Athens and Midlands
|Flag of Athens and Midlands|
|Motto: The Mother of the Mediterraniean Islands|
|Official Language(s)||English (British) and Greek|
|Leader||Constantina Cataloña (Elected August 2005)|
|Population||2,259,000,000 as of 29th July 2006|
|Currency||Athenian Drachma (δ)= 100 lepta|
|NS Sunset XML|
- 1 Nation Codes
- 2 Introduction
- 3 People and Culture
- 3.1 the Population, Race, Life Expectancy and Ethnicity
- 3.2 the Boeotian Culture
- 3.3 Holidays and customs
- 3.4 Suffrage
- 3.5 Religion
- 3.6 Language
- 4 Education
- 5 Sports
- 6 Politics and Government
- 7 Justice and law
- 8 Transport
- 9 The Media
- 10 Jargon and such...
The international codes for Athens and Midlands are as follows:
- ISO: ARAM
- TLD code: .ath
- International Phone code: 001
- Car plates:
- Athens: ARA
- Boeotia Regions: ARB
- Delphi: ARD
- Corinth: ARC
- International Sports code: ARM
The Boeotian Republic of Athens and Midlands are two islands together since 1976. Nearly every culture and language is represented in a big country with well over a billion people. They have a passion for peace, determination and power. The country does not mind paying huge taxes, because the civilians are some of the biggest earners in the world. Crime is virtually unknown thanks to a well-funded police and security force.
Athens and Midlands is a very big UN player in the region. As UN delegates, the country aims to end years of tensions with New Mediterranean.
Athens and Midlands was never like this before. It used to be one of the most oppressive regimes until Jill Harris toppled Comrade Ogilvy in the Boeotian revolution of 1976. She then decided that the country would adopt a completely new identity, totally consigning the effects of post-communist Athens and Midlands to the archives. Without her and her supporters, the democracy, Boeotian style, and its brave new culture would have never happened. The country is along the very few who were Christened in the early 1200s to actually drop Christianity as a majority and official religion, in 1984.
The people of Athens and Midlands are known as ‘Boeotians’ instead of ‘Athenians’.
‘’Athens and Midlands is a NationStates nation played by Constantina, a member of NSWiki. We hope that this article would widen your knowledge about one of the remote yet active nations in the world.’’
People and Culture
the Population, Race, Life Expectancy and Ethnicity
The population of Athens and Midlands as of 15th February 2006 is 1.303 billion, and there are about 644.1 million Boeotians living outside the country. The Human race accounts for 42% of the population, but the Boeotian Dolls account for 44% of the population. The rest are the Triffids, accounting for 14%. The majority ethnicity is Boeotian, which account for 47% of the population, but this country maintains a multi-cultural distribution with sizable Sudanese, Pacitalian, Muslim, Jewish, Indian and Chinese minorities. Other ethnicities include Africans, Buddhists, French, Aboriginal, Japanese, Filipino and the Sims. The Boeotian Government is currently outlining a campaign to encourage yet more Africans to settle in Athens and Midlands.
The life expectancy is 81 for women, 80 for men and 93 for Boeotian Dolls. The healthcare system is partly-nationalised, as the health system is divided into two types: NHS (Public) and BUPA (Private). The health logistics system is also privatised. Overall, both services are of very high quality.
the Boeotian Culture
In Athens and Midlands, the best things are about change. The ongoing restoration of the ancient buildings of the Boeotian Empire, the construction of beautiful new Hindu temples and twice-monthly explosive blow-downs of old cathedrals and churches made derelict by the slump in the amount of Christian memberships have attracted millions from the world to visit new temples and witness spectacular blow-downs.
Personal freedom and privacy is highly cherished in Athens and Midlands, and there are rarely any CCTV cameras in the country.
The Boeotian culture is based on enjoyment, experience and longevity. Music and food are one of the main parts of the culture. The musical style of ethnic Boeotian is similar to Hindu, Greek and Arabic music mixed together to give wonderful sounds. This style of music is sometimes used in chart-topping singles across the world. In Delphi, mainly influenced by Sudanese migrants, African music is normally the most popular.
