Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Reppas met on July 1 with visiting French Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau and discussed the possibility of closer cooperation between the two countries in transport infrastructure and especially in the railways sector.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Reppas said that the plan for reforming Hellenic Railways (OSE) will be announced soon, adding that France’s SNCF could be an ideal partner for OSE.

The Greek minister also noted that the French side had expressed interest in a series of projects such as the Kasteli airport in
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Spyros Capralos, has been unanimously re-appointed president of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges(FESE) for a second term, during a general assembly meeting in Brussels.

Capralos, who is president of the Athens Stock Exchange, said that he considered his re-election as a "special honour for me and our country... I believe the opportunity is given to me to continue the efforts for an effective revision of Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), a project aimed at strengthening transparency in transactions and improving the quality of services and information
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More than 2 million people have visited the Acropolis Museum during its first year of operation, according to figures presented by the museum's board chairman Prof. Demetris Pandermalis, at a press conference on June 17, to mark its first anniversary. He also said that admission price will remain at € 5 for 2011.

On the occasion, Pandermalis announced the launch of the museum's first temporary exhibition titled "Pericles Xanthippos." 

Archaeological finds such as inscriptions, coins and other artifacts are used to illustrate and explore the life of the famous ancient Athenian statesman, the man
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Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith, a former British ambassador to Greece and a scholar of modern Greek history, gave a lecture on June 30, organized by the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute of Democracy in Athens.

The speaker referred specifically to "political leadership in Greece in times of crisis," focusing on three prominent statesmen of 20th century Greece: Harilaos Trikoupis, Eleftherios Venizelos and Konstantinos Karamanlis.

The British scholar stressed that all three had a vision, a specific plan, determination and all three ".. had lived in France," as he put it. Referring to the
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The 2nd International Summer School on the "Functioning and Evolution of the Mediterranean marine ecosystems" began on July 1 and will run until July 15.

The event is co- organized by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) and the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.

The main aim of the summer course is to help young students from around the globe to understand the evolution of the Mediterranean marine ecosystem, evaluate its current state, and explain the functioning of the extreme ecosystems found in the Mediterranean basin.

Summer School: full programme
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Hellenic Post has issued a series of stamps to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the independence of Latin American countries.

Addressing a special ceremony for the public presentation of these postage stamps, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas noted that, “[i]t is a particular pleasure and great honour for us to participate in the celebrations in this symbolic manner… It is also our duty … arising from the historical ties of friendship linking Greeks with the peoples of Latin America.”

"There may be Greeks" he continued "who are unaware of the fact that Greek fighters took part
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The Cyclades island complex in the Aegean is a popular destination for foreign and Greek tourists alike.

Small islands, traditional villages and towns, sandy beaches and lots of … cultural events every summer!

Syros Island

Guitar Festival
The 17th Ermoupolis Guitar Festival is taking place from July 5 to 9, with master and junior classes in the morning and concerts in the evening, the 7th guitar competition and many parallel events.

Opera
The 6th annual International Festival of the Aegean is being held on the island of Syros from July 14 to 25, at the Apollo Theatre a.k.a.

"La Piccola
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Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, on June 28, presented in Parliament a bill on the public finance management framework which aims at drastically changing the ways of drafting, executing and monitoring state budgets through setting new rules and principles for monitoring public expenditures and strengthening transparency and accountability.

The bill also envisages the establishment of an independent Parliament Budget Office to support the monitoring and execution of budgets and fiscal targets.
The Parliament will thus be able to intervene during the discussion of state budgets,
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Greece's state budget deficit shrank by 38.7% in the period January-May 2010, compared with the corresponding period last year, a performance exceeding targets set by the Stability and Growth Programme, according to an official announcement by the Finance ministry issued on June 21.

The budget deficit fell to € 8,978 billion in the five-month period, from €14,655 billion last year - a decline of 38.7%. The country's updated Stability and Growth programme envisages a decline of 35.1%, according to the announcement.

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Government Spokesman George Petalotis has responded to an article that appeared in The Guardian (June 25) claiming that Greece is preparing to put up its islands for sale.

Petalotis penned "Greece is not for sale," in which he clearly states that "the assertion that the Greek government is involved in the sale of any islands is wholly inaccurate. The sale of privately owned islands is neither new nor newsworthy," and it is misleading when reference is made to "commercial real estate transactions unrelated to the Greek state and is based on unsubstantiated hearsay."
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