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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 June 2016
GREECE 22 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 18 JUNE 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Bringing investors to Athens The Hellenic Initiative holds its second Annual Venture Fair next Saturday, offering hope to a community of entrepreneurs gasping for air NIKOS FOTAKIS Historic church synod to go ahead despite pullouts PHOTO: HOLY AND GREAT COUNCIL VIA AP The first meeting in more than a millennium will take place without Russia Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople stated that the historic gathering of church leaders in Crete will take place tomorrow regardless of the absences. Russia is the fourth Orthodox church to say that it will not attend the gathering in- tended to bring together leaders of 14 independent Orthodox churches to promote unity among the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians. Vartholomaios, who is based in Istanbul, said he hoped the Russian church and three others would change their mind. "This great event is over- shadowed by the decision of certain churches not to attend," Bartholomew said from Hania. "The responsibility for their decisions will burden their churches," he said. "I hoped that even at the last minute, they would review their decisions, respect their signatures and be present here, on Crete, since all the heads of all Orthodox churches had previously sig- naled their willingness to attend the event at a meeting in Geneva, in January." The meeting, dubbed 'the Holy and Great Council', is scheduled to last a week. The Holy and Great Council, was to become the first meeting of all Orthodox leaders since the year 787, but with the Russian Orthodox church and three other churches staying away its pan-Orthodox aura has faded. A journey through millenia in the heart of Crete The Museum of Ancient Eleutherna opened its gates, waiting for its first visitors ZETA KARASPILIOU Anyone travelling to Crete this year, should not miss the opportunity to find themselves immersed in the history of Crete. This June marks the opening of the long-awaited Archaeology Museum of Eleutherna, one of the four museums directly linked to archaeological sites – the other being the museums of Vergina, Delphi and Olympia. Given that the area where excavations are conducted is enclosed within the Eleutherna archaeological park's boundaries, one can imagine a holistic approach: history and protected natural beauty leading to the discovery of the past. "The museum narrates 4500 years of history (from 3000 BC to 1300 AD), in a fascinating journey in time, through objects of everyday life and works of art, from the prehistoric times to the Byzantine era. But the most important are the findings from the period in history most associated with the dawn of the Greek civilisa- tion and the Homer years. The excavations revealed streets and houses, aqueducts and bathhouses, temples and public buildings and more importantly, the ancient 'necropolis', the graveyard of the warriors and their relatives. The rooms dedicated to the findings of this 'necropolis' feature one of the first 'unknown soldier' monuments, as well as findings highlighted by Homeric passages, narrating the ritual of the cremation of the dead," Professor Nikos Stabolidis told Neos Kosmos. "Spread across 2,000 square meters, the museum's space is divided into display, storage and laboratory areas. In the southern ward is situated a research and study centre, featuring libraries, offices and a vast archive of the excavation. It is the place where all the research is conducted by an army of Greek and foreign scientists from all disciples". The museum, after all is a hub for philhellene academics and scholars from around the globe – archaeologists, anthropologists, palaeobotanists, architects etc, from all over the world have gone there, not only to dig, but to study the surroundings. "These are our true Greek Archaeology ambassadors", says professor Stampolidis, from the Archaeology Department of the University of Crete and director of the Cycladic Art Museum in Athens. "During the excavations, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Australian and Greek Australian students", he adds. "We don't want to create a depository museum, rather than a modern and vivid space, this is why the museum features an auditorium, a projection room, and spaces suitable for small conferences or exhibitions". "To offer the world everything that the Greek culture comprises from, something more than history and aesthetics, a space that describes the relation of humans and the nature that surrounds them. For as many virtual travels as one can make through the internet, nothing can compete to the real sensation and the real image of the space. Nothing is complete without the sunlight and the way each season smells". The difficulty of doing business in Greece has long been established and the ongoing financial crisis has only made it worse. A combination of endemic corruption, excessive taxation, complex laws and uncertainty has turned the country into a no-man's land for entrepreneurs – established or aspiring ones. Whatsmore, as much as Greece is in need for new investments, at the same time, any potential investor is seen as 'persona non gratta' by the system. There are few–though–who persist on the effort of turning the table and changing the face of entrepreneurship in Greece. Motivated by their love for the country, belief in the role of business to the strengthening of the social fabric and confidence in the potential of the Greek entrepreneurial talent, as well as the vibrant start-up scene that has risen in Athens, many daring investors have set their eyes on Greece. One of the key factors that allowed this to happen is The Hellenic Initiative (THI), the global movement led by some of the most successful businessmen of the Greek Diaspora to investing in the future of Greece through direct philanthropy and economic revitalisation. This year the organisation holds its 2nd Annual THI Venture Fair in Athens on 28 June. Begun in 2015, the Venture Fair is one of the major efforts by THI to bring investment to Greece in this critical economic period of tougher regulations, higher taxes, and general political and economic uncertainty. "There will be a strong Australian delegation attending The Hellenic Initiative's 2nd Venture Fair in Athens", says Victoria Kyriakopoulos, program manager for THI Australia. "Three THI Australia directors have been participating in the selection process and will be part of the panel providing feedback to the companies pitching their ideas to investors on the day. THI Australia is proud to be part of this unique event, which is an important part of THI's global efforts to encourage great ideas and a new generation of entrepreneurs by providing a forum to attract investment in new business ventures in Greece." Vetted companies are prepared by THI consultants for an 'American-style' pitch event that brings together investors from across Greece and the Diaspora, offering the opportunity to the struggling entrepreneurs in Greece to gain access to much needed capital, that will allow them to flourish and have a chance to compete in the global marketplace. THI will again connect Greek entrepreneurs and investors together in a classic American-style Venture Fair, with the goal of providing series A and B funding to Greek companies. Last year, despite capital controls being implemented on Greek banks just two days following our Venture Fair, €1.2 million in investments was secured. *THI's Second Annual Venture Fair will go from 12.00 noon until 5.30 pm on 28 June at the Athens Hilton.
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