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PM George Papandreou at the White House

» Meeting with Obama

Prime Minister George Papandreou met with US President Barack Obama in Washington yesterday.
After the meeting Papandreou said that the US is willing to work with the European Union to regulate the international financial system so speculators cannot target countries with troubled economies.
The premier said  that the issue of speculation will be discussed at the G20 summit in Canada, in June. The two leaders also discussed foreign policy issues such as the Cyprus issue, the integration of Western Balkans into Euro-Atlantic institutions, as well as Greece’s relations with Turkey.

» Visa Waiver

Furthermore, the US side announced that Greece will be included in the ‘visa waiver’ programme, thus enabling Greek citizens to travel to the US without a visa.
Papandreou termed the visa waiver “a vote of confidence” to Greece and noted that the Greek government is determined to respond to its obligations and cooperate closely at international level on the tackling of terrorism.

Kathimerini daily: US joins fight against speculators
The White House: Honouring Greek Independence Day (21.35mins)

» Papandreou’s Op-ed

In an op-ed published in the International Herald Tribune (IHT), Papandreou notes that the Greek case is not an outlier, but one more flare-up in a broken system of financial regulation and predatory behaviour.
“If global economic growth is to be sustainable, we need better coordination and greater solidarity between nations… We must now establish and enforce clear rules to contain the inordinate power of markets over our national economies and our common currency – not for Greece’s sake, but for Europe’s,” he stresses.
Prime Minister’s website: Meeting with President Barack Obama: Prime Minister’s statement ; Brookings Institution: Prime Minister’s speech & YouTube: PM’s speech at Brookings Institution  
New York Times & International Herald Tribune: Prime Minister’s article “Greece is not an island“; Hellenic Finance Ministry: Newsletter Updating Greek Fiscal Measures  

Διάλεξη για την βενετοκρατούμενη Σητεία στο Πανεπιστήμιο Βαρσοβίας (23/2/2010)

Διάλεξη με θέμα «Η βενετοκρατούμενη Σητεία – Αρχειακή έρευνα για την ιστορία της πόλης» έδωσε η Γραμματέας Επικοινωνίας του Γραφείου Τύπου και Επικοινωνίας Βαρσοβίας, Μαρία Μονδέλου, στις 23 Φεβρουαρίου στο Πανεπιστήμιο Βαρσοβίας.
Πρόκειται για την δεύτερη διάλεξη που πραγματοποιείται ύστερα από πρόσκληση του Ινστιτούτου Διεπιστημονικών Σπουδών (Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies) “Artes Liberales” του Πανεπιστημίου της Βαρσοβίας, με πρωτοβουλία της καθηγήτριας Malgorzata Borowska, διευθύντριας του Τμήματος Νεοελληνικής Φιλολογίας.
Την διάλεξη παρακολούθησαν οι φοιτητές του Β΄ έτους της Νεοελληνικής Φιλολογίας, στο πλαίσιο του μαθήματος «Κρητικά αριστουργήματα της περιόδου της Αναγέννησης».
Παρουσιάστηκαν, αρχικά, τα κυριότερα χαρακτηριστικά της βενετικής κυριαρχίας στη Σητεία (πόλη και ύπαιθρος), κυρίως κατά την ύστερη περίοδο της Βενετοκρατίας (16ος και 17ος αι.), και αναλύθηκαν ορισμένοι από τους θεσμούς που εισήγαγε η Βενετία στην πόλη (διοικητική οργάνωση, εκκλησιαστικοί θεσμοί, δικαιοσύνη). Έγινε αναφορά, μεταξύ άλλων, στην κοινωνική διαστρωμάτωση της πόλης και της υπαίθρου, τις κοινωνικές σχέσεις, τα χαρακτηριστικά της οικονομίας, τη μορφή της πόλης και τον τρόπο ζωής των κατοίκων. Ιδιαίτερη μνεία έγινε στον καταγόμενο από την Σητεία Βιτσέντζο Κορνάρο, ποιητή του Ερωτόκριτου, έργο το οποίο αποτελεί αντικείμενο σπουδών των φοιτητών του Β΄ έτους.
Οι φοιτητές ενημερώθηκαν για τον τρόπο αναζήτησης ανέκδοτου αρχειακού υλικού σε Αρχεία και Βιβλιοθήκες της Ιταλίας, όπως το Κρατικό Αρχείο της Βενετίας, το Αρχείο του Βατικανού και η Μαρκιανή Βιβλιοθήκη της Βενετίας. Επισημάνθηκαν τα κυριότερα χαρακτηριστικά των πηγών (επίσημες πηγές, συμβολαιογραφικό αρχείο), καθώς και μερικά συμπεράσματα από τη μελέτη του υλικού, τα οποία παρουσιάζονται στην υπό εκπόνηση διδακτορική διατριβή της ομιλήτριας.
Τέλος, παρουσιάστηκαν στους φοιτητές αντίγραφα ανέκδοτων χειρογράφων της εποχής, τα οποία αναγνώστηκαν, με παράλληλη εξήγηση βασικών κανόνων  παλαιογραφίας. 

