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Warsaw European Special Olympics – Multi-Medal Greek Team

The Greek Special Olympics Team brought home a total of thirty-four medals from the Warsaw European Special Olympics: eleven gold, twelve silver and eleven bronze.
Alexandros Stoupakis was the multi-winner of the event, with a total of four golden medals in weight-lifting. The athletics team performed exceptionally well with a gain of nine medals, including the fastest woman’s in the games, Niki Talamaga’s gold medal in the 100 m. event.
Next big date: the Athens 2011 Special Olympics.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Lighting the way to 2010 Youth Olympic Games

The official ceremony for the Lighting of the Olympic flame that will burn at the inaugural Youth Olympics Games in Singapore will take place today (July 23) at Ancient Olympia.
In the presence of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and Minister of Culture Pavlos Yeroulanos, the priestess will stand in front of the 2,600 year-old Temple of Hera and by using a concave mirror will light a silver torch with the sun’s rays.
As soon as the flame is lit, the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame will begin travelling in five cities across the globe: Berlin, Dakar, Mexico City, Auckland and Seoul.
Yesterday, a successful rehearsal was conducted and hundreds of tourists, visiting the site where the Ancient Olympics were held from 776 BC to 393 AD, witnessed the event. The first ever Youth Olympic Games will be held from August 14 to 26 in Singapore.
Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism: The Archaeological site of Olympia
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

New era in Greek-Turkish relations

» High Level Cooperation

Premier George Papandreou and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan expressed their will to take important steps towards the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations, as the Turkish leader wrapped up an official visit to Athens on Saturday.
This was sealed with the opening session of the Greece-Turkey High Level Cooperation Council and the signing of 21 agreements.
George Papandreou met with the chiefs of Turkish media, while Erdogan with the chiefs of the Greek newspapers.
The Greek premier told Turkish journalists that Erdogan’s visit heralds a new era in Greek-Turkish relations, further adding that the two sides had better overcome their differences. He also touched on economic cooperation between Athens and Ankara.

» “We have an agreement”

Twenty-one cooperation agreements in fields as diverse as technology and tourism were signed during the Turkey-Greece High Level Cooperation Council.
Ministers signed agreements boosting trade, investments and shipping and the two countries will hereby extend their cooperation in projects concerning infrastructure works and transnational transport networks.
Relations between the two countries in the field of immigration will be governed by a bilateral agreement which provides for readmission of illegal immigrant flows to Turkey and cooperation in the fight against organized crime, trafficking and civil protection.
Both sides agreed to improve tourism cooperation, aiming at increasing their market share in countries with economic potential such as China, as well as raising global awareness on matters of cultural heritage protection.

Special attention was given to education and synergies concerning research. Environment protection and joint ventures in energy projects including renewable energy sources and the existing Turkey- Greece-Italy gas pipeline were also sealed with respective deals.
In terms of strengthening bilateral ties,  a Joint Political Declaration on the establishment of the High Level Cooperation Council as well as a Protocol on regular political consultations between the two countries’ foreign ministries were signed.

» Signing the Olympic Truce

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan concluded on Saturday his landmark visit to Athens by signing the Olympic Truce initiative.

At a brief ceremony in front of the imposing Panathenaic Stadium, Erdogan referred to the “great honour in signing my name in this book; to put my signature for a world of peace.”
Papandreou said that Turkey’s support for the idea sends out a clear message “by Turkey and Greece to the world,” adding that Greece will actively support Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

The Olympic Torch Relay Lit up Enthusiasm

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Canadian Press reports on the burst of excitement brought in Messolonghi by the 2010 Winter Olympic torch relay.

The stop in Messolonghi was the sixth of 35 and the town was chosen in part because it’s the birthplace of Kostis Palamas, co-author of the Olympic Hymn .
After the flame was lit in Olympia, the relay took off towards northern Greece for an eight-day run, organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee. Over the course of its journey in the birthplace of the Games, it travelled 2,180 kilometres. Today the flame arrives in Canada and a special welcome ceremony is to be held in the city of Victoria. City of Messolonghi: Olympic Light Enthusiastically Greeted

Olympic Flame: Goodbye Greece, Hello Vancouver

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean’s official visit to Athens has coincided with the lighting of the Olympic Flame, that was passed on yesterday to the organizers of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, in Vancouver.

The Canadian city is becoming the flame’s keeper, after the final run on Greek soil by Greek-Canadian figure skater Niki GeorgiadouPresident of the Republic Karolos Papoulias received the Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean at the Presidential Mansion in Athens, on October 29.  In his welcoming speech, President Papoulias pointed out that Haiti, the country of origin of the Governor General of Canada, supported the Greek War of Independence against the Ottomans in 1821.  He also underlined that “Canada embraced Greek immigrants,” and referred to the humanitarian aid Greece received from Canada, during WWII.  Olympic Movement: The lighting ceremony in Olympia & Greek News Agenda: Ancient Olympia in the Spotlight

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.

Tourisme: Greece Britain Coordinated Action

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The behavior of certain British tourists in Greece, as well as security issues concerning the 2012 Olympic Games in London, were the main focus of a meeting on July 15, between Alternate Interior Minister for public order Christos Markoyiannakis and Britain’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Chris Bryant. Markoyiannakis said afterwards that a meeting will be held on Zante on July 23 with the participation of police chiefs from the islands of Rhodes, Crete, Zante and Corfu, regions that face such problems. Three high-ranking British police officers will attend the meeting as observers. On his part, Bryant stated that he is grateful to Greek authorities for their efforts to ensure safe vacations for all.