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Επίσκεψη ΑΝΥΠΕΞ Μαριλίζας Ξενογιαννακοπούλου στη Βαρσοβία (12/5/2011)

Η αναπληρωτής υπουργός Εξωτερικών Μαριλίζα Ξενογιαννακοπούλου πραγματοποίησε χθες επίσημη επίσκεψη στη Βαρσοβία, κατά την διάρκεια της οποίας συμμετείχε στη «Συνάντηση Φίλων Πολιτικής Συνοχής» και συναντήθηκε με τον πολωνό υφυπουργό Ευρωπαϊκών Θεμάτων Mikolaj Dowgielewicz.
Η συνάντηση Υπουργών Εξωτερικών και Ευρωπαϊκών Υποθέσεων («Συνάντηση Φίλων Πολιτικής Συνοχής») πραγματοποιήθηκε με πρωτοβουλία της Πολωνίας, η οποία θα ασκήσει την επερχόμενη Προεδρία της ΕΕ. Συμμετείχαν εκπρόσωποι από 14 χώρες μέλη της ΕΕ, με σκοπό τον συντονισμό της κατάρτισης του κοινοτικού προϋπολογισμού και την εξασφάλιση χρηματοδότησης της κοινοτικής πολιτικής της συνοχής.
Η συνάντηση διοργανώθηκε εν όψει της παρουσίασης από την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή στα τέλη Ιουνίου του πολυετούς προγράμματος της ΕΕ για τον κοινοτικό προϋπολογισμό.
Η αναπληρωτής υπουργός Μ. Ξενογιαννακοπούλου συμμετείχε στη συνάντηση με στόχο την οικοδόμηση του ρόλου της Ελλάδας στο θέμα του κοινοτικού προϋπολογισμού και των δημοσιονομικών προοπτικών της ΕΕ.
Μετά το πέρας της ανωτέρω συνάντησης, η αναπληρωτής υπουργός είχε γεύμα εργασίας με τον πολωνό επίτροπο της ΕΕ για θέματα προϋπολογισμού Janusz Lewandowski.
Το απόγευμα πραγματοποιήθηκε διμερής συνάντηση ανάμεσα στην αναπληρωτή υπουργό Μ. Ξενογιαννακοπούλου και τον πολωνό υπουργό Ευρωπαϊκών Θεμάτων Mikolaj Dowgielewicz. Οι δύο υπουργοί συζήτησαν για τις προτεραιότητες της Πολωνικής Προεδρίας στην ΕΕ, τις αποφάσεις που σχετίζονται με την σταθερότητα της ευρωζώνης, καθώς και για θέματα μετανάστευσης και την πολιτική γειτονίας.

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Greece assumes BSEC chairmanship

Greece has assumed, the rotating chairmanship of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organisation, at a special ceremony, during the 22nd meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs , held in Sofia, Bulgaria on May 28.
“It is our objective to establish the Greek Chairmanship-in-Office of the BSEC as a turning point for the entire region towards Green Development.
Its central theme will be Black Sea turns Green,” Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis stressed in his address to the meeting upon the assumption of the chairmanship.
He also noted that the emphasis on “green development” will highlight the comparative advantages of the Black Sea region in terms of environmental protection, culture, tourism, alternative energy sources and new technologies. 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

New era in Greek-Turkish relations

» High Level Cooperation

Premier George Papandreou and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan expressed their will to take important steps towards the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations, as the Turkish leader wrapped up an official visit to Athens on Saturday.
This was sealed with the opening session of the Greece-Turkey High Level Cooperation Council and the signing of 21 agreements.
George Papandreou met with the chiefs of Turkish media, while Erdogan with the chiefs of the Greek newspapers.
The Greek premier told Turkish journalists that Erdogan’s visit heralds a new era in Greek-Turkish relations, further adding that the two sides had better overcome their differences. He also touched on economic cooperation between Athens and Ankara.

» “We have an agreement”

Twenty-one cooperation agreements in fields as diverse as technology and tourism were signed during the Turkey-Greece High Level Cooperation Council.
Ministers signed agreements boosting trade, investments and shipping and the two countries will hereby extend their cooperation in projects concerning infrastructure works and transnational transport networks.
Relations between the two countries in the field of immigration will be governed by a bilateral agreement which provides for readmission of illegal immigrant flows to Turkey and cooperation in the fight against organized crime, trafficking and civil protection.
Both sides agreed to improve tourism cooperation, aiming at increasing their market share in countries with economic potential such as China, as well as raising global awareness on matters of cultural heritage protection.

Special attention was given to education and synergies concerning research. Environment protection and joint ventures in energy projects including renewable energy sources and the existing Turkey- Greece-Italy gas pipeline were also sealed with respective deals.
In terms of strengthening bilateral ties,  a Joint Political Declaration on the establishment of the High Level Cooperation Council as well as a Protocol on regular political consultations between the two countries’ foreign ministries were signed.

» Signing the Olympic Truce

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan concluded on Saturday his landmark visit to Athens by signing the Olympic Truce initiative.

