Greek Companies prospering in Poland (Warsaw Business Journal)

Greece has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2011, with the country being hit by political turmoil as it struggles under the effects of the economic crisis. However, for many Greek companies based inPoland, this year has been business as usual.
There are currently about 40 companies with Greek capital active in the Polish market, according to figures from the Embassy of Greece in Warsaw.
Greek-owned companies have invested more than €1.4 billion and created a total of 11,000 jobs in Poland, the country’s ambassador to Poland, Gabriel Coptsidis, said in a statement earlier this year.
Mellon Group, a company headquartered in Athens specializing in IT services and sales for financial institutions, telecommunications firms and companies in the retail sector, established itself in the Polish market almost six years ago. A growing Polish client base, which includes lenders such as PKO Bank Polski, Polbank EFG, and mBank, helped Mellon Poland make it in to the top 100 companies of Europe’s 500 fastest growing companies in 2010. Europe’s 500, which makes the ranking, is an association of fast growing owner-managed companies in Europe.
“This year is better than the previous one, and we have not been affected,” said Grigorios Kotoulas, General Manager, Mellon Poland. “However, we see in the market that there is a slowdown, but not a recession. We are making plans accordingly but none that … will affect our forecast for2012”, he added.
For Lefteris Maroulis, general director of sports betting firm Totolotek (owned by Greek company Intralot), business has been going well inPoland. Totolotek is a company which has been organizing sports betting in Poland since 1992 and operates close to 400 locations in the country.
(Warsaw Business Journal, 20/12/2011)

Για την προετοιμασία του άρθρου η δημοσιογράφος Veronika Joy συνεργάστηκε με το Γραφείο Τύπου και το Γραφείο Οικονομικών και Εμπορικών Υποθέσεων. Continue reading

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Holocaust Memorial Day

The opening of the exhibition The Memorial: 16 Artists Propose, featuring projects that were submitted last year by 16 artists, as part of an international competition for the construction of a Holocaust Memorial of Greek Jews, took place at the Jewish Museum of Greece.
The competition was conducted by the Jewish Community of Athens and resulted in the selection of the work of artist DeAnna Maganias which was unveiled at a special event in May 2010. The museum is also organising a week-long programme of educational activities and memorial events, lasting until February 4.
The exhibition –which will remain open until August 2011- is part of events that have been planned for the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, co-organized by the Attica region and the Jewish community of Athens for January 26 and 27. A memorial service was held on the 27th of January, at the Athens Synagogue in Thisseio, to be followed by a speech by University of Athens History Professor, Hagen Fleischer.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitris Droutsas issued a statement on the occasion of the Holocaust Memorial Day, in which he referred to Greece’s continuing efforts to preseve historical memory and educate younger generations. He further added that preparations are underway for a permanent Greek exhibition at the Auschwitz Museum.  
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Υπογραφή “Κοινής Δήλωσης για την Via Carpatia” από τον υφυπουργό Γιάννη Μαγκριώτη (Lancut Πολωνίας, 22/10/2010)

Ο Υφυπουργός Υποδομών, Μεταφορών και Δικτύων Γιάννης Μαγκριώτης, εκπροσωπώντας την Ελληνική Κυβέρνηση συνυπέγραψε στις 22 Οκτωβρίου στο Lancut της Πολωνίας, μαζί με τους έξι ομόλογούς του (Λιθουανία, Πολωνία, Σλοβακία, Ουγγαρία, Ρουμανία, Βουλγαρία), την «Κοινή Δήλωση για την Via Carpatia».
Η «Via Carpatia Route» είναι ένας διεθνής οδικός άξονας ο οποίος θα συνδέει τη Βαλτική με τη Μεσόγειο, το Βορρά με το Νότο της ΕΕ, αποτελώντας τον ανατολικότερο οδικό άξονα που διέρχεται από χώρες της ΕΕ. Ο ενιαίος αυτός άξονας θα αξιοποιήσει τα λιμάνια της Ανατολικής Μεσογείου, δίνοντας νέα αναπτυξιακή προοπτική στα λιμάνια και τους οδικούς άξονες της χώρας μας.
Ο Υφυπουργός στη παρέμβασή του, τόνισε μεταξύ άλλων, ότι η Ελλάδα θεωρεί ότι πρέπει να γίνουν όλες οι απαραίτητες ενέργειες προκειμένου να ενταχθεί ο άξονας αυτός στα Διευρωπαϊκά Δίκτυα Μεταφορών, ως επέκταση του υφιστάμενου «Άξονα 7», που συνδέει την Κεντρική Ευρώπη, από την Βουδαπέστη μέσω Ρουμανίας και Βουλγαρίας, με τη Θεσσαλονίκη. Με αυτό τον τρόπο θα είναι πιο αποτελεσματική η διεκδίκηση πόρων από τα διαρθρωτικά ταμεία της ΕΕ, για την κατασκευή του. Το οδικό δίκτυο της Ελλάδας είναι ενταγμένο στο Διευρωπαϊκό Δίκτυο Μεταφορών και τα τελευταία βασικά του τμήματα ολοκληρώνονται το 2012.
Η σύνδεση του Άξονα 7 («Ηγουμενίτσα-Αλεξανδρούπολη / Πάτρα-Αθήνα-Θεσσαλονίκη-Σόφια-Βουδαπέστη») με τη «Via Carpatia», θα αξιοποιήσει τις υπάρχουσες υποδομές της «Εγνατίας Οδού» και του ΠΑΘΕ, που έχουν ήδη κατασκευαστεί με τη συγχρηματοδότηση και της ΕΕ. Ο Υφυπουργός επισήμανε ότι η «Εγνατία Οδός Α.Ε.» και τα 670 χλμ. σύγχρονου αυτοκινητόδρομου, από την Ηγουμενίτσα μέχρι τον Έβρο, συνδέει τη Δύση με την Ανατολή, όπως επίσης η Εγνατία συνδέεται με τους κάθετους άξονές της με όλες τις χώρες της Βαλκανικής. Επίσης σημείωσε, ότι ο οδικός άξονας ΠΑΘΕ, συνδέει τα διευρωπαϊκά δίκτυα, με την Κεντρική Ελλάδα, την Αθήνα, το λιμάνι του Πειραιά και το λιμάνι της Πάτρας.
Τέλος, ο Υφυπουργός πρότεινε να συμμετέχει η «Εγνατία Οδός Α.Ε.» (εταιρία του ελληνικού δημοσίου) ως τεχνικός σύμβουλος στο έργο της «Via Carpatia», προκειμένου να παράσχει κάθε δυνατή βοήθεια δια της υψηλής τεχνογνωσίας και εμπειρίας που διαθέτει στη μελέτη και κατασκευή μεγάλων έργων υποδομής.
(Δελτίο Τύπου Υπουργείου Υποδομών, Μεταφορών και Δικτύων)

