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Εκδήλωση Ελληνικής Πρεσβείας για τον τουρισμό (Βαρσοβία, 30/11/2011)

Εκδήλωση με θέμα «Οι προοπτικές της συνεργασίας Ελλάδας – Πολωνίας στον τουριστικό τομέα», με διοργανωτή το Γραφείο Οικονομικών και Εμπορικών Υποθέσεων της Ελληνικής Πρεσβείας, πραγματοποιήθηκε στις 30 Νοεμβρίου στη Βαρσοβία. Η εκδήλωση είχε ως στόχο την διερεύνηση δυνατοτήτων και προοπτικών ενίσχυσης και περαιτέρω προώθησης της τουριστικής συνεργασίας μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Πολωνίας. 
Περίπου 400.000 πολωνοί τουρίστες επισκέφθηκαν τη χώρα μας κατά το 2010, σημειώνοντας αύξηση κατά 98% σε σχέση με το 2009 (στοιχεία ΣΕΤΕ), ενώ οι συνολικές εισπράξεις από την έλευσή τους έφθασαν στα 217 εκ. ευρώ (στοιχεία Τράπεζας της Ελλάδας). Αντίστοιχα, υπήρξαν 39.500 αφίξεις ελλήνων τουριστών στην Πολωνία, οι συνολικές πληρωμές των οποίων έφθασαν στα 24 εκ. ευρώ, με αποτέλεσμα το πλεόνασμα στο τουριστικό ισοζύγιο υπέρ της χώρας μας να φθάνει στα 193 εκ. ευρώ.
Η φετινή εκδήλωση με θέμα  ‘’Enhancing the prospects of Greek & Polish cooperation in the tourism sector’’, αποτελούσε συνέχεια αντιστοίχων εκδηλώσεων οικονομικού ενδιαφέροντος, των προηγουμένων τεσσάρων ετών. Επιδίωξη της ήταν η ενημέρωση της τοπικής τουριστικής επιχειρηματικής κοινότητας, πολωνικής και ελληνικής (tour operators, tour agents, δημοσιογράφοι, υπουργεία, επιμελητήρια, ακαδημαϊκή κοινότητα), για την κατάσταση στον τομέα του ελληνικού τουρισμού, αλλά και για τις δυνατότητες και ευκαιρίες για ανάληψη επιχειρηματικών πρωτοβουλιών που προσφέρονται, αντίστοιχα, στην Ελλάδα και στη Πολωνία. Continue reading

Greek Exports Rise to Over 10% of GDP

Exports account for more than 10% of Greece’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or more than €20 billion on an annual basis, recording a 13% growth rate, according to the Panhellenic Exporters Association.
In a report over export trends in the January-August period, the Association estimates that Greek exports grew by 11% (€18 billion) last year, while the Organisation for Economic Cο-Operation and Development (OECD) has revised upwards its projections for a 9.4% growth rate, from an initial 6%.
Presenting the report, the Association Chairwoman Christina Sakellaridi said the figures “confirm the importance of exporting business activity in the effort towards the recovery of the Greek economy.”

 Greek exports -excluding oil products- surpassed €20.5 billion in the September 2010-August 2011 period, an increase by 13.3% compared to the previous 12-month period. The August export figures represent a 32% rise in fuels and oil products, a 42.5% increase in confidential products, a 15% rise in machinery/transport, a 13% increase in industrial products.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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)

World Poetry Day – 2011 Elytis Year

Odysseas Elytis and his work will be the focus of this year’s World Poetry Day, which is celebrated each year on March 21.
The National Book Centre of Greece (EKEBI) launches a poetry campaign including several events.
One of the day’s highlights is an event jointly organized by EKEBI and the Hellenic Authors’ Society which brings together well-known poets and writers such as Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, Vassilis Vasilikos, Kiki Dimoula and Evgenia Fakinou to recite poems by Odysseas Elytis.
Athenians and citizens of Thessaloniki, Mytillini, Rhodes and Zakynthos will have the opportunity to come across illustrated verses by Elytis as public transport means will feature some of the Nobel laureate’s most beloved and renowned poems. Poetry reading nights, with young poets will also be held in Athens and Thessaloniki.
Moreover in Athens, poet Nanos Valaoritis will present a new theory regarding Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey at the Hellenic American Union, while at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, World Poetry Day will be celebrated through poetry, music and stand-up poetry.
The year 2011 has been designated as an Elytis Year by Culture and Tourism Ministry, in order to mark the 100th anniversary since the birth of the Nobel laureate poet.
Nobel Prize Organisation: Excerpt from Worthy It Is, Poetry International Web- Odysseas Elytis: I Lived the Beloved Name, Drinking the Sun of Corinth, Marina of the Rocks, The Wind That Loiters.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Gaza Crisis

The Foreign Ministry has issued a statement this morning, saying that it has activated its Crisis Management Unit upon learning that Israeli armed forces had blocked the course of and seized vessels transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Citizens with family or friends participating in the mission “ Ship to Gaza” can call the contact number +30 210 368 1730. 
It is Greece’s longstanding position that any activities undertaken by non-governmental organizations must go unhindered, provided that they are legal, is mentioned in the statement.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Crisis Management Unit activated regarding the humanitarian aid transport operation in Gaza & Greek News Agenda: Greece sends aid shipment to Gaza in 2009
(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)

The destiny of Greek Tourism

» Expected Recovery

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) According to a survey conducted by the Academy of Tourism Research and Studies, Greek tourism will recover this year, with tourist arrivals expected to rise by 8.6%, compared to 2009.
The report by ATEM predicts that foreign tourists visiting Greece will reach 15.5 million in 2010, on condition that there is an upturn in world’s economy.

