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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.”
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)
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Karaghiozis: “Inextricable part of Greek Culture”

Greece is planning to press its claims to Karaghiozis, a shadow puppet theatre character that UNESCO has deemed to be part of Turkey’s cultural heritage.
“Karaghiozis is an extricable part of our culture,” Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson said, adding that UNESCO allows neighbouring countries to access the same commodity when it comes to intangible cultural heritage.
The issue has prompted an announcement by the Ministry of Culture, according to which, “it is commonly known and undoubted that shadow theatre refers to a cultural tradition which surpasses boundaries and spans through the Balkans, and the broader East, long time before the emergence of contemporary states.

Concerning the Greek version of Karaghiozis, it represents a vivid chapter of Modern Greek culture, which defends traditional values broadly cherished by the Greek people.”

Museum of Shadow Theatre: Museum of Shadow Theatre & Greek Shadow Theatre Group Athanasiou: Karaghiozis-History
You Tube: Karagiozis & Athens Plus (16.7.2010): Greece to stake its claim to Karagiozis show
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

“You in Greece” campaign – Facts about Greece

  Facts about Greece

· Greece is a safe country

Supportive data: According to Legatum Prosperity Index, Greece faces comparatively few security challenges. Domestic security is favorable. Moreover, according to Eurostat, Greece is a country with a relatively low rate of criminality. The feeling of security is well established in society.
· Greece is an attractive destination.
This comes not only due to its physical beauty but mostly due to the “value for money” relationship in the provided services.
Supportive data: According to a poll, conducted in a population of 1200 people,52% of the sample believes that the quality of travel services offered in Greece are of very good standard and 42% believes that the travel services offered in Greece rival those offered in other touristdeveloped tourist markets.

· Greece is a western democracy and the majority of Greek society supports government policy.
Supportive data: A recent research conducted by Kapa Focus research company on behalf of the weekly Newspaper ‘To Vima’, shows that 55,2% of Greeks support the austerity measures imposed by the Greek Government.
·  Demonstrations are strictly local and limited events/occurrences. They take place mostly in the center of Athens, in a specific and controlled area. The mainland regions and the islands of the Greek Archipelago, where the vast majority of tourists go, are not affected at all.
Supportive data: According to Eurostat, Greece is a favourite destination. Especially, in South Aegean and Ionian Islands, it appears that 48.168 stays and 33.304 per 1000 citizens took place, a proof of satisfaction for the Greek touristic product.
· Greece is a tourist country and Greeks know the importance of hospitality.
Supportive data: Zeus, the King of the Greek Gods, according to the Greek Mythology, named as Xenios (the one who offers hospitality) Zeus.
·  The overall number of demonstrations in Greece is lower than the E.U average.
Supportive data:All demonstrations occurred in Athens, in specific and isolated areas. In their vast majority they were peaceful.

· The picture that global media paint is, to say the least, in many cases exaggerating. In many occasions, library images were re-broadcasted as live feeds.
Supportive data: Greece is a pluralist, democratic western European country. Media freedom is protected and encouraged. During the last two weeks Greece hosted more than 300 foreign journalists.
(Greek National Tourism Organisation)

Illegal Immigration: A Commmon EU Issue

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stressed the need for immediate joint action by European countries to combat illegal immigration as he emerged from a European People’s Party (EPP) summit held in Brussels on Thursday: “It is an issue of European dimensions, which doesn’t concern only those countries that are directly affected and are now having to shoulder the greatest burden,” he emphasised. The two-day works of the European Council meeting under Czech Presidency in Brussels (18 – 19 June), attended by Prime Minister Karamanlis, center on Barroso’s second term as President of the European Commission, the global financial crisis, global warming and illegal immigration. The European Council has agreed to examine illegal immigration following the requests of Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta. According to the last outcome of the European Council , the 27 leaders have underlined that an effective European response based on solidarity and distribution of responsibilities are necessary to combat illegal immigration.

European Council Convenes

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The European Council opened its two-day proceedings in Brussels yesterday, December 11, with the participation of the heads of state and government of the European Union member states. During the European People’s Party (EPP) Summit, convened to focus on global financial crisis, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis emphasised on Thursday that the European economy is faced with a slowdown that entails consequences for all countries. In statements made after the meeting, he pointed out that a collective response is necessary through the coordination of national strategies and interventions, adding that the priority is to help the most vulnerable social groups and preserve a developmental momentum as much as possible while protecting jobs. The main issues on the Council’s agenda include the financial and economic crisis, EU energy and climate change policy, the Common Agricultural Policy, the Lisbon Treaty, external relations and the European Security and Defence Policy. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: European Council December Summit (Brussels, 11-12 Dec. 2008)

Greece: People with Disabilities & Mass Media

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   For the third successive year, an international conference on People with Disability and Mass Media is beinghosted by the Secretariat General of Communication – Secretariat General of Information (SGC-SGI). The conference will be held on June 23-24 at the Press Centre of the SGC – SGI. Journalists, academics and people with disabilities will address the conference. Issues to be discussed include new media and accessibility, communication and autism, as well as Paralympics and the media. Within the framework of the conference, the 2nd Emotion Pictures: International Documentary Festival on Disability takes place on June 21-23, 2008,at the New Benaki Museum for Contemporary Art and Design. Both events are held on yearly basis and constitute an initiative of the Minister of State and Government Spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos.