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PM`s George Papandreou visit to Poland

Prime Minister George Papandreou visited Poland on April 7 for talks with his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk and the country’s President Bronislaw Komorowski, in view of the Polish presidency of the EU, during the second term of 2011.
The two Premiers discussed the priorities of the Polish Presidency, especially in what concerns the Common Agricultural Policy, migration, as well as developments in the Middle East. Papandreou also made a special reference to his great-grand father’s Polish origins and the flourishing Polish community in Greece. 
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Holocaust Memorial Day

The opening of the exhibition The Memorial: 16 Artists Propose, featuring projects that were submitted last year by 16 artists, as part of an international competition for the construction of a Holocaust Memorial of Greek Jews, took place at the Jewish Museum of Greece.
The competition was conducted by the Jewish Community of Athens and resulted in the selection of the work of artist DeAnna Maganias which was unveiled at a special event in May 2010. The museum is also organising a week-long programme of educational activities and memorial events, lasting until February 4.
The exhibition –which will remain open until August 2011- is part of events that have been planned for the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, co-organized by the Attica region and the Jewish community of Athens for January 26 and 27. A memorial service was held on the 27th of January, at the Athens Synagogue in Thisseio, to be followed by a speech by University of Athens History Professor, Hagen Fleischer.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitris Droutsas issued a statement on the occasion of the Holocaust Memorial Day, in which he referred to Greece’s continuing efforts to preseve historical memory and educate younger generations. He further added that preparations are underway for a permanent Greek exhibition at the Auschwitz Museum.  
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

PM George Papandreou & the Media

Prime Minister George Papandreou addressed yesterday the NewsXchange 2010 Conference currently being held in Athens.
In his speech, the premier commended the role of media in highlighting several of the underlying causes of the financial crisis but also pointed to some of the negative stereotypes that resurfaced in of the international media’s reporting on Greece, during this last year.
“Your job is to report the facts as objectively as possible. My job is to be honest with you, with the Greek people, and of course with the international community, which is supporting us in this effort to deal with the crisis, present the facts as they are,” stressed the premier.
Youtube.com: PM’s Speech at NewsXchange 2010 Conference  
(Greek News Agenda)

PM George Papandreou interviews at “El Pais” & “Al Jazeera”

Prime Minister Georges Papandreou was interviewed by the Spanish daily “El Pais” (May 23).

In a three page interview, the premier answered questions regarding the economic situation in Greece noting that the euro-zone has reached a tipping point which will bring it before an “historic reflection period.”
In the case of Greece, the international community did not react in a timely manner, it did not admit that the currency was under attack, and “there was the same fear as when a buffalo leaves the herd.”
Today, the country’s austerity plan is on the right track, but it is not enough if it is to be left without European support. For Papandreou, the support is necessary for all members so to act as deterrent of speculation. “Spain and Portugal were not in a bad situation yet they fell victims of the ambient hysteria.”
In related news, in an interview with Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips  on May 20 in Athens, Papandreou said that Greece will eventually emerge from the crisis with a more viable economy, determined to say “never again.”   
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

PM George Papandreou in Moscow

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou arrived in Moscow yesterday for a two-day working visit during which he will be holding meetings with President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to discuss economic, commercial, military and political issues.
Speaking to the Itar-Tass news agency, ahead of the visit, George Papandreou said that the level of Greek-Russian relations is excellent while he described relations between the European Union and Russia as having strategic importance.
In another interview with the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti, the premier stressed that Greece is expecting political support and not economic aid from the European Union.
 “Greece did not appeal for economic aid to the international community or to the European Union. Greece intends and is capable of solving its problems alone,” the prime minister said.
Referring to the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline, Papandreou said that its construction can begin in six months.

Cultural ties with Georgia

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Institute of Classical, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies of the Tbilisi State University has undertaken the initiative to compile the first Modern Greek-Georgian Dictionary, containing 50,000 words. The project was funded by the Kostas and Eleni Ourani Foundation

The Greek element has been present in Georgia since antiquity. The first trips had commercial purpose and within years, the first cultural enclaves were established.
The two early Georgian kingdoms of late antiquity were known to ancient Greeks as Iberia in the east and Colchis in the West.
The Western part was strongly influenced by Greek culture – as evidenced in Greek mythology and the story of Jason seeking the Golden Fleece in Colchis – and the eastern part by the Persians.
Greeks in Georgia established ties with the Byzantine Empire, building on a common religious background.
Until recently (1989), the Greek community in Georgia counted some 100,000 residents, but nowadays the population totals between 15,000- 20,000. 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greeks in Georgia; Photo: “The Argonauts”, a publication by the Institute of Classical, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies of the Tbilisi State University.

