24 June 2011. Meeting senior officials, ESPI provided and discussed arguments for Greece regarding the importance of space applications for growth and sustainable development.
The visit to the Greek space-related institutions, conducted by ESPI Director Kai-Uwe Schrogl and Resident Fellow Christina Giannopapa was part of a series of talks the Institute held with recent and upcoming ESA member states (as during the past half year these were Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland). For Greece, the visit coincided with the political turmoil relating to the debt crisis of the country. This provided the talks being held with the additional character of encouraging Greece to stay on course with space even in the midst of the crisis taking into account the need to further invest in this field nurturing decisive societal and economic benefit.
In this vein, meetings were held with high-level political representatives in the Ministry of Education, Life Long Learning and Religious Affairs, Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Environment. In the Ministry of Education, Life Long Learning and Religious Affairs, ESPI met the General Secretary of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology Konstantinos Kokkinoplitis together with the Head of International Organizations Olga Stergiou and Giannis Papadakis and discussed about Greek participation in space activities and ESA. In the Ministry of National Defense meetings were held with the Director of the Cabinet of the Minister Nikolaos Toska and advisors where the importance for space for security and defence was highlighted and the role of the Ministry as one of the main stakeholders was discussed. In the Ministry of Environment the Deputy Minister Yannis Maniatis together with his advisors welcomed ESPI’s effort and expressed his interest and commitment to the use of space applications for Greece.
General Secretary of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology Konstantinos Kokkinoplitis (second from right), Head of International Organizations division Olga Stergiou (first from right) and Giannis Papadakis (third from left) with ESPI’s Kai-Uwe Schrogl (second from left) and Christina Giannopapa (first from left)
Cabinet Director of the Minister of National Defense Nikolaos Toska (second from left), with ESPI’s ESPI’s Kai-Uwe Schrogl (third from right) and Christina Giannopapa (second from right)
Deputy Minister for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Yannis Maniatis (third from left), with ESPI’s Kai-Uwe Schrogl (second from left) and Christina Giannopapa (fourth from left), with Secretary General for Energy and Climate Change Constantinos Mathioudakis (third from right), Director of Public Relations and International Affairs Charalambos Pippos (second from right), Head of Section, General Directorate of Natural Wealth Ioannis Zafiratos (first from right).
In addition, the industrial site of the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAB) was visited and - hosted by the Director General Thanos Dokos of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) think-tank - a presentation was given by Christina Giannopapa. This presentation comprised discussions moderated by Alexandros Kolovos and the audience included representatives from the General Secretariat of Science and Technology, Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, Policy, Boarder Control and Air Force. Information talks were held with representatives from Members of the Greek Parliament and their offices regarding their participation and involvement at the European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC) in October.
Further on, Kai-Uwe Schrogl and Christina Giannopapa gave an interview to the Greek Newspaper “Kathimerini” where they highlighted with concrete examples the importance of space applications for boarder control, energy, environment and development and the need for a comprehensive space strategy for Greece and the establishment of a space agency or office overseeing the policy, implementing it and representing Greece in the European and International scene.
Related webnews: - 2 June 2011. Polish parliament delegation visits ESPI - 24 May 2011. Czech Vice Minister for space visits ESPI - 15 February 2010. Chairperson of EISC 2010, Liana Dumitrescu, visits ESPI