Professor Borowska, Maria Mondelou and the students

Lecture “The Venetian Dominion in Sitia (Crete) – Research on the history of the town” (University of Warsaw, 23/2/2010) 

A lecture about “The Venetian  Dominion in Sitia (Crete) – Research on the history of the town” was hold by the Press Attachè of the Embassy of Greece in Warsaw, Maria Mondelou, on the 23rd February at the University of Warsaw.
It was the second lecture that took place, after the one on the 8th of December 2009, following an invitation by the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies “Artes Liberales” of the University of Warsaw and the director at the Department of Modern Greek Philology, Malgorzata Borowska.
The lecture was attended by the students of the 4th semester in Modern Greek Philology, that includes lessons on the subject “Cretan masterpieces of the Renaissance”.
Main aspects of the Venetian dominion in the territory of Sitia (town and villages), particularly during the late period of the Venetian dominion (16th and 17th centuries), as well as some of the institutions that Venice introduced in Sitia (administration, ecclesiastical institutions, justice etc.) were analysed. The social stratification in the town and the villages, the social relations, the characteristics of the economy, the form of the town and the way of life of the inhabitants were, also, described. A partiticular mention was made for Vitsentzos Kornaros, born in Sitia, famous for his poem “Erotokritos”, which is included in the studies of the Polish students.
The students were informed about the research of unpublished sources of archives, that was effected by the lecturer in Archives and Libraries in Italy, such as the National Archive of Venice, the Vatican Archives and the “Marciana”  Library of Venice. Main characteristics of the sources (official documents and notarial archives) were highlighted, as well as some of the results of the study, which are presented in the PhD of the lecturer.
Finally, copies of unedited documents of the 16th century were presented and read to the students.

Wykład na temat Sitii pod panowaniem weneckim, wygłoszony na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim (23/2/2010)

Wykład pod tytułem „Sitia, pod panowaniem weneckim – badanie archiwalne na temat historii miasta” został wygłoszony przez Marię Mondelou, Attaché Prasowego Ambasady Grecji w dniu 23 lutego na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.
Był to już drugi wykład wygłoszony pod otrzymaniu zaproszenia przez Instytut Studiów Interdyscyplinarnych „Artes Liberales” z inicjatywy profesor dr hab. Małgorzaty Borowskiej, Kierownika Wydziału Filologii Nowogreckiej. 
Wykład został wysłuchany przez studentów II roku filologii nowogreckiej w ramach zajęć „Kreteńskie arcydzieła okresu Odroczenia”.

The destiny of Greek Tourism

» Expected Recovery

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) According to a survey conducted by the Academy of Tourism Research and Studies, Greek tourism will recover this year, with tourist arrivals expected to rise by 8.6%, compared to 2009.
The report by ATEM predicts that foreign tourists visiting Greece will reach 15.5 million in 2010, on condition that there is an upturn in world’s economy.

Greek National Tourism Organisation: www.gnto.gr

» Alternative Tourism

Exploring caves, rafting and trekking is just a small part of the activities offered to tourists who do not like crowded vacation destinations and choose alternative tourism.
More examples include medical tourism – which started in Ancient Greece – as well conference and wedding tourism (accommodations, transport, beauty treatments, flower arrangements, and much more).
A conference titled “New Trends in Tourism: benefits & prospects for women,” organised by the Thessaloniki Organisation for Women’s Employment & Resources (TOWER), aims at presenting and discussing various new trends in tourism. Topics to be explored include eco / agro-tourism, health & wellness tourism, and raising awareness about career opportunities available for women in tourism.
See also Greek News Agenda: Alternative Tourism

Diamandouros re-elected EU Ombudsman

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The European Parliament (EP) re-elected Nikiforos Diamandouros as European Ombudsman with 340 votes out of a total of 648 valid votes cast.
Diamandouros was first elected to the post on April 1, 2003 and this will be his third term as European Ombudsman.
“I am very grateful for the support of the European Parliament and for this vote of confidence in my work.
I look forward to continuing my efforts to improve the quality of the EU administration and to promote a culture of service in the EU institutions for the benefit of European citizens”said Diamandouros, who was the first to hold the post of National Ombudsman in Greece.

