Daily Archives: April 2, 2014

Australia:Migrants study shows racism on the up



Recent arrival Vivi Michailidou says one of the biggest problems experienced by migrants from Greece is visa restrictions. Photo supplied.


Discrimination against people from non-English speaking countries is increasing, says Monash report.

An extensive research study undertaken by Monash University shows that Australians are not the caring, friendly, fair-dinkum people we thought we were, with many new migrants reporting high levels of ethnic or religious discrimination.

The survey, released this week, is the latest in a series entitled ‘Mapping social cohesion’ and was funded by the Scanlon Foundation and the Federal Government.

It shows migrants who arrived in Australia in the last 20 years often feel singled out because of the colour of their skin or their religion, and many say they have a lack of trust in their fellow citizens and political institutions, when compared to the wider population.

The study’s findings – concerning attitudes to the national character – are perhaps the most disturbing. Asked to nominate what they ‘least like’ about Australia – racist discrimination is top of the list.

People from non-English-speaking backgrounds are almost twice as likely to report suffering discrimination than from English-speaking countries, with Indians and Sri Lankans listing ‘prejudice’ as the least desirable aspect of Australians.
A significant number of New Zealanders also noted discrimination, largely because of limitations on entitlements when give residency.
Asked what they ‘most like’ about Australia, 3 per cent of recent migrants describe Australians as “caring, friendly, hospitable”, a dramatic drop from similar national surveys conducted by the Federal Government in the 1990s.

Ironically, the latest findings point to migrants experiencing general satisfaction with their new home, the quality of public services provided, pride in their adopted country, and believing that hard work brings a better life.

The study also finds migrants no longer experience the kind of isolation as was the case during the years of mass migration, with communications technology, the internet and cheap airfares allowing a level of interaction with friends and family in their old home that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago.

Migration rates have doubled from the 1990s, moving from an emphasis on family unification to employment skills.

Study author Andrew Markus told Neos Kosmos that the findings suggest discrimination against migrants has increased markedly in recent years.
“Racial discrimination in Australia is not a minor matter. Around 40 to 45 per cent of recent arrivals report experience of discrimination over the last 12 months, and that’s probably an understatement, it’s not low,” Professor Markus said.

Asked if it was possible to compare levels of discrimination today with those experienced in the 1950s and 1960s, Professor Markus said such comparisons were difficult.

“We live in a society where multiculturalism is embraced. The official rhetoric is one of understanding and respect, as opposed to ‘leave all that behind you and assimilate as quickly as you can’.”

With a relatively small number of recent migrants from Greece to Australia – when compared to Asia, the UK and New Zealand – the study does not specify attitudes of Greek nationals who have recently made Australia their home.

Theo Giourtis, president of the Hellenic Australian Community Support Association – which has helped hundreds of migrants from Greece settle in the past year – told Neos Kosmos that the issue for most was gaining enough employment to meet the cost of living.

“We say you must learn the language. There’s work out there. The biggest problem people are facing as students is the limit of 20 hours work a week.”
Mr Giourtis said the most common issue for new migrants from Greece who were seeking employment was an inability to speak and write English to a level that Australian employers expect.

Vivi Michailidou – a single mother who arrived in Melbourne in 2012 – who is enrolled in a disability care course at ITHEA, told Neos Kosmos that she had never experienced any discrimination in her adopted home, and that for her, what she ‘least liked’ about Australia were the limitations of her student visa.
“This is the hardest part. If I had the chance to work more it would be better. I want to stay permanently, I want to stay here for my daughter’s future, but I’m not sure how I will do that,” said Ms Michailidou, who works part-time at Fronditha Aged Care.

“No one asked us to come here, we came here by ourselves, but we need a chance to prove what we really are.”

source: Neos Kosmos

BP to close Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane: Hundreds of jobs axed


Global oil giant BP will shut its Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

Staff numbers at the refinery will be cut from 380 to 25 by 2015.

Andy Holmes, president of BP Australasia, told a press conference in Melbourne that the refinery was being closed because the emergence of major export-based refineries in Asia operating on a lower cost base had “transformed the industry”.