Food in the Boeotian culture is widely considered the best the world has to offer just after Pacitalia. The main dishes are based on fresh spaghetti, curries, fresh pasta, organic meat, sturgeon fish, free-range eggs, chicken, Triffid oils, rich olives and olive oils. The most famous dessert is triple chocolate cake with lemon fruit piece on top. Cous-Cous, another original dish is served with chicken, curry and the classic cream of tomato soup, most favoured by Boeotian Dolls.
The Boeotians are passionate about the way food is produced. The most favoured way of producing food is free-range, so that might be a good country for a supporter of free-range food.
Holidays and customs
The following is a list of the major statutory holidays in Athens and Midlands.
|1 January||New Year's Day||The start of the new year. Millions of people gather in Harris Square to see in the New Year, the beginning of the new Gregorian and the new Hijri year|
|21 January||Jill Harris Day||National Holiday commemorating the birth of Jill Harris, the first Royal President of Athens and Midlands|
|21 March||Children's Day||Children and Boeotian Dolls are often given chocolate eggs and olive wreaths in the dozens. Schools are closed for 14 days from the main day of the holiday|
|June 21||Midsummer’s Day||A huge colourful carnival takes place in Athens city and is attended by millions from home and abroad.|
|July 9||Pan-Athena Day||A national holiday in honour of Goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom and patron goddess of Athens|
|September 6||Constantina Day||The birthday of the current Royal president of the country is normally declared a national holiday|
|November 6||Boeotia Day||A national holiday to mark the foundation of the Boeotian Republic of Athens and Midlands|
|November 11||Peace Day||A national holiday to commemorate the heroes of the 1976 revolution against communist forces|
|First Monday of November||Diwali Bank Holiday||Schools and Banks are normally closed on the first Monday of November. Under Boeotian law|
|November 21||Culture Day||A national holiday celebrating international cultures|
|December 25||Transition Day||A national holiday commemorating the surrender of communist troops before Jill Harris on this day in 1976|
|December 31||New Year's Eve||The end of the year|
New legislations on voting ages (Royal Decree No. 145 of 2005 (Electoral Age Act (Boeotian Dolls)), High Decree No. 17 of 2006 (Electoral Age Act (Humans)) and Low Decree No. 83 of 2006 (Electoral Age Act (Triffids))) were passed simultaneously between 23rd and 25th February 2006 meaning that since March 1st 2006, the voting age will be 15 years for Boeotian Dolls, 16 years for Humans and 17 years for Triffids, in time for the next local elections on 3rd August 2006
The minimum age for smoking is 21 and smokers are banned from smoking in public places, pubs and private clubs, and the minimum age to drink alcohol, spirits and beers is 18 years.
the 2005 Census Report on Religion Distribution
- Hinduism 47%
- Pagan and/or Neutral; Atheism 18%
- Buddhism 10%
- Traditional African 8%
- Islam 7%
- Christianity 2%
- Other 2%
In the Boeotian Empire, traditional Greek religions were the main religion of the empire. Since 1271, Christianity was the main religion and was made compulsory until 1976. Since then, Christianity has become less popular as the civilians know more about the outside world, discovering the real truth about the history of the universe. Christianity now only accounts for 2% of the population today.
A legislation laid in 1991 (Royal Decree No. 145 of 2005 (Religious Minorities Representation Act)), abolished the official state religion, and prohibited the three leaders from making a particular religion compulsory.
Hinduism is the currently the most popular religion since 1984. It was the last religion to be made an official state belief before the 1991 decree. At the most recent national census in 2005, about 47% had reported to be Hindu.
However, there has been a rise of people becoming non-religious or agnostic. The increase of knowledge of the outside world since 1976 encouraged Boeotians to re-think their beliefs and discover the truth. The other sectors believe simply in life of pleasure without doctrines. 18% of the population said that they were Non Religious and/or Agnostic in the 2005 census.
‘’NOTE: A new amendment, the High Decree No. 12 of 2004 (Census Act) came into force on 1st March 2006, renaming the existing category ‘Non Religious and/or Agnostic’ to ‘Pagan and/or Neutral’.’’
