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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 March 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 18 MARCH 2017 5 NEWS Cultural Centre pool turns to swamp But it is not the fault of Syriza It only took days since the Greek State took control of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre for critics' fears to be confirmed. The impressive project, considered to be one of Athens' most valuable architectural jewels, was plagued by an image of abandon and decay and an equally putrid smell, coming out of the once-marvelled-upon water canal that takes centre stage. Designed by the internationally acclaimed Renzo Piano, one of the indisputable heroes of modern architecture, the Centre considers the canal one of the site's most significant components. The architect's goal was to redefine the centre's relationship with the sea, not only referring to the view of the sea (by creating an artificial hill), but also to the physical presence of water. The canal is 400 m long, 30 m wide and goes down to 70 cm towards the edges and 150 cm at its centre, and it expands across the main pathway of visitors, leading to the main complex of buildings. Up until recently, it was one of the most lauded elements of the centre, but now it is slowly turning into a swamp; the clear greenblue water giving way to a frothy brown mud filled with algae. This, of course, has nothing to do with the centre becoming part of the public sector. In a statement posted on its website, the Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre explains that it is natural for water to stagnate and look like it does: "Given that the canal is formed by seawater, which eventually returns to the sea, the use of chlorine is strictly forbidden", reads the statement. "As a result of this natural process, it is expected that algae is formed at certain parts of it. Two robotic mechanisms are installed on a permanent basis, removing the algae that is naturally formed at its bottom, while an annual cleaning schedule lasting approximately four weeks, sees the depletion and then infusion of new water from the sea. This March the scheduled maintenance and cleaning process takes place and is expected to be completed by the end of the month. For this reason, the frequent activities related to the canal (sailing, kayak) will be available again in April". Retail workers union stands up for H&M employees The Athens Retail Workers' Union issued a statement denouncing the new employment contract presented by the multinational fashion store company H&M. The union accuses the retail giant of trying to impose an agreement which further slashes workers rights and intensifies exploitation and oppression. Specifically, the union points out at certain parts of the contract that obliges employees to work at any branch the company decides at any given time, increases working hours through 'flexibility' provisions and imposes a set of internal regulations, threatening employees with penalties, or even laying off, if they don't comply. The proposed agreement makes it easy for the employer to reduce salaries and fire employees. The union statement calls for H&M employees to refrain from signing the contract and join the H&M Fight committee in their quest for a reinstatement of collective bargaining, which was abolished as per the reforms demanded by Greece's lenders as part of the bailout program. Calling for all retail workers to unionise, the organisation accuses the government and the EU of nurturing and supporting this kind of agreements which undermines the rights of Greek workers. Call to boycott film denying Greek, Assyrian and Armenian genocide The American Hellenic Council issued an offi cial statement against Turkish production The Ottoman Lieutenant A recently released Turkish production The Ottoman Lieutenant has come under fire for its denial of the Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian genocide. The American Hellenic Council (AHC) has issued a statement along with the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Western United States urging the Greek American community and descendants of the genocide to jointly boycott the film. "The film is a blatant attempt to repudiate the upcoming movie, The Promise, and mislead impressionable youth into believing the Genocide was a 'two-sided' event," the statement written by AHC executive director Ioannis Fidanaki reads. "Although we at the AHC, acknowledge that Ottoman Turks were affected by the state of war throughout the Empire, like all Ottoman citizens, their suffering cannot be equated with a systematic campaign of extermination, which befell the native Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian peoples of Eastern Thrace and Anatolia." The AHC also calls for the public to join an AYF-initiated letter writing campaign to local theatres in a bid to educate them about the intents of the film. Released in Australia on 10 March, The Ottoman Lieutenant is directed by Joseph Ru- ben and stars Michiel Huisman, Hera Hilmar, Josh Hartnett, and Ben Kingsley. Set in Ittihadist, Turkey, it follows the love story between an American nurse (Hilmar) and Turkish officer (Huisman) during the First World War, and subsequently the period of the genocide. To join the letter writing campaign, email ioannis@ americanhellenic.org for further details. Greek company invests in Montenegro hydrocarbons Greece may be in need of foreign investment, however there are some enterprises which not only manage to stay afloat during the ongoing crisis, but also to actually expand to the broader balkans. Such is the case for Energean Oil & Gas, which made a significant step towards international success, signing a seven-year Concession Agreement for hydrocarbons exploration production with the State of Montenegro. The €19 millon contract was signed on Wednesday by Dragica Sekulic of the Ministry of Economy in the State of Montenegro, and Mathios Rigas, Chairman and CEO of Energean Group, during a ceremony held at Podgorica. The Montenegrin parliament has already approved the agreement, which concerns Blocks 4219-26 and 4218-30 off the country's coast, and includes a new 3D seismic survey (to begin in the first quarter of 2018), the preparation of geophysical and geological studies, and the drilling of one well. The two blocks are at a depth of 50-100 metres near the coast of Bar. Energean Oil & Gas has been active in the western Greece region since 2014, but its entry in the Adri- atic is raising its status to an international level. Commenting after the deal, Rigas said: "I am delighted to sign this concession contract, which marks a significant day for Energean and our continued growth, as we enter the highly promising Adriatic region. Whilst a number of major oil and gas companies left the area during the period of sustained low oil prices, Energean remained committed to pursuing the development of the region, and is now extremely well-placed to take advantage of this commitment and focus."
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