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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

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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