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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-05-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] EU commissioner in Athens
  • [02] Greece popular to Finnish
  • [03] Indigenous plants conf'

  • [01] EU commissioner in Athens

    European Union Health Commissioner Androulla Vasilliou is due to arrive in Athens on Monday on a two-day visit, at the invitation of foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    Vassiliou, who took over the post in the European Commission after her predecessor Markos Kyprianou was appointed as Cyprus' foreign minister, will be in Athens to represent the Commission at the Meeting of the Women Leaders Working Group being organised at Bakoyannis' initiative on Monday and Tuesday at a hotel in the seaside resort town of Lagonissi, east of Athens.

    The Group is comprised of women heads of state, ministers, and high-ranking officials from all over the world, and meets regularly to discuss current challenges as well as strategies for strengthening the position of women all over the world.

    In that context, the Lagonissi meeting, being held under the auspices of the Greek foreign ministry, will be an International Conference for women entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa entitled "Next Generation Initiative: Local Business for Global Rights - Middle East Regional Forum of Local and Regional Women Entrepreneurs".

    The Group meets regularly, and the meeting in Athens follows similar meetings held in New York and Vienna in 2007.

    The conference, beyond the plenary discussion, includes two thematic workshops entitled: "Women entrepreneurship within the framework of conflict resolution: Women as factors for peace" and "Women entrepreneurship in the post-conflict framework: Women Entrepreneurs as factors for stability in the process of building nations".

    The proceedings of the Conference will focus on promoting practical ways for the strengthening of women in the region, while also bringing into contact women already active there and Women Entrepreneurs from Greece and the rest of the world.

    The organization of this conference in Greece is taking place within the framework of Greece's more general activation in the region of the Middle East and North Africa, and it aims to contribute to confidence-building measures within civil society in the region and to promote peace and practical ways to strengthen women in the region economically, overcoming hurdles and biases and expanding the potential for peaceful coexistence and cooperation.

    Caption:ANA-MPA file photo of European Union Health Commissioner Androulla Vasilliou

    [02] Greece popular to Finnish

    Thessaloniki prefect Panayiotis Psomiadis met on Friday with Finnish Ambassador to Greece Erkki Huittinen for a discussion on tourism cooperation and promoting commercial transactions between the two countries.

    Huittinen said that Greece was the second most popular tourism destination among the Finnish tourists' preferences, adding that there was, however, increasing interest in Greece, particularly among Finland's pensioners, who he said considered Greece attractive for acquiring a second home abroad.

    Psomiadis, in turn, expressed the desire to visit Finland in the future, and stressed that Greece offered many prospects, but "the foreigners have greater belief in Greece's prospects than we do".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo

    [03] Indigenous plants conf'

    Greece is apparently one of the richest lands in the world in terms of plants used to manufacture pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and fragrances, including some 400 indigenous varieties, according to University of Thessaloniki professor Constantinos Papanikolaou, who spoke on Friday at a conference in Florina, northwest Greece.

    "There is a gap in the exploitation of these plants, because farmers are not familiar with this kind of farming, surveys have not been held and the country lacks production units specializing in this process," the academic said, adding:

    "All medicines come from plants. Hippocrates gave willow leaves as a pain killer, it was the aspirin of ancient Greece. On Mt. Grammos blooms a certain species of Chamomile which is also helpful for the liver".

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