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Διάλεξη “Ο ελληνικός εμφύλιος πόλεμος” – Εκδήλωση Γραφείου Τύπου (Βαρσοβία, 5/3/2012)

Διάλεξη του αναπληρωτή καθηγητή του Πανεπιστημίου Μακεδονίας (Θεσσαλονίκη), Νίκου Μαραντζίδη, με θέμα «Ο ελληνικός εμφύλιος πόλεμος – Εσωτερικές και διεθνείς διαστάσεις», πραγματοποιήθηκε στις 5 Μαρτίου στο Πανεπιστήμιο Βαρσοβίας.
Η διάλεξη διοργανώθηκε από το Γραφείο Τύπου, σε συνεργασία με το Τμήμα Ελληνικών Σπουδών του Πανεπιστημίου Βαρσοβίας.
Ο καθηγητής παρουσίασε το ιστορικό πλαίσιο και τα σημαντικότερα γεγονότα του εμφυλίου, προκειμένου να αναδείξει το πολύπλοκο πλέγμα σχέσεων που συνέδεε την Ελλάδα της περιόδου του εμφυλίου με ξένες χώρες.
Επικεντρώθηκε στον ρόλο χωρών της Ανατολικής Ευρώπης και την υποστήριξη των κομμουνιστών ανταρτών από το Ανατολικό μπλόκ, δίνοντας έμφαση στην βοήθεια της Πολωνίας προς τους έλληνες κομμουνιστές, η οποία περιελάμβανε την υποδοχή και περίθαλψη προσφύγων ανταρτών και παιδιών, την ίδρυση μυστικού στρατιωτικού νοσοκομείου στη Βαλτική, αποστολές τροφίμων, ιατροφαρμακευτικού υλικού κ.ά..
Αναφέρθηκε, επίσης, στις διάφορες περιόδους μνήμης του εμφυλίου στην Ελλάδα και στην θεματολογία του εμφυλίου στην ελληνική λογοτεχνία.
Την διάλεξη, στην οποία παρέστησαν ο πρέσβης Γαβριήλ Κοπτσίδης και πολλά μέλη της Ελληνικής Πρεσβείας, παρακολούθησαν οι φοιτητές και οι διδάσκοντες του Τμήματος Ελληνικών Σπουδών, καθηγητές του Πανεπιστημίου Βαρσοβίας, ομογενείς και άλλοι Έλληνες της Βαρσοβίας.
Ο καθ. Ν. Μαραντζίδης συνεργάζεται στενά, τα τελευταία χρόνια, με το Γραφείο Τύπου, το οποίο παρέχει διευκολύνσεις στη  έρευνά του για την βοήθεια της Πολωνίας προς τους έλληνες πρόσφυγες του εμφυλίου.

Lecture by professor Nikos Marantzidis about the Greek Civil War (Warsaw, 5/3/2012)

A lecture titled “The Greek Civil War – Internal and international dimensions” was held at the University of Warsaw by the professor of the University of Macedonia (Thessaloniki), Nikos Marantzidis, on the 5th of March 2012. The lecture was organized by the Greek Press and Communication Office in Warsaw, in conjunction with the Department of Greek Studies of the University of Warsaw.
The professor presented the historical context and the main events of the Civil War, aiming to demonstrate the complicate relations of Greece with foreign countries during the Civil War. He focused on the role of various Eastern European countries and their support to the Greek communist partisans, emphasizing Poland`s aid towards the Greek communists, which concentrated on the reception and care of refugees (partisans and children), the creation of a secret military hospital in the Baltic Sea, food provisions, medical equipment etc.. There were, also, references to the different periods of collective memory regarding the Civil War in Greece and to issues related to the Civil War in Greek literature.
The lecture was attended by the Greek Ambassador Gabriel Coptsidis and several members of the Greek Embassy, students and professors of the Department of Greek Studies, professors of the University of Warsaw, along with members of the general public, among which were Greeks, expatriates and residents of Warsaw.
Professor Marantzidis works closely with the Press Office during the last years, in his research about Poland`s aid towards the Greek refugees of the Civil War.

Greek Language Learning

On Line Learning
The Filoglossia+ consists of an educational multimedia CD-ROMs series for learning Greek as a foreign language, supported by English and addressed to beginners with little or no previous knowledge of Greek.
“Filoglossia” means fondness for language learning and the programme is mainly based on the communicative approach, focusing on the production and comprehension of both oral and written speech. “Filoglossia” is designed by the Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP).

Looking Ahead
A new strategic plan for the support of Greek language learning in Greece and abroad was the focus of debates at an International Workshop on Greek Language and Linguistic Training, organized by the Centre for the Greek Language held from June 28 to 30 in Thessaloniki, with the participation of 60 Greek and Foreign linguists.
On the occasion, Education, Life-long Learning and Religious Affairs minister Anna Diamantopoulou said that the establishment of a National Council for the Greek Language would help draw a comprehensive strategy.
Creating an organization, similar to the German Goethe Institute or the British Council, which would operate with branches around the world could be an important vehicle to promote Greek language, culture, and history learning. The minister also announced that a conference is to be held in October focusing on the Education of the Diaspora.

• Learn a Greek Word Every Day!

It has been observed that relations of the Diaspora with the Greek language have been weakening over the years – especially with second and third generation migrants.
To help redress this, three friends from Chicago have designed an on-line Greek dictionary aiming to help English-speaking emigrants keep in touch with the language of the forefathers.
Greektionary.com was created to provide everyone with an opportunity to improve their Greek vocabulary on a daily basis.
Three words (beginner, intermediate and advanced) are chosen each day and displayed with their translations, pronunciation, examples, and recorded audio files (Mp3s). Those interested can sign-up and receive free Greek words everyday by e-mail!
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

PM George Papandreou in “Foreign Policy” Magazine

Prime Minister George Papandreou in an in-depth interview in the American magazine Foreign Policy (July 19) explained the reasons behind the crisis and the measures taken by his government in order to tackle it.
He stressed that with the support of the European Union, Greece decided against defaulting, which would cause insurmountable problems especially for the banking institutions in Greece and Europe alike.
He recognized that there was a lack of transparency; there was a lot of money that was lost, wasted, through a huge bureaucracy and patronage. Nevertheless, he highlighted that “we’re committed to changing the situation.
My government, for example, has now brought in laws such as total transparency in all signatures in the public sector, putting more and more tax reform resources and contracts online.”
The premier empathised with Greeks’ sentiments of unhappiness and pain, but “the wide majority of the people realize that we needed to make changes that were long overdue in our country, such as making governance much more responsible, and running the country much more transparent.”
Finally, he debunked recent media stereotypes of Greeks being lazy and concluded saying that: “we’ve seen in this crisis is that we need more Europe, not less…[ ]
…We need to find global governance and we need to find it based on some common values on which we can agree – democratic values.”
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

“You in Greece” campaign – Facts about Greece

  Facts about Greece

· Greece is a safe country

Supportive data: According to Legatum Prosperity Index, Greece faces comparatively few security challenges. Domestic security is favorable. Moreover, according to Eurostat, Greece is a country with a relatively low rate of criminality. The feeling of security is well established in society.
· Greece is an attractive destination.
This comes not only due to its physical beauty but mostly due to the “value for money” relationship in the provided services.
Supportive data: According to a poll, conducted in a population of 1200 people,52% of the sample believes that the quality of travel services offered in Greece are of very good standard and 42% believes that the travel services offered in Greece rival those offered in other touristdeveloped tourist markets.

