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Greek foreign policy in 2010

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas outlined Greece’s foreign policy priorities for 2010 during a press conference held yesterday.

Together with Deputy Minister Spyros Kouvelis, Droutsas highlighted that protecting Greece’s sovereignty and putting an end to past inertia will constitute the ultimate objective for the country’s foreign policy.
Referring to issues of particular national interest, Droutsas stressed that Greece has conveyed a message of friendship and peace to Turkey and expects the latter to respond to it.
The alternate minister mentioned the possibility of a meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister sometime in the near future.
On the Cyprus issue, underlined the government’s commitment to actively helping Cyprus with actions rather than words, pointing out that the first foreign visit carried out by Prime Minister George Papandreou had been to Cyprus.
As regards to the country’s relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the alternate minister reiterated that Greece enters negotiations with an open mind and keeps an edifying stance on the matter.
Droutsas pointed out that in the communiqué forwarded by the European Union in December, it was made clear that Greece’s support to FYROM’s European course depends on reaching a viable solution to the name issue.
Greek News Agenda:  Greek Foreign Policy- Challenges and Prospects

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Greece has a Strong Case on the Name Issue

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was briefed yesterday on Foreign Yugoslav’s Republic of Macedonia’s decision to lodge an appeal with the International Court of Justice in The Hague, claiming that Greece violated the 1995 bilateral interim accord during last year’s NATO Bucharest summit.

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stressed that Greece has a strong case, which will support before the Court, putting forward its arguments by January 2010.  “It will be a long process but Greece has strong defense arguments, which will prove that the real problem lies in Skopje‘s intransigence”. She further called on Skopje to enter the name negotiations in good faith in order to fund a mutually acceptable name. 

Greece: Maria Callas Honored by the Prespes Festival

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The 2008 Prespes festival celebrated its 20 years of life on August 29-30. As is the case every year, events were held in the remains of the basilica on the island of Aghios Achilleios in the Mikri Prespa lake. This year’s festival was of special importance, given that guests included President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis – Bakoyannis sent a message of friendship and collaboration to neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  An exhibition of Maria Callas memorabilia opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the city of Florina. Showcasing Maria Callas memorabilia (previously on display at the Greek Parliament in Athens), the exhibition was inaugurated in the presence of choreographer Maria Hors and curated by acclaimed set designer Yiannis Metzikoff. During the opening ceremony, President Papoulias honoured filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos, whose work has often been set in the region’s remote landscapes. The programme featured tributes to Greek songwriters Vassilis Tsitsanis and Stelios Kazantzidis among other events, while participants included Dionysis Savvopoulos, Eleni Karaindrou and Goran Bregovic. Kathimerini daily: Art and Politics Come Together at Prespes Festival