Greece will defend its sovereign rights

The Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs issued announcements concerning the sea surveys conducted by “Piri Reis,” a Turkish naval research ship in an area between the Greek island of Kastellorizo and Cyprus.
The Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the “Piri Reis surveys an area outside Greek territorial waters, however, Athens has claimed the rights to potential undersea mineral and fossil fuel deposits.”
National Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos said that “Athens is watching closely” and that “in any case, Greece will defend its sovereign rights.”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Differences with Turkey     [PHOTO]: Kastellorizo
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

PM George Papandreou at the White House

» Meeting with Obama

Prime Minister George Papandreou met with US President Barack Obama in Washington yesterday.
After the meeting Papandreou said that the US is willing to work with the European Union to regulate the international financial system so speculators cannot target countries with troubled economies.
The premier said  that the issue of speculation will be discussed at the G20 summit in Canada, in June. The two leaders also discussed foreign policy issues such as the Cyprus issue, the integration of Western Balkans into Euro-Atlantic institutions, as well as Greece’s relations with Turkey.

» Visa Waiver

Furthermore, the US side announced that Greece will be included in the ‘visa waiver’ programme, thus enabling Greek citizens to travel to the US without a visa.
Papandreou termed the visa waiver “a vote of confidence” to Greece and noted that the Greek government is determined to respond to its obligations and cooperate closely at international level on the tackling of terrorism.

Kathimerini daily: US joins fight against speculators
The White House: Honouring Greek Independence Day (21.35mins)

» Papandreou’s Op-ed

In an op-ed published in the International Herald Tribune (IHT), Papandreou notes that the Greek case is not an outlier, but one more flare-up in a broken system of financial regulation and predatory behaviour.
“If global economic growth is to be sustainable, we need better coordination and greater solidarity between nations… We must now establish and enforce clear rules to contain the inordinate power of markets over our national economies and our common currency – not for Greece’s sake, but for Europe’s,” he stresses.
Prime Minister’s website: Meeting with President Barack Obama: Prime Minister’s statement ; Brookings Institution: Prime Minister’s speech & YouTube: PM’s speech at Brookings Institution  
New York Times & International Herald Tribune: Prime Minister’s article “Greece is not an island“; Hellenic Finance Ministry: Newsletter Updating Greek Fiscal Measures  
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Holocaust Remembrance Day

» (GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Liberation of Auschwitz Anniversary

“Auschwitz took the lives of many; Greek Jews were dispro­portio­na­tely numerous among them. Greeks of other faiths also paid a heavy price, often in defence of their Jewish brethren.

Many have been declared Righteous among the Nations and their names are engraved at the Holocaust Memorial of Yad Vashem,” Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said in a statement, issued on January 27, on the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp.
This year also marks the tenth anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration which launched a fertile rethinking of the Holocaust in Europe and Greece is proud to be among the original signatories of this epochal document, said Droutsas.

» “Greeks in Auschwitz-Birkenau” 

At a press conference at Greece’s Press and Communication Office in New York, on January 26, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic and Historical Archives, Fotini Tomai presented a series of evidence, documents and testimonies that reveal and highlight the extent of human tragedy as recorded in the book “Greeks in Auschwitz-Birkenau.”
This publication of the Foreign Ministry (in Greek and English) will be presented today at a special event at the Greek Consulate General in New York. 
See also: UN, International Holocaust Remembrance Day;
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: International Holocaust Remembrance Day;  Greek News Agenda: Special Issue – The Jews of Greece