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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

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Boosting Greek Tourism

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Fourteen specific measures aimed at boosting the tourism sector pledged by the Prime Minister will soon be implemented, new Tourism Development Minister Constantine Markopoulos said during a press conference on Tuesday. Commenting on projected tourism figures for the coming season, Markopoulos said no accurate predictions can be made regarding the number of tourist arrivals, considering that pre-bookings have been put off for two months to March and April as a result of the global economic crisis.  Speaking to the press, the minister said the draft law will include the 14 measures, such as cutting municipal taxes and transforming the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels into a Tourism Chamber. Markopoulos said the ministry also plans to table another draft law in Parliament, by September, envisaging stricter supervision of casino operations and the upgrading of the Greek National Tourism Organisation‘s offices abroad, with the ministry planning to open new offices in South Africa, Poland, Ukraine and India.

Greek Foreign Minister D. Bakoyannis on Foreign Policy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis referred to the “new multi-polar balance of powers” – which has taken shape since the fall of the Berlin Wall – as well as to the political framework created by the current world economic crisis, during an address on Monday at an event organised by the Constantine Karamanlis Institute of Democracy. The minister also expounded on the philosophy, the objectives and pursuits of Greek foreign policy which she termed a modern patriotic policy.  “In this political landscape, Greece proceeds with a foreign policy which is based on a broader consensus, follows a consistent national strategy, aims at placing Greece at the centre of decision making processes, enriches its potential with economic diplomacy activities and is being characterised by transparency, clarity and knowledge of international realities,” Bakoyannis noted.  Athens News Agency: FM on foreign policy

A Farewell to Greece / Αποχαιρετισμός στην Ελλάδα

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   In a letter published in Sunday “Kathimerini,” on December 28, 2008, Simon Gass, until recently British Ambassador to Athens, bids a warm farewell to Greece (pdf in Greek). 
“Write if you can on your last shell
the day the place the name
and fling it into the sea so that it sinks”
“Santorini -The naked child”- Giorgos Seferis 
In a few days, my wife and I are leaving Greece after eight blissful years in your country; first during the 80’s and the second time these past years. Greece has been good to us. […] 
Greece and its people exercise an intense influence on foreigners. British writer Lawrence Durrell wrote: “Other countries can make you discover customs, traditions or landscapes. Greece offers you something harsher: self-discovery.”  In Greece, us northern Europeans, leave behind some of our cold-blooded nature and reservation and become more extroverted, seeking the company of other people. […] 
We don’t think Greece has given us permission to leave the country indefinitely. When we do return, it will not be just for the peoples or the landscape, but because Greece is a country which we admire for many different things. 
“May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbours seen for the first time”
“Ithaca”- Constantine P. Cavafy  
Still, it won’t be Greece[…] 
Thank you, Greece.                 

Karamanlis Chair at Fletcher School

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Alexandros Yannis, is from September 2008, the new Constantine Karamanlis Associate Professor at the Fletcher School in Boston. Professor Alexandros Yannis has extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy with the European Union and the United Nations; including working with the European Union Special Envoy to Somalia (1994-1997), the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in Kosovo (1999-2000) and in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva (2001).  The Constantine Karamanlis Chair in Hellenic and Southeastern European Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy is committed to promoting Hellenic and Southeast European Studies in the US while honoring a towering figure of Greece’s recent past. The Karamanlis Chair brings academic scholars to The Fletcher School and the Tufts University community, encouraging a renewed focus on modern Greece, Southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the European Union and the crucial role these regions play in world politics. The Chair’s endowment provides a basis for scholars to teach the lessons of Greece and Southeastern Europe through history and culture as well as economics and politics. Karamanlis Chair @ Fletcher: Working Papers in Hellenic & European Studies

Reading Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Homer :   Where is Ithaca described in detail in Homer’s Odyssey? The island of Ithaki, most have assumed. But Homer says that Ithaca is “furthest towards the dark,” i.e. the west, a group of islands. In their fascinating albeit controversial award-winning best-seller, published by Cambridge University Press in October 2005, titled “Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca”, Robert Bittlestone, enthusiastic Homerist, geologist John Underhill, and classics scholar James Diggle believe the island of Kefalonia is indeed the answer, or rather, its westernmost peninsula Paliki. In the “Odysseus Unbound” website (www.odysseus-unbound.org) you can read more about their project. The book has been updated with the latest developments from the island of Kefalonia and is published in Athens by PolytroponContinue reading