Buddhism is one of the candidates for the status of ‘The Religion of the Future’. The idea about peace and simplicity convinced 10% of the population to be Buddhist. The migration of Sudanese refugees in 2004 increased the proportion of Traditional African religions to 8% of the population.
the 2005 Census Report on Language Distribution
Both English and Greek are part of the ‘brave new’ Boeotian culture. They became official languages since 1st November 1989 upon the passing of the Royal Decree No. 792 of 1989 (Official Languages Act). The mainly used dialect of English is of British dialect. The percentage differences of the two languages are very close, and most government business is mastered in both languages. The 2005 census shows that 72% of the population can read and write in Greek while 71% can do it in English (British that is). It is not uncommon to find a person that can speak three languages at the same time. The 2005 census showed that 41% can speak three languages.
Greek and English: A Move Away from Communism
During the communist era, it was compulsory to speak Esperanto and other languages were banned until 1976, but Esperanto was never popular in Athens and Midlands. After Athens and Midlands’ liberation from communist rule a program was introduced to encourage citizens to switch languages as part of the brand new identity for Athens and Midlands. It was relatively successful, and the target of 7% of the population was achieved in 1997, reducing to 3% of the population in 2005. Catalona hoped that Esperanto would be as low as 1% by 2010.
Greek and English were both chosen as replacement languages because of their sound and their intelligent construction of the language. The conversion began with the introduction of the High Decree No. 1622 of 1979 (Language Conversion Plan), which introduced free language conversion courses for civilians. The new Generic public signage signs with the new languages started in 1981. Use of Esperanto on new public signs stopped from January 1990 for the health service and education, and others from early 1991, and a majority of signs in Esperanto were removed by 1998.
The transition plan took long because it was difficult to encourage Boeotians to convert from Esperanto to Greek and/or English. The target for Esperanto to officially become a minority language was 20% of the population, making the project harder. That target was finally passed when the percentage reduced from 21% in 1993, to 17% in 1994.
You can still get documents in Esperanto in Athens and Midlands though, because although it is a minority language, it still accounts for 3% of the population, and a law (The Low Decree No. 22 of 2002 (Translation Act)), which requires public organisations to provide documents on request, in languages that account for at least 1.5% of the percentage of the population, clearly says that. So the government is nearly there; just 1.5% more to go for the project to be stamped ‘Complete’. And another thing, there is no law that bans you from speaking Esperanto in public in this country.
Athens and Midlands hosts one of the best education systems in the region. It is currently the only country in the region to achieve 99% literacy.
Nursery (2-4 years)
This is the first, optional education where young Boeotians learn basic skills like reading, writing, basic verbal communication and positive interaction. Nursery Education is intended for children aged 2-4 years old, and lasts until the year in which the student reaches the age of four. Enrolment is not compulsory, and does not have to take place at two years old, meaning some students are only in Nursery Education for as little as six months while some are in it for two. This does not tend to ultimately make a difference in a student's communication skills and intelligence.
Infants (Years F-2) and Junior (3-6). Ages of students range from 4-11
Once pupils reach 4 years old, compulsory education takes effect and pupils move up to primary school, starting in Infants (Reception and years 1-2), where they build on their basic communication and interaction and improve their reading skills. This is also their first year in mathematical and problem solving activities. At junior level, pupils improve their mathematical, scientific, social and language skills along with creating a foundation for musical and physical ability.
‘’Years 7-10. Ages of students range from 11-15’’
Students move into Secondary education when they finish Year 6. In the four years (7-10), the students are further educated, and critical thinking is introduced. This education period helps to build leadership and co-operation skills along with introducing new forms of enrichment in the form of specialised studies. Students graduate when they have completed their 10th year and passed all of their national examinations for courses that include such a test.
Age of students range from 18 years
Education at this stage ceases to be compulsory at this stage. To begin a post-secondary education, year 10 or an international equivalent must have been completed. Athens and Midlands has numerous high-quality post secondary institutions that have earned the country the title of being one of the ‘hidden gems’ for students to learn abroad. Of course, Pacitalia is more centred on its own students than international students, but about 80 million foreign students call this country home during the school year.
Athens and Midlands’ fond interest for sport can be traced back to the Boeotian Empire and the birthplace of the early Olympic Games. Ancient sports like athletics, discus throw and shot put have survived to become one of the national sports in the country.
Other national sports include football, rugby, bowls and gymnastics. The Boeotian rugby, gymnastics and bowls team have provided one of the biggest international upsets in major tournaments which helped Athens and Midlands secure the high ranks of these particular sports.
