• Photos from Greece

    Events of Press Office

    Click to go to Events of Press Offce site















EU backs up Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The European Union yesterday, in a joint statement by the Heads of State or Government, agreed to take determined and coordinated action to safeguard financial stability in the euro area, and expressed full support for the efforts of the Greek government and their commitment to do whatever is necessary to get the country’s public finances in order.
European commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said that the statement was intended to end speculation that Greece would require a bailout package, while adding that “the Greek government believe they do not need financial support.”
Addressing a press conference at the end of the informal summit in Brussels and referring to this agreement to assist Greece, Prime Minister George Papandreou said:

“our partners assessed and ascertained our will to change, we convinced them, following our great efforts, and it is necessary for us to continue. We will succeed.”
Greece is aiming to reduce its deficit by 4 % of GDP this year, largely through cuts in public spending and an increase in taxes. However, Papandreou said that he would not hesitate to adopt more measures if it becomes necessary.
Council of the European Union: Agreement to support Greece; Kathimerini daily: EU offers help but no specific money pledge

The “Economist” Conference

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A much timely “Economist” Conference was addressed yesterday by the country’s leadership and experts from the financial and business world.

Taking the floor, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou availed himself of the opportunity to note that Greece’s fiscal problems are also an issue for the entire eurozone and marked that a spill-over effect will not leave other eurozone countries unaffected, especially those which are as vulnerable as Greece.
The remarks were reported one day before the European Commission announces its recommendations on the country’s stability programme , which is most likely to receive European approval.   

» “Deficit Fetishism is a Mistake”
Addressing the Conference (Discussion and Debate with Joseph Stiglitz on the World Economy 2010), Nobel Economics Laureate 2001, former Senior Vice President of the World Bank, and Professor at Columbia University Joseph Stiglitz, dismissed fears that Greece will go bankrupt, adding that, when struggling with recession, governments ought to be careful with their rectifying measures.
“Cutting deficits in the wrong way can be counterproductive.”
Kathimerini daily: Greek woes are a eurozone issue

Economist Joseph Stiglitz to visit Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz is invited to participate at an open debate, titled “Discussion and debate with Joseph Stiglitz: in or out of the economic crisis?,” organized by the Economist and Hazlis & Rivas conferences, on February 2. 
Prime Minister George Papandreou will inaugurate the conference with an opening address, focusing on the government’s effort to fulfil the twin aim of monetary restructuring and growth.
Ministers, the leader of the opposition New Democracy party, Antonis Samaras as well as representatives of business associations will also participate at the conference.
Meanwhile, Stiglitz has contributed an article (January 25) in the ‘Comment is Free’ section of The Guardian, under the title “A principled Europe would not leave Greece to bleed,” urging Europe to show support for the honesty and integrity of Greece’s government and its efforts not only to bring the budget under control, but to increase transparency of the entire budgetary framework and to reduce corruption.

The destiny of Greek Tourism

» Expected Recovery

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) According to a survey conducted by the Academy of Tourism Research and Studies, Greek tourism will recover this year, with tourist arrivals expected to rise by 8.6%, compared to 2009.
The report by ATEM predicts that foreign tourists visiting Greece will reach 15.5 million in 2010, on condition that there is an upturn in world’s economy.

Greek National Tourism Organisation: www.gnto.gr

» Alternative Tourism

Exploring caves, rafting and trekking is just a small part of the activities offered to tourists who do not like crowded vacation destinations and choose alternative tourism.
More examples include medical tourism – which started in Ancient Greece – as well conference and wedding tourism (accommodations, transport, beauty treatments, flower arrangements, and much more).
A conference titled “New Trends in Tourism: benefits & prospects for women,” organised by the Thessaloniki Organisation for Women’s Employment & Resources (TOWER), aims at presenting and discussing various new trends in tourism. Topics to be explored include eco / agro-tourism, health & wellness tourism, and raising awareness about career opportunities available for women in tourism.
See also Greek News Agenda: Alternative Tourism

PM`s press conference for the first 100 days of the government

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The year 2010 was the time for Greece to make a new start and major changes, Prime Minister George Papandreou stressed on Wednesday during a press conference held to mark the completion of 100 days since PASOK was sworn in as the new government.
“It is time to change everything, to turn the crisis into an opportunity.
We have already shown that we are capable of doing this, that we can be leaders and not laggards,” Papandreou said, emphasising that the government was determined not to fall into the inertia of its predecessors and had already made important changes at every ministry, while several deep reforms were now in the process of being introduced.
Among these he listed the effort to establish a new taxation system, overhauling the social insurance system, and initiating a debate on local administration reform and a new electoral law.Reviewing his government’s course during the first 100 days, he admitted that some mistakes have been made but stressed that the government is prepared to take corrective action when this proves necessary.
“We are determined to do the things for which we were elected by Greek men and women.
It is this that gives us the strength to not back down,” he underlined, and urged everyone to join the “democratic front” in order to democratically restructure the country.

