Travel news in brief

The financial downturn in Greece has brought a surge in bookings as British
travellers take advantage of discounts. In July, bookings with Directline
Holidays for Corfu and Rhodes were, respectively, 21 per cent higher and 5
per cent higher than in July last year. Bookings for Cyprus were up by 28
per cent.

Smoke-free ships

Almost half of cruise ship passengers want smoking on board banned, according
to research by CruiseCompare, a price- comparison website. Of 1,271
cruisers, 48 per cent wanted a complete ban and 11 per cent wanted smoking
confined to designated areas on the ship. More than half of those questioned
were smokers.

Air Berlin routes cut

Air Berlin (www.airberlin.com)
is to scrap several services between Germany and England, and blames the
decision on increases in taxes and fuel prices. Among the services being cut
are London to Munster/Onasbruck, London to Hanover and London and Manchester
to Paderborn.


Local creative thinkers recount artistic journeys both at home and abroad

Advertisement

Columbia campuses are aflutter with new and returning students; downtown shops are extending their open hours once again to offer caffeination and comfort late into the night; tales of summer are ready to be told. The Tribune sought out a few local artists who have traveled far and wide and inquired about what they’ve taken part in over their not-very-lazy summer months.

photo

Derek Frankhouser/Courtesy

MU art student Derek Frankhouser spent the summer in New York City to
participate in two printmaking initiatives: the Robert Blackburn Printmaking
Workshop and the not-for-profit organization Booklyn, an art book
distributor.

MU art student Derek Frankhouser spent the summer in New York City to
participate in two printmaking initiatives: the Robert Blackburn Printmaking
Workshop and the not-for-profit organization Booklyn, an art book
distributor.

photo

Photo by August Kryger

Shea Boresi joined curators Jennifer Perlow and Joel Sager at PS:Gallery before jetting off on a European honeymoon.

Shea Boresi joined curators Jennifer Perlow and Joel Sager at PS:Gallery before jetting off on a European honeymoon.

photo

Marcia Vanderlip/Tribune

Monica Hand, of Cave Canem, and MU professor Scott Cairns
survey the ruins of Acropolis in Greece.

Monica Hand, of Cave Canem, and MU professor Scott Cairns
survey the ruins of Acropolis in Greece.

A GLOBAL CONVERSATION

Two noted University of Missouri writing professors, Scott Cairns and Aliki Barnstone, co-directed a writers’ workshop in Greece over the summer, moving from an initial tour of Athens to the island of Serifos — and, thankfully, dodging riots along the way. This is the third year the workshop has taken place, Cairns said; the first year there were seven participants, which quickly grew to 17 the second year and around 30 this year. The group spent five weeks in Greece, learning modern Greek in the mornings and then splitting into various writing workshops — fiction, poetry, translation and food/travel writing — in the afternoon. Most evenings, the group was enlightened by readings from writers both from Greece and the United States, including Liana Sakelliou, Adrianne Kalfopoulou, Tryfon Tolides, Brady Kiesling, Natalie Bakopoulous and others. Some of the readers and speakers were tapped to read rather spontaneously: “Aliki’s been going to Greece since she was a girl,” Cairns noted, so she “has known a lot of these people because she’s grown up with them.”

This year was an especially unique one for the writing workshop, Cairns said, because a cohort from Cave Canem came along, accompanied for a short time by Professor Cornelius Eady. Cave Canem has established a fellowship program for African-American poets, several of whom were able to travel to Greece with the MU group.

The creative writing program at MU is “founded upon the premise that literary tradition is an ongoing thing,” Cairns said. In Greece, he said, the students are encouraged to translate the works of native Greek writers, and vice versa. Creative writing should honor what has been created over time and geography, he said, but often writing programs can become insular. Part of the primary purpose of continuing to go to Greece is “to make it internationally engaged, and to encourage our students not to write just for Americans but to enter what I consider to be the ongoing global conversation,” Cairns said.

THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS

Derek Frankhouser, a senior studying art at MU and profiled in a Tribune Niche feature a few months ago, took his summer to New York City to participate in two printmaking initiatives: the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop and the not-for-profit organization Booklyn, which “distributes artist books to collections, institutions and museums,” he said. His time at the Blackburn Workshop was spent producing editions of books for professional artists. At Booklyn, he worked on an ongoing project to archive the work of Fly, a New York-based comic artist, musician and illustrator.

