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[Laboratory K ]
Leonid Gav, Archeologist: “We have started to find in sea thicknesses one after another of various fragments and anchors. F irst even I have thought that this cemetery of the ships near underwater reeves.” Head of mobile laboratory “Kosmopoisk” Leonid Gav makes comments on the first impressions of scientists. “However, at detailed underwater survey of a bay the found stone blocks, ballast stones, stones for sharpening for swords have been found. After that, it became clear that here there ancient port artifacts was a small port. We found possibly ancient Greek port. These 2 lead wood-stone anchors Same orb(with poluses) was founded in 1997 by russian explorer Yuri Senkevich and Thor Heyerdahl during Ra expedition. anchors, confirmed that the place was a port since ancient times. It is very convenient for parking of the ships. Flooded further, today it is in three hundred metres from a natural bay and a beach. It lays literally near by beach of local residents. Certainly, the most of them demands for more detailed study.
Serbia/Montenegro is recovering rapidly. Greece is highly appreciated in the Arab countries and there is a wish for closer liaisons with Greece. Taking into account the difficulties of many countries to penetrate the region, Greek businesses have the potential of becoming peripheral channels through which western products and services can reach these markets. Source: Hellenic Center for Investment e-News
production in Egypt’s West Obayed desert area, totaling 1,840 square kilometers, the company said in a statement. HELPE had submitted bids for two of the 13 areas in the round of concessions opened for bidding by the Egyptian Petroleum Corporation last year. The company’s contractual obligations for the first three years of the exploration period include the conducting of seismic tests and three drills. The first is expected in June 2007. Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and the chairmen of HELPE, Timos Christodoulou, and of Public Gas Corporation, Asimakis Papageorgiou, have also been discussing energy issues with officials in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain while accompanying President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on his visit to these countries.
South East Europe: A Great Leap Forward
Adventure Sports Suit in Greece
Greece is seeking a place among nations hosting adventure and extreme sports competitions. The mountain bike race Thasos Cup on the island of Thasos with, in which athletes rode 53 exhausting kilometers to the peak of 1,204-meter-high Mount Ypsari. On May 6 and 7, the World Mountain Bike Marathon Cup is to be held in the foothills of Mt Vermio, in northern Greece under the auspices of the International Cycling Federation. The number of competitors in the third Olympus Marathon, to begin on June 25, is expected to be double that of last year. It is one of the most difficult races of its kind, over 43km, of which 36 are on narrow, rugged paths at heights of 2,780 meters. Mountain marathons on the island of Alonnissos and in Nemea ancient site are to follow.
“Impressive progress was made within the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) framework while the ongoing summit constitutes a qualitative and quantitative leap,” Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis told a press conference after member-states’ foreign ministers met in Thessaloniki on Wednesday.
Greece’s Chairmanship-in-Office of the SEECP was characterized as very positive, and in passing the chairmanship to Croatia, Bakoyannis said that during its six-month presidency Greece moved along two axes: the strengthening of regional cooperation as well as the European prospect of the SEECP countries. A decision on the signing of a free trade agreement concerning the SEECP non-EU members was reached to replace a complex network of 31 bilateral free trade agreements. The foreign ministers also concluded that implementation of the Thessaloniki agenda for the Western Balkans, should become more productive.
Bakoyannis stressed that the institutional upgrading of the SEECP is necessary and underlined that the European Union should offer this opportunity to the SEECP, given the imminent changes in the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe. The establishment of a SEECP Secretariat is placed within this framework. According to the Declaration signed by the foreign ministers, a formal liaison is to be established between the SEECP and the EU. On the Kosovo issue, Bakoyannis stressed that the desirable solution should be one that will promote regional stability and security and that efforts will continue so that the SEECP views will be taken into consideration by the international community when decision time arrives. The SEECP heads of state and governments summit is due to convene today.
Over 2000 journalists will cover the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens (18-20 May). The Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) reports that a record number of media applications have been approved this year. Greece’s representative Anna Vissi is currently touring Europe to promote her song “Everything”. She continues to score well in fan polls and many bookmakers seem to offer evershorter odds on Greece winning for a second consecutive year.
What is European Corridor X?
Transport and Communications Minister Michalis Liapis and his Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) counterpart Xhemali Mehazi met Wednesday ahead of the meeting of the SEECP transport ministers. Liapis and Mehazi discussed the construction of the European Corridor X’s road and rail network and particularly those segments that will be located in FYROM and to which Greece will contribute. Liapis and Mehazi will sign a protocol facilitating cross-border passage on the Corridor X in June. Info: Greece’s Transport Policy in South East Europe
South East Europe: A Bird’s view by the Greek Premier
Gas Concession in Egypt
Greece’s biggest oil refiner, Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE), has won a concession for oil exploration and
The heads of state and government of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) member countries commenced their summit meeting Thursday morning in Thessaloniki, with an opening address by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who outlined the progress and significant successes achieved during Greece’s year-long chairmanship of the group, which was coming to a close. Greece, he said, continued to fully back the European prospect of the region’s countries, and was working consistently in that direction. However, he noted that “European principles and values must be respected, and all the criteria and prerequisites that have been put forward by the EU must be fully implemented.” Karamanlis further said that a uniform free trade agreement among the SEECP countries would give new impetus to trade, referring to a proposal adopted Wednesday at the SEECP foreign ministers’ assembly in Thessaloniki.