“Είδωλα κρατών”:Δημόσια Διπλωματία, Εθνική Ταυτότητα και Εικόνα

eidola.kratonΗ τριμηνιαία επιθεώρηση ¨Διεθνής και Ευρωπαϊκή Πολιτική“  κυκλοφόρησε με ειδικό αφιέρωμα στη Δημόσια Διπλωματία (τεύχος 16). Το ειδικό αφιέρωμα υπό τον τίτλο ¨Είδωλα Κρατών¨ επιμελείται ο Βασίλης Καπετανγιάννης.
Το αφιέρωμα περιλαμβάνει 9 κείμενα υπό τις ενότητες ¨Διαχείριση Εθνικής Ταυτότητας¨, ¨Κύπρος και Ελλάδα¨ και ¨Απόψεις και Θέσεις¨. Μπορείτε να διαβάσετε το κείμενο του Σταύρου Σταθουλόπουλου: Η Ελληνική Δημόσια Διπλωματία – Προβλήματα και Επιλογές
Δείτε τους τίτλους των κειμένων του αφιερώματος:
Βασίλης Καπετανγιάννης (Εισαγωγή): Δημόσια Διπλωματία, Εθνική Ταυτότητα και Εικόνα
Συνέντευξη με τον Αντώνη Λιάκο: H Eλληνική Eμπειρία, Aποτύπωση της Παγκόσμιας Ιστορίας
Ανδρέας Μακρής: Η πολιτική διάσταση του «Nation Branding» και η περίπτωση της Ελλάδας
Μαρία Φωλά: Η Ελλάδα ως Brand: Το παρελθόν, το παρόν και το μέλλον
Ελένη Τζουμάκα: Η Ελληνική Πρόταση Πολιτισμού
Λαμπρινή Κολτσίδα: Οι Νεοελληνικές Σπουδές στο Εξωτερικό
Keith Dinnie & Μαρία Φωλά: Κύπρος – Ένα νησί με άπειρες δυνατότητες. Αγαπήστε το!
Νίκος Βλαχάκης: Δημόσια Διπλωματία της Ελλάδας στη ΝΑ Ευρώπη και Τουρκία
Έφη Παπαχρήστου: Δημόσια Διπλωματία – Νέο επιστημονικό πεδίο
Σταύρος Σταθουλόπουλος: Η Ελληνική Δημόσια Διπλωματία – Προβλήματα και επιλογές
Eπιθεώρηση “Διεθνής και Ευρωπαϊκή Πολιτική”: ΔΕΛΤΙΟ ΣΥΝΔΡΟΜΗΣ

Christmas in Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Christmas in Athens, the favourite holiday for young and old, is here again to fill the city with games, light, and music. Impressive ornaments, a unique and different Christmas tree, games and events for children of all ages, digital music and games, treats and street bands, as well as hundreds of fireworks will make up this year’s holiday scene in Athens.

Sparkling lights and designer holiday decorations will turn the city’s squares, the National Gardens and Zappeio into a fairytale setting.
Syntagma square will be the heart of celebrations with an impressive Christmas tree created with some 250 natural fir trees which, after the holiday season will be planted in one of Attica’s most fire-ravaged areas.
City of Athens: City of Athens launches Christmas events

Sztukę “Mleko” Autorstwa Vassilisa Katsikonourisa

Mleko 1Zapraszamy do Teatru Kamienica Emiliana Kaminskiego na sztukę “Mleko autorstwa Vassilisa Katsikonourisa . Jest ona jednym z najciekawszych osiągnieć współczesnej, greckiej dramaturgii. Akcja dramatu rozgrywa się pomiędzy trzema bohaterami – matką Riną i jej synami: młodszym Lefterisem, cierpiącym na kliniczną schizofrenię oraz starszym Antonisem, który wraz z matką próbuje ocalić brata przed ostateczną hospitalizacją. Spektakl obrazuje kilka dni z ich życia, życia rodziny emigrantów z Gruzji, którzy po upadku imperium Związku Radzieckiego wrócili do swojej historycznej ojczyzny – do Aten, w poszukiwaniu lepszego jutra. Inscenizacja sztuki dotyka płaszczyzny egzystencjalnej, porusza wiele aspektów związanych ze zjawiskiem emigracji – kompleks niższości,

