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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)

Greece: Attracting Tourism Development

Greece ranked 29th among a total of 139 countries in a survey conducted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) regarding competitiveness for the tourism sector.
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report is issued annually and grades countries on a total of 60 indicators, including policy regulations, resources, safety, prices and environmental protection. According to the survey, Greece benefits from its rich cultural resources (ranked 25th), excellent health and hygiene (20th), and a top-notch tourism infrastructure (5th). Further on, the report refers to the country’s strong national affinity for tourism (compared with many other European countries), including a generally open and positive attitude toward tourists (26th). The report ranks Greece 21st among European countries.
World Economic Forum: 2011 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Ομιλία του πρωθυπουργού Γιώργου Παπανδρέου στην συνάντηση των προϊσταμένων Γραφείων Τύπου Εξωτερικού

Την Δευτέρα, 17 Ιανουαρίου 2011, πραγματοποιήθηκε στην αίθουσα Εκδηλώσεων (Κέντρου Τύπου) της Γενικής Γραμματείας Επικοινωνίας – Γενικής Γραμματείας Ενημέρωσης η συνάντηση των προϊσταμένων ΓΤΕ και Γραφείων ΕΟΤ, στις εργασίες της οποίας παρέστη ο Πρωθυπουργός, κ. Γιώργος Παπανδρέου. Η ομιλία του Πρωθυπουργού επικεντρώθηκε στην Ελλάδα που αλλάζει και στην ανάδειξη της κρίσης – και της αρνητικής για την χώρα μας δημοσιότητας που την συνόδεψε – ως μιας ευκαιρίας για την οικοδόμηση μιας νέας ταυτότητας που θα επιανατοποθετεί την Ελλάδα στον κόσμο. Προσδιόρισε επίσης τον ρόλο που θα έχουν τα Γραφεία Τύπου και Επικονωνίας στο πλαίσιο της σημερινής συγκυρίας.
Παρατίθεται ολόκληρο το κείμενο της ομιλίας.
(Πηγή: Forum Διεθνούς Επικοινωνιακής Πολιτικής icp-forum.gr)

PM George Papandreou: A Year of Consolidation and Reform

Greece’s image at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos was “positive”, Prime Minister George Papandreou said on January 28, on the sidelines of the forum. As Papandreou said, there was across-the-board acknowledgement of Greece’s efforts and of the Greek people’s and government’s determination to carry on with the reforms.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the Austrian newspaper Die Presse, Papandreou reiterated that debt restructuring is not an option for Greece stressing the efforts to achieve an extension of the repayment period of the EU-IMF loans.
See also: A year of consolidation and reform – Greece meets ambitious targets in 2010
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Acropolis Museum receives British award

The Acropolis Museum in Athens (see Photo Gallery) has won the British Guild of Travel Writers (BGTW) prestigious global award for the Best Worldwide Tourism Project for 2010.
The prize was presented to Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister George Nikitiades, during a ceremony in London on November 7.
Nikitiades thanked the organizers and the travel writers who voted for the Acropolis Museum, noting that this distinction opens the door for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to their home.
Nikitiades is currently in London with a Greek National Tourism Organisation delegation to participate at the World Travel Market fair, taking place from November 8 to 11.
Greek News Agenda (29.10.2010) Acropolis Museum: Best Overseas Tourism Project