Here is a quick glance at Athens and Midlands’ recent results:
- World #7 in Rugby (Rugby World Cup)
- World #2 in Gymnastics (Gymnastics World Cup)
- World #1 in Bowls
Politics and Government
The parliamentary system has seen turbulent times recently. But the Royal presidency has been very robust and tall in recent times, even sacking Brutus in 2003 after the Gravelly Hill war.
There were massive sceptism when former communist party leader Comrade Defacto returned to democratic politics in 1988 after winning the seat in the Istiala constituency. He was forced to switch parties and he became a Kadima MP, promising no more pre-1976 policies. The foundation of the MEC in 1987 saw huge protests in response to fears that New Mediterranean may threaten to steal power from the country. New Mediterranean was expelled from the MEC in 1988.
Khan Brutus was the most corrupt leaders of the country so far. He was criticised by the UN Human Rights Council in 1999 for refusing to accept refugees of Sims during the Big Bloody War in SimNation. It was only the intervention by the Royal Presidency that the Sims were finally allowed into the country. He faced further criticism when allegations of drug abuse came in 2001, which were proved false. But when the revolution in Gravelly Hill, broke out, Brutus ordered his armed forces to intervene, resulting in deaths of 25,321 people. Catalona finally sacked him in July 2003 after a brawl with a Pacitalian Ambassador in the Pacitalian Embassy. He was replaced by Merlin Howard as the interim High President. The presidency was restored in August 2004.
In 2003, there was major criticism for the lack of representation of the Lower Presidency by the UN Human Rights Council. No suitable, cost-effective manner for reforming the current system has been considered since the issue climbed onto the political spotlight seven years ago.
The Electoral System
The 1976 constitution of Athens and Midlands calls for a honest, robust and democratic parliamentary system, in which plurality elects three parliaments, the Royal, the High and the Lower in general parliamentary elections in one day, at different frequencies. The constitutionalised tri-parliament system, which can be traced back to the early forms during the ancient Boeotian Empire, is directly elected by citizens on the electoral roll and by popular vote. The elections determine the names and faces of 120 Royal Parliament MPs, 215 High Parliament MPs and 512 Low Parliament MPs. The leading party needs at least 10 seats to form a government without a coalition, otherwise it will result in a 'hung parliament', meaning that another election will be called for that parliament.
In an event that the total of independent candidates become a majority over other parties, then the Independent Co-operative Consortium will be responsible for the government of independent candidates, provided that they have a majority of 10 seats or more.
The Royal Presidency
The Royal President of the Royal Parliament has the role of the head of state until they pass away, retire or resign. The Royal President appoints a Deputy Prime Minister which temporarily assumes the presidency if the incumbent passes away, retires or resigns, until the next July or August when elections would be called. The Royal President can serve as long as he or she would desire to, and elections of the president are called when he or she dies, retires or resigns. The Royal Presidents do not normally belong to a party but no current legislation bans a member of political parties from taking up this role. The last recent Royal Presidential election was in August 1985, and its MPs of the Royal Parliament are elected once every Olympiad year. Currently, Solidarity holds a natural near-monopoly of the seats in the Presidency, due to popularity.
- 1976 Jill Harris (Solidarity)
- 1985 Constantina Catalona (Solidarity)
The High Presidency
The High President of Athens and Midlands is the head of government. The Senior Deputy High President is appointed by the High President and assumes the presidency if the incumbent passes away or resigns. The Junior Deputy High President takes over the position of the Senior Deputy High President in this scenario. The maximum term for each High Presidency is five years, and the High President is open to serve as many terms depending on the election results.
- 1976 Constantina Catalona (Solidarity Co-op)
- 1985 Kevin Burns (Kadima)
- 1988 Neil King (Kadima)
- 1992 Rebecca Graham (Hamas)
- 1996 Khan Brutus (Likud)
- 2003 Merlin Howard (Solidarity)
- 2004 Gianna Demakopoulos (Kadima)
The Low Presidency
The Low Presidency has the role of head of government as well. The procedure is similar to the above, except that the maximum period for each term is four years, and the electoral commission aims to call elections at an Olympiad year.