Frankhouser also spent time working on a project for the Undergraduate Research Mentorship in art at MU under the guidance of Professor Chris Daniggelis, as well as “exploring the city’s museums and galleries and searching high and low for the best brick-oven pizza.” One exhibit that particularly affected and inspired Frankhouser was the Guggenheim Museum’s retrospective of Lee Ufan, a Japanese artist who was part of the notable 1960s avant-garde movement Mono-ha. “The curation was perfectly aligned with the architecture because chronologically the exhibition displays the efforts of 40 years of work as you ascend the museum ramp,” Frankhouser said. “I was taking in four decades of this artist wrestling with virtually the same idea, and halfway through the work, I became so excited to reach the top and see the conclusion.”

Frankhouser had ample opportunity to consider his most intrinsic values and sense of purpose in the framework of the “city that never sleeps.” “In every bar in Brooklyn sits a poet, painter or actor who pours drinks all night and pounds pavement all day looking for an opportunity,” he observed. “If you don’t experience fame or instant success, you have to level with yourself and decide if you are doing something because it really interests you. I like to make pictures, and I’ll be doing that relentlessly whether or not people are going to look at them.”

THE ART OF RELATIONSHIPS

The newest face of PS:Gallery, Shea Boresi joined curators Jennifer Perlow and Joel Sager in May in their endeavors to exhibit and sell quality art by local and national artists. Of course, that was right before she was swept away in a whirlwind European honeymoon for a month. Visiting the MU Writers Workshop in Greece in addition to touring Ireland, France and Italy, Boresi returned for the last part of the summer to settle in at PS:Gallery and learn the ropes.

Boresi just got her first set of business cards, she mentioned with a grin. “I’m supposed to help scout out artists and set up events,” she said, “so it’s good for me to appear professional.” PS:Gallery reviews artist submissions every so often; the gallery usually plans out two shows in advance, Boresi said. But no submission is left behind. “We review what is sent to us,” she added, but the three employees make every effort to host memorable works — which turns out to be even better if each artist’s series plays nicely with the other artists in a particular show.

Boresi also is taking responsibility for most of the external communication that the gallery has been growing over the past few years. She has begun writing for the blog, updating other social media and taking charge of hosting gallery events such as readings on Feed Your Soul Sundays. “A big part of what I’m learning right now in the job is people,” Boresi said. “I came in with my love of art already established, and I knew how to talk about it in the broadest sense. But so much of what we do is actually very relationship-driven. … I’m learning a lot of names.”

Of course, “the finer points of accounting are left to Jennifer,” Boresi said with a chuckle. “But there are only three of us, so it sort of winds up being that everyone has their hands in everything.” She appreciates the varied nature of her work: “I like to be useful on multiple levels rather than within very strict confines,” she said.

ROAD WARRIORS

Over 10 days in June, acoustic modern folk band Mary and the Giant crisscrossed the Midwest in a whirlwind tour, playing city after city and putting the “stomp” into various stomping grounds. Beginning with an impromptu concert in small-town Wisconsin and ending in St. Louis, the violin-cajon-guitar-vocal-bass quintet played back-to-back shows, winning new fans along the way.

The first night was one of the most bizarre nights of the tour, violinist Michael Schembre remembered. After its first planned venue unexpectedly canceled, the group ended up in a bar in small-town Wisconsin, and the bartender offered to let them jam. “This couple shows up, … and it was their one-year anniversary,” Schembre said. “After we started playing, they were blown away.” The husband offered the group $100 to come back and play at their house.The band was pleasantly surprised to go from no show to playing for a large group that night, Schembre said.

After the surprise show in Star Prairie, Wis., the group moved on to Minneapolis and then down to Ames, Iowa, where the band was interviewed on the local alternative radio station and blew out the venue, earning an invite back in the fall. The band eventually moved on to Des Moines, Iowa, playing a spontaneous house concert back in Ames afterward. “You really develop fans for a long time. These people are going to come out every time. They’ve met you personally. You’ve played in their home. … They feel a very close connection,” Schembre reflected.

The band jumped over to the Wrigleyville area of Chicago and then Cleveland, Ohio — “I think about 7 people showed up,” added Schembre with a wry grin. The group then traipsed to Columbus, Ohio, before ending up in St. Louis. “Just through playing and meeting people, we’ve developed a legit following completely out of state,” Schembre said.

