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Greek Foreign Minister on Images of Nations

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis outlined the factors that impact a country’s international image, addressing a two-day Greek Politics Specialist Group (GPSG) international conference in Athens on the theme “Images of Nations: Strategic Communication, Soft Power and the Media,” which examines images of nations in an internationalised environment with the focus on possibilities and prospects for Greece. Referring to mass media, the foreign minister noted that the rapid technological developments of the past two centuries have “contributed to amazing changes, from newspapers to radio, television and Internet communication.”  Bakoyannis referred to the case of Athens, comparing the city’s international image during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games with that presented during last December’s incidents. As a result of the public image of the Olympic Games, tourism to Athens rose. “Tourists were going not only to the islands, but also to Athens … the city that was presented with and had the image that we desired, the result positive. December 2008. Athens in flames and the banner on the Acropolis… I had said in parliament at the time that the people who raised the banner on the Acropolis should have thought of the magnitude of the damage they were causing to the country. No matter how much one invests in and fights for the country’s public image, such a banner can destroy your entire effort.”  The issues under examination at the conference, which is under the aegis of the foreign ministry, include: Internet as a tool of public diplomacy and foreign policy; soft power as a part of the high-level strategy of states, and the institutional dimensions of shaping policies regarding a state’s image. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: FM Dora Bakoyannis’ speech at the international conference on “Images of nations: Strategic communication, soft power and the media”