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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) 

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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