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6000 Miles Away: Η Sylvie Guillem στο Ηρώδειο – Ιούλιος 2011 – Αθήνα

Η Sylvie Guillem / Συλβί Γκυγιέμ δεν χρειάζεται συστάσεις. Για μένα όμως η γαλλίδα χορεύτρια αποτελεί ένα θείο δώρο, όμορφο και σπάνιο. Την παράσταση “6000 Miles Away” την πρωτοπαρουσίασε στο μαγευτικό ναό του χορού στο Λονδίνο, στο  Sadler’s Wells στις αρχές Ιουλίου.

Η Sylvie Guillem / Συλβί Γκυγιέμ αναγνωρίζεται ευρέως ως μια απ’τις μεγαλύτερες χορεύτριες όλων των εποχών. Είναι ίσως η μοναδική χορεύτρια κλασικού μπαλέτου που μεταπήδησε στο σύγχρονο χορό και πρωταγωνίστησε με τόση ένταση, πυκνότητα και ποιότητα και σε αυτό το είδος.

Sylvie Guillem in Mats Ek's Bye. Photo courtesy Sadler's Wells.

Η αγαπημένη χορεύτρια του Νουρέγιεφ, που αυτός την ανέδειξε σε αστέρι, έρχεται στην Αθήνα για να παρουσιάσει χορογραφίες τριών μεγάλων χορογράφων, του Mats Ek, του William Forsythe και του Jiří Kylián.

Μετά τη πετυχημένη συνεργασία της με τον Σουηδό Mats Ek, στο “Wet Woman” και στο “Smoke”, η Sylvie Guillem θα παρουσιάσει τη χορογραφία “Bye”, βασισμένη πάνω στη τελευταία σονάτο για πιάνο του Beethoven / Μπετόβεν: ήδη η γερμανική εφημερίδα Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung έχει ανακυρήξει το “Bye”, που γράφτηκε ειδικά για τη Συλβί Γκυγιέμ, ως αριστούργημα.

 στον Observer  της The Guardian  παρακολούθησε τη παράσταση στο Sadler’s Wells και έγραψε πριν από λίγες μέρες:

“Something of a relief, then, to switch to Mats Ek’s Bye. This opens with some tricksily cute cutting between film of Guillem and the dancer herself. Ek’s designer, Katrin Brännström, has costumed Guillem in an oddly assorted outfit of cardigan, blouse, skirt and socks. On anyone else it would appear dowdy; on Guillem it’s quirkily chic. Her movements are stereotypical: now puppet-like, now crazily purposeful. She may be a frustrated suburban matron; she may be that archetypal Ek heroine, the long-term, institutionalised mental patient. At intervals, she seems to recall a childhood dream of dancing, and launches into a sensuously high kick or snappy turn. More than once, she balances on her head. The piece is touching, but too self-consciously whimsical to be truly poignant. Unlike the figure of Guillem herself. There’s that extraordinary body, with its racy, sinewy lines. And the face, touched with the knowledge that one day, all of this will have to end. But not yet.”

Sylvie Guillem in Mats Ek's Bye. Photo courtesy Sadler's Wells.

Σχεδόν 20 χρόνια από τότε που δημιούργησε το θρυλικό “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated”,  0 Γουίλιαμ Φορσάιθ /William Forsythe χορογραφεί ένα ολοκαίνουργιο ντουέτο, το “Rearray”, για την Guillem και ένα από τα μεγαλύτερα αστέρια του Teatro alla Scala, τον Massimo Murru.

Η Barbara Newman έγραψε στο Dance Magazine για το Rearray:

“William Forsythe’s Rearray is his fourth creation for Guillem, who appeared in the original cast of his In the middle, somewhat elevated 24 years ago. Physically fragmented, to an equally fragmented score by David Morrow that added nothing to the choreography, the new duet interleaves a string of absorbing solos with intimate duets. Initially the partners ignored one other, merely occupying the same space, but drawing nearer they eventually shared a single impulse.

Between the disjointed kinks of the combinations, Guillem and Nicolas Le Riche passed like lightning through the ideal positions of the classical vocabulary, which they both acquired in the Paris Opéra Ballet’s rigorous school. Easily maintaining the habits of a lifetime, with their limbs at full stretch or folded into phrases that shifted by fractions, they displayed absolute control over pace, dynamics, and direction, so at every instant we saw precisely what Forsythe intended.

