• Photos from Greece

    Events of Press Office

    Click to go to Events of Press Offce site















Papandreou in “Le Monde”

French daily “Le Monde” portrays George Papandreou in an article (‘L’ homme qui fait trembler l’euro’, February 5) describing Greece’s current affairs and Papandreou’s personal and political career over the years:
“Le monde le regarde. Le destin de l’euro tient à lui. Elu depuis tout juste quatre mois, le premier ministre grec est le point de mire des dirigeants et des marchés de la planète, pressé de questions affolées sur la situation dont il a hérité : un pays au bord de la faillite, discrédité sur les marchés, exposé à la spéculation, étranglé par une dette et un déficit public colossaux, un Etat dysfonctionnel, un système de fraude généralisé.
Le raffinement est son arme. Costume bleu marine, chemise blanche, cravate délicatement violette, Georges Papandréou a la silhouette longue et distinguée, la moustache taillée au millimètre, la politesse souriante, l’anglais parfait du brillant élève passé par Harvard et la London School of Economics, la graisse évanouie dans des heures quotidiennes de fitness et de cyclisme à haute dose. Si peu balkanique, si différent.
Devenir premier ministre n’était pas sa vocation, lui qui, à la fin des années 1960, étudiait la sociologie aux Etats-Unis et manifestait, cheveux longs et guitare rock en bandoulière, contre la guerre du Vietnam. “Si la Grèce avait été à l’époque un pays normal, dit-il dans son bureau à Athènes, je ne serais pas entré en politique.”
Son nom a fini par le rattraper. Celui de son grand-père, Georges Papandréou, trois fois premier ministre, centriste, figure mythique de la politique des années 1960. Celui de son père, Andréas Papandréou, ministre et économiste renommé, fondateur du Pasok (parti socialiste grec), et premier ministre dans les années 1980. Quant à lui, ce rêveur affable et modeste que l’on appellera longtemps Yorgakis (petit Georges), personne n’imaginait qu’il dirigerait le pays à son tour, dernier-né de l’une des trois dynasties familiales qui, avec les Caramanlis et les Mitsotakis, se partagent le pouvoir en Grèce depuis l’après-guerre.
Il a 14 ans ce 21 avril 1967. Le coup d’Etat des colonels, prélude à la dictature qui durera sept ans, vient d’avoir lieu. Les militaires viennent chercher son père, Andréas, caché sur le toit de la maison. L’un d’eux lui colle sa mitraillette sur la tempe. “Où est-il ?” L’enfant ne répond pas. La mitraillette frémit. Andréas se rend. Pour lui, c’est la prison. Puis, pour toute la famille, l’exil.
Georges Papandréou vient d’ailleurs. Avant la guerre, son père Andréas, déjà forcé à quitter la Grèce pour des raisons liées à ses activités trotskistes, était devenu citoyen américain, avait enseigné l’économie à l’université de Berkeley, puis en Suède et au Canada. Georges a une mère américaine, est né au Minnesota, a grandi en Californie et étudié dans l’Illinois, à Londres, à Stockholm. Il parle à quasi-égalité l’anglais, le grec et le suédois.
A son retour en Grèce, en 1974, la dictature abolie, il découvre un pays où tout est à réinventer. Et une élite forcée comme lui à l’exil, revenue “avec des idées nouvelles, la capacité de comparer, de tirer réflexion des contrastes.”
Etre différent, c’est son atout. “L’étranger” est un drôle de zèbre, mélange de “libéral” à l’américaine et de social-démocrate suédois, défenseur des libertés individuelles, de l’Etat-providence, de l’environnement, du progrès technique. Théodoros Pangalos, vice-premier ministre, s’amuse à rappeler ces années 1990 où Georges était ministre dans le gouvernement de son père, Andréas Papandréou : “En réunion, Georges prenait des notes sur un ordinateur portable. Nous, nous avions nos feuilles et nos crayons. On se donnait des coups de coude : “Regarde, le petit Georges joue, il n’a toujours pas grandi !”. En fait, comme toujours, il avait plusieurs longueurs d’avance…”
Au sein de la dynastie Papandréou aussi, il fait la différence. Après Georges “l’ancien”, le centriste anticommuniste, après Andréas le tempétueux tribun socialiste aux accents nationalistes, Yorgakis, président de l’Internationale socialiste depuis 2006, conquiert les Grecs par un agenda progressiste inhabituel. Il est hostile au blairisme, croit en la primauté de la politique sur le marché, préconise une société ouverte et multiculturelle, une économie tournée vers la valeur ajoutée et la croissance verte. “Je suis fier de porter mon nom mais je gouvernerai à ma façon. Comme Sinatra, je pourrai dire : “I did it my way”.”
Son style politique, il l’a déjà esquissé. Ministre de l’éducation, en 1988, il s’affronte au conservatisme ambiant et à la puissance de l’Eglise orthodoxe en défendant les droits des homosexuels. Ministre des affaires étrangères très estimé, en 1999, il milite en faveur de l’Europe et tempère l’anti-américanisme, sport national en Grèce. Il établit des conditions de dialogue avec la soeur ennemie, la Turquie, soutient la candidature de celle-ci à l’Union européenne (UE), contribue à l’intégration de Chypre dans l’UE.
“Yorgakis sait écouter, il ne fait pas l’intelligent, il prend calmement des décisions audacieuses. Il nous change de ce théâtre balkanique dont nous sommes tous fatigués”, témoigne l’un de ses anciens collègues au gouvernement, Nikos Dimadis. “La Grèce a plus que jamais besoin d’un dirigeant différent, citoyen du monde, qui a sur son pays une pensée globale”, analyse l’éditorialiste de centre droit, Georges Kirtsos.
Depuis quatre mois, Georges Papandréou est parti en guerre contre un Etat pléthorique, contre la corruption et l’économie parallèle. La droite l’accuse déjà d’immobilisme. Des mouvements sociaux se préparent contre les mesures d’austérité annoncées.
Certains le craignent plus visionnaire que pragmatique, plus théoricien que politique. Mais la Grèce n’a plus le choix, la zone euro non plus. Le petit Georges est peut-être la dernière chance. Lui-même en a fait un slogan : “Nous devons changer, ou sombrer.””
(
LeMonde.fr)

