The special relationship enjoyed by France and Greece is to be given new impetus through a new «etat d’esprit» reigning at the French Institute in Athens (IFA). Unveiling IFA’s new projects and aims last week, French Ambassador Bruno Delaye spoke about «making the world a little bit more livable.» The renewed ties are also linked to the Greek government’s decision to apply officially to become a member of the International Organization of Francophonie. For Delaye, the new face of the cultural relationship between the two countries depends on the existing «good, excellent, naturally pleasant relationship» but aims to go further and create new opportunities. The ambassador also noted that what brings the two countries together is a «common European future,» one which does not rely solely on economics, but also politics and culture. Besides the long-established linguistic courses, in September, the institute is embarking on a series of workshops and cultural activities, including courses in gastronomy, wine, website design, scriptwriting and set design. Also on the agenda are new courses and workshops in translation. Other developments include changes at the French Lycee; the possibility of a Franco-Hellenic baccalaureate is currently under discussion with the Education Ministry. The two countries are also working toward more university student exchanges. Aiding IFA in forming upcoming policy are two committees: an honorary committee comprising Greek Francophone dignitaries – Vassilis Alexakis, Dimitris Analis, Michael Cacoyannis, Katerina Didaskalou, Alekos Fasianos, Costa-Gavras, Eleni Glykatzi-Ahrweiler, Giorgos Loukos, Nana Mouskouri, Vangelis Papathanassiou, Titos Patrikios, Nikos Tsouchlos and Vassilis Vassilikos – while a second committee will act as a consulting body. Meanwhile, at the IFA premises, new services include a renovated bistro area (Paris-Athenes), a travel agency and DVD rentals, among others. For more information log on to www.ifa.gr.