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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-05-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greece's EFKA pension fund reports 100-mln-plus budget surplus in Jan-April 2017
  • [02] Art Athina 2017 opens at the Tae Kwon Do stadium in Paleo Faliro
  • [03] Yoga, concerts and childrens' events planned at National Garden in June
  • [04] SE Europe, TAP pipeline's importance to global energy sector discussed at forum
  • [05] Speakers emphasize regional cooperation, growth strategies during BBSF event in Serres

  • [01] Greece's EFKA pension fund reports 100-mln-plus budget surplus in Jan-April 2017

    Greece's recently established unified pension fund EFKA has reported a budget surplus of 112.33 million euros in January-April 2017, instead of a budget target envisaging a 234-million-euro cash deficit, the labour ministry announced on Thursday.

    The budget surplus arose after payment of all sums collected on behalf of other social insurance and pension agencies, including the healthcare services provider EOPYY, the Greek employment agency OAED, the unified supplementary pensions and lump sum fund ETEAEP and others.

    There has been no pre-payment of employer contributions to EFKA from the state sector during the four-month period.

    [02] Art Athina 2017 opens at the Tae Kwon Do stadium in Paleo Faliro

    The 22nd Art Athina exhibition, with an updated content and organisational structure, has its official opening at the Tae Kwon Do stadium in Paleo Faliro on Thursday and will run until next Sunday.

    An exhibition organised mainly by Greek art galleries, this year with a new managerial team and new themes, Art Athina seeks to present and promote both Greek and international artistic trends, through its programmes and the selections made by the galleries taking part. This year, there are 56 galleries contributing to Art Athina, while a new element is the special invitation extended to 13 new and promising galleries, most of them based in Los Angeles.

    [03] Yoga, concerts and childrens' events planned at National Garden in June

    The National Garden, Athens' emblematic park behind the Parliament building, are hosting numerous sports, cultural and music events throughout June, as part of the municipality's efforts to promote the city's parks and green spaces as meeting points for Athenians.

    As of June 1, citizens can participate in yoga and pilates classes, attend concerts of the Municipal Orchestra, bring their children to painting classes and interactive, educational games on ancient myths.

    "We open the National Gardens to the public and culture, highlighting the city's parks and gardens as a meeting point, an area of culture and sports for young and old," Athens mayor George Kaminis said, presenting the program with his associates on Thursday.

    Kaminis said the municipality said it plans to extend the program next year to other parks in its jurisdiction, adding the initiative is supported by trainers, music teachers, librarians, and musical ensembles and collaborations with the Athens Festival, WWF Hellas, the Greek Scouts Corps, the Historical Archives of the Municipality of Athens and other institutions

    The full program is available in Greek on the website www.zisetonkipo.gr.

    [04] SE Europe, TAP pipeline's importance to global energy sector discussed at forum

    Completion of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will provide Greece with a leading role in the global energy "map", Rikard Scoufias, the country manager for the project in Greece emphasized on Thursday, speaking at Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum (BBSF).

    "TAP provides Greece with a leading role," Scoufias said from the northeast Greek city of Serres, where the two-day forum is taking place. He added that the pipeline project was one of the biggest of its kind in Europe and opens the way for similar projects, while also upgrading the importance of the countries on its route, i.e. Greece, Albania and Italy.

    The pipeline aims to transport Azeri natural gas to west European markets.

    Wim Groenendijk, the director of international business for Nederlandse Gasunie N.V, a company, which as he said, transports one-fourth of the total volume of the natural gas consumed in Europe, underlined that the latest developments in the global energy sector make inter-connectivity between regional markets imperative.

    "We need more gas in the region in order for environmental benefits to arise for local residents and tourism," Groenendijk said.

    The head of Hellenic Petroleum (Hel.Pe) legal department, Alexia Trokoudi, said the Greece-based petro-chemical group has assumed a major role in the regional energy sector, noting that group subsidiaries, such as Elpedison and DE.PA, are among the world's most reliable retail energy providers in the world.

    Finally, University of Lyon researcher Nikos Lygeros referred to the wider Black Sea region, along with oil and gas deposits in the same area. He cited what he called a "grand chessboard" in terms of energy resources, with some of the "players" retaining a leading role in the exploitation of the reserves emanating from outside the region.

