Σάββατο, 13 Οκτωβρίου 2012

marilena: Euroskeptics Call Nobel Honor an 'April Fool's Jok...

marilena: Euroskeptics Call Nobel Honor an 'April Fool's Jok...: European leaders greeted the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union on Friday, saying it would provide urgently ne...

Euroskeptics Call Nobel Honor an 'April Fool's Joke'

Protesters burn an European Union flag in Greece last month.

European leaders greeted the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union on Friday, saying it would provide urgently needed motivation in the debt crisis. But euroskeptics could hardly believe their ears and are already ridiculing the jury in Oslo.


The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has divided the Continent. While European leaders in Brussels and national capitals are basking in the glow provided by the unexpected honor, euroskeptics in the EU have unleashed their contempt for the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

In Britain, Friday's award has been the subject of particularly heated commentary. Iain Martin, a columnist with the conservative Daily Telegraph dismissed the prize as "beyond parody." He writes that the prize has been awarded prematurely because "we have no idea how the experiment to create an anti-democratic federation will end." Besides, he writes, "daftest of all is the notion that the EU itself has kept the peace." Instead, he writes, it was the Brits and the Americans who brought peace to the Continent.
Members of the House of Commons with the conservative Tories described the decision as "laughable" and an "April Fool's Joke." Meanwhile, the tabloid Daily Mail runs with photos of protesters in Athens burning a flag emblazoned with a swastika during this week's visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and quotes the head of the Tory party in the European Parliament, Martin Callanan, as stating, "Presumably this prize is for the peace and harmony on the streets of Athens and Madrid."
Even the EU-friendly Economist columnist Charlemagne writes, "Hmmm," questioning the timing of the award, given that the EU is currently threatened with a break-up.
The 'Opposite of Peace'
Meanwhile, social networks are filled with wise cracks about how the EU, in light of the euro crisis, certainly wouldn't qualify for a Nobel Prize in economics. And there is also considerable speculation online about which of the numerous presidents of EU institutions will ultimately accept the prize. Some newspapers are even calculating how many pence each Brit would get if the €1 million in prize money were divvied up among them.
The gloating underscores the extent to which the debate over the EU has taken a life of its own in Britain. What is considered to be historical fact on the Continent is disparaged as EU propaganda in the UK. "To be sure, France and Germany have not gone to war since 1945," writes Spectator blogger James Forsyth. "But to chalk that up solely to the European Union is a profound misreading of history." He described the decision in Oslo as "bizarre."
Of course, critics of the EU also raised their objections on Friday in other European countries. In Greece, a spokesperson for the opposition Syriza party said that, because of the EU, "we are experiencing what really is a war situation on daily basis … there is nothing peaceful about it." Meanwhile, the Norwegian Peace Council declared that the EU in the past year has stood for the "opposite of peace." In Germany, the conservative daily Die Welt criticized the "forced political correctness of a jury that has overlooked the unpleasant reality of the euro crisis" in awarding the prize. Finally, Imka Höger, a member of the German parliament with the far-left Left Party accused the EU of conducting foreign policy that promotes "adversity, poverty and war."
'The Most Successful Peace Process in History'
Has the EU therefore not earned the Peace Prize? The award does in fact raise a number of questions: How often has the EU looked on helplessly as international conflicts unfolded when it could have done something? And how likely to survive is the supranational idea in light of the nationalism seen in many of the member states?

Regardless, references to recent decisions and disputes seem petty next to the historic success of 60 years of peace, which explains why the Continent is awash in pride over the honor. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is not alone in considering the EU the "most successful peace project in history." In France, there has also been an overwhelming relief to have the EU viewed positively once again. French daily Le Parisien wrote of "revenge" for the EU, comparing its treatment to that by a mean stepmother. "Unexpected, earned, touched, honored," begins an article in Le Nouvel Observateur describing the feelings of Europeans.
Former European Commission President Jacques Delors called the award "satisfaction for the deceased fathers of Europe." And a statement from the Elysée Palace, the office of President François Hollande, said that "every European should be proud to be part of a union that has created peace between long-warring nations."
The British government, though, has not yet commented on the prize. Apparently Prime Minister David Cameron couldn't manage praise for the EU even on this day. Still, in London many commentators concluded that the Nobel Peace Prize was justified. Despite its imperfections, the EU remains a "beacon of hope" for millions of people on the periphery of Europe, commented the generally euroskeptic Timesof London.

spiegel

marilena: Photos: 2012 Nobel Prize winners

marilena: Photos: 2012 Nobel Prize winners: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/11/world/gallery/nobel-prize-winners/index.html?hpt=hp_mid CNN

Photos: 2012 Nobel Prize winners

marilena: Gerhard Richter painting sells for record £21m

marilena: Gerhard Richter painting sells for record £21m: An oil painting by the German artist Gerhard Richter has sold for £21m ($34m) - an auction record for a work by a living artist. Abst...

Gerhard Richter painting sells for record £21m

Abstraktes Bild


An oil painting by the German artist Gerhard Richter has sold for £21m ($34m) - an auction record for a work by a living artist.
Abstraktes Bild, painted in 1994 , which was owned by rock star Eric Clapton, has been described as a "masterpiece of calculated chaos".
The artwork, expected to fetch £9-12m, was sold to an anonymous bidder at Sotheby's in London on Friday.
A round of applause broke out as the painting went under the hammer.
Gerhard Richter, 80, who lives in Cologne, is considered by some to be the world's greatest living painter.
'Unique opportunity'
Sotheby's called Abstraktes Bild a "paradigm of Gerhard Richter's mature artistic and philosophical achievement".
Before the sale, Alex Branczik, senior director of contemporary art at Sotheby's, said of the painting: "Abstraktes Bild is one of the great abstract masterpieces by Gerhard Richter.
"Its appearance on the market presents collectors with the unique opportunity to acquire an outstanding work by one of the greatest living painters."
A sister painting of the artwork is currently jointly owned by the Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland.
Eric Clapton is a known art collector.
Even before the sale, the Sunday Times Rich List estimated the Cream guitarist' s wealth at some £140m, making him the 17th-richest British musician.
He has previously sold off part of his extensive guitar collection to raise money for his rehab clinic, which he founded in 1998 to help treat drug and alcohol addiction.
bbc

marilena: Combating cancer’s conversations

marilena: Combating cancer’s conversations: Scientists believe we have a better chance of tackling the disease by knowing what tumour cells are saying to one another and then cuttin...

