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Greece assumes BSEC chairmanship

Greece has assumed, the rotating chairmanship of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organisation, at a special ceremony, during the 22nd meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs , held in Sofia, Bulgaria on May 28.
“It is our objective to establish the Greek Chairmanship-in-Office of the BSEC as a turning point for the entire region towards Green Development.
Its central theme will be Black Sea turns Green,” Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis stressed in his address to the meeting upon the assumption of the chairmanship.
He also noted that the emphasis on “green development” will highlight the comparative advantages of the Black Sea region in terms of environmental protection, culture, tourism, alternative energy sources and new technologies. 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

New era in Greek-Turkish relations

» High Level Cooperation

Premier George Papandreou and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan expressed their will to take important steps towards the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations, as the Turkish leader wrapped up an official visit to Athens on Saturday.
This was sealed with the opening session of the Greece-Turkey High Level Cooperation Council and the signing of 21 agreements.
George Papandreou met with the chiefs of Turkish media, while Erdogan with the chiefs of the Greek newspapers.
The Greek premier told Turkish journalists that Erdogan’s visit heralds a new era in Greek-Turkish relations, further adding that the two sides had better overcome their differences. He also touched on economic cooperation between Athens and Ankara.

» “We have an agreement”

Twenty-one cooperation agreements in fields as diverse as technology and tourism were signed during the Turkey-Greece High Level Cooperation Council.
Ministers signed agreements boosting trade, investments and shipping and the two countries will hereby extend their cooperation in projects concerning infrastructure works and transnational transport networks.
Relations between the two countries in the field of immigration will be governed by a bilateral agreement which provides for readmission of illegal immigrant flows to Turkey and cooperation in the fight against organized crime, trafficking and civil protection.
Both sides agreed to improve tourism cooperation, aiming at increasing their market share in countries with economic potential such as China, as well as raising global awareness on matters of cultural heritage protection.

Special attention was given to education and synergies concerning research. Environment protection and joint ventures in energy projects including renewable energy sources and the existing Turkey- Greece-Italy gas pipeline were also sealed with respective deals.
In terms of strengthening bilateral ties,  a Joint Political Declaration on the establishment of the High Level Cooperation Council as well as a Protocol on regular political consultations between the two countries’ foreign ministries were signed.

» Signing the Olympic Truce

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan concluded on Saturday his landmark visit to Athens by signing the Olympic Truce initiative.

At a brief ceremony in front of the imposing Panathenaic Stadium, Erdogan referred to the “great honour in signing my name in this book; to put my signature for a world of peace.”
Papandreou said that Turkey’s support for the idea sends out a clear message “by Turkey and Greece to the world,” adding that Greece will actively support Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Διάλεξη για την βενετοκρατούμενη Σητεία στο Πανεπιστήμιο Βαρσοβίας (23/2/2010)