“[It has] presented the Bulwer operation with an unsurmountable challenge,” he said.

Mr Holmes said the company had invested “heavily” in the Bulwer Island refinery, and that every effort was made to keep it open.

“This is a difficult day of the people of Bulwer and we are doing everything we can to support them,” he added.

He said the plant’s closure would involve “unavoidable disruption” to employees and their families.

“Every effort will be made to minimise that disruption and given the quality of our people I am sure they will be of considerable interest to other employers in the oil and gas sector in Queensland and beyond.”

Mr Holmes said he did not believe that today’s decision would affect Australia’s energy security.

The refinery produces 101,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the BP website.

BP’s other refinery is in Western Australia.

The move follows Shell’s February decision to sell its Australian refinery as well as 870 petrol stations to Vitol for $2.9 billion.

The sale was part of a global move away from “downstream operations”, the company said. It also sold refineries in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Shell said there were no job losses among the 450 employees at the Geelong refinery.

Government needs plan for dealing with job losses: Bowen

The Opposition’s Treasury spokesman, Chris Bowen, says BP’s announcement is distressing news for the workers.

“I understand that BP is making steps to retain some of the workers but obviously not all,” he said.

“Refining has been under challenge in Australia for many years now. We’ve seen refineries across Australia dealing with those challenges.

“Obviously we’d encourage BP and [federal] and state governments to work cooperatively to ensure every assistance is given to those workers.”

He said the Federal Government needed a plan to deal with mounting job losses.

“We’ve seen job losses in many major manufacturing sites in recent months,” he said.

“We need a plan for dealing with this.

“This government seems more devoted to spinning their way into May’s budget than they are determined to assist workers affected by change.”

Australian Workers Union Queensland secretary Ben Swan says the decision has come as a “horrible shock” to workers.

“Once again, manufacturing jobs have been shed, with little thought for how these workers might make their way in a difficult labour market,” he said.

“The fact this has come with no consultation makes it even harder for our members to absorb.”

The local federal MP and former treasurer Wayne Swan is attacking both the company and the Federal Government for the job losses.

He says there is no “adequate” explanation for why the plant is suddenly non-viable, as the company says.

“So I think it’s a big blow,” he said. “And the way in which it has been delivered, like a bolt out of the blue, makes it more difficult to swallow for very many people.”

Asked what his government would have done to protect the jobs, Mr Swan said “we would have been out there, working from day one”.

Australia now more vulnerable to fuel supply disruptions: expert

An expert has warned that the loss of Australian refining capacity could have a knock-on effect for motorists and other fuel users.

Griffith University’s Dr Vlado Vivoda, who specialises in researching energy security, says Australia’s refining capacity has roughly halved in recent years.

“Our supplies are essentially subject to the security of supply lines that bring petroleum products from international markets, particularly from Singapore, which we are becoming increasingly reliant on,” he said.

“An event at a particular refinery in Singapore could have significant ramifications on our refined petroleum product supplies in Australia.”

Dr Vivoda says Australia’s oil refining sector is likely to keep dwindling.

“I think this is not the last of refinery closures either… I wouldn’t be surprised if some others closed, even [BP’s Perth refinery] Kwinana at some point,” he said.

“I think this is not the last of refinery closures either… I wouldn’t be surprised if some others closed, even [BP’s Perth refinery] Kwinana at some point,” he said.

“It just doesn’t appear to be profitable for big oil companies to run refineries in Australia that are old, that are small in capacity compared to international refineries. It’s simply not a viable business.”

Latest blow for Australian industries

BP’s announcement is the latest in a series of job cuts across Australian industries.

This morning, Philip Morris announced it would close its Melbourne cigarette factory, where up to 180 workers will lose their jobs. The company said it would be moving the manufacturing jobs to South Korea by the end of the year.

The car manufacturing industry has also suffered serious blows in Australia in the past 12 months.

Car manufacturer Toyota announced in February it would move all production out of Australia by 2017. Almost 2,500 manufacturing employees are expected to be affected by the closure.

