• Photos from Greece

    Events of Press Office

    Click to go to Events of Press Offce site















PM George Papandreou`s intervention at the plenary session of the Eastern Partnership Summit (Warsaw, 30/9/2011)

By virtue of its location, Greece is uniquely positioned as a bridge linking the Eastern and the Mediterranean dimensions of Europe’s Neighborhood Policy and has promoted the development of both since the ENP’s inception. Therefore, we are very supportive of the strengthening of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) envisaged in the new Neighborhood Policy, based on our shared principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.
The re-launching and re-energizing of the Eastern Partnership, and of the European Neighborhood Policy as a whole, was long overdue. It was necessary in order to better respond to serious common challenges – political, economic, geostrategic, environmental or pertaining to security and energy – but also in order to better prepare for the future.
Structural reforms, internal political tensions, gas routes, energy supply, ecological risks, economic development, illegal immigration and organized crime, are only some of the challenges we are faced with in the framework of the Eastern Neighborhood Policy. Our engagement in the Eastern Neighbourhood is also a matter of consistency and credibility for the EU. Our strategic goal is and will remain the creation of a wider area of stability and prosperity, both in the South as well as in the East. This could only be done by boosting mutually beneficial institutional cooperation and by converging on a set of common values and standards, modeled on the EU positive paradigm and experience. Continue reading

Ομιλία υπουργού Εξωτερικών Δημήτρη Δρούτσα στους προϊσταμένους των Γραφείων Τύπου Εξωτερικού

Ο Υπουργός Εξωτερικών Δημήτρης Δρούτσας ήταν εκ των ομιλητών στην ετήσια συνάντηση των Προϊσταμένων των Γραφείων Τύπου & Επικοινωνίας Εξωτερικού, που πραγματοποιήθηκε στη Γενική Γραμματεία Επικοινωνίας – Γενική Γραμματεία Ενημέρωσης  στις 17 Ιανουαρίου 2011.
Ακολουθούν τα βασικά σημεία και το πλήρες κείμενο της ομιλίας του κ. Δρούτσα.
Βασικά σημεία:

  • Η κυβέρνησή μας από την πρώτη στιγμή που ανέλαβε, έδωσε τον τόνο της εξωτερικής πολιτικής που θα ασκήσει: έδειξε ότι θέλει και δεν φοβάται τις μεγάλες αλλαγές που είναι απαραίτητες και σε αυτόν τον τομέα. Τέλος λοιπόν στην αδράνεια που μόνο πιο απομονωμένους μας άφησε, τέλος στο συντηρητισμό χάριν δήθεν της διαφύλαξης των κεκτημένων, τέλος στις γνωστές φοβίες στα σύνδρομα του παρελθόντος που περιέβαλαν την εξωτερική πολιτική και την κρατούσαν εγκλωβισμένη. Ο κόσμος πήγε μπροστά κι εμείς κινδυνεύαμε να μείνουμε πίσω. Και όταν μας χτύπησε η οικονομική κρίση, φάνηκαν τα αδιέξοδα μίας εξωτερικής πολιτικής που δεν είχε εξασφαλίσει στη χώρα μας τουλάχιστον ένα απόθεμα αξιοπιστίας.
  • Σε ένα χρόνο, τολμώ να το πω, ήδη πετύχαμε πολλά. Κυρίως ανατρέψαμε ισορροπίες που είχαν διαμορφωθεί σε βάρος μας και, το σπουδαιότερο, δώσαμε πάλι φωνή και ρόλο στην Ελλάδα, ιδιαίτερα στον άμεσο περίγυρό της : στα Βαλκάνια, στον Εύξεινο Πόντο και τον Καύκασο, και στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο, η Ελλάδα είναι πάλι παρούσα.
  • Στα Βαλκάνια, η πρωτοβουλία μας, η γνωστή πλέον σε όλους πρωτοβουλία μας για μία «Ατζέντα 2014», έχει δώσει νέα ώθηση στην ενταξιακή προοπτική των Δυτικών Βαλκανίων. Κυρίως, έχει ανοίξει τη συζήτηση για την προοπτική ολοκλήρωσης αυτής της διαδικασίας με τον προγραμματισμό της Συνόδου Κορυφής ΕΕ-Δυτικών Βαλκανίων, που θα πραγματοποιήσουμε κατά την επόμενη προεδρία μας στην ΕΕ το 2014.
  • Μιας και μιλάμε για τα Βαλκάνια, το Σκοπιανό, εδώ η θέση της Ελλάδας είναι ξεκάθαρη και γνωστή σε όλους από την αρχή. Θέλουμε να βοηθήσουμε τη γειτονική μας χώρα, θέλουμε να δούμε την ένταξή του και στην ΕΕ, και για αυτό το σκοπό εργαζόμαστε, και για άλλη μία φορά απευθύνουμε την έκκληση-πρόσκληση προς την πολιτική ηγεσία των Σκοπίων να εργαστεί μαζί μας ακριβώς σε αυτήν την κατεύθυνση και να έρθει και εκείνη με εποικοδομητικό τρόπο στο τραπέζι των διαπραγματεύσεων υπό την αιγίδα του ΟΗΕ.
  • Στον Οργανισμό Οικονομικής Συνεργασίας του Ευξείνου Πόντου, ασκήσαμε την περασμένη χρονιά, μία εξαιρετικά επιτυχημένη προεδρία που διάνοιξε νέες αναπτυξιακές προοπτικές, και τις συνέδεσε για πρώτη φορά μάλιστα με το περιβάλλον, με την πράσινη ανάπτυξη.
  • Στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο, χώρο ζωτικού μας συμφέροντος, έχουμε ανοίξει, αν θέλετε, το παιχνίδι. Οι διευρυμένες σχέσεις μας με το Ισραήλ, αλλά και η ανανέωση των σχέσεών μας με τον αραβικό κόσμο, για να το τονίσω αυτό, παραδοσιακών σχέσεων αλληλοσεβασμού και αμοιβαίας εμπιστοσύνης με βαθιές ρίζες. Όλα αυτά έχουν δημιουργήσει μία νέα δυναμική και σε αυτήν την περιοχή και έχουν δώσει στην Ελλάδα ένα αυξημένο ρόλο, τον οποίο αναγνωρίζουν όλοι.
  • Κυπριακό – και εδώ οι θέσεις μας καθαρές: λύση βάσει των αποφάσεων του Συμβουλίου Ασφαλείας του ΟΗΕ με πλήρη σεβασμό στο ευρωπαϊκό κεκτημένο. Μην ξεχνάμε, η Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία είναι πλήρες κράτος-μέλος της ΕΕ και αυτό μία μεγάλη επιτυχία και της ελληνικής εξωτερικής πολιτικής στο παρελθόν.
  • Η Ελλάδα, ένας από τους πιο συνεπείς υποστηρικτές της ένταξης της Τουρκίας στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, δε θα ανεχθεί μία εικονική ενταξιακή διαδικασία, στην οποία η Τουρκία θα παίρνει σιγά-σιγά από την ΕΕ ό,τι θέλει, χωρίς όμως την εκπλήρωση των υποχρεώσεών της απέναντι στην ΕΕ και απέναντι σε κάθε κράτος-μέλος της ΕΕ. Ειδικά ως προς αυτό, προτείναμε και συζητούμε με τους εταίρους μας μία ιδέα, μία νέα ελληνική πρόταση, την ιδέα σύγκλησης μίας Συνόδου, ενδεχομένως ακόμα και σε επίπεδο κορυφής, γιατί όχι, που θα ανανεώσει την αμοιβαία δέσμευση για πλήρη συμμόρφωση της Τουρκίας με το κοινοτικό κεκτημένο, έναντι της πλήρους ένταξης.
  • Η ιδέα, η πρόταση είναι για μία σύνοδο για την Τουρκία, το θέμα της Τουρκίας και των σχέσεων της Τουρκίας με την ΕΕ, για το θέμα της ενταξιακής ευρωπαϊκής πορείας της Τουρκίας και όχι για να δώσουμε στην Τουρκία, μέσω αυτής της Συνόδου, μία αναβαθμισμένη, αν θέλετε, θεσμική ιδιότητα στην Τουρκία, όπως κάποιοι κακοβούλως θέλουν να παρουσιάσουν.
  • Όταν η Ελλάδα γίνεται πρωτοσέλιδο σε μεγάλα ΜΜΕ δεν είναι δυνατόν να απουσιάζει η ελληνική φωνή. Εγώ είμαι από αυτούς που πιστεύουν ότι ακόμη και η ατυχέστερη συγκυρία μπορεί να μετατραπεί ακόμα και σε ευκαιρία, αν τη χειριστούμε σωστά. Μην κλεινόμαστε στο καβούκι μας, λοιπόν. Εμείς από την Αθήνα θα σας υποστηρίξουμε, τουλάχιστον θα το προσπαθήσουμε αυτό με τον καλύτερο δυνατό τρόπο.
  • Πρέπει να το πάρουμε απόφαση όλοι μας ότι ερχόμαστε από μία χώρα συγκριτικά, ίσως, μικρή, όμως σημαντική, που δικαιολογημένα καταλαμβάνει πολύ περισσότερο χώρο στα διεθνή ΜΜΕ από ό,τι αναλογεί στο μέγεθός της. Για καλό, όπως π.χ. με τους πρόσφατους Ολυμπιακούς Αγώνες στην Αθήνα, ή δυστυχώς και για κακό, όπως σήμερα με την κρίση. Η φωνή σας, λοιπόν, έχει δύναμη και ο κόσμος περιμένει να την ακούσει.
    Διαβάστε το πλήρες κείμενο της ομιλίας
    (Πηγή: Forum Διεθνούς Επικοινωνιακής Πολιτικής icp-forum.gr)

7th Thessaloniki International Book Fair

The National Book Centre of Greece (EKEBI) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in collaboration with HELEXPO and the Hellenic Federation of Publishers and Booksellers are organising the 7th Thessaloniki International Book Fair (TIBF) from April 22 to 25, with “Antiquity and Us” as this year’s theme.
TIBF is the leading cultural event for books in Greece which has managed over the years to become a focal point for the book world in Greece and the wider Balkan and Mediterranean region.
Thirty countries will be represented in this year’s fair which features more than 100 events: Greek and foreign authors as guest speakers, special features, seminars and workshops.
China will be the country of honour. Over 200 Chinese (publishers, authors, artists, government representatives) will be in Thessaloniki to present China’s immense book market but also a country with a rich tradition and history.
Greek News Agenda (30.5.2008) – Special Issue: Thessaloniki – City of Culture

Hellas:from Tourism to World Heritage

» “Kalimera”…It’s a Way of Life

“Kalimera”…the Greek word for ‘good morning’ is the new slogan for the advertising campaign of the Greek National Tourism Organization and Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The 2010 campaign was unveiled by the Deputy Minister of Tourism Angela Gerekou on March 8, and is based on a redesigned pattern of previous campaigns with the addition of the well-known greeting in the Greek language.
The campaign will be available through the renewed portal of Hellenic Tourism Organisation at the web address www.visitgreece.gr.
Kathimerini Daily: ‘Kalimera’ is the country’s new tourism motto    

» A Popular Tourist Destination

Greece is the fourth most popular tourist destination in the European Union for 2010, according to a new Eurobarometer survey on “The attitudes of Europeans towards tourism.”
The EU Eurobarometer poll unveiled on March 8 shows that tourism is one of Europe’s most important service industries, accounting for 5% of Europe’s GDP and 6% of employment. Greece is the fourth most attractive tourist destination, after Spain, Italy, and France. 
European Commission: Tourism-Upbeat Prospects for 2010 Season  

» “Med Diet” to Be Recognised by UNESCO 

The town of Koroni in Messinia Prefecture will represent Greece in an initiative put forth by four Mediterranean countries to have the “Mediterranean Diet” recognised by UNESCO as a cultural heritage of humanity. 
Koroni from Greece, Cilento from Italy, Soria from Spain and Chefchaouen from Morocco will join forces to ask the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to include the diet to its World Heritage List.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

“Greek Foreign Policy: Challenges and Prospects”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Addressing the conference “Greek Foreign Policy: Challenges and Prospects” held yesterday on the premises of the Foreign Affairs Ministry,  Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis referred to Greece’s foreign policy priorities centering on economic diplomacy, relations with Greeks abroad and green development.

