Daily Archives: August 27, 2014

MK Dons: Man Utd win ‘puts us on map’, says Karl Robinson


Pete Winkelman (left) brought professional football to Milton Keynes in 2003


MK Dons boss Karl Robinson hopes the 4-0 League Cup thrashing of Manchester United can help legitimise his club.

Dons chairman Pete Winkelman controversially moved Wimbledon FC to Milton Keynes 11 years ago, with the team rebranded as MK Dons a year later.

Robinson said: “We get a lot criticism nationally for obvious reasons.

“But I don’t think anybody can talk about our birth or our existence in the Football League from now on. We’ve well and truly put ourselves on the map.”

The unprecedented manner in which the club were founded has been a constant source of controversy. MK were able to keep hold of the old Wimbledon’s Football League place after the Dons were moved 80 miles from south London to Buckinghamshire.

But the League Cup second round win against Louis van Gaal’s side is the biggest result of MK’s history and was played in front of a record 28,000 sell-out crowd at Stadium MK.

A Jonny Evans error gifted Will Grigg a first-half opener and the MK striker chested in a second after the hour mark.

Arsenal loanee Benik Afobe then hit his own double to compound United’s misery as the away side managed just two shots on target all match.

“The most emotional part was before kick-off. It took my breath away,” said Robinson, who is the Football League’s fifth longest-serving manager, having been in charge since 2010.

“When you’ve had over 200 games at one club, and you see that this evening, that’s the bit I’ll remember.

“I’m still only 33. For me to be that age and have this experience like we did tonight – but it’s not about Karl Robinson.

“They can tell their grandkids about this for forever and a day. I’m so proud of them.”

Winkelman is hopeful that the club can build on the result and increase their fanbase in a growing town.

“This is the kind of game that hopefully in a few years’ time people look back at and say ‘were you there?’. It’s history in the making and that could make a big difference to the club going forward,” he said.

“Quite a few thousand people were here for the first time.

“Does it have an affect on whether people think they can be associated with a team? I think it can make a massive difference.”


source: bbc.com

Vulnerable Evergrande gives Wanderers hope in China

ACL Quarter Final - Western Sydney v Guangzhou

Western Sydney Wanderers must target Guangzhou Evergrande’s suspect defence if it is to reach the AFC Champions League semi-finals, says a man who faced the Chinese powerhouse four times in the last two years.

The Wanderers take on Evergrande in the second leg of the quarter-finals with the cushion of a 1-0 lead from the first leg in Parramatta.

Perth Glory midfielder Rostyn Griffiths knows all about Evergrande, having spent two seasons with its crosstown rival Guangzhou R&F from 2012.

Griffiths said the Wanderers are in for a tough match at Tianhe Stadium on Wednesday night but Guangzhou’s weakness in defence should give Tony Popovic’s side plenty of hope of progressing.

“Most teams in the Chinese league get a lot of scoring chances when they play Evergrande because they are very vulnerable in defence,” Griffiths said.

“They are a very attacking side but, having said that, they are weak in defence because they leave themselves quite open.

“The problem for visiting teams is that Evergrande usually score more goals than they concede.

“Evergrande are very good and positive when they play at home, usually in front of forty thousand fans.

“They have some foreign stars and some good Chinese players as well.

“Evergrande are under pressure, no doubt about that, and this is something they have not had to deal with too much in recent years.

“It will be interesting to see how they respond to the situation they are in.”

Griffiths said he expected the Wanderers to play their typical cautious game and rely on counter-attacks.

“It is going to be very hot and humid so the Wanderers should not try to play Evergrande at their own open game in my opinion because the home team could be too good for them,” he warned.

“They should keep their structure all night which I’m sure they will do and try to catch Evergrande on the break and pinch an away goal or two.

“That’s how the Wanderers play in the A-League, anyway.

“Central Coast Mariners did the same thing last year … they sat back and counter-attacked.

“They created chances but what they did not do was stick the ball in the back of the net.

“Which is why it is very important for the Wanderers to take the chances which they will get for sure.”


