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Hellas:from Tourism to World Heritage

» “Kalimera”…It’s a Way of Life

“Kalimera”…the Greek word for ‘good morning’ is the new slogan for the advertising campaign of the Greek National Tourism Organization and Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The 2010 campaign was unveiled by the Deputy Minister of Tourism Angela Gerekou on March 8, and is based on a redesigned pattern of previous campaigns with the addition of the well-known greeting in the Greek language.
The campaign will be available through the renewed portal of Hellenic Tourism Organisation at the web address www.visitgreece.gr.
Kathimerini Daily: ‘Kalimera’ is the country’s new tourism motto    

» A Popular Tourist Destination

Greece is the fourth most popular tourist destination in the European Union for 2010, according to a new Eurobarometer survey on “The attitudes of Europeans towards tourism.”
The EU Eurobarometer poll unveiled on March 8 shows that tourism is one of Europe’s most important service industries, accounting for 5% of Europe’s GDP and 6% of employment. Greece is the fourth most attractive tourist destination, after Spain, Italy, and France. 
European Commission: Tourism-Upbeat Prospects for 2010 Season  

» “Med Diet” to Be Recognised by UNESCO 

The town of Koroni in Messinia Prefecture will represent Greece in an initiative put forth by four Mediterranean countries to have the “Mediterranean Diet” recognised by UNESCO as a cultural heritage of humanity. 
Koroni from Greece, Cilento from Italy, Soria from Spain and Chefchaouen from Morocco will join forces to ask the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to include the diet to its World Heritage List.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Holocaust Remembrance Day

» (GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Liberation of Auschwitz Anniversary

“Auschwitz took the lives of many; Greek Jews were dispro­portio­na­tely numerous among them. Greeks of other faiths also paid a heavy price, often in defence of their Jewish brethren.

Many have been declared Righteous among the Nations and their names are engraved at the Holocaust Memorial of Yad Vashem,” Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said in a statement, issued on January 27, on the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp.
This year also marks the tenth anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration which launched a fertile rethinking of the Holocaust in Europe and Greece is proud to be among the original signatories of this epochal document, said Droutsas.

» “Greeks in Auschwitz-Birkenau” 

At a press conference at Greece’s Press and Communication Office in New York, on January 26, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic and Historical Archives, Fotini Tomai presented a series of evidence, documents and testimonies that reveal and highlight the extent of human tragedy as recorded in the book “Greeks in Auschwitz-Birkenau.”
This publication of the Foreign Ministry (in Greek and English) will be presented today at a special event at the Greek Consulate General in New York. 
See also: UN, International Holocaust Remembrance Day;
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: International Holocaust Remembrance Day;  Greek News Agenda: Special Issue – The Jews of Greece

Cyprus: A Devided Island, 35 Years After

Cyprus Map(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  35 years have elapsed since July 20th, 1974, a day which marked a turning point in the history of Cyprus. The Turkish invasion in the north of the island, which was facilitated by the then Greek totalitarian regime’s series of disastrous meddling, led to the brutal and permanent division of the island into two ethnically cleansed areas. Nicosia is still a physically divided capital, the last one in Europe after the fall of the Berlin wall. In memory of the events of 1974, the Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stated that a solution to the Cyprus problem is still sought, always within the framework of the UN Security Council’s resolutions and the principles of the European Union to which Cyprus adheres as a full member since 2004. “July 20 is a day of memory and honour. It stands as landmark for a definite, just, viable and functional solution to the problem.” The ongoing deliberations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leader should be based on the grounds of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty and legal personality, the premier concluded. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis added that “Turkey continues to hold the key to the solution of the Cyprus problem” and encouraged the country to actively demonstrate its will to ‘turn page’ on its stance so far. Secretariat General of Information: About Greece- History of Modern Greece ; Greek News Agenda: Tearing Down the Barriers; Kathimerini Daily: Christofias and Talat exchange olive branches; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Cyprus- The Parameters of the Problem and the Solution

UN Market for Greek Businesses

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Within the framework of the “partnership for outward – looking business” initiative (“A Global Market Place in Greece”), the Special Secretariat for the Development of International Programmes is organising a three-day educational seminar on June 15-17. The seminar aims at equipping Greek businesses with the right tools to enter the developing UN global marketplace.  During the seminar, registered businesses will have an opportunity to follow introductory presentations regarding each given market’s capacities and have one-to-one talks with experienced and specialised councillors by key UN procurement agencies.  Greek businesses will be advised on how to promote their profile and increase the possibilities of being granted a public procurement contract by the United Nations.  Special Secretary Alexis Galinos stressed: “With the right tools, such as timely information, networking and continuous support, Greek businesses will be able to acquaint themselves with the procedures and the terms of tender in order to claim a better share in this particular market”.