The Japanese company was the last car manufacturer to announce it would pull out of Australia; Ford announced last year that it would pull out in 2016, and Holden will shut down its manufacturing in 2017.

Holden’s closure will see nearly 3,000 workers lose their jobs and Ford’s closure will cause the loss of 1,200 jobs. There are also concerns the closures will see flow-on effects for the car parts supply industry.

In February Qantas also announced job cuts equivalent to 5,000 full-time positions, after the airline posted a half-year loss of $252 million.

source: abc.net.au

Chile earthquake: five dead, tsunami hits northern coast

Santiago: A major earthquake has struck off the coast of Chile, triggering a tsunami, causing landslides that blocked highways and leading to at least five deaths.

The earthquake of magnitude 8.2 struck at 8.46pm local time, and triggered a tsunami that hit the northern part of the country. The government evacuated Chile’s northern coast and a tsunami warning was issued for the Pacific coast of Mexico through Central and South America.

Blackouts, telephone outages and highway damage were reported in northern Chile, the government said late on Tuesday. Officials said the dead included people who were crushed by collapsing walls or were killed by heart attacks.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the quake generated a large tsunami with the biggest wave reported at 2.3 metres. The Chilean Navy said the first big wave hit the coast within 45 minutes.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was shallow at  20.1 kilometres below the seabed and struck about 100 kilometres north-west of the mining port of Iquique near the Peruvian border. Tremors were felt as far inland as Bolivia, and the quake was followed by a weaker 6.2 magnitude aftershock, Agence France-Presse reported.


Iquique, a major port city of about 182,000 people, is at the edge of Chile’s copper mining Atacama desert region. The area has been on high alert in recent weeks after an unusual number of tremors.

The government said it had no reports of significant damage to coastal areas, but around 300 prisoners took advantage of the confusion and escaped from a jail in Iquique, Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said.

In Peru, the southern coastal area was also put on alert while roads along the coast were closed, said the mayor of the capital, Susana Villaran.

“An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicentre within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said. “An evaluation of the Pacific wide tsunami threat is under way and there is a possibility that Hawaii could be elevated to a watch or warning status,” it added.

Authorities in Peru started evacuating communities in the southern coastal region of Ica. Electricity was partially lost in the Peruvian cities of Tacna, Moquegua and Arequipa but there were no reports of deaths or serious damage.

Chile is one of the most seismically active countries in the world, and a large earthquake has long been expected in the north of the country. In February 2010, central and southern Chile were hit by a powerful earthquake of 8.8-magnitude followed by a tsunami that devastated dozens of towns. The quake left more than 500 dead and caused $US30 billion in damage.

source: smh.com.au




With Jet Still Missing, Legal Moves for Payouts Start


BEIJING — For 10 days, Monica R. Kelly and her American law firm’s aviation lawyers have stalked the dim hallways of the Lido Hotel here to make their pitches to relatives of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

They tell the families that a court in the United States could potentially award millions of dollars per passenger in a lawsuit against the Boeing Company, which built the missing jet, a Boeing 777-200. In a hotel suite, Ms. Kelly uses a model of a Boeing 777 to show families how the plane might have malfunctioned.

“It’s not an issue of whether families will be compensated,” Ms. Kelly said recently while munching on French fries with her 12-year-old son at a restaurant across the street from the Lido. “It’s a question of how much and when.”

But Ms. Kelly admitted that Flight 370 was a uniquely difficult case. “We’ve done more than 43 plane crashes,” she said, “and there’s never been a situation like this one, ever.”

An Australian Air Force member during a search for the missing airline over the Indian Ocean.

Malaysia Releases Transcript From Missing Jet’s CockpitAPRIL 1, 2014

Complicating the prospects for a legal case against Malaysia Airlines, Boeing or other parties is the mystery surrounding the plane’s disappearance after it left Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, en route to Beijing on March 8. No one can say with certainty that the plane has crashed, even though the Malaysian government has said satellite data shows that the flight “ended” in the southern Indian Ocean. International search efforts have yielded no debris.