Reach Jill Renae Hicks at 573-815-1714 or e-mail [email protected]

Copyright 2011 Columbia Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Travel news in brief

The financial downturn in Greece has brought a surge in bookings as British
travellers take advantage of discounts. In July, bookings with Directline
Holidays for Corfu and Rhodes were, respectively, 21 per cent higher and 5
per cent higher than in July last year. Bookings for Cyprus were up by 28
per cent.

Smoke-free ships

Almost half of cruise ship passengers want smoking on board banned, according
to research by CruiseCompare, a price- comparison website. Of 1,271
cruisers, 48 per cent wanted a complete ban and 11 per cent wanted smoking
confined to designated areas on the ship. More than half of those questioned
were smokers.

Air Berlin routes cut

Air Berlin (www.airberlin.com)
is to scrap several services between Germany and England, and blames the
decision on increases in taxes and fuel prices. Among the services being cut
are London to Munster/Onasbruck, London to Hanover and London and Manchester
to Paderborn.


Commission: all eurozone countries free to ask Greece for collateral

EU commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said on Friday that Finland – and all other eurozone countries – is free to ask Greece for collateral for loans to be made under the terms of its second bailout.

He added that low-level political talks about the “appropriateness” of Finland’s request have begun, but do not have a deadline.

There has so far not been any announcement of Malta’s position on this collateral debate, which has developed over the past few days, and questions sent to government spokesmen yesterday remained unacknowledged and unanswered.

It all began last Tuesday when Finland, the northernmost euro member, reached an agreement with the government in Athens requiring Greece to deposit cash in a state account that Finland will invest in AAA-rated bonds. The bilateral arrangement requires approval from other euro members, according to the Finnish Finance Ministry.

Finland has taken a hard line after the anti-bailout True Finns party burst onto the domestic political scene and scooped 19.1 per cent of the vote in the April elections.

Finland’s collateral demands were included in a 21 July agreement by eurozone leaders to provide a new €159 billion aid package for Greece and grant broader powers to the region’s rescue fund.

At the summit, AAA-rated Finland fought for extra assurances that it will not lose money over its backing for the European Financial Stability Facility. The 21 July agreement needs to be ratified nationally.

No date has been set as yet for the Maltese parliament to meet to ratify this agreement. The Parliament website still says Parliament will resume on 3 October.

But the Tuesday deal has had a domino effect. Austria and the Netherlands, both rated AAA, as well as Slovenia and Slovakia, then said they will seek deals similar to that reached by Finns. Finland said it is open to broadening the arrangement to include more countries.

Finland’s efforts to get collateral in exchange for new emergency loans to Greece could “blow up” the rescue plan endorsed by euro leaders last month, according to Austria’s Finance Minister Maria Fekter.

“The Finns have negotiated with the Greeks that they get 20 per cent of collateral in cash from the other member states,” Fekter told reporters in Vienna last week. “If every country demanded 20 per cent, the entire package would blow up.”

Fekter said she had contacted Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen the day after the Nordic country announced its deal to air her views.

“The model has to be open to all euro countries. We plan to find out if this is the case”, said Austrian Finance Ministry spokesman Harald Waigelin in a telephone interview with Helsingin Sanomat on Wednesday.

Dutch Finance Ministry spokesman Niels Redeker said that The Hague had always “indicated in discussions in Brussels that if Finland got a collateral agreement then we also want a collateral agreement.”

The Slovenian Finance Ministry told the AP news agency that it is looking for “possible guarantees” for its loan.

These countries only account for about 11 per cent of the total loan, but the move serves to further undermine the already fragile sense of solidarity in the 17-nation eurozone – as well as making markets more jittery.

While no big countries have yet asked for collateral, it raises the general question of whether some euro countries will simply accept worse loan terms than others, by not asking for guarantees.

“We have negotiated this model between the two countries, we’ve sought to find a model that these two countries can agree on,” Urpilainen said in an interview. “This is what happened. Finland doesn’t oppose extending collateral to other countries.”

The Nordic country “was commissioned to establish a concept for all of Europe”, Fekter said, adding that Finland has struck a deal “that is at the expense of all the other countries”. Collateral demands from all contributing euro members would make the package “financially unviable”, she said.

Fekter said euro members whose banks have limited exposure to Greece should have a greater right to demand collateral as part of a new aid package. The proposal was spelt out in a letter to other eurozone finance ministers, she said.

Euro members’ right to collateral from Greece should be restricted if their banks contribute to the rescue package because such lenders are already being offered incentives to take part, said Fekter.

