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Greek Tourism – Oswiadczenie Greckiej Minister Kultury i Turystyki Tatiany Karapanagioti – Statement by Minister of Culture and Tourism Tatiana Karapanagioti (Athens, 22/5/2012)

Niedawno mianowana Grecka Minister Kultury i Turystyki, Tatiana Karapanagioti, wydała to oświadczenie w następstwie odprawy Premiera Panagiotisa Pikrammenosa, tymczasowego przewodniczącego rządu.
„Grecja jest tutaj tak jak zawsze była i tak jak zawsze będzie, oferując turystom unikalne przeżycia podróżnicze. Nasz kraj jest piękny, a dziedzictwo kulturowe bogate jak wcześniej.
Nic się nie zmieniło, przynajmniej w legendarnej greckiej gościnności, która przyjęła miliony odwiedzających przez lata, włączając rekordową ilość16,5 miliona w 2011 roku.
Odbyłam rozległe dyskusje z przewodnimi stowarzyszeniami branży turystycznej. Każdy wyraził silne zaangażowanie by zapewnić, że wakacyjne doznania w Grecji są tak bogate i satysfakcjonujące jak zawsze były.
Grecja jest tak ponadczasowa jak i serdeczne powitanie greków. W ten sposób zawsze było – i 2012 rok nie będzie wyjątkiem.”
Greece is offering tourists a unique travel experience, with its beautiful land and rich cultural heritage, said interim Culture and Tourism minister Tatiana Karapanagioti, following a meeting with Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, on May 22. After noting the legendary Greek hospitality, which has embraced millions of visitors over the years, the minister assured that everyone in the tourism industry has expressed a strong commitment to ensuring that the Greek holiday experience is as rich and rewarding as it has always been.

Prime Minister Pikrammenos also met with Dr. Andreas Andreadis, President of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) and discussed the effects of Greece’s economic crisis on tourism. The SETE president assured the PM that the quality of holidays in Greece is not affected by the economic upheaval in any way, highlighting that the country remains one of the most desired destinations worldwide and this summer will be “business as usual.”
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“We are all Greeks now” – Solidarity with the Greek People

We are all Greeks nowAs Greece seems more stifled everyday by economic pressures and social turmoil, manifestations of solidarity and support to its people multiply throughout Europe and even across the globe.
A new movement expressing empathy towards Greeks has been gaining in popularity: Saturday, February 18, has been designated International Day of Action for the purpose of protesting against the implementation of extreme austerity measures in Greece. Between 12:00 and 18:00 (local times) demonstrations have been planned in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, the Netherlands, two cities in Germany, twelve cities in France and New York City in the U.S.A. Organisers have been using social media, especially Facebook, as a means to mobilize demonstrators and spread the message “We are all Greeks!.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greek Companies prospering in Poland (Warsaw Business Journal)

Greece has made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2011, with the country being hit by political turmoil as it struggles under the effects of the economic crisis. However, for many Greek companies based inPoland, this year has been business as usual.
There are currently about 40 companies with Greek capital active in the Polish market, according to figures from the Embassy of Greece in Warsaw.
Greek-owned companies have invested more than €1.4 billion and created a total of 11,000 jobs in Poland, the country’s ambassador to Poland, Gabriel Coptsidis, said in a statement earlier this year.
Mellon Group, a company headquartered in Athens specializing in IT services and sales for financial institutions, telecommunications firms and companies in the retail sector, established itself in the Polish market almost six years ago. A growing Polish client base, which includes lenders such as PKO Bank Polski, Polbank EFG, and mBank, helped Mellon Poland make it in to the top 100 companies of Europe’s 500 fastest growing companies in 2010. Europe’s 500, which makes the ranking, is an association of fast growing owner-managed companies in Europe.
“This year is better than the previous one, and we have not been affected,” said Grigorios Kotoulas, General Manager, Mellon Poland. “However, we see in the market that there is a slowdown, but not a recession. We are making plans accordingly but none that … will affect our forecast for2012”, he added.
For Lefteris Maroulis, general director of sports betting firm Totolotek (owned by Greek company Intralot), business has been going well inPoland. Totolotek is a company which has been organizing sports betting in Poland since 1992 and operates close to 400 locations in the country.
(Warsaw Business Journal, 20/12/2011)

Για την προετοιμασία του άρθρου η δημοσιογράφος Veronika Joy συνεργάστηκε με το Γραφείο Τύπου και το Γραφείο Οικονομικών και Εμπορικών Υποθέσεων. Continue reading

Historic decisions for Greece and the Eurozone

Following a marathon negotiating session of European Council on the 26th of October in Brussels, Heads of State and Government of the Eurozone member states agreed on a comprehensive set of measures which reflect their unwavering determinationto overcome together the current difficulties and to take all the necessary steps towards a deeper economic union commensurate with their monetary union.
In particular on Greece, there was an agreement that should secure the decline of the Greek debt to GDP ratio with an objective of reaching 120% by 2020. It also includes a voluntary contribution by private creditors, amounting to a nominal discount of 50% on notional Greek debt. Additionally, a new EU-IMF multiannual programme financing up to € 100 billion will be put in place by the end of the year, accompanied by a strengthening of the mechanisms for the monitoring of reforms implementation.
“The debt is absolutely sustainable now,” Papandreou told a press conference, earlier today, after the meeting of euro zone leaders.
“Greece can now settle its accounts with the past, once and for all. […] We can claim that a new day has come for Greece, and not only for Greece but also for Europe,” the premier added.
Primeminister.gr: Papandreou press conference after the euro summit (in Greek); European Council President: Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy following the meeting of the Euro Summit & Statement by President Barroso
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

