Daily Archives: August 22, 2014

Ryanair eyes Cyprus Airways takeover

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Cyprus Airways calling for expressions of interest in its airline.

Cyprus Airways would retain its brand and operate under a separate air operator’s certificate to Ryanair the company said.

Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary is due to travel to Cyprus for talks with the government about the possible takeover of loss-making carrier Cyprus Airways, he told journalists.

Ryanair was among nearly 20 companies which last month submitted nonbinding expressions of interest in the airline, now controlled by the Cypriot government.

O’Leary’s announcement marked a change of approach as he had said last month that Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline, was not particularly interested in acquiring the carrier.

“We are engaged in the process and hope something will come of it. It’s a very political process down there,” he told a new conference in Dublin, adding that any deal would be small relative to Ryanair’s overall growth strategy.

Under his company’s proposal, Cyprus Airways would retain its brand and operate under a separate air operator’s certificate to Ryanair, he said.

The Irish airline will propose it could boost the airline’s passenger numbers to 3 million per year from 600,000 currently, down 50 percent from its peak, O’Leary said. Ryanair has only ever taken over one other airline, Buzz.

Cyprus Airways has struggled to survive against cheaper competitors and has been loss-making for years despite several attempts at a turnaround.

The airline has recently resorted to selling assets to stay afloat, including its slots at London’s Heathrow Airport.

It is also under scrutiny by the European Commission.

Brussels is investigating terms of a 31.3-million-euro capital increase in early 2013, and a 73-million-euro rescue package by the Cypriot state in 2012 to establish whether it violated state aid rules.

Source: Reuters

Kyrgios in for a tough US Open match

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Thanasi Kokkinakis (R) is hoping to join his friend Nick Kyrgios at the US Open. Photo: Tennis Australia

Nick Kyrgios is faced with the world number 21 Mikhail Youzhny in the opening match of the US Grand Slam, while Thanasi Kokkinakis still vies for a spot.

Tennis wonderboy Nick Kyrgios will have to face tough competition straight away in the US Open.

The 19-year-old will be up against 21st-seed Russian Mikhail Youzhny, while his fellow compatriots aren’t in for easier draws either.
Lleyton Hewitt will come up against sixth seed Tomas Berdych, while Marinko Matosevic was handed the toughest fixture, going against former world number one and five-time US Open winner Roger Federer.

Of the other Aussie men, Matthew Ebden faces German Tobias Kamke and Bernard Tomic plays Germany’s Dustin Brown.

First-round match-ups for the Australian women see Casey Dellacqua face Austria’s Patricia Mayr-Achleitner in the first round, Aila Tomljanovic play 15th seed Carla Suarez Navarro and Jarmila Gajdosova up against American Madison Keys.

Kyrgios is now ranked 58th in the world – only 16 places shy of former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt – after his amazing Wimbledon performance beating champion Rafael Nadal.

Kyrgios’ friend and doubles partner, Thanasi Kokkinakis, might also be joining him in the US Open, after he won his first-round qualifying match.

The 18-year-old recovered from a third-set deficit to beat Croatia’s Nikola Mekti 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in New York this week.

He will next face Japanese teen Yoshihito Nishioka, who upset fifth-seeded Argentine Horacio Zeballos.

Fellow Australians James Duckworth and Arina Rodionova also advanced to the second round after scoring three-set victories.

Baghdatis to make ninth appearance at US Open

Marcos Baghdatis is hoping to progress past the third round in the US Open after fantastic performances in the ATP American rounds.

He won his second ATP Challenger Tour title in as many weeks last week as he defeated Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the final of the Cal Open Tennis Championships in Aptos.

“It’s been a long run the past two or three years with injuries. Winning last week and this week is a good sign,” Baghdatis admitted.

Standing in his way will be 12th seed Marin Cilic. The 25-year-old was banned last year to compete in the US Open after a drug test came back positive, but he will be eager to return to the grand slam.

Last year, Baghdatis enjoyed his best showing at the US Open when he reached the third round, beating Kevin Anderson before falling to Stan Wawrinka.
The US Open begins on August 25, finishing on September 8.

source: Neos Kosmos

Amphipolis archaeologists ask for peace

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Two sphinxes have been uncovered at the site.

Excavators have asked politicians and others seeking guided tours of the site to leave them in peace.

Archaeologists excavating a large burial mound in northern Greece have asked politicians and others seeking guided tours of the site to leave them in peace.

The Culture Ministry appealed for “understanding” while the Amphipolis excavation proceeds.

