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Lisbon Treaty: “Take the Example of Greece”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  maximou1An enthusiastic and hopeful message was conveyed wednesday, july 1st, during Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis’ meeting at Maximos Mansion (photo), with the European Parliament President Hans Gert Pöttering, who is visiting Greece, attending the works of the European Popular Party’s Study Days in Athens.  Karamanlis expressed his gratitude for the outgoing president’s contribution during his long tenure.”[Pottering’s] valuable experience has been the most powerful guarantee for a successful presidency,” Karamanlis said. On his part, Pöttering extended his thanks towards the Greek government and opposition for their support of the Lisbon Treaty. “I am probably the last one since 1979’s first elections. I witnessed Greece entering the European Union in 1981,” he said, adding “countries which have not yet ratified the Lisbon Treaty should look up to Greece and set it as an example.” Reciprocating, Karamanlis stressed that Greece will continue supporting the European Parliament’s initiatives and look forward to the enhancement of the institution’s role.

Spanish Eyes in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis is scheduled to meet with Spain’s Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero today, who is on an official visit to Greece. Talks are expected to focus on the creation of a Mediterranean Union. First proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the union would bring together European Union states and countries washed by the Mediterranean Sea, including Turkey. Other topics on the agenda include the future of the EU and regional cooperation as well as bilateral ties. Zapatero, accompanied by his wife Sonsoles Espinosa, visited the site of the Parthenon yesterday. Kathimerini daily: A Mediterranean Union Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-Spain bilateral relations;  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greek Mediterranean Policy; The Bridge magazine, Sarkozy’s Mediterranean, A dream or an implementable agenda?

International Hellenic University Symposium

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The 1st International Hellenic University Symposium titled “Economic Developments and Challenges in the World Economy and Markets and in the region of Southeast Europe” begins today in Thessaloniki. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis will be the key note speaker, and leaders from the financial, business and academic communities will be attending the university’s first major event.  International Hellenic University: Symposium Programme; Greek News Agenda: Studying in Greece

Greek Prime Minister Concludes Visit to Austria

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis concluded his working visit in Vienna yesterday, a day earlier from the scheduled arrival due to the powerful earthquake that hit the region of Peloponnese in Greece. Karamanlis was due to stay in Austria to watch the Greek national soccer team’s first match in the EURO 2008 championship against Sweden tonight before returning to Greece. During his three-day visit, Karamanlis met with the Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbaurer, the Vice Chancellor Wilhelm Molterer and the Head of the Austrian People’s Party (OVP) Wolfgang Schüssel. Karamanlis’ agenda included the Greek premier’s suggestion to discuss the repercussions of Europe’s high inflation within the framework of European Council’s meeting (June 19-20) in Brussels. Other items on the premier’s agenda in Austria involved the progress in the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty, as well as the latest developments on illegal immigration, the name issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Cyprus and Turkey’s European prospect. Athens News Agency: Greek PM hastens visit to Austria; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-Austria Bilateral Relations

Greece: Karamanlis’ Balkan Vision

Addressing the summit meeting of the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP), Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stated that he was in favour of the incorporation of all SEECP members into the Euroatlantic structures, including the Former Republic of Macedonia. Within the framework of the SEECP process – an institution destined to enhance cooperation between Southeast European members – Karamanlis clarified that Greece seeks a win-win solution that would accommodate the demands of both countries and would benefit the entire region.   Continue reading

Greek Economic Outlook

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis addressed the general assembly of the Federation of Greek Industries on Tuesday, and stressed the need for the creation of a powerful front against phenomena of profiteering and fraud. The premier called on the business world to combat inflation, to see to it that products “reaching consumers are high quality but with low prices and prove in practice that a free market does not mean an unaccountable market.”  Karamanlis emphasised that the main targets of the government’s policy are the creation of necessary conditions to increase wealth produced, the tackling of unemployment and the fairer distribution of social dividends.   He also stressed that he shall “continue the policy of reforms which have shielded the economy to a considerable degree, secured high growth rates and are restricting unfavourable repercussions.” Lastly, the premier said that “the latest assessments by the European Commission certify that growth will continue in our country with rates that are double the average of the eurozone, employment will increase by more than 1% per year and unemployment will continue to fall.”  Continue reading

Greek PM: Safeguarding Price Stability

 (GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis addressed an official dinner given in honour of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) board at the Zappion Mansion on Thursday, stressing that although being a relatively new institution, the ECB “succeeded with great skill in safeguarding price stability and securing favourable conditions for growth.” He also said that the emerging crisis in world fiscal markets, the slowdown in the American economy and the increase in the prices of energy, basic products and food, unavoidably had an impact on Europe. He noted that the recent fiscal crisis underlined the need for closer cooperation in supervising the fiscal sector, adding that apart from the initial moves carried out, it is important that the effort to further strengthen the fiscal stability framework be continued. The prime minister went on to say that Greece’s priorities are focused on restructuring basic economic indexes, reforming markets, promoting social cohesion and sustaining viable growth with respect for the environment.   Continue reading

Greece: Energy Matters

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Development Minister Christos Folias in an interview with Reuters April 16 said, that Greece has agreed to join Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline which will take Siberian gas to southern Europe through Greece. The pipeline is a joint project by Gazprom and Italian ENI. Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary recently joint the South Stream project. Countering views seen this project as a competitor to the long-stalled Nabucco pipeline, the Minister said: “I don’t want to see them as athletes competing against each other. I would say they are complementing each other and are offering Europe multiple energy providers, which is good.”   Continue reading

The NATO Summit: Aftermath

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis briefed President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias today on the outcome of last week’s NATO Summit in Bucharest in which Greece, backed by other countries, did not consent to extend an invitation to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to start accession negotiations for eventually joining the Alliance, pending the name issue. Greece’s conditional position was reflected in the Summit Declaration issued by NATO. “I believe that conditions will be soon be ripe to resume negotiations under the auspices of UN in order to find a mutually acceptable solution” the premier said in a friendly message to FYROM’s people and political leaders. Continue reading

A Farewell to Jules Dassin

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Jules Dassin (born Julius Dassin), famous noir films director passed away yesterday at age 96. Dassin was an American-born director who moved to France in 1952 after being subject to McCarthy’s communist blacklist in Hollywood. Married to Melina Mercouri, a well respected and highly active Greek actress and politician, Dassin filmed in 1960 “Never on Sunday,” winning the music Academy Award in Manos Hadjidakis’ music, and a nomination for Best Director, while Merkouri won the Award for Best Actress in Cannes Film Festival the same year. Together, they also filmed “Phaedra” (1962) and “Topkapi,” two other films which won the public’s heart and critics’ admiration. Living a large part of his life in Greece, he was considered a true Philhellene, to the point of Greek officials describing him as “a first generation Greek.” Mercouri and he opposed to the Greek junta and later on were major supporters of the return of the Elgin marbles to Athens, establishing the Melina Merkouri Foundation. Continue reading

In Athens the Euro Mediterranean Cooperation

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Hellenic Parliament, through its speaker Dimitris Sioufas, is presiding over the 4th Plenary Session of the Euro Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, currently taking place in Athens. 37 country members from across the world, including European Union’s all 27 countries, are invited to attend the hearings.  The institution aims at promoting Euro-Mediterranean cooperation and will be addressed by European Commission’s president Jose Manuel Barroso, European Parliament’s President Hans Gert Pöttering, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, EU’s Commissioner on Environment Stavros Dimas, as well as speakers of other national parliaments. Continue reading

European Council in Brussels, March 13 / 14th 2008

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The spring European Council concluded its proceedings in Brussels, Friday 14th, where Greece was represented by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, Minister of Economy and Finance George Alogoskoufis, Minister of State and Government Spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, and Deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis. Continue reading

New Round on Name Issue of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    A new reiterated in Brussels round of UN-sponsored talks between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the latter’s “name issue” begins in Vienna today. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis has has Greece’s position regarding the issue saying that a composite name for the land-locked republic containing a geographic marker could put an end to a nagging problem that has had a negative impact on regional stability and cooperation. Continue reading