PM George Papandreou at the Council of Europe

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasburg on Tuesday where he initially referred at length to globalisation and its effect on the world, before detailing Athens’ positions on a variety of issues of Greek and regional interest, including Greek-Turkish relations, respect of international rules, Turkey’s European orientation as well as the financial crisis, the Cyprus issue, human rights and the role of the European Council.
 In his speech, Papandreou stressed the government’s steadfastness to face the economic crisis, stating that “we are determined to put our house in order.”
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: Report (26.1.2010)  

New impetus for Greek-Turkish relations

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A new impetus for Greek-Turkish relations was given yesterday following a letter by Prime Minister George Papandreou addressed to his Turkish counterpart, responding to prior correspondence between the two leaders.

The Greek side proposes the launch of a series of talks on the issue of the continental shelf, within a specific time limit and the option for both sides to resort to the International Court of Justice in The Hague in case of a dead-end.
Papandreou deems the Turkish proposal of establishing a High-level Council of Cooperation important and invites Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay an official visit to Greece, sometime before summer, in order to set a time framework.
Moreover, the Greek Premier highlights the need for de-escalating tension over the Aegean Sea and stresses that military activity in the area must be avoided since it jeopardizes security and fuels tension. Referring to the pressure exercised on bilateral relations due to immigration flows’ movement, Papandreou reiterates the necessity for Turkey to abide by the Greek-Turkish Readmission Protocol (2001).
The premier concludes by expressing Greece’s support for Turkey’s European perspective, provided that the latter honours its obligations towards the Greek minority in Turkey and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-Turkey Bilateral Relations & Greek-Turkish Rapprochement
[Photo from Papandreou’s visit to Istanbul, Turkey, October, 2009]

President @ World Future Energy Summit

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A change of the energy and development model with extensive use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) could decisively contribute to combating inequalities and advancing social cohesion at local, regional, national and global level, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias said yesterday (January 18), addressing the 3rd World Future Energy Summit, that opened in Abu Dhabi, UAE (January 18-21).

Papoulias – a keynote speaker at the summit- stressed that “global leaders are obliged to respond to the climate challenge, and, instead of limiting themselves to a ‘least common denominator’ agreement, they should proceed to a global, comprehensive, and legally binding agreement with specific targets and timetables.”
Every crisis entails an opportunity, and this crisis entails an opportunity for the adoption of policies and measures for the promotion of RES and energy efficiency, which can play a decisive role in the global economy’s exit from the crisis and a speedier recovery, the President noted.

» Papoulias – Erdogan Meeting

On the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit, Papoulias met with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan, who was also a keynote speaker at the summit.
The two leaders held a private 40-minute meeting during which Papoulias informed the Turkish premier that an answer to his letter to the Greek Prime Minister is to be expected in the next few days, while Erdogan expressed a desire to visit Athens in the near future.

“Είδωλα κρατών”:Δημόσια Διπλωματία, Εθνική Ταυτότητα και Εικόνα

eidola.kratonΗ τριμηνιαία επιθεώρηση ¨Διεθνής και Ευρωπαϊκή Πολιτική“  κυκλοφόρησε με ειδικό αφιέρωμα στη Δημόσια Διπλωματία (τεύχος 16). Το ειδικό αφιέρωμα υπό τον τίτλο ¨Είδωλα Κρατών¨ επιμελείται ο Βασίλης Καπετανγιάννης.
Το αφιέρωμα περιλαμβάνει 9 κείμενα υπό τις ενότητες ¨Διαχείριση Εθνικής Ταυτότητας¨, ¨Κύπρος και Ελλάδα¨ και ¨Απόψεις και Θέσεις¨. Μπορείτε να διαβάσετε το κείμενο του Σταύρου Σταθουλόπουλου: Η Ελληνική Δημόσια Διπλωματία – Προβλήματα και Επιλογές
Δείτε τους τίτλους των κειμένων του αφιερώματος:
Βασίλης Καπετανγιάννης (Εισαγωγή): Δημόσια Διπλωματία, Εθνική Ταυτότητα και Εικόνα
Συνέντευξη με τον Αντώνη Λιάκο: H Eλληνική Eμπειρία, Aποτύπωση της Παγκόσμιας Ιστορίας
Ανδρέας Μακρής: Η πολιτική διάσταση του «Nation Branding» και η περίπτωση της Ελλάδας
Μαρία Φωλά: Η Ελλάδα ως Brand: Το παρελθόν, το παρόν και το μέλλον
Ελένη Τζουμάκα: Η Ελληνική Πρόταση Πολιτισμού
Λαμπρινή Κολτσίδα: Οι Νεοελληνικές Σπουδές στο Εξωτερικό
Keith Dinnie & Μαρία Φωλά: Κύπρος – Ένα νησί με άπειρες δυνατότητες. Αγαπήστε το!
Νίκος Βλαχάκης: Δημόσια Διπλωματία της Ελλάδας στη ΝΑ Ευρώπη και Τουρκία
Έφη Παπαχρήστου: Δημόσια Διπλωματία – Νέο επιστημονικό πεδίο
Σταύρος Σταθουλόπουλος: Η Ελληνική Δημόσια Διπλωματία – Προβλήματα και επιλογές
Eπιθεώρηση “Διεθνής και Ευρωπαϊκή Πολιτική”: ΔΕΛΤΙΟ ΣΥΝΔΡΟΜΗΣ

Greek foreign policy in 2010

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas outlined Greece’s foreign policy priorities for 2010 during a press conference held yesterday.