Η κυβέρνηση επιμένει στο «χαράτσι» των $7


Παρά τη ρητή δήλωση Πάλμερ ότι το κόμμα του δεν πρόκειται να στηρίξει το μέτρο.

Με τη δήλωση ότι το μέτρο για την πληρωμή επίσκεψης στον οικογενειακό μας γιατρό παραμένει στην ατζέντα της κυβέρνησης και αυτή συνεχίζει να θεωρεί ότι έχει ελπίδες να το περάσει από τη Βουλή της χώρας, απάντησε ο Θησαυροφύλακας της χώρας, Joe Hockey, στον αρχηγό του Palmer United Party (PUP), που ξεκαθάρισε ότι το κόμμα του δεν πρόκειται να το στηρίξει.

Ο αρχηγός του PUP, Clive Palmer, δήλωσε ότι το κόμμα του δεν πρόκειται πλέον να διαπραγματευθεί με την κυβέρνηση για πιθανές τροποποιήσεις στο συγκεκριμένο μέτρο, και ότι οι γερουσιαστές του PUP, η ψήφος των οποίων είναι καθοριστική για την ψήφιση του μέτρου, θα το καταψηφίσουν στην Γερουσία.

Όπως προκύπτει το μέτρο θα καταψηφίσει και ο ανεξάρτητος γερουσιαστής, Ricky Muir, γεγονός που σημαίνει ότι η κυβέρνηση πρέπει πλέον να το διαγράψει προς το παρόν καθώς δεν έχει τον αριθμό των ψήφων που χρειάζεται στην Γερουσία.

Εντούτοις, τόσο ο θησαυροφύλακας της χώρας όσο και ο υπουργός Υγείας, Peter Dutton, όταν ερωτήθηκαν από τους δημοσιογράφους, δήλωσαν ότι οι διαπραγματεύσεις με τους ανεξάρτητους γερουσιαστές βρίσκονται σε καλό δρόμο ενώ αρνήθηκαν και οι δύο να επεκταθούν στο θέμα.

Να αναφέρουμε ότι από την εφαρμογή του μέτρου η κυβέρνηση αναμένεται μέσα στα επόμενα πέντε χρόνια να εξοικονομήσει περίπου $3,5 δις.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

To Εργατικό σταθερά πρώτο κόμμα


*Στο 40% η ψήφος του Συνασπισμού
*4%υψηλότερα από τον Ιούλιο, αλλά 6%, χαμηλότερα από τις εκλογές του περασμένου Σεπτεμβρίου

Ένα χρόνο, περίπου, μετά την επιστροφή της συντηρητικής παράταξης στην εξουσία, η κυβέρνηση Abbott εξακολουθεί να έπεται του Εργατικού Κόμματος. Δημοσκόπηση της Newspoll για την εφημερίδα “The Australian”, δείχνει, ότι η ψήφος του Συνασπισμού στην πρώτη κατανομή σταθεροποιήθηκε τον τελευταίο μήνα στο 40%, τέσσερις ποσοστιαίες μονάδες υψηλότερα από τον Ιούλιο, αλλά έξι μονάδες, περίπου, χαμηλότερα από τις εκλογές του παρελθόντος Σεπτεμβρίου.
Σταθερή και η ψήφος του Εργατικού Κόμματος στο 34%, δύο μονάδες χαμηλότερα από τον Ιούλιο, αλλά μισή μονάδα υψηλότερα από τις εθνικές εκλογές του ’13. Απώλειες κατέγραψαν και οι Πράσινοι, αλλά η ψήφος του (11%) παραμένει υψηλότερη από το ποσοστό που έλαβαν στις εθνικές εκλογές. Κερδισμένοι είναι οι ανεξάρτητοι και τα μικρά κόμματα, η ψήφος των οποίων ανέρχεται στο 15%.

