• Photos from Greece

    Events of Press Office

    Click to go to Events of Press Offce site















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)

PM Papandreou meeting with French President Sarkozy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou flew to France yesterday, for talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy – on an array of issues, focused mostly on economic matters – ahead of today’s European Council meeting.
After his meeting with the French president, Papandreou stated that the Greek government is committed to taking all necessary measures to fix Greece’s public finances.
 “We are ready to take any measures in order to cut public deficit to 8.7% of GDP in 2010 from 12.7% in 2009 and to meet the commitments the government has undertaken in its Stability and Growth Programme.”
Besides the pressing deficit and credit crisis burdening Greece, Papandreou said issues dealing with the Balkans, the Cyprus problem, climate change and even Europe’s position on the international stage were discussed.
Kathimerini daily: Premier talks tough but EU may offer help; Youtube.com: Greek prime minister in France for debt talks

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

Greek Bank Finances Climate Change Study

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  A committee of experts and academics from all relevant fields will carry out a study on the long-term economic, social and environmental repercussions of climate change on the country’s economy, Bank of Greece Governor George Provopoulos said yesterday (16.6). The study, which will be funded by the central bank, started being drafted in March and is expected to be completed in two years time.  Professor Constantine Drakatos, a member of the Academy of Athens will head the committee, in which a number of Greece’s most prominent scientists will be participating on a voluntary basis.   The project will not only give useful insight on the economy, Drakatos said, but will also mark the beginning of a permanent system of monitoring the environmental consequences of economic and political decisions.   Bank of Greece: Press Release (in Greek); Kathimerini daily: Bank funds climate change study

Greece: Energy Matters

♦ Behaviour Change Programmes
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES) is hosting a workshop titled “Energy for a Change: Energy Use and Behavioural Change” in Athens today. This is part of the “Evaluation of Energy Behaviour Change Programmes” project (BEHAVE). Behaviour change is of central importance in bringing about significant reduction in energy end-use. Climate change and concerns for supply security make such a reduction all the more urgent. BEHAVE aims at improving the impact of energy-related behavioural change programmes and projects in the household sector, by learning from recent programmes and projects, and disseminating this knowledge to policy makers and programme-managers.

♦ Dialogue on SE Europe Energy

The Institute of Energy of Southeast Europe (IENE) is organising on June 18 – 19 the “3rd SE Europe Energy Dialogue conference in Thessaloniki.  With the objective of exchanging information and ideas on facing the energy and environmental challenges of the region, the “3rd Energy Dialogue” will function as a forum for furthering the idea of a South East European energy bridge involving all the countries. The international conference will take place under the aegis of the Development Ministry in collaboration with the World Energy Council. The IENE is a non-profit organization based in Athens whose main task is to provide a platform for independent dialogue and analysis on key energy issues.

Climate Change Conference in Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The impact of climate change as a challenge for the future generations with particular emphasis on the sensitive and vulnerable population groups of the Mediterranean countries, especially sick children, is the topic of the two-day international conference on “Climate Change and Challenges for the Future Generations.” The event opened Tuesday 2 june at the Athens Concert Hall and was organised under the patronage of UNESCO and in collaboration with the World Sustainable Development Forum. Speaking at the opening session, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis called for international effort, political intervention and coordinated action forward in order to save the planet’s environment. Karamanlis warned that if we do not act immediately, environmental degradation could become irreversible. Investment in a new economy, with respect for the environment, he stressed, was necessary. UN Intergovernmental Committee on Climatic Change (IPCC) President, Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rajendra Pachauri -one of the keynote speakers at the conference- said that “climate change is a challenge for the present and future generations” and referred to the decrease in water reserves, big droughts, heat waves, the risk of wildfires and the reduction of farm crops as its repercussions in the Mediterranean region. Other keynote speakers include UN Secretary General Envoy on Climatic Change and former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, and cardiac surgery professor at the Imperial College in London, Sir Maghdi Yacoub. See also: Programme of the Conference

Athens Declaration on Climat Change

climate3(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The two-day international conference on “Climate Change and Challenges for the Future Generations” – under the patronage of UNESCO – concluded yesterday, june 3, with the adoption of the “Athens Declaration on Vulnerable Children and Climate Change,” which places emphasis on the urgent need to limit climate change and assume action facilitating the necessary adjustments.  “Vulnerable communities in the Mediterranean region, such as the elderly and the very young, especially those suffering from chronic diseases, are most likely to be among those who will be greatly affected by the destabilisation of the climate system coupled with the imminent disruption of the eco-system,” the declaration underlines.  According to the declaration, the Mediterranean region can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gases by increasing the use of renewable energy sources and promoting environmentally friendly technologies in important sectors of the economy.

The Athens Summit 2009

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The two-day international Athens Summit 2009 conference on “The road to Copenhagen” opened yesterday with speakers focusing on managing the security of energy supply, providing energy security in Europe and beyond, and assessing the role of the countries of Southeastern Europe as a gateway to energy security and diversification.  Senior governmental officials, corporate leaders, financiers, and experts participate in the summit to discuss how the twin goals of energy security and managing climate change can be achieved to the benefit of all people. 

Papoulias’ Address

The inaugural speech was delivered by the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias. The President called for the collaboration of social forces beyond political parties for an economic and social vision to ensure viable development and protection of the environment, despite possible confrontation with vested interests. 

Papandreou’s Green Diplomacy

For his part, main opposition PASOK and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou stressed that Greece should take all necessary measures to increase “green” investments.  He called for a “turn toward quality products and the use of new technologies in all sectors (transport, health, tourism),” underlining the importance of investing in human resources through education.  He also noted that “Greece can play an important role as regards cooperation with the SE European countries and the Mediterranean region through ‘green’ diplomacy,” he stated.

The Athens Climate Change Summit 2009

(GREEK NEWS AGENCY)   The two-day Athens Summit 2009 on “The Road to Copenhagen: Managing Climate Change and Energy Security in Southeast Europe and Beyond” – organised by the Institute for Climate and Energy Security in association with the Financial Times Global Events and C & C International Group of Companies – opens today.   The summit brings together Greek and foreign government officials, corporate leaders and as well as financiers and experts to debate and discuss how the twin goals of energy security and managing climate change can be achieved to the benefit of all.  It is part of a wider debate taking place worldwide, in preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, in December, 2009. 

Greek PM Karamanlis in Sweden

karsou3(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis arrived in Stockholm on Monday for talks with his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt in light of the Sweden’s assumption of the EU’s rotating presidency in the second half of 2009. Dealing with the ongoing international economic crisis, EU enlargement, combating climate change, and implementation of the Lisbon Treaty were the main subjects of discussion between the two leaders. Karamanlis briefed the Swedish side over Greece’s positions on Cyprus, Greece’s interest in Balkan development and the region’s Euro-Atlantic prospects. Regarding Turkey’s accession prospect, the premier reiterated that Athens supports it, as long as Turkey completely and effectively fulfils  the commitments it has undertaken vis-à-vis the EU. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations Greece-Sweden

EU Heads in Athens

» International Biodiversity Conference

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was welcomed  in Athens in order to attend a two-day international conference on “Biodiversity Protection Beyond 2010” hosted by Greece (April 27-28). Some 230 representatives of EU member states, NGOs, European enterprises and UN agencies discussed EU policy on biodiversity, as 2010 will be a major milestone for biodiversity policy both in the EU and globally. Addressing the event, Barroso underlined the significance of protecting biodiversity, shifting from “business as usual,” to a new model, hopefully shaped by this new “message emitting from Athens.” 

Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis praised Greece for its high quality biodiversity amongst Mediterranean and European countries, but stressed that environmental protection ought to know no geographic boundaries. Taking the floor, Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas warned that the world cannot turn its back on climate change and on any pressing matters of environmental protection. European Commission: Follow the Conference on-line & Dimas on biodiversity

» Remarks on Greek Economy

Meeting yesterday with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Barroso welcomed Greece’s plans to tackle microeconomic imbalances and deliver on structural reforms. The Greek government has pledged to rein in the country’s deficit by 2010 (a fall to less than 3% of GDP), in keeping with EU’s proposed measures on fiscal policy.

» Honours Bestowed

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso received  (April 27) distinction from the Hellenic Parliament and the City of Athens. Hellenic Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas decorated Barroso with the Gold Medal of the Hellenic Parliament, while Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis awarded Barroso the Medal of Honour and Benefaction of the City of Athens.

Greek Initiatives on Climate Change

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     Participating in the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Poznań, (December 1-12), a meeting which brought together 192 United Nations member states and representatives from international organisations and NGOs, Greece took the opportunity to present its initiatives concerning the adaptation to climate change. First and foremost, Greece has incorporated the dimension of climate change into every bilateral programme and development cooperation project. In addition, acknowledging the gap reported between the developed world and developing countries in terms of adaptation to climate change, Greece is offering funding for less developed countries through agreements signed recently with the African Union and the Caribbean Community CARICOM. Similarly, support will be offered to the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and it is for this reason that another €20 million have been earmarked for the next four years. Last but not least, the Greek Chairmanship of the Human Security Network (May 2007- 2008) emphasised climate change and its impact on the most vulnerable social groups. The Greek chair hosted a number of international events on this issue in 2008, and funded a relevant research programme carried out mainly by UN agencies, including UNICEF and UN University. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek Chairmanship of the Human Security Network- Policy Paper on Climate Change; Greek News Agenda: UN Climate Change Conference 