Together with Deputy Minister Spyros Kouvelis, Droutsas highlighted that protecting Greece’s sovereignty and putting an end to past inertia will constitute the ultimate objective for the country’s foreign policy.
Referring to issues of particular national interest, Droutsas stressed that Greece has conveyed a message of friendship and peace to Turkey and expects the latter to respond to it.
The alternate minister mentioned the possibility of a meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister sometime in the near future.
On the Cyprus issue, underlined the government’s commitment to actively helping Cyprus with actions rather than words, pointing out that the first foreign visit carried out by Prime Minister George Papandreou had been to Cyprus.
As regards to the country’s relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the alternate minister reiterated that Greece enters negotiations with an open mind and keeps an edifying stance on the matter.
Droutsas pointed out that in the communiqué forwarded by the European Union in December, it was made clear that Greece’s support to FYROM’s European course depends on reaching a viable solution to the name issue.
Greek News Agenda:  Greek Foreign Policy- Challenges and Prospects

The Patriarch on “60 minutes”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was featured on the CBS news programme “60 Minutes,” on December 20. Patriarch Bartholomew was invited to give his account on the history of the Christian Orthodox Church, and its development in modern times.

The Patriarch spoke of the restrictions posed by the Turkish authorities to himself and the functions of the Patriarchate, and objected to being – himself and the Greek minority – “treated as second class Turkish citizens.”

Commenting on the Patriarch’s statements, Turkey’s Foreign Minister labelled the comments as “extremely unfortunate.”
Following the remark, the Greek Foreign Ministry issued an announcement according to which “the Patriarch is the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians who constitute the second largest Christian Church in the world.
It is a leader recognised for his wisdom and modesty, but also for his steadfast support over Turkey’s accession to the European Union. Whenever the disappointment of a leader of such calibre is illustrated with such clarity it is everyone’s duty, let alone of those responsible for the Patriarchate and the Greek minority in Turkey, to take heed.”

The OSCE on a new path

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Political Declaration Adopted

Foreign ministers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 56 participating states charted the way ahead for the OSCE-anchored debate on the future of European security known as the Corfu Process in a decision and a Ministerial Declaration adopted yesterday after a two-day Ministerial Council held in Athens (December 1-2).
“The Corfu Process will be taken forward by our Permanent Representatives to the OSCE in Vienna, in accordance with the decision we are adopting today.
We remain committed to provide strong political impetus to the Corfu Process, and we are looking forward to reassessing its progress in 2010, in the format and level that we will deem appropriate, taking into consideration the results we achieve,” it is stated in the Declaration, which is the first to be adopted since 2002.
Athens Ministerial Council (dedicated webpage)

» Turning a New Page

Commenting on the Ministerial Council at a press conference, held at the end of the meeting, Greek Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman-in-Office George Papandreou referred to a new page in the Organisation’s history.
“We have committed ourselves in a joint document on how to face common challenges,” he said noting that, Kazakhstan’s task -which is assuming the Presidency of the OSCE for the next year-, is difficult.
But as the Greek premier stressed, “we proved today that if we want we can. The process can revive political dialogue and the tangible result was consensus.”

ON THE SIDELINES

» Meeting with Russian FM

The strategic nature of Greek-Russian relations and their excellent level was reaffirmed during a meeting in Athens on Wednesday between Prime Minister George Papandreou and visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, held on the sidelines of the OSCE Council in Athens.Papandreou accepted a formal invitation to visit Moscow in early 2010.

Papandreou and Lavrov discussed bilateral relations in all sectors, ranging from energy to culture and from regional cooperation to relations with the EU and NATO, and signed a 2010-2012 joint action plan to be renewed every two years.

» Meeting with Turkish FM

Prime Minister George Papandreou also met with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, with both sides citing closer cooperation in all levels.
The potential for the adoption of practical measures to boost cooperation of the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey in 2010 was also discussed at the meeting. Davutoglu spoke positively of Greece’s target for the EU integration of the western Balkans in 2014, and he confirmed Turkey’s intent for closer bilateral cooperation.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations Greece- Turkey

OSCE Ministerial Council in Athens

» Papoulias Inaugurates OSCE Meeting

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias inaugurated yesterday the 17th Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), taking place in Athens (1-2/12).
Papoulias welcomed delegates from the OSCE’ s 56 member states and described the international meeting as “an important political event and an opportunity to strengthen peaceful cooperation and promote the common goals of the member states, in order to reach tangible and substantive conclusions.”

