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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 December 2014
SATURDAY 13 DECEMBER 2014 19 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Greece’s Eurovision entry this year, Freaky Fortune, failed to live up to expectations. Greece to participate in Eurovision 2015 Greece’s state broadcaster NERIT has become an active member of the European Broadcasting Union, meaning it can participate in the popular song competition Eurovision fans can sleep easy, as Greece has been green lit to enter the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. The entry was in doubt after Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson host Christmas tree lighting Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have helped Santa and US President Barack Obama light the national Christmas tree outside the White House. Taking on the hosting duties, Tom Hanks and wife Rita introduced the musicians for the evening and sang a medley of holiday tunes to get the audience into the Christmas spirit. Known for their deep ties in the Greek American community thanks to Rita Wilson's heritage, the couple were there to see the lighting of the huge tree, which was decorated with more than 60,000 bulbs, keeping to the very traditional red, green and white colour scheme. Alongside the huge tree were 56 smaller trees to represent the American states and territories. the country's state broadcaster ERT ceased operating, and the caretaker channel, NERIT, had not been given broadcasting approval. Now, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has allowed NERIT to show the competition after agreeing to give it active membership in the union. "We're glad to have Greece joining the 60th Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. Their dedication to the biggest music event in the world has been impressive throughout the years," said the contest executive supervisor, Jon Ola Sand. Last year's permission to participate in the contest was given as an exception, and saw Freaky Friday make it to the final. They placed 20 out of 26, one of the country's worst performances in the last two decades. Greece has been one of Eurovision's most successful and strongest competitors in the last 10 years, and won the contest in 2006 with Elena Paparizou's My Number One. Greece has qualified for the final every year since the introduction of the semi-finals in 2004. Next year, Greece will join 38 countries in Vienna to compete for the 60th Eurovision Song Contest. Drag queen Conchita Wurst won the final with the song Rise Like a Phoenix this year, making it Austria's first win since 1966. Straight From the Donkey’s Mouth A story of Greek bureaucracy at its frustrating best is told in Eleni Trataris Cotton’s new book Tom Hanks kisses First Lady Michelle Obama during the 92nd National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. PHOTO: EPA/PETE MAROVICH. Eleni Trataris Cotton is the author of a newly released eBook set during a financially tragic period in modern Greece, not unlike the one it is currently experiencing. Straight From the Donkey's Mouth, released last month, follows protagonists Peter and Serena, an English couple who make their way to Greek island Paradisaki with the hope of opening their own business and living the turquoise water and white sand dream. But once they arrive, they discover the road to achieving their dream might not be that easy to navigate. The couple find themselves entangled in Greek bureaucracy and struggling to obtain a business licence. Meanwhile, the reader is treated to the insightful commentary of Apollo and Hortensia, two donkeys on the island, who are owned by the sadistic Aristides, nicknamed Arsie. They bear witness to the lives of people on the island and the effects of the crisis, including the draconian government measures to raise money for the country's debt, tax evasion and the manipulation of EU grants. Despite being set during hard times, this is a story of hope and courage that will have the reader wondering what will happen next. Will Apollo and Hotensia save themselves, along with farmer Eleftheris, from Arsie's cruel plans? Will the English couple successfully obtain their business licence? And finally, will the locals outwit the Greek state in their refusal to be beaten by the corrupt practices of the politicians? There's only one way to find out. Straight From the Donkey's Mouth is now available for purchase online at www.amazon.com.au and all major e-retailers. New e-book Straight From the Donkey’s Mouth.
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