Events during the European Football Championship – Participation of the Press Office

On the occasion of the European Football Championship “EURO 2012”, organized in Poland and Ukraine from 8th June until 1st July, the Press Office participated in several events.  

  • “Cultural Week of Greeks in Poland” (Warsaw. 2-8 June 2012) 
    The events, that took place at “Galleria Freta” in the historical center of Warsaw, were organized by the musician of Greek origin Milo Kurtis and under the auspices of the Greek Embassy in Warsaw.
    They included concerts, exhibitions of paintings, sculptures and photographs, films, classes of Greek dances, a theater performance, a debate on Greece`s current affairs, gastronomy etc.
    Several musicians, such as Milo Kurtis and “Naxos Quintet”, Kostas Georgiadis and the group “Edesea”, Apostolis Anthimos, Jorgos Skolias and “Sefardic Trio”, Maja Sikorowska, the group ‘Olympus’, several artists, such as the sculptor Christos Mandzios, the painter Michalis Chrisoulidis and the photographer Kostas Kawardzis, the film director Athena Savidis, the journalist Dionysios Sturis, the philosopher and musician Ilias Vrazas, the byzantine choir of the orthodox church of St. Mary Magdalene in Warsaw, were among those who have performed during the cultural week. 
  • Greek Embassy`s event in honour of the Greek National Football Team (Warsaw, 9 June 2012) 
    Representatives of business, academic and artistic sectors of Greeks in Poland, Polish academics, journalists and representatives of Polish authorities, Greek journalists covering the participation of the Greek football team in “Euro 2012”, the General Secretary of Sports, Panos Bitsaxis, were among the participants. 
  • Celebrations of Legionowo City hosting the Greek National Football Team (Legionowo, 2 June 2012)
    A ceremony during which the official city-keys of Legionowo were handed over to the charge d`affaires of the Greek Embassy, Stavros Spyridakis. 
  • Polish Railways’ promotion of European countries during the Football Championship and for six months afterwards (May – December 2012)
    For the promotion of the European Football Championship in 20 trains, Polish Railways have painted 16 of them in the colours of European countries` flags. On the 19th of May there was a parade of 5 trains painted with the colours of Greek, Polish, Ukrainian, Czech and Russian flags on a central bridge of  Warsaw. 
    The Press Office collaborated with representatives of the Polish Railways (PKP) in order to present the Greek flag on a Polish train. 
  • “Fan`s Dictionary” for the volunteers` communication during the European Football Championship
    The dictionary includes common phrases in major European languages and was issued in cooperation with the UEFA, the EUNIC Cluster Warsaw (EU National Institutes for Culture) and the French Institute in Warsaw. The Press Office translated the leaflet into Greek language. 
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Greece at UEFA EURO 2012

Greece’s EURO 2012 final stage course has begun on Friday 08.06.2012 at 18:00, with the opening match against host country Poland (result 1:1), in Warsaw.
The second match of Greece was against the Czech Republic (1:2) on June 12 and the next one will be with Russia on June 16 in Group A of the Euro 2012 tournament held inPoland and Ukraine, between June 8 and July 1. The top two of each group will qualify for the knock out phase.

Greece, EURO’s surprise trophy holder in 2004, qualified to the tournament having topped its qualifying group with seven wins and three draws. This time, under a new coach, Fernando Santos, they hope to repeat past good performances.

The first football match of the Greek team, on the 8th of June, was attended by the Secretary General of Sports, Panos Bitsaxis.

Euro 2012 Draw for Greece

Greece’s national football team will face Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia, in Group A of the Euro 2012 tournament to be held in Poland and Ukraine, between June 8 and July 1.
The finals schedule was confirmed on December 2, during the UEFA Final Draw Ceremony in Kiev, Ukraine. 
Greece will launch the tournament on Friday, June 8 against Poland in Warsaw, followed by the other Group A opener between Russia and the Czech Republic.
Greece’s other games will be on June 12 against the Czech Republic at Wroclaw and on June 16 against Russia in Warsaw. 

Greek PM Meets with Outgoing NATO Secretary General

karamsceff(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met on Thursday (May 14) in Athens with the outgoing NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.  Pointing out that during Scheffer’s term the alliance was enlarged twice, while in the field of operations NATO was called to meet very demanding challenges, Karamanlis praised the efforts to promote the Alliance’s relations with Russia as well as the progress made in relation to Ukraine and Georgia and the countries of the ‘Partnership for Peace’, the ‘Mediterranean Dialogue’ and the ‘Istanbul Initiative.’  On his part, the NATO SecGen stressed that “Greece’s participation in NATO’s operations and missions was and still is very important.” He also referred to energy and internet security issues as well as to the participation of Greek Navy frigates in the efforts to combat sea piracy.  De Hoop Scheffer also met with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and National Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis.