- 1976 Nydia Harper (Solidarity)
- 1982 Margaret Persephone (Christian)
- 1984 John Powers (Likud)
- 1988 Christopher Kali (Likud)
- 1991 Aristole Johnston Green (Kadima)
- 1992 Michelle Walter (Likud)
- 1996 Konstantinos Lavrentios (Kadima)
- 2004 Stelios Panagiotis (Hamas)
|Party||Leader(s)||Description||Seats in the Royal Parliament of 120, the High of 240 and the Low of 480|
|Solidarity of Athens||Constantina Catalona||The free-winger Solidarity of Athens (Solidarity) are the majority government of the Royal Parliament formed by the late Jill Harris, and the current leader Constantina Catalona aspires to end centuries of conflict with the New Mediterranean and promote the break-up of that country. The party has been supporting the independence of Gravelly Hill since 2001 and ousted Khan Brutus as leader of the High Parliament for his intervention to the war, which caused international outrage on a well established political system. But thanks to Solidarity, the system returned to normal with the election of Kadima and Gianna Demakopoulos. Solidarity is specialised specifically in the Royal Parliament and rarely represent in other parliaments. Other policies that Solidarity focuses on, is health and a comprehensive early-age education system.||90, 21, 5|
|The Kadima Party||Gianna Demakopoulos||The centrist Kadima Party (Kadima) describes itself as 'a party based on what the country wants’. Kadima promotes a mixed economy both nationalised and privatised. They also believe that the murder of children should be punishable by death, which is currently in law. They believe that Athens and Midlands should play a massive role in UN resolution and proposal voting on behalf of the entire region. The Kadimas share Athens and Midlands’ desire for a world-class economy and the reduction of taxes. The party helped Athens and Midlands win the position of UN Delegate in 2005, making the country one of the big players in the UN Delegacy Council. They are the opposition to the Royal Parliament’s current government, the Solidarity of Athens||16, 85, 37|
|The Hamas of Athens||Stelios Panagiotis|| Note: this party is nothing to do with the Palestinian movement in real-life.
The middle left-wing Hamas (The Islamics) is a strong player in the Low Presidency, and the party aspires to turn Athens and Midlands in to a very rich country. They are economically active and believe that this country should stand out in the world map. Despite its Islamic origins, they also believe in religious tolerance and the party is a strong voice on finance and debt-relief. They also call for more power in the Low Presidency over cultural affairs. The 2004 elections saw them narrowly miss a hung parliament, with a majority of exactly 10 seats.
|3, 25, 143|
|The Likud Party||Khan Brutus||The right-wing Likud party (Ayes to the Right) are the opposition to the current low presidency and government, and believes that Athens and Midlands should quit the United Nations and its delegacy and preserve its own interests. They believe that the other two nations in the region should not be ruled by one country. The party has seen a decline in popularity since the Gravelly Hill War and in the last election the ‘Ayes to the Right’ dropped to third place in the High Presidency elections in 2003 which left the Greens to rise to the opposition. To add insult to injury, they also lost the opposition of the low presidency to the The Independent Co-operative Consortium.||0, 13, 110|
|The Boeotian Green Party||Aristole Mandris||The middle-right wing Boeotian Green Party (Green), despite only being 6 years old and younger than the other parties, provided one of the major upsets in the last High Presidency elections in 2003, and rose to high popularity, taking over two-thirds of the seats belonging to Likud. Their policies include the conservation of the environment of Athens and Midlands, the push for long-term neutrality from war, and the push for a single central bank to issue Athens and Midlands’ Athenian Drachmas. It is widely predicted that the Greens would win the High Presidency over the ruling Kadima Party.||3, 72, 50|
|The Christian Athenians||Rowan Dellas||The conservative Christian Athenians (Missionaries) have severely lost popularity since the popularity of Hinduism and Atheism surpassed Christianity in a period between 1984 and 1992. The party’s main aim now is to convince the country to revert back to Christianity by outlining the positive values of the religion. However, this has not been successful. In 1997, Rowan admitted that the country had known already that the downsides of Christianity had outweighed the benefits.||0, 5, 20|
|The Independent Co-operative Consortium||Thomas Kingsley||The Independent Co-operative Party (Co-op), formed in 1988, is a consortium representing independent candidates. If a significant number of independent candidates are elected to outrank other parties, then this party will be responsible for the governing of the country as a single body, instead of a coalition, which is harder to implement. Although it specialises in the High Parliament, the consortium has unexpectedly done relatively well in the Low parliament, and critics predict a possible Co-op victory in 2008.||7, 19, 133|
|The Athenian Communist Party||Comrade Wilson||The Athenian Communist Party (Communist) are banned from representing in the Boeotian Government following the 1976 revolution. They were responsible for an oppressive regime which severely compromised the freedom of speech. When Comrade Defacto became a MP in 1988, he had to represent the Kadima party.||N/A|
Independence of Gravelly Hill
On the 28th June 2006, Gravelly Hill formally declared independence as the Republic of Simtropia. Six million citizens are currently registered as citizens of the new country.
