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Tourism: challenges and priorities outlined by PM George Papandreou

Addressing the 19th General Assembly of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) on 4th May, Prime Minister George Papandreou outlined the priorities, the goals and the successes of the government policy in tourism sector and the promotion of Greece abroad. Papandreou focused on the simplification of the licensing process in tourist investments, stressing that tourism should be one of the basic pillars for boosting the Greek economy.
“In the coming months there will be a licensing simplification in investments and facilitation of visa issuing for nationals of emerging economies such as China and Russia. […] There will also be a reduction in the prices of sea transport tickets, as well as in landing and take-off fees at several airports,” said Papandreou noting that the tourism industry has been reporting positive signs as what is being offered is quality service at good prices.
Referring to the enormous potential of Internet and social networking, Papandreou hailed the online promotion of Greece via the official site of Visit Greece, the newly launched my-greece.gr, and through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.
Prime Minister.GR: Tourism policy – Results (in Greek); YouTube: You in Greece Campaign [VIDEO]


Learn Greek Abroad On-Line

The teaching of Greek abroad will soon go online with a new e-learning programme being developed by the Centre of Intercultural and Migration Studies at the University of Crete.
The Centre is establishing a pilot Greek Diaspora school network that aims to eventually operate on an independent basis.
Greek teachers from schools abroad will visit Crete in July to participate in the creation of the project as partners. The teachers will participate in a two-week training programme at the University, following a 10-hour teleseminar briefing on Greek-language teaching methodology that they will undergo before their arrival. The programme is sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs.

PM George Papandreou in “Foreign Policy” Magazine

Prime Minister George Papandreou in an in-depth interview in the American magazine Foreign Policy (July 19) explained the reasons behind the crisis and the measures taken by his government in order to tackle it.
He stressed that with the support of the European Union, Greece decided against defaulting, which would cause insurmountable problems especially for the banking institutions in Greece and Europe alike.
He recognized that there was a lack of transparency; there was a lot of money that was lost, wasted, through a huge bureaucracy and patronage. Nevertheless, he highlighted that “we’re committed to changing the situation.
My government, for example, has now brought in laws such as total transparency in all signatures in the public sector, putting more and more tax reform resources and contracts online.”
The premier empathised with Greeks’ sentiments of unhappiness and pain, but “the wide majority of the people realize that we needed to make changes that were long overdue in our country, such as making governance much more responsible, and running the country much more transparent.”
Finally, he debunked recent media stereotypes of Greeks being lazy and concluded saying that: “we’ve seen in this crisis is that we need more Europe, not less…[ ]
…We need to find global governance and we need to find it based on some common values on which we can agree – democratic values.”

Online petition to save department of Greek Studies at King`s College London

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A petition has been submitted in an effort to persuade King’s College London not to dismantle the department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies at the university.
“We would like to express our deep concerns over the projected dismemberment of the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at King’s College London. […]

The great strength of King’s has always been that it is the only university in the UK to offer a combined programme in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, thus  emphasising the importance of continuity through the centuries,” reads the petition which may be found at:
Foundation of the Hellenic World:  The Byzantine Empire &  
Modern Greek Studies Association: www.mgsa.org & European Society for Modern Greek Studies: www.eens.org

www.The Acropolis Museum.gr

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The website of the New Acropolis Museum is now open. (www.theacropolismuseum.gr). Visitors may take a virtual tour of the exhibition halls, learn the history of the museum and become more familiar with the cultural heritage of Greece from ancient times until today.   The e-ticketing service allows a prospective visitor to buy a ticket from anywhere in the world and choose the day and hour of the visit. During the first three days after the official opening of the museum – Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (June 21, 22 and 23), the visitors will be able to buy tickets only online because the box offices will be closed. From June 21 to December 31, 2009, the cost of a ticket is a symbolic €1
Tune online and watch the opening ceremony on June 20th

City of Athens is Now Online in English

The City of Athens is now online in English. It provides information on a multitude of topics, including children, women, senior citizens, volunteerism, environment, and offers a glimpse at activities in the city via an interactive events calendar, and much more.

Greek Museums Online

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  As Kathimerini daily reports, more and more Greek museums are grabbing the opportunity to get active on the Internet. Well-known museums as well as some of the smaller ones abroad offer digital exhibitions especially curated for the Internet, overflowing with plenty of detailed information. Examples include the National Museum of Contemporary Art (www.emst.gr )  blog, which is celebrating its first birthday (http://fixit-emst.blogspot.com); the Benaki Museum (www.benaki.gr) is fluent in Spanish; the Museum of Cycladic Art (www.cycladic.gr) has gone on Facebook and the National Gallery (www.nationalgallery.gr) has redesigned its website, with information now available in Greek, English, French and German.