» Papandreou’ s Address

The Corfu Process needs to be taken a step further in order to meet the challenges to European security in the 21st century, OSCE chairman-in-office, Greece’s Prime minister and Foreign minister George Papandreou stressed, addressing the first plenary session of the organisation’s 17th ministerial council.
“We have to agree on important decisions in the next two days to strengthen co-operative security across the OSCE area, to shape the work of our organization, and to create a strong foundation for Kazakhstan to build upon as it assumes the OSCE Chairmanship on January 1,” Papandreou said.
He also expressed his hope that a constructive spirit will prevail during the two-day deliberations of the meeting.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Speech of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Greece Papandreou, to the 1st Plenary session of the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council
See also Project Syndicate: Renewing Europe’s Security Dialogue by George Papandreou

» Sideline Meetings

On the sidelines of the OSCE ministerial council, Papandreou met with the foreign ministers of Finland, Alexander Stubb and Kazakhstan, Kanat Saudabayev, who together form the current OSCE “troika.”
Alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas had a meeting with FYROM’s FM Antonio Milososki while the premier is scheduled to meet today with the foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey, Sergei Lavrov and Ahmet Davutoglou respectively.
At the end of the first day of meetings, the Greek OSCE chairmanship hosted a formal reception for the visiting diplomatic delegations at the Acropolis Museum.

EU’s Enlargement Strategy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The European Commission (EC) adopted its annual strategy on European Enlargement yesterday (October 14).  Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn urged Skopje to settle the name issue with Greece, after announcing that FYROM now “meets” the criteria for opening accession negotiations.   Rehn added that he viewed the launch of talks with FYROM as “a very strong encouragement” in this direction and expressed his hope that “the government in Skopje gets this message as well.”  Regarding Turkey’s accession, Rehn revealed EC’s dissatisfaction with its progress and called on Turkey’s obligation, as an aspiring EU member state, to open its air and ports to Cyprus.  Turkey must contribute to the resolution of the Cyprus issue with “concrete terms,” during negotiations, he added.

Commenting on the EU’s progress reports, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas stressed that Greece is promoting the accession course for all Southeast Europe countries, by already having put forward a roadmap until 2014.  “The prerequisite for this course is that all the countries should […] fulfil the necessary criteria. With regard to FYROM, in particular, this means finding a solution on the name issue” said Droutsas.  Kathimerini Daily: EU nod for FYROM despite name   Greek News Agenda: SEECP Meeting- A roadmap for accession

Greek Prime Minister’s First Trip Abroad

» In Istanbul

On his first trip abroad to attend the informal meeting of the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) in Istanbul, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister George Papandreou, held talks, on October 9, with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglou and discussed all issues concerning Greek-Turkish relations. Papandreou pointed out to Erdogan that, “we have proved that we want good relations with Turkey and we support its European course,” adding however, that “Turkey must also take the steps that Europe requires so that its accession course can move forward.” Earlier, in a message to the Turkish people, Papandreou had stressed that they “know that I am always honest with them. Honest and open in the positive prospects we have in cooperating, but also honest in talking about the real problems we still have between our two countries.” Regarding Cyprus, the prime minister said that a solution should be found -a just, European solution for a unified Cyprus, free of dependencies on its motherlands, free of occupation troops, divisions and walls that have no place in the European Union.

Regarding bilateral relations, the PM said that the two countries must respect borders and territorial integrity and this would be the basis of a durable and strong good neighbourly relationship. Papandreou made these statements during his meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who, according to the premier with his wisdom and action has promoted Orthodoxy worldwide, championing objectives such as protection of the environment and ecology.

» OSCE CiO Welcomes Turkey-Armenia Accords

The Chairman-in-Office of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Greece’s premier and foreign minister George Papandreou welcomed the signing of an agreement between Armenia and Turkey for the normalisation of their relations, which was signed on October 10, following months of Swiss-mediated talks.

