Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas and other members of the government, in addition to MPs, journalists and other guests, on Friday joined the staff and management of Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) for the cutting of the traditional New Year Cake.

Those attending included Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis, Rural Development Minister Vangelis Apostolou, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, Deputy Economy and Development Minister Alexis Charitsis, former main opposition New Democracy president Vangelis Meimarakis, ND shadow defence minister Vassilis Kikilias and representatives of political parties.

In a brief speech, Pappas wished the ANA good year and praised its role as a medium for promoting Greece and its positions abroad, as well as domestically. He also emphasised the importance of new technologies in the media sector.

Following a few words and New Year wishes from the government spokesman, ANA President and General Director Michalis Psilos said 2018 was starting with the "best omens" following a good year in 2017. He outlined the ANA's goals in the coming year, including a plans for new web TV video service, digital radio, a school of journalism to be set up in collaboration with Greek universities and an official account of the ANA's 113-year history.

"We continue to have a twin goal: to continually reach out to society and its problems but also to reach out to the world, by promoting our country and its foreign policy issues abroad," he said.

He highlighted the work and new products introduced the previous year, which had led to an increase in subscribers, as well as efforts to deal with content theft and the agency's new international partnerships.

"We are now members of MINDS International, in which the 21 largest news agencies of the world participate and aim to enhance the technological infrastructure of news agencies," he said, while he also referred to the ANA's collaboration with Japan's Kyodo, Australia's AAP, Voice of America, XinHua and TASS.

Closing, Psilos announced that the ANA will be organising a conference of the 30 news agencies of the Mediterranean countries in Athens next October.