You can find out more about Simtropia here.
Justice and law
The Boeotian police force are one of the most well-organised police forces in the world. They are nicknamed as the 'Though Police' because of the efficient intelligence and security services, therefore preventing a majority of terrorist attacks.
The domestic law in Athens and midlands is one of the most established in the world. It is one of the countries that give out the best support in the world to victims of crime, even if crime rates are low. The penalties for the killing of a person under 19 years old and/or over 55 years old are harsher than the penalties for killing adults. The sentence for this offence is life imprisonment, although in the most serious cases, the death penalty can be given to the murderer. The death penalty in Athens and Midlands is done using the electric chair. The last time the death penalty was carried out was in 2003 on Graham Derris for the murder of 15-year old Amy Kember.
Below are some punishments for law-breaking:
- Treason: Minimum of 25 years, maximum of life imprisonment
- Child and/or Elderly First Degree Murder: Mandatory life sentence, option for the death penalty in extremely serious cases
- Child and/or Elderly Manslaughter: Mandatory life sentence
- Other First Degree Murder: Minimum of 40 years, maximum of life imprisonment
- Other Manslaughter: Minimum of 25 years, maximum of life imprisonment
- Civilian Trafficking: 25 years to 70 years for Human Trafficking; 15 years to 42 years for Triffid Trafficking; 30 years to life for Boeotian Doll Trafficking; life for Child Trafficking.
- Tax Evasion: up to δ750 fine and/or up to 5 years imprisonment
- Hit and Run offences: Minimum of 2 years. if the victim dies, the charge is upgraded to manslaughter, or Child and/or Elderly Manslaughter if the victim is under 19 or over 55.
- Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice: Minimum 12 months, Maximum 54 months
- Drug Trafficking: Minimum 8 months, Maximum 15 years
- Burglary: 16 months and δ200 fine
- Mugging: 300 hours community service or 6 months in prison
Athens and Midlands has four airports. The main airport, Oaka International Airport is located outside the orbital motorway of West Athens. The three other airports are Delphi National Airport, located just outside Corinth; Sparta Airport, 7 miles west of Sparta City centre; and Karapolis Airport, near Delphi
The international Airport codes are:
- Oaka International Airport: AOI
- Delphi National Airport: ADN
- Sparta Airport: ASA
- Karapolis Airport: AKP
Boeotian viewers are treated to a diverse range of world-class television channels which deliver all sorts of domestic and international programming. Because of the Royal Decree No. 12 of 1992 (Communication Accessability), subscription and pay-per-view channels are now abolished, and access to all channels broadcast to the country are free of charge, only depending on the channel storage capacity of the receiver. The television system in Athens and Midlands are well-regulated, and sex channels are banned in this country. As the working hours are confined to the Sims only, daytime programming (the region between 9am and 6pm) has become the most watched period of television.