Greek foreign policy in 2010

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas outlined Greece’s foreign policy priorities for 2010 during a press conference held yesterday.

Together with Deputy Minister Spyros Kouvelis, Droutsas highlighted that protecting Greece’s sovereignty and putting an end to past inertia will constitute the ultimate objective for the country’s foreign policy.
Referring to issues of particular national interest, Droutsas stressed that Greece has conveyed a message of friendship and peace to Turkey and expects the latter to respond to it.
The alternate minister mentioned the possibility of a meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister sometime in the near future.
On the Cyprus issue, underlined the government’s commitment to actively helping Cyprus with actions rather than words, pointing out that the first foreign visit carried out by Prime Minister George Papandreou had been to Cyprus.
As regards to the country’s relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the alternate minister reiterated that Greece enters negotiations with an open mind and keeps an edifying stance on the matter.
Droutsas pointed out that in the communiqué forwarded by the European Union in December, it was made clear that Greece’s support to FYROM’s European course depends on reaching a viable solution to the name issue.
Greek News Agenda:  Greek Foreign Policy- Challenges and Prospects

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.”

Prime Minister`s Belgrade Visit

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou paid a short visit to Belgrade on January 4 to address the Annual Conference of the Ambassadors of Serbia. During his visit, the premier met with Serbia’s President and Prime Minister, Boris Tadic and Mirko Cvetkovic.

Speaking after his meeting with the Serb President, Papandreou said that bilateral relations are excellent and noted that his presence in Belgrade signals the beginning of an effort to enable the western Balkans to join the European Union in 2014.
“Greece is in the front line of the initiative that constitutes a basic aim for peace, cooperation, and stability in the region,” Papandreou said. 
Addressing the 3rd Congress of Serbia’s ambassadors, Papandreou said that 2014 is a crucial year for the EU accession of the Western Balkan states, stressing that this region has to make big steps forward and leave behind the wars and conflicts of the past.
The premier also referred to “global governance that is in the making,” stressing, among other things, that “national states are gradually becoming incapable of handling global problems by themselves, such as climatic change, immigration and organised crime,” and called for global cooperation and regional alliances. 
See also: Athens News Agency: PM reiterates support for Serbia’s EU course

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. 

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

The OSCE on a new path

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Political Declaration Adopted

Foreign ministers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 56 participating states charted the way ahead for the OSCE-anchored debate on the future of European security known as the Corfu Process in a decision and a Ministerial Declaration adopted yesterday after a two-day Ministerial Council held in Athens (December 1-2).
“The Corfu Process will be taken forward by our Permanent Representatives to the OSCE in Vienna, in accordance with the decision we are adopting today.
We remain committed to provide strong political impetus to the Corfu Process, and we are looking forward to reassessing its progress in 2010, in the format and level that we will deem appropriate, taking into consideration the results we achieve,” it is stated in the Declaration, which is the first to be adopted since 2002.
Athens Ministerial Council (dedicated webpage)

» Turning a New Page

Commenting on the Ministerial Council at a press conference, held at the end of the meeting, Greek Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman-in-Office George Papandreou referred to a new page in the Organisation’s history.
“We have committed ourselves in a joint document on how to face common challenges,” he said noting that, Kazakhstan’s task -which is assuming the Presidency of the OSCE for the next year-, is difficult.
But as the Greek premier stressed, “we proved today that if we want we can. The process can revive political dialogue and the tangible result was consensus.”

ON THE SIDELINES

» Meeting with Russian FM

The strategic nature of Greek-Russian relations and their excellent level was reaffirmed during a meeting in Athens on Wednesday between Prime Minister George Papandreou and visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, held on the sidelines of the OSCE Council in Athens.Papandreou accepted a formal invitation to visit Moscow in early 2010.

Papandreou and Lavrov discussed bilateral relations in all sectors, ranging from energy to culture and from regional cooperation to relations with the EU and NATO, and signed a 2010-2012 joint action plan to be renewed every two years.

» Meeting with Turkish FM

Prime Minister George Papandreou also met with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, with both sides citing closer cooperation in all levels.
The potential for the adoption of practical measures to boost cooperation of the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey in 2010 was also discussed at the meeting. Davutoglu spoke positively of Greece’s target for the EU integration of the western Balkans in 2014, and he confirmed Turkey’s intent for closer bilateral cooperation.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations Greece- Turkey

Conferences in Greece

» Sound & Audiovisual Archives

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA- 2009) conference “Towards the new kind of Archive? The Digital Philosophy in Audiovisual Archives” hosted by the Hellenic National Audiovisual Archive is taking place in Athens from September 20 to 25, at the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre.

