Daily Archives: August 20, 2014

Asian Champions League quarter-final: Western Sydney Wanderers beat Guangzhou Evergrande 1-0

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Western Sydney took down reigning Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande 1-0 in the first leg of their ACL quarter-final on Wednesday night.

Neither side could find the back of the net through the first hour of the game in front of 17,093 fans at Parramatta Stadium, with both squandering a number of chances in front of goal.

The deadlock was broken in the 60th minute when Antony Golec’s cross found its way past every set of legs in the box – although Tomi Juric said he got a toe to it – eventually ending up in the bottom-right corner of the net.

The visitors finished the game with nine men, with Goa Lin’s red card prompting coach Marcello Lippi to charge on to the pitch and get in the face of the referee.

In both challenges the Western Sydney players overreacted to the contact, but it was Juric who was shown a yellow card for simulation after a challenge in the box with just seconds left in the game.

The second leg will be played on Wednesday, August 27 at the Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou.

source: abc.com.au

Islamic State video claims to show beheading of U.S. journalist

Still image from undated video of a masked Islamic State militant holding a knife speaking next to man purported to be James Foley at an unknown location

A masked Islamic State militant holding a knife speaks next to man purported to be U.S. journalist James Foley at an unknown location in this still image from an undated video posted on a social media website.

Islamic State militants posted a video on Tuesday that purported to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley in revenge for U.S. air strikes against the insurgents in Iraq.

The video, titled “A Message To America,” also showed images of another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, whose life Islamic State said depended on how the United States acts in Iraq.

The gruesome video presented President Barack Obama with bleak options that could define America’s involvement in Iraq and the public reaction to it, potentially dragging him further into a conflict he built much of his presidency on ending.

Obama held back from making a public statement about the beheading until the video could be formally authenticated.

“If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

Other political leaders were swift to react.

British Prime Minister David Cameron interrupted his holiday to return to London to lead the hunt to identify the man shown killing Foley, who spoke on the video with a British accent.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was not surprised to hear the British accent and that large numbers of British nationals were fighting in Iraq and Syria.

“Our intelligence services will be looking very carefully on both sides of the Atlantic at this video to establish its authenticity, to try to identify the individual concerned and then we will work together to try to locate him,” Hammond told Sky news.

French President Francois Hollande called for an international conference to discuss how to tackle Islamic State.

GRISLY MESSAGE

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari urged the world to back his country against Islamic State, which he described as a threat to the world, not just to the minority ethnic groups whose members it has killed in Iraq.

Germany and Italy said they were ready to send arms to bolster the military capabilities of Iraqi Kurds fighting Islamic State in northern Iraq.

The video’s grisly message was unambiguous, warning of greater retaliation to come against Americans following nearly two weeks of U.S. air strikes that have pounded militant positions and halted the advance of Islamic State, which until this month had captured a third of Iraq with little resistance.

Foley, 40, was kidnapped by armed men on Nov. 22, 2012, in northern Syria while on his way to the Turkish border, according to GlobalPost, a Boston-based online publication where Foley had worked as a freelancer. He had reported in the Middle East for five years and had been kidnapped and released in Libya.

Sotloff, who appeared at the end of the video, went missing in northern Syria while reporting in July 2013. He has written for TIME among other news organizations.

On Facebook, Foley’s mother Diane Foley said: “We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.

“We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.”

The video was posted after the United States resumed air strikes in Iraq this month for the first time since the end of the U.S. occupation in 2011.

ISLAMIC STATE

Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in the parts of Iraq and Syria it controls, opened the video with a clip of Obama saying he had authorized strikes in Iraq.

The words “Obama authorizes military operations against the Islamic State effectively placing America upon a slippery slope towards a new war front against Muslims” appeared in English and Arabic on the screen.

It showed black and white aerial footage of air strikes with text saying “American aggression against the Islamic State”.

A man identified as James Foley, his head shaven and dressed in an orange outfit similar to uniforms worn by prisoners at the U.S. military detention camp in Guantánamo, Cuba, is seen kneeling in the desert next to a man standing, holding a knife and clad head to toe in black.

“I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality,” the kneeling man says.

The man next to him, in a black mask, speaks in a British accent and says, “This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen, of your country. As a government, you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State.”

“Today your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims. You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army, and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide.”