Regarding Kosovo, Karamanlis stressed that “the negotiations process for the future status of Kosovo must contribute to the stability and security in South East Europe”. On the sidelines of the summit, Karamanlis and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan reviewed Greek-Turkish relations yesterday, and expressed the desire for further improvement of relations. The political leaderships of the two countries have been encouraging entrepreneurship and the strengthening of trade and business relations, in the framework of economic diplomacy. With respect to Turkey’s EU prospect, which Greece backs, Karamanlis said that EU membership was dependent on the specific commitments set out by the EU. Ankara needs to proceed in fulfilling the commitments it has undertaken towards the EU, such as matters concerning religious freedoms.
Happening In Greece
Two internationally distinguished leaders in management, Dr. Tom Peters and Professor Richard Boyatzis, will speak at the Greek Leadership Congress, organized by the Association of Chief Executive Officers on Tuesday, May 9 2006. The Greek Leadership Congress has been established as the most important event on management in Greece. It is addressed to businessmen and company executives.
Connecting People by Rail
Transport ministers from SEECP member-states signed a rail agreement in Thessaloniki yesterday, laying out a framework that will allow the creation of an upgraded regional network. The agreement foresees the development of a total of 16 rail axes in the Balkans. The most recent regional rail agreements in the region inaugurated a Thessaloniki-Istanbul and Thessaloniki-Sofia route.
Marine Tourism Plan
Rise in Agricultural Exports
According to provisional data from the National Statistics Service, exports of agricultural products in January-February 2006 totaled 562.2 million euros, up 23% from the same period of 2005. Citing the
Tourism Minister Fani Palli-Petralia on Sunday announced a new programme to boost marine tourism. Under the plan, a map will be drawn up linking areas of historical and cultural value that will be provided with yachting access, the minister told a meeting of the National Tourism Council held on the island of Poros. She noted that priority would be given to 16 sites classified by UNESCO as world heritage, including Mycenae and the old city of Rhodes. In addition, a specialized publicity campaign for marine tourism would be slotted into the ministry’s overall drive to promote Greece abroad, the minister added. According to ministry data, Greece holds a 5% share of the cruise market in Europe, which the government hopes to increase.
Hellenic Foreign Trade Board, the Agriculture and Foods Ministry reports that the product bringing the highest revenue out of 150 products was olive oil, up 107.1%, followed by cotton, which rose by 74.6% against the first two months of 2005.
Greece - Egypt: Gas and Oil
Greece and Egypt on Sunday sealed a cooperation agreement in the natural gas and oil sectors that places emphasis on research and exploration. “This is a historic agreement. The two countries, which are laying the foundations for a new era and opening new avenues in their energy ties, have high expectations of it,” visiting Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said in Cairo.
Under the terms of the two-year pact, a joint committee will be set up to assess the viability of selling and transporting Egyptian natural gas to Greece by means of a pipeline, and from there, to other European countries. Greece is being transformed into a natural gas transportation channel from output countries in the wider region to major European consumption centres.
Tourism Panorama 2006 Trade Fair
“Tourism Panorama 2006”, an exhibit which highlights regions and presents special kinds of tourism, opened its gates in Anthoussa, Athens on Thursday. Launching the exhibition, Tourism Minister Fani PalliPetralia noted that the promotion of tourism investment, coupled with a dynamic publicity campaign, has ensured that growth in internal tourism will be increasingly strong. This year, the fair will focus on the healing-wellness tourism sector, in cooperation with the Association of Greek Municipalities and Communities with Hot Water Springs and with related businesses. Info: Travelling Around Greece
European Social Forum in Athens
The sessions of the 4th European Social Forum got under way in Athens on Thursday and will conclude on Sunday with the movement’s assembly. According to the organizers, approximately 10,000 people from European countries have come to take part in the events. The forum is an annual conference held by members of the movement against “neoliberal globalization” that allows social organizations, NGOs, and peace groups to come together and discuss global issues. Info: Daily program of activities
European Social Forum’s Anti-war Pledge
The 4 European Social Forum that took place in Athens renewed its pledge on Sunday to mobilize for a complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and avert a new war in Iran. At the end of its four-day meeting, the alter-globalization Forum repeated its opposition to the occupation of the Palestinian territories and its backing for nuclear disarmament, also calling for the elimination of military bases in Europe. The Forum announced a week of action from 23 to 30 September 2006 and appealed for a international day of action on October 7, 2006 in Europe and Africa.
A Gold Medal for Greece
Vlasios Maras on Sunday won the gold medal for horizontal bar in the men’s European gymnastics championships held in Volos. Maras’ routine gained the top mark of 15.725. Taking the silver was Russian Sergei Khorokhordan and the bronze, Christoph Schaerrer of Switzerland.
