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"Writing for CEE" journalism prize awarded

  • Anna Koktsidou won with her radio report "The new foreigners - Greece and its immigrants"
  • Joana Radzyner, ORF correspondent, spoke about "EUphoria and EUreluctance – experiences from the new Europe"

The Greek journalist Anna Koktsidou received the "Writing for CEE" journalism award on Tuesday evening in Vienna from Bank Austria and the Austrian Press Agency (APA). Journalists from all over Europe can submit their entries to the competition, which has been already awarded the fifth year. 

"Writing for CEE" has now become one of the "most distinguished prizes in Europe", said Martin Halama, spokesman at Bank Austria, delighted about the high participation rate. More than 70 entries were received in total. The aim of the prize is to encourage "journalists to deal with issues of European integration and mutual understanding". "Journalists transcend borders", said Halama. "They can contribute to overcoming prejudices".

Migration is a focal point of the work of Anna Koktsidou, a radio journalist and this year's prize winner who was born in Greece but grew up in Germany. The prize which comes with EUR 5,000 was awarded to Koktsidou for her report entitled "The new foreigners - Greece and its immigrants", which was broadcasted in June 2008 by "Deutschlandfunk", a German national information radio station.

Born in 1962, Anna Koktsidou, who otherwise works for Südwestrundfunk (SWR - Southwest Broadcasting), went the extra yard and created a stirring and specific account of the fate of immigrants in Greece. Greece has been attracting immigrants for around 20 years, and not just Western Europeans opting for a change. Eastern Europeans, above all from Albania, Bulgaria and Ukraine, end up here in their search for work and a better life.
Based on her own family history, prize-winner Koktsidou recalled that migration is a timeless concept. Her grandparents were forced to move from Turkey to Greece in 1923, and her father moved from there to Stuttgart in 1970 to work. But there are examples of this in practically every family: "We all recognise that migration is, has been and will continue to be part of our lives."

Joana Radzyner, ORF correspondent for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland also has a "migration background". She emigrated with her parents in 1959 from Poland to Austria. In her speech at the awards ceremony entitled "Between EUphoria and EUreluctance - experiences from the new Europe" she bridged the time from the fall of the Iron Curtain to the present day. "The short experience of democracy is a barrier to integration", said the ORF correspondent. However, she is encouraged by the fact that these countries already have a generation which takes a unified Europe completely for granted, and considers stories from the days under communism to be no more than "evil fairytales".

The best entries from the five years of the "Writing for CEE" prize have now been published in a book, which was also presented on Tuesday evening. Fresh off the printing press, "Which Road to Europe" is an anthology of contributions from all prize-winners from 2004 to 2008, published in English by the Wieser-Verlag in Klagenfurt.

About UniCredit Group
With total assets of more than €1,060 billion, ranking among the top financial groups in Europe, UniCredit has a presence in 22 countries, with over 40 million clients, around 10,000 branches and some 180,000 employees.
In the CEE region, UniCredit operates the largest international banking network with around 4,000 branches and outlets, where around 83,000 employees serve more than 28 million customers.
The Group operates in the following countries: Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Requests:  Communications CEE, Christina Bischof
Phone: +43 (0) 50505 57126
E-mail : christina.bischof@unicreditgroup.at

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