Αγώνες Special Olympics στην Πολωνία (18-24/9/2010)-Ελληνική συμμετοχή

Από τις 18 ως τις 24 Σεπτεμβρίου πραγματοποιήθηκαν στη Βαρσοβία οι Ευρωπαϊκοί Αγώνες Special Olympics, με την συμμετοχή 1.600 αθλητών από 57 χώρες της Ευρώπης και της Ευρασίας.
Στους αγώνες συμμετείχε και ελληνική αποστολή 86 αθλητών, δηλώνοντας με την παρουσία της – πέρα από το μήνυμα της αποδοχής της διαφορετικότητας και της ενθάρρυνσης της συμμετοχής ατόμων με διανοητική αναπηρία σε κοινωνικές και αθλητικές δραστηριότητες – την ενεργό προετοιμασία της Ελλάδας για τους επόμενους Παγκόσμιους Αγώνες Special Olympics (XIII Special Olympics World Summer Games) που θα πραγματοποιηθούν στην Αθήνα το καλοκαίρι του 2011.
Στην τελετή έναρξης των Αγώνων Special Olympics στις 18 Σεπτεμβρίου, παρευρέθηκε και ο έλληνας ευρωβουλευτής Γιώργος Σταυρακάκης, ο οποίος σημείωσε ότι η «Φλόγα της Ελπίδας» μετά την αφή της στην Αλεξανδρούπολη στις 5 Σεπτεμβρίου ταξίδεψε  σε οκτώ ευρωπαϊκές πόλεις για να φθάσει τελικά στη Βαρσοβία για την τελετή έναρξης των Αγώνων.
Ο κ. Σταυρακάκης υπογράμμισε την σημασία των Αγώνων Special Olympics ως το μεγαλύτερο αθλητικό γεγονός για άτομα με διανοητικές δυσκολίες, τονίζοντας την αναγκαιότητα στήριξης –και μέσω του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου- των προσεχών Παγκόσμιων Αγώνων Special Olympics στην Αθήνα, που στόχο έχουν όχι μόνο να ενισχύσουν περαιτέρω τα ολυμπιακά ιδεώδη της άμιλλας και του εθελοντισμού, αλλά και να βοηθήσουν στην ένταξη στο κοινωνικό σύνολο περιθωριοποιημένων ανθρώπων, καθώς και στην κοινωνική συνοχή.

Russia honours Polish director Andrzej Wajda

Polish film director Andrzej Wajda has been awarded an Order of Friendship by Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, the Kremlin informed Tuesday.
The Order of Friendship is one of the highest Russian distinctions.
Kremlin spokesmen said Wajda was granted the Order for his contributions to Russian-Polish cultural ties.
Wajda, 84, one of the founders of the so-called “Polish film school” in the 1950s and 60s, won world fame with his epic works Man of Marble and Man of Iron, in which he criticized Stalinism. Wajda has received numerous international awards for his films, including a lifework Oscar in 2000.
Earlier this year Wajda’s film Katyn about 1940 mass executions of Poles in Katyn Forest, west Russia, evoked broad reactions in Russia. Wajda said at the time that he had been personally involved in the film as his father had been among  the Katyn victims.
(PAP, 11/8/2010)

Greek Language Learning

On Line Learning
The Filoglossia+ consists of an educational multimedia CD-ROMs series for learning Greek as a foreign language, supported by English and addressed to beginners with little or no previous knowledge of Greek.
“Filoglossia” means fondness for language learning and the programme is mainly based on the communicative approach, focusing on the production and comprehension of both oral and written speech. “Filoglossia” is designed by the Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP).

Looking Ahead
A new strategic plan for the support of Greek language learning in Greece and abroad was the focus of debates at an International Workshop on Greek Language and Linguistic Training, organized by the Centre for the Greek Language held from June 28 to 30 in Thessaloniki, with the participation of 60 Greek and Foreign linguists.
On the occasion, Education, Life-long Learning and Religious Affairs minister Anna Diamantopoulou said that the establishment of a National Council for the Greek Language would help draw a comprehensive strategy.
Creating an organization, similar to the German Goethe Institute or the British Council, which would operate with branches around the world could be an important vehicle to promote Greek language, culture, and history learning. The minister also announced that a conference is to be held in October focusing on the Education of the Diaspora.

• Learn a Greek Word Every Day!