Foreign Affairs: Greece in Brussels

Bakoyannis @ EU Ministers Council
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis attended the Council of European Union Foreign Ministers which convened in Brussels on Monday and examined developments in the Middle East, energy security and the priorities of the EU Czech Presidency. Following the council meeting, Bakoyannis spoke to the press. On the question of the situation prevailing in the Gaza Strip, she said that the foreign ministers agreed that priority must be given to achieving immediate progress in handling the humanitarian tragedy being experienced by the inhabitants in Gaza. The minister expressed regret because substantive steps have not been taken in providing humanitarian aid and because the EU’s requests in this direction have been met with no response. “The lifting of the blockade and the opening of corridors is essential to enable the smooth flow of humanitarian aid from the international community,” she said. Asked about whether the recent crisis between Russia and Ukraine would affect the South Stream pipeline in any way, Bakoyannis gave a negative answer, saying that the policy of the Greek government on energy issues is a policy that “many other countries would like to have.”  EU Council – General Affairs and External Relations Councils: Press Releases – External Relations & General Affairs (Provisional Versions, 26.2.2009) 
FM Addresses European Policy Centre
Speaking at the local think tank Centre for European Policy Studies (CPES) in Brussels yesterday, Bakoyannis outlined Greece’s positions on several issues including the OSCE Chairmanship, the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), relations with Turkey, and the Cyprus issue. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Speech of FM Dora Bakoyiannis at the European Policy Centre (Brussels); Athens News Agency: FM on FYROM, Turkey, Cyprus 

Greece: Responding to the Caucasus Crisis

(GREEK  NEWS AGENDA)           From the first moment, the crisis in Caucasus has been of great concern to Greece. A precautionary activation of the Crisis Management Unit was deemed necessary in order to tackle the problems which have arisen from the clashes in South Ossetia and make provision for the citizens of Greek origin residing in the area. Within this framework, Greece dispatched a humanitarian aid shipment to Georgia and contributed to the cause of relieving the turbulent area with 100,000€ through the UNHCR. The OSCE, which has also addressed the matter, decided to send 20 international observers and Greece, -in viewof holding 2009’s chairmanship– is ready to assume full responsibility arising in the light of the current developments.  During the extraordinary meeting of the 26 NATO members which took place on August 19 in Brussels, Foreign Affairs Minister Dora Bakoyannis stated that “the NATO-Russia dialogue is very important” and that “Greece-along with many other countries-has been in favour of the continuation of this dialogue at all levels”.  South Ossetia and Abkhazia’s recent succession movement from Georgia has prompted an expedient reaction of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bakoyannis clarified that within both the NATO Council and the Council of the European Union, Greece’s foreign policy abides to the principles of territorial integrity and added that Greece endorses the French presidency’s statement condemning the movement.  Today, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will participate in the European Union’s special summit on the Caucasus crisis. Moscow’s relations with the international community are expected to top the summit’s agenda. Before leaving for Brussels, Bakoyannis reiterated Greece’s interest for “a common European position regarding the framework of EU-Russia relations”, “given that Moscow is an ‘important partner’ for Europe”.

From Greece the Routes of the Olive Tree

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    On the occasion of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, a “lame of Peace”will travel from the Mediterranean Sea into the depths of Asia, Beijing and Moscow. Motorcyclists participating in the “Routes of the Olive Tree” initiative, a programme of cultural journeys and activities inspired by the olive tree,  will ride on the “Routes of Silk” to transmit the messages symbolised by the olive tree, namely the need for peaceful coexistence. The journey will start from Messenia, Southern Greece, on the occasion of a big Mediterranean Feast, the 63rd Rally FIM of 2008 (7-14 July 2008 Pylos-Yalova), during which 2,000 motorcyclists from 44 countries will gather in order to bid travellers goodbye. The event is open only to motorcyclists who will “combine business with pleasure”; they will start their ride symbolically from ancient Messene and will cover 22,000 km with a view to carrying the “Flame of Peace” to 16 countries: Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, CHINA, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, FYROM and Greece.  Continue reading