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Greece – USA Relations

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis had a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg on May 15.  During a long meeting with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, the latter briefed Steinberg on a series of regional issues, including matters related to the Aegean, the Balkans, Greek-Turkish relations, Cyprus and the FYROM “name issue.”  On his part, Steinberg cited Greece’s pivotal role as a United States partner in Southeastern Europe and in international affairs, stressing Greece’s contribution in Afghanistan and in the efforts to deal with many global challenges, ranging from piracy to non proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Finally, Steinberg was pleased to announce that the visa waiver programme is being reviewed, bringing the existing bilateral relations one step forward.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-USA bilateral relations

Opportunities for Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Secretary General of Information Panos Livadas  visited the USA (Chicago, Atlanta, Washington) last  week (February 2-6). During his visit, Livadas holded a series of meetings with government officials, representatives of Greek diaspora organizations and the media. In Chicago, the Secretary General  met with the state of Illinois Finance minister, Alexi Giannoulias and the city’s mayor, Richard Daley. In Atlanta, Livadas spoke at the Southern Center for International Studies, on “New Opportunities in Southeastern Europe – The Role of Greecewhile in Washington he will give a lecture at the Woodrow Wilson Center on “Global crisis: Greek resilience in turbulent times.”

Karamanlis – Obama hold telephone talks

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis held a telephone conversation with U.S. President-elect Barakaramanliskaramanlis1ck Obama yesterday, congratulating him on his election and stressing that he is looking forward to meeting him in the near future. Karamanlis told Obama that he appreciates the clear and steadfast position which he has expressed on a number of issues of Greek interest and added that he hopes for the bilateral cooperation to be reinforced even further, especially through the Greek-American Community which has so far contributed immensely to this end. On his part, Obama thanked the prime minister and underlined his esteem for the work of the Greek-American Community, members of which have been already placed in high ranks of his team. He further acknowledged Greece’s role in crafting solutions to many European issues and expressed his will to visit the country in the future. (The picture is from Karamanlis’ first official visit to the United States as Prime Minister in 2004)  Athens News Agency: Karamanlis, Obama hold telephone conversation; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-USA bilateral relations; World Council of Hellenes Abroad: USA Region

Traces of an Ancient Greek Colony

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of excavations in Emporion, the Cervantes Institute in Athens, the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Catalonia and the Hellenic American Union (HAU) are organising a series of events and panel discussions with the participation of experts from both Spain and Greece. The events, under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture, take place from November 25 to November 28, at the HAU. Emporion (market for Greek), the ancient Phocian colony along the Mediterranean coastline of Catalonia (Empúries), was the westernmost Greek settlement of ancient world and a gateway for Classical culture into the Iberian Peninsula. After centuries of abandonment and pillaging, the official excavations, which revealed amongst others the great statue of Asclepios (see picture), began in 1908. 

The Flame of Hope for the 2009 was lit in Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    The Flame of Hope for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games was lit on November 12, at a ceremony in Zappeion Hall, Athens. In keeping with the Olympic tradition, the torch was lit by the sun’s rays before embarking on a three-month journey around the world to Idaho, USA, the site of the next World Games (www.2009worldgames.org). Almost 3,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from more than 100 countries will participate in Special Olympics World Winter Games to be held from February 7 to 13, 2009.  After Athens the first stop for the torch will be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It will then continue around the world, making stops in Poland, Costa Rica, South Africa, India, China and three cities in the United States – Miami, New York and Los Angeles. On January 27, 2009 the flame will reach Idaho, USA, to begin the Torch Relay‘s final leg through many cities in Idaho before arriving at the Opening Ceremony for the World Winter Games on February 7. The 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games will be held in Athens, Greece.  Special Olympics Hellas: www.specialolympicshellas.gr (in Greek)

Greek NASA’s Scientist Honored

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    On August 8, the Prefecture of Grevena will honour Thanasis Economou, a scientist whose name is linked with most of NASA’s 50 years if history. Born in Grevena Greece, Economou left the country in the early years after the WWII. In 1964, he finished his studies in nuclear physics at Charles University in Prague and in the same year, he joined the Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research at the University of Chicago, which he never left. Economou started working for NASA again in 1964, its youngest scientist at the time. As early as in 1966, he contributed to NASA’s missions to the Moon (1966-1968 ) and in subsequent endeavours such as NASA’s Apollo program (1961-1975). Throughout his career, he has developed tools and techniques that enabled several of NASA’s famous missions to be carried out successfully, such as the latest Mars Pathfinder mission (1993-1997). Today, Economou is pleased with his achievements and often says that when people ask him about the most impressive image of space, the answer he gives back is the Earth, adding that this valuable commodity that is called ‘environment’ is in need of our protection and respect.

AHEPA Convention in Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The 86th annual American Hellenic Educational & Progressive Association‘s (AHEPA) supreme convention commenced in Athens yesterday.The Greek capital is hosting the largest and oldest Greek-American organisation’s main event, for the first time after 38 years. The AHEPA members from Australiasia, Canada, Greece and Cyprus are attending the event in Athens from July 1 to 12 and in Cyprus from July 13 to 15. Addressing the opening ceremony, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis congratulated the Organisation for its valuable contribution to the Greek culture, adding that AHEPA members are genuine ambassadors of the Greek spirit abroad. On his part, the Minister of Economy and Finance George Alogoskoufis highlighted the business opportunities emerging in Greece, focusing on the foreign investments.  AHEPA is the largest and oldest American-based, Greek heritage grassroots membership organization.  It was founded in the United States of America in 1922. Convention Programme; Secretariat General of Information: Links Library-Greek Diaspora & About Greece, Greeks Abroad