Rearray took its character directly from the movement, a riveting reinvention of the familiar, and from the charismatic performers whose innate authority somehow made every gesture both a question about dance’s potential and its own answer.”

Η ολοκλήρωση της βραδιάς είναι ένα ντουέτο που δημιουργήθηκε  από τον Jiří Kylián / Γίρι Κίλιαν το 2002, με το τίτλο ” 27’52” και παρουσιάζεται από χορευτές που επέλεξε ο χορογράφος, την Aurélie Cayla και τον Kenta Kojiri.

Η Judith Mackrell έγραψε για τη δημιουργία του Jiri Kylian “27′ 52”:

“27’52” is a crowd pleaser, rich in sculpted burnished movements and sexy design. While it is beautifully performed by Aurelie Cayla and Kenta Kojiri, it distracts from the evening’s focus. And that is only, ever, Guillem herself.”

Οι παραστάσεις του 6000 Miles Away είναι στις 19 και 20 Ιουλίου στο Ηρώδειο, στις 21.00.

Τη στιγμή που γράφεται το κείμενο τα εισιτήρια είναι πλέον sold out.

Sylvie Guillem in Mats Ek's Bye. Photo courtesy Sadler's Wells.

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Israel and the History of a Ethnic Cleansing

By Nizar Sakhnini

Source: PalestineChronicle.com

Massacres were part and parcel of the Zionist project in Palestine. They aimed at intimidating the Arabs and make them leave the country.

Dozens of massacres were committed against the Arabs starting with the Massacre at Baldat al-Shaikh in December 1947 and not ending with the massacres in Qana in South Lebanon in 1996 and 2006.

Another brutal massacre is being committed in Gaza today.  Hundreds of Palestinian Arabs have been killed and/or wounded.

Given below, is a list of some of the massacres committed by the Zionists since 1947:

Massacre in Baldat al-Shaikh (31 December 1947): Haganah gang members stormed the village of Baldat al-Shaikh in pursuit of unarmed citizens. The death toll was about 600 people, most of whose corpses were found inside the houses of the village.

Massacre in Deir Yassin (10 April 1948): A brutal massacre was committed in Deir Yassin: over 250 men, women and children were killed.

Massacre in Lid (11 July 1948): A commando unit led by Moshe Dayan carried out this massacre. The unit stormed the city in the evening and many of the Arab citizens of the city took refuge from the attack in the Dahmash Mosque. The Zionists reached the mosque and killed 176 civilians who took refuge to the mosque raising the victims of the massacre in Lid to 426 Palestinian Arabs.

Once the slaughter had come to an end, the unarmed civilians were led to the city’s sports stadium, where the young men were detained. Then the families were given a mere half-hour to leave the city for the area where the Jordanian Army was located. They were to go there on foot and without food or water, which caused the deaths of many women, children and elderly people.

Massacre in the Village of Eilaboun (30 October 1948): The village was attacked on October 29, 1948.  The Israeli forces managed to enter the town at five o’clock a.m. on October 30.

The people of Elabun took refuge in the two local churches where yellow and white flags of submission were flown. Marcos Daoud, the Greek Catholic priest, told the Israelis, “I put my village under the protection of the State of Israel”. The Israeli answer was as follows:

1. Thirteen young men were murdered.

2. The surviving young men were taken as POWs.

3. The women and children were marched off to the Lebanese border under severe conditions, which resulted in many casualties.

4. Looting and desecration of the churches followed the evacuation of the village.

Massacre in Dawayma (15 October 1948): Operation Ten Plagues was launched against the Egyptians in the South. Mass murder took place in many of the towns on the southern front during the October offensive. One of the worst massacres during the offensive took place at Dawayma.

The American Consul in Jerusalem, William Burdett, had heard about the visit of the UN team to Dawayma. After making inquiries, on 6 November, he reported to Washington, “Investigation by UN indicates massacre occurred but observers are unable to determine number of persons involved”. Estimates vary considerably but probably about 300 Arab civilians were slaughtered in the town.