Greece at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Today the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Poznań, (December 1-12) concludes with the participation of 192 United Nations member states and representatives from international organisations and NGOs. The purpose of the conference is to lay the foundations for the conclusion of a global climate treaty which will succeed the Kyoto protocol. The final agreement is expected to be signed in Copenhagen in 2009. Member states are called to agree upon specific targets and deadlines to curtail carbon emissions, a matter which is directly linked to the course of their economic activity. The conference has set out the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 60-80% by the year 2050. Addressing the conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for global solidarity on climate change and talked about a new “Green Deal,” while the European Commissioner for Environment Stavros Dimas stressed that the European Commission aims at shifting the gear towards concrete negotiations and reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020. In regard to Greece, the Commissioner noted that Greece’s economy will benefit immensely should the country choose to comply fully with the European aspirations. European Commission: Commissioner’s speech in Poznan & UN Climate Change Conference 2008; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek chair @ Human Security Network- Policy Papers on Climate Change; Secretariat General for Information: About Greece-Environmental Protection & About Brand Greece-Environmental Strategic Policies

Southeastern Europe Faces a Real Danger of Desertification

(REEK NEWS AGENDA)   Southeastern Europe faces a real danger of desertification and becoming another Sahara Desert in 100-150 years, underlined Sir Nicholas Stern – the United Kingdom’s Head of the Government Economic Service and Adviser to the Government on the economics of climate change and development, during the presentation of the Greek-language Executive Summary of his Report at the foreign ministry on Thursday27 November 2008. The Stern Review is one of the most important documents to have been published in recent years on how to confront the greenhouse effect.  The review’s basic conclusion is that immediate action, on a global level, to deal with climate change is not only an environmental and social imperative, but is also dictated by economics. Sir Nicholas underlined that to deal with the desertification risk SE Europe can seek to become energy producer for the entire Europe by using solar and wind power. Addressing the event, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis praised the contribution of the British government in the study of the economic dimension of the greenhouse effect and maintained that there is immediate need for an agreement to deal with climate change.  Stern Review: Final Report; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Human Security Network Conference on Climate Change  

Environment Matters in Greece: First Hydroelectric Power Grid

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)          The island of Ikaria will soon be opting out of the national power grid, as it will become autonomous in terms of energy consumption. The foundation of the first hybrid system in Greece, which will combine hydroelectric and aeolian (wind) modes of energy production, is being laid on October 25. A hydroelectric station will be built that will utilise waterfall from three different levels. The water will begin from an existing dam in the area of Pezi on the island, located at a height of 700 metres. In Pezi, there is a natural plateau. A rain storm is enough to fill up the natural reservoir in the plateau. The water will then be collected in three separate cisterns that will be built, at different levels, thus creating artificial cataracts. These cataracts will produce electric energy, capable of covering 85-90% of the islands requirements. The barrages will each have a capacity of 80,000 cubic metres of water. Deputy Minister of Merchant Marine Panayiotis Kammenos will inaugurate the energy plant tomorrow.  Centre for Renewable Energy Resources: Hydroelectric Energy; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Environmental Strategic Policies  & Energy Policy; Public Power Corporation: www.dei.gr; Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works: Climate Change; Greek Association of RES (Renewable Energy Sources) Electricity Producers: www.hellas.gr

Green Energy Technologies in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Delivering a speech on “Climate change and green enterpreneurship”  at the 73rd Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation Theodoros Skylakakis referred to the multiple benefits emanating from the enhancement of “the 21st new big industry” called green energy technologies. Greece aspires to acquire competitive advantage in fields such as energy-saving know-how and materials or solar cooling and heating. Furthermore, thriving sectors of the Greek economy such as construction, steel production and consulting can provide ‘fertile ground’ for profitable investments on environment friendly projects. Setting the example, the Secretary General made particular reference to a synergy between Hellenic Aid and United States AID (USAID) on renewable energy investment-tracing programmes and energy saving in buildings for 9 countries from the Energy Community of Southeast Europe. Promotion of renewable energy sources: Center for Renewable Energy Sources; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship

Environment: Top Priority for the Greek Government

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The “Athens Summit on Climate Change and Energy Security” (www.athens-summit.com) – the world’s first major international conference focused on the new paradigm of climate and energy security – opened yesterday, held under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias. A key objective of the summit is to formulate the Athens Declaration, an EU-Mediterranean 2020 Partnership to jointly achieve at least 20% energy savings and generate 20% energy from renewable energy sources by 2020. President Karolos Papoulias, who has spoken out in the past on environmental issues, used the opportunity to stress that last summer’s wildfires were an ecological disaster, adding that “the prevention apparatus has a great responsibility for it not to be repeated.” He emphasised that without institutional independence in environmental policy, it is difficult for effective action to be taken within the government. “The worsening of environmental problems is such that it requires the need for coordinated efforts to be assumed at a global level.”       Continue reading