Still, the rush is on to secure compensation for families of the flight’s 227 passengers, about two-thirds of whom are Chinese. Insurance companies here have already made payments to some relatives. On top of that, the families can expect to receive compensation from Malaysia Airlines because of guarantees in an international treaty. They can also opt to sue the airline for more damages, or to sue Boeing or a component manufacturer. Any lawsuit could take years to conclude.

Ms. Kelly’s firm, Ribbeck Law, made two filings in a court in Chicago, where it is based, to try to force Boeing to divulge more information, but both were dismissed.

“The next step is getting insurance payments, not lawsuits,” said James Healy-Pratt, a partner and head of the aviation department at Stewarts Law, based in London.

Some Chinese families are reluctant to immediately pursue lawsuits or take the payment that airlines generally award in the event of a plane crash, as mandated by international law in the Montreal Convention. Many refuse to accept the fact that the passengers are dead and insist that the Malaysian government is orchestrating an elaborate cover-up.

Wang Le, whose mother was on Flight 370, said that he was starting to cope with her death, but that “it’s not the time for compensation yet.”

“Talking about lawsuits or whatever — we still don’t know where the plane is,” he said.

Some of the Flight 370 families are accepting insurance payments as a first step. The China Life Insurance Company, the biggest such company in China, said on its website that it had 32 clients on the flight and that it had paid out $670,400 to cover seven of them as of March 25. It said the total payment for all the clients would be nearly $1.5 million. At least five other Chinese insurance companies have also made payments.

Since Malaysia is bound by the Montreal Convention, the families are also entitled to a minimum compensation from Malaysia Airlines, up to $174,000 per passenger. The airline or its insurer might try to persuade a family to agree not to sue in exchange for a payment. But lawyers discourage families from signing such waivers. (Crew members are usually not covered by the treaty, but their families can get workers’ compensation and file lawsuits.)

The payouts are made by a consortium of companies that are known as reinsurers. In this case, the lead company is Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, part of Allianz of Germany. The company said it and other reinsurers had already begun making claims payments.

Two years after another aviation mystery, the crash of an Air France Airbus in the Atlantic in 2009, a French judge determined that the airline’s mandatory payout under the Montreal Convention would be 126,000 euros per passenger, about $180,000.

Air France says it has since reached confidential settlements with most of the families of passengers aboard that flight. Families agreeing to the settlements cannot seek any further compensation, even if the continuing French criminal investigation leads to a trial and damages are awarded by a judge.

Airbus has not made any payouts and would face such damages only if it is found liable in a trial.

The amounts awarded in lawsuits related to Flight 370 could vary by the jurisdiction of filing. American courts offer plaintiffs a better chance of winning multimillion-dollar.

settlements, several aviation lawyers said. Those courts assign greater economic value to individual lives than do courts in other countries, and they also regularly impose punitive damages on companies. Jurisdictions for lawsuits are dictated by the Montreal Convention.

The most a Chinese court has awarded plaintiffs in a fatal plane crash case is about $140,000 per passenger, for an accident involving Henan Airlines in 2010. Zhang Qihuan, a lawyer who has been talking to relatives of those on Flight 370, said a court probably would not award more than that in any accident, to avoid setting a precedent. But he said families could settle for a much higher amount out of court if they agree to keep quiet.

Some lawyers say it is too early to begin discussing lawsuits because there is insufficient evidence to establish why the plane disappeared. Forensic analysis of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder — the black boxes — or debris from the plane might help sustain a case. Malaysian officials have not accused anyone of wrongdoing.

Robert A. Clifford, an aviation accident lawyer based in Chicago, said he had been contacted by a lawyer in Texas claiming to speak for a Flight 370 family. But he emphasized that no one should rush into litigation. “You don’t have to knee-jerk it, go out, file something,” he said. “This is a process, not an event, and this race is not always won by the swift.”

Malaysian officials and Malaysia Airlines are girding themselves for legal and financial fallout from the plane’s disappearance.

Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s defense minister and acting transportation minister, said last week that the government had asked the country’s attorney general to begin assessing the legal implications of the loss of the plane.