7th International Venture Capital Forum
The “7th International Venture Capital Forum” is a two-day event that will be held in Athens, on June 28 and 29 for entrepreneurs, researchers and technology-based firms in Southeast Europe, particularly from Bulgaria, Cyprus, FYROM, Greece, Israel, Romania, Serbia-Montenegro and Turkey. The event also provides a forum for institutional and other investment professionals to meet with policy makers, entrepreneurs and academics for an open exchange of views and ideas. This forum is now the largest international private equity forum in Southeast Europe.
economic growth will reach 3.5% this year. Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis highlighted the progress achieved in the economy during the previous years, noting that the moderate fiscal policy will continue, as weight will be given to restricting expenses by the public sector. He stressed that there will be continuing efforts for preventing tax evasion, adding that the government’s goal was to bring its fiscal deficit to 2.6% this year. The minister also announced a government program for the unemployed in areas affected by high unemployment rates. Ministry of Economy and Finance: Fact Sheet on the Prospects of the Greek Economy
Summer Courses on Crete
DIAS International Academic Studies is a non-profit organization dedicated to offering students from all over the world the opportunity to attend accredited summer courses at the University of Crete in Rethymno, or the Technical University of Crete in Chania. Students are given the opportunity study modern Greek culture, as well as the influence of Hellenism on other histories and cultures.a
Iranian Visit to Athens
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis is meeting today with Secretary General of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, at the foreign ministry in Athens. The meeting will come in the wake of a surprise development on Monday, as Tehran announced that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had conveyed a letter to US President George Bush proposing “new solutions for getting out of international problems and the current fragile situation of the world.”
Must See In Greece
Not surprisingly, the island of Hydra in the Saronic Gulf has gained the title of the artists’ colony. The gracious stone, white and pastel mansions of Hydra town are stacked up the rocky hillsides that surround the fine natural, steep-sided port. The first foreigners to be seduced by its beauty were the film makers who began arriving in the 1950’s, using the island as a film location. The artists and writers moved in next, followed by the celebrities, and nowadays it seems the whole world is welcomed ashore. The absence of motorized transport, its unique architectural beauty, taken together with its proximity to Athens and its important history have gradually raised the island to the level of an international tourist
EasyCruise to Build Vessels in Greece
EasyCruise and Neorion Holdings S.A. on Monday announced the signing of a letter of intent for the building of four cruise vessels at Neorion Holdings’ two shipyards in Elefsis and Syros. EasyCruise said the ships, with a capacity of 500 passengers each, would be used for cruises to Greek islands.
After a meeting with Stelios Hadjioannou, chairman of easyGroup, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis told reporters that the economic environment in Greece is attractive for large investment plans. The specific investment will strengthen tourism and the country’s shipyards industry with a positive impact on the economy. According to the plan, easyCruise’s vessels will operate weekend and four-day cruises from the Faliro marina to the Cyclades islands.
Greece Partner Country in Bulgarian Fair
Greece is the partner country in Plovdiv’s 26th International Fair of Consumer Goods and Technologies, Bulgaria. Taking part are 60 Greek companies under the aegis of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, and chambers of commerce and trade groups from northern Greece. Greece is Bulgaria’s secondlargest foreign investor.
Europe Day: A Silver Jubiler for Greece
Ahead of Europe Day celebrated today, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis said on Monday that through systematic efforts in recent years, Greece paved the way for other countries in South East Europe aspiring to become members of the European Union: “25 years since it joined the European family, Greece possesses the experience, plays a part and has a say in European developments,” Karamanlis said, adding that the European Union represents today roughly 450 million citizens and a unique mosaic of peoples, which constitutes its strength. “This strength gives Europe a greater voice on the international stage,” he stressed. The premier concluded that the objective is to focus efforts on bringing Europe closer to citizens, and work together with them in building a Europe they envision. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: FAQ on the EU
Turkey and the Greek European Experience
The Hellenic Centre for European Studies in cooperation with the Institute of European Integration and Policy, University of Athens, in the framework of European Commission’s “Plan D” for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate, is organizing a conference on: “Decoding Modern Turkey and the Greek European Experience.” It includes lectures on the “Dynamics of the EU Accession Process”, the “Kantianization of Turkish foreign policy,” and the “Europeanisation of Greek - Turkish Relations.”
Fiscal Deficit is Falling Down
In its spring forecast on Greece’s economic prospects, the European Commission said on Monday that structural measures will be needed to maintain a fiscal deficit below 3 % of the country’s GDP, while
Must See In Greece
The Sporades islands complex stretches out into the Aegean, east of the Pelion peninsula. On the serene Sporades, life still continues along its old rhythms. Tourism has brought prosperity to these islands without affecting much of their traditional lifestyle, especially on the island of Alonissos (www.alonissos.gr). The National Marine Park of Alonissos - unique in Greece - has been created for the protection of the Mediterranean “monk” seal and protects several other rare species of sea life.
Federations and the World Confederation of Messinians Abroad have organized Greek language sons for students (aged 14 to 23) and teachers. summer les-
Competitiveness of Economy Rises
Tourism Investment a Top Priority
Greece’s standing in the world competitiveness table rebounded last year for the first time since 2001, the International Institute for Management Development says in its World Competitiveness Yearbook 2006. Greece climbed to 42nd from 50th place in 2005 among 61 states and regions. The country recorded improvements in the government efficiency index (climbing from 52 to 46), business efficiency (to 47 from 49) and infrastructure (to 33 from 37), but the economic performance index remained unchanged, ranking 49 .