The collateral agreement “allows Finland to participate in the Greek loan,” Finland’s Finance Minister Urpilainen said last Tuesday. “Without this arrangement, Finland won’t participate,” she said, adding that the “next few weeks are very decisive in that we will see how other countries respond to this collateral arrangement.”

Slovakia said on Thursday that all European creditor states should receive collateral for the aid they give to bailed-out Greece after Athens agreed to provide guarantees for Helsinki.

“I consider it unacceptable for any country not to have the collateral, if other countries have it,” Slovak Finance Minister Ivan Miklos told reporters.

“Because if this is a loan – and that’s what everyone is calling it – the debtor should have no problem in offering collateral for the loan,” he said, adding however that it may be hard to identify suitable assets.

Slovakia, which joined the eurozone in 2009, was the only holdout among eurozone members against the bloc’s first rescue package for Greece in 2010.

A spokesman for Olli Rehn, the European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, said: “It is up to eurozone member states to assess if this deal between Greece and Finland corresponds to the spirit of these conclusions and does not introduce any element that could be considered a distortion. That discussion is going on.” He declined to comment on whether finance ministers would be called upon to ratify the final decision.

EU officials had hoped that the finishing touches to the bail-out agreement – which is expected to be made up of loans from the International Monetary Fund and the eurozone’s bail-out fund, the European Financial Stability Facility – would be made by the end of August in order to facilitate the next payment of loans to Greece next month.

However, delays now look inevitable.

Rehn’s spokesman said: “I’m not aware of any formal requests along those lines and I can’t engage in speculation.” However, he reiterated the sentiments of José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, in his letter to eurozone governments of 3 August, that changes should avoid “introducing excessive constraints in terms of either additional conditionality or collateralisation of the EFSF lending”.

The need to put up collateral – whether in the form of cash or other assets – may also ultimately impair Athens’ ability to pay back the general loan.

Finland, needing parliamentary approval for the Greek bailout, has said that what other countries do is their business.

“From Finland’s point of view it’s clear: we don’t really have to be worried if other countries want similar or other guarantees from Greece,” Jussi Lindgren, financial secretary at the Finnish Finance Ministry, told Finnish broadcaster YLE. “They would have to negotiate their own deals, and see if it’s at all possible.”

The €109 billion in new public aid to Greece includes €35 billion of “credit enhancements” linked to a plan for private creditors to contribute through bond exchanges and rollovers. In addition, €20 billion of the public aid will be used for a buyback of Greek debt.

Part of the new bailout is a plan under which banks can exchange their Greek government bonds for new securities that are collateralised. France’s BNP Paribas (BNP) SA, Dutch ING Groep NV and Germany’s Commerzbank AG are among the banks that have said they will participate in the exchange and may therefore benefit from the collateral. So far, no Finnish or Austrian bank has signed up to the plan.


UMD Calls For Greek Metropolitan’s Excommunication – OpEd

By The United Macedonian Diaspora

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) expressed its outrage at Sunday’s sermon by Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki (Solun). He called upon Greek youth and others to join him in 40-50 buses, travel to the town of Meliti (Ovcharani), and destroy a planned Macedonian language radio station.

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul oversees the Holy Metropolises of the “New Lands,” including Thessaloniki (Solun). In a letter, UMD called upon the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to publically condemn Anthimos’s incitements to violence, and to initiate proceedings for his immediate excommunication.

“Anthimos is a shameful embarrassment to all of Orthodoxy and should be stripped of his title by the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Holy and Sacred Synod,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski. “This rhetoric is barbaric and injurious to Greece, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Orthodox Church. Instead of promoting Christian values of peace, tolerance and togetherness, Anthimos uses his position of trust to incite the Greek nation to ethnic hatred and violence. As a Christian leader, Anthimos’s speech is completely unacceptable, and he deserves to be excommunicated.”

On Sunday, August 14, 2011, Metropolitan Anthimos stated the following, which was captured on video:

“We have some of those who were left here since the Civil War period, as we call it, that difficult period, who did not leave to the other side and stayed here with us… [They] are now revolting, and are instigated from abroad by the Skopian [sic] propaganda … That is why we address to the Ministry of Interior and deputy ministers relevant to the media to tell us: is it true, such a radio station will become in Meliti . . . yes or no? If it is yes, then I, and the youth, and anyone else who wants to . . . [with] at least 40 or 50 buses must go there, and together with our brothers in Florina and Meliti, we will destroy everything into broken glass and nails . . . It is not possible to do the job differently.”

