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Local Elections Run-off

Following the second round of local elections yesterday, the ruling PASOK party won the majority of regional governorships (8 to 5).
In municipal elections and -despite a high abstention rate- there was a change of leadership in the three major cities.
In Athens, Giorgos Kaminis, the former Ombudsman, won the mayorship, with the support of Pasok, after defeating the incumbent New Democracy (ND) mayor, Nikitas Kaklamanis.
In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, the independent Yiannis Boutaris, supported by Pasok, defeated ND-backed candidate Costas Gioulekas, while in Pireus, Vassilis Michaloliakos, supported by ND defeated Pasok candidate Yiannis Michas.
Commenting on the results, Prime Minister George Papandreou said that the citizens “rejected the sirens of destabilisation and gave the government a clear three years of work to enable it to continue the effort for the country’s salvation and recovery.”
The premier also called on all political parties to “assume responsibility” and work together with the aim of saving the country. Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras said that “the second round confirmed the political conclusions of the first Sunday” and gave the opportunity to his party to emerge “renewed, strong and responsible.”
For more information: Ministry of Interior, Decentralization and E-Government: Regional & Municipal Elections 2010 Results (in Greek); Kathimerini Daily: Pasok gets regional upper hand; YouTube: PM’s nationwide televised press statement (in Greek)
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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Συνέντευξη του πολωνού ποιητή Άνταμ Ζαγκαγιέβσκι στην “Ελευθεροτυπία”

Ανταμ Ζαγκαγιέβσκι «Οι πολιτικοί ας αφήσουν την Ιστορία στους ποιητές»
Ο Ανταμ Ζαγκαγιέβσκι είναι ο κορυφαίος Πολωνός ποιητής των ημερών μας και ένας από τους -πολλούς και ενδιαφέροντες- προσκεκλημένους στο Πρώτο Διεθνές Λογοτεχνικό Φεστιβάλ Τήνου ( 29, 30 και 31 Ιουλίου ). Στη συνέντευξή του στην «Ε», ο Ανταμ Ζαγκαγιέβσκι μιλά για την ποίηση, τη μνήμη, την Ιστορία, την πολιτική και τη διαδικασία της σύνθεσης απόψεων που πάντοτε οδηγεί σε καλύτερα αποτελέσματα από τον τυφλό φανατισμό.
Προ τριμήνου ένα μεγάλο μέρος της πολωνικής ηγεσίας χάθηκε σε αεροπορικό δυστύχημα ενώ προ εικοσαημέρου εξελέγη νέος Πολωνός προέδρος, ο Κομορόφσκι. Πώς είναι τώρα τα πράγματα στην Πολωνία; Είχε προηγηθεί η διακυβέρνηση της χώρας από τους αδελφούς Κατζίνσκι, οι οποίοι ήταν φιλοαμερικανοί και εχθρικοί τόσο προς τη Ρωσία όσο και προς τη Γερμανία και την Ευρώπη. Continue reading

New OSCE PA President: Petros Efthymiou

Ruling PASOK party deputy Petros Efthymiou was elected as the new president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), during the forum’s 19th annual session.
Efthymiou, who was a Vice-President in the Assembly, was elected with 130 votes, against 64 of Senator Consiglio Di Nino (Canada).
Participants at the 19th session discussed a wide range of issues, amongst which the situation in Kyrgyzstan, the Parliamentary Assembly’s involvement in the Corfu process, the peace process in the Middle East, nuclear security, cyber-crime.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Economist Joseph Stiglitz to visit Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz is invited to participate at an open debate, titled “Discussion and debate with Joseph Stiglitz: in or out of the economic crisis?,” organized by the Economist and Hazlis & Rivas conferences, on February 2. 
Prime Minister George Papandreou will inaugurate the conference with an opening address, focusing on the government’s effort to fulfil the twin aim of monetary restructuring and growth.
Ministers, the leader of the opposition New Democracy party, Antonis Samaras as well as representatives of business associations will also participate at the conference.
Meanwhile, Stiglitz has contributed an article (January 25) in the ‘Comment is Free’ section of The Guardian, under the title “A principled Europe would not leave Greece to bleed,” urging Europe to show support for the honesty and integrity of Greece’s government and its efforts not only to bring the budget under control, but to increase transparency of the entire budgetary framework and to reduce corruption.