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Cooperation Greece – Azerbaijan in Energy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The issue of cooperation between Greece and Azerbaijan in the energy sector was the focus of discussions held on Tuesday February 17, between Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and visiting Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.  The aim of the Greek government was to expand the field of cooperation between the two countries, Karamanlis said. “Our country is the first European Union country to import natural gas from Azerbaijan,” the premier noted, pointing to the Interconnector Turkey – Greece – Italy pipeline carrying natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe via Turkey and Greece.  Greece has succeeded in becoming an energy hub for south-eastern Europe, a development that promotes the country’s interests and bilateral relations as well as the European strategy, Karamanlis said.  Later on Tuesday, at an event organised at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Karamanlis announced that “Greece is ready to sign agreements for natural gas supplies directly from Azerbaijan,” but also open to long-term cooperation and increased transactions between the two countries in other sectors besides energy.  ERT Online: Energy Cooperation; Greek News Agenda: Greece Turkey Interconnector; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Energy Policy of Greece

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Greek – Azeri Energy Plans

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, arrived in Greece yesterday – the first Azeri president to officially visit the country – with a delegation of officials from the Azeri state gas company. Aliyev expressed confidence that this trip would inaugurate a new era in bilateral relations, and emphasised the issue of energy security, noting that Azerbaijan had done much to give the rest of the world access to its considerable energy resources. President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias received his counterpart on Monday and held talks on ways to further develop bilateral relations between the two nations. Aliyev also met with Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and talks focused on the supply to Greece of 1 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year from Azerbaijan, as well as the signing of a four-party state agreement on the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline. Greek and Azeri officials also signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on renewable energy sources. Greek News Agenda: Greece Turkey Interconnector; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Energy Policy of Greece ; Centre for Renewable Energy Sources;

“Mama Mia” Effect in Greece

mama-mia(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Hordes of tourists are flocking to the Greek island of Skopelos to get married, throw parties on its beaches or buy land, after the enormous success of the “Mama Mia!” film, last summer, Helena Smith reports in her article “Money, money, money for Greek island as ‘Mama Mia!’ draws tourist hordes” for British newspaper, The Guardian. As “Mama Mia!” has surpassed the film “Titanic” to become the highest-earning movie ever released in the UK, Skopelos is struggling to keep up with outside interest and some odd requests from tourists, although the islanders are determined not to let the unspoiled, natural beauty of little known – before the shooting of film- island to be destroyed.

Sweet Substitute is Being Grown in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   A natural substitute for sugar without any of the adverse consequences on health is being grown experimentally in the prefecture of Karditsa, in northern Greece, in what were once tobacco fields, now being phased out under a subsidised withdrawal programme. The stevia crop, once it receives EU approval, which is reportedly pending, could be a lifeline for redundant tobacco farmers, and provide a healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners. Stevia leaves are a source of natural chemicals, such as stevioside, which is 300 times sweeter than sucrose and as sweet as artificial sweeteners, but which has almost no calorie content. Athens Plus: Safe sugar substitute being grown in Greece [p.22] More Gourmet Greece Initiatives: Hellenic Foreign Trade Board: Kerasma – Greek Mediterranean Gastronomy Mediterranean cousine: Gourmed – Taste the Med Epikouria magazine: Issue 7 Fall/Winter 2008 & Media Kit 2008 

Environment Matters in Greece: First Hydroelectric Power Grid

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)          The island of Ikaria will soon be opting out of the national power grid, as it will become autonomous in terms of energy consumption. The foundation of the first hybrid system in Greece, which will combine hydroelectric and aeolian (wind) modes of energy production, is being laid on October 25. A hydroelectric station will be built that will utilise waterfall from three different levels. The water will begin from an existing dam in the area of Pezi on the island, located at a height of 700 metres. In Pezi, there is a natural plateau. A rain storm is enough to fill up the natural reservoir in the plateau. The water will then be collected in three separate cisterns that will be built, at different levels, thus creating artificial cataracts. These cataracts will produce electric energy, capable of covering 85-90% of the islands requirements. The barrages will each have a capacity of 80,000 cubic metres of water. Deputy Minister of Merchant Marine Panayiotis Kammenos will inaugurate the energy plant tomorrow.  Centre for Renewable Energy Resources: Hydroelectric Energy; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Environmental Strategic Policies  & Energy Policy; Public Power Corporation: www.dei.gr; Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works: Climate Change; Greek Association of RES (Renewable Energy Sources) Electricity Producers: www.hellas.gr

Greeks in the World: Storm Chaser & Adventurer

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   George Kourounis, born in Hull, Quebec of Greek origin, is a reporter- though the word does not describe exactly what he does. Kourounis is a storm chaser and a renowned globaladventurer. He has been filming tornadoes, storms and all types of extreme natural phenomena for 11 years. In January 2005, after filming inside the smoking crater of the active Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia, he became the first person to have ever filmed from the inside of 3 of world’s most fearsome forces – inside a tornado, the eye of a hurricane and inside an active volcano. His efforts have been seen around the world on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Explorer, BBC-TV, CNN. Kourounis is also the host and co-creator of “Angry Planet”, a television series that focuses on his experiences with extreme weather and other natural phenomena, airing in over 35 countries worldwide.  Secretariat General of Information, Global Greeks: Media

Greece: International Natural Cosmetics

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Spurred by a trend towards natural products, Greek cosmetics companies are breaking out of their niches and entering the mainstream international market through high-end department stores or their own outlets. Two such firms are Korres (www.korres.com) and Apivita (www.apivita.gr). The Korres homeopathic pharmacy in Athens has blossomed into a large-scale, high-tech company producing safe, effective and affordable body and face potions. Apivita’s cosmetic and healthcare products are based on Greece’s natural foods, flowers, philosophy and traditions, while it has gained reputation as a socially responsible company for its alliance with the World Wildlife Fund and its restoration of the ancient pharmacy at Greece’s Mount Athos Holy Mountain.