· Greece is a western democracy and the majority of Greek society supports government policy.
Supportive data: A recent research conducted by Kapa Focus research company on behalf of the weekly Newspaper ‘To Vima’, shows that 55,2% of Greeks support the austerity measures imposed by the Greek Government.
·  Demonstrations are strictly local and limited events/occurrences. They take place mostly in the center of Athens, in a specific and controlled area. The mainland regions and the islands of the Greek Archipelago, where the vast majority of tourists go, are not affected at all.
Supportive data: According to Eurostat, Greece is a favourite destination. Especially, in South Aegean and Ionian Islands, it appears that 48.168 stays and 33.304 per 1000 citizens took place, a proof of satisfaction for the Greek touristic product.
· Greece is a tourist country and Greeks know the importance of hospitality.
Supportive data: Zeus, the King of the Greek Gods, according to the Greek Mythology, named as Xenios (the one who offers hospitality) Zeus.
·  The overall number of demonstrations in Greece is lower than the E.U average.
Supportive data:All demonstrations occurred in Athens, in specific and isolated areas. In their vast majority they were peaceful.

· The picture that global media paint is, to say the least, in many cases exaggerating. In many occasions, library images were re-broadcasted as live feeds.
Supportive data: Greece is a pluralist, democratic western European country. Media freedom is protected and encouraged. During the last two weeks Greece hosted more than 300 foreign journalists.
(Greek National Tourism Organisation)

PM George Papandreou interviews at “El Pais” & “Al Jazeera”

Prime Minister Georges Papandreou was interviewed by the Spanish daily “El Pais” (May 23).

In a three page interview, the premier answered questions regarding the economic situation in Greece noting that the euro-zone has reached a tipping point which will bring it before an “historic reflection period.”
In the case of Greece, the international community did not react in a timely manner, it did not admit that the currency was under attack, and “there was the same fear as when a buffalo leaves the herd.”
Today, the country’s austerity plan is on the right track, but it is not enough if it is to be left without European support. For Papandreou, the support is necessary for all members so to act as deterrent of speculation. “Spain and Portugal were not in a bad situation yet they fell victims of the ambient hysteria.”
In related news, in an interview with Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips  on May 20 in Athens, Papandreou said that Greece will eventually emerge from the crisis with a more viable economy, determined to say “never again.”   
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

PM: “We`re on a new Odyssey for Hellenism

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) On April 23, Prime Minister George Papandreou formally requested financial support from the EU and the IMF.
“It is a national and pressing need to formally ask our EU partners for the activation of the support package that we jointly created,” Papandreou said in a televised statement from the southeastern island of Kastellorizo, where he was on a visit.
“We are on a tough course, a new Odyssey for Hellenism. But we now know the way to Ithaca and have chartered our course. Ahead of us lies a journey, a demanding journey for us all, but with a new, collective conscience and joint efforts we shall reach our destination safely… Our final goal, our final destination is to liberate Greece from supervision and trusteeship.”

PM Papandreou`s interview with Newsweek

Greece will decide whether or not to activate the EU-IMF support mechanism within the next few weeks, Prime Minister George Papandreou said in an interview with Newsweek magazine, on April16. 
Papandreou said that the aid package was not a programme for rescuing the Greek economy but would give Greece some “breathing space” in which to carry out necessary reforms, giving the government room to manoeuvre as it embarks on changes that would make the economy sustainable:
“We’re not looking for scapegoats. These are problems of our own making. Markets, however, take a snapshot of the day, projecting it onto the future. It’s difficult for them to evaluate the changes we are making: changes in mentality, changes in our political culture. That may take some time for the markets to realize. But we need a period of calm to make these changes happen. We just passed a new tax law, for example, that is a major revolution in our country. It’s more just and transparent, and it will target tax evaders. This will help slash our deficit. Those numbers are bound to come down”.