PM George Papandreou`s intervention at the plenary session of the Eastern Partnership Summit (Warsaw, 30/9/2011)

By virtue of its location, Greece is uniquely positioned as a bridge linking the Eastern and the Mediterranean dimensions of Europe’s Neighborhood Policy and has promoted the development of both since the ENP’s inception. Therefore, we are very supportive of the strengthening of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) envisaged in the new Neighborhood Policy, based on our shared principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.
The re-launching and re-energizing of the Eastern Partnership, and of the European Neighborhood Policy as a whole, was long overdue. It was necessary in order to better respond to serious common challenges – political, economic, geostrategic, environmental or pertaining to security and energy – but also in order to better prepare for the future.
Structural reforms, internal political tensions, gas routes, energy supply, ecological risks, economic development, illegal immigration and organized crime, are only some of the challenges we are faced with in the framework of the Eastern Neighborhood Policy. Our engagement in the Eastern Neighbourhood is also a matter of consistency and credibility for the EU. Our strategic goal is and will remain the creation of a wider area of stability and prosperity, both in the South as well as in the East. This could only be done by boosting mutually beneficial institutional cooperation and by converging on a set of common values and standards, modeled on the EU positive paradigm and experience. Continue reading

Ομιλία ΥΠΕΞ Σταύρου Λαμπρινίδη στο Πολωνικό Ινστιτούτο Διεθνών Σχέσεων “PISM” (Βαρσοβία, 19/7/2011)

Ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών Σταύρος Λαμπρινίδης εκφώνησε χθες στη Βαρσοβία ομιλία με θέμα “Responsibility and Solidarity: the building blocks of our Union”, η οποία πραγματοποιήθηκε στο Πολωνικό Ινστιτούτο Διεθνών Σχέσεων (PISM).
Ακολούθησε συζήτηση του υπουργού Εξωτερικών με τον διευθυντή του Ινστιτούτου PISM, Marcin Zaborowski, καθώς και ερωτήσεις του κοινού.
Την ομιλία παρακολούθησαν περισσότερα από 120 άτομα, μεταξύ των οποίων πολλοί διπλωμάτες, ερευνητές και δημοσιογράφοι, όπως εκπρόσωποι των πρακτορείων Bloomberg και Reuters, του Πολωνικού Πρακτορείου Ειδήσεων PAP, των τηλεοπτικών σταθμών TVP, TVN, TVN24 και Polsat, των ραδιοφωνικών σταθμών Polish Radio και TOKFM.
Τα κυριότερα σημεία της ομιλίας έχουν ως εξής:
«Πιστεύω ότι δύο από  τις πιο σημαντικές θεμελιώδεις αξίες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης δέχονται επίθεση τα τελευταία χρόνια. Μια εξ αυτών είναι η υπευθυνότητα, η υπευθυνότητα που το κάθε μέλος της ίδιας οικογένειας οφείλει να επιδείξει απέναντι στους εταίρους του.  Η δεύτερη αξία, η οποία κατά τη γνώμη μου δέχεται επίθεση, είναι η αλληλεγγύη, η αλληλεγγύη που οφείλει να επιδείξει η Ένωση συνολικά απέναντι σε κάθε μέλος της ξεχωριστά. Χωρίς αυτές τις αξίες, δεν θα είχαμε την ΕΕ.
Η αξία της υπευθυνότητας, αναμφίβολα, παραβιάστηκε από έναν αριθμό χωρών στην Ευρώπη και, ως γνωστόν, και από την ίδια μου τη χώρα επίσης, κατά τα τελευταία χρόνια. Υπάρχουν κάποια κριτήρια της Συνθήκης του Μάαστριχτ που όλοι μας στην Ευρώπη συμφωνήσαμε να ακολουθήσουμε. Ως εκ τούτου, όταν δεν τηρούμε αυτά τα κριτήρια, παραβιάζουμε ξεκάθαρα την ευθύνη που έχουμε να εργαστούμε ως εταίροι. Αυτό είναι αλήθεια και αυτή η ιστορία αποκαλύφθηκε στα τέλη του 2009.
Δυστυχώς όμως, με αυτή την διαπίστωση, η συζήτηση πάγωσε τότε σαν να είχε παγώσει ο χρόνος. Αλλά ο χρόνος δεν παγώνει. Κατά τον τελευταίο ενάμιση χρόνο, η Ελλάδα έχει καταβάλλει μια υπεράνθρωπη και πρωτοφανή σε όλη την ΕΕ προσπάθεια να επιστρέψει στην αξία της υπευθυνότητας, τόσο προς δικό της όφελος, όσο και προς όφελος των εταίρων της. Continue reading

2010: 34.000 Foreign Media News Items on Greek Crisis

The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) together with the Association of Greek Press Attaches hosted a conference on Foreign Media and Greece’s country image in the economic crisis on May 31. 
According to statistical figures presented, in 2010 only, foreign media from 28 countries reported on the Greek economic crisis publishing 34,000 news items, which represents 60% of the total amount of news items on Greece altogether for the year.
Britain was the country with the most copious reports on Greece in general and the London Financial Times was the newspaper, which covered the economic crisis more frequently and extensively, at a global level.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)