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)

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Εκδηλώσεις “Ευρωπαϊκής Ημέρας Γλωσσών” (Βαρσοβία, 20-27/9/2010)- Συμμετοχή Γραφείου Τύπου Βαρσοβίας

Οι φετινές εκδηλώσεις της «Ευρωπαϊκής Ημέρας Γλωσσών 2010» πραγματοποιήθηκαν στη Βαρσοβία από τις 20 έως τις 27 Σεπτεμβρίου.
Το Γραφείο Τύπου, για μία ακόμη χρονιά, συμμετείχε στη διοργάνωση των εκδηλώσεων προβολής των ευρωπαϊκών γλωσσών, εκδηλώσεις που στοχεύουν στην ενημέρωση του πολωνικού κοινού για τον γλωσσικό και πολιτιστικό πλούτο των χωρών της Ευρώπης. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ημέρα Γλωσσών θεσπίστηκε από το Συμβούλιο της Ευρώπης το 2001.
Διοργανωτές των εκδηλώσεων ήταν δεκατρείς χώρες, μέλη του EUNIC Cluster Βαρσοβίας (European Union National Institutes for Culture): Ελλάδα (Γραφείο Τύπου Ελληνικής Πρεσβείας), Εσθονία (Πρεσβεία Εσθονίας), Ιρλανδία (Πρεσβεία Ιρλανδίας), Μεγ. Βρετανία (British Council), Βέλγιο (Πρεσβεία Βελγίου), Δανία (Πολιτιστικό Ινστιτούτο Δανίας), Γερμανία (Goethe-Institut), Πορτογαλία (Ινστιτούτο Camoes), Γαλλία (Γαλλικό Ινστιτούτο), Ιταλία (Ιταλικό Ινστιτούτο), Αυστρία (Αυστριακό Ινστιτούτο), Ρουμανία (Ρουμανικό Ινστιτούτο), Ρωσία (Ρωσικό Κέντρο Επιστήμης και Πολιτισμού).
Στη διοργάνωση συμμετείχαν, επίσης, το EUNIC Cluster Βαρσοβίας, η Αντιπροσωπεία της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής στην Πολωνία, το πολωνικό Ίδρυμα για την Ανάπτυξη του Εκπαιδευτικού Συστήματος, το Πανεπιστήμιο Βαρσοβίας, το Εκπαιδευτικό Τμήμα του Δήμου Βαρσοβίας, το Κρατικό Εθνογραφικό Μουσείο στη Βαρσοβία, η Δημόσια Βιβλιοθήκη της συνοικίας Praga (Δήμος Βαρσοβίας), το πολωνικό Κέντρο για την Ανάπτυξη της Εκπαίδευσης, η πολωνική Κρατική Επιτροπή για την Πιστοποίηση της Επάρκειας της Πολωνικής ως Ξένης Γλώσσας. Οι εκδηλώσεις τελούσαν υπό την αιγίδα του πολωνικού Υπουργείου Εθνικής Παιδείας, του πολωνικού Υπουργείου Επιστήμης και Ανώτερης Εκπαίδευσης, της Δημάρχου Βαρσοβίας και της Πρυτάνεως του Πανεπιστημίου Βαρσοβίας.
Η απήχηση των εκδηλώσεων τις προηγούμενες χρονιές οδήγησε τους διοργανωτές στην απόφαση για την φετινή διοργάνωση πολυήμερων εκδηλώσεων, με ποικίλο περιεχόμενο.  
Το πλήρες πρόγραμμα, που περιελάμβανε, μεταξύ άλλων, ημερίδα, μαθήματα γλωσσών, σεμινάρια, φεστιβάλ ταινιών, street game, κ.ά., μπορεί να αναζητηθεί στην ηλεκτρονική σελίδα των εκδηλώσεων www.edj.waw.pl

Przemek Kordos, Maria Mondelou, Pantelis Gianoulis at the Greek stand

Η ελληνική συμμετοχή στις εκδηλώσεις, η οποία περιελάμβανε μεταξύ άλλων φεστιβάλ ταινιών, μάθημα ελληνικής γλώσσας, σεμινάριο για το ζεϊμπέκικο, ελληνικό περίπτερο κ.ά., διοργανώθηκε από τη Γραμματέα Επικοινωνίας, Μαρία Μονδέλου.
Αναλυτικότερα, η ελληνική συμμετοχή είχε ως εξής: Continue reading

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visits Poland

His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch started a visit to Poland on Monday.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Maria Magdalene Church in Warsaw

