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Εκδήλωση Ελληνικής Πρεσβείας στη Βαρσοβία – «Προοπτικές και Ευκαιρίες Οικονομικής Συνεργασίας Ελλάδας-Πολωνίας»

The Greek Ambassador Gavriil Koptsidis

 H Ελληνική Πρεσβεία στη Βαρσοβία διοργάνωσε στις 2/12 σε κεντρικό ξενοδοχείο της πόλης επιχειρηματική εκδήλωση με θέμα «Προωθώντας τις προοπτικές και ευκαιρίες οικονομικής συνεργασίας Ελλάδας-Πολωνίας» (Forwarding the perspectives and opportunities of business cooperation between Greece and Poland).
Στόχος της εκδήλωσης, η ενημέρωση της πολωνικής επιχειρηματικής κοινότητας, οικονομικών και παραγωγικών φορέων για τις δυνατότητες που προσφέρει η ελληνική οικονομία σε ξένους επενδυτές και επιχειρηματίες. Παράλληλα κατεγράφη το αυξανόμενο ενδιαφέρον που παρουσιάζει η πολωνική αγορά για ανάληψη επιχειρηματικών δραστηριοτήτων από ενδιαφερόμενες επιχειρήσεις.
Στο χαιρετισμό του ο Έλληνας Πρέσβυς στη Βαρσοβία κ. Γαβριήλ Κοπτσίδης, ανέφερε ότι βασικοί στόχοι της εκδήλωσης είναι να θέσει τις βάσεις για μια διμερή εποικοδομητική συνεργασία στους τομείς του εμπορίου και των επενδύσεων.
Ο κ. Marek Korowajczyk, Διευθυντής Ευρωπαϊκών Υποθέσεων του πολωνικού Υπουργείου Οικονομίας, μίλησε για τις δυνατότητες που προσφέρει η Πολωνία, «ένας σύγχρονος και δυναμικός επιχειρηματικός εταίρος».
Ο κ. Christiano Pinzauti και η κα Magdalena Kostulska από τις Συνομοσπονδίες Πολωνών Εργοδοτών Lewiatan και KPP αντίστοιχα, μίλησαν για τις συμβολή των Συνομοσπονδιών στην ανάπτυξη της πολωνικής επιχειρηματικότητας και την οικονομική ενσωμάτωση της Πολωνίας στην ΕΕ, καθώς και τις προσπάθειες για ενίσχυση της οικονομικής συνεργασίας Ελλάδας-Πολωνίας.
Ο κ. Γιάννης Πατσιαβός, Διευθυντής Διεθνών Σχέσεων του Συνδέσμου Ελληνικών Επιχειρήσεων και Βιομηχανιών (ΣΕΒ), αναφέρθηκε στο δυναμισμό του ελληνικού επιχειρηματικού στοιχείου στις περιφερειακές αγορές κυρίως των Βαλκανίων και της Μαύρης Θάλασσας.
Δύο εκπρόσωποι δυναμικών ελληνικών επιχειρήσεων που δραστηριοποιούνται στην Πολωνία, κατέθεσαν τις δικές τους εμπειρίες (ο κ. Kazimierz Stanczak, Γενικός Διευθυντής της τράπεζας Polbank -θυγατρική της ελληνικής Eurobank-EFG- και ο κ. Tomasz Walczuk, Διευθυντής Επιχειρηματικής Ανάπτυξης της κατασκευαστικής εταιρείας J&P Avax).
Τέλος, ο επικεφαλής του Γραφείου ΟΕΥ κ. Θεόδωρος Ξυπολιάς, επισήμανε ότι η επιτυχημένη παρουσία και οι δραστηριότητες των δύο μεγάλων ελληνικών επενδυτικών εταιρειών στην πολωνική αγορά – της Polbank EFG και της J&P Avax- αποτελούν τα κατάλληλα παραδείγματα επιθετικής αναπτυξιακής πολιτικής σε μια νέα, σύγχρονη και πολλά υποσχόμενη αγορά, όπως η πολωνική. Προέτρεψε τις ελληνικές επιχειρήσεις να ανακαλύψουν την Πολωνία και να επενδύσουν σε αυτήν, ενώ παράλληλα υπογράμμισε ότι οι πολωνικές εταιρείες μπορούν να βρουν την θέση τους στην ελληνική αγορά και να επενδύσουν σε τομείς όπως : ο τουρισμός και τα κτηματομεσιτικά, η ενέργεια, οι υποδομές και το περιβάλλον, καθώς και η τεχνολογία.