Following his statement he beheads the kneeling man. At the end of the video, words on the side of the screen say, “Steven Joel Sotloff”, as another prisoner in an orange jumpsuit is shown on screen. “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the masked man says.

HOSTAGE HISTORY

Hostage crises have plagued U.S. presidents over the years.

Jimmy Carter’s presidency sagged under the weight of the Iran hostage crisis when Americans were held captive for 444 days. Ronald Reagan’s bid to get American hostages freed from Lebanon led to an arms-for-hostages Iran-Contra scandal that plagued his second term.

University of Virginia political scholar Larry Sabato said the current situation was more like the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl by al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2002. He said it could help bolster a growing perception among Americans that the United States will have to be more aggressive in dealing with Islamic State militants.

Syria has been the most dangerous country for journalists for more than two years. At least 69 other journalists have been killed covering the conflict there and more than 80 journalists have been kidnapped in Syria.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that approximately 20 journalists are currently missing in Syria. Many of them are believed to be held by Islamic State.

Islamic State also released a video on Tuesday that gave a strong indication it might try to strike American targets. The video with the theme “breaking of the American cross” boasts Islamic State will emerge victorious over “crusader” America.

It followed a video posted on Monday, warning of attacks on American targets if Washington strikes against its fighters in Iraq and Syria.

As well as taking territory, Islamic State has seized a number of oil wells in northern Iraq. The government in Baghdad said it was troubled by reports that Islamic State was smuggling oil to export markets and warned the purchase of such supplies could help the group fund its operations.

source: reuters.com

Greek lawyers talk families behaving badly

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Andrew Panna QC, president of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association.

The newly formed Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association (HAL) will host a dinner and lecture evening on August 28.

The lecture delivered by HAL’s president, Mr Andrew Panna QC, will focus on the topic ‘Family and friends behaving badly: terminating failed joint endeavours’.

The association started in April, and after gathering information as to what its members would like to get out of the group, it felt compelled to bring out the dinner and lecture event.

The association plans to hold more seminars and have prominent people in the legal profession give lectures. They will also look at people from non-legal backgrounds to give lectures on issues that would impact Hellenic Australian lawyers.

“Lawyers tend to focus on their work and don’t think too much to mix with members of their community and I thought it’s time to do something about that – meet and talk and mix with the community,” Mr Panna told Neos Kosmos before the launch.

The association looks to group together the legal minds of the Greek Australian community, inviting all those practising law to join.

The national patron of the organisation is Chief Justice Chris Kourakis of South Australia and the Victorian patron is Justice Emilios Kyrou.

As it stands, law students and people with law degrees who aren’t practising can also join the association, and government staff and public servants who deal with legal matters are also welcome to join.

The dinner and lecture event will be held on August 28 at the RACV Club, Level 2, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne at 6.00 pm for a 6.15 pm start. The cost of the event will be $90 for HAL members and $100 for non-members and will include pre-dinner drinks and a two course dinner with alcoholic beverages included.

New members are asked to register their interest by contacting the secretary of HAL, Alexi Costa at Acosta@moray.com.au no later than Friday 22 August.

source: Neos Kosmos

Αυστραλία: Οι καταναλωτές μηνύουν την Τelstra

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Για τα τέλη που χρεώνει λόγω καθυστέρησης πληρωμής του λογαριασμού τους.

Μαζική αγωγή κατά της μεγαλύτερης εταιρίας παροχής υπηρεσιών τηλεπικοινωνίας Telstra αναμένεται να καταθέσουν σύντομα οι εκατομμύρια πελάτες της εταιρίας ζητώντας να τους επιστραφούν τα εκατοντάδες εκατομμύρια που της έχουν πληρώσει ως τέλη, επειδή κατά καιρούς πλήρωναν τους λογαριασμούς τους εκπρόθεσμα.
Η μαζική αγωγή κατά της Telstra, που αναμένεται να κατατεθεί στο Ομοσπονδιακό Δικαστήριο σε λίγους μήνες, έρχεται μετά από πρόσφατη δικαστική απόφαση σύμφωνα με την οποία τα τέλη που χρεώνουν οι τράπεζες σε όσους καθυστερούν να πληρώσουν τη δόση της πιστωτικής τους κάρτας είναι παράνομα.