Kouvelis stressed that the Balkans, the wider Black Sea region and that of Eastern Mediterranean is of particular interest to Greece.
He therefore took the opportunity to refer to the country’s upcoming Chairmanship in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC, June 1 to December 31, 2010),  forwarding the message that, in its capacity, Greece is committed to strengthen the organisation’s role with respect to its member-states and the region’s economic development.
Finally, on green development, Kouvelis emphasised Greece’s need to live up to the challenges of the new situation taking shape globally. The conference was organised by the Institute of International Relations, an Athens-based think tank affiliated with Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences.

United Nations Climate Change Conference begins

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Global attention is focused on Copenhagen which is hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference, beginning today, and continuing through December 18.
Greece fully endorses the decisions of the European Union concerning climate change. Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Tina Birbili announced that Greece is willing to commit to the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by the year 2020.
She said that Copenhagen talks must deliver a legally binding document which will incorporate the Bali Road Map and the ‘Kyoto Protocol.
She further noted that by 2010 Greece will have presented a time-framework and announced Prime Minister George Papandreou’s initiative to promote together with the Spanish EU Presidency a post-Copenhagen action plan for the protection of the Mediterranean from climate change. 
Ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change: UN Climate Change Conference- Position of Greece; George Papandreou personal website: Position on Climate Change

Mediterranean Diet Against Depression

med_diet1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Individuals who follow the Mediterranean dietary pattern -rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and fish- appear less likely to develop depression, according to a report in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, under the title “Association of the Mediterranean Dietary Pattern With the Incidence of Depression.” Spanish researchers studied 11,000 people and found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely had a more than 30% reduction in the risk of depression than those whose diet had few of the crucial Mediterranean elements.  According to the research, the lifetime prevalence of mental disorders has been found to be lower in Mediterranean than Northern European countries.  One plausible explanation is that the diet commonly followed in the region – and especially the use of olive oil- may be protective against depression.  BBC News: Med-style diet battles ‘blues’

Olive Oil: Good Taste, Long Life

Olive oilextra-virgin1 (GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Greek olive oil received complimentary reviews at the International Conference on excellence in olive oil (“Beyond Extra Virgin, June 21-23) sponsored by the Culinary Institute of America, together with the University of California at Davis.   The event – the largest conference on olive-oil excellence ever held in North America – explored the best production practices, sensory qualities, and culinary possibilities for the olive oil.  The olive oil industry was represented by the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board and its “Kerasma” project, which selected varieties from the island of Crete and the Peloponnese for this occasion.  Within the framework of the conference, a special event titled “Olive Oil and the Healthy Greek Kitchen” was organised especially for the presentation of case studies associating Greek culinary insight with wellness.  Kerasma: Olive & Olive Oil; Greek News Agenda: Mediterranean Diet- Panel Discussion in New York & Academic Research on Nutrition; Greek Mediterranean Gastronomy: Greek Olives: A Culinary Continuum

Greece: Foreign Capital Inflows Up

» Creating a Trustworthy Market

Foreign capital inflows in Greece grew by 40.5%, (€6.48 billion) with net inflows soaring by 147.8% (€3.47 billion), in 2008, compared with the previous year, Invest in Greece Agency – the Hellenic investment promotion body – announced yesterday.  Citing figures on Foreign Direct Investments in Greece, published by the Bank of Greece, the Agency said this positive development – amidst an unprecedented international financial crisis – was evidence of foreign investors’ trust towards the Greek market (mainly from the EU and US).

