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“We are all Greeks now” – Solidarity with the Greek People

We are all Greeks nowAs Greece seems more stifled everyday by economic pressures and social turmoil, manifestations of solidarity and support to its people multiply throughout Europe and even across the globe.
A new movement expressing empathy towards Greeks has been gaining in popularity: Saturday, February 18, has been designated International Day of Action for the purpose of protesting against the implementation of extreme austerity measures in Greece. Between 12:00 and 18:00 (local times) demonstrations have been planned in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, the Netherlands, two cities in Germany, twelve cities in France and New York City in the U.S.A. Organisers have been using social media, especially Facebook, as a means to mobilize demonstrators and spread the message “We are all Greeks!.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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Ομιλία ΥΠΕΞ Σταύρου Λαμπρινίδη στο Πολωνικό Ινστιτούτο Διεθνών Σχέσεων “PISM” (Βαρσοβία, 19/7/2011)

Ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών Σταύρος Λαμπρινίδης εκφώνησε χθες στη Βαρσοβία ομιλία με θέμα “Responsibility and Solidarity: the building blocks of our Union”, η οποία πραγματοποιήθηκε στο Πολωνικό Ινστιτούτο Διεθνών Σχέσεων (PISM).
Ακολούθησε συζήτηση του υπουργού Εξωτερικών με τον διευθυντή του Ινστιτούτου PISM, Marcin Zaborowski, καθώς και ερωτήσεις του κοινού.
Την ομιλία παρακολούθησαν περισσότερα από 120 άτομα, μεταξύ των οποίων πολλοί διπλωμάτες, ερευνητές και δημοσιογράφοι, όπως εκπρόσωποι των πρακτορείων Bloomberg και Reuters, του Πολωνικού Πρακτορείου Ειδήσεων PAP, των τηλεοπτικών σταθμών TVP, TVN, TVN24 και Polsat, των ραδιοφωνικών σταθμών Polish Radio και TOKFM.
Τα κυριότερα σημεία της ομιλίας έχουν ως εξής:
«Πιστεύω ότι δύο από  τις πιο σημαντικές θεμελιώδεις αξίες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης δέχονται επίθεση τα τελευταία χρόνια. Μια εξ αυτών είναι η υπευθυνότητα, η υπευθυνότητα που το κάθε μέλος της ίδιας οικογένειας οφείλει να επιδείξει απέναντι στους εταίρους του.  Η δεύτερη αξία, η οποία κατά τη γνώμη μου δέχεται επίθεση, είναι η αλληλεγγύη, η αλληλεγγύη που οφείλει να επιδείξει η Ένωση συνολικά απέναντι σε κάθε μέλος της ξεχωριστά. Χωρίς αυτές τις αξίες, δεν θα είχαμε την ΕΕ.
Η αξία της υπευθυνότητας, αναμφίβολα, παραβιάστηκε από έναν αριθμό χωρών στην Ευρώπη και, ως γνωστόν, και από την ίδια μου τη χώρα επίσης, κατά τα τελευταία χρόνια. Υπάρχουν κάποια κριτήρια της Συνθήκης του Μάαστριχτ που όλοι μας στην Ευρώπη συμφωνήσαμε να ακολουθήσουμε. Ως εκ τούτου, όταν δεν τηρούμε αυτά τα κριτήρια, παραβιάζουμε ξεκάθαρα την ευθύνη που έχουμε να εργαστούμε ως εταίροι. Αυτό είναι αλήθεια και αυτή η ιστορία αποκαλύφθηκε στα τέλη του 2009.
Δυστυχώς όμως, με αυτή την διαπίστωση, η συζήτηση πάγωσε τότε σαν να είχε παγώσει ο χρόνος. Αλλά ο χρόνος δεν παγώνει. Κατά τον τελευταίο ενάμιση χρόνο, η Ελλάδα έχει καταβάλλει μια υπεράνθρωπη και πρωτοφανή σε όλη την ΕΕ προσπάθεια να επιστρέψει στην αξία της υπευθυνότητας, τόσο προς δικό της όφελος, όσο και προς όφελος των εταίρων της. Continue reading