The partially uncovered tomb, from the end of Greek warrior-king Alexander the Great’s reign, has captivated the public imagination, fuelling wild speculation that it may contain rich treasure and the bones of an ancient celebrity.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has already visited the site, and state TV daily leads news bulletins with incremental developments in the ongoing excavation.

So far, archaeologists have uncovered part of the late 4th Century BC tomb’s entrance with two large stone sphinxes.

Alexander built an empire reaching from Greece to India, and is said to have been buried in Egypt.

Source: AP.

Greece:Coalition mulls property tax changes

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The Government is preparing to make changes to the levy that should ease the burden on thousands of taxpayers.

The single property tax (ENFIA) and the errors it contains are expected to top the agenda of a meeting between Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis and New Democracy lawmakers as the government prepares to make changes to the levy that should ease the burden on thousands of taxpayers.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s adviser Chrysanthos Lazaridis is expected to accompany Hardouvelis at the meeting at the week’s end. It is an indication of the importance that the coalition attaches to the tax in the wake of the errors that were uncovered earlier this month which led to many taxpayers being overcharged.

The mistakes prompted concern among New Democracy and PASOK deputies, who feared a backlash from disgruntled constituents. PASOK officials are expected to present Hardouvelis with the party’s recommendations for changes to ENFIA. These include altering the so-called objective values used by tax authorities to calculate how much a property is worth.

The junior coalition partner also wants Hardouvelis to decide on the number of installments taxpayers will have to pay the levy.

The Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) informed the government this week that it could extend the period it has to collect the tax. The government asked ELSTAT if it could allow more time for taxpayers to make their payments without it affecting the coalition’s drive to meet fiscal targets.

ELSTAT responded that any revenues collected by March next year would be recorded in this year’s budget. This means the government could allow taxpayers to pay in seven monthly installments rather than four.

So far, the government has only given taxpayers an extra month, until the end of September to pay their first installment, with the last having to be paid by the end of the year.

The coalition is aiming to collect 2.4 billion euros from ENFIA, down from the 2.65 billion initially calculated. However, the government is considering tweaks that include using two methods to calculate what each taxpayer has to pay and then opting for what produces the lowest amount in each case. This could lead to the total amount that could be collected declining by around 150 million euros.

Source: Ekathimerini.

Superleague begins with Olympiakos chasing title

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How will Olympiakos fare this season? Photo: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis.

Super League returns with Kerkyra and Niki Volos

Greek football fans will be able to fill their post World Cup blues with an exciting first round fixture for Greece’s Super League.

Returning to keep their title, Olympiakos will be up against newly promoted Niki Volos on Sunday. Niki Volos returns to the top tier after 48 years.

Also promoted to the top is Kerkyra, who will play Panthrakikos on Sunday.

PAOK has a simple fixture on Monday, welcoming fans back to the Toumba when they play Kalloni.

Greek Cup winners, Panathinaikos will hope to attest their Champions League failure and start the season with a win against Levadiakos on Monday.

An interesting match to watch will be PAS Giannina and Asteras Tripolis on Monday, while all eyes will be on the season opener of OFI and Panaitolikos.

source: Neos Kosmos

Sydney’s east goes Greek

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Head down to Double Bay for a Greek Day Out on Sunday

Greek Australians of Sydney will be treated to a celebration of Greek Australian culture this Sunday, August 24 at Woollahra Council’s Greek Day Out.

The free event – running from 12pm to 4pm at Redleaf and in the neighbouring Blackburn Gardens at Double Bay – is supported by the NSW Consul-General of Greece, and Sydney-based community groups.

The afternoon promises a feast of entertainment including Greek dancing, theatre and live music as well as kids’ activities. The stalls will also include exhibitions of ancient Greek coins and memorabilia from the WWII ANZAC’s time in Crete and Lemnos during WWI

Festival goers will also be able to participate in a community art project while the event will conclude with guest speaker, Emmanuel Alfieris from the Commonwealth Bank discussing the economic lessons Australia can learn from Greece, and vice versa. The lecture is free and will run at the Council Chambers from 4-5pm.

For more information visit http://www.woollahra.nsw.gov.au/events/events_list/free/greek_day_out

source: Neos Kosmos

Neymar, Suarez, Bale, Ronaldo, Kroos, Neymar, Messi … La Liga kicks off with a galaxy of stars

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THE Premier League is underway, and the feast for football fans continues on the weekend when the 2014-2015 La Liga season kicks off in Spain.

If the title race in England is going to be compelling, then it’s all-out war in Spain to arrest the competition’s top prize from Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona – before their transfer ban comes into play – outlaid on Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Thomas Vermaelen, Jeremy Mathieu and two goalkeepers, Marc Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo. Real have just enjoyed a slight, ahem, flurry on James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas, while they haven’t let go Sami Khedira and Angel di Mari yet either.

OUR TOP 50 PLAYERS IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE

Atletico haven’t been quiet either, as they’ve needed to replenish a title winning squad decimated thanks, mainly, to Jose Mourinho. Diego Costa, Felipe Luis and Thibaut Courtois are out; Mario Mandzukic, Antoine Griezmann, Raul Jimenez and Jan Oblak arrive.

LA LIGA WEEK ONE ON FOX SPORTS

SATURDAY: Spanish Super Cup second leg, Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid, 6.25am EST Fox Sports 1 HD

SUNDAY: Sevilla v Valencia, 4.55am EST, Fox Sports 1 HD

MONDAY: Barcelona v Elche, 4.55am EST, Fox Sports 1 HD

The scary truth is that a world XI is heavily dominated by players in Spain’s ‘big three’.

Indeed, try it yourself. Try to come up with the La Liga Dream Team and by the time you’ve settled on a way to squeeze all the stars in, you’ll remember another cast that you want to include and change your mind on a formation to include them.

So while the sheer unpredictability and depth of the EPL captures the imagination of plenty of Australian fans, the sheer star power in La Liga ensures it is a compelling part of our football diet.

Here goes … let the debate begin. Yes, Gareth Bale is at left-back. We’re getting greedy.

The Ultimate La Liga XI.

The Ultimate La Liga XI. Source: FoxSports

Let us know your team in the comments field below.

LA LIGA’S BIG 5 SIGNINGS

– By Associated Press

1. LUIS SUAREZ

Barcelona- Barcelona was undeterred by Luis Suarez’s infamous bite of an Italian opponent at the World Cup that further tarnished his reputation and will keep him sidelined until October. The Catalan club paid Liverpool $108 million for the Premier League’s leading scorer last season. The 27-year-old Uruguay forward signed for five years.

Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona comes onto the pitch during the Joan Gamper Trophy.

Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona comes onto the pitch during the Joan Gamper Trophy. Source: Getty Images

2. JAMES RODRIGUEZ

The midfielder was the revelation of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. His tournament-leading six goals for Colombia earned him the Golden Boot trophy and the attention of Real Madrid. The European Cup winners paid Monaco $108 million for the 23-year-old, who signed for six seasons.

Real Madrid's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez.

Real Madrid’s Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez. Source: AFP

3. ANTOINE GRIEZMANN:

Atletico Madrid made several signings this season but the biggest investment was in 23-year-old France winger Antoine Griezmann. Atletico spent $40 million for the explosive forward who scored 19 goals for Real Sociedad last campaign.

Atletico's Antoine Griezmann, top, competes for the ball with Real's Xabi Alonso.

Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann, top, competes for the ball with Real’s Xabi Alonso. Source: AP

4. TONI KROOS

Midfielder Toni Kroos helped guide Germany through its brilliant World Cup campaign to be crowned the best team on the globe. He then packed his bags for Real Madrid after it lured him away from Bayern Munich with a six-year contract and paid his $33 million transfer fee.

Atletico Madrid's midfielder Koke (L) vies with Real Madrid's German midifielder Toni Kro

Atletico Madrid’s midfielder Koke (L) vies with Real Madrid’s German midfielder Toni Kroos. Source: AFP

5. MARIO MANDZUKIC

Needing to replace its leading scorer after Diego Costa’s exit, Atletico Madrid has entrusted its attack to Mario Mandzukic as it seeks to defend its La Liga title. The Croatia striker moved from Bayern Munich on a $29.4-million transfer.

Atletico's Mandzukic top, jumps for the ball in between plyers during a Spanish Supercup

Atletico’s Mandzukic top, jumps for the ball in between players during a Spanish Supercup first leg.

source:heraldsun.com.au

Mining magnate Nathan Tinkler puts A-League club Newcastle Jets up for sale

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AFTER months of speculation the Newcastle Jets have confirmed the club is up for sale following Nathan Tinkler’s decision to pull out of all his sporting interests.

The controversial mining magnate has already relinquished control of NRL club the Newcastle Knights and plans to offload his thoroughbred racing organisation, Patinack Farm, in addition to the Jets.

Jets officials say Tinkler will “continue to underwrite the club and day to day operations until the completion of the sale” and are pleased to retain the full support of Football Federation Australia.

“We have been in discussions with Hunter Sports Group for some time about bringing in additional investment and this process will now be expedited,” said Robbie Middleby, Jets CEO.

“Until the change of ownership is complete, we will continue to execute our plans in preparation for the 2014-15 season. The club has been rebuilt since 2010 and we now have a solid foundation from which to grow.

“We look forward to securing new owners and moving forward with this new chapter.”

FFA has noted the comments from Tinkler regarding the ownership of the Jets, but insist nothing will change from their side.

“FFA continues to have regular, positive dialogue with the Newcastle Jets about operational and business matters,” a spokesman said.

“FFA is comfortable with the Newcastle Jets’ plans for the Hyundai A-League 2014-15 season and beyond.”

source: heraldsun.com.au

Εuropa League: ΑΕΛ – Τottenham 1-2

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Παρά την πολύ καλή της εμφάνιση για 70 λεπτά και το -μέχρι τότε- προβάδισμα που είχε απέναντι στην Τότεναμ, η ΑΕ Λεμεσού έχασε τελικά 1-2 στην Κύπρο από τους Λονδρέζους που πήραν σαφές προβάδισμα πρόκρισης.

Η ομάδα της Λεμεσού ξεκίνησε ιδανικά το ματς, όταν ο Σαρντινέρο άνοιξε το σκορ στο 14′ με τους παίκτες του Ιβάιλο Πέτεφ να στέκονται πολύ καλά στον αγωνιστικό χώρο.

Τα πάντα ήρθαν «τούμπα» μέσα σε ένα εξάλεπτο, αφού αρχικά ο Σολδάδο (74′) και εν συνεχεία ο Κέιν (80′, είχε δοκάρι στο 71′) έδωσαν το προβάδισμα στην Τότεναμ, που τελικά έμεινε μέχρι τέλους, κάνοντας δύσκολο το έργο των Κυπρίων στη ρεβάνς του «Γουάιτ Χαρτ Λέιν».

Η σύνθεση της ΑΕΛ:

Φεγκρούς, Καρλίτος Ταβάρες, Σιέλης, Καντού, Εντμάρ, Νικολάου, Μπεμπέ, Μπαρσέλος (67΄ Ελευθερίου), Γκιντιλεγιέ, Σαρντινέρο (80΄ Καρλίτος), Γκιγκίεβιτς (73΄ Ταγκμπατζούμι)

Η Άιντχοφεν πήρε νίκη με το ισχνό 1-0 κόντρα στη Σάχτερ Σόλιγκορσκ από τη Λευκορωσία, χάρη σε γκολ του Μάχερ στο 59′, ενώ ήττα έκπληξη υπέστη στην Τουρκία η Σεντ Ετιέν από την Καραντεμίρ Καραμπούκ με 1-0, με τον Κουμπέλα να σκοράρει με τη συμπλήρωση μίας ώρας αγώνα.

Πηγή: novasports.gr

Europa League: Ζίμπρου-ΠΑΟΚ 1-0

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Η αδύναμη Ζίμπρου έβαλε σε μπελάδες τον ΠΑΟΚ. Ο Δικέφαλος ηττήθηκε 1-0 και καλείται στη ρεβάνς της Τούμπας σε μία εβδομάδα να πετύχει την ανατροπή και να πάρει το εισιτήριο για τους ομίλους του Europa League.

O ΠΑΟΚ μπήκε αρκετά δυνατά στο παιχνίδι και κατάφερε να απειλήσει την εστία της Ζίμπρου μόλις στο 5ο λεπτό της αναμέτρησης. Ο Στέλιος Κίτσιου έπιασε ένα πολύ δυνατό σουτ, αλλά ο αντίπαλος τερματοφύλακας έδιωξε σε κόρνερ. Οι παίκτες του Αναστασιάδη δεν απειλήθηκαν σχετικά από αυτούς της Ζίμπρου, αφού ήταν πιο αποφασιστικοί και διόρθωναν τα όποια λάθη γίνονταν στον χώρο του κέντρου.

Μπορεί ο ΠΑΟΚ να είχε την κατοχή και την πρωτοβουλία των κινήσεων, αλλά δεν κατάφερε πέρα από τη φάση που αναφέραμε πιο πάνω να απειλήσει με αξιώσεις την εστία των γηπεδούχων. Υπήρχε θέμα στην ανάπτυξη του παιχνιδιού του ΠΑΟΚ. Οι αμυντικοί του “Δικέφαλου” έκαναν βαθιές μπαλιές με αποτέλεσμα να μην βρίσκουν με ιδιαίτερη ευκολία και ευστοχία τους επιθετικούς.

Ο ΠΑΟΚ είχε την μπάλα στα πόδια του, αλλά όταν έφτανε η στιγμή για μία καλή τελική που θα μπορούσε να αλλάξει το σκορ, Σαλπιγγίδης και Μακ, κυρίως, δεν έκαναν τις σωστές επιλογές.

Το πρώτο ημίχρονο “έκλεισε” όπως άρχισε. Με τον “Δικέφαλο” να χάνει μια σημαντική ευκαιρία για να κάνει το 0-1. Ο Μακ εκτέλεσε το κόρνερ, ένα από τα πολλά που κέρδισε ο ΠΑΟΚ στο πρώτο μέρος, αλλά η κεφαλιά του Κατσικά σταμάτησε στο δοκάρι του Ρούσου.

Στην επανάληψη τα πράγματα δεν άλλαξαν πολύ. Ο ΠΑΟΚ συνέχισε να έχει την κατοχή της μπάλας, αλλά να μην μπορεί να απειλήσει την εστία της Ζίμπρου. Το πρόβλημα της τελικής πάσας παρέμεινε άλυτο και στο δεύτερο μέρος. Αυτό όσον αφορά στο επιθετικό κομμάτι, αφού αμυντικά ο “Δικέφαλος”… κατάφερε να δεχθεί γκολ στο 79′ όταν ο Μπουργκίου πήρε την κεφαλιά μετά από μονομαχία με τον Σκόνδρα και ισοφάρισε για τη Ζίμπρου. Ο τρόπος; Μα φυσικά από στημένη φάση, παράγοντας που είχε στοιχίσει στον ΠΑΟΚ και κατά την περίοδο της προετοιμασίας. Αν θέλαμε, πάντως, να δικαιολογήσουμε με κάποιον τρόπο τους παίκτες του Αναστασιάδη, πρέπει να αναφέρουμε ότι πριν από τη φάση του γκολ η άμυνα του ΠΑΟΚ ήταν αποδιοργανωμένη, εξαιτίας του τραυματισμού του Κίτσιου, που λίγα δευτερόλεπτα πριν έγινε αλλαγή. Μάλιστα, ένα λεπτό πριν το τέλος του αγώνα η Ζίμπρου έχασε τεράστια ευκαιρία για να διπλασιάσει τα τέρματά της, αλλά η μπάλα σταμάτησε στο δοκάρι. Το παιχνίδι έληξε 1-0 υπέρ της Ζίμπρου και ο ΠΑΟΚ θα πρέπει να είναι πάρα πολύ καλύτερος στην Τούμπα για να καταφέρει να σπάσει την άμυνα των Μολδαβών που θα κατεβούν στο γήπεδο για να καταστρέψουν το παιχνίδι του “Δικέφαλου”.

MVP:

Ο Ρόμπερτ Μακ όσο αγωνίστηκε ήταν από τους καλύτερους παίκτες του ΠΑΟΚ. Ο Σλοβάκος είχε ταχύτητα και προσπάθησε να δημιουργήσει κινδύνους για τον “Δικέφαλο”. Το κενό του Σλοβάκου φάνηκε ακόμη περισσότερο, όταν έγινε αλλαγή και ο ΠΑΟΚ δεν απείλησε ξανά την εστία της Ζίμπρου, με εξαίρεση μία φάση με τον Αθανασιάδη.

Αδύναμος κρίκος:

Ο Μααρτεν Μάρτενς φάνηκε για ακόμη ένα παιχνίδι πως δεν είναι σε καλή κατάσταση. Μπήκε στον αγώνα για να δώσει μία επιθετικότητα στην ομάδα, αλλά δεν κατάφερε να κάνει την διαφορά στο δημιουργικό κομμάτι.

Σχόλιο:

Η εικόνα του ΠΑΟΚ με δεδομένη την δυναμικότητα της Ζίμπρου ήταν κατώτερη του μετρίου. Επιθετικά έχασε ευκαιρίες, αλλά φάνηκε να έχει πρόβλημα στο κομμάτι της δημιουργίας φάσεων. Αμυντικά φάνηκε για ακόμη ένα ματς πως αντιμετωπίζει σοβαρό πρόβλημα στις στημένες φάσεις.

Οι συνθέσεις:

Ζίμπρου Κισινάου: Ρούσου, Τζάρνταν, Μπούργκιου, Πάβλιουτσεκ, Ερχάν, Κλίμοβιτς, Βρεμέα, Κεπτίνε (82′ Ντιαλό), Αμανί (69′ Αλεξέεβ), Σπατάρου (59′ Βισνάκοφς)

ΠΑΟΚ: Γλύκος, Κίτσιου (79′ Σπυρόπουλος), Κατσικάς, Σκόνδρας, Ρατς, Μαντούρο, Κάτσε, Τζιόλης (67′ Μάρτενς), Μακ (67′ Περέιρα), Σαλπιγγίδης, Αθανασιάδης

Πηγή: contra.gr