» I.T. Is “The Key”

Meeting with Israeli and British businesspeople, Invest in Greece Agency presented Greece’s comparative advantages in the field of advanced technologies such as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) systems.  Both in Israel and United Kingdom, the agency provided information on the advantages deriving from a possible expansion of major technology companies’ business activities in Greece. The Greek ICT sector offers highly skilled human capital and geographic proximity to the markets of Southeast Europe and East Mediterranean , elements which can accommodate the growing need for alternative R&D investment locations around the globe, given the fact the ICT sector still offers considerable room for growth, profit margins and projects of high added value.  See also: Business Works: Greece: the economic hub of the region

Greece: Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday

Theopetra(ANA) Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday The opening to the public of the prehistoric Theopetra Cave in Trikala prefecture, will be marked with a concert on Friday. Theopetra Cave is a famous archaeological site, and the first excavated cave in Thessaly, with excavations starting in 1987 and continuing to the present. Its deposits begin in the Middle Paleolithic period and continue without gaps until the end of the Neolithic period (3000 BC). Its uniqueness is that in contains, within a single site, the records of two greatly significant cultural transitions: The replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans, and the later transition from hunter-gathering to farming after the end of the last Ice Age. The cave, situated just three kilometers from Meteora, consists of an immense 500 square meter rectangular chamber at the foot of a limestone hill, which rises to the northeast above the village of Theopetra, with a very big entrance 17m wide by three metres high. It lies at the foot of the Chasia mountain range, which forms the natural boundary between Thessaly and Epirus prefectures, while the Lithaios River, a tributary of the Pineios River, flows in front of the cave. Excavations, which have been systematically carried out, have unearthed light geological deposits dating to the Pleistocene and Holocene periods as well as anthropogenic deposits, indicating that the cave had been continuously inhabited during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, the Mesolithic and the Neolithic periods. Specimens found, such as coal and human bones, prove that the cave was occupied from about 50,000 BC to 4000 BC, and that temporary use continued during the Bronze Age and historic times up to 1955. Even after that the cave was used occasionally to by shepherds to shelter their herds right up until the excavations began. It is the first time that cave dwelling was recorded in Thessaly during the Palaeolithic period. Continue reading

Mediterranean, Middle East & Islamic Studies

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The University of Peloponnese Centre for Mediterranean, Middle East and Islamic Studies aims at the the systematic documentation, study and analysis of the political, economic, social and cultural environment of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries.  Its bi-monthly Middle East Bulletin on Mediterranean and Middle East Affairs provides timely and in-depth analysis of various themes. The Centre recently introduced the new electronic publication Middle East Flashpoint, an up-to-date analysis of current developments in the Middle East and the Islamic World.

Alonissos: A Home for Rare Species

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Many of Greece’s islands continue to provide shelter for some of the most precious species of the Mediterranean fauna and flora. At the Sporades complex of islands, off central Greece’s coast, lies Alonissos, an island, famous for the refuge it provides for the Mediterranean monk seal (monachus monachus).  Until recently, the island suffered a steady decline of population due to migration; however, the situation now is reversed thanks to the people’s willingness to preserve both the island’s popular tradition and wildlife.   The National Marine Park of Alonissos had a lot to do with the island’s revival. Being the first designated Marine Park in the country, it has now become the largest marine protected area in Europe. The park is open to visitors who wish to explore the island’s lush nature and approach areas –were permitted- for swimming, snorkelling and observation of the sea bed and wildlife, amateur photography and filming. 

EU Solidarity Needed to Tackle Migration

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Acknowledging Greece’s concerns on the problem of illegal immigration, EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security Jacques Barrot expressed fears that the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants could threaten stability in the reception countries and called for solidarity within the EU – an issue that will be raised Thursday, july 16,  at an informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs EU ministers in Stockholm. Barrot warned that the influx of immigrants and refugees threatens to destabilize certain countries, including Greece. The Commissioner expressed understanding for the particular problems faced by Mediterranean countries, noting that, if these were left by their EU partners to deal with the issue on their own, the problem would probably be exploited by extremists.  The issue of illegal immigration is going to be at the centre of talks Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis held Wednesday, july 15, in Rome with his Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi.  Kathimerini daily: Dramatic appeal on migrants by Barrot