The chief executive officer of Malaysia Airlines, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, told reporters last week that the company had already begun discussing compensation with the family members and with “various legal parties.”

Malaysia Airlines has already offered $5,000 to each family to help them deal with immediate financial strains, including travel costs. The airline said on Monday that it had adequate insurance coverage to meet “all the reasonable costs” that might arise from the plane’s loss.

Ms. Kelly, the lawyer, said families never believe that money can make up for their loss. But in one of her cases, she said, the husband died while flying with a mistress, and “the wife was happy to receive the money.”

source: nytimes.com

Χάρη σε δωρεά ομογενή διδάσκεται η ελληνική ιστορία στο Κουίνσλαντ

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Η έδρα αρχαίας ελληνικής ιστορίας του πανεπιστημίου του Κουίνσλαντ που δημιουργήθηκε μετά από δωρεά $1 εκατ. του ομογενή ογκολόγου Πολ Ηλιάδη.

«Εξερευνήσεις της ομορφιάς και του έρωτα στην αρχαία Ελλάδα» ήταν το θέμα της  διάλεξης του καθηγητή Alastair Blanshard από το Πανεπιστήμιο Κουήνσλαντ στα Σεμινάρια Ελληνικής Ιστορίας και Πολιτισμού της Ελληνικής Κοινότητας Μελβούρνης  την οποία παρακολούθησαν πολυάριθμοι  ομογενείς.
Ο καθηγητής Alastair Blanshard διδάσκει στην έδρα αρχαίας ελληνικής ιστορίας του πανεπιστημίου του Κουίνσλαντ που δημιουργήθηκε μετά από δωρεά ενός εκατομμυρίου δολαρίων  του ομογενή ογκολόγου Πολ Ηλιάδη.

Το πανεπιστήμιο του Κουίνσλαντ είναι το μοναδικό πανεπιστήμιο της πολιτείας που προσφέρει μαθήματα ιστορίας, πολιτισμού και λογοτεχνίας της αρχαίας Ελλάδας και της Ρωμαϊκής Αυτοκρατορίας.

«Η γνώση είναι η ρίζα της ελευθερίας και της δημοκρατίας» λέει ο 60χρονος Δρ. Ηλιάδης που διαθέτει και τη Συλλογή Πολ Ηλιάδη, μια εντυπωσιακή συλλογή πινάκων ζωγραφικής των κορυφαίων Αυστραλών και Αβοριγίνων καλλιτεχνών. Μέρος της συλλογής αυτής το δώρισε στην Δημόσια Πινακοθήκη του Κουίνσλαντ «για να τα χαίρονται και να τα εκτιμούν όλοι τα έργα αυτά».

Ο Δρ. Ηλιάδης χαρακτηρίζει τον εαυτό του Αυστραλό ελληνικής καταγωγής και σημειώνει ότι μπορεί οι γονείς και οι παππούδες των Ελλήνων μεταναστών να ήταν αγράμματοι, αλλά φρόντισαν τα παιδιά τους και τα εγγόνια τους να γίνουν επιστήμονες. Ο ίδιος, εκτός των άλλων, στις ελεύθερες ώρες του μελετά την αρχαία ελληνική ιστορία.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Για ένα νέου τύπου ΣΑΕ


Πρόταση του καθηγητή Χρ. Γιανναρά .

Ρηξικέλευθες προτάσεις για ένα νέο Συμβούλιο Αποδήμου Ελληνισμού (ΣΑΕ) κατέθεσε στην τελευταία συνεδρίαση της Αναθεωρητικής και Οργανωτικής Επιτροπής Επεξεργασίας του νέου νομοσχεδίου (13 Μαρτίου 2014) ο καθηγητής και ακαδημαϊκός, κ. Χρήστος Γιανναράς.

