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“Greece is Changing” campaign

Greece is Changing, is a campaign launched through international media, in four languages, English, French, German and Dutch, aiming to bring to the attention of a wider international audience, through a series of graphs and compact information, the changes initiated in Greece in the last two years.
It is a one-off public service initiative funded by a group of leading Greek business people, whose aim is to ensure that the sacrifices made by every Greek under the toughest austerity package in modern history, are not in vain.

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)

Holocaust Memorial Day

The opening of the exhibition The Memorial: 16 Artists Propose, featuring projects that were submitted last year by 16 artists, as part of an international competition for the construction of a Holocaust Memorial of Greek Jews, took place at the Jewish Museum of Greece.
The competition was conducted by the Jewish Community of Athens and resulted in the selection of the work of artist DeAnna Maganias which was unveiled at a special event in May 2010. The museum is also organising a week-long programme of educational activities and memorial events, lasting until February 4.
The exhibition –which will remain open until August 2011- is part of events that have been planned for the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, co-organized by the Attica region and the Jewish community of Athens for January 26 and 27. A memorial service was held on the 27th of January, at the Athens Synagogue in Thisseio, to be followed by a speech by University of Athens History Professor, Hagen Fleischer.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitris Droutsas issued a statement on the occasion of the Holocaust Memorial Day, in which he referred to Greece’s continuing efforts to preseve historical memory and educate younger generations. He further added that preparations are underway for a permanent Greek exhibition at the Auschwitz Museum.  
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Hellas:from Tourism to World Heritage

» “Kalimera”…It’s a Way of Life

“Kalimera”…the Greek word for ‘good morning’ is the new slogan for the advertising campaign of the Greek National Tourism Organization and Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The 2010 campaign was unveiled by the Deputy Minister of Tourism Angela Gerekou on March 8, and is based on a redesigned pattern of previous campaigns with the addition of the well-known greeting in the Greek language.
The campaign will be available through the renewed portal of Hellenic Tourism Organisation at the web address www.visitgreece.gr.
Kathimerini Daily: ‘Kalimera’ is the country’s new tourism motto    

» A Popular Tourist Destination

Greece is the fourth most popular tourist destination in the European Union for 2010, according to a new Eurobarometer survey on “The attitudes of Europeans towards tourism.”
The EU Eurobarometer poll unveiled on March 8 shows that tourism is one of Europe’s most important service industries, accounting for 5% of Europe’s GDP and 6% of employment. Greece is the fourth most attractive tourist destination, after Spain, Italy, and France. 
European Commission: Tourism-Upbeat Prospects for 2010 Season  

» “Med Diet” to Be Recognised by UNESCO 

The town of Koroni in Messinia Prefecture will represent Greece in an initiative put forth by four Mediterranean countries to have the “Mediterranean Diet” recognised by UNESCO as a cultural heritage of humanity. 
Koroni from Greece, Cilento from Italy, Soria from Spain and Chefchaouen from Morocco will join forces to ask the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to include the diet to its World Heritage List.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Diamandouros re-elected EU Ombudsman

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The European Parliament (EP) re-elected Nikiforos Diamandouros as European Ombudsman with 340 votes out of a total of 648 valid votes cast.
Diamandouros was first elected to the post on April 1, 2003 and this will be his third term as European Ombudsman.
“I am very grateful for the support of the European Parliament and for this vote of confidence in my work.
I look forward to continuing my efforts to improve the quality of the EU administration and to promote a culture of service in the EU institutions for the benefit of European citizens”said Diamandouros, who was the first to hold the post of National Ombudsman in Greece.

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

Digital Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The percentage of Greek adolescents that had regular daily or weekly use of a computer reached 88.2% in the first quarter of 2008, while the percentage of children using the Internet totalled 71.7%, the National Statistics Service said on Monday. In a report on the use of information technology and communications by Greek households in 2008, the statistics service said the percentage of adolescents aged 12-15 years with access to the Internet totalled 84.9% in the first three months of 2008. The majority of the same age group that used either a computer or had access to the Internet, were based in their schools or their homes. Access rates from other areas, Internet cafes, public libraries, cultural and athletic clubs, reached 23.5% for computer use and 28.3% for Internet access. Commission of the European Communities: Country Profiles – Greece  (p.25) ; Information Society in Greece: Digital Strategy (2006 – 2013); Ministry of Economy and Finance: Fact Sheet on “Digital Greece” ; Greek News Agenda: Digital Greece: A Leap Forward 

