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PM George Papandreou`s interview in “Guardian”

“Greece is on a normalised road,” Prime Minister George Papandreou said in an interview in the UK newspaper The Guardian, noting that in the nine months since his government took office “it has been crisis management, day in, day out,” and stressing that, in politics “you have to make tough decisions.”
In the interview, titled “Reinvigorating Greece is an Olympian task,” concerning the reactions to the austerity measures, the premier admits that “naturally I feel very bad that we had to take these measures and that our financial sovereignty is under the tutelage of the so-called troika (the EU, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank).”
“It’s not a happy state to be in, and the most painful thing is to take measures against people who were not responsible for the crisis,” Papandreou said. He goes on to explain that the option for the country was to default, or take these measures.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)
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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 Greek Guardian of Biodiversity

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Panayotis Sainatoudis has been selected as a Guardian of Diversity in the Mediterranean for 2009, recognized for the important work he has done to ensure the conservation and use of agricultural biodiversity in Greece. This is an honour awarded to a select number of farmers, scientists and biodiversity activists by Bioversity International and the Commune di Roma. Panagiotis Sainatoudis is the coordinator of Peliti (in Greek), one of the most important non governmental organizations in Greece whose aim is to rescue and distribute local crop varieties to growers.  Peliti (‘oak tree’ in the Pontic Greek dialect) also deals with the registration of native rural animals.  See also: Q&A: ‘Variety Can Protect Against Famine’ – interview with three ‘Guardians of Diversity’ so named by Bioversity International for their contribution to conservation.

“Mama Mia” Effect in Greece

mama-mia(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Hordes of tourists are flocking to the Greek island of Skopelos to get married, throw parties on its beaches or buy land, after the enormous success of the “Mama Mia!” film, last summer, Helena Smith reports in her article “Money, money, money for Greek island as ‘Mama Mia!’ draws tourist hordes” for British newspaper, The Guardian. As “Mama Mia!” has surpassed the film “Titanic” to become the highest-earning movie ever released in the UK, Skopelos is struggling to keep up with outside interest and some odd requests from tourists, although the islanders are determined not to let the unspoiled, natural beauty of little known – before the shooting of film- island to be destroyed.

Ancient Athens on 5 Drachmas a Day

New book: Philip Matyszak, a British non-fiction writer, with a doctorate in Roman history from St John’s College, Oxford has published an entertaining guidebook entitled “Athens on 5 drachmas a day”. The book takes us on a travel back in time, to 431 BC Athens, giving the reader a vibrant sense of what everyday life must have been like in the ancient city during the pinnacle of its glory.
Read more:
 Armchair Traveler (The New York Times, 28.09.2008)
 Ancient Athens on Five Drachmas a Day by Philip Matyszak: Review (Telegraph, 17.10.2008)
 Greek mystique (Guardian, 18.10.2008)

The New Acropolis Muzeum: A Guided Tour

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Guardian’s Kevin Rushby
gets a sneak preview of the £100 million museum in 
Guardian’s Kevin Rushby  that aims to reunite the Parthenon marbles.
View the video at
New Acropolis Museum: a guided tour
(25.07.2008 )