While in Poland Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will visit Warsaw, Lublin and the Holy Mountain of Grabarka to attend the Transfiguration feast celebrations in the sanctuary, PAP was told by spokesperson for the Polish Orthodox Church father Henryk Paprocki.
The Transfiguration is the biggest Orthodox feast in Poland. Pilgrimages to Grabarka, the main Orthodox cult site in Poland, date back to 1710.
On Tuesday Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will meet with Sejm Speaker Grzegorz Schetyna.
On Friday he will receive an honorary doctorate of the John Paul II Catholic Lublin University during a ceremony in Lublin.
There are from 550 to 600 thousand Orthodox faithful in Poland, mainly in the Podlasie northeastern region.
(PAP) 

Lighting the way to 2010 Youth Olympic Games

The official ceremony for the Lighting of the Olympic flame that will burn at the inaugural Youth Olympics Games in Singapore will take place today (July 23) at Ancient Olympia.
In the presence of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and Minister of Culture Pavlos Yeroulanos, the priestess will stand in front of the 2,600 year-old Temple of Hera and by using a concave mirror will light a silver torch with the sun’s rays.
As soon as the flame is lit, the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame will begin travelling in five cities across the globe: Berlin, Dakar, Mexico City, Auckland and Seoul.
Yesterday, a successful rehearsal was conducted and hundreds of tourists, visiting the site where the Ancient Olympics were held from 776 BC to 393 AD, witnessed the event. The first ever Youth Olympic Games will be held from August 14 to 26 in Singapore.
Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism: The Archaeological site of Olympia
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greece: Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday

Theopetra(ANA) Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday The opening to the public of the prehistoric Theopetra Cave in Trikala prefecture, will be marked with a concert on Friday. Theopetra Cave is a famous archaeological site, and the first excavated cave in Thessaly, with excavations starting in 1987 and continuing to the present. Its deposits begin in the Middle Paleolithic period and continue without gaps until the end of the Neolithic period (3000 BC). Its uniqueness is that in contains, within a single site, the records of two greatly significant cultural transitions: The replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans, and the later transition from hunter-gathering to farming after the end of the last Ice Age. The cave, situated just three kilometers from Meteora, consists of an immense 500 square meter rectangular chamber at the foot of a limestone hill, which rises to the northeast above the village of Theopetra, with a very big entrance 17m wide by three metres high. It lies at the foot of the Chasia mountain range, which forms the natural boundary between Thessaly and Epirus prefectures, while the Lithaios River, a tributary of the Pineios River, flows in front of the cave. Excavations, which have been systematically carried out, have unearthed light geological deposits dating to the Pleistocene and Holocene periods as well as anthropogenic deposits, indicating that the cave had been continuously inhabited during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, the Mesolithic and the Neolithic periods. Specimens found, such as coal and human bones, prove that the cave was occupied from about 50,000 BC to 4000 BC, and that temporary use continued during the Bronze Age and historic times up to 1955. Even after that the cave was used occasionally to by shepherds to shelter their herds right up until the excavations began. It is the first time that cave dwelling was recorded in Thessaly during the Palaeolithic period. Continue reading

Chinese President visited the island of Crete

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Concluding his visit to Greece, Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday visited the island of Crete where he paid visits to the archaeological site of Knossos (see picture) and the Museum of Heraklion, capital city of the region. Accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, the Chinese President joined the olive harvesting process and stated that “Cretan olive oil has already started entering the Chinese market.”  Kathimerini daily: Cretan olive oil heading east to China; Greek News Agenda: Greece and China Shake Hands  Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece- Export Goods: a new-found emphasis on quality & Agricultural Produce, Greek food, Olive oil

Greece: Exceptional Find Unearthed

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Archaeologists apparently uncovered one of most fascinating finds to date at the archaeological site of Vergina, northern Greece, earlier this week, namely, an immense cylindrical copper vessel inside of which was a slightly smaller, similar vessel. The exquisite artefact contained an oak wreath crafted in gold, lying atop human bones and immersed in water amid roots. The find is considered exceptional, as the wreath is almost equal in quality and dimensions to those found at the Royal Tombs at Vergina (Modern name of the city Aigai, the ancient first capital of the kingdom of Macedonia). The city of Aigai was discovered during the 19th century and is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The most important remains are the monumental palace, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, some of which date from the 11th century B.C. One of the royal tombs in the Great Tumulus (photo) is identified as that of Philip II, who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son Alexander and the expansion of the Hellenistic world.  It remains a mystery for the archaeologists of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki who run the excavations why such a complete find was found outside the limits of the extensive cemetery of the royal necropolis. Athens News Agency: Exceptional find in Vergina; Ministry of Culture: Building for the protection of the royal tombs of Vergina; UNESCO: Archaeological site of Aigai