PM Papandreou interview on BBC

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) “Greece is not looking for an EU bailout but for political support from its European counterparts” said Prime Minister George Papandreou in an interview yesterday on BBC One, on the sidelines of his visit to London.
“Give us the time, give us the support – and I’m not talking about financial but political support – in order to show you that what we’re saying is being implemented and we are credible again,” stressed Papandreou, emphasizing on the fact that Greece needs to borrow at the same rate as other countries.
Meanwhile, speaking to “Der Spiegel,” Papandreou expressed confidence that Greece can achieve its target to reduce its budget deficit by implementing serious economic reforms.
BBC News: Greece ‘not looking for bailout,’ Papandreou tells BBC  

PM George Papandreou in Moscow

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister George Papandreou arrived in Moscow yesterday for a two-day working visit during which he will be holding meetings with President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to discuss economic, commercial, military and political issues.
Speaking to the Itar-Tass news agency, ahead of the visit, George Papandreou said that the level of Greek-Russian relations is excellent while he described relations between the European Union and Russia as having strategic importance.
In another interview with the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti, the premier stressed that Greece is expecting political support and not economic aid from the European Union.
 “Greece did not appeal for economic aid to the international community or to the European Union. Greece intends and is capable of solving its problems alone,” the prime minister said.
Referring to the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline, Papandreou said that its construction can begin in six months.

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

Economist Joseph Stiglitz to visit Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz is invited to participate at an open debate, titled “Discussion and debate with Joseph Stiglitz: in or out of the economic crisis?,” organized by the Economist and Hazlis & Rivas conferences, on February 2. 
Prime Minister George Papandreou will inaugurate the conference with an opening address, focusing on the government’s effort to fulfil the twin aim of monetary restructuring and growth.
Ministers, the leader of the opposition New Democracy party, Antonis Samaras as well as representatives of business associations will also participate at the conference.
Meanwhile, Stiglitz has contributed an article (January 25) in the ‘Comment is Free’ section of The Guardian, under the title “A principled Europe would not leave Greece to bleed,” urging Europe to show support for the honesty and integrity of Greece’s government and its efforts not only to bring the budget under control, but to increase transparency of the entire budgetary framework and to reduce corruption.

New impetus for Greek-Turkish relations

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A new impetus for Greek-Turkish relations was given yesterday following a letter by Prime Minister George Papandreou addressed to his Turkish counterpart, responding to prior correspondence between the two leaders.

The Greek side proposes the launch of a series of talks on the issue of the continental shelf, within a specific time limit and the option for both sides to resort to the International Court of Justice in The Hague in case of a dead-end.
Papandreou deems the Turkish proposal of establishing a High-level Council of Cooperation important and invites Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay an official visit to Greece, sometime before summer, in order to set a time framework.
Moreover, the Greek Premier highlights the need for de-escalating tension over the Aegean Sea and stresses that military activity in the area must be avoided since it jeopardizes security and fuels tension. Referring to the pressure exercised on bilateral relations due to immigration flows’ movement, Papandreou reiterates the necessity for Turkey to abide by the Greek-Turkish Readmission Protocol (2001).
The premier concludes by expressing Greece’s support for Turkey’s European perspective, provided that the latter honours its obligations towards the Greek minority in Turkey and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-Turkey Bilateral Relations & Greek-Turkish Rapprochement
[Photo from Papandreou’s visit to Istanbul, Turkey, October, 2009]

Greece: Absorption of Structural Funds

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Greece’s absorption of structural funds from 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF) in 2000-2006 stands at 91%, European Commissioner for regional policy Danuta Hubner announced on Wednesday.  The Commissioner clarified that Greece applied for payments reaching €20.9 billion of the €23 billion available. Presenting absorption figures for the 3rd CSF for all member-states, Hubner said that the Community average also stood at 91%. She expressed hope that the total available funds will have been absorbed by June 30, when the deadline for completing projects using Community funding expires. Greece’s absorption of money available in the structural funds and the EU Cohesion Fund comes to 88%, marginally above the EU average of 87%. Absorption of money exclusively derived from the Cohesion Fund by Greece is 61%, four percentage points below the EU average of 65%.  Ministry of Economy and Finance: Management Organisation Unit of CSF; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece, CSF (2000-2006)