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“Kali Patrida” Greek Communities of Political Refugees in Eastern Europe

By the end of the Greek Civil War (1946-49), Greece was in a tragic state. The human loss and physical destruction incurred in this conflict was added to the suffering and damage already accumulated during World War II and the occupation. One of the most dramatic consequences of the Civil War was the odyssey of thousands of Greek men, women and children who settled in Eastern Europe and the USSR – mainly in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The Hellenic Parliament Foundation for Parliamentarianism and Democracy is hosting until December 31, 2011, an exhibition titled Kali Patrida… Greek Communities of political refugees in Eastern Europe.
The exhibition draws on material (printed and audiovisual) from many sources, both from Greece and abroad in order to shed light on particular themes in the lives of political refugees: their establishment in the host countries (East Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Uzbekistan); their children’s education, their communities, their efforts to preserve their distinctive cultural heritage as well as their repatriation.
“Kali patrida” meaning “Happy Homecoming,” is actually a wish political refugees shared, expressing their nostalgia for their homeland.
ERT Archive: Documentary: Second Homeland – Episode: Stepmother Homeland & Michalis Gkanas: The history of my times [VIDEO]; TVXS: Writer Alki Zei talks about the Civil War [VIDEO]
ODYSSEY Magazine about Greece and the Greek Diaspora: Features-Our Town Beloiannisz in Hungary
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

 

Greece: Energy Matters

» Greece-Bulgaria-Romania agree on gas pipeline project

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  An agreement has been signed by the Greek gas company DEPA and Italian Edison with Bulgarian Energy Holding for the construction of a pipeline that would allow Bulgaria to import 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the Caspian Sea region, through the ITGI (Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy) pipeline. The 160-km long pipeline, called Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), will extend from Komotini, northern Greece to Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. Its construction is estimated to cost €120 million with €45 million provided by the EU.  Greece and Romania agreed yesterday during a meeting in Bucharest, between Romanian Economy Minister Adriean Videanu and Greek Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, to promote and coordinate gas connections between Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.  “We want to treat the Greek-Bulgarian, Bulgarian-Romanian and Romanian-Hungarian pipelines as a single whole, as a single pipeline. Especially since all three separate pipelines are financed by the European Union,” Hatzidakis said adding that this project would enhance cooperation between the four countries and strengthen their geostrategic position.  Meanwhile, DESFA, Greece’s Natural Gas National System Manager, and Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) signed yesterday a memorandum of understanding aimed at allowing the transportation of natural gas from Greece to Bulgaria from the Revithousa LNG terminal. Kathimerini daily: Greece – Bulgaria pipeline to raise security, lower gas prices

Greece: Gas Pipeline Agreement Signed

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The agreement on the construction of a natural gas pipeline linking Greece with Bulgaria was signed on April 25 during an international energy conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, for Europe’s gas supplies security (Energy Summit 2009, Natural Gas for Europe, Security and Partnership). Addressing the event, Karamanlis spoke of Greece’s interest in a common European energy strategy, which will rely on environmentally friendly sources. He also stressed the importance for Greece to solidify and capitalise on its geostrategic position in South-eastern Europe regarding matters of energy supplies transport. Agreements such as the one with Bulgaria, bring Greece one step closer to its aim of adopting diversified energy solutions in terms of type, sources and routes of transport.

Greek Energy Diplomacy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) An agreement on the construction of a natural gas pipeline linking Greece with Bulgaria is expected to be signed today in the presence of the Prime Minister who is currently attending the Energy Summit 2009, an international summit for Europe’s gas supplies security currently hosted in Sofia Bulgaria (April 24-25). Greece lays emphasis on conveying energy supplies from the east to the markets of the west, following the dictum of diversification in terms of energy type, sources and channels of transport.

Greece: Bringing Bulgaria Closer

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greece and Bulgaria signed an agreement to upgrade the rail link joining the two countries in an attempt to boost bilateral trade. The deal simplifies cargo transport by train and reinforces security at that level. Timely cargo deliveries, especially for perishable products and passengers’ transport secure tighter bonds between the two neighbouring countries. The deal was signed by Transport & Communications Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and his Bulgarian counterpart Peter Mutafchiev. Kathimerini daily: Better Link for Greece and Bulgaria; Hellenic Railways SA (OSE): OSE   Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece- Bulgaria & Economic Diplomacy- Hellenic Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans (Hiperb)- Bulgaria

Greece is Supplying Gas to Bulgaria

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     Greece’s Public Gas Corporation met yesterday (19.1.2009) with a Bulgarian delegation in order to seal a deal for the distribution of approximately 2 million m3 per day of Greek liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to Bulgaria. Within the framework of EU’s Gas Coordination Group, the European Commission welcomed the bilateral cooperation and encouraged the use of the Greek LNG supplies by Bulgaria. The escalated energy crisis provoked by the interruption of natural gas supplies to Europe had urged the Bulgarian prime minister to confirm on January 13 the country’s high priority in intensifying energy cooperation with Greece.  European Commission-Energy: Gas Coordination Group: Solidarity works and the EU’s gas market adapts to challenges of gas crisis

