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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-09-08

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 'Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy' conference opens in Athens
  • [02] PM re-elected IDU vice president
  • [03] PASOK MEP addresses Europarliament

  • [01] 'Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy' conference opens in Athens

    "It does not suffice that you are feared, you must also be loved," Greece's foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said Thursday, speaking on the image a country must have in the modern-day international environment, while delivering the opening address of a two-day conference on "Foreign Policy and Public Diplomacy" that is being held under the aegis of foreign minister Petros Molyviatis.

    Also addressing the opening session of the conference, Molyviatis described "public diplomacy" as "the entirety of coordnated actions aimed at projecting thepersonality of the country and the building of firm relations of cooperation and communication among the states and peoples".

    The foreign minister presented the European Union as an example of the successful excercise of public diplomacy among the member countries, based on solidarity, acceptance and respect.

    "The EU works, and produces results on the basis of consensus, and this is one of the reasons that many countries wish to become a member," Molyviatis said, noting that this meant that they must be "prepared for this", namely, to function on the basis of consensus.

    Taking the podium in turn, minister of state and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos underscored that "public diplomacy is clearly distinguished from propaganda", adding that the target was for the political word to be "convincing, reliable and honest", noting that everything comes out into the open in our age, and that "the damage will be much greater if something remains hidden and is learnt later".

    Regarding Greece's international image, he said that the goal of the present government was to send a uniform, powerful message with each and every action, and outlined the successful actions that have sent out a strong message on Greece's international image during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Greece's participation as a member of the UN Security Council, and the country's presidency of the Security Council in the month of July.

    The conference will also broach the theme "Public Diplomacy: Determining its content, role and possibilities as a foreign policy tool".

    Other speakers slated include diplomatic representatives from the United States, Spain, Britain, the Netherlands, Norway and Hungary.

    The round table discussions will be coordinated by journalists Alexis Papachelas, Kyra Adam, and George Kapopoulos.

    [02] PM re-elected IDU vice president

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has been re-elected Vice President of the International Democratic Union (IDU).

    Karamanlis received a letter addressed to him by the IDU's President, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, informing him of his unanimous re-election to the post of IDU vice president.

    Howard said in his letter to the prime minister "I thank you for your contribution to the IDU in the capacity of its vice president. The Washington summit has re-elected you unanimously. The International Democratic Union will intensify its efforts towards promoting freedom and providing aid in countries where democracy and freedom are being threatened. Both your personal contribution and the assistance of your party make the achievement of these targets easier."

    [03] PASOK MEP addresses Europarliament

    PARIS (ANA/O.Tsipira) - Main opposition PASOK MEP Stavros Lambrinidis on Wednesday said that legislation that will protect civil liberties as well as programmes that will deal with terrorism from a political and social perspective are also necessary in the fight against terrorism.

    Lambrinidis' comments were made during the European Parliament's plenary session and in response to a proposal made by British Minister of State Charles Clark, who said the fight against terrorism should be based on international cooperation, effective police cooperation and modern technology.

    Particularly in terms of monitoring people's communications (phone, e-mail), Lambrinidis said such a method posed a risk that people would censor themselves if they felt they were being watched. This in turn, would pose a threat to democracy, he said.

    Addressing Clark, the PASOK MEP said: "Today, you proved to us that this data in all cases was very useful. You also showed us that in some cases the data was necessary. However, the [British EU] Presidency has not yet submitted a study that refers to all those cases wherein while data was useful it was not necessary. It would be useful if you could do this."

    Lambrinidis stressed that the measures to be adopted should not just be useful but they should be necessary and in proportion to the problem they are trying to solve.

    He said it was mandatory that an independent authority be established to ensure that neither private individuals nor government officials abuse the huge databases to which they have access.

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