The government has set priority on attracting tourism investment to Greece and boosting business activity in the sector, Tourism Minister Fani Palli-Petralia said on Tuesday. “Already we have ‘unblocked’ investment efforts that are linked to the development law and the (EU) Third Community Support Framework. Concerning the investment law, five-start hotels will be financed throughout Greece, except Athens and Thessaloniki,” she noted. The use of funding from the Fourth Community Support Framework includes plans for the creation of a reception center for investment proposals and business plans at the tourism ministry. The government has forged a long-term policy to tone up demand in tourism products, strengthen supply, and improve services. Legislative bills on spa tourism and agro-tourism are in their final phase and a call centre is being created to answer visitors’ queries in several languages.
Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said that Greece managed to improve its position in the world competitiveness ranking, reversing a five-year decline. He added that this year’s report was the first to solely present figures from the current government’s tenure and Greece surpassed countries such as Portugal, Turkey, South Africa and Jordan, while it recorded the third biggest annual improvement after China and India. Tourism, the IMD centage reserves exports and portfolio investments by foreign funds were the country’s main advantages, said in its report. Greece ranked eighth among 61 countries in tourist activity as a perof GDP, and ninth in export of services, while also ranked 15th in foreign investments’ in equities.
FM Met with Iran’s Nuclear Negotiator
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met with Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani on Tuesday, who reiterated that his country does not seek to develop nuclear weapons or include such weaponry in its defence dogma. Bakoyannis stressed that Greece, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council - backs both the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Security Council’s processes to defuse the ongoing crisis. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Dora Bakoyannis Statements
The Iranian Nuclear Issue
Following a meeting with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, Iranian nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani reiterated in Athens yesterday that his country does not seek to develop nuclear weapons or include such weaponry in its defence dogma. Bakoyannis stressed that Greece - which is currently a non-permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) - backs both the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Security Council’s processes to defuse the ongoing crisis. She emphasized the government’s “sincere expression of its positions” revolving around the need for nuclear non-proliferation. She also said Athens believes the UNSC and IAEA have a “crucial role” to play in the matter, while underlining that the Greek government is aligned with the positions of its partners.
Donation to the UN World Food Program
Deputy Foreign Minister Evripides Stylianidis signed a memorandum of cooperation on Thursday with the UN’s World Food Program, and announced an additional 1.1-million euro donation, thus increasing Greece’s contribution to international aid efforts, which total 1.7 million euros.
International Distinction for Hellas Sat
Managing Director of Hellas Sat, Christodoulos Protopapas, has been elected as vice president of the
Greece to host OECD conference on SMEs
Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis are key organizers in a program promoted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in cooperation with New Zealand. The conference will focus on approving actions and recommendations to abolish hurdles facing small and medium-sized enterprises in efforts to expand activities in international markets. A total of 500 representatives from around 80 countries are expected to participate in the conference.
European Satellite Operators Association (ESOA). According to the company, the election constitutes “confirmation of the strengthened position” held by Greece in European space technology. The ESOA plays an important role in shaping European space policy and represents the interests of satellite organizations in decisions on regulations, political and commercial issues in the space technology sector.
The Peloponesse University in Kalamata in cooperation with the American, Canadian and Australian
“Thrace 2006” Exhibition in Komotini
The 15 “Thrace 2006” Exhibition will open in Komotini, northeast Greece, on May 25-28 with the participation of over 100 exhibitors. It is organized by the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair with the support of the Eastern Macedonia-Thrace Region International Exhibition Center. The goals are to attract dynamic enterprises and foreign exhibitors (mainly from Bulgaria and Turkey).
Council of Europe Awards Olive Initiative
The “Routes of the Olive Tree” cultural itinerary will be awarded the “Major Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” title on May 13, 2006, by Council of Europe General Secretary Maud de Boer-Buquicchio. On the occasion of the award ceremony, an International Forum on the European Cultural Routes will be held at the European Cultural Centre at Delphi. The events are under the auspices of the Culture Ministry within the framework of the “Olive Year 2006.” An internationally recognized initiative carried out in cooperation with other Mediterranean and European countries, the “Routes of the Olive Tree” was declared in 2003 2nd World Cultural Itinerary by UNESCO.
Happening In Greece
The Ecocinema 2006 film festival opens in Athens today and continues until May 17; screenings take place at Apollon filmcenter. The films cover a wide range of vital issues facing the world today - man and the environment, globalization, societies in crisis, and war – and the creative ways that people have found to deal with them.
Alecos Fassianos Exhibit in Beijing
One of Greece’s most acclaimed contemporary painters, Alecos Fassianos, is exhibiting his work in Beijing. The display, entitled “Vivid Myths,” features 50 works in mixed media - paper, cardboards, oil and bronze - along with a 2004 commemorative edition of stamps, as well as paintings and installations the artist designed on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The exhibit opens at the prestigious Jin Tai Art Museum on May 11, and runs through May 21, 2006.
Premier in Vienna for EU-LAC Summit
Greek Sale at Sotheby’s
Works by notable Greek artists will be on sale in two auctions planned by Sotheby’s in London, on May 22 and on May 24. The sale will feature the “Naughty Grandchild” by Nikiforos Lytras and five works by the creator of Greece’s finest seascapes, Konstantinos Volanakis. Greek art in the 20th century is represented with Michalis Economou and works by Nicos Hadjikiriakos-Ghikas, and
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis arrived on Thursday afternoon in Vienna, where he is attending the 4th EU - Latin America /Caribbean (LAC) summit organized by the Austrian EU presidency. Participants include the heads of state and government of 60 countries in total. The issues to be discussed include democracy and human rights, multilateral cooperation for peace, stability and respect for international law, terrorism, drugs and organized crime, the environment and energy. On the sidelines of the summit, Karamanlis is meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.
Eurovision 2006 Counting Down
Eight days before the final Eurovision 2006 Song Contest, rehearsals are underway. A Press Center located in the southern part of the Athens Olympic Indoor Hall, the largest indoor venue in use at the 2004 Athens Olympics, is already in operation to assist all journalists covering the event. The staff will keep accredited journalists and fans updated by providing news and information.
Proposals for Constitutional Revision
Substantial changes that focused on seven main areas, including the sanctioning of private universities and the easing of an absolute ban on members of parliament engaging in professional or business activity while in office, were included in a set of proposals outlined yesterday by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis for revising the Constitution. The changes placed emphasis on modernizing education, independent justice, environmental protection, protection of property (including intellectual property), strong local government, and laws that guaranteed transparency. Several of the proposed changes also concern Parliament and party finances.
Karamanlis Meet Erdogan
GDP Up by 4% in First Quarter of 2006
The country’s GDP increased by 4% in the first quarter of 2006, compared to the corresponding quarter in 2005, and contributed to an increase in the final demand of the economy by 3.9%, according to the National Statistical Service (NSS). Moreover, the economy’s growth rate increased by 2.7% in the first half of 2006, compared to the fourth quarter of 2005. The NSS reported that investments also increased by 5.3% and contributed to an increase in the economy’s final demand by 1.1%.
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday in Vienna, on the sidelines of the summit meeting of the EU, Latin American and Carribean countries, and discussed mainly economic and business issues, particularly in view of the commencement of the tourism season. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Turkish minister of State Ali Babacan were also present. The discussion was held within the framework of the two PMs’ policy of frequent bilateral contacts. Karamanlis said that the main focus of his talks with Erdogan on Friday had been economic, particularly on tourism and cooperation in the tourism sector. Discussions also encompassed Greek-Turkish cooperation in the energy sector.
Greece to Chair OECD Meeting
This year’s Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting will be held at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris on May 23 and 24 under the chairmanship of Greece, with the main theme of “Delivering Prosperity”. The Meeting will bring together ministers of economy, finance and trade to discuss ways to increase growth and employment and achieve a successful conclusion to the Doha trade talks. Selected emerging and developing economies have been invited to send representatives to some sessions of the meeting. Journalists are invited to media briefing in advance of the annual Ministerial Council Meeting, given by Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and OECD Secretary-General Donald Johnston today at OECD headquarters. Greece@OECD: www.oecd.org/greece OECD Ministerial Council Meeting: www.oecd.org/mcm2006/
Greece In South East Europe
The South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit meeting has taken place in Thessaloniki on May 3 and 4 under Greece’s Chairmanship-in-Office. SEECP constitutes the only indigenous cooperation forum that stems from the countries of South East Europe. Now available online: SEECP Thessaloniki Declaration (May, 4 2006) Action Plan on the Institutional enhancement of the SEECP
Premier meets with Pakistani Counterpart
New Momentum for Cyprus Issue
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis was quoted on Sunday in an interview with the “Ethnos” newspaper as stressing that “history does not forgive missed opportunities”, although she noted that there was “new momentum on the Cyprus problem” following Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos’ meeting in Paris with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in late February. Bakoyannis said progress was already being made in the direction of setting up “technical committees” that will discuss certain issues of common interest.
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis met on Monday with visiting Pakistani premier Shaukat Aziz, while the tourism ministers of the two countries signed a cooperation agreement. Karamanlis called Aziz a “good friend of Greece”, noting that the Pakistani prime minister had lived in Greece for many years. He told reporters after the meeting that bilateral relations were on an “upward course,” adding that his talks with Aziz covered a wide range of topics, including regional issues, as well as the challenges faced by the international community, such as terrorism. Both leaders expressed their interest in further developing bilateral relations in the sectors of commerce and investments. Karamanlis also noted that the Greece-Pakistan Joint Ministerial Committee, which coordinates such efforts, would meet soon, and added that there was also cooperation in the sector of culture, citing more specifically the program for the Kalash ethnic group, whose roots trace back to Alexander the Great. Also discussed were developments in the European Union, Turkey’s EU prospects, Balkan issues, Cyprus, the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Athens Music Forum 2006
A conference dedicated to the music industry in Greece is taking place for the 2nd year in Athens. The “Athens Music Forum” is a meeting place for representatives from all professional areas directly or indirectly involved with in the music industry, where they obtain information and discuss topics that affect the particular sector. The conference is taking place at the Dais Center in Maroussi, northern Athens, from May 15 to 16, 2006.