    The forum is organized by the Geo Routes Cultural Institute (GRCI), and is held under the auspices of various international, European and Black Sea region organizations, in cooperation with the Serres regional unit.

    BBSF's official partner is the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization, whereas strategic partners are the European Bank Federation (EBF), the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR).

    Speakers at the forum, among others, are BSTDB president of Ihsan Ugur Delikanli, EBF Chief Executive Wim Mijs and CPMR director of transports Patrick Anvroin.

    The event is supported by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) and its affiliated Praktoreio 104.9 FM radio station.

    Read more: Speakers emphasize regional cooperation, growth strategies during BBSF event in Serres

    [05] Speakers emphasize regional cooperation, growth strategies during BBSF event in Serres

    Speakers at the inaugural Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum (BBSF) on Thursday touched on the need for greater cooperation between countries in SE Europe and Black Sea region.

    The two-day forum kicked off on Thursday in the northeast Greek city of Serres.

    In reference to the challenge of fulfilling goals entailed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2030), speakers referred to a shift in regional European alliances and political forces, even in the Black Sea region.

    "This is an initiative (the forum) that promotes friendship and places the city of Serres on the international stage, Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Secretary General Michalis Christidis, a former Greek diplomat, underlined.

    Christidis referred directly to the challenges faced by Europe in the present, including the refugee/migrant crisis and terrorism, adding that recent election results in France and the Netherlands showed that "Europe, our common home, can now move forward after 60 years."

    The secretary general of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR), Eleni Marianou, emphasized that Europe must serve as a global "player" amid the current juncture and difficulties faced by the 17 countries in SE Europe and the Black Sea region.

    Marianou said it was important for regional states to jointly develop strategies and priorities for overall economic growth.

    Antonia Zafiri, representing EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, whose portfolio includes European neighborhood policy & enlargement negotiations, said cross-border cooperation is imperative for dealing with current challenges. She added that political and economic reforms in the region's countries, particularly those in the western Balkans, make their European course a strategic goal.

    The forum is organized by the Geo Routes Cultural Institute (GRCI), and is held under the auspices of various international, European and Black Sea region organizations, in cooperation with the Serres regional unit.

    The first-ever BBSF kicked off on Thursday in the northern Greek city of Serres, with participants including top EU officials, representatives of institutional bodies in SE Europe and the Black Sea region, along with officials from international organizations, diplomats, corporate executives and academics.

    The two-day forum will focus on a series of major international and regional issues.

    In his opening remark, GEO Routes Cultural Institute president Yannis Balakakis noted that tensions around the wider region, the ubiquitous deliberations over the allocation and management of natural resources as well as recent geopolitical developments render Greece as an interesting area within the wider region.

    "This forum aims to develop policies and to promote new partnerships and business plans," he said.

    In greeting participants and in opening the forum, the deputy regional governor of Serres prefecture, Yannis Moisidis, referred to a milestone for the area, while adding that the intent of all parties involved is to transform the forum into an institution for the city of Serres.

    The forum is organized by the Geo Routes Cultural Institute (GRCI), and is held under the auspices of various international, European and Black Sea region organizations, in cooperation with the Serres regional unit.

    BBSF's official partner is the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization, whereas strategic partners are the European Bank Federation (EBF), the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR).

    Speakers at the forum, among others, are BSTDB president of Ihsan Ugur Delikanli, EBF Chief Executive Wim Mijs and CPMR director of transports Patrick Anvroin.

    Developments in the energy sector in the wider region, the role of women in leadership and top management positions, new agricultural and environmental trends as well as cultural and sustainable tourism models will be discussed.

    Cultural tourism as a key for sustainable development, based on the UN's 2015 proclamation for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, is one of the central themes for this week's inaugural BBSF.

    The event is supported by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) and its affiliated Praktoreio 104.9 FM radio station.

    BBSF's official partner is the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization, whereas strategic partners are the European Bank Federation (EBF), the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) and the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR).

    Speakers at the forum, among others, are BSTDB president of Ihsan Ugur Delikanli, EBF Chief Executive Wim Mijs and CPMR director of transports Patrick Anvroin.

    The event is support by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) and its affiliated Praktoreio 104.9 FM radio station.


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