Greece at UEFA EURO 2012

Greece’s EURO 2012 final stage course has begun on Friday 08.06.2012 at 18:00, with the opening match against host country Poland (result 1:1), in Warsaw.
The second match of Greece was against the Czech Republic (1:2) on June 12 and the next one will be with Russia on June 16 in Group A of the Euro 2012 tournament held inPoland and Ukraine, between June 8 and July 1. The top two of each group will qualify for the knock out phase.

Greece, EURO’s surprise trophy holder in 2004, qualified to the tournament having topped its qualifying group with seven wins and three draws. This time, under a new coach, Fernando Santos, they hope to repeat past good performances.

The first football match of the Greek team, on the 8th of June, was attended by the Secretary General of Sports, Panos Bitsaxis.

“Greece is Changing” campaign

Greece is Changing, is a campaign launched through international media, in four languages, English, French, German and Dutch, aiming to bring to the attention of a wider international audience, through a series of graphs and compact information, the changes initiated in Greece in the last two years.
It is a one-off public service initiative funded by a group of leading Greek business people, whose aim is to ensure that the sacrifices made by every Greek under the toughest austerity package in modern history, are not in vain.

Karaghiozis: “Inextricable part of Greek Culture”

Greece is planning to press its claims to Karaghiozis, a shadow puppet theatre character that UNESCO has deemed to be part of Turkey’s cultural heritage.
“Karaghiozis is an extricable part of our culture,” Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson said, adding that UNESCO allows neighbouring countries to access the same commodity when it comes to intangible cultural heritage.
The issue has prompted an announcement by the Ministry of Culture, according to which, “it is commonly known and undoubted that shadow theatre refers to a cultural tradition which surpasses boundaries and spans through the Balkans, and the broader East, long time before the emergence of contemporary states.

Concerning the Greek version of Karaghiozis, it represents a vivid chapter of Modern Greek culture, which defends traditional values broadly cherished by the Greek people.”

Museum of Shadow Theatre: Museum of Shadow Theatre & Greek Shadow Theatre Group Athanasiou: Karaghiozis-History
You Tube: Karagiozis & Athens Plus (16.7.2010): Greece to stake its claim to Karagiozis show
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greek Tourism Shows Resilence

• Minister Is Optimistic

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Figures on arrivals at Greek airports during the first five months of the year show an annual drop by 8.8%, much less than had originally been anticipated, Tourism Minister Kostas Markopoulos said during a press conference on June 16. Despite the dire economic climate globally, Markoupolos appeared optimistic that the drop in tourism for 2009 will not reach double digits and stressed that domestic tourism will also reach high levels. Kathimerini daily (17.6.2009): Tourism will not fall by over 10pct this year, gov’t says. Greek National Tourism Organisation: www.visitgreece.gr

• New Planes Take Off

Marfin Investment Group (MIG) which recently bought Olympic Airlines (OA) announced yesterday (June 17) that its subsidiary Olympic Air bought eight Q400 aircrafts from Bombardier for € 161,5 million with an option to acquire another 8. Meanwhile Aegean Airlines has announced that it is beginning daily flights to Istanbul from September 9, expanding its international routes. Kathimerini daily: MIG buys planes for Olympic Air

“Upside Down” AFI at the Benaki Museum

afi(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   An exhibition by the group AFI at the Benaki Museum showcases creations inspired by objects from the museum’s permanent collections, under the title Upside Down. Their works can stand on their own as exemplary artistic entities, as they project their aesthetic integrity publicly and provocatively. The show runs through to June 7, in the form of ad hoc displays throughout the exhibition areas of the permanent collection. Athens Plus: AFI’s contemporary art objects on display at the Benaki  (8.5.2009, p. 27)

Olympic Airlines Seals the Deal

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

The government has announced the successful conclusion of negotiations with Marfin Investment Group (MIG) for the sale of the national carrier Olympic Airlines (OA). Under the deal, clinched late on Friday, the state is set to receive the sum of €177.2 million for all OA assets, flight operations and technical maintenance. For the ground-handling division, since talks between MIG and Swissport are still in progress, negotiations have been extended for a week, Development Minister Kostas Hatzidakis announced.

In order for the agreement between the Greek state and the Marfin Investment Group (MIG) to be finalised, it must be approved by the European Commission, following which, the inter-ministerial privatisations committee must evaluate it.

Greek Foreign Minister on Images of Nations

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis outlined the factors that impact a country’s international image, addressing a two-day Greek Politics Specialist Group (GPSG) international conference in Athens on the theme “Images of Nations: Strategic Communication, Soft Power and the Media,” which examines images of nations in an internationalised environment with the focus on possibilities and prospects for Greece. Referring to mass media, the foreign minister noted that the rapid technological developments of the past two centuries have “contributed to amazing changes, from newspapers to radio, television and Internet communication.”  Bakoyannis referred to the case of Athens, comparing the city’s international image during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games with that presented during last December’s incidents. As a result of the public image of the Olympic Games, tourism to Athens rose. “Tourists were going not only to the islands, but also to Athens … the city that was presented with and had the image that we desired, the result positive. December 2008. Athens in flames and the banner on the Acropolis… I had said in parliament at the time that the people who raised the banner on the Acropolis should have thought of the magnitude of the damage they were causing to the country. No matter how much one invests in and fights for the country’s public image, such a banner can destroy your entire effort.”  The issues under examination at the conference, which is under the aegis of the foreign ministry, include: Internet as a tool of public diplomacy and foreign policy; soft power as a part of the high-level strategy of states, and the institutional dimensions of shaping policies regarding a state’s image. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: FM Dora Bakoyannis’ speech at the international conference on “Images of nations: Strategic communication, soft power and the media”