It has been observed that relations of the Diaspora with the Greek language have been weakening over the years – especially with second and third generation migrants.
To help redress this, three friends from Chicago have designed an on-line Greek dictionary aiming to help English-speaking emigrants keep in touch with the language of the forefathers.
Greektionary.com was created to provide everyone with an opportunity to improve their Greek vocabulary on a daily basis.
Three words (beginner, intermediate and advanced) are chosen each day and displayed with their translations, pronunciation, examples, and recorded audio files (Mp3s). Those interested can sign-up and receive free Greek words everyday by e-mail!
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Συνέντευξη του πολωνού ποιητή Άνταμ Ζαγκαγιέβσκι στην “Ελευθεροτυπία”

Ανταμ Ζαγκαγιέβσκι «Οι πολιτικοί ας αφήσουν την Ιστορία στους ποιητές»
Ο Ανταμ Ζαγκαγιέβσκι είναι ο κορυφαίος Πολωνός ποιητής των ημερών μας και ένας από τους -πολλούς και ενδιαφέροντες- προσκεκλημένους στο Πρώτο Διεθνές Λογοτεχνικό Φεστιβάλ Τήνου ( 29, 30 και 31 Ιουλίου ). Στη συνέντευξή του στην «Ε», ο Ανταμ Ζαγκαγιέβσκι μιλά για την ποίηση, τη μνήμη, την Ιστορία, την πολιτική και τη διαδικασία της σύνθεσης απόψεων που πάντοτε οδηγεί σε καλύτερα αποτελέσματα από τον τυφλό φανατισμό.
Προ τριμήνου ένα μεγάλο μέρος της πολωνικής ηγεσίας χάθηκε σε αεροπορικό δυστύχημα ενώ προ εικοσαημέρου εξελέγη νέος Πολωνός προέδρος, ο Κομορόφσκι. Πώς είναι τώρα τα πράγματα στην Πολωνία; Είχε προηγηθεί η διακυβέρνηση της χώρας από τους αδελφούς Κατζίνσκι, οι οποίοι ήταν φιλοαμερικανοί και εχθρικοί τόσο προς τη Ρωσία όσο και προς τη Γερμανία και την Ευρώπη. Continue reading

Tourism campaign “You in Greece”

Greek tourism is about to be given an image boost – through the launch of the latest advertising campaign “You in Greece.”
The campaign aims to promote the country as an attractive tourist destination, but also provide the media with useful statistics on tourism, while shedding light on little known information regarding this year’s tourism prospects.
Visit Greece at: www.visitgreece.gr

» This Summer, We Travel to Greece
Another goal is to appeal to the Greek Diaspora to visit and promote Greece abroad.

A two-month campaign has been launched under the motto “This Summer We Travel to Greece” by the bilingual Greek-American newspaper “Greek News” addressed to the Diaspora Greeks, and philhellenes.

» 2010 Reasons to Visit Greece

The exhibition titled “2010 reasons to visit Greece” is taking place once again at London’s Harrods department store. The Secretary – General of the World Tourism Organisation, Taleb Rifai, called Greece “one of the most important destinations in the world and a point of reference for us all.”

» So Far Yet So Close

Boundaries in the Chinese market seem to be lifted one by one as increasingly more Chinese explore Greece every year.

Last year, 48 million Chinese travelled abroad but only one million visited Europe.
Chinese tour operators expect this number to increase in the future, stressing that Greece should consider capitalizing on educational tourism.
Visit Greece: “Kalimera” (Good morning)
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Cacoyannis Foundation: A new Cultural Centre

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias and Cyprus President Demetris Christofias officially inaugurated on March 9, the “Michael Cacoyannis Foundation,” housed in an Athens downtown building.
The Foundation’s building is designed to serve as a cultural centre for performing arts and is meant to preserve Cacoyannis oeuvre for future generation.
The official inauguration is to be followed by a series of events, including a costume and photography exhibition from Cacoyannis’s work for the cinema, opera and theatre.
Cypriot-born Michael Cacoyannis is the director of world acclaimed films, among which Stella, Electra, Zorba the Greek and The Trojan Women
Athens News (5.3.2010) Cacoyannis’ cultural centre