Greek National Tourism Organisation: www.gnto.gr

» Alternative Tourism

Exploring caves, rafting and trekking is just a small part of the activities offered to tourists who do not like crowded vacation destinations and choose alternative tourism.
More examples include medical tourism – which started in Ancient Greece – as well conference and wedding tourism (accommodations, transport, beauty treatments, flower arrangements, and much more).
A conference titled “New Trends in Tourism: benefits & prospects for women,” organised by the Thessaloniki Organisation for Women’s Employment & Resources (TOWER), aims at presenting and discussing various new trends in tourism. Topics to be explored include eco / agro-tourism, health & wellness tourism, and raising awareness about career opportunities available for women in tourism.
See also Greek News Agenda: Alternative Tourism

New Greek Government: A Wind of Change

newcabinet2(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Shortly after being  sworn in as Prime Minister, George Papandreou unveiled his first Cabinet yesterday, presenting a relatively new team with a few party heavyweights.  The premier has downsized the number of ministries from 16 to 14 and deputy ministers from 26 to 21, plus two alternate ministers. Of the 37 individuals making up the government, 24 will be living the ministerial experience for the first time.  Additionally, nine members of the cabinet are women, a proportion which is a novelty in Greece. One of the surprises is the reinstatement of the post of deputy prime minister, which hasn’t been seen since the 1980s.  There is one new ministry, that of Environment, Energy and Climate Change. Many other ministries have been altered in some way: Citizen’s Protection; Infrastructure, Transport and Networks; Interior, Decentralization and e-Governance; Economy, Competitiveness and Merchant Marine; Education, Lifelong Learning and Religion; Justice, Transparency and Human Rights; and the former ministries of Culture and Tourism have merged into one. Kathimerini daily: Some surprises in Papandrou’s new team

Athens Transport in your Pocket

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The distribution of a new, small, multilingual booklet with information about Athens’ city transport network and ticket prices was heralded by Transport and Communications Minister Evripidis Stylianidis yesterday. The 16-page credit card-sized booklet can be folded up and stored in a pocket or wallet, and contains information in English, Russian, Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, and Greek. The booklet will be available at bus and metro stations and at other central points in the capital city.

Greece: Bringing Bulgaria Closer

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greece and Bulgaria signed an agreement to upgrade the rail link joining the two countries in an attempt to boost bilateral trade. The deal simplifies cargo transport by train and reinforces security at that level. Timely cargo deliveries, especially for perishable products and passengers’ transport secure tighter bonds between the two neighbouring countries. The deal was signed by Transport & Communications Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and his Bulgarian counterpart Peter Mutafchiev. Kathimerini daily: Better Link for Greece and Bulgaria; Hellenic Railways SA (OSE): OSE   Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece- Bulgaria & Economic Diplomacy- Hellenic Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans (Hiperb)- Bulgaria

Green Buses in Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Athens is set to acquire one of the most modern public transport bus fleets in Europe, according to an announcement made earlier this week by Transport Minister Kostas Hatzidakis.  Unveiling details of a major upgrade in the fleet of buses operated by the Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA), he said the new buses are set to meet stricter environmental specifications and generate much lower levels of atmospheric emissions. The total fleet of buses will be 614, and their delivery is expected to be completed by the first half of 2009. Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece- Greek Environmental Strategic Policies

European Commissioner Danuta Hubner in Ahtens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   European Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hubner arrived in Greece on September 7 on an official visit to some of the country’s regions. Speaking to the press, Hubner commented on Greece’s performance on matters of regional policy. The Commissioner stated that she was pleased with Greece’s EU funds absorption rate for the 3th Community Support Framework (CSF) and announced that the following CSF must fund competitiveness, innovation, environmental protection and transport infrastructure. Danuta Hubner: Hübner to see state-of-art impacts of EU investment in Greece; Secretariat General of Information: Spatial Planning and Regional Development of Greece & Community Support Framework (CSF) 2000-2006

Hellenic Railways

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   By 2014, the national railway network will have undergone major infrastructural changes, Hatzidakis announced at a joint press conference with the European Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hubner, on September 9 in Athens. Electrical railway tracks as well as environmentalally-friendly urban transport and the tram line’s extension will be some of the suggested projects to be implemented through the National Strategic Reference Framework (2007-2013), worth €20 billion.

Greece’s Television and Radio Frequency Charts

On July 24 2008, Greek Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos and Transport and Communications Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, held a press confrence for the presentation of the frequency chart for digital television tranmission and the frequency chart for analoque radio broadcasting in Greece. The digital broadcast trial period will be launched on November 1, 2008 with digital integration completed by 2015 at the latest, Roussopoulos said, adding that the EU is urging members to adopt digital technology by 2012. The digital frequencies chart is a serious attempt to put the broadcast sector in order, Roussopouloos said, stressing that consultations will be held with all interested parties before any joint ministerial decisions are issued setting the necessary preconditions.  Read the transcript of the press conference in english   Continue reading

Mediterranean Concerns

» A Mediterranean Union?

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis chaired a meeting convened yesterday at the Foreign Ministry and reffered to a recent French proposal for a Mediterranean Union, stating that “our interest in every shape or form of substantial cooperation that is developing in our region is asserted and it is in this positive spirit that we are approaching the French government’s proposal on forming a Mediterranean Union.” The minister added that “Greece must be present with specific, well-prepared proposals on sectors that are of interest to us, and where there might be a business interest such as transport, shipping, tourism, energy, immigration and culture.” Continue reading