Στη δεύτερη κατανομή το Εργατικό Κόμμα διατηρεί πρωτοπορία δύο ποσοστιαίων μονάδων, Εργατικό 51% – Συνασπισμός 49%, διαφορά που κυμαίνεται στα όρια του στατιστικού λάθους. Το 49% είναι το υψηλότερο ποσοστό ψήφων του Συνασπισμού το τελευταίο δωδεκάμηνο, αν και έξι, σχεδόν, μονάδες χαμηλότερα από τις εκλογές. Αντίθετα το 51% είναι το χαμηλότερο ποσοστό ψήφων του Εργατικού Κόμματος μετά την κατάθεση του πρώτου προϋπολογισμού της κυβέρνησης Abbott.
Η άνοδος της ψήφου του Συνασπισμού αποδίδεται στον «πρωταγωνιστικό» ρόλο της κυβέρνησης Abbott στη διεθνή κινητοποίηση για την περισυλλογή των θυμάτων της πτήσης MH17 των Μαλαισιανών Αερογραμμών, την αναγνώριση και τη μεταφορά στην Αυστραλία των θυμάτων αυστραλιανής καταγωγής και την απόδοση ευθυνών για την κατάρριψη του αεροσκάφους.

H χειμερινή διακοπή των εργασιών της βουλής ενίσχυσε το Συνασπισμό, αλλά δεν άλλαξε τη διάθεση του εκλογικού σώματος έναντι του πρωθυπουργού, αφού 36%, μόνο, των ψηφοφόρων επιδοκιμάζουν το έργο του, 55% αποδοκιμάζουν τις επιλογές του και 9% δηλώνουν αναποφάσιστοι.

Ο αρχηγός της αξιωματικής αντιπολίτευσης, Bill Shorten, ανέβασε το ποσοστό επιδοκιμασίας του έργου του κατά τρεις μονάδες σε 39%, παρά τη δημόσια δήλωσή του, μετά την αθώωσή του από την αστυνομία, ότι αυτός ήταν «ο ηγέτης» πολιτικού κόμματος που κατηγορείτο για βιασμό.

Ανησυχητικό και για τον αρχηγό της αξιωματικής αντιπολίτευσης το γεγονός, ότι το 40% των ψηφοφόρων αποδοκιμάζει το έργο του και ακόμη χειρότερα το ένα πέμπτο των ψηφοφόρων (21%) τον αγνοεί.

Όμως, ο κ. Shorten και οι επιτελικοί του Εργατικού Κόμματος είναι «ικανοποιημένοι» -αν και δεν το ομολογούν- από την επιλογή του ως καταλληλότερου για πρωθυπουργό από το 40% των ψηφοφόρων -τρεις μονάδες υψηλότερα από το πρώτο δεκαήμερο του Αυγούστου και μία μονάδα μπροστά από τον Tony Abbott.
Ουσιαστικά, και αυτή η δημοσκόπηση καταγράφει σημαντικές παλινδρομήσεις των ψηφοφόρων, που προκαλούν η σκληρότητα του προϋπολογισμού και η αδυναμία της κυβέρνησης να αναλύσει επαρκώς τα σχέδιά της για το μέλλον και η αδυναμία του Εργατικού Κόμματος να πείσει το εκλογικό σώμα για την επάρκεια των εναλλακτικών προτάσεών του.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Greek Church backs anti-racism bill


The Church wants to see the bill “safeguard social peace for all, irrespective of sex, color, religion”

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece issued a statement expressing support for a controversial anti-racism bill, foreseeing stiffer penalties for individuals and political parties which engage in racism or incite racist violence, which is to be debated in Parliament next week.

In a statement, the Synod noted that the provisions of the bill could contribute to “the effort to safeguard social peace for all… irrespective of sex, color, religion.”

The clerics asked for one additional provision to be inserted in the bill prohibiting the rejection of the genocide of Christians in Asia Minor between 1908 and 1922.

The legislation, which has been repeatedly delayed and redrafted, is still opposed by 38 conservative New Democracy MPs who object to the fact that it lacks a clause banning the rejection of the genocide of Christians in Asia Minor and of Black Sea Greeks.

source: Neos Kosmos

Match fixing uncovered in Greek Super League


Football officials are also being investigated. Photo: AAP/Dean Lewins.

An Olympiakos Panionios match in question after phonetaps reveal players discussing fixing the match

Four soccer players from a Super League team colluded with others to affect the course of games so they could win thousands of euros from betting, according to a preliminary judicial investigation.