Ο κ. Γιανναράς προτείνει –σε γενικές γραμμές- ένα επιτελικό συντονιστικό όργανο που δεν θα είναι ούτε σωματείο ούτε ίδρυμα, δεν θα υποκαθιστά ούτε και θα ανταγωνίζεται τα υφιστάμενα οργανωτικά μορφώματα των αποδήμων και σκοπός του θα είναι η εξυπηρέτηση συγκεκριμένων αναγκών της Ομογένειας.
Το ΣΑΕ θα είναι Νομικό Πρόσωπο Δημοσίου Δικαίου, αυτοδιοίκητο, ιδρύεται από το Υπ. Εξωτερικών το οποίο και «διατηρεί την υψηλή εποπτεία του».
Το –νέο- ΣΑΕ θα αποτελείται από νομικά, αλλά και φυσικά πρόσωπα, θα σκοπεύει στην προβολή του ελληνικού πολιτισμού ως πρόταση με πανανθρώπινη εμβέλεια. Επιπλέον, θα προωθεί προτάσεις για τη δημιουργία ελληνικών σχολείων και εδρών ελληνικής γλώσσας και πολιτισμού σε πανεπιστήμια της αλλοδαπής, αυτοσυντήρητα οικονομικά και παροχής σπουδών υψηλών απαιτήσεων της ελληνικής γλώσσας.

Ακόμη, θα δημιουργεί δυνατότητες παρέμβασης στη σύγχρονη πνευματική παραγωγή στη διεθνή βιβλιαγορά, με προϋποθέσεις προώθησης ελληνικών προϊόντων, αλλά και παρακολούθηση στη διεθνή σκηνή περιπτώσεων παραχάραξης της Ιστορίας, ωραιοποιημένες αιτιολογήσεις «εθνοκάθαρσης» κ.λπ. Με δυνατότητα συμβολής στην αντιμετώπισή τους στα διεθνή φόρα.

Στις επιδιώξεις του θα είναι και η…  μεθοδική αποκατάσταση «αυθεντικού λειτουργικού χώρου στους ελληνορθόδοξους ναούς της διασποράς» γεγονός το οποίο, όπως υποστηρίζει, «θα μπορούσε να προσδώσει εξέχουσα πολιτισμική δυναμική στις κοινότητες των Ελλήνων της διασποράς».
Σε ό,τι αφορά τη διοίκηση ενός τέτοιου ΣΑΕ, ο κ. Γιανναράς εισηγείται τη συγκρότηση επταμελούς Διοικούσας Επιτροπής και μιας Γραμματείας. Τα μέλη της πρώτης Διοικούσης Επιτροπής (ΔΕ) θα εκλέγονται από τον αρμόδιο για τον Απόδημο Ελληνισμό ΥΦΥΠΕΞ, θα είναι άμισθα και η προσφορά τους εθελοντική. (Σ.σ. Αναφέρονται κριτήρια επιλογής όχι, όμως, και διάρκεια θητείας).

Ωστόσο, μέχρι και τρίμηνο από τον διορισμό των μελών της ΔΕ μπορούν να υποβληθούν ενστάσεις για την καταλληλότητά τους η απόφαση επί των οποίων θα δημοσιεύεται στο Διαδίκτυο.

Η δε Γραμματεία του ΣΑΕ συγκροτείται από υπαλλήλους του Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών, με μετάθεση από τη ΓΓΑΕ ή άλλη υπηρεσία του υπουργείου.
Σε ό,τι αφορά τα οικονομικά, το ΣΑΕ δέχεται κρατική επιχορήγηση, αλλά ΔΕΝ διαχειρίζεται σε καμία περίπτωση χρήματα του ελληνικού Δημοσίου. Μισθοδοτούμενοι είναι μόνον οι υπάλληλοι της Γραμματείας αλλά κι αυτοί μισθοδοτούνται απευθείας από το κράτος.
Η ΔΕ και η Γραμματεία έχουν ως έδρα την Αθήνα. Μετάβαση μέλους της ΔΕ στο εξωτερικό (εισιτήρια, διαμονή) καλύπτονται από την οργάνωση των αποδήμων που ενδεχομένως τους προσκαλεί.