PM George Papandreou at the White House

» Meeting with Obama

Prime Minister George Papandreou met with US President Barack Obama in Washington yesterday.
After the meeting Papandreou said that the US is willing to work with the European Union to regulate the international financial system so speculators cannot target countries with troubled economies.
The premier said  that the issue of speculation will be discussed at the G20 summit in Canada, in June. The two leaders also discussed foreign policy issues such as the Cyprus issue, the integration of Western Balkans into Euro-Atlantic institutions, as well as Greece’s relations with Turkey.

» Visa Waiver

Furthermore, the US side announced that Greece will be included in the ‘visa waiver’ programme, thus enabling Greek citizens to travel to the US without a visa.
Papandreou termed the visa waiver “a vote of confidence” to Greece and noted that the Greek government is determined to respond to its obligations and cooperate closely at international level on the tackling of terrorism.

Kathimerini daily: US joins fight against speculators
The White House: Honouring Greek Independence Day (21.35mins)

» Papandreou’s Op-ed

In an op-ed published in the International Herald Tribune (IHT), Papandreou notes that the Greek case is not an outlier, but one more flare-up in a broken system of financial regulation and predatory behaviour.
“If global economic growth is to be sustainable, we need better coordination and greater solidarity between nations… We must now establish and enforce clear rules to contain the inordinate power of markets over our national economies and our common currency – not for Greece’s sake, but for Europe’s,” he stresses.
Prime Minister’s website: Meeting with President Barack Obama: Prime Minister’s statement ; Brookings Institution: Prime Minister’s speech & YouTube: PM’s speech at Brookings Institution  
New York Times & International Herald Tribune: Prime Minister’s article “Greece is not an island“; Hellenic Finance Ministry: Newsletter Updating Greek Fiscal Measures  
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

EU Solidarity Needed to Tackle Migration

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Acknowledging Greece’s concerns on the problem of illegal immigration, EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security Jacques Barrot expressed fears that the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants could threaten stability in the reception countries and called for solidarity within the EU – an issue that will be raised Thursday, july 16,  at an informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs EU ministers in Stockholm. Barrot warned that the influx of immigrants and refugees threatens to destabilize certain countries, including Greece. The Commissioner expressed understanding for the particular problems faced by Mediterranean countries, noting that, if these were left by their EU partners to deal with the issue on their own, the problem would probably be exploited by extremists.  The issue of illegal immigration is going to be at the centre of talks Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis held Wednesday, july 15, in Rome with his Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi.  Kathimerini daily: Dramatic appeal on migrants by Barrot

Third Greek Humanitarian Aid Shipment to Gaza

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   A new shipment of humanitarian aid departed for Gaza from the port of Piraeus at noon on Monday January 19, in the presence of Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos. Bakoyannis said: “This is the third humanitarian aid shipment we are sending to Gaza along with the Church of Greece” and its supervised NGO Solidarity. “Two shipments have already been sent by military aircraft. Particularly at this point in time, we will continue even more intensively because humanitarian corridors are now open and our assistance can reach Gaza quickly. But however much we send, there’s always need for more aid.” Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Statement of FM Dora Bakoyannis on the dispatching of Greece’s 3rd humanitarian aid shipment to G

Greece is Supplying Gas to Bulgaria

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     Greece’s Public Gas Corporation met yesterday (19.1.2009) with a Bulgarian delegation in order to seal a deal for the distribution of approximately 2 million m3 per day of Greek liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to Bulgaria. Within the framework of EU’s Gas Coordination Group, the European Commission welcomed the bilateral cooperation and encouraged the use of the Greek LNG supplies by Bulgaria. The escalated energy crisis provoked by the interruption of natural gas supplies to Europe had urged the Bulgarian prime minister to confirm on January 13 the country’s high priority in intensifying energy cooperation with Greece.  European Commission-Energy: Gas Coordination Group: Solidarity works and the EU’s gas market adapts to challenges of gas crisis