Στην μαζική αγωγή μπορούν να συμμετάσχουν όλοι οι πελάτες της Telstra που λαμβάνουν υπηρεσίες κινητής ή σταθερής τηλεφωνίας, αλλά και αυτοί που λαμβάνουν υπηρεσίες διαδικτύου.

Το βασικό επιχείρημα πάνω στο οποίο η δικηγορική εταιρία ACA Lawyers προτίθεται να στηρίξει την μαζική αγωγή, είναι ότι αυτή τη στιγμή, σύμφωνα με την υπάρχουσα νομοθεσία, ο πελάτης είναι υποχρεωμένος να πληρώσει μόνο τα σχετικά έξοδα που επιβαρύνεται η εταιρία λόγω της καθυστερημένης εξόφλησης του λογαριασμού του. Με δεδομένο όμως ότι αυτά τα έξοδα είναι πολύ χαμηλότερα από τα $15 που χρεώνει αυτή τη στιγμή η Telstra για κάθε λογαριασμό άνω των $70 δεν θεωρούνται πλέον ως έξοδα αλλά «πέναλτι» και σύμφωνα με το νόμο αυτός δεν είναι υποχρεωμένος να τα πληρώσει.

Το μέγεθος της αποζημίωσης που θα πρέπει να πληρώσει η Telstra -αν, τελικά, οι πελάτες της δικαιωθούν από το δικαστήριο-, το έδωσε ο διευθυντής της δικηγορικής εταιρίας ACA Lawyers, Steven Lewis, ο οποίος ανέφερε χαρακτηριστικά, ότι από τις αρχές του χρόνου η Τelstra έχει εισπράξει από τη συγκεκριμένη χρέωση στους λογαριασμούς των πελατών της γύρω στα $272 εκατ.

Μάλιστα, ο κ. Lewis ανέφερε ότι δεν θα έχουν την ευκαιρία μόνο οι πελάτες της Telstra να πάρουν πίσω αυτά που πλήρωσαν χωρίς να υπάρχει λόγος στην εταιρία, αλλά και οι πελάτες της Optus και της Vodaphone.

Σύμφωνα με τον κ. Lewis, ο νόμος προβλέπει ότι οι πελάτες μπορούν να ζητήσουν την επιστροφή των τελών που πλήρωσαν για τα προηγούμενα έξι χρόνια, αλλά αν αποδειχθεί ότι προ αυτής της περιόδου πλήρωναν τα συγκεκριμένα τέλη, χωρίς να γνωρίζουν το νόμο τότε μπορούν να ζητήσουν την επιστροφή των τελών από τότε που αυτά επιβλήθηκαν στον λογαριασμό τους.

Τέλος, να αναφέρουμε ότι αυτή τη στιγμή η Telstra -που πριν από λίγες μέρες ανακοίνωσε ότι κατά το παρελθόν οικονομικό τα κέρδη της ανήλθαν στα $4,3 δις-, αυτή τη στιγμή έχει το μεγαλύτερο μέρισμα στην αγορά, με 16 εκατ. πελάτες κινητής τηλεφωνίας, 7,5 εκατ. σταθερής τηλεφωνίας και 4 εκατ. πελάτες που λαμβάνουν υπηρεσίες διαδικτύου μέσω της Telstra.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Αυστραλία: Απεβίωσε ο δημοτικός σύμβουλος του Marrickville, Μανώλης Τσαρδούλιας

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Θλίψη για τον πρόωρο χαμό του Μανώλη Τσαρδούλια

Σε ηλικία 39 ετών, έπειτα από πολύμηνη μάχη με τον καρκίνο.

Με θλίψη πληροφορήθηκε η ομογένεια το θάνατο του ομογενούς δημοτικού συμβούλου Marrickville, Μανώλη Τσαρδούλια, σε ηλικία 39 ετών, έπειτα από πολύμηνη μάχη με τον καρκίνο.

Ο Μανώλης Τσαρδούλιας είχε εκλεγεί για πρώτη φορά δημοτικός σύμβουλος με το Εργατικό Κόμμα τον Σεπτέμβριο του 2008 και πέτυχε την επανεκλογή του το 2012. Μάλιστα, στο έτος 2012-2013 είχε διατελέσει αντιδήμαρχος.

Την Τρίτη το βράδυ το Δημοτικό Συμβούλιο, στην τακτική του συνεδρίαση, υιοθέτησε ψήφισμα για τον εκλιπόντα σύμβουλο και άνοιξε βιβλίο συλλυπητηρίων για να μπορούν να υπογράψουν οι πολίτες.

Ο Μανώλης Τσαρδούλας είχε γεννηθεί το 1975. Πήγε στο δημοτικό σχολείο Dulwich Hill και μετά στο Γυμνάσιο του ίδιου προαστίου.
«Ο Μανώλης έδωσε την προσωπική του μάχη με γενναιότητα, κουράγιο, αλλά και χιούμορ» δήλωσε ο γενικός διευθυντής του Δήμου Marrickville, Brian Barrett.
«Στέκομαι ιδιαίτερα στην ενεργητικότητα, τον ενθουσιασμό και την αισιοδοξία του Μανώλη, όχι μόνο στην αντιμετώπιση των θεμάτων της τοπικής αυτοδιοίκησης, αλλά γενικότερα απέναντι στη ζωή» τόνισε η νυν δήμαρχος Jo Haylen.

«Όλοι είμαστε χαμένοι από τον πρόωρο θάνατο του Μανώλη» δήλωσε ο Δημήτρης Θάνος, πρώην δήμαρχος Marrickville, που είχε συνυπηρετήσει στο Δημοτικό Συμβούλιο με τον εκλιπόντα.

«Είχε να προσφέρει πολλά ακόμη στην Τοπική Αυτοδιοίκηση, ιδιαίτερα τώρα που πλέον ήταν από τους πιο έμπειρους δημοτικούς συμβούλους» πρόσθεσε ο κ. Θάνος.
Ο Μανώλης Τσαρδούλιας είχε στενές σχέσεις με τους δημότες, ιδιαίτερα με τους ελληνικής καταγωγής, και συχνά έδινε το παρών σε ομογενειακές εκδηλώσεις
Ήταν νυμφευμένος με την Ζωή, και απέκτησε δύο δίδυμα αγόρια, τον Στήβεν και τον Δημήτρη.

Η κηδεία του θα γίνει από τον ελληνορθόδοξο ναό Αγίου Νικολάου Marrickville, αυτή την Παρασκευή, 22 Αυγούστου στις 10.30 το πρωί.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Aυστραλία: Ο Βατσκαλής εγκαταλείπει την πολιτική

Vatsaklis

Γεννήθηκε στην Κεφαλονιά, μεγάλωσε στην Αθήνα και έγινε υπερυπουργός στην Αυστραλία!

Ο λόγος για τον ομογενή Κώστα Βατσκαλή, που αυτές τις μέρες αποφάσισε να αποσυρθεί από την πολιτική και να αφοσιωθεί στην οικογένειά του.
Πριν από λίγα χρόνια, όταν ο πρωθυπουργός της Τουρκίας, Ταγίπ Ερντογάν, πραγματοποίησε την πρώτη του επίσημη επίσκεψη στην Αυστραλία, ξαφνιάστηκε από το γεγονός ότι ένας …Έλληνας ήταν ο πρώτος αξιωματούχος της αυστραλιανής Πολιτείας που τον υποδεχόταν επίσημα επί αυστραλιανού εδάφους!
Όπως προβλέπει το πρωτόκολλο, στο αεροδρόμιο του Ντάργουιν, όπου στάθμευσε το αεροσκάφος του, τον υποδέχθηκε εκπρόσωπος της τοπικής κυβέρνησης και αυτός δεν ήταν άλλος από τον ομογενή Κώστα Βατσκαλή.

Ο Τούρκος πρωθυπουργός δεν έκρυβε την έκπληξή του που ένας Έλληνας ήταν ο πρώτος Αυστραλός υπουργός που τον υποδεχόταν επί αυστραλιανού εδάφους. «Και εδώ Έλληνας;» αναρωτήθηκε.
Ο κ. Βατσκαλής πάντα προκαλούσε εκπλήξεις. Εξάλλου, δεν είναι καθημερινό φαινόμενο να έχει γεννηθεί και να έχει μεγαλώσει κάποιος στην Ελλάδα, να ξενιτευτεί λόγω γάμου και στη χώρα όπου πήγε μετανάστης να γίνει υπουργός.