Διάλεξη με θέμα «Η βενετοκρατούμενη Σητεία – Αρχειακή έρευνα για την ιστορία της πόλης» έδωσε η Γραμματέας Επικοινωνίας του Γραφείου Τύπου και Επικοινωνίας Βαρσοβίας, Μαρία Μονδέλου, στις 23 Φεβρουαρίου στο Πανεπιστήμιο Βαρσοβίας.
Πρόκειται για την δεύτερη διάλεξη που πραγματοποιείται ύστερα από πρόσκληση του Ινστιτούτου Διεπιστημονικών Σπουδών (Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies) “Artes Liberales” του Πανεπιστημίου της Βαρσοβίας, με πρωτοβουλία της καθηγήτριας Malgorzata Borowska, διευθύντριας του Τμήματος Νεοελληνικής Φιλολογίας.
Την διάλεξη παρακολούθησαν οι φοιτητές του Β΄ έτους της Νεοελληνικής Φιλολογίας, στο πλαίσιο του μαθήματος «Κρητικά αριστουργήματα της περιόδου της Αναγέννησης».
Παρουσιάστηκαν, αρχικά, τα κυριότερα χαρακτηριστικά της βενετικής κυριαρχίας στη Σητεία (πόλη και ύπαιθρος), κυρίως κατά την ύστερη περίοδο της Βενετοκρατίας (16ος και 17ος αι.), και αναλύθηκαν ορισμένοι από τους θεσμούς που εισήγαγε η Βενετία στην πόλη (διοικητική οργάνωση, εκκλησιαστικοί θεσμοί, δικαιοσύνη). Έγινε αναφορά, μεταξύ άλλων, στην κοινωνική διαστρωμάτωση της πόλης και της υπαίθρου, τις κοινωνικές σχέσεις, τα χαρακτηριστικά της οικονομίας, τη μορφή της πόλης και τον τρόπο ζωής των κατοίκων. Ιδιαίτερη μνεία έγινε στον καταγόμενο από την Σητεία Βιτσέντζο Κορνάρο, ποιητή του Ερωτόκριτου, έργο το οποίο αποτελεί αντικείμενο σπουδών των φοιτητών του Β΄ έτους.
Οι φοιτητές ενημερώθηκαν για τον τρόπο αναζήτησης ανέκδοτου αρχειακού υλικού σε Αρχεία και Βιβλιοθήκες της Ιταλίας, όπως το Κρατικό Αρχείο της Βενετίας, το Αρχείο του Βατικανού και η Μαρκιανή Βιβλιοθήκη της Βενετίας. Επισημάνθηκαν τα κυριότερα χαρακτηριστικά των πηγών (επίσημες πηγές, συμβολαιογραφικό αρχείο), καθώς και μερικά συμπεράσματα από τη μελέτη του υλικού, τα οποία παρουσιάζονται στην υπό εκπόνηση διδακτορική διατριβή της ομιλήτριας.
Τέλος, παρουσιάστηκαν στους φοιτητές αντίγραφα ανέκδοτων χειρογράφων της εποχής, τα οποία αναγνώστηκαν, με παράλληλη εξήγηση βασικών κανόνων  παλαιογραφίας. 

Professor Borowska, Maria Mondelou and the students

Lecture “The Venetian Dominion in Sitia (Crete) – Research on the history of the town” (University of Warsaw, 23/2/2010) 

A lecture about “The Venetian  Dominion in Sitia (Crete) – Research on the history of the town” was hold by the Press Attachè of the Embassy of Greece in Warsaw, Maria Mondelou, on the 23rd February at the University of Warsaw.
It was the second lecture that took place, after the one on the 8th of December 2009, following an invitation by the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies “Artes Liberales” of the University of Warsaw and the director at the Department of Modern Greek Philology, Malgorzata Borowska.
The lecture was attended by the students of the 4th semester in Modern Greek Philology, that includes lessons on the subject “Cretan masterpieces of the Renaissance”.
Main aspects of the Venetian dominion in the territory of Sitia (town and villages), particularly during the late period of the Venetian dominion (16th and 17th centuries), as well as some of the institutions that Venice introduced in Sitia (administration, ecclesiastical institutions, justice etc.) were analysed. The social stratification in the town and the villages, the social relations, the characteristics of the economy, the form of the town and the way of life of the inhabitants were, also, described. A partiticular mention was made for Vitsentzos Kornaros, born in Sitia, famous for his poem “Erotokritos”, which is included in the studies of the Polish students.
The students were informed about the research of unpublished sources of archives, that was effected by the lecturer in Archives and Libraries in Italy, such as the National Archive of Venice, the Vatican Archives and the “Marciana”  Library of Venice. Main characteristics of the sources (official documents and notarial archives) were highlighted, as well as some of the results of the study, which are presented in the PhD of the lecturer.
Finally, copies of unedited documents of the 16th century were presented and read to the students.

Wykład na temat Sitii pod panowaniem weneckim, wygłoszony na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim (23/2/2010)

Wykład pod tytułem „Sitia, pod panowaniem weneckim – badanie archiwalne na temat historii miasta” został wygłoszony przez Marię Mondelou, Attaché Prasowego Ambasady Grecji w dniu 23 lutego na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.
Był to już drugi wykład wygłoszony pod otrzymaniu zaproszenia przez Instytut Studiów Interdyscyplinarnych „Artes Liberales” z inicjatywy profesor dr hab. Małgorzaty Borowskiej, Kierownika Wydziału Filologii Nowogreckiej. 
Wykład został wysłuchany przez studentów II roku filologii nowogreckiej w ramach zajęć „Kreteńskie arcydzieła okresu Odroczenia”.

