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Greece: 30 Years in EU

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    May 28, 1979 was an historic day for Greece, as it was the day Greece’s accession treaty to the European Union was signed.  30 years have elapsed since, and to commemorate the landmark date, a ceremony took place yesterday at the Zappeion Hall, the same venue where the inaugural treaty was signed.    To honour the event, a special guest who had attended the historic signing, attended the celebration yesterday: Former French President and European Convention on the Future of Europe President Valery Giscard D’Estaing (see photo, on the left) was an ardent supporter of the European vision and a close friend of then Prime Minister Konstantinos  Karamanlis, who also shared his vision of a united EuropeDuring these thirty years of Greek-European relations, adherence to the European institutions has been unequivocally endorsed by both the political elite and the people.  Despite conflicting interests among member states, Greece enters the European dialogue with a clear pro-European, pro-integrationist frame of mind.  It has already backed cooperation within the EU and has expressed its support for the Lisbon Treaty, a closer cooperation in the Common Foreign and Security Policy and future enlargement towards the Balkans.

Greece: Challenges in the Digital Era

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     A conference on the “Digital Dividend” took place (February 24) organised by the Hellenic Communications and Post Commission. Minister of Transport and Communications Evripidis Stylianidis, Deputy Interior Minister responsible for the media Konstantinos Gioulekas, President of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Christos Panagopoulos, directors of regulatory bodies across Europe, corporate executives and experts in the field of telecommunications  addressed the event.  The conference focused on Greece’s regulatory framework and  elaborated on the technological applications, as well as the prospects in terms of business opportunities. The ‘digital dividend’ is the part of the radio spectrum which will be freed up when analogue television (occupying large part of the spectrum) is switched off and replaced by digital (which utilises far less).  Greece has declared 2009 “Year of Broadband, Telecommunications and Mass Media Convergence.” Ministry of Transport and Communications: ww.yme.gr; Secretariat General for Communication-Information: Legislation and Audiovisual Policy & About Greece- Mass Media   EETT: Radio Spectrum Availability for New Mobile Telecommunications Services   European Commission- Communications: EU Member States on course for analogue terrestrial TV switch-off & Digital Broadcasting- National Switchover Plans

Karamanlis Chair at Fletcher School

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Alexandros Yannis, is from September 2008, the new Constantine Karamanlis Associate Professor at the Fletcher School in Boston. Professor Alexandros Yannis has extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy with the European Union and the United Nations; including working with the European Union Special Envoy to Somalia (1994-1997), the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in Kosovo (1999-2000) and in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva (2001).  The Constantine Karamanlis Chair in Hellenic and Southeastern European Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy is committed to promoting Hellenic and Southeast European Studies in the US while honoring a towering figure of Greece’s recent past. The Karamanlis Chair brings academic scholars to The Fletcher School and the Tufts University community, encouraging a renewed focus on modern Greece, Southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the European Union and the crucial role these regions play in world politics. The Chair’s endowment provides a basis for scholars to teach the lessons of Greece and Southeastern Europe through history and culture as well as economics and politics. Karamanlis Chair @ Fletcher: Working Papers in Hellenic & European Studies

Greece: A Joyful Anniversary

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Hellenic Parliament held a special session on July to mark the 34th anniversary since democracy was restored to Greece after a seven-year dictatorship fell on July 24, 1974. During the “Third Hellenic Republic” political life had been normalised and democratic institutions consolidated. Nowdays, according to the 2007/8 UN Human Development report, Greece ranks 24th  among 177 countries. Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas, representatives of the government and the political parties in Parliament paid homage to the people that had struggled against the junta rule, highlighting the fact that the Cyprus problem was still unsolved 34 years later and stressing the need for a just and viable solution. On the occasion, President of the Republic Karlolos Papoulias held the annual anniversary banquet. Athens News Agency: Restoration of Democracy anniversary ; BBC: Greek Military Rule Gives In to Democracy; Konstantinos Karamanlis Archive: The Restoration of Democracy, 1974-77

Greek Pupils Awarded by EU

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Greek high school of Vironas, municipality of Athens, received the 3rd prize in the European Charlemagne Youth Prize Competition for 2008. The annual competition is organised by the European Parliament and the Charlemagne Prize Foundation. The event aims at inviting young people from all EU Member States to contemplate on EU development, integration and identity issues. The prize is awarded to the projects that best promote European understanding. The Greek high school of Vironas was rewarded for its innovating teaching method regarding European matters. The first prize was awarded to a students’ union from Hungary. The young winners received their awards by Parliament’s President Hans-Gert Pöttering and were later on invited by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, laureate of the 2008 Charlemagne Prize, a distinction with which the great Greek statesman Konstantinos Karamanlis was also honoured in 1978. Greek News Agenda: Konstantinos Karamanlis (1907-1998)

In Memoriam: Konstantinos Karamanlis (1907-1998)

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  April 23, 2008 marked ten years since the death of Konstantinos Karamanlis, a towering figure of Greek politics whose career spanned much of the latter half of the 20th century. Karamanlis served as prime minister for fourteen years, and ten as President of the Hellenic Republic. He was born in 1907 in Proti, Central Macedonia and studied Law. He entered politics in 1935. His first premiership lasted from 1955-1963. After resigning, he left Greece and remained self-exiled in Paris throughout the military regime (1967-1974). In 1974, the year of restoration of the Greek democracy, Karamanlis returned to Greece and founded the New Democracy party. His second premiership (1974-1980) was marked by the signing of the full treaty of accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1979. Karamanlis’ vision became a reality on January 1st 1981, when Greece became the tenth member of the EEC. Karamanlis crowned his political career serving two tenures as President of the Hellenic Rebublic (1980-1985 and 1990-1995). He passed away on April 23 1998 aged 91. Today, the annual memorial service was held at the Konstantinos G. Karamanlis Foundation. Prime Minister and nephew of the Statesman Kostas Karamanlis attended the service.   Continue reading