Για πρώτη φορά εξελέγη βουλευτής στο πολιτειακό κοινοβούλιο της Νόρδερν Τέριτορι πριν 13 χρόνια.
Έγινε υπερυπουργός έχοντας τα υπουργεία Εργασίας και Επιχειρήσεων, Τουρισμού, Υποστήριξης Ενόπλων Δυνάμεων, Σχέσεων με την Ασία, και Πρωτογενούς Βιομηχανίας, Αλιείας, Ορυκτού Πλούτου και Ενέργειας της Βόρειας Επικράτειας.

Και σήμερα, στην αντιπολίτευση πλέον, αποφάσισε να αποσυρθεί σε ηλικία 57 ετών.

«Νομίζω πως ό,τι ήταν να προσφέρω στην πολιτική, το πρόσφερα» είπε ο ομογενής που κέρδιζε την βουλευτική του έδρα με ποσοστό άνω του 64%».
Ποιος είναι όμως ο Κώστας Βατσκαλής;

Ο ίδιος σε συνέντευξη που μας είχε παραχωρήσει παλαιότερα μας είπε:
«Γεννήθηκα στο Αργοστόλι της Κεφαλονιάς το 1957 από Ηπειρώτες γονείς. Ο πατέρας μου καταγόταν από το χωριό Πυρσογιάννη των Ιωαννίνων. Ήταν κτίστης, τεχνίτης στην πέτρα και πήγε στην Κεφαλονιά μετά τους καταστροφικούς σεισμούς για να εργαστεί στην ανοικοδόμησή της».

Ο Κώστας Βατσκαλής μεγάλωσε και σπούδασε, όμως, στην Αθήνα, όπου έζησε έως το 1983. Τότε παντρεύτηκε μια Αυστραλή και σε ηλικία 27 ετών πήρε την απόφαση να μεταναστεύσει, για χάρη της, στην Αυστραλία.
Πρώτος σταθμός ήταν το Περθ, όπου σπούδασε στο Πανεπιστήμιο Δημόσια Υγεία. Το 1988 πέθανε η πρώτη του γυναίκα και ένα χρόνο αργότερα ξαναπαντρεύτηκε, πάλι Αυστραλή, την Μάργκαρετ. Εγκαταστάθηκαν στο Πορτ Χέντλαντ και λίγο αργότερα στο Ντάργουιν, πρωτεύουσα της Βόρειας Επικράτειας.
Εκεί ο ομογενής, ο οποίος από τη στιγμή που πάτησε το πόδι του στην Αυστραλία ασχολήθηκε με την πολιτική, είχε διοριστεί διευθυντής στη διεύθυνση της Δημόσιας Υγείας.

Το 1986 ήταν υποψήφιος του Εργατικού Κόμματος στο Περθ και στο Ντάργουιν, όπου εγκαταστάθηκε και φρόντισε να ιδρύσει Ελληνόφωνο Τμήμα του Εργατικού Κόμματος.
«Παράλληλα, ασχολήθηκα ενεργά με την ελληνική παροικία» λέει και συμπληρώνει: «Για χρόνια έκανα ραδιοφωνικές εκπομπές στην ελληνική».

Ο ίδιος εργάστηκε και ως δάσκαλος Ελληνικών, ενώ αργότερα, ως υπουργός συνέβαλε στη δημιουργία τμήματος Ελληνικών στο Ντάργουιν, σε πανεπιστημιακό επίπεδο και πάντα εργάζεται για το καλό της ομογένειας.

-Περίμενες ποτέ πως από τις γειτονιές της Ηλιούπολης θα γινόσουν βουλευτής και μάλιστα στην Αυστραλία;
-Όχι, βέβαια! Και το πιο εντυπωσιακό είναι ότι μια εβδομάδα μετά την εκλογή μου ως βουλευτής έγινα υπουργός. Πού να το φανταστώ;…
Στην Αυστραλία είναι μόνος. Έχει κάποιους συγγενείς στη Μελβούρνη, αλλά οι γονείς του και η αδελφή του ζουν στην Ελλάδα.
Στο Ντάργουιν ζουν περίπου 7.500 Έλληνες που αποτελούν το 10% του συνολικού πληθυσμού της πόλης. Στην πλειοψηφία τους είναι Καλύμνιοι.
Ο κ. Βατσκαλής μας λέει ότι οι πρώτοι Έλληνες έφτασαν εκεί το 1876 και έχουν προσφέρει πολλά στην ανάπτυξη της Πολιτείας. Πολλοί είναι οι ξακουστοί Έλληνες του Ντάργουιν, με πιο γνωστό τον Πασπάλη, ο οποίος θεωρείται «ο βασιλιάς της βιομηχανίας μαργαριταριών».

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Detained immigrants launch hunger strike in northern Greece

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100 immigrants have begun a hunger strike. Photo: AAP.

Some of the migrants claim to have fallen victim to discrimination by staff at the centre who are alleged to have released other migrants with similar appeals.

Some 100 undocumented immigrants launched a hunger strike at a reception centre in Paranesti, in the northern regional unit of Drama, demanding to be released after having been issued with documents suspending their deportation.

According to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, the detainees were recently transferred to the centre from the eastern Aegean island of Samos.

Most hail from Iraq, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan and are keen to be reunited with their families, whose welfare they have expressed concerns about, sources said.

According to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), some of the migrants claim to have fallen victim to discriminatory tactics by staff at the centre who are alleged to have released other migrants with similar appeals.

Source: Ekathimerni

Banking and real estate in Cyprus

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Limassol, Cyprus.

The sharp decline of property prices may have a significant impact on the banking sector and thus on the real economy of the country.

The financial stability of the Cypriot banking system is highly correlated to the real estate sector as the lending criteria that the banks applied reinforced the real estate crisis.

The large credit expansion of the years 2006-2008, especially in the real estate sector, led to a real estate ‘bubble’. As a result, the real estate prices collapsed, causing a large increase in non-performing loans (NPL) that were collateralised by real estate.

To date, loan origination remains at extremely low levels and consequently the ability of buyers to buy property is low and property prices remain depressed. This is what I described as the ‘cyclical’ effect of the lending criteria and policies employed by the Cypriot banks during the boom.

Many times, particularly during the inexorable rise in property prices in the 2004-2008 period, the banks in Cyprus ‘underestimated’ the credit risks implicit in mortgage loans.

This could be attributed to various reasons, such as the lack of sophisticated systems of risk assessment and the lack of reliable data and information.

The main reason, however, is that the continuous increase in property prices created a false sense of security in Cypriot banks and led to further credit expansion.

This behaviour was one of the main reasons that kept property prices increasing, and led to the subsequent deterioration of the loan portfolios of domestic banks.

Currently, the sharp decline in property prices and the depreciation of mortgaged properties increases the credit risk and the bank capital requirements even further.

The shortage in the supply of credit by the banks reduces the demand in properties, commercial investments etc., inevitably reinforcing the downward trend of real estate prices. The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) and the banks themselves have to consider the consequences of the property prices decline and the restructuring of their portfolios and adapt their policies accordingly.

In order to do this, collection of data for all mortgaged properties, as well as data analysis using statistical/ econometric models and chartographic tools are needed.

Using such tools, they can, for example, calculate the geographical concentration of properties/mortgages, the risk assessment to the sale/ divestment of specific properties in specific areas, etc.

The purchase of properties has become more vulnerable to the fluctuations of the prices because of the banking system influence.

Theoretically, the decision of granting a loan must be based on long term projections regarding the future value of the financed property until the repayment of the loan.

Also, the repayment ability of the borrower has to be assessed and seriously considered. The lack of adequate information on the evaluation of the prevailing market trends and the possible future prices, however, prevents a correct evaluation.

The funding decisions, as a result, are primarily based on the prices of similar properties during that period.

The experience from international markets indicates that property prices are subject to considerable fluctuations, which may or may not coincide with the
‘economic cycles’.

Under certain circumstances, these fluctuations may be reinforced and become much more intense due to the credit policy applied by credit institutions, when this policy is of cyclical nature.

In any case, monitoring the evolvement of property prices should be of direct interest to the monetary and supervisory authorities.

As the recent experience from the domestic financial crisis showed, the sharp decline of property prices may have a significant impact on the banking sector and thus on the real economy of the country.

It is not a big surprise that both the authorities and the banks are reviewing their credit rating systems and their methods of monitoring mortgages/ properties so as to better manage their portfolios.

*Dr George Mountis is the director of business development of Emergo Wealth, a Cyprus financial services company. This article was first published in the Cyprus-Mail.

source: Neos  Kosmos

Brisbane Roar progress in FFA Cup beating Stirling Lions

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Roar’s Dimitri Petratos taking a shot. Photo: AAP/Tony McDonough.

The A-League club bested WA local club Stirling Lions 4-0 with the help of Dimitri Petratos, while Palm Beach Sharks beat Hakoah Sydney City East 2-1

The defending champions Brisbane Roar have become the first A-League club to blow away a lower-level opponent in the FFA Cup with a 4-0 round of 32 win over the Stirling Lions on Tuesday night.

The Roar opened the scoring in the first half through livewire forward Henrique before netting three times after the break with goals to Corey Brown, Matt Smith and Jean Carlos Solorzano securing the thumping win over the West Australian State League side in Perth.

The Lions had at least one familiar name in their line-up in former Perth Glory goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski, and managed to be competitive early on in front of a crowd of 1,052.

Despite the quality of their opponent, the Lions created chances in the first half most notably to Hayden Doyle in the 11th minute when his shot hit the crossbar.

Brisbane played a near full-strength lineup, with Matt McKay and Liam Miller the notable absentees, and eventually that paid off.

Henrique broke the game open on 30 minutes with a bicycle kick that came after a pinpoint-accurate corner from star playmaker Thomas Broich, and a saved shot from James Donachie on the goal line.

It took just 10 minutes after the break for the Roar to double their advantage through Brown before captain Smith was another beneficiary of another superb Broich cross to make it 3-0.

The final 4-0 scoreline was then secured when substitute Solorzano tapped home after a free-kick from Dimitri Petratos went close.

The other FFA Cup game on Tuesday night saw Queensland’s Palm Beach Sharks beat the Hakoah Sydney City East 2-1 at Hensley Athletic Field in Sydney.

Source: AAP

Wanderers prepare to face Guangzhou Evergrande

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Tonight the Western Sydney Wanderers will hope to make up for their shock FFA Cup loss, entering the first leg of their Asian Champions League quarter-final.

They have just suffered a shock loss to a semi-professional side and now the Western Sydney Wanderers are preparing to face a cashed-up Asian juggernaut boasting a World Cup-winning coach.

The Wanderers go into the first leg of their Asian Champions League (ACL) quarter-final against title holders Guangzhou Evergrande on Wednesday fresh off a 1-0 loss to state league side Adelaide City in the FFA Cup last week.

But while the Wanderers are considered giants by Adelaide City, they will appear dwarfed by one of Asia’s most powerful clubs and their endless stream of money.

Marcello Lippi, who guided Italy to their 2006 World Cup triumph, has a squad worth several million dollars stacked with former and current internationals.

Last month he brought in one of the players form his victorious ’06 Italy side, Alberto Gilardino for over $7 million, having also signed Alessandro Diamanti in February for almost $10 million.

Mind-boggling figures when you consider the A-League salary cap is just $2.55 million for the entire squad.

Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab knows better than most just how big Chinese Super League outfit Evergrande are having played in China for three years.

“They are absolutely massive. They’re very wealthy and have players on ridiculous amounts of money,” Santalab said on Monday.

“They wanted to put themselves on the world football map and they’ve done that.

“So for us this is just a great opportunity to come up against a giant like this.”

While Evergrande will be heading to Parramatta Stadium looking to keep their ACL defence on track the Wanderers will be eying redemption after falling to minnows Adelaide City.

But far from rattling their confidence Santalab insists the defeat will make them more resolute to prove themselves.

“It hasn’t really shattered the confidence,” he said.

“This will be a test of our character. When you lose to a semi-professional side it’s not nice but we just have to cop it on the chin and we have to make up for it and bounce back in the ACL.”

Having played their last ACL fixture in May the Wanderers have since lost several of the stars that got them to the quarters with the likes of Shinji Ono, Youssouf Hersi, Aaron Mooy and Jerome Polenz having left the club.

They have acquired the likes of Dutch import Romeo Castelen, Brazilian Vitor Saba and Australian youngsters Brendan Hamill and Dean Bouzanis.

All but Castelen will be eligible to play on Wednesday and Santalab says while there is no replacing the past stars, the new recruits will be eager to prove their worth.

“Obviously the players we lost were fantastic for the club but now it’s up to those new players to step in and show what they’ve got,” he said.

“It’s hard to compare these boys with the last but they’ve blended in well and I’m excited to see them play.”

Source: AAP