Types of Television
Boeotian viewers can access all the channels using a set-top box capable of receiving at least 1536 channels. They can also get a television with an integrated BM22 receiver. Athens and Midlands currently broadcast programmes in the follwing types of signal with both BM21 and BM22 standards:
- Digital Terrestrial
- Digital Satellite
- Analogue (until 2011)
Analouge transmissions will be phased out, (BBC) region by region between 2009 and 2011:
- 2009: Acropolis
- 2010: Corinth and Midlands
- 2011: Athens, Boeotia and Athine
BM22: Boeotia Multiplex Mechanism 2
Since May 1st 2004, the television industry started broadcasting channels with a new television mechanism capable of broadcasting up to 1024 channels, and 512 interactive services (with 10001 pages per service), both simultaneously in one transmitter. In total, 1536 services can be broadcast. Named the Boeotia Multiplex Mechanism 2 (BM22), the mechanism can relay more channels in the same way as with a normal transmitter, because the size of the memory and storage is four times bigger than the existing multiplex mechanism (BM21). As a result, more channels can broadcast 24 hours a day, and more interactive services are available. Television programmes are broadcast in channels 1-1024, and interactive services are broadcast from channels 1025 to 1536.
For a viewer to be able to access all 1536 channels, a set top box tested for compatibility with BM22 standards is required. The mechanism is also compatible with High-definition television, which begins broadcasting in early-2007, depending on the demand.
The BBC has taken note of the new mechanism, and it has expanded it interactive services to sixteen outputs, six of them (channels 1035-1040) for BBC News Interactive. During the Olympic games in Athens City, a total of 7 outputs (channels 1025-1031) were used to provide coverage.
On 1st January 2012, BM21 signals will be phased out, a year from the date when analogue signals will finally be switched off in the Athens region
Major broadcasters have become insitutions of the Boeotian society. The BBC, RoAN, TVS and the News Channel are famous for well-known faces, innovative operations and its unique origins.
The BBC, the British Broadcasting Corporation is an independent organisation that runs the main television services in Athens and Midlands. They have no advertisements, and it is funded by a licence fee, which all households owning a television have to pay. It is also backed by the Royal Decree No. 3 of 1978 (Independence of Public Broadcasting), which secures the BBC's independence from advertising. The channels run by the BBC are: BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News 24, BBC Parliament Athens, BBC Athens (in Greek), CBBC and Cbeebies. The BBC regional output is divided into six regions. they are Athens, Corinth, Midlands, Boeotia, Athine and the Acropolis.
The BBC, founded in 1922, began transmissions for Athens and Midlands in 1939 with the beginning of the World Service in Greek. After the revolution of 1976, the BBC expanded to transmit BBC One and Two to the country. BBC News 24 and BBC Three started in 1997, followed by BBC Four and Parliament in 1998. CBBC and Cbeebies started in early-2001.
The BBC in Athens and Midlands is famous for the Athens regional news magazine The Agora, which was presented by the current High President, Gianna Demakopoulos in the mid-nineties. Another politician, Thomas Kingsley of Co-op fronts Points of View every Sunday. Soap Dramas have also made institutions like EastEnders and Sydney Street, and Football is comprehensively covered by the BBC. The news coverage by the BBC is one of the best in the world, and envied by many. The most watched programme in the BBC is in fact a news programme itself, being the Ten O'clock News Hour on BBC news 24 and BBC One.
The Republic of Athens network, better known as RoAN is a former public broadcasting service and formerly closely linked to the government of Athens and Midlands. It is currently in financial trouble.
The service started in 1976 as an independent and replacement state network for another state television service NMPB of the New Mediterranean. It has four channels, RA1 and RA2, English-language (RAE) and Arabic-language (RAA). It has two regional outputs, Athine Islands and Midlands.
However, a news service (RAI), and plans is to launch an interactive service and start broadcasting news and major programmes in widescreen have been put on hold after the corporation revealed massive defecits of δ1.2 billion early in June 2006, as a result of overspending to keep up with the programming quality above the BBC. In reaction, the Boeotian government has announced proposals to revoke RoAN's 'royal charter' by the end of 2006.
A report released on 26th June 2006 by the independent media study organisation BMSA (the Boeotian Media Study Association), warned that RoAN that their survival could depend on third-party advertising and the sponsoring of their programmes. The President of the association, Bill Hill stated on the BBC's Newsnight programme on 22nd June 2006 that RoAN may have to show commercials every five minutes like the SBN, and they may even have to do ambush marketing, which could lower viewing figures further.
On 6th August 2006, the news service RAI reduced its airtime to 14 hours, from 6am to 8pm to further save money. The RoAN news service has now closed, and the news source comes from TVS.