The Massacre at Qibya (14 October 1953): The fatalities from the massacre numbered 67, including men, women and children, while hundreds of others were injured.

The Massacre at Kufr Qasim (29 October 1956): A curfew was imposed on the village of Kufr Qasim, after which a number of children and elderly people took off to inform the young men who were working in the fields outside the village about the curfew. However, the forces stationed outside the village killed them in cold blood, murdering the young men before they could reach the village. The death toll for this massacre came to 49 civilians, including a number of children and elderly people.

Massacre at Sabra and Shatila (18 September 1982): A plan had been laid to storm the Sabra and Shatila camps for Palestinian refugees in the Beirut area since the first day of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Its purpose was to weaken the Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut and force the Palestinians to emigrate outside Lebanon.

Before sundown on Thursday, September 16, 1982, the storming of the camps began. The massacre itself, which was carried out by the Lebanese kata’ib (Falangist) militia, continued for approximately 36 hours.  During the operation, the Israeli army surrounded the camps, preventing anyone from entering or leaving. In addition, the occupation soldiers set off incandescent bombs by night to facilitate the militia’s mission. The Zionist soldiers also provided other logistical services to the Maronite militiamen during the massacre.

Information about the massacre began to leak out after a number of children and women fled to the Gaza hospital in the Shatila camp, where they informed doctors of what was happening. News of the massacre likewise reached some foreign journalists on Friday morning, September 17, 1982. The bloodletting went on until noon on Saturday, September 18.

Three thousand two hundred ninety-seven (3,297) men, women and children were killed within forty hours, between September 16-18, 1982. Among the dead bodies, 136 Lebanese were found; 1,800 victims were killed in the streets and alleys of the camp, while 1,097 were killed in the Gaza Hospital and 400 others in the Akka Hospital.

Commenting on the massacre, Menachem Begin described the Palestinian resistance fighters to the Israeli Knesset as “animals that walk on two legs”.

Massacre at the Ibrahimi Mosque (25 February 1994): Before worshippers had completed the dawn prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, the blast of hand grenades exploding and the sound of bullet spray filled the mosque. Bullets and splinters from the grenades pierced the heads, necks and backs of the worshippers, wounding more than 350.

The crime began when terrorist Baroukh Goldstein and a group of Jewish settlers from the Kiryat Arba settlement entered the mosque. Goldstein was carrying his military machine gun and hand grenades along with large amounts of ammunition. He stood behind one of the pillars in the mosque and waited until the worshippers had prostrated, then opened machine gun fire on them. Meanwhile, others helped him load the ammunition, which included the internationally banned explosive dumdum lead.

Goldstein carried out the massacre at a time when Zionist soldiers had closed the mosque doors to prevent worshippers from fleeing. They also prevented those coming from outside the mosque precincts from coming in to rescue the wounded. Later, others were shot to death by occupation soldiers outside the mosque and at the cemetery during the funeral processions of those who had been martyred in the mosque. The massacre led to fifty deaths, twenty-nine of which occurred inside the mosque.

The Massacre at Qana (18 April 1996): The Israeli artillery and helicopters shelled a shelter inside the Fijian battalion working within the UN forces in south Lebanon, using bombs which explode in the air in order to increase casualties among the ranks of civilians who might try to seek refuge in shelters. The operation led to the deaths of 160 civilians, most of them women, children and the elderly who were unable to flee toward Beirut and were thus obliged to seek refuge in the shelter at the Fijian Battalion headquarters in the Lebanese village of Qana.

Another Massacre at Qana (2006): During Israel’s ‘open war’ against Lebanon using Hezbollah’s kidnapping of 2 Israeli soldiers as a pretext, another massacre was committed by Israel in Qana. About 54 innocent Lebanese civilians, including about 37 children, were killed through an air raid.

– Nizar Sakhnini, a Palestinian researcher, contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.


“Greek Teenagers” by Nikos Raptis

Greek Teenagers

By Nikos Raptis

As always, to understand what is going on today (Dec.11, ’08) in Greece (or any place) one has to go back in time a few decades. Let us make the effort.