Despite nominal leadership from the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul, the Greek Orthodox Church is enshrined in the Greek constitution as the “prevailing” religion, and the state pays the clergy’s salaries and pensions. “The Greek State’s use of the clergy to terrorize Macedonians in northern Greece has a long and bloody history, going back to the likes of Bishop Germanos Karavangelis, who ordered beheadings in the streets of Kostur,” said UMD Voice Magazine Editor Mark Branov. “It is long past due for the Greek Orthodox Church to fully adhere to Christian principles of love and tolerance, and for the Greek state to use its laws for something other than persecuting national minorities.”

Today, UMD also urged the Macedonian minority in Meliti (Ovcharani), the Mayor of that town, Panagiotis Anastasiadis (Pande Ashlakov), and the organizers of said radio station to bring a case against Metropolitan Anthimos, and ask the Public Prosecutor to lay appropriate charges under Greek law. UMD believes Metropolitan Anthimos’s public appeal for violence is a clear violation of Greek law, and the Public Prosecutor must intervene.
Notes:

*Solun and Ovcharani are the Macedonian names of these cities prior to the Greek state forcibly renaming them Thessaloniki and Meliti, respectively. Kostur is the Macedonian name of the city in Greece, Kastoria.

**Pande Ashlakov is the Macedonian name of the Mayor of Ovcharani; however, due to anachronistic and remarkably oppressive laws of the Greek state and the Greek Orthodox Church, one may not be baptized in Greece without a “Greek” name.

—-
Video of Bishop Anthimos’s sermon in full (in Greek):

http://belomorskamacedonia.blogspot.com/2011/08/blog-post_15.html.

Translation below:

In the difficulties and storms we face in our lives, as I mentioned before, those we have next to us are included. I do not say this myself, it is in a prestigious newspaper, and I am saying also its name . . . is “The Investor’s World” of last Sunday’s issue. You cannot read it from there, I am showing it with the newspaper, so you will not think this is a rumor or something we invented . . . I will tell you, because you cannot read it from a distance . . . “in preparation is a radio station of the Skopians [sic] in Greece”. Do you hear that? And also those who are watching us, do you hear that? “Representatives self-defining as Macedonians announced through a newspaper in Fyrom [sic] that they have already got a license and are preparing to broadcast in their idiom [sic]. The president of the Florina municipality district of Meliti, Panagiotis Anastasiadis, who likes to be named also with a Skopian name [sic], announced a radio station that will broadcast in the slav-Macedonian idiom [sic]”. On the top there is the internet address of the newspaper that announces the operation of such radio station. What can I say to you? The newspaper is valid, and here, this guy has made a statement and is about an interview he gave to a Skopian [sic] newspaper: “The member of the Rainbow Party and president of the municipal district of Meliti Panagiotis Anastasiadis or, as he likes to be named, Pande Ashlakov” who among other statements against Greece and some against us, is saying that “We are ready, we have the license ready and we will take it and start the broadcasting of the radio station.” Is this possible, I ask you? Can we Greeks go and make radio stations in any Balkan country or any other? What’s happening here? We have some of those who were left here since the Civil War period, as we call it, that difficult period, who did not leave to the other side and stayed here with us, they have, of course, Greek origin and live here but were brought up for many years with their conditions. So, those who stayed here or who took care to stay here, are now revolting and are instigated from abroad by the Skopian [sic] propaganda, together with the other things they are doing, like statues, etc. and are trying to create this issue . . . They will make also a TV station. And now I beg and ask this moment: Mr. president of the region of Central Macedonia, because they are saying they will address to all Macedonians and also the Thessalonikians, their announcement says, Mr. president of the region of Western Macedonia, gentlemen of the remaining secretariat of the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace we had but was abolished (I complained then to Mr. Papandreou, and he told me “no, we will have a substitute”. What substitute, there is nothing!). To whom we can address to tell us what is going to be with this? That is why we address to the Ministry of Interior and deputy ministers relevant to the media to tell us: is it true, such a radio station will be become in Meliti and by which the Skopian [sic] propaganda will be broadcast inside Greece, so they will create an issue in Macedonia, yes or no? If it is yes, then I and the youth, and anyone who wants to, I will say it like I feel it, I do not know what will happen, if we say yes and they do it, at least 40-50 buses must go there and together with our brothers in Florina and Meliti, we will destroy everything into broken glass and nails. Otherwise it is not possible to do the job differently . . .