Autor sztuki: Vasilis Katsikonouris, Kompozytor muzyki: Odysseas Konstantinopoulos, Rezyser sztuki: Sebastian Chondrokostas

Autor sztuki: Vasilis Katsikonouris, Kompozytor muzyki: Odysseas Konstantinopoulos, Rezyser sztuki: Sebastian Chondrokostas

poczucie wyobcowania, tęsknota za ojczyną. Jest próbą zobrazowania zmagań człowieka między ukrytymi lękami i nadziejami. Bohaterowie Mleka podejmują próbę pokonania swoich pragnień, ucieczki od tkwiących w nich tęsknot i kompleksów. Ich rzeczywistość sceniczna balansuje na granicy realności i wyobrażenia, jawy i snu. To tutaj groza miesza się nieustannie z groteską. Prapremiera polska 25 czerwca Mleko Vassilis Katsikonouris Reżyseria: Sebastian CHONDROKOSTAS Scenografia & kostiumy: Katarzyna GABRAT – SZYMAŃSKA Muzyka: Odysseas KONSTANTINOPOULOS Obsada: Anna CHODAKOWSKA, Matylda DAMIĘCKA, Andrzej ANDRZEJEWSKI, Rafał FUDALEJ
Obejrzyj! Cena biletu: Normalny: 50zł Straponten: 30zł Wejściówka: 20zł Przed spektaklem

Zdjęcia i muzyka ze spektaklu :  (V I D E O 1) *******
(VIDEO 2) ******* (VIDEO 3)

„Sztuka “Mleko”  ukazuje historię blisko związaną z losami mojej rodziny. Moi dziadkowie, bohaterowie wojny domowej w Grecji końca lat 40-tych ubiegłego wieku, również bowiem zmuszeni zostali do emigracji skazującej ich na wieczną tęsknotę za ojczyzną i życie z piętnem “obcego”. Pomimo iż w Polsce przeżyli ponad 40 lat, na zawsze pozostali rozbici na dwie ojczyzny.
Dlatego też przedstawienie w Teatrze Kamienica było dla mnie oraz dla kompozytora muzyki, Odysseasa Konstantinopoulosa, (też pół-Greka pół-Polaka) wyjątkowo osobistym przeżyciem, którym chcieliśmy podzielić się z widownią.”

Sebastian Chondrokostas


Anna Chodakowska - Zdjęcia ze spektaklu : Filip Błażejowski

Najblizsze terminy przedstawien:
23 października 19:00 Scena Oficyna
25 października 19:00 Scena Oficyna


"MLEKO" / Taniec Pondyjski -Zdjęcia ze spektaklu : Filip Błażejowski

"MLEKO" / Taniec Pondyjski -Zdjęcia ze spektaklu : Filip Błażejowski

"MLEKO" /  Finał - Zdjęcia ze spektaklu : Filip Błażejowski

"MLEKO" / Finał - Zdjęcia ze spektaklu : Filip Błażejowski

“MLEKO”oczami polskich widzow (YOUTUBE)

Ettna 100: Jestem pod ogromnym wrażeniem obejrzanej sztuki “Mleko”Temat to przeplatające się sceny czarnej komedii z wyczuwającym zagrożeniem.Autentyczność jak wykazali aktorzy,wartości tematu,pozwala spojrzeć na bezsilność bezbronnego człowieka,Sztuka trafiła do serc współczesnej widowni…a muzyka którą słyszymy potwierdza autonomię współuczestnictwa…a poprzez rozszerzony kod muzyczny…o nastrój,rytm i pamięć spektaklu…
Magdalena59: Trudny — ale wspaniały spektakl… Kontrowersyjny — ale piękny… Mądra, chociaż niełatwa treść… Brawurowo zagrany, reżysersko “dopieszczony” do najdrobniejszych detali, z fascynującą muzyką w tle… Ale nie spodziewajcie się wyłącznie lekkiego relaksu, nie oczekujcie zabawnej “historyjki o Grekach”… tego tu nie znajdziecie… Polecam wszystkim ludziom myślącym i patrzącym dalej niż czubek wlasnego nosa…
Ettna 100: Wspaniała integracja muzyki ze sztuką,gdzie słychać uczucie,powagę spokoju,smutku i melancholię.Muzyka którą słyszymy,pobudza i niepokoi,zmusza do zaostrzenia ciekawości,wpływając na odbiorcę poprzez nastrój rozedrganymi dźwiękami i barwami…Forma muzyczna zawiera cechy ilustracji,ekspresji ruchu przekazywanych przez bohaterów sztuki..