Combating cancer’s conversations

Combating cancer’s conversations

Scientists believe we have a better chance of tackling the disease by knowing what tumour cells are saying to one another and then cutting off communications.


Cancer is usually presented as a problem of cells becoming mindless replicators, proliferating without purpose or restraint. But that image underestimates the foe, according to a new paper. The authors argue that we’ll stand a better chance of combating cancer if we recognise that tumour cells are a lot smarter and function like a co-operating community.
One of the authors, physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob of Tel Aviv University in Israel, has argued for some time that many single-celled organisms, whether they are tumour cells or gut bacteria, show a rudimentary form of social intelligence – an ability to act collectively in ways that adapt to the prevailing conditions, learn from experience and solve problems, all with the “aim” of improving their chances of survival. He even believes there is evidence that they can modify their own genomes in beneficial ways.
Some of these ideas are controversial, but others are undeniable. One of the classic examples of a single-celled co-operator, the soil-dwelling slime mould Dictyostelium discoideum, survives a lack of warmth or moisture by sending out pulses of a chemical from cells, which attracts other cells to move towards them and clump together into multi-celled bodies that look like weird mushrooms. Some of these cells become spores, entering into a kind of suspended animation until conditions improve.
Many bacteria can engage in similar feats of communication and coordination, which can produce complex colony shapes such as vortex-like circulating blobs or exotic branching patterns. These displays of “social intelligence” help the colonies survive adversity, sometimes to our cost. Biofilms, for example – robust, slimy surface coatings that harbour bacteria and can spread infection in hospitals – are manufactured through the co-operation of several different species.
But as cyberwarfare experts know, disrupting communications can be deadly, and the same social intelligence that helps bacteria thrive can be manipulated to attack pathogenic varieties. Some strategies for tackling dangerous bacteria now target their cell-to-cell communications, for example by introducing false signals that might induce cells to eat one another or to dissolve biofilms. So it pays to know what they’re saying to one another.
Ben-Jacob, along with Donald Coffey of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and “biological physicist” Herbert Levine of Rice University in Houston, Texas, think that we should be approaching cancer therapy this way too: not by aiming to kill off tumour cells with lethal doses of poisons or radiation, but by interrupting their conversations.
Cracking codes
There are several indications that cancer cells thrive by co-operating. One trick that bacteria use for invading new territory, including other organisms, is to use a mode of cell-to-cell communication called quorum sensing to determine how densely populated their colony is: above a certain threshold, they might have sufficient strength in numbers to form biofilms, or infect a host. Researchers have suggested that this process is similar to the way cancer cells spread during metastasis. Others think that group behaviour of cancer cells might explain why they can become so quickly resistant to drugs.
Cancer cells are very different from bacteria: they are rogue human cells, which have a separate compartment for the genetic material, and are generally deemed a more advanced type of cell than “primitive” bacteria, in which the chromosomes are just mixed up with everything else. Yet it’s been suggested that, when our cells turn cancerous and the normal processes regulating their growth break down, more primitive “single-celled” styles of behaviour are unleashed.
Primitive perhaps – but still terrifyingly smart. Tumours can trick the body into making new blood vessels to nourish them. They can enslave healthy cells and turn them into decoys to evade the immune system. They seem even able to fool the immune system into helping the cancer to develop. It’s still not clear exactly how they do some of these things. The anthropomorphism that makes cancer cells evil enemies to be “fought” risks distorting the challenge, but it’s not hard to see why researchers succumb to it. 
Cancer cells resistant to drugs can and do emerge at random by natural selection in a population. But they may also have tricks that speed up mutation and boost the chances of resistant strains appearing. And they seem able to generate dormant, spore-like forms, as Dictyostelium discoideum does, that produce “time-bomb” relapses even after cancer traces have disappeared in scans and blood tests.
So what’s to be done? Ben-Jacob and colleagues say that if we can crack the code of how cancer cells communicate, we might be able to subvert it. These cells seem to exchange chemical signals, including short strands of the nucleic acid RNA which is known to control genes. They can even genetically modify and reprogramme healthy cells by dispatching segments of DNA. The researchers think that it might be possible to turn this crosstalk of tumour cells against them, inducing the cells to die or split apart spontaneously.
Meanwhile, if we can figure out what triggers the “awakening” of dormant cancer cells, they might be tricked into revealing themselves at the wrong time, after the immune system has been boosted to destroy them in their vulnerable, newly aroused state. Ben-Jacob and colleagues suggest experiments that could probe how this switch from dormant to active cells comes about. Beyond this, perhaps we might commandeer harmless or even indigenous bacteria to act as spies and agent provocateurs, using their proven smartness to outwit and undermine that of cancer cells.
The “warfare” analogy in cancer treatment is widely overplayed and potentially misleading, but in this case it has some value. It is often said that the nature of war has changed over the past several decades: it’s no longer about armies, superior firepower, and battlefield strategy, but about grappling with a more diffuse foe – indeed one loosely organized into “cells” – by identifying and undermining channels of recruitment, communication and interaction. If it means anything to talk of a “war on cancer”, then perhaps here too we need to think about warfare in this new way. 
bbc

marilena: European Union earns the Nobel Peace Prize – and a...

marilena: European Union earns the Nobel Peace Prize – and a...: Greeks and Ukip unite to condemn the award for ‘transforming’ a warring continent Previous winners have included Nelson Mandela, Au...

European Union earns the Nobel Peace Prize – and a few brickbats



Greeks and Ukip unite to condemn the award for ‘transforming’ a warring continent


