorca secret, refusing to answer questions from his many biographers.
His relatives are reportedly now looking for a publisher to handle the documents.


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