President @ World Future Energy Summit

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A change of the energy and development model with extensive use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) could decisively contribute to combating inequalities and advancing social cohesion at local, regional, national and global level, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias said yesterday (January 18), addressing the 3rd World Future Energy Summit, that opened in Abu Dhabi, UAE (January 18-21).

Papoulias – a keynote speaker at the summit- stressed that “global leaders are obliged to respond to the climate challenge, and, instead of limiting themselves to a ‘least common denominator’ agreement, they should proceed to a global, comprehensive, and legally binding agreement with specific targets and timetables.”
Every crisis entails an opportunity, and this crisis entails an opportunity for the adoption of policies and measures for the promotion of RES and energy efficiency, which can play a decisive role in the global economy’s exit from the crisis and a speedier recovery, the President noted.

» Papoulias – Erdogan Meeting

On the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit, Papoulias met with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan, who was also a keynote speaker at the summit.
The two leaders held a private 40-minute meeting during which Papoulias informed the Turkish premier that an answer to his letter to the Greek Prime Minister is to be expected in the next few days, while Erdogan expressed a desire to visit Athens in the near future.

Greece: Solar Energy Systems Capacity Doubles

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The installed capacity of solar energy systems in Greece more than doubled within seven months by July 2009, according to the Renewable Energy Sources Centre,  largely because of legislative initiatives of recent years aimed at boosting the market’s development. The cost of solar panels has fallen over 35% within a year.  By harnessing solar and wind energy, Greece could meet the national target of getting 20% of its energy via renewable energy sources.   Kathimerini daily: Solar MW capacity doubled; Ministry of Development: Energy and Natural Resources; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Energy Policy of Greece & World Media on Greece – Science and the Environment:Renewable Energy Sources in Greece Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies: The Greek PV Market: New PV law passed in January 2009

Greek the best Environmental Project 2008

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The project GROUNDHIT “Ground Coupled Heat Pumps of High Technology”, coordinated by the Greek Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), received the Energy Globe Award – one of the most prestigious international environmental awards as the best environmental project in Greece in 2008.  The project Groundhit aims at improving the cost-effectiveness, competitiveness, and market penetration of ground coupled heat pumps, which are a reliable and environmentally friendly technology that utilises the soil temperature, and provides buildings with efficient heating, cooling and warm water. National Documentation Centre – “Innovation, Research & Technology” Magazine (Jan-Feb 2009)

Greece: Energy Matters

♦ Behaviour Change Programmes
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES) is hosting a workshop titled “Energy for a Change: Energy Use and Behavioural Change” in Athens today. This is part of the “Evaluation of Energy Behaviour Change Programmes” project (BEHAVE). Behaviour change is of central importance in bringing about significant reduction in energy end-use. Climate change and concerns for supply security make such a reduction all the more urgent. BEHAVE aims at improving the impact of energy-related behavioural change programmes and projects in the household sector, by learning from recent programmes and projects, and disseminating this knowledge to policy makers and programme-managers.

♦ Dialogue on SE Europe Energy

The Institute of Energy of Southeast Europe (IENE) is organising on June 18 – 19 the “3rd SE Europe Energy Dialogue conference in Thessaloniki.  With the objective of exchanging information and ideas on facing the energy and environmental challenges of the region, the “3rd Energy Dialogue” will function as a forum for furthering the idea of a South East European energy bridge involving all the countries. The international conference will take place under the aegis of the Development Ministry in collaboration with the World Energy Council. The IENE is a non-profit organization based in Athens whose main task is to provide a platform for independent dialogue and analysis on key energy issues.