Greek Job Market Opens to Romanians & Bulgarians

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   As of 2009, Greece joins three other European countries (Spain, Portugal, and Hungary) in lifting national legislative barriers impeding Romanian and Bulgarian nationals working in Greece.  Fourteen other countries have already undertaken respective measures in favour of Romania and Bulgaria, while the remaining ten EU countries which lag have been given a deadline for the year 2013. The decision to provide unimpeded employment opportunities for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens reinforces the European Union’s policy for free movement of all nationals of a member state wishing to engage in employment on the territory of another member state. European Commission-Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities: Four more countries lift labour market restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian workers Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations with Romania & Bulgaria

Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Valinakis at Olive Group

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     yannis-valinakisDeputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis on Tuesday underlined the need for more effective EU policies in the Mediterranean region, pointing out that it was equally important to bring a Mediterranean dimension into European integration. Attending the 6th Informal Meeting of the EU Mediterranean countries “Olive Group” that took place in Taormina, Sicily (15-16.12), the minister stated that the meeting focused on migration issues in the western Balkans and EU enlargement. He underlined there should be a “Mediterranean neighbourhood” to face the problems together and join forces to create opportunities that “will protect us during a crisis and at the same time produce long-term benefits.” The Olive group consists of Italy, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Slovenia. Greek News Agenda: The Olive Group; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus: 5th Informal Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Mediterranean EU Member-States, Concluding Remarks 

Greece: Democracy & Human Rights

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  With the opportunity of the publication of its second round of reports, JURISTRAS research project has launched its own webpage at: www.juristras.eliamep.gr. JURISTRAS, a Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy project, comparatively explores processes of human rights litigation in the European Court of Human Rights judgments, and its effects in national legislative reform and policy making in a number of EU member states and Associate Candidate States. Nine countries are selected as case studies: eight EU Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, and the UK) and one EU candidate country (Turkey). Gateway of the European Union: europa.eu 

Greece: The Balkan Grid Connection

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Greece’s electric grid links with those for neighbouring countries are proving be a critical element in preventing power cuts and in the development of an integrated power market in Southeast Europe. In fact, the security of the country’s power supplies and the development of its market in the future will greatly depend on boosting the system’s capacity to be replenished by other grids. The grid management agency, Hellenic Transmission System Operator (DESMIE) is promoting a number of projects to this end, including a link with Turkey, a second connection with Bulgaria, upgrading the link with Italy and new links with other neighbouring grids.  The development of Balkan links north of Greece’s border – the section including Albania, FYROM, southern Serbia and Bulgaria – will be decisive for Greece’s power imports.  Kathimerini daily (Athens Plus, p.10): Greece hopes for stronger Balkan grid connections

From Greece the Routes of the Olive Tree

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    On the occasion of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, a “lame of Peace”will travel from the Mediterranean Sea into the depths of Asia, Beijing and Moscow. Motorcyclists participating in the “Routes of the Olive Tree” initiative, a programme of cultural journeys and activities inspired by the olive tree,  will ride on the “Routes of Silk” to transmit the messages symbolised by the olive tree, namely the need for peaceful coexistence. The journey will start from Messenia, Southern Greece, on the occasion of a big Mediterranean Feast, the 63rd Rally FIM of 2008 (7-14 July 2008 Pylos-Yalova), during which 2,000 motorcyclists from 44 countries will gather in order to bid travellers goodbye. The event is open only to motorcyclists who will “combine business with pleasure”; they will start their ride symbolically from ancient Messene and will cover 22,000 km with a view to carrying the “Flame of Peace” to 16 countries: Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, CHINA, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, FYROM and Greece.  Continue reading

The Greek Language, Ancient & Modern

 (GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Greek Language is one of the earliest attested Indo-European languages, spoken today by approximately 12 million people in Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Italy, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Egypt, Jordan and in emigrant communities around the world, including Australia, United States, Canada, Germany and elsewhere. Continue reading

The Greek Economy: Pointers

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     According to the 2007/2008 UN Human Development report, Greece ranks 24th out of 177 countries (Greece – Data; Greece – Fact sheet).  Greece belongs to the OECD family of developed nations, enjoys economic stability consolidated by membership of the European Union/Eurozone and its growth rate is above EU average.  Greece has a brand new modern infrastructure network and services, well-developed human resources (highly productive, well-trained and educated workforce, and one of the lowest labour costs in the EU) and is an important centre of business, research and cultural activity. Greece   can serve as a bridge for communication with the less favoured regions of the world. She is in a position to play a leading role in southeast Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, showing the way to their economic and social reconstruction. Continue reading