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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 <>


  • [01] Draghi expresses sadness and sympathy for Papademos after terrorist attack
  • [02] Boosting the digital economy in the Balkans, Black Sea region dominates BBSF afternoon session

  • [01] Draghi expresses sadness and sympathy for Papademos after terrorist attack

    BRUSSELS (ANA/C. Vasilaki) – European Central Bank governor Mario Draghi expressed his sadness and the sympathy of all the staff at the bank for former prime minister Lucas Papademos, following the terrorist attack against him on Thursday.

    "We are saddened by the attack against our former colleague, Lucas Papademos, a brave public servant of Greece and Europe. I wish to say, on behalf of the Governing Council and staff of the ECB: our thoughts are with Lucas, his family and his colleagues," Draghi said in a statement.

    "The former and current colleagues from the Executive Board of the ECB wish to express our deepest sympathy for Lucas," he added.

    [02] Boosting the digital economy in the Balkans, Black Sea region dominates BBSF afternoon session

    Speakers at the inaugural Balkans & Black Sea Cooperation Forum (BBSF), held in the NE Greece city of Serres on Thursday, emphasized the immense prospects and opportunities that the so-called "digital economy" and now ubiquitous smart phones and tablets can generate for public and private entities in the wider region.

    The main question broached during the session at the two-day forum, entitled "Digital Economy & Innovation - Controlling the Double-Edged Sword", focused on the preparedness of regional countries' businesses and public sector to overcome often institutionalized "red tape" and to allow citizens and consumers access to services "at the touch of their fingers".

    According to the director of the Sofia-based Economy and International Relations Institute, Ivailo Kalfin, the "digital economy will continue to grow, it cannot wait for a resolution of issues related to the political sphere."

    The chairman of the Albanian Association of Banks, Perikles Drougkas, in turn, detailed the steps taken in Albania's banking sector towards boosting digitalization. He emphasized the actions of banks in Albania to redesign and re-examine their business model in order to meet 21st century demands.

    Lisa Terziman, the co-founder of Fentury, a "White Label Banking" solution and part of the Salt Edge Inc. in Moldova, presented an application that was developed in-house by her firm and focuses on financial management.

    Terziman said the application, in fact, is available on Google play and can be used to manage a single bank account or even a major portfolio.

    The practice leader for Greece at the Software Improvement Group (SIG) in the Netherlands, Yiannis Kanellopoulos, referred to the massive pool of skilled human resources in the Balkans and Black Sea region involved in software development, saying this can be employed as a catalyst for innovation.

    In a later session, entitled "Women in Leadership - Overcoming obstacles in a challenging region", Albania's deputy minister of European integration, Eralda Cani, underlined her country's efforts to break the so-called "glass ceiling" phenomenon in her country. Among others, she pointed to the fact that the defense minister in Albania today is a woman, while 10 out of the 20 cabinet members are women and 12 percent of mayors throughout Albania are women.

    Liana Gouta, the director of energy policy and international affairs for the Hellenic Petroleum group, highlighted the role of women in today's economy, while Anastasia Sideri, Coca Cola's communications director for central and eastern Europe, emphasized that any fears women have vis-a-vis the business and corporate world emanate from social stereotypes, ones that must be overcome with a change in mainstream attitudes.

    On his part, European Banking Federation CEO Wim Mijs said the European banking sector is always searching for people with abilities and skills, saying the specific industry makes no distinction between men and women professionals.

    Finally, the president of IEDC-Bled School of Management in Slovenia, Danica Purg, said the idea of leadership develops in environments where adult women are the role model. It's within this framework that an educational process to combat social stereotypes is necessary.

    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).

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

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