Bridging the Mediterranean

bridgingm(GREEK NEW AGENDA)  The Union for the Mediterranean launched in 2008 has created lots of expectations for revitalising the cooperation of all business communities of the countries concerned. A new political will has been expressed at high level for the transformation of the Mediterranean basin to an area of sustainable development, economic integration and social cohesion.  Following the very successful “Med Business Days” organised by MEDEF in Marseille last year and the previous events in Valencia and Palermo, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises hosted the new edition of the major Euro-Mediterranean Business Forum: “Bridging the Mediterranean – Athens Business Forum”, which was being held in Athens (Divani Apollon Palace & Spa- Kavouri) from July 8th to 10th, 2009.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Speech of FM Dora Bakoyannis at the Euro-Mediterranean Business Forum  

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.

64 Greek Medals at Mediterranean Games

rowinggreekmedal1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Greece collected a total of 64 medals in the Mediterranean Games, achieving incredible success. The Greek representation, which included many young athletes, returned (July 6) home having won 19 gold medals, 14 silver and 31 bronze medals during the ten days of the Games.  After an impressive 5 gold medals in rowing, 4 golds in track and field and 2 in karate and gymnastics, Greece celebrated yesterday (July 5) its second gold medal in judo with Ilias Iliadis’s triumph. In team sports, the men’s basketball team came 2nd, the volleyball team 6th, and the water polo team 7th. Greece will host the XVII Mediterranean Games of 2013 in the cities of Volos and Larissa. The Mediterranean Games is an event held every four years and always takes place in the year following the Olympic Games.  Kathimerini daily: Great Tally in Percara

Mediterranean Research Centre

ruins1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Greek researcher, Dr Evangelos Kyriakidis, lecturer in Classical and Archaeological Studies at the University of Kent in the UK has received €300,000 of a potential €4.2 million from the Los Angeles-based Cotsen Corporation to establish a Mediterranean conservation, research and education centre in Greece. Through the centre, Dr Kyriakidis aims to set up a visiting scholars’ programme, workshops and lectures on archaeological site management and planning in the Mediterranean region, as well as developing collaborations with relevant institutions in this field worldwide. T he €300,000 grant will be used to fund the pilot phase of the project which, if successful, will be eligible to receive a total of €4.2 million over the next eight years.

A floating “Green” Restaurant in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   An Olympic city with many attractions and strong commercial foundations as a port, Volos is an ideal place for the first floating eco-friendly restaurant designed and constructed in Greek shipyards.  The new, floating, “green island” will be transferred to its permanent home in the summer. It will have naturally grown lawn, photovoltaic systems to cover its energy needs, and waste will be biologically cleaned.  More importantly, the materials used in its construction, as well as any other expendable supplies used during its operation, are eco- friendly. The artificial island will welcome its visitors on board in August.  Volos: Host of 2013 Mediterranean Games ; Agrotravel.gr: Volos

Crete International Freediving Meeting

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The 2nd Mediterranean Freediving Meeting and International Depth Competition are being held on the island of Crete between the 22nd June and the 5th of July 2009. The meeting is organised as an event for freedivers from around the world to meet, train, and enjoy the wonderful hospitality of Crete. The 1st Mediterranean Freediving Meeting is based in the picturesque seaside village of Sougia in the south of Chania and includes two weeks of organised depth training followed by a Mediterranean Depth Competition with World Record Status (June 29 and Sunday July 5).

Greek PM Meets with Outgoing NATO Secretary General

karamsceff(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Thursday (May 14) in Athens with the outgoing NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.  Pointing out that during Scheffer’s term the alliance was enlarged twice, while in the field of operations NATO was called to meet very demanding challenges, Karamanlis praised the efforts to promote the Alliance’s relations with Russia as well as the progress made in relation to Ukraine and Georgia and the countries of the ‘Partnership for Peace’, the ‘Mediterranean Dialogue’ and the ‘Istanbul Initiative.’  On his part, the NATO SecGen stressed that “Greece’s participation in NATO’s operations and missions was and still is very important.” He also referred to energy and internet security issues as well as to the participation of Greek Navy frigates in the efforts to combat sea piracy.  De Hoop Scheffer also met with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis.