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Historic decisions for Greece and the Eurozone

Following a marathon negotiating session of European Council on the 26th of October in Brussels, Heads of State and Government of the Eurozone member states agreed on a comprehensive set of measures which reflect their unwavering determinationto overcome together the current difficulties and to take all the necessary steps towards a deeper economic union commensurate with their monetary union.
In particular on Greece, there was an agreement that should secure the decline of the Greek debt to GDP ratio with an objective of reaching 120% by 2020. It also includes a voluntary contribution by private creditors, amounting to a nominal discount of 50% on notional Greek debt. Additionally, a new EU-IMF multiannual programme financing up to € 100 billion will be put in place by the end of the year, accompanied by a strengthening of the mechanisms for the monitoring of reforms implementation.
“The debt is absolutely sustainable now,” Papandreou told a press conference, earlier today, after the meeting of euro zone leaders.
“Greece can now settle its accounts with the past, once and for all. […] We can claim that a new day has come for Greece, and not only for Greece but also for Europe,” the premier added.
Primeminister.gr: Papandreou press conference after the euro summit (in Greek); European Council President: Remarks by Herman Van Rompuy following the meeting of the Euro Summit & Statement by President Barroso
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

PM George Papandreou`s intervention at the plenary session of the Eastern Partnership Summit (Warsaw, 30/9/2011)

By virtue of its location, Greece is uniquely positioned as a bridge linking the Eastern and the Mediterranean dimensions of Europe’s Neighborhood Policy and has promoted the development of both since the ENP’s inception. Therefore, we are very supportive of the strengthening of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) envisaged in the new Neighborhood Policy, based on our shared principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.
The re-launching and re-energizing of the Eastern Partnership, and of the European Neighborhood Policy as a whole, was long overdue. It was necessary in order to better respond to serious common challenges – political, economic, geostrategic, environmental or pertaining to security and energy – but also in order to better prepare for the future.
Structural reforms, internal political tensions, gas routes, energy supply, ecological risks, economic development, illegal immigration and organized crime, are only some of the challenges we are faced with in the framework of the Eastern Neighborhood Policy. Our engagement in the Eastern Neighbourhood is also a matter of consistency and credibility for the EU. Our strategic goal is and will remain the creation of a wider area of stability and prosperity, both in the South as well as in the East. This could only be done by boosting mutually beneficial institutional cooperation and by converging on a set of common values and standards, modeled on the EU positive paradigm and experience. Continue reading

PM George Papandreou at the EU Eastern Partnership Summit (Warsaw, 29-30/9/2011)

Prime Minister George Papandreou attended the EU Eastern Partnership Summit, held in Warsaw on September 29-30.
Addressing the summit, Papandreou urged his European partnersto explore ways of institutional cooperation that would help promote stability and prosperity in both the eastern and southern zones of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

Papandreou proposed that the summit establish a small number of realistic and shared short-term and long-term targets, especially in areas of heightened interest that had a tangible impact on citizens, such as mobility, visas, tourism and energy.
“We will then be able to focus on their effective implementation for our mutual benefit,” he said, adding that too ambitious a programme could become counter-productive.
Η Σύνοδος για την Ανατολική Εταιρική Σχέση πραγματοποιήθηκε στη Βαρσοβία στις 29 και 30 Σεπτεμβρίου, στο πλαίσιο της Πολωνικής Προεδρίας της ΕΕ.
Στη Σύνοδο συμμετείχαν εκπρόσωποι 33 χωρών, μεταξύ των οποίων τα 27 κράτη μέλη της ΕΕ και οι έξι χώρες της Ανατολικής Ευρώπης και του Νοτίου Καυκάσου: Αρμενία, Αζερμπαϊτζάν, Γεωργία, Μολδαβία, Ουκρανία και Λευκορωσία. Την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση  εκπροσώπησαν οι Πρόεδροι του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου, Herman Van Rompuy, του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου, Jerzy Buzek, της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής, Jose Manuel Barroso και η ύπατη εκπρόσωπος για την εξωτερική πολιτική και την πολιτική ασφάλειας, Catherine Ashton.
Η Ανατολική Εταιρική Σχέση (ΑΕΣ) αποτελεί ευρωπαϊκή πρωτοβουλία που αφορά στη συνεργασία των προαναφερθέντων 6 χωρών της Ανατολικής Ευρώπης.
Την Ελλάδα εκπροσώπησε ο πρωθυπουργός Γιώργος Παπανδρέου.
Στο περιθώριο του δείπνου εργασίας στις 29 Σεπτεμβρίου, ο πρωθυπουργός Γ. Παπανδρέου είχε συνομιλίες με τους πρωθυπουργούς της Γαλλίας Francois Fillon, της Ισπανίας Jose Zapatero, της Πορτογαλίας Pedro Coelho, της Ιρλανδίας Enda Kenny, της Εσθονίας Andrus Ansip με την γερμανίδα καγκελάριο Angela Merkel, με τον αντιπρόεδρο της βρετανικής κυβέρνησης, Nicholas Clegg, με τους Προέδρους της Ουκρανίας Viktor Yanukovich, και της Γεωργίας Mikheil Saakashvili.
Στις 29 Σεπτεμβρίου ο πρωθυπουργός είχε, επίσης, συνάντηση με τον Πρόεδρο του Αζερμπαϊτζάν, Ilham Aliyev, με τον οποίο συζήτησε ενεργειακά και οικονομικά θέματα, καθώς και εθνικά θέματα, όπως το Κυπριακό.
Στο περιθώριο της Συνόδου στις 30 Σεπτεμβρίου, ο πρωθυπουργός Γ. Παπανδρέου συναντήθηκε με τον Πρόεδρο του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου, Herman Van Rompuy, με τον οποίο συζήτησε μεταξύ άλλων για την πορεία της ελληνικής οικονομίας και την υλοποίηση των αποφάσεων της 21ης Ιουλίου.
Συναντήθηκε, επίσης, με την πρωθυπουργό της Σλοβακίας Iveta Radicova. 
Τα κυριότερα σημεία της εισήγησης του πρωθυπουργού Γ. Παπανδρέου στο δείπνο εργασίας των εθνικών αντιπροσωπειών έχουν ως εξής:
“Είναι γεγονός ότι φέτος η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση χρειάστηκε να εστιάσει την προσοχή της σε άλλες γειτονικές περιοχές, κυρίως στο Νότο, λόγω των ιστορικών και ευρείας εμβέλειας εξελίξεων που σημειώθηκαν εκεί. Continue reading

Συνέντευξη ΥΠΕΞ Δ. Δρούτσα στην πολωνική εφημερίδα Rzeczpospolita (22.1.2011)

Η εφημερίδα Rzeczpospolita δημοσίευσε στην έκδοση του Σαββατοκύριακου (22-23/1/2011) συνέντευξη του Υπουργού Εξωτερικών Δημήτρη Δρούτσα, η οποία παραχωρήθηκε στη δημοσιογράφο Katarzyna Zuchowicz κατά τη διάρκεια της επίσημης επίσκεψης του υπουργού στη Βαρσοβία στις 19 Ιανουαρίου και διευθετήθηκε κατόπιν ενεργειών του Γραφείου Τύπου.
Πληρέστερη μορφή της συνέντευξης έχει αναρτηθεί στην ηλεκτρονική σελίδα της εφημερίδας (http://www.rp.pl/artykul/598043.html). 
Με τίτλο «Οι Έλληνες έχουν δικαίωμα να διαμαρτύρονται» και υπότιτλο «Συνομιλία / “Αποφύγαμε το χείριστο, δηλαδή την πτώχευση»” διαβεβαιώνει ο επικεφαλής του Ελληνικού Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών, Δημήτρης Δρούτσας», η δημοσιογράφος αναφέρει εισαγωγικά τα εξής:
«Νέες διαδηλώσεις κατά των κυβερνητικών σχεδίων εξοικονόμησης συγκλονίζουν την Ελλάδα. Τις τελευταίες ημέρες απεργούσαν γιατροί, φαρμακοποιοί, δικηγόροι, υπάλληλοι των σιδηροδρόμων, οδηγοί λεωφορείων στην Αθήνα, υπάλληλοι αρμόδιοι για την καθαριότητα του δήμου στη Θεσσαλονίκη. Την Πέμπτη στους δρόμους ξεχύθηκαν μερικές χιλιάδες άτομα. Στις αρχές Φεβρουαρίου θα πραγματοποιηθεί απεργία στον δημόσιο τομέα».
Ακολουθεί το πλήρες κείμενο της συνέντευξης:

 ΔΗΜΟΣΙΟΓΡΑΦΟΣ: Μέχρι πρότινος η Ελλάδα φαινόταν σαν είναι στο χείλος της χρεωκοπίας. Ορισμένοι άφηναν να εννοηθεί ότι προκειμένου να σωθεί, θα πρέπει να πουλήσει τα νησιά της ή ακόμη και την Ακρόπολη. Πως παρουσιάζεται η κατάσταση σήμερα;

ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΣ: Η Ελλάδα έπρεπε να αντιμετωπίσει μια μεγάλη οικονομική πρόκληση. Και εξακολουθεί να την αντιμετωπίζει, δεν υπάρχει γι` αυτό καμία αμφιβολία. Η παρούσα κυβέρνηση, η οποία ανέλαβε την ευθύνη της χώρας πριν από 13 μήνες, από την αρχή ασχολήθηκε πολύ έντονα με την αναδιάρθρωση της οικονομίας. Και αμέσως προέβη σε οδυνηρές, αν και απαραίτητες ενέργειες. Μείωσε τους μισθούς, μεταρρύθμισε το σύστημα της κρατικής διοίκησης. Μείωσε τον αριθμό των περιφερειών από 50 σε 13. Μέχρι πρότινος είχαμε περισσότερους από 2.000 δήμους. Τώρα έχουμε 350. Χάρη σε αυτό ήμασταν σε θέση να περιορίσουμε τη γραφειοκρατία και κατά συνέπεια τις δαπάνες του κράτους. Δεν θα διστάσω να πω ότι χάρη σε αυτό μπορούμε να καταπολεμήσουμε και τη διαφθορά. Μετά από τόσο δύσκολους μήνες εργασίας έχουμε πλέον σημαντικά αποτελέσματα. Το 2010 μειώσαμε το έλλειμμα κατά 6%. Σε χρόνο ρεκόρ, σε διάστημα μόλις ενός έτους! Είναι άνευ προηγουμένου, όχι μόνο στην περίπτωση της Ελλάδας, αλλά και σε ολόκληρη την Ευρώπη.

ΔΗΜΟΣΙΟΓΡΑΦΟΣ: Η Ακρόπολη είναι ασφαλής;

ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΣ: Είναι μια ιδέα που είναι κάτι παραπάνω από παράλογη. Ποτέ δεν απαντούσαμε σε αυτές τις προτάσεις των ΜΜΕ, διότι δεν τις αντιμετωπίζουμε σοβαρά. Αλλά και διότι ο ελληνικός λαός πραγματικά περνά από μια πάρα πολύ δύσκολη περίοδο. Πρέπει να κάνουμε πάρα πολλές θυσίες. Όμως παρόλα αυτά ξεκίνησε τη μάχη για το μέλλον της Ελλάδας. Οι Έλληνες χρειάζονται σήμερα εκφράσεις αναγνώρισης γι` αυτό που κάνουν. Και αλληλεγγύη. Και σίγουρα όχι τόσο ανόητες προτάσεις, όπως η πώληση της Ακρόπολης.

ΔΗΜΟΣΙΟΓΡΑΦΟΣ: Μπορούμε λοιπόν να πούμε ήδη ότι η Ελλάδα βγαίνει στην ευθεία και η κρίση οδεύει προς το τέλος;

ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΣ: Πράξαμε πολλά, αλλά μας αναμένει ακόμη πολλή εργασία. Είμαστε έτοιμοι – και η κυβέρνηση και ο λαός, αν και η αποδοχή όλων των περικοπών και των αλλαγών δεν είναι εύκολη, διότι αυτές χωρίς εξαίρεση θίγουν τον κάθε πολίτη της Ελλάδας. Η πλειοψηφία των Ελλήνων γνωρίζει όμως ότι αυτές οι αλλαγές είναι αναγκαίες και τις στηρίζει. Πρέπει να θυμόμαστε ότι αποφύγαμε το χειρότερο σενάριο, δηλαδή την πτώχευση. Σήμερα είναι σημαντικό ότι οι Έλληνες βλέπουν φως στο τούνελ και αυτό το φως είναι ευδιάκριτο. Γνωρίζουμε ότι εάν συνεχίσουμε να ακολουθούμε αυτόν τον δρόμο μας αναμένει ένα φωτεινό μέλλον. Continue reading

Stability programme on “the right track”

The team of experts from the so-called “troika” (European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank), after completing their monitoring of the progress of the stability programme, said that the latter is “on track on all of the dimensions.”
 The government is ahead of the deficit reduction target set in the plan for this year and tax hikes are boosting revenues, according to the team.
The government is also making progress on more long-term economic reforms, which can help its future finances, they added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister George Papandreou, who attended the European Union Summit in Brussels yesterday, underlined that “his government is determined to go ahead with important and difficult reforms,” in order to put the country on the right path for achieving its goals. 
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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 backs up Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The European Union yesterday, in a joint statement by the Heads of State or Government, agreed to take determined and coordinated action to safeguard financial stability in the euro area, and expressed full support for the efforts of the Greek government and their commitment to do whatever is necessary to get the country’s public finances in order.
European commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said that the statement was intended to end speculation that Greece would require a bailout package, while adding that “the Greek government believe they do not need financial support.”
Addressing a press conference at the end of the informal summit in Brussels and referring to this agreement to assist Greece, Prime Minister George Papandreou said:

“our partners assessed and ascertained our will to change, we convinced them, following our great efforts, and it is necessary for us to continue. We will succeed.”
Greece is aiming to reduce its deficit by 4 % of GDP this year, largely through cuts in public spending and an increase in taxes. However, Papandreou said that he would not hesitate to adopt more measures if it becomes necessary.
Council of the European Union: Agreement to support Greece; Kathimerini daily: EU offers help but no specific money pledge

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.

EU Support for Tacling Immigration

council2(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) At the end of the two-day European Union summit (June 18-19), Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis took the opportunity to express satisfaction over the course of the leaders’ deliberations on a series of issues which are important to Greece’s national security.  Regarding the thorny issue of illegal migration, Karamanlis stressed that Greece’s diplomatic demarche to convince the EU over the perplexity of the issue, the ramifications of which go beyond Greece’s reach, have started to bear fruits.  Together with Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus, Greece sought the European Union’s support to cope with the rising tide of illegal immigration.  The Council agreed that the European Union shall seek new repatriation agreements with the migrants’ countries of origin and with transit countries such as Turkey and Libya. Existing bilateral repatriation agreements such as the one signed by Greece and Turkey in 2003, should be honoured, EU leaders agreed. According to the summit’s communiqué, the Council decided to reinforce its border monitoring agency Frontex The global economic crisis once again topped the agenda, with deliberations resulting in a number of decisions towards building a new financial supervisory architecture and taking measures to tackle unemployment. Climate change, a matter of increasing importance was also discussed, in view of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference at the end of the year. Finally, Karamanlis welcomed Jose Manuel Barroso’s appointment to serve a second five-year term as president of the European Commission, pointing out that the incumbent president has given Greece valuable support on a number of issues.

The Athens Summit 2009

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The two-day international Athens Summit 2009 conference on “The road to Copenhagen” opened yesterday with speakers focusing on managing the security of energy supply, providing energy security in Europe and beyond, and assessing the role of the countries of Southeastern Europe as a gateway to energy security and diversification.  Senior governmental officials, corporate leaders, financiers, and experts participate in the summit to discuss how the twin goals of energy security and managing climate change can be achieved to the benefit of all people. 

Papoulias’ Address

The inaugural speech was delivered by the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias. The President called for the collaboration of social forces beyond political parties for an economic and social vision to ensure viable development and protection of the environment, despite possible confrontation with vested interests. 

Papandreou’s Green Diplomacy

For his part, main opposition PASOK and Socialist International (SI) President George Papandreou stressed that Greece should take all necessary measures to increase “green” investments.  He called for a “turn toward quality products and the use of new technologies in all sectors (transport, health, tourism),” underlining the importance of investing in human resources through education.  He also noted that “Greece can play an important role as regards cooperation with the SE European countries and the Mediterranean region through ‘green’ diplomacy,” he stated.

The Athens Climate Change Summit 2009

(GREEK NEWS AGENCY)   The two-day Athens Summit 2009 on “The Road to Copenhagen: Managing Climate Change and Energy Security in Southeast Europe and Beyond” – organised by the Institute for Climate and Energy Security in association with the Financial Times Global Events and C & C International Group of Companies – opens today.   The summit brings together Greek and foreign government officials, corporate leaders and as well as financiers and experts to debate and discuss how the twin goals of energy security and managing climate change can be achieved to the benefit of all.  It is part of a wider debate taking place worldwide, in preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, in December, 2009. 

Greek Prime Minister: Let’s go for Energy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The 27 members of the European Union have agreed that the time is ripe for the EU to inaugurate a new framework of cooperation with its Eastern Partners, engaging in dialogue with 6 countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.   On May 7, the Czech presidency held the Prague Summit, which officially launched the “Eastern Partnership,” with the participation of EU’s 27 members and representatives from the 6 countries.   Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis addressed the inaugural session of the Eastern Partnership Summit, emphasising the importance of energy interdependence between the European Union and its partners in Eastern Europe, noting that energy security must be safeguarded at all times by all EU members, regardless of their level of dependence and that this constitutes a perception that needs to be endorsed widely by all Europeans.  Lastly, Karamanlis stressed that the importance of the EU’s strategy for the Eastern Partnership Summit lies in the possibilities that the strategy provides for strengthening regional stability. Greece supports the economic and social development of the 6 countries without this being associated to accession to the EU. In particular, Greece’s chairmanship at the OSCE is already in cooperation with all six EU’s Eastern Partners within the Organisation’s structure. Moreover, pledging to deliver tangible results in troubled region such as Georgia, the Greek chairmanship has assumed the responsibility to act as a broker to promote peaceful settlement of conflicts.

Fairs – Exhibitions – Conferences in Greece

Athens
ATHENS INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR (21 – 24 May 2009) http://www.art-athina.gr/
ATHENS EPIDAURUS FESTIVAL( GENERALLY FROM JUNE TO SEPTEMBER BUT DATES TO BE DETERMINED) http://www.greekfestival.gr/ 
ROCKWAVE FESTIVAL ATTIKI – TERRA VIBE (ALREADY PROGRAMMED FOR 27 – 28 – 29 June 2009) http://www.rockwavefestival.gr/home/
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MEDIA AND DISABILITIES ATHENS (22-23 June 2009) http://www.ameamedia.gr/en/conference 
THE ATHENS SUMMIT ENERGY SECURITY & CLIMATE CHANGE (12 – 13 June 2009) http://www.ftglobalevents.com/athenssummit/overview.asp  
RALLY ACROPOLIS LOUTRAKI (11 – 14 June 2009) http://www.acropolisrally.gr/pre/ 
INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FILM FESTIVAL ATHENS (DATES TO BE DETERMINED) http://www.caid.gr/isffa/about.html 
EUROPEAN MUSIC DAY MAINLY HELD IN ATHENS (18 – 23 June 2009) http://www.musicday.gr/home.php?lang=2
CLASSIC MARATHON ATHENS (8 November 2009 – not in summer time but is worth to participate or visit) http://www.athensclassicmarathon.gr/default.2.asp

Northern Greece  
INTERNATIONAL FUR FAIR OF KASTORIA (7 – 10 May 2009) http://www.furfair.gr/index.php 
INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR OF THESSALONIKI (28 – 31 May 2009) http://www.thessalonikibookfair.com/?menu=920 
OLYMPUS MARATHON (28 June 2009) http://www.olympus-marathon.com/index.php?newlang=english
SANI FESTIVAL – HALKIDIKI (DATES TO BE DETERMINED) http://www.saniresort.gr/page/default.asp?id=3905
EARTH FESTIVAL VLASTI KOZANI (DATES TO BE DETERMINED) http://www.oikotopia.gr/EarthFestival-en.htm
COSMOPOLIS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL KAVALA (DATES TO BE DETERMINED) http://www.kavala-cosmopolis.com/en/index.html
Islands 
HALKI INTERNATIONAL SEMINARS (17 – 21 June 2009) http://www.eliamep.gr/en/frontpage/top-story-2/halki-international-seminars-2009-call-for-applications/ 
NAXOS FESTIVAL (DATES TO BE DETERMINED) http://www.bazeostower.gr/eng/index.html 
ECOFILM RHODES (23 – 28 June 2009) http://www.ecofilms.gr/ 
GUITAR FESTIVAL HERMOUPOLIS SYROS (12 – 16 July 2009) http://www.guitarfestival.gr/index.php?lang=en 
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE AEGEAN SYROS (1 – 11 July 2009) http://www.festivaloftheaegean.com/schedule.html 
SANTORINI SUMMER CONFERENCES (24 June – 1 July 2009) http://www.ecsa-greece.gr/esa/
RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL RETHYMNO (DATES TO BE DETERMINED) http://www.rfr.gr/index.html 
ICARUS FESTIVAL IKARIA (DATES TO BE DETERMINED) http://icarus-festival.ikaria.gr/index.php?mylang=english IONIAN CONCERTS CORFU (DATES TO BE DETERMINED) http://www.corfufestival.gr/index_en.html 
General Info about events in Greece is available at: 
AGROTRAVEL http://en.agrotravel.gr/agro/site/Home/t_section 
MINISTRY OF CULTURE http://www.culture.gr/war/cult_fnews_en.jsp 
MINISTRY OF TOURISM http://www.gnto.gr/pages.php?pageID=851&langID=2 
UPCOMING CONFERENCES IN GREECE http://www.conferences.gr/upcoming-conferences.html 
FESTIVALS IN GREECE BY MATT BARRETT http://www.greecetravel.com/holidays/

Greece at the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM Summit) held in Beijing (October 24-25) concluded its proceedings. Greece was represented at the summit by Deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis. Following the conclusion of the proceedings, Valinakis stressed that the 7th ASEM Summit mostly dealt with the need for national reservations to be put aside in order for the global financial crisis to be addressed, via international cooperation, and that introversion and protectionism can only have negative consequences. The minister also mentioned the Global Financial Crisis Summit to be held in Washington on November 15, where the European Union is expected to suggest rules on the free market’s smoother operation. “We believe in the market economy, but it has its limits and we have to define these limits.”  The meeting also touched upon the environment and climate change. Greece’s position is that there will have to be steps forward on these issues, including steps to make optimum use of renewable sources of energy.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Conclusion of 7th ASEM Summit (Beijing);  See also: Secretariat General of Information: About Greece – Environmental Protection & About Brand Greece – Environmental Strategic Policies 

Greek PM: Growth Secured

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Attending the extraordinary summit of Euro zone leaders yesterday in Paris, called by EU’s French presidency, Karamanlis hailed the EU leaders’ decision to give full support over a coordinated response to the economic slowdown. Speaking to the press, Karamanlis reaffirmed Greece’s immediate response to the financial turmoil which managed to “exhibit reflexes that were much better than many other countries around the world.” Moreover, Karamanlis appeared reassuring, noting that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) continues to foresee growth in Greece at 2%, when zero growth is projected for the rest of the Euro zone countries. At the World Bank Group and IMF’s annual meeting, Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis is expected to address the organisation’s plenary session. Alogoskoufis has already met during the weekend with World Bank officials as well as senior executives of international financial institutions. Athens News Agency: FinMin in Washington & PM satisfied with Eurozone summit European Commission: Economic & Monetary Union & Stability and Growth Pact; International Monetary Fund: IMF Welcomes Euro Zone Plan to Combat Crisis & World Economic Outlook, (October 2008); Ministry of Economy and Finance: The Greek Economy at a Glance (October 2008); Greek News Agenda: Bank of Greece: Banking System Safe

Greece at EU Summit

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Participating in yesterday’s European Union’s summit, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stressed that force is no solution and pointed out EU’s important role in achieving a ceasefire and a peaceful settlement in the Caucasus region. Karamanlis expressed satisfaction over the six-point agreement reached on August 12 and agreed on the need for its full implementation. Once again, the Prime Minister clarified that respect for the territorial integrity of countries and for their national sovereignty is of paramount importance to the Greek foreign policy and greeted the prospect of enhanced European presence in the troubled area.  Regarding EU’s relations with Russia, Karamanlis announced that the Council has “agreed that Russia is an important partner for Europe” and that strong relations between Moscow and the EU must be maintained. In the future, Greece will continue to monitor the developments occurring in the region and to contribute to the cause offering humanitarian aid and protecting ethnic Greeks, if needed. Kathimerini daily: PM calls for Georgia peace settlement; Athens News Agency: PM Karamanlis says at EU summit force is no solution European Council: Extraordinary European Council meeting on the situation in Georgia; Greek News Agenda: Responding to the Caucasus crisis

Karamanlis @ EU Summit

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)       Entering a summit of the European People’s Party (EPP), ahead of the European Council summit scheduled (June 19-20), Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis described the conjuncture in Europe as “particularly sensitive.” The European Union must prove that it can effectively meet the challenges it faces, especially with regard to the high cost of living affecting all of Europe, Karamanlis noted. The premier referred to his recent letter to European Commission president Manuel Jose Barroso in which he pointed out the need for addressing this problem at the EU summit. Regarding the Lisbon Treaty, Karamanlis also stressed the importance of the ratification process for the shake of Europe and its citizens. Athens News Agency: PM Karamanlis in Brussels for EU summit; EU Council: Press Release Provisional Version (19.6.2008)