At a brief ceremony in front of the imposing Panathenaic Stadium, Erdogan referred to the “great honour in signing my name in this book; to put my signature for a world of peace.”
Papandreou said that Turkey’s support for the idea sends out a clear message “by Turkey and Greece to the world,” adding that Greece will actively support Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

PM George Papandreou: Economic crisis “a crucial national threat”

 

 (GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister George Papandreou, addressing a cabinet meeting on Sunday, termed the economic and monetary crisis “a crucial national threat”.    Papandreou, however, expressed optimism over the favourable outcome of the struggle being waged by the government, calling on all Greeks and the mass media in particular to say “no to panic .”
The major changes that have been scheduled for 2010, which he termed a year of great changes and reforms, must be turned into practice as a precondition for this.
The prime minister made a positive assessment of the first 100 days of the country’s governance which, as he said, “we assumed in a deep and multifaceted crisis with a large size debt and deficits that were bequeathed to us by the previous government.”
He added that the economy alone was not at the root of problems, but the country’s way of governance as well.
Papandreou further said that during the first 100 days the “government stood at the level of its historical responsibility which is to have the citizen as its first concern,” adding that apart from changes in regional administration, great reforms and changes are also required in central administration.
He stressed that the changes will meet with great resistances but expressed certainty that they will have the approval of the Greek people.
Papandreou said that at the end of the coming week the stability and growth programme will be announced, as well as the proposals for government and legislative work that will be following in the near future.
He said he would be giving a press conference at the Zappion Mansion in the middle of the week and would be announcing the main conclusions on governance so far and priorities for the coming period, while calling on ministers to do the same in their field of responsibility.
 The prime minister also announced the creation of a “prestigious advisory committee” on the modernisation and operation of the government and institutional bodies with the principle “the citizen first” always being the target.
He stressed that the new architecture of self administration is part of the government’s overall planning so that on November 14, 2010, local administration elections will be held for the new strong municipalities and the regions.
Papandreou added that the “implementation of the great vision of the world of local administration will begin,” terming this task extremely difficult and for which the consent of all is required and that the government shall seek.
He further pointed out that resources for local administration will be secured in the framework of taxation policy and added that with the electoral law which will be voted in Parliament “a decisive blow will be dealt at black political money”.
Papandreou also referred to the government’s struggle for transparency and expressed satisfaction for the positive response met by his initiative to request from the President of the Republic to convene a meeting of party leaders.
Lastly, the prime minister also referred to the bomb attack that occurred in front of the Parliament building on Saturday, stressing that “no one and with no action can intimidate the country’s political world” and underlined that “we are not going to let such an action pass like this.”

Informal Dinner in Madrid / Western Balkans

Droutsas

Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Ahead of Spain’s assumption of the EU presidency, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas attended an informal dinner of EU foreign ministers, hosted by their Spanish counterpart in Madrid. This was an initial meeting to discuss the priorities of the Spanish Presidency, during which Droutsas had the opportunity to set forth Greece’s proposal for the inclusion in the EU of the Western Balkans, with the target-date of 2014.

New Greek Government: A Wind of Change

newcabinet2(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Shortly after being  sworn in as Prime Minister, George Papandreou unveiled his first Cabinet yesterday, presenting a relatively new team with a few party heavyweights.  The premier has downsized the number of ministries from 16 to 14 and deputy ministers from 26 to 21, plus two alternate ministers. Of the 37 individuals making up the government, 24 will be living the ministerial experience for the first time.  Additionally, nine members of the cabinet are women, a proportion which is a novelty in Greece. One of the surprises is the reinstatement of the post of deputy prime minister, which hasn’t been seen since the 1980s.  There is one new ministry, that of Environment, Energy and Climate Change. Many other ministries have been altered in some way: Citizen’s Protection; Infrastructure, Transport and Networks; Interior, Decentralization and e-Governance; Economy, Competitiveness and Merchant Marine; Education, Lifelong Learning and Religion; Justice, Transparency and Human Rights; and the former ministries of Culture and Tourism have merged into one. Kathimerini daily: Some surprises in Papandrou’s new team

Foreign Affairs: Greece in Brussels

Bakoyannis @ EU Ministers Council
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis attended the Council of European Union Foreign Ministers which convened in Brussels on Monday and examined developments in the Middle East, energy security and the priorities of the EU Czech Presidency. Following the council meeting, Bakoyannis spoke to the press. On the question of the situation prevailing in the Gaza Strip, she said that the foreign ministers agreed that priority must be given to achieving immediate progress in handling the humanitarian tragedy being experienced by the inhabitants in Gaza. The minister expressed regret because substantive steps have not been taken in providing humanitarian aid and because the EU’s requests in this direction have been met with no response. “The lifting of the blockade and the opening of corridors is essential to enable the smooth flow of humanitarian aid from the international community,” she said. Asked about whether the recent crisis between Russia and Ukraine would affect the South Stream pipeline in any way, Bakoyannis gave a negative answer, saying that the policy of the Greek government on energy issues is a policy that “many other countries would like to have.”  EU Council – General Affairs and External Relations Councils: Press Releases – External Relations & General Affairs (Provisional Versions, 26.2.2009) 
FM Addresses European Policy Centre
Speaking at the local think tank Centre for European Policy Studies (CPES) in Brussels yesterday, Bakoyannis outlined Greece’s positions on several issues including the OSCE Chairmanship, the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), relations with Turkey, and the Cyprus issue. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Speech of FM Dora Bakoyiannis at the European Policy Centre (Brussels); Athens News Agency: FM on FYROM, Turkey, Cyprus