“Battle of Crete” Commemorated
Events commemorating the 65 anniversary of the Battle of Crete began in Sfakia, on the island of Crete, and will culminate on Sunday, May 21 with the reenactment of the battle at the historic Maleme airfield.
Art Project to Support New Toys Museum
Fifty Greek artists willingly responded to an invitation issued by the “Lacoste Project 12.12“ exhibition curator Iris Kritikou and created fifty unique works of art, inspired by the renowned Lacoste polo shirt with the little green crocodile. During the exhibition, all of the revenues will be donated for the creation and support of the new Benaki Museum Annexe, the Museum of Childhood, Toys and Games.
Santorini Vineyards Trace Back to 1700 BC
For centuries, the Aegean island of Santorini has been producing renowned wines. Christos Doumas, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Athens and head of the excavations at the Akrotiri archaeological site, says that the Cycladic island’s famous vineyards go back at least to 1700 BC. “The excavation at Akrotiri on Thera (modern-day Santorini) has given us more information about viticulture in the Cyclades in the Bronze Age. Thanks to modern methods and techniques now used in archaeology, and drawing information even from the humblest finds, we have concluded that Akrotiri had
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark, and British MP for Islwyn and former UK defense secretary Don Touhig sent messages to mark the anniversary and referred to the role and significance of the Cretan and allied resistance. The Battle of Crete began on May 20, 1941 when Nazi forces launched an unprecedented airborne invasion of Crete, code-named “Merkur.” The operation was successful in that it wrested control of the island from Allied forces, although the victory was so costly due to the stiff resistance by ANZAC troops and local Cretans that the Wehrmacht never again attempted a major airborne operation.
A Distinct Shipping Chair
Spyros Polemis has been elected Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping / International
Efthimios Mitropoulos is serving as Secretary-General of the UN’s International Maritime Organization.
Resources’ and revitalization of the wider public sector. Ministry of Economy and Finance: May 2006 - Fact Sheet on the Prospects of the Greek Economy (PDF)
ekathimerini daily: “Energy in for recharge”
Archaeological Research in Egypt
“1998-2005: 13 archaeological researches in Alexandria.” is the title of a lecture today at Athens’ Center for the Acropolis Studies by the head of the Hellenic Institute of Ancient and Mediaeval Alexandrian Studies, Harry Tzalas. A second lecture will be given by the renowned archaeologist, JeanYves Empereu, with the theme: “Underwater and land research of the French mission in Alexandria”, The event takes place on the occasion of the 29th Book Fair, which is focusing this year on the theme “Greece-Egypt: Crossroads of Cultures.” Underwater Archaeology in Greece: www.underwaterarchaeology.gr
Greece-China: Business Partners
A business forum for Greece and China as economic and trade partners will be held in Athens on May 23. The meeting is arranged by the Hellenic Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industries and the Greece-China Business Council. The meeting coincides with a visit to Athens by the President of China’s parliament, Wu Bangguo and the country’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Yu Guangzhou.
Congress on Artificial Intelligence, Crete
The 4th Hellenic Congress on Artificial Intelligence takes place at the Atlantis Hotel in the city of Heraklion, Crete between May 18 and 20. The congress is organized by the Hellenic Artificial Intelligence Society in collaboration with the Institute of Computer Science at FORTH (Foundation for Research & Technology - Hellas) and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Crete.
Anglo-Hellenic Review: New Issue
The 33rd edition of the biannual Anglo-Hellenic Review, out in spring 2006, covers a variety of topics. In 1990, the Anglo Hellenic League began the publication of the Review, with the purpose to inform all those who are interested in Greek affairs both past and present. Its contributors, British and Greek, are experts in their respective disciplines. eKathimerini: “Greek history through the ages with AHR”
Getty Museum to Return Antiquities
Culture Minister George Voulgarakis met yesterday with visiting director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Michael Brand, and discussed the solution of pending matters for the return of antiquities to Greece in the near future. “The satisfaction of Greece’s requests will render possible a fruitful cooperation which will include long-term loans of works of art” a Culture Ministry announcement said. The Museum’s representatives agreed to recommend to the Foundation’s board the return of part of the contested antiquities.
Happening In Greece
The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa is holding “The New Symposium,” which will convene writers, artists, and thinkers from around the world, to focus on “The Commons - what we hold in common.” The group will gather from May 17 to 23 on the island of Paros, and is co-sponsored by the Fulbright Foundation in Greece, the European Center for the Translation of Literature and the Human Sciences and the Mayor of Paros. The program is directed by Christopher Merrill, whose books have been translated into sixteen languages.
Greek Lace - Special Exhibitions
Greek lace from the Victoria & Albert collections is the subject of an exhibition held at the Benaki Museum (May 17 - June 18) offering a comprehensive sample of the techniques used in Greece from the 16 to the 20 centuries. The exhibition is organized within the framework of the OIDFA XII International Conference (International Bobbin and Needle Lace Organisation) that takes place in Athens (26-28 May). Another exhibition of the same kind is presented at the Museum of Greek Folk Art, from May 24 to June 24, 2006. The exhibition under the title “Laces: Conjectural Meeting of Tradition with Contemporary Art” features laces from the Museum’s collections as well as pieces of art made by the German artist Gabrielle Grohmann.