Previous winners have included Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Dalai Lama.
But yesterday the Nobel Peace Prize committee awarded their prestigious annual prize to the European Union in a decision that united British eurosceptics and Greek anarchists in howls of protests and derision.
Previous winners have included Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Dalai Lama. But yesterday the Nobel Peace Prize committee awarded their prestigious annual prize to the European Union in a decision that united British eurosceptics and Greek anarchists in howls of protests and derision.
Outlining their unexpected choice, the Norwegian committee said the EU deserved to honoured for helping “transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace”.
Detractors were quick to point out the contrast between the prize’s high ideals and recent violent protests against EU-imposed austerity on the streets of Athens and Spain
While committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland did make reference to the current “grave difficulties and considerable social unrest”, he said the EU and its forerunners “have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”.
Nick Clegg gave the announcement a diplomatic welcome, saying the EU was an “interesting choice” and that: “The idea of peace in Europe is something we should always celebrate and never forget.”
But others were less impressed. Nigel Farage, leader of Eurosceptic party Ukip, said the decision brought the award “into disrepute”, adding that it “goes to show that the Norwegians really do have a sense of humour”.
Martin Callanan, leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament, called the move “out of touch”, adding it was “a little late for an April fool’s joke”. The sentiment was echoed by right-wing Eurosceptics across Europe, including Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
Those working in Brussels backed the award as a much-needed shot in the arm when tempers are fraying.
Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, added: “It is indeed a great honour for the European Union, for all its 500 million citizens, for all its member states, for the European institutions.” It was a message of “hope and confidence” as the countries look to “overcome all the difficulties that we are facing today”.
The prize, worth $1.2m (£750,000), will be presented in Oslo on December 10, although the decision on who would collect the award had not yet been taken. The five-strong panel’s choice of the EU, out of 231 candidates, was unanimous.
There was also strong support for the award in Germany. Former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder called it “important” and said it was a “big encouragement for the people in Europe”. Between the wars the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to several people looking to reconcile France and Germany. “Since 1945, that reconciliation has become a reality,” Mr Jagland, the head of the committee said, adding the “dreadful suffering in the Second World War demonstrated the need for a new Europe”.
The committee said that after 70 years in which the two European nations had fought three times “today war between Germany and France is unthinkable”.
The EU is the 24th organisation to win the prize following bodies including the United Nations – jointly with Kofi Annan – in 2001 and Médecins Sans Frontières in 1999. The European Economic Community, forerunner of the EU, was created in 1957.
independent

marilena: Greeks baffled by the EU’s peace prize

marilena: Greeks baffled by the EU’s peace prize: Greeks grappled today to understand why the Nobel committee awarded its annual peace prize to the institution that has been battering t...

Greeks baffled by the EU’s peace prize

REUTERS


Greeks grappled today to understand why the Nobel committee awarded its annual peace prize to the institution that has been battering them with a barrage of austerity measures and pain.
For the past three years, the newly crowned European Union has been demanding a slew of painful cuts in exchange for two loan packages worth nearly €200bn (£160bn).  To please its foreign creditors, Greece will have to yet again axe pensions in exchange for more aid.
“It’s ridiculous to talk about peace in the EU when certain members [like Greece] are facing a severe type of financial war and indirect occupation,” said 31-year-old Suzanna, an unemployed former bank trader. “It’s a joke. People are trying to fight back for their rights here. What kind of peace are we talking about?” 
The austerity measures have magnified Greece’s recession – predicted to continue for a sixth continuous year – with a quarter of the population now officially jobless. Since the beginning of the crisis, unions have staged many protests against the EU’s policies towards Athens. At least four people have died in the demonstrations. 
Efi Kontou, 22, a chemical engineering student, thought the peace prize “ironic”. Beyond the pain caused by the imposed austerity measures, Ms Kontou said the EU’s handling of the financial crisis had also build animosity between its member countries. “Look at the hatred between Germans and Greeks,” she said.
independent

marilena: The return of DSK

marilena: The return of DSK: A year since his stay at the Sofitel New York, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is re-emerging in public. So what does he have to say? Listen t...

The return of DSK

A year since his stay at the Sofitel New York, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is re-emerging in public. So what does he have to say?




Listen to me … but leave me alone. Dominique Strauss-Kahn says he is no longer a politician. He remains, nonetheless, a master of creative ambiguity or, if you prefer, hypocrisy. In a pair of interviews this week the disgraced former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) transmitted two apparently conflicting messages in an attempt to build a new life as a respected former statesman rather than an international pariah.
His first message was, in effect: "I am guilty of nothing but an exaggerated sex-drive and political misjudgement. It is time for the media, and the world, to forget me."
His second message was: "I remain a brilliant mind with much to offer a world, and especially a European Union, which has been floundering in my absence. It is time for the world to listen to me once again."
Mr Strauss-Kahn's timing is interesting. It is just over a year since he gave his last big media interview following the collapse of charges that he attempted to rape a chamber-maid in the New York Sofitel in May last year. It is just one week since a French prosecutor abandoned an accusation that he raped a Belgian call-girl in a Washington hotel in 2010.
The former French finance minister – the man who might well have been President of the Republic instead of François Hollande – still faces other accusations of sexual misbehaviour. The civil case brought by the Sofitel chambermaid, Nafissatou Diallo, rumbles on. A French court will decide next month whether or not to quash, or confirm, a formal accusation that Mr Strauss-Kahn acted as an unpaid "pimp" by helping friends to organise sex parties with prostitutes in Washington, Paris and Brussels.
In these circumstances, the rehabilitation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn might appear a little premature. On the other hand, it could be said to be already under way.
DSK, as he is widely known, has been invited in recent weeks to address high-profile conferences in Yalta, Athens and, in the past few days, Seoul. He has criticised the ponderous efforts to rescue the eurozone. In these meetings, and in one of his interviews, he has proposed his own innovative solution.
Mr Strauss-Kahn wants those euro countries which currently enjoy historically low interest rates on state debt, notably Germany and France, to plough their "windfall" into subsidising the unsustainable market rates demanded of Spain and Italy. This is a clever variant of the eurobonds or common EU debt idea opposed by Berlin. The proposal may never fly, but it reminds the world that the man who appeared on TV in chains last year has a creative political mind as well as – to say the very least – a hugely inflated libido.
In his interviews this week with the French news magazine Le Point and the newspaper Le Figaro, Mr Strauss-Kahn, 63, made it clear that he felt he still had a great deal to offer. To Le Figaro he said: "When I think something is correct, I will say so. And I will carry on doing it."
He told Le Point: "I imagine the possibility of devoting myself to great international projects … which could change the lives of people in parts of the world which need help."
However, the greater part of the Le Point interview was devoted to a more self-serving message. DSK complained that he was still the victim of constant media harassment, including permanent surveillance by paparazzi which amounted, he said, to a "man-hunt". "I have no more public duties," he said. "I have never been found guilty [of an offence] in this country or in any other … It is time to leave me alone!"
Mr Strauss-Kahn and his third wife, the journalist and heiress Anne Sinclair, who supported him financially and morally throughout the Sofitel allegations, officially broke up this summer. According to several French gossip magazines, DSK already has a new woman in his life, a 40-something TV executive. Both DSK and the woman are suing the magazines which pictured them together.
Mr Strauss-Kahn dismissed the "pimping" accusations that he faces as "artificial and absurd". He said he did not know that the women were prostitutes (despite describing them in a text message as "materiél" or "commodities"). DSK said that all violence, sexual or otherwise, was "odious" to him. (A French criminal investigation found last year that there was clear evidence that he sexually assaulted the journalist Tristane Banon in 2003 but that the events were too old to allow a prosecution.)
Mr Strauss-Kahn declined, once again, to give his version of what happened in the New York Sofitel until Ms Diallo's civil action was finished. He went on to apologise for "disappointing" his political supporters in France but then, in effect, withdrew the stronger apology that he gave in a live French TV interview in September last year.
At that time, DSK said his behaviour in the Sofitel had been a "moral failing". This week, he said: "The important thing is that what happened in that room broke no law. The rest is no one else's business."
His only mistake, he said, was "naivety". He had believed he could lead a libertine private life – "including free behaviour between consenting adults" – without any "impact on the exercise of my responsibilities".
"There are numerous soirées in Paris for that kind of thing. You would be surprised who you meet there," he said. "But what's permissible for a business leader, a sportsman or an artist is not so for a politician… I was out of step with French society on this point. I was wrong."
In other words DSK now believes – or would like the world to believe – that his behaviour was a political mistake, not a "moral" one. What is not clear is how libertine soirées in Paris justify his disputed four-minute encounter with a chambermaid in a Manhattan hotel.
Jamil Dakhlia, a media professor at the Sorbonne university in Paris, said: "The interview is full of contradictions. He says that he is no longer a politician and not a 'celeb' but makes it clear he wants to return to public responsibilities."
Mr Dakhlia said DSK was already getting plenty of high-profile invitations to private conferences but he was still ostracised by foreign, and French, politicians. The interview, he said, was the start of a campaign to prise open the doors of foreign ministries and chancelleries to secure another international post.
Could the campaign succeed? The "pimping" case against DSK is based on a technicality. The Nafissatou Diallo civil action is likely, eventually, to be settled out of court.
On the other hand, DSK cannot hope to win a senior European or international post without the support of the French government. François Hollande may owe his job to Mr Strauss-Kahn's implosion but he has no personal, or political, reason to aid his rehabilitation.
One wife, two accusers
Anne Sinclair
Mr Strauss-Kahn's wife, a journalist and heiress, stood by her husband immediately after the scandal in New York, but the couple are believed to have separated earlier this year. Ms Sinclair, 64, married the former IMF head, her second husband, in 1991. She is his third wife.
Tristane Banon
She is the journalist daughter of a Socialist politician, and god-daughter to Mr Strauss-Kahn's second wife. In 2007, she alleged that Mr Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted her five years before. Mr Strauss-Kahn admits kissing Ms Banon. now 33, but denies sexual assault.
Nafissatou Diallo
The New York hotel maid, who was born in Guinea, West Africa, claimed she was assaulted by Mr Strauss-Kahn in his room last year. Mr Strauss-Kahn insisted the sex was consensual and that Ms Diallo, 32, was only after his money. The criminal case was dropped, but she is pursuing a civil lawsuit against him.
independent

Παρασκευή, 12 Οκτωβρίου 2012

marilena: Nancy Fouts: 'Dalí was a prick'

marilena: Nancy Fouts: 'Dalí was a prick': The modern Surrealist from Kentucky talks to Matilda Battersby about her intriguing take on the world Last week Nancy Fouts found her ...

Nancy Fouts: 'Dalí was a prick'

The modern Surrealist from Kentucky talks to Matilda Battersby about her intriguing take on the world



Last week Nancy Fouts found her work exhibited between Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas’ at the AKA Peace fundraiser. Today her work is a highlight of the Moniker Art Fair and this weekend she’s hosting an exhibition at her house. She may be hanging out with YBAs, being feted as one of the hottest upcoming artists in town, but this sixtysomething from Kentucky is finding the limelight a new experience – especially now that Banksy is endorsing her work.
Fouts takes her cue from the Surrealists, producing immaculately executed weird objects, such as a money purse with teeth or a whistle with an eye peering out of it. The gallery that represents her, Pertwee Anderson & Gold, recently asked her to branch out into painting – and the result has been a series of customised Old Masters. In her version of Vermeer’s Lacemaker the painting’s occupant is sewing up a tear in the front of the canvas; she has superimposed real antlers onto Monarch of the Glen; and Cezanne’s Black Clock has become a working timepiece.
Subverting recognisable paintings is nothing new: the Chapman brothers famously did it and Banksy’s masterpieces adorned with comedy moustaches and glasses draw distinct parallels with Fouts’ own (although I’d argue that hers are more creative). Was Fouts aware of the similarities? “I’d never seen them, no!” she says. “But Banksy sent me an email via his people saying he loved my work. So I knew he wasn’t saying ‘You copied me!’”


Fouts admits that she and the world’s most famous guerrilla artist “think alike”. They share comedic values, although Fouts’ work is less political. “The only difference between Banksy and me is that he can afford to buy my work, but I can’t afford to buy his.”
Fouts was send to the UK from Kentucky in the early Sixties. She ended up studying art at Chelsea College of Art and Design but that was not her reason for her relocation. “I came to England in 1963 to be a debutante believe it or not. Because nobody else would take me. My parents were living in Africa so they put me in a finishing school.” Did it work? “Hell, no. I spent that time learning how to shoplift and getting my hair cut. Then I applied to Chelsea and away we go.”
Although in the surrealist mold, Fouts is scathing about the movement’s most famous name. “[Salvador] Dalí was a prick. He signed old blank pages! He was not a real Surrealist, he was a show off. He was playing the crowd to scratch a money-grabbing itch.”
Despite studying art, Fouts became a wife and a mother and worked commercially as a model maker in advertising for a long time. Fifteen years ago she began working as a full-time artist out of the basement at her Mornington Crescent home. She spends her days crawling eBay for interesting objects, particularly taxidermy, printing things out and working with her studio assistant to execute her unusual ideas.
Where did her Surrealist take on life come from? “My father was a beachcomber. He used to find driftwood and drag it back and say ‘Look you see these charging horses?’ He could find an Indian head on the beach just like that. So, this sort of looking business came from there. That, and his way of talking. He’d say: ‘That kid’s legs are short, but they’re reaching the ground.’ You see how that’s Surrealist? Then kids, the beautiful things they say. They have a fresh way of looking at things. So I try to be naïve all the time. While being sophisticated at the same time, of course.”
Moniker Art Fair 2012 is from 11-14 October, Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3PQ,www.monikerartfair.com
INDEPENDENT




marilena: Growth Warning Top German Economists Say Greece Is...

marilena: Growth Warning Top German Economists Say Greece Is...: The German port of Bremerhaven: Exports are still keeping Germany's economy afloat. Several top German economic institutes on ...

Growth Warning Top German Economists Say Greece Is Lost

The German port of Bremerhaven: Exports are quietly keeping Germany's economy afloat.



The German port of Bremerhaven: Exports are still keeping Germany's economy afloat.
Several top German economic institutes on Thursday warned that German growth is slowing as the country continues to be hampered by the ongoing euro-zone debt crisis. And Greece, they say, will be unable to "free itself from its debt burden" and will need another haircut.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had been hoping that her trip to Athens earlier this week would help demonstrate Germany's solidarity with Greece as it struggles to overcome its debt crisis. Just two days later, however, leading economic institutes in Germany have darkened the mood considerably. The institutes presented their autumn economic forecast on Thursday, and cast doubt on whether Greece would be able to remain part of the euro.

"We believe that Greece cannot be saved," said Joachim Scheide from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, one of several top economic institutes tasked by the German government with examining the state of the country's economy twice a year.
Oliver Holtemöller, of the Halle Institute for Economic Research, was also pessimistic at the Thursday press conference called to present the evaluation. He said it is unlikely that Greece will ever be able to free itself from its debt burden -- and called for a new debt haircut for the country.
The idea is not likely to go over well. Any new restructuring of Greek debt would necessarily involve the country's international creditors rather than solely affecting private investors as last spring's €100 billion haircut did. On Thursday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble rejected a debt-haircut proposal by the International Monetary Fund, saying it was not helpful. Euro-zone finance ministers also oppose the idea and the European Central Bank has said that forgiving the Greek debt it has on its books is out of the question.
Bad News for Germany and Europe
Alternatives, however, are few and far between. And that, combined with the threat of further euro-zone turbulence, the report makes clear, spells bad news for both the German and European economies.
Specifically, the report forecasts that German economic growth for 2012 will only end up being 0.8 percent, slightly down from recent predictions, and that growth next year will likely be weak. Instead of the 2 percent previously forecast, the report released on Thursday now estimates GDP growth of just 1 percent in Germany in 2013. That growth, such as it is, will come almost entirely from exports, which are holding up, the report says.
But that is the best-case scenario, based on the assumption that the debt crisis in the euro zone does not worsen. The report's authors, however, do not believe the worst has passed. "The current evaluation of the German economy is based on the assumption that the situation in the euro zone … will gradually stabilize and investor confidence will return. That, however, is in no way assured," the report reads. "Downside risk dominates … and the danger is great that Germany will fall into recession."
Furthermore, Germany's top economic institutes made clear that they are dissatisfied with the steps thus far taken in the euro zone to solve the ongoing crisis. First and foremost, the analysts repeated a demand made in earlier reports that the euro zone come up with a framework for ensuring orderly bankruptcy proceedings for member states. "Domestic debate in countries like Germany and Finland have made it clear that there is a decreasing willingness to increase aid payments or make transfer payments," they write. As such, they say "it makes more sense for creditors to take part in the costs of the crisis."
Inflation Warning

Report co-author Kai Carstensen, of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, put it more clearly at the Thursday press conference. Referring specifically to the unlikelihood that Greece will be able to manage its debt burden anytime soon, he said, "it is time to draw the consequences: No to aid payments, yes to debt restructuring."
The report was also heavily critical of the European Central Bank's plan to purchase unlimited quantities of sovereign bonds from debt-ridden euro-zone member states on secondary markets. "The ECB is becoming the guardian of national budgetary policy and possibly even holds sway over the solvency of individual countries," the report reads. "In addition to the bank's independence, its credibility is also in danger."
Furthermore, the report adds, such behavior could trigger high inflation, which would seriously damage the ECB. "Should higher rates of inflation result, it will be extremely difficult to re-establish the ECB's credibility," the report says. Still, for 2013, the research institutes forecast a modest inflation rate of 2.1 percent.
cgh -- with wire reports

spiegel



Πέμπτη, 11 Οκτωβρίου 2012

marilena: Novelist, the first ever Chinese literature Nobel ...

marilena: Novelist, the first ever Chinese literature Nobel ...: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/video/2012/oct/11/mo-yan-nobel-literature-video The winner of the 2012 Nobel prize for literature is anno...

Novelist, the first ever Chinese literature Nobel laureate, praised for 'hallucinatory realism'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/video/2012/oct/11/mo-yan-nobel-literature-video

The winner of the 2012 Nobel prize for literature is announced at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm as Chinese author Mo Yan. Mo Yan is a pen name meaning 'don't speak'. Mo's real name is Guan Moye. The literature prize is the fourth of this year's crop of prizes, which were established in the will of Swedish dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel

guardian

marilena: 2013 BUGATTI VEYRON...HOW FAST CAN A 2.5M CAR GO?

marilena: 2013 BUGATTI VEYRON...HOW FAST CAN A 2.5M CAR GO?: http://www.bloomberg.com/video/testing-the-limits-of-a-luxury-vehicle-about-2-5m-2caN6qJLQ620XHOO_8bQGw.html BLOOMBERG

2013 BUGATTI VEYRON...HOW FAST CAN A 2.5M CAR GO?

marilena: Artist and muse Celia Paul: 'I was really quite di...

marilena: Artist and muse Celia Paul: 'I was really quite di...: The painter Celia Paul was 18 when Lucian Freud began to pursue her. She talks to Matilda Battersby about the effect their relationship...

Artist and muse Celia Paul: 'I was really quite disturbed by Lucian Freud's predatoriness'


The painter Celia Paul was 18 when Lucian Freud began to pursue her. She talks to Matilda Battersby about the effect their relationship had on her own work


Lucian Freud said it was "like walking into a honey pot" when he first saw Celia Paul's paintings. What Paul, who met Freud as her tutor at the Slade in 1978, didn't realise then, but laughs wryly at now, is that the sweet thing he was taken with was her 18-year-old self, as much as her artwork.
"I really didn't know anything about his womanising," Paul says. "I didn't realise how predatory he was." She later discovered that he'd taken the job as visiting tutor at the famous London art school because his relationship at the time was going wrong and "he wanted to find a new girlfriend".
The teenage Paul was caught in Freud's spell; and a potent one it proved. "The day we met he took me back to his studio, and showed me the early stages of Two Plants, which is now in Tate. I think he would have liked to have seduced me there and then, but that didn't happen. I'd been brought up in a religious family, I'd never had a sexual thing with a boy at all," she says.new


"I was really quite disturbed by his predatoriness. It felt quite complicated, because obviously I was compelled by his art, which I admired so much."
But the 55-year-old Freud, whose mesmerising qualities had at that point already earned him 13 acknowledged children, won Paul over. It took several months for them to become lovers, and two years for Freud to paint Paul. But she would become a significant muse for him in the early 1980s.
Paul's small and striking features, distorted by Freud's signature fleshiness, peer out from paintings such as Naked Girl with Egg and, poignantly, Girl in a Striped Nightshirt, which he painted when Paul was pregnant with their son. Frank, 28, also an artist, is Freud's youngest acknowledged child.
Now herself a celebrated artist, Paul, 52, has a very distinctive take on the world. Her paintings, in muted, earthy colours, reflect deep emotional intensity and interiority. Dr Rowan Williams describes Paul's style thus: "Celia Paul allows the traces of something unfinished to mark her canvases, trails of paint, untenanted space, a certain rawness of isolation or vulnerability."
But to be linked to Freud's name is to be overshadowed by it. This is underscored in an exhibition of Paul's currently at Pallant House, Chichester, which explores her work in relation to that of another famous artist and muse, Gwen John (1876-1939).
Although Paul was born 20 years after John's death, there are delicious parallels between the two women. John, too, had an affair with one of the most celebrated artists of her day, Auguste Rodin, who, like Freud, was an incorrigible lothario. She posed for him and they became lovers when she was 28 and he in his sixties. The fiercely independent John had moved to France to escape the London art scene (and her artist brother Augustus's shadow), but falling into the arms of Rodin changed her identity, albeit briefly, from artist to muse.
Both women studied at the Slade, although 80 years apart, and during their careers they worked repeatedly from the same model. In Paul's case this was her mother, Pamela Paul, whom she painted regularly over 30 years, only stopping in 2011. John meanwhile repeatedly painted another kind of mother: Mère Poussepin, the foundress of a convent where she found solace, and God, while on the rebound from Rodin.
In both artists' work there is a sense of containment, of explosive expressiveness boxed into spare, domestic portraits and still lives. When I visited Paul at her studio across the road from the British Museum, her sparse flat, with bare paint-spattered floorboards and a few sticks of furniture, reminded me forcibly of John's A Corner of the Artist's Room in Paris (1907).
While Paul has in no way set out to emulate John, Freud was happy to model himself on Rodin, in one sense at least. "Rodin was a great womaniser as well, so Lucian used to say what a coincidence it was that he shared his birthday with Camille Claudel [an artist and muse to Rodin before John], 8 December, while Lucian's mistress Suzy Boyt, the mother of four of his children, was born on 12 November, Rodin's birthday," Paul recalls.
Unlike John, Paul never considered giving up her art for her lover. "Lucian also used to say to me that when Gwen was intensely involved with Rodin she stopped working and gave herself up for love. I think Lucian thought it would be quite nice if I did the same thing. But actually being with him made me more ambitious," she says.
Paul had another woman from whom to draw caution, too. "Lucian also met Suzy Boyt at the Slade, but in the 1950s," she says. "Suzy was really a very talented painter, but she gave everything up for him. I suppose I was aware of her example."
Being a muse – the passivity and giving over of your appearance to an artist to do with as they please, is obviously disempowering – which is why models are historically women. But it is particularly difficult if you are an artist too. Freud explored the paradox between Paul as muse and artist in his 1986 painting Painter and Model. Paul stands in the foreground, clad in a painter's smock, her bare foot squishing a paint tube, as a naked male model lies legs akimbo on the sofa.
"I did a self-portrait this year also called Painter and Model," Paul tells me. "I've put squished paint tubes scattered at my bare feet, in reference to Lucian's, but I'm also the sitter. It's a slight reference to women's position in portraiture as being usually models. But I'm in the more powerful position as the painter as well."
Tellingly Paul's greatest muse was a woman – her mother – while John famously never painted a man. Paul says both she and John are "different from other women artists". She cites Paula Rego's abortion and female circumcision paintings, and Tracey Emin and Frieda Kahlo who are "into the cult of their personalities", as examples of the disparity. Both Paul and John seem interested in "quietness" in its purest sense; painting women in contemplation and solitude, free from men and somehow apart from society.
Just as Augustus John predicted he would become known as his more talented sister's brother, you might also call Freud Paul's muse. The Pallant House exhibition includes a very tender sketch of him sleeping from 1987, in which his Roman face is softened into a young man's by slumber. Another exhibition by Paul running concurrently at Chichester Cathedral, is a series of 14 recent paintings produced as an expression of her grief following Freud's death, aged 88, last year, entitled Separation.
"Lucian was a really good sitter," she says. "He was really quite lovely about it and bought himself this wonderful slate-grey boiler suit with Velcro down the front. He looked really beautiful in it and would sit for me quite regularly, lying in a typical pose with his fist up near his face."

'Gwen John & Celia Paul: Painters in Parallel', Pallant House, Chichester (pallant.org.uk) to 27 January; 'Separation', Chichester Cathedral, to 20 November


independent

marilena: Paris, a global street art capital

marilena: Paris, a global street art capital: The first wave of street art According to Samantha Longhi, editor of the Paris-based Graffiti Art Magazine, the French capital was a l...

Paris, a global street art capital

Vhils street art Paris France

The first wave of street art
According to Samantha Longhi, editor of the Paris-based Graffiti Art Magazine, the French capital was a leader in the emergence of street art, starting in the 60s with pasted-up posters followed by the first stencil artists like Jef Aérosol emerging in the 1980s – much earlier than many other cities around the world. Aérosol’s work decorates the urban landscapes of Europe and the US, as well as the Great Wall of China. The artist’s 350sqm stencilled mural entitled Chuuutt!!! (Shh!), located just next to the Pompidou Centre, was created in 2011. (Kim Laidlaw Adrey)



Shepard Fairey street art Paris France

Thoma Vuille Monsieur Chat street art Paris France

Miss.Tic street art Paris France

Jean Faucheur Le Mur street art Paris France

Nemo street art Paris France

Jérôme Mesnager street art Paris France

Jef Aérosol street art Paris France

bbc

marilena: WHERE KIDS WITH ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER END UP ...

marilena: WHERE KIDS WITH ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER END UP ...: Educated in the shadows - (Ashugarg) By Anette Dowideit DIE WELT /Worldcrunch GELSENKIRCHEN  - It was just a few days before summer bre...

