Greek Tourism – Oswiadczenie Greckiej Minister Kultury i Turystyki Tatiany Karapanagioti – Statement by Minister of Culture and Tourism Tatiana Karapanagioti (Athens, 22/5/2012)

Niedawno mianowana Grecka Minister Kultury i Turystyki, Tatiana Karapanagioti, wydała to oświadczenie w następstwie odprawy Premiera Panagiotisa Pikrammenosa, tymczasowego przewodniczącego rządu.
„Grecja jest tutaj tak jak zawsze była i tak jak zawsze będzie, oferując turystom unikalne przeżycia podróżnicze. Nasz kraj jest piękny, a dziedzictwo kulturowe bogate jak wcześniej.
Nic się nie zmieniło, przynajmniej w legendarnej greckiej gościnności, która przyjęła miliony odwiedzających przez lata, włączając rekordową ilość16,5 miliona w 2011 roku.
Odbyłam rozległe dyskusje z przewodnimi stowarzyszeniami branży turystycznej. Każdy wyraził silne zaangażowanie by zapewnić, że wakacyjne doznania w Grecji są tak bogate i satysfakcjonujące jak zawsze były.
Grecja jest tak ponadczasowa jak i serdeczne powitanie greków. W ten sposób zawsze było – i 2012 rok nie będzie wyjątkiem.”
Greece is offering tourists a unique travel experience, with its beautiful land and rich cultural heritage, said interim Culture and Tourism minister Tatiana Karapanagioti, following a meeting with Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos, on May 22. After noting the legendary Greek hospitality, which has embraced millions of visitors over the years, the minister assured that everyone in the tourism industry has expressed a strong commitment to ensuring that the Greek holiday experience is as rich and rewarding as it has always been.

Prime Minister Pikrammenos also met with Dr. Andreas Andreadis, President of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) and discussed the effects of Greece’s economic crisis on tourism. The SETE president assured the PM that the quality of holidays in Greece is not affected by the economic upheaval in any way, highlighting that the country remains one of the most desired destinations worldwide and this summer will be “business as usual.”
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Historic decisions for Greece and the Eurozone

Following a marathon negotiating session of European Council on the 26th of October in Brussels, Heads of State and Government of the Eurozone member states agreed on a comprehensive set of measures which reflect their unwavering determinationto overcome together the current difficulties and to take all the necessary steps towards a deeper economic union commensurate with their monetary union.
In particular on Greece, there was an agreement that should secure the decline of the Greek debt to GDP ratio with an objective of reaching 120% by 2020. It also includes a voluntary contribution by private creditors, amounting to a nominal discount of 50% on notional Greek debt. Additionally, a new EU-IMF multiannual programme financing up to € 100 billion will be put in place by the end of the year, accompanied by a strengthening of the mechanisms for the monitoring of reforms implementation.
“The debt is absolutely sustainable now,” Papandreou told a press conference, earlier today, after the meeting of euro zone leaders.
“Greece can now settle its accounts with the past, once and for all. […] We can claim that a new day has come for Greece, and not only for Greece but also for Europe,” the premier added.
Primeminister.gr: Papandreou press conference after the euro summit (in Greek); European Council President: Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy following the meeting of the Euro Summit & Statement by President Barroso
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

PM George Papandreou`s intervention at the plenary session of the Eastern Partnership Summit (Warsaw, 30/9/2011)

By virtue of its location, Greece is uniquely positioned as a bridge linking the Eastern and the Mediterranean dimensions of Europe’s Neighborhood Policy and has promoted the development of both since the ENP’s inception. Therefore, we are very supportive of the strengthening of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) envisaged in the new Neighborhood Policy, based on our shared principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.
The re-launching and re-energizing of the Eastern Partnership, and of the European Neighborhood Policy as a whole, was long overdue. It was necessary in order to better respond to serious common challenges – political, economic, geostrategic, environmental or pertaining to security and energy – but also in order to better prepare for the future.
Structural reforms, internal political tensions, gas routes, energy supply, ecological risks, economic development, illegal immigration and organized crime, are only some of the challenges we are faced with in the framework of the Eastern Neighborhood Policy. Our engagement in the Eastern Neighbourhood is also a matter of consistency and credibility for the EU. Our strategic goal is and will remain the creation of a wider area of stability and prosperity, both in the South as well as in the East. This could only be done by boosting mutually beneficial institutional cooperation and by converging on a set of common values and standards, modeled on the EU positive paradigm and experience. Continue reading

PM George Papandreou at the EU Eastern Partnership Summit (Warsaw, 29-30/9/2011)

