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Greek Commander @ Helm of EU Naval Operation

The Council of the European Union adopted a Joint Action on an EU military operation on November 10 to tackle piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. Greek Commodore Antonios Papaioannou was appointed as the commander of EU naval forces in the area. The operation (EU NAVFOR, Somalia) under the code name “Atalanta” is the first naval operation launched by the European Union within the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), Javier Solana congratulated Papaioannou, adding that he brings “his considerable expertise and the experience of his national navy to his role as Force commander for this operation in a new area for the EU.”  The success of the operation will secure a safe passage for vulnerable vessels, including those of the United Nation’s food aid programme. Following the Governmental Council on Foreign Policy and National Defence’s meeting yesterday (12.11.2008), Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis announced that Greece will participate in the Atalanta operation. Ministry of Defense: Hellenic Navy & International Presence

Doing Business in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   According to the Doing Business 2009 Report, Greece has improved its overall Ease of Business index, moving up to rank 96 (from 106 in 2008). Greece cut the minimum capital requirement to start a business by 80%, reduced capital tax and made publication of company statutes quicker. It also introduced electronic payment of social security tax, and passed a new bankruptcy law that is expected to allow more companies in distress to emerge as going concerns. Finally, Greece strengthened director accountability by making it easier for shareholders to sue directors for damages caused by related-party transactions.  The Doing Business Report, published by the World Bank Group, is tracking reforms in 181 economies. Greece’s areas of reform were: Starting a Business, Protecting Investors, Paying Taxes, Closing a Business  InvestInGreece Agency: www.investingreece.gov.gr; Competitive Greece: Surveys on Competitiveness;  Ministry of Economy &  Finance: Tax Reform & Investment Incentives Law  Greek News Agenda: The Greek Economy-Pointers; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece- A New Economic Policy: creating a favorable environment for investment  Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Special Reports

Greek Chairmanship of the OSCE – 2009

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Greece will assume the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Chairmanship in 2009, following a decision taken by the Organisation’s Ministerial Session in Madrid (November 2007). Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece @ OSCEFM Bakoyannis’ statement in acceptance of the Greek Chairmanship of the OSCE for 2009

Greece: Defence – Security – Technology, Exhibition

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The exhibition “Athens International 2008: Defence-Security-Technology in SE Europe and the Middle East” is taking place at the Athens International Airport – Eleftherios Venizelos from May 15 to 18. The event is organised under the auspices of the Ministry of National Defence, which aims at becoming a vehicle for the strengthening of dialogue and peaceful co-operation in Southeastern Europe.

Environment: Top Priority for the Greek Government

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The “Athens Summit on Climate Change and Energy Security” (www.athens-summit.com) – the world’s first major international conference focused on the new paradigm of climate and energy security – opened yesterday, held under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias. A key objective of the summit is to formulate the Athens Declaration, an EU-Mediterranean 2020 Partnership to jointly achieve at least 20% energy savings and generate 20% energy from renewable energy sources by 2020. President Karolos Papoulias, who has spoken out in the past on environmental issues, used the opportunity to stress that last summer’s wildfires were an ecological disaster, adding that “the prevention apparatus has a great responsibility for it not to be repeated.” He emphasised that without institutional independence in environmental policy, it is difficult for effective action to be taken within the government. “The worsening of environmental problems is such that it requires the need for coordinated efforts to be assumed at a global level.”       Continue reading