Improving Economic Climate
“There is tangible evidence that the climate is improving. Greece is winning its daily battles, and has achieved major victories,” Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis told a general meeting of the Federation of Greek Industries. “Over the past two years, basic innovations have been advanced, bold reforms, and substantive changes that guarantee safe but brisk growth in a sound fiscal environment.” Changes include a new development law, strong confidence in the capital market, and an objective and transparent framework for public works, Karamanlis explained. Competitiveness had improved according to a recent report by the International
Nisyros, one of the most unique of all Greek islands - an unspoiled haven of peace and tranquillity - is located on the Hellenic volcanic arc, a curved-line of volcanoes stretching from the Methana peninsula in the east to Kos island in the west.
The nucleus of Nisyros is one of the most fascinating volcanic places in Greece, combining lush vegetation with dramatic moonscapes. This creates a curious rarity whereby the island, although
Institute for Management Development, the absorption rate of European Community funds had risen, exports had surged, unemployment had declined, and tourism had increased, the prime minister said. Among priorities for economic policy were a national zoning plan, privatization focusing on banks,
waterless, is nonetheless fertile. The mineral-rich earth holds moisture and yield olives, vines, figs, citrus fruit and almonds. The island is the perfect place for walking tours and discoveries off the beaten track. Here, one still experiences an unspoilt part of Greece at its best: despite its beauty, mass tourism has not yet discovered the island, probably due to its relative remoteness and limited size. Nisyros possesses the clear water quality of the Aegean sea coupled with a small village atmosphere.
International Philosophy Conference, Crete
The City of Heraklion and the University of Crete Department of Philosophy & Social Studies are hosting an International Philosophy Conference on “Ethics and Politics” from May 24 to 28. Participants are from 20 countries and include some of the world’s leading scholars in philosophy, humanities, and social sciences. The event will include plenary lectures, workshops and paper presentations. It will be held in the Venetian Basilica of St. Mark, situated in Heraklion old city centre. Keynote speakers: Noam Chomsky, Edgar Morin, Agnes Heller, Richard Wolin, Martin Jay, Ernesto Laclau and Claus Offe.
Greek President on EU’s Future
President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias addressed a formal session of the European Parliament on Wednesday, to mark the 25th anniversary since Greece joined the European Union. Papoulias appealed for a return to the founding principles of freedom, equality and social solidarity, with humane policies centered on people and against unemployment. He stressed that the democratic participation of Europe’s citizens in decisions regarding its future was essential - and that the European Parliament had a key role in bringing this about. He included references to the EU as a “superpower of humanitarianism,” EU enlargement, Turkey’s accession to the EU, the division of Cyprus, and international terrorism. The last Greek president to formally address the European Parliament was Konstantinos Karamanlis in 1983, when Greece took over the rotating presidency of the EEC for the first time since the country joined the Community on January 1, 1981. European Parliament: “Greek President calls for citizens to drive the future of Europe” Minister of Foreign Affairs: The course of Greece in the European Union Hellenic Centre for European Studies Newsletter: European Developments - The Greek View
There are approximately 6000 islands in Greece, of which 227 are officially inhabited. The Greek Archipelago takes up 7,500 km of the country’s total 16,000 km coastline (Greece is 2 in the world in coastline/area ratio).
Travel writers have tended to concentrate on specific island chains but none has ever traveled from Corfu in the West to Crete in the South to the Eastern edges of the islands in the Aegean and on to Thessaloniki in the North. Travels in the Dolphin’s Wake is a tale and a blog of just such a journey, taking in every island chain and traveling to at least 40 of the Greek islands. The first leg of Harry Bucknall’s trip “looking for the perfect Greek Island” began on May 15 when he departed Venice for Corfu by ship. Over the next six months, he wants to create a vibrant tale with vignettes of the Greek islands as they are now.
Harry Bucknall’s Blog: travelsinthedolphinswake.blogspot.com A book + a collection of links: www.greekislandhopping.com Sailing in Greece: www.sailingissues.com/greek.html Matt Barrett’s compilation of various info: www.greektravel.com/islands.htm
Russian Ombudsman in Athens
The social problems of daily life, but also corruption and the abuse of power by police are the basic matters which preoccupy the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Vladimir Lukin, as he himself described in a lecture he delivered on Wednesday at the office of the Greek Ombudsman in Athens. Lukin is currently on a visit to Greece, in the context of the “Eunomia” project for the promotion of ombudsman institutions in south-eastern Europe, carried out by the Greek Ombudsman under the auspices of the Council of Europe. The Greek Ombudsman Giorgos Kaminis said that he would brief his Russian counterpart on all issues of importance to the Ombudsman authority in Greece. Giorgos Kaminis is the Greek Ombudsman elected on April 2003, as successor of Nikiforos Diamandouros who is serving as European Ombudsman.
Surge in Public-Private Sector Projects
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), which involve the construction on public projects with private capital, with the investors also managing the projects for a pre-determined period, have already drawn proposals for projects worth 850 million euros, Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said on Thursday.