A few weeks after the “departure”, in 1974, of the US-supported dictatorship in Greece, I was in the luxurious ground floor of the Bank of Greece where I was filling some forms to secure the necessary exchange for the purchase of a book from a US publisher. I was sitting at a long heavy table. It was early in the day, there were not many people in the huge ground floor and the two security policemen there came and sat at the other end of the table and started chatting. I was wearing a US-made sport jacket. They took me for a foreigner and started talking freely. The older (fat) one says: “So, Karamanlis came from Paris [after the dictatorship] and instead of giving us money, the asshole bought helmets and riot gear for us”. That, Karamanlis, was the uncle of the (rather rotund) present Karamanlis, the Prime Minister of Greece. Karamanlis, the uncle, is referred to as the “Ethnarch” [the “father” of the nation]. Actually, he was a US-chosen rightist proxy to administer Greece on behalf of the US in the early 1950s. He died a few years ago and he demanded that his corpse be buried in a private lot on which a memorial building was erected mimicking the building of the usual “presidential library” of the US Presidents. The burial in a private space is illegal in Greece.

Six years after the above dialogue, between the two policemen, in November 1980, the riot police attack the demonstrators that were marching towards the US Embassy during the yearly march commemorating the 1973 uprising of the students against the dictatorship. The Karamanlis [uncle] police kill 26-year-old Iakovos Koumis and Stamatina Kanellopoulou, a young worker, by crushing their skulls.

In 1981 the “socialists” (PASOK) win the elections. Andreas Papandreou, the US educated professor of economics at Berkley, becomes Prime Minister. His first act: he DOUBLES the salaries of the policemen! Four years later, in 1985, the Papandreou police kill 15-year-old Michael Kaltezas by shooting him in the back of his head, again during the yearly demonstration of the uprising. The killer is acquitted. That same year, Catharine John Bool [spelling?], a 22-year-old American is killed by the Greek police, for refusing to have her car searched by them. Around that period a young Turkish man is beaten to death in an Athens police station. The Greek press never includes his name in the usual list of persons killed by the Greek police. This list consists of the names of about one hundred persons killed by the “socialist” or the rightist police, from 1974 to this day. Not a single policeman was ever convicted. The latest murder is that of the 15-year-old Alexis Gregoropoulos, son of an upper middle class family, six days ago in Athens.

The Greek people, early on, had adopt the “battle-cry”: “Coppers Pigs Murderers!”

For 34 years, from 1974 to 2008, the Greek politicians, both “socialists” and rightists, as expected, have stolen millions of dollars from the money of the state [that is of the Greek taxpayers]. The latest scandal, in the tune of tens of millions of Euros, involves the government of Karamanlis [nephew] and the pious monks of a monastery on the “Sacred Mount of Athos”. It is quite interesting [or quite amusing] how the “professional” Christians bestow sacredness to all kinds of material entities. For example, the above monks, besides living on a sacred mountain, they claim to have the “Sacred Belt” that belonged to the Virgin Mary mother of Jesus, the son of God.

Today these Greek politicians, mostly US-educated and some of them from Harvard or the London School of Economics, have managed to bring the young Greeks who have a university degree in engineering, or in medicine, or in law, etc to the point of a yearly income of about US $ 12,000, if they are lucky to have a job. While life in Greece is as expensive, if not more expensive, than life in Berlin or Paris.

Inevitably, the killing of the teenager was apt to cause an “explosion”. The important new development, compared to previous “explosions”, was that it spread as a revolt all over Greece. Usually, in the past, the violent demonstrations took place in Athens and Salonica.

Here is a very brief recording of what happened after the killing of the 15-year-old Alexis:

–  On Thursday, Dec. 4, there are country-wide demonstrations by students protesting the attempt of the rightist government to downgrade the state-supported public universities. The police, in Athens, beat severely a student who is hospitalized with heavy injuries. On the same day, 3,500 farmers of central Greece block with their cars and their trucks the main North-South highway of Greece, cutting the country in two, protesting the policies of the government that have turned them into heavily debt-ridden paupers.

–  On Saturday, Dec. 6, Alexis is killed 25 minutes after 9 p.m., in cold blood, according to half a dozen eye witnesses. One hour later a violent reaction by the direct-action faction of Greek anarchists is initiated in Athens and eight more cities in Greece. The fight against the police goes on all night long.

–  On Sunday, Dec. 7, around midday a crowd assembles in front of the Athens National Archaeological Museum [a building visited by millions of US citizens during the last 50 years]. The call to assemble was done through the Internet and SMSs. The crowd starts marching peacefully. After a little they clash with the police and the crowd starts burning mostly banks, car dealerships and big businesses. This goes on all night.

–  On Monday, Dec. 8, around 6 p.m.a huge crowd of thousands of people gather at the central building of the University of Athens. Even before the crowd starts to march there are violent contacts with the police. Burning and breaking of shop windows goes on all night long. The same happens in 19 more cities and towns of the country.

–  On Tuesday, Dec. 9, around 12 noon a huge crowd of pupils, students, high school teachers, university professors start to demonstrate. There are clashes with the police. Later in the afternoon the funeral of Alexis is attended by about 4,000 people. The police attacks them. Riots go on all through the night. Looting starts, mostly by immigrants, who do not take part in the riots, and by some Greeks. The same holds for most Greek cities and towns.

–  On Wednesday, Dec. 10, there is a General Strike all over the country. The rioters this time are mostly pupils and students. They attack mostly police stations hurtling, eggs, tomatoes, bitter oranges [also known as Seville oranges], and stones.

– Today, Thursday, Dec. 11, it is mostly pupils and students (14 to 17-year-olds, boys and girls) attacking police stations again with the above mentioned missiles. A few blocks from my place at Halandri, in Athens, the police station is being attacked by high school kids Also, today, there is a tally of the damage done during the riots. Around 565 shops were damaged or completely destroyed, hundreds arrested (half of them looting immigrants), an estimated US $ 1 billion plus in damages, and (most important) 4,200 units of police chemicals spent indiscriminately against Greek citizens, raising the need to buy more chemicals from…Israel!

Now let us try to find out the meaning of this revolt:

But first an important parenthesis:

[Parenthesis: In the central hall of the police station of the Athens neighborhood that I was raised, there is a huge slab of white marble fixed on one of the walls with about a dozen names engraved on it. The names belonged to policemen who were executed in the police station the very first day of the December 1944 uprising of what is known as the “Greek Civil War” after the end of the Nazi occupation of Greece. The executed policemen were anti-communist Nazi collaborators and brutal torturers of members of  the anti-Nazi Resistance, mostly communists.

To try to persuade people about the existence of police brutality is rather redundant. Recent cases as the sodomizing of the young black in a Manhattan subway station, or the revelations about the master-torturer police officer in Chicago are a minuscule recording of what is going on in police stations all over the face of the earth. So, no wonder that the first people to be punished during an uprising are the brutal policemen. The above marble slab is just a simple example.]

The groups that took part in the uprising after the murder of the 15-year-old kid are the following:

–  A minuscule part of direct-action anarchists.

–  A group of non-violent anarchists spread all over Greece, numbering in the hundreds.

– The usual police “plants” in the anarchist groups.

–  A very dangerous group of police officers, of the Blackwater-type of individuals [assisted by neo-Nazis], masquerading as anarchists. [See below].

–  The “KKE” (Communist Party of Greece), “traditional” communists, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

–  The “Coalition of the Radical Left” (“Coalition” from now on). A formerly Eurocommunist split from KKE, numbering, now, in the hundreds of thousands.

–  The “Greens”, numbering in the thousands

–  University students, numbering in the tens of thousands.

–  High school kids, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

[The numbering refers to the power of each group in general and does not refer to the number of persons that took part in the uprising.]

The burning and breaking was done by the direct-action anarchists, the Blackwater-type pigs [assisted by the neo-Nazis], and some students and pupils.

The KKE masses demonstrated in the traditional way of marching in extreme discipline and departed. They carried the usual red flags, however the flagpoles were of the size and strength of baseball bats. This was a warning to the pigs and their political choreographers, that they meant business. The pigs got the message.

The Coalition people and the Greens demonstrated in the traditional way but they were there to assist the up-risen youths.

The uprising was carried out by the students and the teenagers, especially the teenagers!