» SEECP Meeting: A roadmap for Accession

Addressing the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) informal meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Istanbul, Prime Minister and FM George Papandreou stressed that the Southeastern Europe and the Balkans can contribute to a new dynamic in Europe.

“A new dynamic in enlarging the European Union […] and creating a socially just Europe […] with a greater role in the world.” Papandreou said that a revised version of the so-called Thessaloniki Agenda – the basis of the Greek Presidency in the EU in 2003 – and a roadmap for accession of the rest of the Western Balkans with a specific date can contribute to this process.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: PM and FM Papandreou’s speech at the informal meeting of FMs

French Minister Visits Samos

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) During his visit to the Aegean island of Samos, on Friday Sept 18th, French Immigration Minister Eric Besson, accompanied by Greek Caretaker Interior Minister Spyros Flogaitis, visited the Italian vessel of Frontex and the immigrants’ reception centre, pointed out that Greece is confirming its good name regarding hospitality issues.  Besson was in Samos for a briefing on the situation prevailing in this eastern part of Europe, in light of the meeting today, among European Union Interior Ministers on justice and domestic issues, to discuss the increasing illegal entry of foreigners from the Turkish coast.

Papandreou Pledges Support to Cyprus

Papandreou Cyprus(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Main opposition PASOK Party leader George Papandreou visited Cyprus yesterday to attend a memorial service for the late Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Yannos Kranidiotis.  Papandreou extended his gratitude for Kranidiotis’ work and his support to Cyprus’ president Demetris Christofias concerning the settlement of the Cyprus issue.  In his speech – three months ahead of the European Commission’s release of Turkey’s progress Report – Papandreou said that a new “road map” is needed for Turkey’s accession negotiations course and that he would be personally involved in providing his insight.

Greek FM at Eu External Affairs Council

banderas1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis was in Brussels, September 15,  to participate in the proceedings of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC), focusing on preparations for the European Council slated for 29 and 30 October, in Brussels.  The minister briefed her counterparts on the latest harassment – seventh during the course of this year– of another Frontex helicopter by Turkish authorities via radio, stressing that Turkey’s stance is far from constructive, in fact disturbingly interfering in the work of the European Union to tackle illegal migration. Once again, instead of contributing to the solution, “Turkey is breaking its commitments,” said Bakoyannis. 

Regarding immigration, Bakoyannis stressed that France, Italy, Malta, Greece, and Cyprus speak with one voice when they refer to the need for the adoption of a European policy dealing with illegal immigration on a deeper level, adding that every time the work of Frontex is impeded, such as in the case of the Turkish harassments, the absence of a solid common policy appears even more acute.  Moreover, the minister mentioned that during a meeting with her Bulgarian counterpart (see picture), arrangements were made for the respective Development ministers to meet in order to take bilateral action on environmental concerns related to the Burgas- Alexandroupoli project that need to be addressed.  Council of the European Union: General Affairs and External Relations

Venice Film Festival: Greeks with “Heart”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Soul Kitchen” is the title of a movie by Fatih Akin, a young German director of Turkish descent, who is best known for his previous film “The Edge of Heaven” (2007).

The latest movie “Soul Kitchen” recounts the story of two German brothers of Greek descent (the characters’ names are the Kazatzakis brothers) who try their best to make an honest living on the streets of Hamburg.  The leading role is the one of the two brothers (starring German-Greek actor Adam Basdoukos) who manages to overcome difficulties and eventually become a chef at his own restaurant.  “Soul Kitchen is principally a love letter to my city, Hamburg” says the 36-year old promising director who impressed both audience and critics with his film at the 66th Venice Film Festival. Whereas dealing with rough social issues such as the cultural and social struggle of classes, the movie brings a soft breeze of humorous sarcasm, adding to the movie’s broadly acknowledged taste.

