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Lighting the way to 2010 Youth Olympic Games

The official ceremony for the Lighting of the Olympic flame that will burn at the inaugural Youth Olympics Games in Singapore will take place today (July 23) at Ancient Olympia.
In the presence of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and Minister of Culture Pavlos Yeroulanos, the priestess will stand in front of the 2,600 year-old Temple of Hera and by using a concave mirror will light a silver torch with the sun’s rays.
As soon as the flame is lit, the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame will begin travelling in five cities across the globe: Berlin, Dakar, Mexico City, Auckland and Seoul.
Yesterday, a successful rehearsal was conducted and hundreds of tourists, visiting the site where the Ancient Olympics were held from 776 BC to 393 AD, witnessed the event. The first ever Youth Olympic Games will be held from August 14 to 26 in Singapore.
Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism: The Archaeological site of Olympia

PM George Papandreou: Economic crisis “a crucial national threat”


 (GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing a cabinet meeting on Sunday, termed the economic and monetary crisis “a crucial national threat”.    Papandreou, however, expressed optimism over the favourable outcome of the struggle being waged by the government, calling on all Greeks and the mass media in particular to say “no to panic .”
The major changes that have been scheduled for 2010, which he termed a year of great changes and reforms, must be turned into practice as a precondition for this.
The prime minister made a positive assessment of the first 100 days of the country’s governance which, as he said, “we assumed in a deep and multifaceted crisis with a large size debt and deficits that were bequeathed to us by the previous government.”
He added that the economy alone was not at the root of problems, but the country’s way of governance as well.
Papandreou further said that during the first 100 days the “government stood at the level of its historical responsibility which is to have the citizen as its first concern,” adding that apart from changes in regional administration, great reforms and changes are also required in central administration.
He stressed that the changes will meet with great resistances but expressed certainty that they will have the approval of the Greek people.
Papandreou said that at the end of the coming week the stability and growth programme will be announced, as well as the proposals for government and legislative work that will be following in the near future.
He said he would be giving a press conference at the Zappion Mansion in the middle of the week and would be announcing the main conclusions on governance so far and priorities for the coming period, while calling on ministers to do the same in their field of responsibility.
 The prime minister also announced the creation of a “prestigious advisory committee” on the modernisation and operation of the government and institutional bodies with the principle “the citizen first” always being the target.
He stressed that the new architecture of self administration is part of the government’s overall planning so that on November 14, 2010, local administration elections will be held for the new strong municipalities and the regions.
Papandreou added that the “implementation of the great vision of the world of local administration will begin,” terming this task extremely difficult and for which the consent of all is required and that the government shall seek.
He further pointed out that resources for local administration will be secured in the framework of taxation policy and added that with the electoral law which will be voted in Parliament “a decisive blow will be dealt at black political money”.
Papandreou also referred to the government’s struggle for transparency and expressed satisfaction for the positive response met by his initiative to request from the President of the Republic to convene a meeting of party leaders.
Lastly, the prime minister also referred to the bomb attack that occurred in front of the Parliament building on Saturday, stressing that “no one and with no action can intimidate the country’s political world” and underlined that “we are not going to let such an action pass like this.”

The Olympic Torch Relay Lit up Enthusiasm

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Canadian Press reports on the burst of excitement brought in Messolonghi by the 2010 Winter Olympic torch relay.

The stop in Messolonghi was the sixth of 35 and the town was chosen in part because it’s the birthplace of Kostis Palamas, co-author of the Olympic Hymn .
After the flame was lit in Olympia, the relay took off towards northern Greece for an eight-day run, organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee. Over the course of its journey in the birthplace of the Games, it travelled 2,180 kilometres. Today the flame arrives in Canada and a special welcome ceremony is to be held in the city of Victoria. City of Messolonghi: Olympic Light Enthusiastically Greeted

Campaign to Return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens

» London

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Having won a place on the fourth plinth in the north west of Trafalgar Square, as part of the “One & Other Project,” nineteen year-old Sofka Smales decided to dedicate her time and space to promote the cause of the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.  On September 12, she stood on the plinth and explained why she thought that the cause was worthy. “I have always felt that the Parthenon Marbles should rightly be returned to their country of origin. Especially now, that a first class museum has been built to house them,” said Smales. Link to the organiser of the event, the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles

International Campaign to Return the Parthenon Marbles to Athens: http://www.parthenonuk.com/  & www.parthenoninternational.orgwww.elginism.comwww.marblesreunited.org.ukwww.acropolisofathens.gr

» Paris

The right for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece is highlighted in an article in France’s Le Monde newspaper (Le Parthénon mérite ses marbres) by author and honourary professor of Sorbonne University, Henri Godard who calls on the Louvre Museum to set a “good example”, by being the first to return to Greece pieces of the ancient monument, the Acropolis.  In his article, Godard maintains that the construction of the New Acropolis Museum weakens every argument of the past concerning those who refuse to return pieces, which have been removed from the Parthenon.   Voice of America: French Calling for Parthenon Marbles

UNICEF Campaign for Combating Child Trafficking

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   UNICEF’s awareness campaign for combating child trafficking – “The international economic crisis and child trafficking in the world” – was launched at the Foreign Ministry on July 16. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and the President of the Hellenic National Committee for UNICEF,  Lambros Kanellopoulos, presented the campaign.  “The basic message of the campaign we are launching today is that we – particularly those of us living in the prosperous regions of this world – have a duty to stop this economic crisis from becoming a crisis of values,” Bakoyannis said in her speech.  The UNICEF initiative, which is being carried out in collaboration with the Foreign Ministry, is the second part of a major campaign that includes the broadcasting of specially made radio and television spots throughout the country. 


dimitriadisBusiness Center Club – największa organizacja przedsiębiorców w Polsce, zrzeszająca ponad 1200 członków – zorganizował 3 kwietnia w warszawskim Centrum Olimpijskim uroczystość, podczas której wręczono nagody przedstawicielom biznesu. Oprócz uhonorowanych przedsiębiorców z Polski, BBC wyróżnił również Dimitris’a Dimitriadis’a, który do 2008 roku pełnił funkcję Przewodniczącego Europejskiego Komitetu Społeczno-Ekonomicznego (Εuropean Economic and Social Committee).

Europejski Komitet Społeczno – Ekonomiczny stanowi pomost w komunikacji pomiędzy unijnymi organami a społeczeństwem obywatelskim, czyli pomiędzy pracodawcami a pracobiorcami oraz różnymi grupami interesów (konsumenci, przedstawiciele organizacji ochrony środowiska itp).

W ramach konsultacji Europejskiej Polityki Społeczno – Ekonomicznej  ze społeczeństwami obywatelskimi państw członkowskich Business Center Club przyznał nagrodę dla Dimitris’a Dimitriadisa, odznaczając go za wkład w promowaniu europejskiej przedsiębiorczości.


Το Business Center Club – η μεγαλύτερη επιχειρηματική οργάνωση στην Πολωνία, πού συσπειρώνει στους κόλπους της 1.200 περίπου μέλη – πραγματοποίησε στις 3 Απριλίου στο Ολυμπιακό Κέντρο της Βαρσοβίας εκδήλωση βράβευσης της επιχειρηματικότητας.

Πέρα από τους Πολωνούς επιχειρηματίες που τιμήθηκαν, το BCC βράβευσε και τον Δημήτρη Δημητριάδη, ο οποίος και διετέλεσε μέχρι το 2008 Πρόεδρος της Ευρωπαϊκής Οικονομικής και Κοινωνικής Επιτροπής (Εuropean Economic and Social Committee)

Η Ευρωπαϊκή Οικονομική και Κοινωνική Επιτροπή αποτελεί τη γέφυρα επικοινωνίας μεταξύ των κοινοτικών οργάνων και της κοινωνίας των πολιτών, δηλαδή των εργοδοτών και εργαζομένων αλλά και των διαφόρων ομάδων συμφερόντων (καταναλωτών, εκπροσώπων περιβαλλοντικών οργανώσεων κλπ).

Στο πλαίσιο αυτό των διαβουλεύσεων της Ευρωπαϊκής Οικονομικής και Κοινωνικής Πολιτικής με τις κοινωνίες πολιτών των κρατών μελών, εντάσσεται και η βράβευση του Δημήτρη Δημητριάδη από το Business Center Club, που τον τίμησε για την συμβολή του στην προώθηση της ευρωπαϊκής επιχειρηματικότητας.

UN: Reopen Halki Seminary


The United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has invited Turkey to reopen the Greek Orthodox Theological School on the island of Halki, after the Turkish authorities’ decision to close the Halki seminary in 1971.  The Committee has also called on Turkey to return confiscated properties and promptly to execute all related judgements by the European Court of Human Rights. Furthermore, the Committee noted its concern over the particularly serious situation of the Greek minority and calls urgently upon Turkey to redress such discrimination as well as respect human rights. The Theological School of Halki, established in 1844, was a prestigious centre of culture and civilisation. During its years of operation the school counted many internationally renowned scholars.

New Hellenic Olympic Committee President


(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Spyros Capralos is the new head of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC). Capralos becomes the 24th head of the HOC, succeeding the incumbent Minos Kyriakou for a four-year term.  In his first statements, Capralos pledged to do his best to live capralos4up to his office responsibilities and stressed  that scientists will join HOC in the battle against banned substances, making “clean sports” the new HOC motto. Capralos, a former water polo champion, was appointed Chairman of the Athens Exchange in 2004 after a successful term as Executive Director of the Organizing Committee for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. In 2008 he was elected President of the Federation of European Stock Exchanges (FESE).

European Central Bank on Greek Economy

european-central-bank3(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Addressing the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet predicted that “after two difficult years such as 2008 and 2009, 2010 will be the year of EU’s return to growth.”  Referring to the , Trichet pointed out that all parties comprising the eurozone should live up to their responsibilities adding that it is crucial to maintain discipline in macroeconomic policy-making. He further underlined the necessity to address structural inefficiencies leading to adverse implications in each country, including Greece. Commenting on the euro’s resilience, Trichet stressed that current monetary trends in all currencies are causing apprehension and it is not unusual for countries in the eurozone to diverge in terms of their economic indexes. A similar situation is reported among states in the USA. Earlier this week, European Commissioner responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Joaquin Almunia, dismissed concerns over the recourse to external supervising institutions. Visit the Statistical Press Releases issued by the European Central Bank

Greek President at the International Association of Hydrogeologists

ceb3ceb9cf89cf81ceb3cebfcf83-cf83cf84cebfcf85cf81cebdceb1cf81ceb1cf83(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Geology professor at Athens University Giorgos Stournaras has been appointed president of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH). IAH is an international organisation for researches and professionals working in the field of groundwater resource planning, management and protection. Founded in 1956, the association now numbers more than 3,500 members in more than 135 countries. Giorgos Stournaras is a professor at the Faculty of Geology & Geoenvironment at Athens University and President of the Hellenic Committee of Hydrogeology.

Greeks Returning Home from Beijing 2008

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The 29th Olympic Games ended on August 24 after 16 days and 17 nights of sporting celebration. Although not equivalent to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the Greek harvest of medals is considered well satisfying. Greek athletes won two silver medals, one in rowing (Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls) with Vassilis Polymeros and Dimitris Mougios and another one in taek won do with Alexandros Nikolaidis winning his second Olympic medal after Athens 2004. Another two bronze medals were won by Sofia Bekatorou, Sofia Papadopoulou and Virginia Kravarioti in sailing (Yngling class), while our 2004 gold medal winner Chrysopigi Devetzi reached the third place in triple jump. With regard to the doping incidents, the International Olympic Committee has commissioned a full investigation over the Greek athletes who were disqualified facing charges of illegal substances use. IOC will recourse to the Greek courts, while measures have been taken in order to enhance already existing legislation concerning doping,this time introducing harsher penalties.  Hellenic Olympic Committee: www.2hoc.gr

Greece @ China’s Cultural Year

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Greece relishes international attention by being the honoured country for this year’s Cultural Year in China (www.greece-china.com). Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis on Sunday inaugurated the International Olympic Truce Centre exhibition at Beijing’s Hellenic House (“From ancient Olympia to Beijing 2008 – forty Greek and forty Chinese artists discuss the Olympic Truce” ) in the presence of former International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch. The “Agon” exhibition by the National Archaeological Museum, initially held in Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games, presents themes from the athletic events of the ancient Olympic Games, along with the whole context of poetry, theatre and artistic competitions held from time to time at the major temples throughout the Greek world (Beijing’s Capital Museum). Dimitris Papaioannou, director of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games opening ceremony, brought his adapted version of ancient Greek tragedy Medea to Beijing (Grand National Theatre in Beijing on August 1 and 2). Greece will be the country of honour at the 15th International Beijing Book Fair to be held early September 2008. Greece is the fourth country after France, Russia and Germany to be receiving such an honourary invitation. Within the same framework, China will be the country of honour at the Thessaloniki International Book Fair in 2010.