 
 

The audience at the seminar

Spotkanie biznesowe zorganizowane przez Ambasadę Grecji w Warszawie – „Perspektywy i szanse współpracy gospodarczej pomiędzy Grecją a Polską”

Ambasada Grecji w Warszawie zorganizowała 2 grudnia 2009 roku biznesowe spotkanie pod tytułem „Promując perspektywy i szanse współpracy gospodarczej pomiędzy Polską a Grecja“ („Forwarding the perspectives and opportunities of business cooperation between Greece and Poland“).
Realizując powyższe spotkanie postawiono sobie za cel poinformowanie polskiej społeczności biznesowej, gospodarczych instytucjii oraz przedsiębiorstw produkcyjnych o możliwościach, jakie oferuje grecka gospodarka zagranicznym inwestorom i przedsiębiorcom.
Zamysłem spotkania było odnotowanie wzrastającego zainteresowania polskim rynkiem do podejmowania działań biznesowych przez przedsiębiorstwa.
W swojej mowie powitalnej Ambasador Grecji w Warszawie Pan Gabriel Koptsidis zaznaczył, że podstawowym celem spotkania jest stworzenie podstaw do dwustronnej, konstruktywnej współpracy w dziedzinie handlu i inwestycji.
Pan Marek Korowajczyk, Dyrektor Spraw Europejskich polskiego Ministerstwa Gospodarki przedstawił możliwości, jakie stwarza Polska jako „nowoczesny i dynamiczny partner biznesowy”.
Pan Cristiano Pinzauti, wiceprezydent Polskiej Konfederacji Pracodawców Prywatnych Lewiatan oraz Pani Magdalena Kostulska, p.o. Dyrektora Departamentu Zagranicznego Konfederacji Polskich Pracodawców mówili o wkładzie Konfederacji w rozwój polskiej przedsiębiorczości, o uczestnictwie Polski w UE oraz o staraniach ukierunkowanych na wsparcie współpracy gospodarczej pomiędzy Polską a Grecją.  
Pan Yannis Patsiavos, Dyrektor Stosunków Międzynarodowych Federacji Greckich Przedsiębiorców SEV wspomniał o dynamice greckiej przedsiębiorczości na rynkach regionalnych głównie na obszarze Bałkanów oraz Morza Czarnego.
Przedstawiciele dwóch dynamicznie rozwijających się przedsiębiorstw działających w Polsce opowiedzieli o swoich doświadczeniach (Pan Kazimierz Stańczak, Dyrektor Generalny Polbank – oddział banku greckiego EFG Eurobank oraz Pan Tomasz Walczuk, Dyrektor Rozwoju  Gospodarczego i Ochrony Środowiska  J&P Avax).
Wreszcie, Radca ds. Handlowych i Ekonomicznych Pan Theodore Xypolias zaznaczył udaną obecność oraz działania dwóch dużych firm inwestujących na rynku polskim – Polbank EFG oraz J&P Avax, uznając je za odpowiedni przykład agresywnej polityki rozwoju na nowym, nowoczesnym i obiecującym rynku, jakim jest Polska. Zachęcił greckiej przedsiębiorstwa, by odkryły Polskę i inwestowały na jej terenie, podkreślając jednocześnie, ze polskie firmy mogą znaleźć miejsce na greckim rynku i zainwestować w takich dziedzinach gospodarki jak turystyka, nieruchomości, energia, infrastruktura, środowisko oraz technologia.

Business seminar - the panel

“Greek Foreign Policy: Challenges and Prospects”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Addressing the conference “Greek Foreign Policy: Challenges and Prospects” held yesterday on the premises of the Foreign Affairs Ministry,  Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis referred to Greece’s foreign policy priorities centering on economic diplomacy, relations with Greeks abroad and green development.

Kouvelis stressed that the Balkans, the wider Black Sea region and that of Eastern Mediterranean is of particular interest to Greece.
He therefore took the opportunity to refer to the country’s upcoming Chairmanship in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC, June 1 to December 31, 2010),  forwarding the message that, in its capacity, Greece is committed to strengthen the organisation’s role with respect to its member-states and the region’s economic development.
Finally, on green development, Kouvelis emphasised Greece’s need to live up to the challenges of the new situation taking shape globally. The conference was organised by the Institute of International Relations, an Athens-based think tank affiliated with Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences.

United Nations Climate Change Conference begins

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Global attention is focused on Copenhagen which is hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference, beginning today, and continuing through December 18.
Greece fully endorses the decisions of the European Union concerning climate change. Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Tina Birbili announced that Greece is willing to commit to the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by the year 2020.
She said that Copenhagen talks must deliver a legally binding document which will incorporate the Bali Road Map and the ‘Kyoto Protocol.
She further noted that by 2010 Greece will have presented a time-framework and announced Prime Minister George Papandreou’s initiative to promote together with the Spanish EU Presidency a post-Copenhagen action plan for the protection of the Mediterranean from climate change. 
Ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change: UN Climate Change Conference- Position of Greece; George Papandreou personal website: Position on Climate Change

Prespes Lake Preservation Agreement

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The prime ministers of Greece, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania, on November 27, sent a joint letter to the UN Secretary General, the European Union and the Danish prime minister regarding the environmental protection of the Prespes Lake region shared by all three countries.
After the tripartite informal meeting in a lake-side village on the Greek side, Greek premier George Papandreou told reporters that the three leaders agreed to sign an agreement – in early February 2010 – to enhance the environmental protection of the Prespes Lake region.
They also promised to promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation in water management and take measures to tackle pollution and soil erosion. 
Papandreou also discussed with his FYROM counterpart, Nikola Gruevski, investment projects, the possibility of abolishing visas for FYROM nationals, as well as the “name issue,” for which the Greek premier said that new impetus should be given to the ongoing talks for its resolution.
With his Albanian counterpart, Sali Berisha, the Greek premier discussed economic relations, and minority and immigration issues. 
UNESCO World Heritage: The area of the Prespes Lakes 
Greek News Agenda: Meeting @ Prespes

International Media on Greece

 

 

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) In their article “Can Greece lead the way” (9.11.2009) for “openDemocracy,” Anthony Barnett and Mary Kaldor write about the fact that though the left across Europe flounders in the wake of the economic crisis – where the centre right is resurgent – the Greek socialist party under George Papandreou could prove the exception with its dramatic election victory.    
They argue that Papandreou’s goal is an innovative form of progressive government that combines green development, democratic openness, and international reconciliation.
“Papandreou is an exceptionally original and open-minded politician, wishing to lead both Greece and PASOK towards a genuinely far-sighted response to the financial and environmental crisis and the international challenges facing Europe.”

Greece: “Green Development” in Olympia Region

PLANT(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Five ministers accompanied the premier during his visit to the area, along with Spanish urban planner Josep Acebillo, who will have the central role in designing the restoration of the area.  The regional plan features the establishment of a new International School of Sports, Olympism and Civilisation, and the further expansion of the International Olympic Truce Centre, so that Olympia could become the centre for peace and cooperation initiatives among nations.  A new bill will focus on green development, which could become a model for the whole country, Papandreou pointed out, during his visit to the region. The project is “an initial effort to attract international interest for offers and investment in the region,” he said.

Greece: Leaving the Car at Home

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Public transportation will be free for one day on Tuesday, September 22 as part of the celebration of European Mobility Week (Sept. 16-22).

Motorists are invited to leave their cars at home, use public transport and become acquainted with the new upgraded services offered in big cities.  Apart from events scheduled in Athens, Thessaloniki will also host a bicycle race, starting at 18.00 on the same day at Aristotelous Square.   Marking its 8th edition, European Mobility Week consists of a campaign promoting sustainable transportation. The idea behind the campaign is to raise public awareness of the need to act against pollution and deterioration of urban quality of life.   The European Mobility Week started in the European Union in 2002 with the support of the European Commission and its Directorate General for the Environment. Since then the campaign has been open to every European city willing to participate.   European Mobility Weekwww.oasa.gr

Alternative Tourism in Greece

horseback1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Trekking, swimming in the waters of gorges, exploring caves, rafting and horseback riding is just a small taste of the activities offered to tourists who do not like crowded vacation destinations and choose alternative tourism.  Away from the seaside, Western Macedonia, in north-western Greece counts many facilities for an adventurous vacation.  The region comprises the prefectures of Kozani, Grevena, Kastoria and Florina. Of Greece’s thirteen regions, Western Macedonia is landlocked; however, visitors may simply enjoy the serene beauty of its large lakes and impetuous rivers.  Western Macedonia: www.westernmacedonia.gr; Macedonian Heritage: Travelling in Macedonia; Athens News Agency: Western Macedonia- ‘The Alps’ of Greece

Mediterranean, Middle East & Islamic Studies

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The University of Peloponnese Centre for Mediterranean, Middle East and Islamic Studies aims at the the systematic documentation, study and analysis of the political, economic, social and cultural environment of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries.  Its bi-monthly Middle East Bulletin on Mediterranean and Middle East Affairs provides timely and in-depth analysis of various themes. The Centre recently introduced the new electronic publication Middle East Flashpoint, an up-to-date analysis of current developments in the Middle East and the Islamic World.