Greek Screening at Cannes

(GREEEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Cannes Film Festival opens its gates for its 62nd edition from May 13 to 24. Greece will be represented by Giorgos Lanthimos’ film titled “Dogtooth” in the “Un Certain Regard” section.  The film tells the story of a mysterious family living in a house outside the city, where the children have no contact with the outside world. Thirty-six-year-old director Giorgos Lanthimos has so far filmed three movies and one of them – “Kinetta” – was selected for 2005 Berlin Festival’s Forum, the Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for the Thessaloniki International Film Festival’s “Golden Alexander” (2005).  Greek Film Centre: Festival de Cannes- Dogtooth

Hellenic Aid to the World

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Greece is a UN “Millennium Development Goals” contributor and grants $501million annually in foreign aid to third world countries, which amounts to 0.16% of its GNI (2007) thus ranking 21st  worldwide in Official Development Assistance (ODA), and aiming at the 2010 European Union target of 0.51%.  Within the new strategy launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aiming at achieving the Millennium Development Goals, Hellenic Aid (www.hellenicaid.gr) promotes humanitarian and food aid programmes provided by N.G.O.s and volunteerism, as well as co-operation among national N.G.O.’s taking action in developing countries. Developed countries (according to the 2007/2008 UN Human Development report, Greece ranks 24th out of 177 countries), nowadays, form a rather small minority within the international community. The developing world still constitutes the majority of the globe’s population, living under conditions of extreme poverty. espite the improvement of certain general living conditions as well as the increase of the global wealth and technological potential, this part of the world remains extremely vulnerable to diseases, natural disasters, and state authoritarianism. On November 26, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries have reaffirmed their commitments on aid to developing countries and undertaken to abstain from trade protectionism, as part of a concerted drive to shore up the world economy and combat recession. OCDE: Greece – Aid at a Glance Chart &  Updated [25 November 2008] Donor Aid Charts (2006-2007) & Official Development Assistance by Donor & Debt Relief is down: Other ODA rises slightly  Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Economic Diplomacy and International Development Aid

Children’s Rights in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     On the occasion of the celebration of Universal Children’s Day (November 20) to commemorate the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the National Children’s Rights Observatory of the Secretariat General for Youth and the Children’s Rights Ombudsman in Greece are jointly organising the conference “Children’s Rights in Greece of 21st century.” The conference will be held in Athens on November 22 – 23, 2008, as part of the campaign for the protection and reinforcement of children’s rights and for the promotion of the UN Convention. Secretariat General of Information: About Greece-Youth

Karamanlis Chair at Fletcher School

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Alexandros Yannis, is from September 2008, the new Constantine Karamanlis Associate Professor at the Fletcher School in Boston. Professor Alexandros Yannis has extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy with the European Union and the United Nations; including working with the European Union Special Envoy to Somalia (1994-1997), the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in Kosovo (1999-2000) and in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva (2001).  The Constantine Karamanlis Chair in Hellenic and Southeastern European Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy is committed to promoting Hellenic and Southeast European Studies in the US while honoring a towering figure of Greece’s recent past. The Karamanlis Chair brings academic scholars to The Fletcher School and the Tufts University community, encouraging a renewed focus on modern Greece, Southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the European Union and the crucial role these regions play in world politics. The Chair’s endowment provides a basis for scholars to teach the lessons of Greece and Southeastern Europe through history and culture as well as economics and politics. Karamanlis Chair @ Fletcher: Working Papers in Hellenic & European Studies

Greece’s Relations with Serbia

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met her Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic in Athens on Thursday for talks ahead of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly. As expected, issues topping the ministers’ agenda included the major challenges facing the Balkan region, such as the status of Kosovo and Serbia’s Euro-Atlantic course.  Outlining Greece’s positions with respect to Serbia, Bakoyannis said Athens was “proceeding with exceedingly cautious steps and would continue in this way.”  On Kosovo, in particular, she emphasised the need to improve the quality of daily life in the region, especially for minorities, and regardless of the governing regime. The European Union Rule of Law Mission – EULEX– was an important factor in this direction, she added.  Regarding Serbia’s relations with the European Union, the minister said Greece was playing a key role in speeding up the strengthening of EU-Serbia ties, while she expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between Belgrade and the International War Tribunal, noting that the latest developments opened the way for greater rapprochement with the EU. “The next step will be for Serbia to apply for accession to the EU,” she noted, adding that Belgrade would have Greece’s full support for this step.  Bakoyannis also referred to the very good bilateral relations between Greece and Serbia, especially in the area of developmental cooperation. She said Greece had so far disbursed €235 million from an overall budget of €550 million under the Hellenic Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans, with priority given to completing Pan-European (roadway) Corridor X linking Thessaloniki with Belgrade and central Europe. Athens News Agency: Serbian FM in Athens; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Statements of FM Bakoyannis and her Serbian counterpart, Vuk Jeremic, following their meeting 

Name Issue of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Referring to to the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and the possibility of failure to resolve the thorny “name issue“, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis warned on Friday that “no solution means no invitation”. This would mean that should the issue not be resolved, FYROM is not to receive an invitation for membership in NATO and the EU, where Greece is a veto-wielding member. 
“Without a mutually acceptable solution, there can be no relations like allies; there can be no invitation to the neighbouring country for participation in the same alliance,” Karamanlis stated in Parliament.
UN mediator Matthew Nimetz is expected to invite both parties for a new round of talks, soon. Continue reading

Name Issue of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The Greek government said on Thursday that it had formulated its assessment of UN envoy Matthew Nimetz’s new proposals aimed at solving the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) name issue and was ready to move on to the next step of negotiations. “Following a comprehensive study…the government has finalised its objections, observations and proposed changes to the proposal,” stated foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos. Continue reading