The projects proposed involve, state agencies’ facilities, tourism and environmental infrastructure, healthcare and others. Private operators can invest their capital and transfer their knowhow to the public sector. The PPPs would play a decisive role in the development of the economy over the next few years. “By attracting funds, know-how and the dynamism of the private sector we ensure better quality, lower costs and the speedier completion of projects,” Alogoskoufis emphasized.
The Eurovision Song Contest final takes place on May 20 in Athens. Internet users may have access to related news and events through: www.eurovisionathens.gr Greek contestant Anna Vissi’s personal website: www.annavissi.net
Defence Minister in Berlin
on Global Security yesterday, stressed the role of Greece as a pillar country for security, stability and cooperation in South East Europe. Referring in particular to Kosovo, the minister outlined the position of the government that “procedures to settle the problem and relevant consultations must go ahead with care and wisdom.” Meimarakis and his German counterpart Franz Joseph Jung expressed their satisfaction over the level of
Greek-German cooperation in all sectors, following talks in the framework of the scheduling of a more general cooperation policy and coordination policy between the two countries. Apart from developments in the Balkans and the issue of Iran, the talks included the prospects of NATO and the strengthening of the defence aspect of the EU. Statements made by the two politicians made it clear that the issue of Eurofighter warplanes constituted an object of consultations but its examination still remains at the level of relevant experts.
the Academy of Athens, and invited experts from other Nano2Life partners.
War and Identities Conference
The Hellenic Studies Program at Yale University and the Hellenic Observatory of the London School of Economics and Political Science are holding a conference entitled War and Identities (Macedonia, Occupation & Civil War, and Cyprus) on May 26 and 27 at the Gennadius Library, Athens.
Premier to Chair OECD Annual Meeting
Five Firms Win Best Workplaces Awards
Five companies based in Greece - Colgate Palmolive Hellas, Piscines Ideales, Genesis Pharma, Wyeth Hellas, Procter & Gamble Hellas - have been included in a list of 100 European companies with the best working environment. The five companies received their awards during a special event held in Berlin on Wednesday, organized by the Great Place to Work Institute.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) annual Ministerial Council Meeting will be held at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris on 23-24 May 2006 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, with discussions focusing on the theme of “Delivering Prosperity.” Ministers from OECD countries will discuss various topics including the shortterm economic outlook, how to ensure economic stability and improve economic performance, ways to increase growth and employment and achieve a successful conclusion to the Doha trade talks; and the future strategic direction of the OECD. Greece@OECD: www.oecd.org/greece OECD Ministerial Council Meeting: www.oecd.org/mcm2006/
First-time contestants Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, FYROM, Ireland, Lithuania, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, and Ukraine are the 10 countries that qualified in the early hours of Friday for the 51st Eurovision Song Contest Final on Saturday night, following viewer voting late Thursday among the 23 contestants at the spectacular semi-final held in the Olympic Indoor Sports Center. The ten best semi-finalists elected on Thursday will now compete in Saturday’s final with the 14 top songs of last year’s Eurovision song contest: Switzerland, Moldova, Israel, Latvia, Norway, Malta, Denmark, Romania, Croatia, the four major countries which traditionally participate in the competition - Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom - and 2006 host country Greece, which won the Eurovision song contest in 2005. The event is hosted by Greece’s Eurovision 2004 third-place winner, pop star Sakis Rouvas and Greek-American reporter and actress Maria Menounos, who will also host the final on Saturday.
Hellenic Aid Hosts “Walk the World 2006”
The Foreign Ministry’s “Hellenic Aid” Service, in collaboration with the UN’s World Food Program (WFP), hosted the world walk against hunger amongst children - Walk the World 2006. “Walk the World” is an initiative of the WFP, and is being held within the framework of the Millennium Goals, in the form of a symbolic walk, held every year at the same time all over the world. It is part of the campaign to fight hunger and raise funds for the eradication of hunger among 300 million children, mostly in the developing world.
Pakistan Premier States His Views
Last week, Prime Minster of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz visited Greece - the first official visit to Greece by a premier of Pakistan in 59 years, since it became an independent state. In an interview with eKathimerini daily (English edition), Aziz emphasized that the purpose of his visit was to engage with Greece as an EU country, increase trade and investment, seek an exchange of views on major international events like Iran and Afghanistan, to explore avenues of cultural cooperation, of assistance from Greece on agriculture, particularly in agribusiness, and to seek investment in areas such as shipping and petrol. eKathimerini: “Seeking closer cooperation with Greece, more trade and investment in agriculture and shipping”
Writers’ Workshop on Andros
The “Summer 2006 Creative Writing Workshops” cycle of the Aegean Arts Circle is taking place on the island of Andros in the months of June and July, 2006. Award-winning writers Nicholas Papandreou, Beatriz Badikian, June Gould will lead the writing workshops, which will include various exercises, daily feedback and discussion on different writing techniques. Registrations end on May 22. Ekathimerini daily: “Workshop deadline due”
Nanobiotechnology Summer School
The Nano2life summer school 2006 is being held in Athens June 26 - July 7, by the National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, in collaboration with the Foundation of Biomedical Research of
Cyprus General Election Results
AKEL (Progressive Party of Working People) won Sunday’s general elections in Cyprus with a ginal lead over DISY (Democratic Rally), just as was the case in 2001, gathering 31.13%, as
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