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Greek Foreign Ministry: “An Afghan Odysseus”

The awarded documentary “Qadir: An Afghan Odysseus” officially premiered on October 29, and a message from Minister Dora Bakoyannis was read out during a press conference to mark the occasion. The film tracks the nine-year journey of a young Afghan immigrant as he tries to make his life in Greece. In her message, Bakoyannis hailed the final effort as “a programme of developmental cooperation that seeks to sensitize western societies to the problems of the developing world, to show understanding for difference and the importance of encouraging return through developmental activities.”  Co-financed by Hellenic Aid and the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), the film was screened at the ministry, in the presence of Afghan Deputy Culture Minister Omar Sultan. The filming of the documentary – that received 1st Prize at the International Roma Fiction Festival (Factual Section)- took place in Greece and Afghanistan. In an overview of Greek developmental diplomacy over the last five years, Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation Theodoros Skylakakis pointed out that Greece had given more than €60 million to Afghanistan’s reconstruction in that time, financing initiatives including emergency aid, health, education, preserving peace and culture.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Qadir – An Afghan Odysseus 

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Greece – Spain: Ties that Bind

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and his visiting Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Zapatero yesterday called for the creation of a common European Union coast guard to curb illegal immigration but stressed that the EU should not become a fortress against would-be migrants. “Dealing with illegal immigration is not an issue that concerns only the coastal member-states of the European Union, given that illegal migrants can move freely throughout the EU,” Karamanlis pointed out, while outlining a drive to create a European system for monitoring borders and a European patrol network. Furthermore, the two leaders agreed that a very effective way to minimize immigration flows is to increase aid towards migrants’ countries of origin in order to boost development. Other issues on the agenda included the creation of a Mediterranean Union, climate change, rising prices in Europe, renewable energy issues and bilateral economic relations. Kathimerini daily: Spain and Greece unite on migrants; Athens News Agency: Karamanlis, Zapatero discuss migration, energy issues; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations Greece-Spain 

Mediterranean Concerns

» A Mediterranean Union?

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis chaired a meeting convened yesterday at the Foreign Ministry and reffered to a recent French proposal for a Mediterranean Union, stating that “our interest in every shape or form of substantial cooperation that is developing in our region is asserted and it is in this positive spirit that we are approaching the French government’s proposal on forming a Mediterranean Union.” The minister added that “Greece must be present with specific, well-prepared proposals on sectors that are of interest to us, and where there might be a business interest such as transport, shipping, tourism, energy, immigration and culture.” Continue reading

Immigrants in Greece

Kathimerini daily reports on how immigrants in Greece enjoy higher living standards, while taking various professional opportunities and contributing to the economy (“From unskilled workers, many immigrants have risen to become their own boss in a foreign land).