“MLEKO” w Swiata

MLEKO w Nikosia

MLEKO w Nikosia

Milk” in Cyprus
Vassilis Katsikonouris’s play looks at how foreigners tackle integration into Greek society. The story focuses on a family of Russians from the Black Sea region -a widowed mother and her two sons. One son battles a debilitating illness -schizophrenia, according to doctors- and the other fights tooth and nail to adjust to his new home country. Directed by Achilleas Grammatikopoulos.
Admission: € 12.00 – 8.00
Oct. 25 – Dec. 28 (Fr-Sa): Nicosia, Open Theatre

MLEKO w Atenach / Direktora: Nikos Mastorakis

MLEKO w Atenach / Direktora: Nikos Mastorakis

“Mleko” w Atenach

A play about the search for happiness in a foreign country. A Greek-Russian family leaves Russia to return to Athens. The oldest son is able to successfully integrate himself into society, leaving his younger brother to come to terms with his new doubled identity by himself. The mother of the boys is torn between her two sons. With great sensitivity and intensity, director Nikos Mastorakis reveals the many facets of life on the edge of society, aided by an ensemble that distinguishes itself at the highest level of acting ability.
1 hour 50 minutes, no interval
Public discussion after the performance on June 17th 2006

Athens University in Top 200

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens has once again made it to the list of the leading 200 global universities, as published in the “Times Higher Education – QS World University Rankings 2009,” at number 178 – and technically tied with the Belgium’s Antwerp University at 177 – garnering 56.7 points, and thus outperforming its 2008 ranking by 23 positions.

It must be noted that there are 4,000 universities in the world, and as the magazine’s contributing editor Martin Ince has said: “Being on this list means you are one of the top ones, whatever your position. Many universities want to be globally important and being in these rankings is a measure of their success – most don’t manage it.”  The overall rankings are compiled based in six distinct indicators: academic peer review; employer review; faculty/student ratio; citations per faculty; international faculty, and international students. This list is considered a quality benchmark. QS Top Universities School Profile: University of Athens

Papandreou’s PASOK Scores Landslide Win

Papandreou(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party and its leader George Papandreou posted a landslide election victory on Sunday in Greece’s snap election, garnering 43.94% of the vote, against 33.48% for New Democracy with 99.04% of votes counted. This translates into 160 seats in Parliament – out of a total of 300 – for PASOK, 91 for New Democracy, 21 for the Communist Party of Greece (7.54%), 15 for the Popular Orthodox Rally (5.63%), and 13 for the Radical Left Coalition (4.59%). Voter turnout totalled 70.91%.  “Our responsibility is to change the direction in which the country is going,” said PASOK leader and Prime-Minister elect George Papandreou in a brief statement during which he promised to “put smiles back on the faces of Greeks” and to “put the citizen at the heart” of his government’s actions.  Papandreou – a former foreign minister – received several congratulatory phone calls from world leaders including US President Barack Obama, who said he wanted to be amongst the first to congratulate the PASOK leader, along with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.   Apart from being a victory for PASOK and Papandreou, who will become the third member of his family to govern Greece, the result of yesterday’s election was a defeat for New Democracy, which saw its share of the popular vote decline from more than 45% 2004, when it was first elected to power under the leadership of Kostas Karamanlis, to 41,8% in 2007 and to just over 33% yesterday. Karamanlis announced that he would be stepping down as the president of New Democracy, a position he held since 1997.  Ministry of Interior: National Elections 2009 Kathimerini daily: Papandreou and PASOK sweep to victory; World Media Reports (Google): PASOK wins Greek election  Greek News Agenda: Special Issue: Parliamentary Election in Greece 2009

Greece: Political Leaders’ TV Debate

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) With pre-election fever soaring, the leaders of all political parties which are currently represented in the Hellenic and European Parliaments, competing for the October 4 national elections, will participate tonight (September 21) in a televised debate to be broadcast at 20:00 by ERT (Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation).

A panel of journalists will pose questions on six topics: the economy, the environment, public administration, work and social policy, education, and foreign policy.   There will be two rounds of questions with three topics each and at the end of each round Party leaders will have the opportunity to pose one question to each other, without however being able to comment on the reply.   A second debate, between Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and main opposition Party leaderGeorge Papandreou, is also scheduled for tomorrow (September 22).  Political Parties represented at the televised debate: New Democracy: en.nd.gr; Panhellenic Social Movementwww.pasok.gr; Communist Party of Greece: inter.kke.gr; Coalition of the Left and Ecologywww.syn.gr; Popular Orthodox Rallywww.laos.gr; Ecologist Greens:www.ecogreens.gr Secretariat General for Information: About Greece- Government and Politics

Greece: The Culture Agenda


                                     Tribute to Ianis Xenakis

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) in association with the Center for Music Composition & Performance (CMCP) is organizing a second series of events in tribute to the composer Ianis Xenakis.
The events are taking place from September 15 to October 11.

“Itinerary to Mount Athos, 1928-1930” Boissonnas_sofia_1

The exhibition “Itinerary to Mount Athos, 1928-1930” features a selection from the 400 photographs taken by Swiss photographer Frédéric Boissonnas during his travels to Mount Athos in 1928 and 1930.
The exhibition is organised by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, in Sofia and runs from September 16 through October 25.


                                     Jose Carreras returns to Athens

Legendary tenor Jose Carreras returns to Greece after four years since his last appearance for a concert with the ERT National Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of David Gimenez, on 19 September at the Herod Atticus Odeon (Herodion) in Athens.

Amadou & Mariam in Athens

Amadou & Mariam, the two musicians who manage to overcome all obstacles to become international stars and ambassadors of Mali’s musical tradition throughout the world, will be appearing live in Athens 18 September at the Papagou Garden Theatre.

The Spaghetti Western Orchestra @ Badminton Theatre

Armed with over 100 instruments the Spaghetti Western Orchestra is performing in Athens the stunning music Ennio Morricone wrote for movies such as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “For a Few Dollars More” and “Once Upon a Time in the West.” At the Badminton Theatre from September 16 to 25.

Conferences in Greece

» Sound & Audiovisual Archives

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA- 2009) conference “Towards the new kind of Archive? The Digital Philosophy in Audiovisual Archives” hosted by the Hellenic National Audiovisual Archive is taking place in Athens from September 20 to 25, at the Megaron Athens International Conference Centre.

The role of audiovisual archives in the new technological environment and how distinct the roles are of the various cultural heritage institutions, what methods and techniques will ensure the accountability and continuity of the audiovisual content, are some of the themes the conference participants will address.   The event will also celebrate the 40th anniversary since the establishment of IASA, which was envisioned as a medium for international co-operation between archives that preserve recorded sound and audiovisual documents. It now counts members from more than 60 countries representing a broad palette of audiovisual archives and personal interests.  IASA: Preliminary Conference Programme

» Informatics in the Balkans

The 4th Balkan Conference in Informatics (BCI 2009) is taking place in Thessaloniki from September 17 to 19. The aim of the conference is to provide a forum for discussion and dissemination of research achievements, to promote interaction and collaboration among scientists from the Balkans and beyond, as well as to encourage the involvement of young researchers from the region.

FRONTEX Patrol: Turbulence in The Aegean

FRONTEX(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens has lodged a complaint with Ankara after Turkey’s latest attempt to oust an EU Frontex helicopter operating over the Greek isle of Farmakonisi in the Aegean.  On September 8, the Latvian pilots on board a Frontex helicopter – an EU agency coordinating boarder controls in the EU- were asked by Turkish authorities, via radio, to submit a flight plan. The pilots continued their operation without responding to the call and reported the incident to the Greek authorities, who issued a démarche with Turkey. This incident constitutes Turkey’s sixth attempt to obstruct EU agencies’operations in the area in 2009.Kathimerini  daily: Turks continue to stir tension; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek Territorial Waters – National Airspace

Map of Greece / Χάρτης της Ελλάδας

Safe Air Corridor for Turkish F-16

f161(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Greek Air Force yesterday provided a safe air corridor for a Turkish F-16 fighter jet in order to return to its base in Eskisehir.  The Turkish jet had issued an emergency warning due to problems with its flight-control system, while flying at law-altitude over Greek islands of Farmakonisi, Agathonisi and Fournoi, violating Greek air space.  Kathimerini daily: Turkish F-16 in emergency; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Relations with Turkey; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek territorial Waters – National airspace

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. 