WHERE KIDS WITH ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER END UP IN SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOLS

Where Kids With Attention Deficit Disorder End Up In Special Needs Schools

Educated in the shadows - (Ashugarg)
By Anette Dowideit
DIE WELT/Worldcrunch
GELSENKIRCHEN - It was just a few days before summer break that nine-year-old Lisa Bahlhaus (not her real name) came home in tears. The teacher had announced that after the school holidays the whole class would be presenting a play, and she’d assigned roles. Of all the kids, only Lisa didn’t get a role.
The teacher also made this announcement to the class: Lisa wouldn’t be returning in the fall, as she would be going to a special needs school. To Lisa and her classmates that meant just one thing, and Lisa expressed it to her mother this way: "I’m stupid anyway, Mom, but now I have to go to a school forstupid kids."
A few weeks before, the teacher had put a note about Lisa having special learning needs in the child’s official school records. Translated, the note’s mumbo-jumbo of politically correct wording boiled down to this: Lisa is disabled.
And yet Lisa’s parents have a medical certificate saying that Lisa is not disabled. The certificate says that Lisa suffers from Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Syndrome (ADHS). "The teacher just wanted to get Lisa out of her classroom," says Lisa’s father.
Lisa Bahlhaus’s case could of course be unique – a regrettable mistake on the part of the teacher and school authorities. After all, an official policy of integration and inclusion in German schools has been operative for the past three years following Germany’s signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which became binding in Germany in March 2009.
The Convention says that every human being, disabled or not, has a right to share all areas of life. In German schools, that meant that some 500,000 special needs children were to be integrated into the regular curriculum that would be adjusted accordingly.
But what’s going on in many places in Germany right now is exactly the opposite: children with learning difficulties, who are prone to out-of-the-ordinary emotional displays, or have trouble sitting quietly in their chair, are increasingly being described on their school records as disabled and being shunted off to special needs schools.
Bad at math, or disabled?
Lawyers specializing in education law report that since the UN Convention became binding in Germany they have been, with noticeably increased frequency, consulted by parents facing this problem – parents whose kids have been told by their teachers they need to go to a special needs school. And yet often the child in question may just be bad at math, or, like Lisa, suffer from ADHS.
Some sort of alliance between teachers in regular schools who are feeling out of their depth, and the 3,300 special needs schools in Germany that seek to compensate for demographic problems by actively recruiting, apparently underlies the phenomenon. Hubert Hüppe, the German federal government’s commissioner for the disabled, believes that it is possible that some schools shunt “problematic children” off in this way. "A particularly emotional child, or a child who keeps running through the classroom, obviously requires a different approach from the teacher. And some of them apparently can’t deal with it." Observers say they have seen the way this dynamic plays out.
"What has increased particularly are the numbers of cases in which schools attempt to pigeonhole kids either as having learning disabilities or as suffering from social and emotional problems," says Andreas Zoller, a lawyer specializing in education law who has been hired by Lisa’s parents.
A decentralized education policy
That this is even possible, three years after the UN Convention became binding in Germany, is down to German federalism. The states, not the federal government, determine what happens in schools – and when the federal government decides that the 9.6 million disabled Germans can no longer be excluded, this is not to say that the states are going to incorporate that into their education policies.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is currently in the process of drafting inclusion legislation, but it won’t be approved until the end of the year, and a great deal of time will doubtlessly elapse before the legislation actually goes into force.
In Gelsenkirchen, Peter Bahlhaus, Lisa’s father, shifts around nervously on his garden chair. The Bahlhaus family lives in a small, well-maintained terraced house at the edge of the city. They have four children, all girls; Lisa is the second youngest. Lisa had problems in her class from the beginning, Bahlhaus says. She didn’t integrate well, in fact, she often felt disturbed by other children. And then one day, he noticed that there was a difference between the homework Lisa was given to do and what the other kids were doing in class: "Her homework was asking her to add four and five, but in class they weremultiplying four times five. So obviously she got bad grades."
Special needs schools need students
Bahlhaus takes a sheaf of papers out of his file, including a written request by Lisa’s teacher to school authorities to have the child transferred to a special needs school. The teacher mentions an attitude of denial, a lack of ability to concentrate; she also says Lisa has a tendency to mix up letters. "The quantity of material to be learned was cut back, and after talking with Lisa’s mother it was agreed that we would adapt German and math to a level Lisa could handle."
Lisa’s parents say this is a lie. The teacher never spoke with them about Lisa being on a slower learning track than the other kids. The news that Lisa had learning difficulties thus came totally out of the blue for them -- and they are particularly disturbed because what’s in the records could have life-long consequences for Lisa including her not being able to get on the track through high school that would make it possible for her to attend university.
Lisa’s dad pulls another document from his file – eight pages on which Lisa’s teacher’s evaluation is essentially backed up by the head of a local special needs school. He suggests that Lisa should come to his school, which is not surprising as schools like his need more students or else they will be shut down.
For Lisa Bahlhaus, the little girl who supposedly can’t sit still in her chair and doesn’t grasp her pencil in a firm grip, the ordeal continues. Zoller won her the right to stay where she is for now, so she doesn’t have to go to a special needs school this fall – but she has to make up as quickly as possible what she missed because the teacher didn’t think she could learn it, and that’s 110 pages in the math text book.
And Zoller’s win is only an interim solution. At the end of the year, school authorities will once again tackle the issue of whether or not Lisa can stay in her school. Her parents are skeptical; they don’t think the teacher will accept keeping the child in her class long-term. “It would mean admitting she was wrong,” says Lisa’s mother.
Read the article in the original language.
Photo by - Ashugarg
All rights reserved ©Worldcrunch - in partnership with DIE WELT

marilena: Greece Welcomes Gold Miners to Rank First in Europ...

marilena: Greece Welcomes Gold Miners to Rank First in Europ...: For three years, Steve Sharpe’s company prodded Greek officials for permission to drill for gold. Before approval was finally granted thi...