FRONTEX Patrol: Turbulence in The Aegean

FRONTEX(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens has lodged a complaint with Ankara after Turkey’s latest attempt to oust an EU Frontex helicopter operating over the Greek isle of Farmakonisi in the Aegean.  On September 8, the Latvian pilots on board a Frontex helicopter – an EU agency coordinating boarder controls in the EU- were asked by Turkish authorities, via radio, to submit a flight plan. The pilots continued their operation without responding to the call and reported the incident to the Greek authorities, who issued a démarche with Turkey. This incident constitutes Turkey’s sixth attempt to obstruct EU agencies’operations in the area in 2009.Kathimerini  daily: Turks continue to stir tension; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek Territorial Waters – National Airspace

Map of Greece / Χάρτης της Ελλάδας

Cypriot Foreign Minister in Athens

bakokyprianou2(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   In view of the ongoing negotiation process to achieve a “Cypriot” solution, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met with her Cypriot counterpart Marcos Kyprianou yesterday (September 3) in Athens.  “We support in a substantial manner […] the efforts being made by President Christofias to achieve a solution, without mediation or interference from third parties […] or any manner of “deadlines,” within the framework of the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the principles and values of the EU,” Bakoyannis stressed, reminding that Athens considers the Cyprus issue a major foreign policy priority.  “The mutually agreed basis for the negotiations is a bicommunal, bizonal federation, with political equality – as expressly stated in the relevant UN resolutions – with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship,” said Bakoyannis, stressing also the need for Turkey to allow the Turkish Cypriots to negotiate creatively towards an agreed, viable and functional solution, underling the fact that “a unified Cyprus in the EU is the best investment in future progress and development.”  On his part, Kyprianou called Turkey to fulfil its undertaken obligations to the European Union, allowing also the Turkish Cypriots to negotiate freely towards the solution being pursued.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Statements of FM Bakoyannis and FM Kyprianou & The Cyprus Issue

FM of Greece: “No Compliance a la Carte”

Bacoyannis(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis informed her counterparts during an EU General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) yesterday (July 27) on Turkey’s provocative policy of questioning Greek sovereign rights in recent weeks.  “This policy is unacceptable,” Bakoyannis said at a press-conference at the end of the meeting, noting that EU governments should have a clear picture of the situation in view of the EU Commission’s assessment report on  Turkey’s accession course, due to be publicised in December.  “Until now, Turkey has not respected her commitments,” Bakoyannis noted, underlying that EU accession negotiations were founded on principles that clearly define the obligation of respecting good neighbourly relations and the peaceful resolution of differences. “Compliance a la carte and selective implementation of what has been agreed upon cannot be accepted,” the minister said.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations Greece – Turkey & Enlargement [Photo from previous statement]

Golden U20 Greeks

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Greek Under-20 basketball team won the European Championship yesterday (July 26) by defeating France 90-85.  After an amazing final, the Greek team triumphed and captured the gold medal in the 2009 U20 European Championship, which took place on the island of Rhodes, from July 16 until July 26.  Seven players including all five starters scored in double figures led by tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) Kostas Papanikolaou.  Thus, the golden generation added Greece’s first ever U-20 gold medal to U-18 gold in 2008 and the silver from this month’s U19 FIBA World Championship. “This is a special moment. Another gold and first in Europe. Every medal is special and this is special because we are at home in Rhodes with our friends and family,” said Pappas, member of both the U20 and the U19 All-Tournament Team in New-Zealand. Greek News Agenda: Greece Wins Euro U-18

Greek FM: Relations with Turkey

Dora-Bakoyannis(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  “Bullying does not wash with Europe,” Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said over the weekend commenting on the latest Turkish over-flights in the Aegean, ahead of an EU foreign ministers’ summit, hosted by the new Swedish presidency of the Union. ” say this as an old friend of the Turkish people and a long-standing supporter of Turkey’s European course. Turkey is obliged to adhere to what it has agreed to. It doesn’t have a good record in doing so, but in Europe there is no other way,” Bakoyannis underlined. She also said that she has accepted, in principle, an invitation by her Turkish counterpart to visit Ankara, adding that she would do so at a suitable moment in order for the visit to be beneficial and effective.