Greek Economy Grew in 2008

(THE GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Greek economy grew by 3.0% in 2008, down from 4.0% in 2007, according to provisional figures published by the National Statistics Service on Friday (13.2.2009). In its report, the statistics service said that the economic growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2008 was 2.6%, down from 2.9% in the previous quarter, while on a quarterly base, the economic growth rate in the October-December period was 0.3%, slightly lower than 0.5% in the third quarter. The statistical service attributed the slowdown in the growth rate to a significant decline in investments, mainly because of a major decrease in building activity in the country, while consumption fell strongly as a result of limited credit expansion to households. The finance ministry, in an updated Stability and Growth programme [PDF] submitted to the European Union, envisages a growth rate of National Statistics Service1.1% this year. Furthermore, the European agency Eurostat also said on Friday that the Greek economy grew by 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2008. It reported that Greece, Slovakia (2.7 pct), Czech Republic (1.0 pct) and Austria (0.5 pct) were the only EU member-states with positive growth rates.  Eurostat: News Release – Euroindicators  (13.2.2009)

Greece’s Economy Surpasses Eurozone Peers

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Greece’s economic growth slowed to 3.1% year-on-year in the third quarter, showing it was braving the global slowdown better than most of its euro zone peers thanks to continuing domestic consumption, data showed on Friday. While the euro zone slipped into recession, Greece’s economy grew by 0.5% quarter-on-quarter according to available data. Eurostat said the Greek economy grew by 3.1% in the third quarter, in a report published on Friday. GDP growth in the Eurozone was 0.7%, while in the EU-27 growth was 0.8% and in the US GDP growth was 0.8%. Slovakia (7.1%), Czech Republic (4.7%) and Cyprus (3.5%) recorded the highest growth rates, while Latvia (-4.2%), Estonia (-3.3%) and Italy (-0.9%) recorded negative growth rates. Economic growth in Greece was up 0.5% in the third quarter, compared with the second quarter, while in the Eurozone and the EU-27 growth rates fell by 0.2%, respectively. Meanwhile, the National Statistics Service (NSS) reported that economic activity in the July-September period was characterised by a decline in investments and mainly by a drop in building activity. Consumer spending growth also eased, while imports also fell.   The NSS said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.1% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, after a 3.6% growth rate in the second quarter and a 3.2% growth rate in the first quarter of the year. Eurostat News Release – Euroindicators: Euro area and EU 27 down by 0.2% (14.11.2008)  Forbes: Greece growth slows but outpaces most euro zone peers (14.11.2008); Athens News Agency: Greek economy grew by 3.1 pct; Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Politics, Business and Current Affairs: Greek economy grows by 3.1% in third quarter  Ministry of Economy and Finance: Economic Data and Reports

Citizen Service Centres (KEP) Network in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    The Ministry of Interior is sparing no effort in reinforcing and enhancing the Citizen Service Centres (KEP) network. According to Deputy Minister Christos Zois, the aim is to make the centres a virtual one-stop-shop, while providing valuable assistance to citizens and reducing the “red tape” of public administration. The service is appreciated by citizens and successive opinion polls bear witness to this effect. Approximately 60,000 citizens visit KEPs daily, which offer advanced multi-channel systems, helping citizens carry out their affairs with the various departments in the public domain through this seamless suite of integrated channels. Non Greek-speaking foreign nationals who live in Greece may call the multi-lingual call centre 24/7 at “1564,” or visit www.kep.gov.gr to obtain specific information pertaining to their case. Last year, KEPs received the “Good Practice Label 2007” at the EU eGovernment Conference in Lisbon, www.epractice.eu/cases/csckep

Greece: Unemployment Rate Down

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Greece’s unemployment rate fell to 7.7% in April from 8.4% in the same month last year, boosted by an increase in the number of women joining the work force. According to the National Statistics Service, the number of jobless in April fell to 380,775 compared to 415,047 last year. Unemployment rates continue to be highest in the 15 to 24 age group and in Ionian island and southern Aegean regions. Kathimerini daily: Jobless rate drops to 7.7%

Greek Exports Up

(GREEK NEW AGENDA)   The value of Greek exports jumped by 21.2% in May 2008 to €1.595 billion, up from €.316 billion in the same month last year, the National Statistics Service said in its provisional estimates over the country’s merchandise trade. The value of imports fell by 11.7% in May to €4.388 billion, from €4.967 billion in May 2007.  Athens News Agency: Exports jump 21.2% in May