Διάλεξη για την βενετοκρατούμενη Κρήτη στο Πανεπιστήμιο Βαρσοβίας (8/12/2009)

A post-byzantine icon from the collection of the Hellenic Institute of Venice

Διάλεξη με θέμα «Η βενετική περίοδος της ελληνικής ιστορίας – Η βενετοκρατούμενη Κρήτη» έδωσε η Γραμματέας Επικοινωνίας του Γραφείου Τύπου και Επικοινωνίας Βαρσοβίας, Μαρία Μονδέλου, στις 8 Δεκεμβρίου στο Πανεπιστήμιο Βαρσοβίας.
Η διάλεξη πραγματοποιήθηκε ύστερα από πρόσκληση του Ινστιτούτου Διεπιστημονικών Σπουδών (Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies) “Artes Liberales” του Πανεπιστημίου της Βαρσοβίας, με πρωτοβουλία της καθηγήτριας Malgorzata Borowska, διευθύντριας του Τμήματος Νεοελληνικής Φιλολογίας.
Την διάλεξη παρακολούθησαν οι φοιτητές του Β΄ έτους της Νεοελληνικής Φιλολογίας, στο πλαίσιο του μαθήματος «Κρητικά αριστουργήματα της περιόδου της Αναγέννησης».
Παρουσιάστηκαν αρχικά, τα σημαντικότερα ορόσημα της βενετικής ιστορίας και των μακραίωνων ελληνο-βενετικών σχέσεων, με έμφαση στις σχέσεις Βενετίας και Βυζαντίου.
Έγινε αναφορά, σε όψεις της ιστορίας της Βενετοκρατίας στον ελληνικό χώρο και στα χαρακτηριστικά της βενετικής κυριαρχίας, και επισημάνθηκαν ορισμένα από τα συμπεράσματα των σύγχρονων ερευνών, οι οποίες αποδεικνύουν την ύπαρξη ενός κοινού ελληνο-βενετικού πολιτισμού, καρπού της δυτικής και της βυζαντινής παράδοσης. Αναλύθηκαν τα κύρια γνωρίσματα της ιστορίας των βενετοκρατούμενων περιοχών, με έμφαση στις σημαντικότερες βενετικές κτήσεις, όπως η Κωνσταντινούπολη και η Κρήτη. 
Στη βενετοκρατούμενη Κρήτη ήταν αφιερωμένο το δεύτερο μέρος της ομιλίας. Τονίστηκε η σπουδαιότητα της βενετικής αυτής κτήσης και αναλύθηκαν ορισμένοι από τους θεσμούς που εισήγαγε η Βενετία στο νησί, καθώς και τα χαρακτηριστικά των τεσσάρων μεγαλύτερων πόλεων του νησιού κατά την διάρκεια της βενετοκρατίας (Χάνδακας, Χανιά, Ρέθυμνο, Σητεία). Ιδιαίτερη αναφορά έγινε στη λεγόμενη «Κρητική Αναγέννηση» και σε επιτεύγματα του βενετο-κρητικού πολιτισμού της ύστερης περιόδου (ενδεικτικά παραδείγματα  από την λογοτεχνία, την ποίηση, την ζωγραφική).
Τέλος, έγινε αναφορά στο έργο του Ελληνικού Ινστιτούτου Βυζαντινών και Μεταβυζαντινών Βενετίας, του οποίου η ομιλήτρια διετέλεσε υπότροφος- ερευνήτρια.
Επισημάνθηκαν η προσφορά του Ινστιτούτου ως του μοναδικού ερευνητικού ιδρύματος της Ελλάδας στο εξωτερικό και η δράση του σε ποικίλους τομείς (επιστημονική έρευνα, εκδόσεις, διοργάνωση συνεδρίων, βιβλιοθήκη, αρχείο χειρογράφων και παλαιών εγγράφων, μουσείο μεταβυζαντινών εικόνων κ.ά.). Παράλληλα, παρουσιάστηκε συνοπτικά η ιστορία της Ελληνικής Κοινότητας Βενετίας, η οποία υπήρξε η σημαντικότερη ελληνική κοινότητα του εξωτερικού. 