Greece: Measures to Reduce Emissions

green-car1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Measures to cut the carbon dioxide emissions produced by vehicles were on the agenda during an inner cabinet meeting yesterday, chaired by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis.   Following the meeting, Town Planning, Public Works and Environment Minister George Souflias announced that higher “environmental taxes” will be levied on vehicles based on the amount of emissions produced by their engine.  Owners of so-called “green” vehicles will reportedly enjoy a reduction in license and road taxes, whereas owners of gas-guzzlers and older technology cars could see increases of between €50 to 150. The new rates will come into effect from 2010.  
Souflias announced a new programme (2009-12) to provide incentives for scrapping old cars in an effort to take off the road vehicles that pollute the environment. Also, he referred to changes for the current restricted zone in central Athens, according to which cars that pollute heavily would be excluded from entering it.

Jewels on the Greek Crown: Koufonisia

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Koufonisia is a cluster of two islands, Kato (Lower) and Pano (Upper) Koufonisi that belongs to the complex of Small CycladesGeographically, it is located on the southeast side of Naxos and on the west side of Amorgos.  Koufonisia also include the tiny, uninhabited island of Keros, which is a protected archaeological site from which a good number of ancient Cycladic art has been excavated in the 20th century.  The main occupation of the locals is fishing, so Koufonisi is a true fish village where visitors may eat fish and seafood in abundance.  It has one of the biggest fishing fleets in Greece. Its heavenly beaches – mostly sandy – are part of the magic of this picturesque island.

Environmental Protection Comes… “NATURA”lly

NATURA(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias announced yesterday (June 20) the launch of a new environmental project.   It refers to the purchase of fire protection equipment in order to be used in the regions of Greece protected by the “NATURA 2000” Network.  The programme which is funded in the framework of the National Strategic Reference Framework for the environment and sustainable development reaches an overall budget of € 24,540,000.  The NATURA 2000 Networking Programme is targeting at environmental protection and wise use of habitat types and plant and animal species of special value.

Argonauts Revived

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   A replica of the legendary ship “Argo” which, in ancient mythology carried Jason and his Argonauts in the quest of the Golden Fleece in Colchis, (now city of Poti, on Georgia’s Black Sea coast) reached Poti on June 19.  3,500 years after the first sail from ancient Iolkos (now city of Volos) -according to the myth-, the 50 modern Argonauts reached Georgia anew, this time not to recover the Golden Fleece but to convey messages of hope and peace in a region much troubled.  ‘Argo’ and the Greek delegation were received by President Mikheil Saakashvili.  The reception was followed by the inauguration of a new museum for the Argonaut expedition. An archaeological conference was also held in the city of Batumi.  The modern ‘Argo’ is a reconstruction of an ancient Greek ‘penteconter’ with a ram, a single tier of oarsmen, and a single sail made of half-cured wood cut from forest timber.  It belongs to the same family of Homer’s long ships and later ram-equipped warships of antiquity. The modern ‘Argo’ took over six years to complete, with the use of Bronze Age tools only.  

Alonissos: A Home for Rare Species

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Many of Greece’s islands continue to provide shelter for some of the most precious species of the Mediterranean fauna and flora. At the Sporades complex of islands, off central Greece’s coast, lies Alonissos, an island, famous for the refuge it provides for the Mediterranean monk seal (monachus monachus).  Until recently, the island suffered a steady decline of population due to migration; however, the situation now is reversed thanks to the people’s willingness to preserve both the island’s popular tradition and wildlife.   The National Marine Park of Alonissos had a lot to do with the island’s revival. Being the first designated Marine Park in the country, it has now become the largest marine protected area in Europe. The park is open to visitors who wish to explore the island’s lush nature and approach areas –were permitted- for swimming, snorkelling and observation of the sea bed and wildlife, amateur photography and filming. 

