Greece: Attracting Tourism Development

Greece ranked 29th among a total of 139 countries in a survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) regarding competitiveness for the tourism sector.
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report is issued annually and grades countries on a total of 60 indicators, including policy regulations, resources, safety, prices and environmental protection. According to the survey, Greece benefits from its rich cultural resources (ranked 25th), excellent health and hygiene (20th), and a top-notch tourism infrastructure (5th). Further on, the report refers to the country’s strong national affinity for tourism (compared with many other European countries), including a generally open and positive attitude toward tourists (26th). The report ranks Greece 21st among European countries.
World Economic Forum: 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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Ομιλία του πρωθυπουργού Γιώργου Παπανδρέου στην συνάντηση των προϊσταμένων Γραφείων Τύπου Εξωτερικού

Την Δευτέρα, 17 Ιανουαρίου 2011, πραγματοποιήθηκε στην αίθουσα Εκδηλώσεων (Κέντρου Τύπου) της Γενικής Γραμματείας Επικοινωνίας – Γενικής Γραμματείας Ενημέρωσης η συνάντηση των προϊσταμένων ΓΤΕ και Γραφείων ΕΟΤ, στις εργασίες της οποίας παρέστη ο Πρωθυπουργός, κ. Γιώργος Παπανδρέου. Η ομιλία του Πρωθυπουργού επικεντρώθηκε στην Ελλάδα που αλλάζει και στην ανάδειξη της κρίσης – και της αρνητικής για την χώρα μας δημοσιότητας που την συνόδεψε – ως μιας ευκαιρίας για την οικοδόμηση μιας νέας ταυτότητας που θα επιανατοποθετεί την Ελλάδα στον κόσμο. Προσδιόρισε επίσης τον ρόλο που θα έχουν τα Γραφεία Τύπου και Επικονωνίας στο πλαίσιο της σημερινής συγκυρίας.
Παρατίθεται ολόκληρο το κείμενο της ομιλίας.
(Πηγή: Forum Διεθνούς Επικοινωνιακής Πολιτικής icp-forum.gr)

Επίσκεψη Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίου στην Πολωνία

Επίσκεψη στην Πολωνία πραγματοποιεί από εχθές και μέχρι την Παρασκευή 20 Αυγούστου, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος, προσκεκλημένος της Πολωνικής Ορθόδοξης Αυτοκέφαλης Εκκλησίας.
Την πρώτη ημέρα της επίσκεψής του, πραγματοποιήθηκε πανηγυρική δοξολογία στον καθεδρικό ναό της Αγίας Μαρίας της Μαγδαληνής στη Βαρσοβία, παρουσία του Έλληνα Πρέσβη στην Πολωνία κ. Γαβριήλ Κοπτσίδη.

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Maria Magdalene church

Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης σε σύντομο χαιρετισμό του ευχαρίστησε τον Μητροπολίτη Βαρσοβίας και πάσης Πολωνίας Σάββα, για την «αδελφική» -όπως την χαρακτήρισε φιλοξενία του.
Σήμερα ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος θα συναντηθεί με τον Πρόεδρο της πολωνικής Βουλής, Grzegorz Schetyna, ενώ στο πρόγραμμα περιλαμβάνεται και επίσκεψη στο όρος Γκραμπάρκα, όπου θα συμμετάσχει στις εκδηλώσεις για τους εορτασμούς της Μεταμορφώσεως. Το όρος Γκραμπάρκα θεωρείται ο κατεξοχήν τόπος λατρείας και προσκυνήματος των ορθοδόξων της Πολωνίας.
Την Παρασκευή ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης θα επισκεφθεί το Λούμπλιν, όπου σε τελετή στο Καθολικό Πανεπιστήμιο της πόλης – Πανεπιστήμιο που στο παρελθόν δίδαξε θεολογία ο Πάπας Ιωάννης Παύλος ο Β’- θα ανακηρυχθεί επίτιμος διδάκτορας.
Όπως σημειώνει ο πολωνικός Τύπος, ο τίτλος του επίτιμου διδάκτορα απονέμεται σε «έναν εξαιρετικά ενεργό θρησκευτικό ηγέτη, εκπρόσωπο της ειρήνης και της συμφιλίωσης, της θρησκευτικής ελευθερίας, της αξιοπρέπειας και των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, καθώς και της φροντίδας για την προστασία του περιβάλλοντος».

Blue Flags 2010

Greece was awarded Blue Flags for 421 Beaches and 9 Marinas by the International Blue Flag Jury, winning second place among 41 countries. 
The prefectures of Lasithi (on Crete), and Halkidiki (northern Greece), as well as the islands of Corfu and Rhodes were awarded the highest number of Blue Flags.
The Blue Flag is an internationally recognized standard for quality, develporewarding sustainable development at beaches and marinas, relying on strict criteria, such as water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety.
Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature: Greek Beachs awarded the Blue Flag for 2010
Greek News Agenda: 425 Blue Flags for Greece

Greece assumes BSEC chairmanship

Greece has assumed, the rotating chairmanship of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organisation, at a special ceremony, during the 22nd meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs , held in Sofia, Bulgaria on May 28.
“It is our objective to establish the Greek Chairmanship-in-Office of the BSEC as a turning point for the entire region towards Green Development.
Its central theme will be Black Sea turns Green,” Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis stressed in his address to the meeting upon the assumption of the chairmanship.
He also noted that the emphasis on “green development” will highlight the comparative advantages of the Black Sea region in terms of environmental protection, culture, tourism, alternative energy sources and new technologies. 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization
(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)

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