[-empyre-] Prime Minister George Papandreou steps down

NeMe nemeorg at gmail.com
Tue Nov 8 01:27:44 EST 2011

> I hate to interrupt the flow of your discussion right now but I'd love
> to hear about what you think the effects of  Greece's Prime Minister
> George Papandreou stepping down and how that may affect funding in
> your part of the world? I realize that you are writing from Cyprus but
> I'm curious about the news and how this announcement may network out
> in terms of economic flow, culture, and art to the area?  Just heard
> the news and wanted to take advantage of your being online.  Renate

Both the Cypriot government and private banks have invested heavily in
Greece in order to help bolster the Greek economy so there does exist
a great risk of our own economy collapsing should Greece default. We
share this risk however  with all  other countries in the eurozone.
The virtually total funding cuts to the arts in Greece do not directly
affect or influence what is happening in Cyprus except for the
positive fact that quite a few NGO's here are collaborating with their
Greek equivalents as the funding support in Cyprus is healthier in

The main 'blow' to the Cyprus economy occurred last July when 10
containers of Iranian ammunitions from a Russian cargo vessel heading
for Syria exploded and destroyed the main power station of the country
which was responsible for 65% of our power grid. The Cyprus government
confiscated the cargo responding to UN request.

The problem for arts funding in Cyprus (which is the same for this
region if not absolutely every where else) is that, despite
unemployment, there is an acute under staffing in the cultural
department of the Ministry of Education & Culture. This situation has
existed for many years which indicates clearly the attitude of all
political parties toward the arts in this country. Also most
overworked and overwhelmed government employees assessing cultural
proposals are not professionally familiar with the content they are
assessing so this situation allows for ingratiating favouritism and
political nepotism to be the deciding factor.

Nevertheless, for the Greek speaking community, the  announcement of
Papandreou's resignation has been anticipated for a few weeks now so
it comes as no shock.  According to many, if Greece defaults it might
signal the end of Euro(pe). But as Zizek asked in a lecture he gave in
Athens  late last year, “the end of which Europe?”

Helene Black & Yiannis Colakides

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