What is of paramount importance is not the journalistic reporting or the burning, the looting, etc, but the incidents, events, and statements that show what is happening in the Greek society now. Here are some of these events:

–  The head of the National Federation of Traders, Demitris Armenakis, representing the owners of the shops that were destroyed said: “No (material) damage can be compared to the life of a young man”. This moral statement, coming from a person that suffered material damage, has impressed most Greeks.

–  From some police stations the information leaked out that some of the policemen demanded and succeeded to take the guns out of the hands of their violent-prone colleagues.

–  At some point ordinary citizens of all ages who usually are fence-sitters were so angry with the behavior of the police during the demonstrations by the young that they tried to intervene and protect the kids. Some of the parents of the younger kids did the same, placing their bodies between their kids and the clubs of the pigs.

–  Today, a deputy of the Greek parliament, belonging to the Coalition, walking with two friends on a side-street of the area of the riots spotted two muscular men wearing hoods who were holding stones and carrying sticks. The deputy asked them if they were policemen. They answered angrily that they were policemen, so what. The deputy and his friends chased them, but their age did not allow them to catch the young braves. This was described, publicly, in the evening news.

–  In a very unfortunate moment, the General Secretary of KKE accused the Coalition that they “caress the ears ” of the hooded persons that burn and destroy. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the KKE and the Coalition leaderships have a decades long enmity that is based partly in personal antipathies.

– The usual 1/3 of a any given population, that consider themselves conservative, that is crypto-fascist, still consider the up-risen kids and the murdered child as “punks”, “brats”, “dirty bastards”, and regard the murderer policeman as a hero.

–  Two well known lawyers initially accepted the defense of the murderer, but after talking to him they declined to represent him. Eventually, a lawyer, by the name of Alexis Kougias, who has been in the forefront of the news for various reasons for almost a decade, accepted the job. Kougias stated publicly that the death of the kid was a “misinterpretation”, that the death was the “will of God”, and it is the job of the court to decide “if the death should have happened”. We think that the case of Kougias is of great interest not only for the Greek society but also for the international community of intellectuals, university students, and ordinary people. We suggest that the Kougias case should be followed closely by all.

The conclusion drawn from the incidents of these six days in Greece : The uprising was in reality the uprising of the Greek teenagers. It was a Greek “intifada”. The “weapons” used by the teenagers in this “intifada” were their burning anger, their maturity, and predominately… Seville oranges, the traditional Greek student weapon against the police. Their targets were the police stations. The police stations, whose historical meaning was touched briefly in the above parenthesis.

What might one expect after the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers? The rightist government of Karamanlis (the nephew) is mortally wounded. The “socialists” have been so corrupt during their two decades-long governing of the country that the young Greeks are repelled by them. What the kids are looking towards, are: the anarchists, the Coalition, and the KKE. Also, to a lesser degree towards the Greens.

A year ago the Coalition’s voting power was a little above 3%. A few months ago it rose to almost 16%. Now it is back at about 9%. The KKE for years was constantly around 5%. Now it is close to 7%. The Greens seem to reach close to 3%. It is reasonable to expect that in the next elections the Left (Coalition, KKE, Greens) could achieve a total voting power of around 20% and even much more.

If the above estimates are correct, then the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers will give a hard time to the CIA analysts in Langley. These analysts initiated the 1967 dictatorship of the colonels. The result was that in 1974 the Communist Party was legal after decades of being outlawed. The murder of Alexis by a “copy” of a US “Rambo”-policeman that initiated the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers, could give birth to a new Left in Greece. Also, this is a very good opportunity for the Parecon vision to be promoted among the Greek teens. It seems that the Coalition has an affinity to the Parecon vision.

We shall see what happens. Let us hope that my estimate is correct.

—-

Nikos Raptis was born in Athens, Greece, in 1930. He is a civil engineer. For the last 40 years he has been writing on social matters for papers and magazines (mainly) in Greece. He is the author of “Let Us Talk About Earthquakes, Floods and…the Streetcar” (1981) and “The Nightmare of the Nukes”(1986), both in Greek. He, also, translated into Greek and published Noam Chomsky’s “Year 501”, “Rethinking Camelot” and translated Michael Albert’s “Parecon: Life After Capitalism”. Also, he was a contributor to the book “The Media and the Kosovo Crisis”, edited by Philip Hammond and Edward S. Hermam. He lives in Athens, Greece.