Online petition to save department of Greek Studies at King`s College London

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A petition has been submitted in an effort to persuade King’s College London not to dismantle the department of Byzantine & Modern Greek Studies at the university.
“We would like to express our deep concerns over the projected dismemberment of the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at King’s College London. […]

The great strength of King’s has always been that it is the only university in the UK to offer a combined programme in Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, thus  emphasising the importance of continuity through the centuries,” reads the petition which may be found at:
http://www.petitiononline.com/sdbmgs10/petition.html
Foundation of the Hellenic World:  The Byzantine Empire &  
Modern Greek Studies Association: www.mgsa.org & European Society for Modern Greek Studies: www.eens.org

Greece`s Ottoman Past

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Approximately six hundred relics of the Ottoman period were found in Greece, according to a research study, conducted by the Istanbul-based Marmara University Professor Neval Konouk, during the last 2,5 years, commissioned by the Turkish ministry for Foreign Affairs, in 2007. 

According to Dr. Konouk’s comments to the Turkish daily Aksam on February 8, the complete survey will take the form of eight volumes, when completed in 2015, and the texts will be in Turkish, English and Greek.  
According to her research, much more Ottoman relics have been preserved, than originally considered.
As Dr. Konouk noted, “a tenth of the Ottoman relics located in Greece, representing 600 cases in total, have been saved.”  
In a relative development, the Greek Ministry of Culture has published in Greek and English, a 494 – pages special volume, titled “Ottoman Architecture in Greece.”
Institute for Neohellenic Research: Ottoman Epigraphy; Foundation of the Hellenic World: Ottoman Period

The “Economist” Conference

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A much timely “Economist” Conference was addressed yesterday by the country’s leadership and experts from the financial and business world.

Taking the floor, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou availed himself of the opportunity to note that Greece’s fiscal problems are also an issue for the entire eurozone and marked that a spill-over effect will not leave other eurozone countries unaffected, especially those which are as vulnerable as Greece.
The remarks were reported one day before the European Commission announces its recommendations on the country’s stability programme , which is most likely to receive European approval.   

» “Deficit Fetishism is a Mistake”
Addressing the Conference (Discussion and Debate with Joseph Stiglitz on the World Economy 2010), Nobel Economics Laureate 2001, former Senior Vice President of the World Bank, and Professor at Columbia University Joseph Stiglitz, dismissed fears that Greece will go bankrupt, adding that, when struggling with recession, governments ought to be careful with their rectifying measures.
“Cutting deficits in the wrong way can be counterproductive.”
Kathimerini daily: Greek woes are a eurozone issue

PM George Papandreou at the World Economic Forum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Speaking as part of a panel – that also included Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet – at the annual World Economic Forum taking place in Davos, Switzerland (January 27 -31), Prime Minister George Papandreou said that Greece would not leave the euro area and would use the discipline of membership to slash its budget deficit and make long-delayed structural economic reforms. “The answer is very simple. We went [to the market] for borrowing two days ago and we were five times oversubscribed. We’re not looking for money from anywhere else…” said Papandreou. He outlined an ambitious goal to reduce the deficit by four points this year and bring it below 3% by 2012, through measures taken as part of Greece’s Stability and Growth Programme (SGP)
The premier held a meeting with EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia yesterday, and the discussion focused on Greece’s SGP in light of the report that the European Commission will be submitting on February 3, on Greece. 
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso – speaking in Brussels on Thursday – stressed the need for the greater coordination of economic policies in the EU, emphasising that economic policies are not only a national issue, but European as well. Referring to Greece specifically, he expressed the conviction that the Greek government must be supported in its effort to fulfil its commitments in the framework of the SGP. 
See world reports – BBC.co.uk: Davos 2010: Greece denies a bail-out is needed; Reuters.com: Greece says being targeted as euro zone “weak link”

President @ World Future Energy Summit

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) A change of the energy and development model with extensive use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) could decisively contribute to combating inequalities and advancing social cohesion at local, regional, national and global level, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias said yesterday (January 18), addressing the 3rd World Future Energy Summit, that opened in Abu Dhabi, UAE (January 18-21).

Papoulias – a keynote speaker at the summit- stressed that “global leaders are obliged to respond to the climate challenge, and, instead of limiting themselves to a ‘least common denominator’ agreement, they should proceed to a global, comprehensive, and legally binding agreement with specific targets and timetables.”
Every crisis entails an opportunity, and this crisis entails an opportunity for the adoption of policies and measures for the promotion of RES and energy efficiency, which can play a decisive role in the global economy’s exit from the crisis and a speedier recovery, the President noted.

» Papoulias – Erdogan Meeting

On the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit, Papoulias met with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan, who was also a keynote speaker at the summit.
The two leaders held a private 40-minute meeting during which Papoulias informed the Turkish premier that an answer to his letter to the Greek Prime Minister is to be expected in the next few days, while Erdogan expressed a desire to visit Athens in the near future.

“Apollon”: Athens 2011 Special Olympics Mascot

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Athens will host the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2011. During a press conference held yesterday (December 8), at Zappeion Hall, the Athens 2011 Organising Committee launched “Apollon,” the Games’ mascot, a radiant sun named after the God of Sun in Greek mythology.
The sun was chosen as “a source of life that underlines the excellence and power of the athletes participating in the Games,” said Ioanna Despotopoulou, President of the 2011 Athens Special Olympics Organising Committee.
With the slogan “I AM IN,” “Apollon” invites all people to join the “Wonderful Winning World” of the Games.
The launch of the Games’ mascot marks the countdown to the Athens 2011 Special Olympics, a leading sports event to be held from June 25 to July 4, gathering 7,500 athletes from 185 countries. 
You Tube: Athens 2011 Masco
“Apollon”
  & Promo Video

Greece: Economy & Finance

» BoG Governor on Budget Deficit

The strong parliamentary majority of the new government will enable it to move ahead with much needed reforms in the economy combined with a growth agenda, Bank of Greece Governor George Provopoulos said  October 6.  Speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Istanbul, Provopoulos also warned that the budget deficit will be considerably higher than 6%, possibly reaching 10% of the GDP for 2009. Brussels is expected to publish its own estimates on the Greek budget and economy in the Commission’s fall report on November 3.  Kathimerini daily: Deficit seen above 10pct mark

» Investing in Gold

European Goldfields, a Canada-based resource company involved in the exploration, acquisition, mining, and development of mineral properties in Greece, Romania and South-East Europe, has won preliminary approval to develop two projects in the Olympias and Skouries mines, in northeastern Greece. It is expected that an output of 420,000 ounces of gold from 2012 onwards, will double current European gold production.  Kathimerini daily: Gold mine projects move ahead

“Dialogue of Civilizations” Concludes

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The 7th Annual Session of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” concluded on the Dodecanese island of Rhodes yesterday (October 13) with the adoption of the “2009 Rhodes Declaration.”  The event was attended by 500 delegates from 70 countries and among the messages read out was one by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who praised the positive impact of the annual forum on several international and regional mechanisms and in developing relations between civil societies in many countries.  In its final meeting, the Forum decided to hold its 8th annual session on Rhodes once more, on October 7-10, 2010.

Dive in at Vouliagmeni Lakr

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The eighth and final round, or ‘stop’ of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2009 was held at Vouliagmeni Lake, near Athens, on September 20.  The ruins of Poseidon’s Temple at nearby Sounio served as an impressive backdrop for a synchronised 21 metre helicopter dive, before the closely contested final: only nine points separated the two top contenders, Orlando Duque of Colombia and Gary Hunt (shown in photo) of Britain.   The World Series began in May, in La Rochelle France, and continued in Rotterdam (Netherlands), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Polignano a Mare (Italy), Antalya (Turkey), Hamburg (Germany), and Sisikon (Switzerland), before the Vouliagmeni final.