Greece: Attracting Tourism Development

Greece ranked 29th among a total of 139 countries in a survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) regarding competitiveness for the tourism sector.
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report is issued annually and grades countries on a total of 60 indicators, including policy regulations, resources, safety, prices and environmental protection. According to the survey, Greece benefits from its rich cultural resources (ranked 25th), excellent health and hygiene (20th), and a top-notch tourism infrastructure (5th). Further on, the report refers to the country’s strong national affinity for tourism (compared with many other European countries), including a generally open and positive attitude toward tourists (26th). The report ranks Greece 21st among European countries.
World Economic Forum: 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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Ομιλία του πρωθυπουργού Γιώργου Παπανδρέου στην συνάντηση των προϊσταμένων Γραφείων Τύπου Εξωτερικού

Την Δευτέρα, 17 Ιανουαρίου 2011, πραγματοποιήθηκε στην αίθουσα Εκδηλώσεων (Κέντρου Τύπου) της Γενικής Γραμματείας Επικοινωνίας – Γενικής Γραμματείας Ενημέρωσης η συνάντηση των προϊσταμένων ΓΤΕ και Γραφείων ΕΟΤ, στις εργασίες της οποίας παρέστη ο Πρωθυπουργός, κ. Γιώργος Παπανδρέου. Η ομιλία του Πρωθυπουργού επικεντρώθηκε στην Ελλάδα που αλλάζει και στην ανάδειξη της κρίσης – και της αρνητικής για την χώρα μας δημοσιότητας που την συνόδεψε – ως μιας ευκαιρίας για την οικοδόμηση μιας νέας ταυτότητας που θα επιανατοποθετεί την Ελλάδα στον κόσμο. Προσδιόρισε επίσης τον ρόλο που θα έχουν τα Γραφεία Τύπου και Επικονωνίας στο πλαίσιο της σημερινής συγκυρίας.
Παρατίθεται ολόκληρο το κείμενο της ομιλίας.
(Πηγή: Forum Διεθνούς Επικοινωνιακής Πολιτικής icp-forum.gr)

PM George Papandreou: A Year of Consolidation and Reform

Greece’s image at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos was “positive”, Prime Minister George Papandreou said on January 28, on the sidelines of the forum. As Papandreou said, there was across-the-board acknowledgement of Greece’s efforts and of the Greek people’s and government’s determination to carry on with the reforms.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Die Presse, Papandreou reiterated that debt restructuring is not an option for Greece stressing the efforts to achieve an extension of the repayment period of the EU-IMF loans.
See also: A year of consolidation and reform – Greece meets ambitious targets in 2010
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

New OSCE PA President: Petros Efthymiou

Ruling PASOK party deputy Petros Efthymiou was elected as the new president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), during the forum’s 19th annual session.
Efthymiou, who was a Vice-President in the Assembly, was elected with 130 votes, against 64 of Senator Consiglio Di Nino (Canada).
Participants at the 19th session discussed a wide range of issues, amongst which the situation in Kyrgyzstan, the Parliamentary Assembly’s involvement in the Corfu process, the peace process in the Middle East, nuclear security, cyber-crime.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

International Conference “Literature and Immigration” in Warsaw (25/3/2010)

An international conference “Literature and Immigration” took place in Warsaw on the 25th March, under the auspices of the European Commission and EUNIC (EU National Institutes of Culture).
The conference was organized by Goethe Institut, Austrian Cultural Forum, Danish Institute, Romanian Cultural Institute, the Swedish Embassy and the Press Office of the Greek Embassy, all of them members of EUNIC, as well as by the Representation in Poland of the European Commission and the Centre of Modern Art Zamek Ujazdowski, where the conference took place.
Scholars involved in academic research related with the topics of literature and immigration were invited to share their views with writers that have chosen to write in a foreign language.
  

The writer Kallifatides

 Greece was represented by the Albanian writer and journalist, Gazmend Kapllani, who lives and works in Greece and the writer Theodor Kallifatides, who has lived the last 45 years in Sweden, publishing more than 40 books.
Both writers were invited by the Press Office, with the support of the Greek Book Centre

Kapllani spoke about “The strange language of dreams”: ”I think that writing in a language that is not your mother tongue is a privilege and a trap at the same time. It’s a trap because every time that you are not satisfied with what you are writing, you’re tempted to blame your failure on the “foreign” language. In a way, it becomes your scapegoat. 

The writer and journalist Kapllani

On the other hand, it’s a privilege, because the relationship between yourself and that language is a relationship of a never ending curiosity. You never take it for granted. This happens for the sole reason that it was never given to you, you had to “conquer” it. You are in a constant search for yourself and this language. The foreign language will never fully be yours in the same way your mother tongue is. I believe that the relationship one has with one’s mother tongue always contains an element of routine and heaviness. The relationship with the “foreign” language never becomes routine. It gives you a sense of lightness and freedom, a desire to play and conquer. The relationship with your mother tongue seems similar to the maternal affection. The relationship with a foreign language that you acquired resembles a love affair. At least, this is what I can say about my relationship with the Greek language. I feel that I am no longer a stranger to the Greek language. But I am not a native either. Therefore, I do not live inside the Greek language either as a stranger, or as a native. Maybe I live within it as a strange one”. 
Kallifatides, who has published novels, poetry collections, travel essays and plays, has received numerous awards for his works which usually revolve around his experience of Greece and of being Greek in foreign domains and almost all his works have been translated and published in more than twenty languages.
During the conference, he stressed that for him the Greek language is the language of connotations and feelings, and the Swedish language is an intellectual language. He mentioned the problems of writing in your own language and the privileges of writing in a foreign language. He considers himself an immigrant and a writer and not an immigrant writer.

PM George Papandreou at the World Economic Forum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Speaking as part of a panel – that also included Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet – at the annual World Economic Forum taking place in Davos, Switzerland (January 27 -31), Prime Minister George Papandreou said that Greece would not leave the euro area and would use the discipline of membership to slash its budget deficit and make long-delayed structural economic reforms. “The answer is very simple. We went [to the market] for borrowing two days ago and we were five times oversubscribed. We’re not looking for money from anywhere else…” said Papandreou. He outlined an ambitious goal to reduce the deficit by four points this year and bring it below 3% by 2012, through measures taken as part of Greece’s Stability and Growth Programme (SGP)
The premier held a meeting with EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia yesterday, and the discussion focused on Greece’s SGP in light of the report that the European Commission will be submitting on February 3, on Greece. 
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso – speaking in Brussels on Thursday – stressed the need for the greater coordination of economic policies in the EU, emphasising that economic policies are not only a national issue, but European as well. Referring to Greece specifically, he expressed the conviction that the Greek government must be supported in its effort to fulfil its commitments in the framework of the SGP. 
See world reports – BBC.co.uk: Davos 2010: Greece denies a bail-out is needed; Reuters.com: Greece says being targeted as euro zone “weak link”

OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Alternate Defence Minister Panos Beglitis will inaugurate the OSCE’s Forum for Security Co-operation with an address at the Organisation’s headquarters in Vienna today.
Greece assumes the rotating chairmanship for the first four months of 2010.
The Forum constitutes the OSCE’s autonomous political and military body, and deals with issues of the so-called “tough security”, with its own Presidency, that alternates in alphabetical order every four months, as well with its own “Troika,” which functions in a coordinating manner.