Name Issue of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Referring to to the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and the possibility of failure to resolve the thorny “name issue“, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis warned on Friday that “no solution means no invitation”. This would mean that should the issue not be resolved, FYROM is not to receive an invitation for membership in NATO and the EU, where Greece is a veto-wielding member. 
“Without a mutually acceptable solution, there can be no relations like allies; there can be no invitation to the neighbouring country for participation in the same alliance,” Karamanlis stated in Parliament.
UN mediator Matthew Nimetz is expected to invite both parties for a new round of talks, soon. Continue reading

Cypriots Elect New President

(GREEK NEWS AGENGA)  Demetris Christofias, AKEL party leader and President of the House of Representatives, won confortably Cyprus’ crucial presidential runoff with 53.36% of the vote, compared with 46.64% of former Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides. “We have a common vision… to reunite our people, Greeek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,” Christofias said in victory speech Sunday.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, called Christofias to congratulate him and the two have agreed to meet at “earliest possible.” “We foresee a productive cooperation for the benefit of the two communities as well as for a viable and just solution to the problem,” Christofias stated. Continue reading

Energy Pact Greece – Romania

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Forging closer energy ties, Greece and Romania signed a bilateral energy deal yesterday within the framework of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis’ official state visit to Bucharest. The deal will enhance bilateral cooperation in the oil, natural gas and electricity sectors, said the premier, looking forward to Romania’s major electricity exporting capacities. Greece’s economic presence in Romania is highly active and translates into a trade volume of over €1 billion per year. More than 800 Greek companies are established in Romania having invested around €3 billion. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations – Romania

Last “Goodbye” to Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece

The funeral of Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece was held on Thursday at the Athens Metropolitan Cathedral, followed by a burial ceremony at Athens’ First Cemetery. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officiated at the service. The funeral was attended by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and government officials, the parliament Speaker, political party leaders, and MPs, as well as the Prelates of the Orthodox Churches around the world. All public services and schools remained closed on Thursday. Continue reading

Closer ties with Turkey

Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis yesterday stressed the importance of intensifying efforts to resolve longstanding disputes between Greece and Turkey, during the second day of his landmark official visit to Ankara. Delivering a speech at Ankara’s Bilkent University, one of the leading research universities in Turkey, the premier said “I know very well that the road ahead of us is long and difficult. But the cost of not moving forward, and the lost benefit from not forging ahead, will be immense. And this, precisely, is the strongest incentive for keeping our eyes turned to the future,” Karamanlis continued.  “We have a lot to gain by moving ahead together. We have even more to lose by following the path of tension and enmity.” As for Greece, the prime minister said, “I can assure you that our commitment is to move forward.” Continue reading

Karamanlis in Ankara: “Peace requires the strength to endure it”

(ANA-MPA) Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis continued his ground-breaking trip to Ankara on Thursday at the head of a high-ranking Greek delegation, which was received at the presidential mansion by Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Hours earlier the Greek premier laid a wreath at the Ataturk Mausoleum (Anitkabir) in the Turkish capital.In a dedication in the visitors’ book at the mausoleum, Karamanlis wrote: “Kemal Ataturk with Eleftherios Venizelos had the political courage, volition and foresight not to allow conflicts and tragedies of the past to become obstacles to efforts at building a better future of peace and cooperation, towards the benefit of both our peoples.” Continue reading

Karamanlis make History in Turkey

» “It’s Time to Turn a New Page”

Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis arrived in Turkey on Wednesday for the first official visit by a Greek Prime Minister in nearly half a century. The last Greek PM to visit Turkey was his uncle, Konstantinos Karamanlis, in May 1959.Karamanlis met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. During a joint news conference, the Greek Prime Minister spoke of his determination to work towards resolving long-standing disputes and improve bilateral relations. “It is time to turn a new page,” he said, calling for the full normalization of Greek-Turkish relations. “This is the only road towards essential progress that will allow us to exploit future opportunities within a European framework,” he stressed.  Greece’s PM urged Turkey to respect its commitments as candidate member of the European Union and normalize relations with Cyprus. Continue reading