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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-05-19

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Omnibus bill on prior actions for the conclusion first programme review tabled in Parliament
  • [02] Greece participates in the rescue operation for missing EgyptAir aircraft
  • [03] Alt.Tourism Minister Kountoura sends open invitation to Chinese to visit Greece in an interview with ANA-MPA

  • [01] Omnibus bill on prior actions for the conclusion first programme review tabled in Parliament

    The omnibus bill on the prior actions for the conclusion of the first programme review was tabled in the Parliament late on Wednesday.

    The debate on the relevant committees of the parliament will start on Thursday and the debate in the parliament plenary will start on Saturday. The bill is expected to be voted on Sunday.

    The bill provides for the activation of the contingent mechanism in case of deviations from the primary surplus targets.

    [02] Greece participates in the rescue operation for missing EgyptAir aircraft

    Greece participates in the rescue operation underway in the sea region 130 nautical miles southeast of Karpathos, after an EgyptAir aircraft vanished from the radar screens early on Thursday.

    The Greek Armed Forces have deployed a military C-130 aircraft and one early warning aircraft EMB-145 H. Another C-130 is also heading to the area as well the frigate Nikiforos Fokas. A helicopter (1 Super Puma) is also on its way.

    The flight MS804 of EgyptAir was en route from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Cairo. The plane was carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew. EgyptAir says it received a distress signal before the plane disappeared from radar.

    [03] Alt.Tourism Minister Kountoura sends open invitation to Chinese to visit Greece in an interview with ANA-MPA

    Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura send an open invitation to the Chinese to visit Greece through the new ANA-MPA Greek-Chinese webpage.

    In an exclusive interview Kountoura noted that the Chinese love Greece and show a special interest and respect for Greece's history and culture.

    "We are two of the oldest cultures in the world with a long history and today we are building strong bilateral relations and cooperation strategies in all the sectors of economic development. China is a new tourist market to which we opened our doors in 2015. Based on the visas issued, more than 80,000 Chinese visited our country but the actual number is much larger, since many Chinese come to Greece using a Schengen visa issued by another EU destination. In 2015 we had a major two-digit increase in arrivals. In 2016 we expect a new increase from the Chinese tourist market and at levels much higher than last year's."

    Asked about Greece's actions to boost incoming tourism from China, Kountoura explained: "This year we are implementing a multi-level plan of targeted actions to promote and advertise Greece in China. The Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) in Beijing is in direct cooperation with tour operators on joint programmes to promote Greece. We have placed an internet ad and are organising - via GNTO and in collaboration with the regions - a series of fam trips for Chinese tour operators and journalists to Ancient Olympia and the islands of Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Milos, Chios and Zakynthos. We are also participating in major and special tourist exhibitions, such as COMMT in Beijing, and we will be present at events for this year's Shanghai Marathon. Moreover, we will host three major film productions that will be shooting footage in Greece. The first is a series of documentaries on attractions of archaeological interest, a TV production on the beauty of the Greek landscape and the third is a new film that we expect to have the same appeal and success as the film "Beijing Love Story", which significantly increased interest in travelling to Greece."

    On the problems and how they are confronted in order to increase Chinese tourist arrivals to Greece, Kountoura said that all the ministries involved have undertaken a series of initiatives to boost tourist flows. The Foreign Ministry has already expanded and reinforced visa issuing centres throughout China, with 12 new centres operating since April in addition to the three existing centres in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. "It is a very important move from which we expect immediate and substantial results for increasing tourism flows. A key-issue is also a direct air link, which is very high on our agenda. Today, the Chinese arrive in Greece on flights with stops in other destinations. It is an issue that we intend to examine very soon," she said.


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