Prespa Lake Conservation Project Gets EU Award

Prespa(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Conservation of priority bird species in Lake Mikri Prespa in northern Greece – a project developed by the Society for the Protection of Prespa and WWF Hellas has been named one of the top five environmental projects carried out in the EU during 2007-2008, winning a  ‘Best LIFE-Nature’ Projects award.  The Best LIFE-Nature Projects is a new award that aims to identify some of the best LIFE Nature projects that were completed during the reference period 2007-2008. All projects completed within the reference period were initially technically assessed by the LIFE Unit’s External Assistance Team to produce a first list of Best Projects.   The principal aim of the ‘Prespa Lake project’ was to improve the conservation status of the Dalmatian Pelican and the Pygmy Cormorant, but activities have also benefited directly at least 18 other species covered by the Birds Directive.   Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece- Greek Environmental Strategic Policies & Hellenic Ornithological Society: www.ornithologiki.gr

The Greek Guardian of Biodiversity

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Panayotis Sainatoudis has been selected as a Guardian of Diversity in the Mediterranean for 2009, recognized for the important work he has done to ensure the conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity in Greece. This is an honour awarded to a select number of farmers, scientists and biodiversity activists by Bioversity International and the Commune di Roma. Panagiotis Sainatoudis is the coordinator of Peliti (in Greek), one of the most important non governmental organizations in Greece whose aim is to rescue and distribute local crop varieties to growers.  Peliti (‘oak tree’ in the Pontic Greek dialect) also deals with the registration of native rural animals.  See also: Q&A: ‘Variety Can Protect Against Famine’ – interview with three ‘Guardians of Diversity’ so named by Bioversity International for their contribution to conservation.

Greece: 9 Geo-Wonders on Pindos Mountain

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The rocks of Deskati in north-western Greece’s prefecture of Grevena – a European Destination of Excellence –  have attracted the interest of geologists around the world as they tell the geological history of the earth and were the basis for the development of the tectonic plates theory.  Deskati and the greater region of Vounasa are among the nine geo-wonders in the Pindos Mountain Range that were the subject of a scientific conference held in the Prefecture of Grevena aimed at their promotion into tourist destinations. The rocks of Deskati were created 700 million years ago when the ancient super continent Pangaea (meaning “all earth” in Greek) broke up to form the European and African continents. Later they were submerged into the Tethys Ocean that existed between the continents and united the region of today’s Britain with China.  The nine geo-wonders of Pindos include the heavily deformed limestone rocks at Mt Tsourgiakas and their small waterfalls, the gorge of Portitsa, the Pierced Rock formed as a result of erosion, Vasilitsa and its multicoloured rocks, the villages of Dotsiko and Mesolouri with their 30-million-year old coral reef and the village of Monachiti with its 50-meter wide vertical rocks. Meanwhile, the Aliakmon River Gorge is currently being studied by scientists from the United States, the UK, Serbia, Italy and Greece in an intense effort to have its geological data recorded considering that by the end of the next decade it will be flooded as soon as the construction of the Public Power Corporation (DEI) “Ilarion” Dam is completed.  

Recycling in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Nearly 47,150 tones of waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) were recycled in Greece in 2008, preventing 360,000 tones of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere.  The amount recycled corresponds to 2.3 million electric and electronic appliances. The target for Greece is for every household to recycle 60-65% of its electric and electronic waste, meaning approximately 10 kilos of waste per capita.  Authorities suggest that the proliferation of recycling will provide factories with “clean” raw material to be used in the steel industry.  In 2008, the industry used 23,000 tones of “clean” steel. A recent measure to subsidise households with the cost of replacing air-conditioning units is starting to pay off and the need for this initiative to include other appliances has been argued.  Appliances Recycling S.A..: Recycling SA has exceeded the recycling targets imposed by the EU 

Greek the best Environmental Project 2008

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The project GROUNDHIT “Ground Coupled Heat Pumps of High Technology”, coordinated by the Greek Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), received the Energy Globe Award – one of the most prestigious international environmental awards as the best environmental project in Greece in 2008.  The project Groundhit aims at improving the cost-effectiveness, competitiveness, and market penetration of ground coupled heat pumps, which are a reliable and environmentally friendly technology that utilises the soil temperature, and provides buildings with efficient heating, cooling and warm water. National Documentation Centre – “Innovation, Research & Technology” Magazine (Jan-Feb 2009)

Greek Bank Finances Climate Change Study

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  A committee of experts and academics from all relevant fields will carry out a study on the long-term economic, social and environmental repercussions of climate change on the country’s economy, Bank of Greece Governor George Provopoulos said yesterday (16.6). The study, which will be funded by the central bank, started being drafted in March and is expected to be completed in two years time.  Professor Constantine Drakatos, a member of the Academy of Athens will head the committee, in which a number of Greece’s most prominent scientists will be participating on a voluntary basis.   The project will not only give useful insight on the economy, Drakatos said, but will also mark the beginning of a permanent system of monitoring the environmental consequences of economic and political decisions.   Bank of Greece: Press Release (in Greek); Kathimerini daily: Bank funds climate change study