Prime Minister George Papandreou attended the EU Eastern Partnership Summit, held in Warsaw on September 29-30.
Addressing the summit, Papandreou urged his European partnersto explore ways of institutional cooperation that would help promote stability and prosperity in both the eastern and southern zones of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Papandreou proposed that the summit establish a small number of realistic and shared short-term and long-term targets, especially in areas of heightened interest that had a tangible impact on citizens, such as mobility, visas, tourism and energy.
“We will then be able to focus on their effective implementation for our mutual benefit,” he said, adding that too ambitious a programme could become counter-productive.
Η Σύνοδος για την Ανατολική Εταιρική Σχέση πραγματοποιήθηκε στη Βαρσοβία στις 29 και 30 Σεπτεμβρίου, στο πλαίσιο της Πολωνικής Προεδρίας της ΕΕ.
Στη Σύνοδο συμμετείχαν εκπρόσωποι 33 χωρών, μεταξύ των οποίων τα 27 κράτη μέλη της ΕΕ και οι έξι χώρες της Ανατολικής Ευρώπης και του Νοτίου Καυκάσου: Αρμενία, Αζερμπαϊτζάν, Γεωργία, Μολδαβία, Ουκρανία και Λευκορωσία. Την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση  εκπροσώπησαν οι Πρόεδροι του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου, Herman Van Rompuy, του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου, Jerzy Buzek, της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής, Jose Manuel Barroso και η ύπατη εκπρόσωπος για την εξωτερική πολιτική και την πολιτική ασφάλειας, Catherine Ashton.
Η Ανατολική Εταιρική Σχέση (ΑΕΣ) αποτελεί ευρωπαϊκή πρωτοβουλία που αφορά στη συνεργασία των προαναφερθέντων 6 χωρών της Ανατολικής Ευρώπης.
Την Ελλάδα εκπροσώπησε ο πρωθυπουργός Γιώργος Παπανδρέου.
Στο περιθώριο του δείπνου εργασίας στις 29 Σεπτεμβρίου, ο πρωθυπουργός Γ. Παπανδρέου είχε συνομιλίες με τους πρωθυπουργούς της Γαλλίας Francois Fillon, της Ισπανίας Jose Zapatero, της Πορτογαλίας Pedro Coelho, της Ιρλανδίας Enda Kenny, της Εσθονίας Andrus Ansip με την γερμανίδα καγκελάριο Angela Merkel, με τον αντιπρόεδρο της βρετανικής κυβέρνησης, Nicholas Clegg, με τους Προέδρους της Ουκρανίας Viktor Yanukovich, και της Γεωργίας Mikheil Saakashvili.
Στις 29 Σεπτεμβρίου ο πρωθυπουργός είχε, επίσης, συνάντηση με τον Πρόεδρο του Αζερμπαϊτζάν, Ilham Aliyev, με τον οποίο συζήτησε ενεργειακά και οικονομικά θέματα, καθώς και εθνικά θέματα, όπως το Κυπριακό.
Στο περιθώριο της Συνόδου στις 30 Σεπτεμβρίου, ο πρωθυπουργός Γ. Παπανδρέου συναντήθηκε με τον Πρόεδρο του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου, Herman Van Rompuy, με τον οποίο συζήτησε μεταξύ άλλων για την πορεία της ελληνικής οικονομίας και την υλοποίηση των αποφάσεων της 21ης Ιουλίου.
Συναντήθηκε, επίσης, με την πρωθυπουργό της Σλοβακίας Iveta Radicova. 
Τα κυριότερα σημεία της εισήγησης του πρωθυπουργού Γ. Παπανδρέου στο δείπνο εργασίας των εθνικών αντιπροσωπειών έχουν ως εξής:
“Είναι γεγονός ότι φέτος η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση χρειάστηκε να εστιάσει την προσοχή της σε άλλες γειτονικές περιοχές, κυρίως στο Νότο, λόγω των ιστορικών και ευρείας εμβέλειας εξελίξεων που σημειώθηκαν εκεί. Continue reading

Informal meeting of ECOFIN Council (Wrocław, 16-17/9/2011) – Participation of Greek Finance Minister, E. Venizelos

Government Vice-President and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos attended informal Eurogroup and Ecofin meetings in Wroclaw, Poland, on September 16-17. Speaking to reporters following the meetings, Venizelos said he briefed the Council over decisions taken by the Greek government to achieve fiscal targets for 2011 and 2012, and towards reaching primary budget surplus the soonest possible.

Venizelos said that it is a common position within the Eurozone that all decisions taken during the July 21 EU Summit must be fully implemented and stressed that “an international environment has been fuelling uncertainty, which affects the implementation of Eurozone decisions and our policies’ performance, ones aimed at dealing with the debt crisis. This vicious circle must end.” 
Meanwhile, following a meeting of the governmental committee in Athens, yesterday, chaired by Prime Minister George Papandreou , Venizelos said that the Government takes full responsibility for the implementation of the agreed programme, but this responsibility must be also taken by all European institutions, all member-states, because the July decisions, the decisions of the European Council have an existential significance for the Euro Area.

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]
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

PM`s George Papandreou visit to Poland

Prime Minister George Papandreou visited Poland on April 7 for talks with his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk and the country’s President Bronislaw Komorowski, in view of the Polish presidency of the EU, during the second term of 2011.
The two Premiers discussed the priorities of the Polish Presidency, especially in what concerns the Common Agricultural Policy, migration, as well as developments in the Middle East. Papandreou also made a special reference to his great-grand father’s Polish origins and the flourishing Polish community in Greece. 
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)