Greek – Azeri Energy Plans

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, arrived in Greece yesterday – the first Azeri president to officially visit the country – with a delegation of officials from the Azeri state gas company. Aliyev expressed confidence that this trip would inaugurate a new era in bilateral relations, and emphasised the issue of energy security, noting that Azerbaijan had done much to give the rest of the world access to its considerable energy resources. President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias received his counterpart on Monday and held talks on ways to further develop bilateral relations between the two nations. Aliyev also met with Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and talks focused on the supply to Greece of 1 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year from Azerbaijan, as well as the signing of a four-party state agreement on the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline. Greek and Azeri officials also signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on renewable energy sources. Greek News Agenda: Greece Turkey Interconnector; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Energy Policy of Greece ; Centre for Renewable Energy Sources;

Geothermal Energy in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Ministry of Development supports large scale investments in green power to cover the energy needs of specific islands whose environment favours the implementation of renewables. A current scheme soon to be implemented capitalises on geothermal energy, using the heat in the earth’s interior. The islands included in the project are Milos, Nisyros, Lesbos, Chios, Samothraki and Santorini. Especially in the case of Milos and Nisyros, the steam or geothermal liquid springing from the surface can reach 350 degrees Celsius. Centre for Renewable Energy sources: Geothermal Energy; Ministry of Development: Renewable Sources of Energy (in Greek)

The Greek Photovoltaic Market

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Hellenic Parliament passed a law which will make photovoltaic (PV) cells more accessible to home owners by providing them with subsidies for PV systems – which convert solar radiation into electrical energy. According to the new legislation, systems of over 10 megawatts will be subject to competition. The Regulatory Authority for Energy is to set rates for granting permits and the state will guarantee the sale prices of kilowatt-hours. Until now, subsidies for these systems did not apply to domestic applications, as only commercial systems were eligible for grants ranging from 20 to 40% – the incentive for these being a tax deduction. The government promised to raise the hurdles that block the growth of renewable energy sources by setting new rules on application approval. In this way, the nation will be able to take advantage of its tremendous solar potential. Greece has about 24 megawatts of solar power installed while the government’s goal is 700 megawatts under the feed-in tariff program. In related news, a new survey by Hellastat SA reveals the growth of Greece’s renewable energy sources sector. The total power production from the industry was 878 MW at the end of 2006 and the average annual growth rate in the period 1990-2006 was 23%. By the end of 2007 the total power production including large hydroelectric projects was 4,060 MW. Source: Athens Plus: Subsidies on the way for home photovoltaic systems (23.1.2009, p.15); Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies: The Greek PV Market: New PV law passed in January 2009 ; Secretariat General of Information – World Media on Greece – Science and the Environment: Renewable Energy Sources in Greece   Additional Information: Centre for Renewable Energy Sources; & Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Energy Policy of Greece  

Environment Matters in Greece: First Hydroelectric Power Grid

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)          The island of Ikaria will soon be opting out of the national power grid, as it will become autonomous in terms of energy consumption. The foundation of the first hybrid system in Greece, which will combine hydroelectric and aeolian (wind) modes of energy production, is being laid on October 25. A hydroelectric station will be built that will utilise waterfall from three different levels. The water will begin from an existing dam in the area of Pezi on the island, located at a height of 700 metres. In Pezi, there is a natural plateau. A rain storm is enough to fill up the natural reservoir in the plateau. The water will then be collected in three separate cisterns that will be built, at different levels, thus creating artificial cataracts. These cataracts will produce electric energy, capable of covering 85-90% of the islands requirements. The barrages will each have a capacity of 80,000 cubic metres of water. Deputy Minister of Merchant Marine Panayiotis Kammenos will inaugurate the energy plant tomorrow.  Centre for Renewable Energy Resources: Hydroelectric Energy; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Environmental Strategic Policies  & Energy Policy; Public Power Corporation: www.dei.gr; Ministry of Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works: Climate Change; Greek Association of RES (Renewable Energy Sources) Electricity Producers: www.hellas.gr

Green Energy in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Mediterranean Sea comprises many diverse regions – islands, mountain, rural and urban areas – but many of these areas have common environment and development problems, such as the issues of management and development of water and energy resources. The necessity for covering energy needs reliably in urban and rural areas gave rise to the Emergence 2010 project launched under the European Interreg IIIB MEDOCC programme. The objective is “to ensure a reliable and continuous energy supply through decentralized production form Renewable Energy Sources leading to energy solutions with no contribution to greenhouse gases production.” The project partners involve several Mediterranean countries, including the Dodecanese Prefecture and the Center for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES) in Greece.  Center for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES): EMERGENCE 2010