 
 
 
 
 

The Hellenic Institute of Venice and the Church of St. George

Lecture “The Venetian Dominion in Greece – Venetian Crete” (University of Warsaw, 8/12)

A lecture about “The Venetian period of Greek history – Crete under venetian rule” was hold by the Press Attache of the Press and Communication Office in Warsaw, Maria Mondelou, on the 8th December at the University of Warsaw.
The lecturer was invited by the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies “Artes Liberales” of the University of Warsaw and the director at the Department of Modern Greek Philology, Malgorzata Borowska.
A chronology of Venetian history and of the Greek-Venetian relations was initially presented. Main aspects of the Venetian dominion in Greece were described and the results of contemporary researches, that verify the existence of a common Greek-Venetian culture, product of the Latin and the Byzantine traditions, were highlighted. The most important characteristics regarding the history of regions under Venetian rule, such as Constantinople and Crete, were also presented.
The second part of the lecture was dedicated to the Venetian Crete, a most important Venetian territory. The institutions that Venice introduced in the island and the characteristics of the greater towns (Candia, Canea, Rethymnon, Sitia) during the Venetian dominion were, also, analysed. Particular attention was preserved for the so-called “Cretan Rennaissance” and the aspects of the Venetian-Cretan culture (literature, poetry, painting).
Finally, the Hellenic Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies of Venice and its activities were presented by the lecturer, who has been a researcher of the Institute. It was highlighted  the great importance of this foundation, as the only scientific institution of Greece abroad and several types of its activities (scientific research, editions, organization of conferences, library, archive of manuscripts and old documents, post-byzantaine icons etc.) were described.

It was, also, briefly presented the history of the Greek-Orthodox Confraternity of Venice, which for centuries has been the most important Greek Community abroad. 

Greece: Absorption of Structural Funds

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Greece’s absorption of structural funds from 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF) in 2000-2006 stands at 91%, European Commissioner for regional policy Danuta Hubner announced on Wednesday.  The Commissioner clarified that Greece applied for payments reaching €20.9 billion of the €23 billion available. Presenting absorption figures for the 3rd CSF for all member-states, Hubner said that the Community average also stood at 91%. She expressed hope that the total available funds will have been absorbed by June 30, when the deadline for completing projects using Community funding expires. Greece’s absorption of money available in the structural funds and the EU Cohesion Fund comes to 88%, marginally above the EU average of 87%. Absorption of money exclusively derived from the Cohesion Fund by Greece is 61%, four percentage points below the EU average of 65%.  Ministry of Economy and Finance: Management Organisation Unit of CSF; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece, CSF (2000-2006) 

Karamanlis – Obama hold telephone talks

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis held a telephone conversation with U.S. President-elect Barakaramanliskaramanlis1ck Obama yesterday, congratulating him on his election and stressing that he is looking forward to meeting him in the near future. Karamanlis told Obama that he appreciates the clear and steadfast position which he has expressed on a number of issues of Greek interest and added that he hopes for the bilateral cooperation to be reinforced even further, especially through the Greek-American Community which has so far contributed immensely to this end. On his part, Obama thanked the prime minister and underlined his esteem for the work of the Greek-American Community, members of which have been already placed in high ranks of his team. He further acknowledged Greece’s role in crafting solutions to many European issues and expressed his will to visit the country in the future. (The picture is from Karamanlis’ first official visit to the United States as Prime Minister in 2004)  Athens News Agency: Karamanlis, Obama hold telephone conversation; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-USA bilateral relations; World Council of Hellenes Abroad: USA Region

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

Hellenic Observatory & LSE

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Hellenic Observatory Research Seminar series provides a forum for academic and policy research addressed mainly to student and academic audiences within London, but also to the wider Greek community in the UK. Topics cover mainly current economic, public policy and foreign policy issues related to Greece, Cyprus and southeast Europe region but also extent to topics on culture and history. The Hellenic Observatory plans to launch a new book series on Greece in 2008-9. The series will be launched in conjunction with a leading UK and international publisher and will be focussed on contemporary Greece from the perspective of the social sciences. Full details will be placed on the HO Web-Pages. Prospective authors with good ideas are invited to contact the Observatory. More info on the future plans: Hellenic Observatory Newsletter 2008