Το ΣΑΕ συντάσσει και με δική του πρωτοβουλία ολοκληρωμένα Προγράμματα (με πλήρη ανάλυση μεθοδολογίας κ.λπ.) που υπηρετούν τους σκοπούς του (Άρθρο 2), εντοπίζει προσωπικότητες της διασποράς εξειδικευμένες και ικανές «να οργανώσουν τόσο τη χρηματοδότηση όσο και την εφαρμογή της πρότασης, και τους καλεί να συστήσουν την επιτελική ομάδα για την πραγματοποίησή της». Υπάλληλος της ΓΓΑΕ παρακολουθεί τις εργασίες και ενημερώνει τη ΔΕ.
Τέλος, σχεδιάζει με δική του πρωτοβουλία το ΣΑΕ και υλοποιεί ολοκληρωμένα Προγράμματα (αναζητά χορηγούς, ορίζει εξελεγκτική επιτροπή εξόδων).

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Ελληνικός Πύργος και στο Όκλι!


Εκεί θα μεταφερθεί και το Φεστιβάλ Αντίποδες

Σύμφωνα με αποκλειστικές πληροφορίες του «Νέου Κόσμου» η Ελληνική Κοινότητα Μελβούρνης έχει έτοιμα τα σχέδια και για δεύτερο ελληνικό πύργο.
Ο πύργος αυτός, 23 ορόφων, θα κτιστεί στο Όκλι, όπου είναι πλέον το κέντρο του ελληνισμού της Μελβούρνης.

Για την ανέγερσή του η Κοινότητα θα χρησιμοποιήσει τα έσοδα που θα προκύψουν από την πώλησή του  οικοπέδου της στο Μπουλίν που εικάζεται ότι θα αποφέρει πάνω από 20 εκατομμύρια δολάρια.

Η θεμελίωσή του θα γίνει τον ερχόμενο Μάρτιο στο πλαίσιο του Φεστιβάλ Αντίποδες που από του χρόνου θα μεταφερθεί στο Όκλι.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Aυστραλία:Δανειοδότες «καρχαρίες» ρουφούν το αίμα των απεγνωσμένων

capital one

Χρεώνοντας μέχρι και 792% τόκο.

Δίκτυο ατόμων του υπόκοσμου και συνεργατών τους, χρησιμοποιούσαν αδειούχα δανειοδοτική εταιρία για τις επιχειρηματικές τους δραστηριότητες, χρεώνοντας σε απεγνωσμένους μέχρι και 792% τόκο.

Η εν λόγω εταιρία, με την επωνυμία Capital One Securities, ανήκει στον πρώην χρεοκοπημένο, Tom Karas, o οποίος είχε κατηγορηθεί από το σώμα εγκληματικής δίωξης Purana, για ξέπλυμα χρήματος προερχομένου από εγκληματικές πράξεις, εκ μέρους της αυτοκρατορίας ναρκωτικών του Μόκμπελ.

Αξίζει να αναφερθεί ότι o Karas παρά την ανάμιξή του στο οργανωμένο έγκλημα, είχε επιτύχει να του δοθεί παναυστραλιανή άδεια λειτουργίας της εταιρίας του από το Αυστραλιανό Συμβούλιο Εγγυήσεων και Επενδύσεων (Australian Securities and Investments Commission), τo 2011.

Εξακολουθούσε να έχει την άδεια λειτουργίας της εταιρίας του, παρ’ ότι το Ανώτατο Δικαστήριο αποφάνθηκε ότι όφειλε $47εκ. στην Εφορία.
Να σημειωθεί ότι ο Karas και ο συνεργάτης του και γαμπρός του, Nick Meletsis, ανακρίνονται για κατηγορίες εις βάρος τους, αναφορικά με το ότι πλήρωναν συμμορίες μοτοσικλετιστών και άτομα του υποκόσμου για να παίρνουν τα οφειλόμενα από τους δανειολήπτες.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Visa agreement to be signed in May



Gerontopoulos confirms Greece will grant voting rights to the Hellenic diaspora.

The anticipated Work and Holiday Visa agreement (subclass 462) between Australia and Greece, that will enable approximately 500 people from the two countries, aged 18-30 years, to work for a period of up to one year, is to be signed in early May during the Australian visit of the Greek Minister for Tourism Olga Kefalogianni.

This was confirmed on Monday by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece Mr Kyriakos (Akis) Gerontopoulos, at his press conference at the Hellenic Museum in Melbourne.

In the same interview Mr Gerontopoulos announced that the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad had resumed, albeit on a small scale, its summer camp hospitality programs for diaspora children.

Referring to the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), Mr Gerontopoulos said that efforts are being made to make SAE work in the near future on a completely different basis as well as for the organisation to become “self-financing “. He also stated that in the last few years the amount of state money given to SAE were minimal.

For the amount of money spent for SAE up until 2010, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece said that the finances of the organisation were audited and that the auditor’s report was handed over to Mr Leandros Rakintzis, the General Inspector of Public Administration in Greece. ” If something has to be stated it will be stated once the process is completed”, he said.

During his press conference at the Hellenic Museum in Melbourne, Mr Gerontopoulos expressed his support for granting voting rights to the Hellenic diaspora. However, he added, this should be done after consultation, in order to find an acceptable system that is supported by a broad majority in the Greek Parliament and not only by the parties forming the government. “I am one of those who believe that Greece will benefit if our diaspora obtains the voting right. The right to elect and to be elected.”, he said.

On the matter of signing an agreement between Greece and Australia in order to avoid double taxation Mr Gerontopoulos noted that “Athens wants and seeks such an agreement but Canberra does not seem to be interested.”

The Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister stated that the Greek consulates in Australia are not sufficiently staffed because of the crisis, and he went on to say that the Greek Department of Foreign Affairs will examine the issue of the understaffed Consulates of Greece in Australia as well as the issue of having a Commercial Attache in Melbourne. He also acknowledged that perhaps there were some ” failures ” in the latest price increase of consular fees. But, he added, the consular fees remained did not increase for a number of years and noted that the Greek people have been burdened at the same time with many and often unfair weights.

Kyriakos Gerontopoulos when told that the Greek Australian community in Melbourne was impressed by the fact that he travelled to Australia with a very small contingent (himself and two advisors), and that he is staying in low cost reputable hotels he responded by saying that “In these times anything else would have amounted to a provocation.”

The Deputy Foreign Minister did not fail to mention during his press conference that he was particularly impressed by Melbourne’s Greek community’s Independence Day Parade last Sunday.

While in Melbourne the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of Greece met with Bishop Ezekiel, visited Greek schools and the state Parliament where he met with Greek Australian parliamentarians and other officials and he attended a special function in honor of Greece’s Independence Day. He also visited the Hellenic Museum and met with the Board of Helelnic- Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

After Melbourne Mr Gerontopoulos traveled to Canberra, where he laid a wreath at the “Hellenic Memorial” on March 25, and visited the “Hellenic Club” and the Home for the Aged of the Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of St. Nicholas. At Federal Parliament the Deputy Foreign Minister met with Senator Sinodinos and other Greek Australian federal parliamentarians.

In Sydney Mr Gerontopoulos met Archbishop Stylianos, the Board of the Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales, New South Wales Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts George Tourism, as well as Sophie Cotsis, MLC and local government Greek Australian Councillors. He also visited St Spyridon College and attended a Greek flag raising ceremony at the neighboring municipalities of Hurstville / Kogarah.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece was also present and spoke at the Australian launching of The Hellenic Initiative on Wednesday 26 March.

source: Neos Kosmos

CIA lied to public and Congress about torture


Officials who have viewed the still problematically secret Senate report say CIA lied about brutal practices.

The 6,000-plus page Senate report on the CIA’s use of torture — a document still problematically and controversially classified — reportedly tells of the spy agency’s lies to both Congress and the public about its use of brutal Bush-era interrogation methods at black sites around the world.

A Washington Post report, based on comments from officials with access to the still-classified document noted:

The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document.

“The CIA described [its program] repeatedly both to the Department of Justice and eventually to Congress as getting unique, otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped disrupt terrorist plots and save thousands of lives,” said one U.S. official briefed on the report. “Was that actually true? The answer is no.”

source: salon.com