Greece Welcomes Gold Miners to Rank First in Europe: Commodities


For three years, Steve Sharpe’s company prodded Greek officials for permission to drill for gold. Before approval was finally granted this year, European Goldfields Ltd.’s battered share price attracted a takeover bid.
“No way on earth would I go back to Greece,” said the Canadian producer’s former head of business development, who left to head a mining company across the border in Macedonia.
Greece Welcomes Gold Miners to Rank First in Europe
Delays like Sharpe’s are less common after the economic collapse in Greece spurred a new urgency in the government to create jobs. Eldorado Gold Corp. (ELD) and Glory Resources Ltd. (GLY) are developing four mines that should turn Greece into Europe’s biggest producer of the precious metal by 2016.
Gold mining is gathering momentum after Greece began what it called a “fast-track” approvals program. The Canadian and Australian companies said their projects will add about 425,000 ounces by 2016, worth $757 million at the Oct. 5 spot price, to the 16,000 ounces the country produced in 2011.
“There’s clearly evidence that Greece has woken up to the potential of their mining industry,” said Jeremy Wrathall, chairman of Perth-based Glory Resources. “Politicians increasingly realize that a pro-mining stance is appropriate due to job creation potential.”
Greece, which is also fast-tracking state property sales, is set to overtake Finland as the continent’s largest gold producer within four years, as regulators in Athens sign off on mines kept on hold for more than a decade by red tape and environmental rules. Finland, which mined 220,000 ounces last year, currently ranks 40th among the world’s gold producers.

Perama Hill

Greece was Europe’s largest bauxite producer and the world’s biggest supplier of perlite, used in insulation and as a soil replacement in horticulture, in 2010, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Gold is currently the only metal targeted for fast-track approvals.
Eldorado Gold is leading the gold inflow. The Vancouver- based company gained three mines last year through its $2.4 billion acquisition of European Goldfields, trumping a rival offer from Qatar Holding LLC, the country’s sovereign wealth fund.
Eldorado is developing European Goldfields’ Skouries and Olympias mines and the Perama Hill project that it already owned. The three sites will produce about 345,000 ounces by 2016, while Glory estimates its Sapes mine will have output of about 80,000 ounces a year.
That may be just the start. “We think Greece has the potential to be a major gold producer,” said Wrathall. “It is bizarre that Greece is virtually unexplored because of the political situation that prevailed before the crisis. Modern exploration techniques have not been used in Greece at all.”

Workforce Doubled

Greece will account for about 21 percent of Eldorado’s 2016 gold production of about 1.7 million ounces, according to BMO Capital Markets research. The company targets output of 660,000 ounces this year. Eldorado’s Greek 2016 operations would generate revenue of more than $500 million a year at $1,500 an ounce, based on average forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.
Eldorado has doubled its workforce in the country to 800 since the takeover and plans to increase that to 1,500 when it’s in full production. Glory Resources says it will employ about 200 when in production. Greece reported that 3.79 million people were employed in the second quarter with 1.17 million unemployed.
Eldorado says it will pay a tax rate of 20 percent in Greece, where there is presently no royalty in place. The company said it plans to pay about 1 percent of revenue to local communities until a royalty comes into effect.

Royalty Payments

Glory forecasts that it will pay about $80 million in taxes and $22 million in royalties during the current estimated life of project, based on a gold price of $1,200 an ounce. The discovery of more reserves would extend the life of the mine and the payment of royalties and taxes.
The Skouries and Olympias mines are in Central Macedonia, a region of Greece with 25.1 percent unemployment at the end of the second quarter. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, site of the Perama Hill and Sapes mines, had a 24 percent jobless rate. Both are higher than the national average.
Greece, which reported 10,300 mining and quarrying jobs in the second quarter, is in its fifth year of recession. The economy is forecast to contract 6.9 percent this year, the same as in 2011, according to the Athens-based Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research. Since 2008, the number of jobless has more than tripled to a record, reaching a level of 23.6 percent.
Greece Welcomes Gold Miners to Rank First in Europe

Angela Merkel

More than 25,000 protested in Athens yesterday as German Chancellor Angela Merkel made her first visit to the Greek capital in five years. Merkel kept up pressure on Prime Minister Antonius Samaras to meet German-led austerity pledges in exchange for a rescue worth 240 billion euros ($309 billion).
Rising unemployment has led to government support for mining, according to Eldorado’s Eduardo Moure, the company’s vice president and general manager for Greece, and Sharpe, now CEO of Europa Resources Ltd.
In 2011 Greece implemented the “Fast Track” program to spur investment in projects that are of national importance, including gold mines. The environment ministry has speeded the issue of permits.
Greece is seeking 50 billion euros by 2020 selling state stakes in companies and real estate to meet the conditions of its bailout and cut debt. Last month the Hellenic Development Fund said a Lambda Development SA unit bid 81 million euros to lease the International Broadcasting Center in Athens for 90 years in the first real estate privatization under the plan.
“We noticed an enormous change in Greece in the time we were there driven by the financial crisis,” said Sharpe. “With tourism falling and with the crisis they were collapsing into with the Euro they really had no choice.”

Permits Annulled

European Goldfields battled for more than five years to win environmental licenses to mine the Skouries and Olympias gold projects. The company’s stock plunged or surged by more than 10 percent at times as speculation or reports of permit delays or imminent approvals reached investors.
TVX Gold Inc. repeatedly clashed with local government officials and courts and eventually abandoned Greece in 2003 after its permits for Olympias were declared illegal and annulled. TVX had spent more than $250 million developing gold projects in the country.
TVX also operated the Stratton mine which it closed after Greek government officials ordered the company to suspend operations because an exploration tunnel extended under a nearby town. Residents were concerned the company would start mining below their homes.

Environmental Opposition

Environmentalism and local opposition remains the biggest obstacle to gold mining in Greece, according to Europa’s Sharpe. “There is a strong groundswell of opposition to those mines going ahead. These are not brownfield industrial sites, there is a clear choice between tourism and mining,” said Sharpe. “They can just point to TVX and the mess they left. It’s a very easy case to make.”
Local villagers and mining protesters from Thessaloniki clashed with police at the Skouries site last month, according to local press reports.
Eldorado’s Moure is betting more than $3 billion that objectors to expanding gold exploration in Greece will be swayed. The company intends to invest about $1 billion in the next five years.
“I think people realize we are part of the solution, that part of the economic recovery will be due to mining,” said Moure. “I’m convinced that people who oppose our projects will come to realize that mining can be a positive force for change.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London attbiesheuvel@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net