The KTB became the latest broadcaster to become commercial-free when the new 'royal charter', the Royal Decree No. 16 of 2006 (Public Broadcasting (KTB)), came to effect on Saturday 1st July 2006. The new royal charter will mean that the licence fee will increase by 25%.
As a result of the new charter, The KTB showed its last commercial (by Andrex Toilet Rolls) on KTB Premier at 11:57 pm on the 30th June 2006. The last sponsored programme, Get Stuffed (sponsored by Knorr Foods) went out on the broadcaster's Network 4 channel at 10:51 pm on the same day.
The KTB today runs numerous channels, in which many of them are under the Network brand. The channels are: KTB Premier (the organisation's first channel when the KTB was launched in 1981), Network 1-4 (General Broadcasting), Network Newsline, Network Geography, Network Knowledge, Network History, Network Movies 1-9, Network Kids, Network Jr., Network Sports 1-3, Network Challenge, Network Teleshopping, Network World, Music24, and KTB RGYC (named after the fastext buttons, red, green, yellow and blue).
KTB is now run by a board of twenty five Governors, led by Baron Chris Peel.
The News Channel
The News Channel, formerly run by Reuters is one of the most watched non-commercial and independent news channel. In 2004, 1.65 million more viewers than BBC News 24 watched the News Channel election coverage. It is a low-cost but high quality project supported by a group of employees at Reuters, the BBC and TVS. It aims to deliver the clearest picture of world and national events without advertisments.
The channel started broadcasting in June 1997 after a group of employees at Reuters and their families started the low-cost news channel. The famous 'N' logo was made by Best Impressions Design Limited in 2002, and has become a familiar identity ever since, as symbol of the success of low-cost television channels.
Early in 2006, The News Channel became an independent company, The News Channel Company, and widened its news sources to include the BBC, TVS, AP, AFP and KTB.
Television South International (TVS) is the largest commercial television network in Athens and Midlands. It started as an ITV franchise in the Hephaistos region 1982 and took over ITV in 2002. It now operates Independent Television (ITV) and has channels including TVS, TVS Sports, ITV 1, 2, 3 and 4, ITV News Channel, CITV and ITV Play. TVS also has an international channel, TVS World News, which broadcasts around the world.
AIT: Athens Independent Television
As a result of the takeover of ITV in 2002 by TVS and the withdrawal of the franchise system there, The AIT (Athens Independent Television) was formed to suceed ITV's outgoing franchise system. it consists of seven franchises which are awarded to the highest bidder, every 10 years.
The current franchise holders are:
- Athens and East: Parthenon Television
- Midlands, Sparta and Central: Central independent Television
- Corinth and West: Corinthos
- Gravelly Hill: Sealand Television
- Boeotia and the North East: BNTV (Boeotia and North TeleVision)
- South Midland Islands: Troy Television
- North: Hyde and Delphi
Simlish Television (SimsTV, SBN)
In response to the influx of Simlish refugees following the Big Bloody War in SimNation, SimsTV, the main commercial broadcaster for SimNation started broadcasting in Simlish only in 2004. There are four channels, Action, Romance, Horror and Cartoons. There are commercials for the four channels every seven minutes.
Sims Broadcasting Network (SBN) is another Simlish-only commercial broadcaster, and has commercials every five minutes. The channels they broadcast are: SBN, KidzTube, The Yummy Channel, SimStation Sports and the Workout Channel.
The MBC was the only radio service until December 1st 2005, when changes to the law on radio broadcasting to allow commercial and independent broadcasting took effect. The law's lauch date was bought earlier because of high demand for diverse entertainment. Regional radio broadcasting was also introduced early across the country.
MBC Radio Service
The MBC Radio system is non-commercial as with their TV service and there are 6 stations currently in operation:
- MBC Home Service (Speech Based)
- MBC World Service
- West Athens Service (Political discussion)
- MBC Journal Service (News)
- MBC Music Service
- MBC Arts Service
Major Commercial Radio Broadcasters
- City Radio Group (operates West FM)
- Virgin Radio
- Music Radio Group (operates Western FM, Coast FM and Swan AM)
- Lingua Group (operates 6 stations with different languages: English, Greek, Spanish, Polish French and Turkish)
- AMIR (Athens and Midlands Independent Radio)
Jargon and such...
Terms used by the Athens and Midlands government are explained here