UNICEF Campaign for Combating Child Trafficking

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   UNICEF’s awareness campaign for combating child trafficking – “The international economic crisis and child trafficking in the world” – was launched at the Foreign Ministry on July 16. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and the President of the Hellenic National Committee for UNICEF,  Lambros Kanellopoulos, presented the campaign.  “The basic message of the campaign we are launching today is that we – particularly those of us living in the prosperous regions of this world – have a duty to stop this economic crisis from becoming a crisis of values,” Bakoyannis said in her speech.  The UNICEF initiative, which is being carried out in collaboration with the Foreign Ministry, is the second part of a major campaign that includes the broadcasting of specially made radio and television spots throughout the country. 

Dame Helen Mirren at Epidaurus Theatre

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Following the instructions of Royal National Theatre’s artistic director Nicholas Hytner, Oscar-winning British actress Helen Mirren and co-star Dominic Cooper received widespread praise for Racine’s “Phedre” – based on Euripides’s play “Hippolytus”– performed on June 11 at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, as part of the Athens and Epidaurus Festival. Phèdre, recounts the story of a queen’s destructive obsession with her stepson, filtered through the eyes of a 17th century French playwright and the freewheeling translation of a British poet, Ted Hughes.  The night of the performance, the theatre was filled with admirers of both Mirren and the ancient Greek drama, with visitors coming from Greece and abroad.   Epidaurus Theatre is to host other prominent artists this summer, including British director Sam Mendes and veteran French actress Jeanne Moreau in the coming weeks.  The Times: Dame Helen Mirren is worthy of the Epidaurus   Athens and Epidaurus Festival: www.greekfestival.gr

Greek Tourism Shows Resilence

• Minister Is Optimistic

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Figures on arrivals at Greek airports during the first five months of the year show an annual drop by 8.8%, much less than had originally been anticipated, Tourism Minister Kostas Markopoulos said during a press conference on June 16. Despite the dire economic climate globally, Markoupolos appeared optimistic that the drop in tourism for 2009 will not reach double digits and stressed that domestic tourism will also reach high levels. Kathimerini daily (17.6.2009): Tourism will not fall by over 10pct this year, gov’t says. Greek National Tourism Organisation: www.visitgreece.gr

• New Planes Take Off

Marfin Investment Group (MIG) which recently bought Olympic Airlines (OA) announced yesterday (June 17) that its subsidiary Olympic Air bought eight Q400 aircrafts from Bombardier for € 161,5 million with an option to acquire another 8. Meanwhile Aegean Airlines has announced that it is beginning daily flights to Istanbul from September 9, expanding its international routes. Kathimerini daily: MIG buys planes for Olympic Air

Greece: Valia Calda Brown Bear’s Home

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Valia Calda, or “warm valley” – located in the northwestern Pindos mountain range– is one of Greece’s most beautiful mountain regions. An area of unique ecological and research interest, Valia Calda forms the core of the Pindos National Park.  The wild and rich landscape of the park creates a major wildlife sanctuary, hosting rare reptile species, birds and many varieties of mammals, including the brown bear. In fact, Valia Calda is considered to be the brown bear’s main natural habitat in Greece. The best time of the year to visit this unique region is May-June when there is no snow and most vegetation blossoms, offering a fabulous, colourful panorama.  Athens Plus: Valia Calda, spring fever in the valley (08.05.2009, p.42); Valda Calda Refuge: Mountain Treks

Antiquities Returned to Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   A special event was held on Tuesday (19.5) at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens to mark the return of hundreds of ancient artifacts to Greece by Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. The majority of the returned antiquities date from the 5th to the 2nd centuries BC, apart from a section of a Byzantine-era carved window sill dating from the 11th-12th century AD, possibly from the Plaka area in Athens, that was presented to the Greek Embassy in London by a private citizen. Addressing the event, Culture Minister Antonis Samaras said that the return of artifacts, either through private initiative or by state intervention, reflects a change in attitudes as people increasingly realise that cultural artifacts are not just pieces of art, but precious links to a people’s historical identity. Reuters (19.5): Antiquities returned to Greece