The role of audiovisual archives in the new technological environment and how distinct the roles are of the various cultural heritage institutions, what methods and techniques will ensure the accountability and continuity of the audiovisual content, are some of the themes the conference participants will address.   The event will also celebrate the 40th anniversary since the establishment of IASA, which was envisioned as a medium for international co-operation between archives that preserve recorded sound and audiovisual documents. It now counts members from more than 60 countries representing a broad palette of audiovisual archives and personal interests.  IASA: Preliminary Conference Programme

» Informatics in the Balkans

The 4th Balkan Conference in Informatics (BCI 2009) is taking place in Thessaloniki from September 17 to 19. The aim of the conference is to provide a forum for discussion and dissemination of research achievements, to promote interaction and collaboration among scientists from the Balkans and beyond, as well as to encourage the involvement of young researchers from the region.

Summer Schools & Seminars in Greece

» Comparative Folklore

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Ioannina and the student academic network “Border Crossing” are hosting the fourth summer school in “Anthropology, Ethnography and Comparative Folklore of the Balkans.” The summer school is taking place from July 29 to August 13 in Konitsa, northwestern Greece.

Sitia» The World of Erotokritos

The Municipality of Siteia and Prefectural Authority of Lasithi in eastern Crete are hosting a three-day international scientific conference from July 31 to August 2 on world-renowned Siteia poet Vitsentzos Kornaros, who wrote the epic poem “Erotokritos.” The conference is titled “The World of Erotokritos: Erotokritos in the World.” Speakers include Cambridge University professor David Holton and Boston College professor of Classical Studies Dia Philippides.

» Behavioural Finance

The fourth Advanced Summer School in Economics and Econometrics begins at the Rethymno University campus in Crete on August 2.  Hosted by the University of Crete, the summer school focuses on “Behavioral Finance” and will run through August 9.

International Greek Research Conference

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The 8th International Conference on Greek Research is taking place at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, from July 2 to 5. This inter-disciplinary conference will encompass a wide range of papers on Greek and Cypriot studies from the wider spectrum of the following areas:  Literature and Language, Classical Studies, Philosophy, Society and Culture, History and Migration. The conference will also feature a Youth Forum exploring the experiences of youth in the Greek diaspora.

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

Anti-Doping Conference in Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The city of Athens will host the first EU conference on anti-doping from May 13 to 15, organised by the European Commission and the Commission’s Sport Unit. The initiative is part of the “White Paper” on sport, passed by the European Parliament.  The World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee, representatives of international sporting bodies such as FIFA, UEFA, FIBA and IAAF, scientists, athletes and sports instructors from Greece and abroad as well as the EU’s 27 sports ministers have been invited to participate in the inaugural conference in the Greek capital.  

Society On-Line in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    WebSci’09: Society On-Line, March 18-20, 2009, Athens, Greece.  Web Science focuses on understanding, designing and developing the technologies and applications that make up the World Wide Web. But the WWW does not exist without the participation of people and organizations. Now that a significant proportion of everyday life is spent on-line in many countries, it makes sense for the first Web Science conference to be dedicated to the presentation of research into society on the Web. The conference is organised by the Web Science Research Initiative (WSRI) and the Foundation of the Hellenic World (FHW).

OSCE Chair at Munich Security Conference

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis presided over a panel on “NATO, Russia, Oil, Gas and the Middle East: The future of European security,” at the main plenary session of the 45th Munich Security Conference, where she emphasized Greece’s willingness to move forward with the dialogue on European security issues. Europe faces common threats and security challenges, and the OSCE remains the forum for dialogue on security issues, she said. “There appears to be widespread consensus that, to say the least, we need to engage in a dialogue on security issues. It goes without saying that – provided that there is agreement by all 56 OSCE participating states – Greece stands ready to organise meetings at any level that could launch, or more generally facilitate, such a dialogue,” Bakoyannis noted. In her speech, she touched upon several points, including European security, common interests and common values – such as respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law, observing territorial integrity, refraining from the threat or use of force – as well as the continuation of OSCE work in Georgia. Lastly, she underlined the considerable advantage of such meetings, namely that the participants have the possibility of “speaking far more openly than in ordinary forums.” Bakoyannis is in Tirana today as part of her Balkan countries’ tour, where she will be meeting with Albanian President Bamir Topi, Prime Minister Sali Berisha and her counterpart Lulzim Basha. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Speech of FM Dora Bakoyannis at the 45th Munich Security Conference

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