According to the probe’s results, a 24-year-old player repeatedly contacted a 28-year-old man regarding betting issues ahead of a game between Olympiakos and Panionios. The soccer player advised his contact to bet on there being more than 13 corners in the game. There were in fact 16 – 13 conceded by
Panionios and three by Olympiakos. This allegedly led to a post-tax betting win of 19,100 euros.

Wiretaps on the players’ phones suggest that the 24-year-old was to be paid 6,300 euros and the other three players lesser amounts.

The 24-year-old was also found to be in contact with a 48-year-old gas station owner to whom he allegedly owned 30,000 euros. In a text message, the player
appears to suggest he could help fix matches.

Also facing match fixing claims are eleven football officials who this week were given until September 15 before they have to face court. The group is being investigated over allegations that the draws to decide which match officials were appointed to referee games in Greece’s Super League were fixed.

Source: ekathimerini

Tony Abbott’s visit to cancer hospital used to ‘justify’ billing taxpayers for LNP fund-raising visit


Prime Minister Tony Abbott told government MPs he had to schedule an early morning visit to a cancer research centre in Melbourne on Tuesday so that he could justify billing taxpayers to be in the city for a “private function” the night before.

Mr Abbott made the admission at the regular meeting of Liberal and Nationals MPs after being taken to task by one his own senators for turning up an hour late.

Several MPs told Fairfax Media that the Prime Minister described the private function as a “fund-raiser” to the party room.

The issue came to a head when LNP senator Ian Macdonald, who has been a frequent critic of his own side since he was demoted from the frontbench after the election, told Mr Abbott his priority should have been the regular party room meeting, which is held every Tuesday morning when Parliament is sitting.

But Senator Macdonald was swiftly rebuked by colleagues including backbencher Ewen Jones, who said Senator Macdonald’s constant criticism of his own team had “overstepped the mark”.

“I have the highest regard for Ian as a man but the direction he has taken is unfortunate,” Mr Jones said.

Several government sources told Fairfax Media they were stunned to hear the Prime Minister respond to Senator Macdonald’s complaint by saying he had to schedule an official function on Tuesday morning so he could justify being in Melbourne for a fund-raiser the night before under entitlements.

Cabinet Minister Malcolm Turnbull told ABC Radio on Wednesday morning Mr Abbott was “upfront” about why he was in Melbourne on a parliamentary sitting day but said he “did not recall” the prime minister saying anything about entitlements.  

“He said he was in Melbourne and he did go to a private function…I think Tony was quite upfront, he said he had been in Melbourne and he had been to a fund-raiser the night before,” he said.

Mr Abbott visited the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and told a news conference he was there to talk about the proposed Medical Research Future Fund.

He made no new announcements but reiterated his government’s commitment to science and research.

The government wants to pay for the fund with some of the proceeds from the proposed $7 GP fee, which has been blocked in the Senate by Labor, the Palmer United Party and the Greens.

The Prime Minister’s office did not deny Mr Abbott had made a fund-raising visit to Melbourne. A spokeswoman for Mr Abbott said: “The Prime Minister attended a private function in Melbourne [on Monday] night. All prime-ministerial travel is undertaken within entitlement.

“Whenever the Prime Minister travels he maximises his visits by ensuring he participates in community events, business visits and local media.”

The spokeswoman confirmed the Prime Minister “ran a little late” to the joint party room meeting because his visit in Melbourne ran “over time”.

She said the Prime Minister was a “passionate supporter” of medical research and “makes no apologies for his visit”.

Mr Jones, who has been in Parliament for about four years, said the meeting was the first he could recall the Prime Minister being late for “in all my time here”.

source: smh.com.au

Pokie crims on notice:Xenophon to re-introduce bill on poker machine money laundering


Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon. Photo: Alan Porritt.

Nick Xenophon is to resume his fight against organised crime using pokies to launder money.

The SA senator told Neos Kosmos this week he intends to reinstate a bill which he first introduced in 2012 to close a glaring loophole which criminals use to launder large sums of money through poker machines.

His announcement comes as money laundering intelligence agency, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), said there had been a “significant increase” in the number of suspicious activities reported around machines.

Pokie operators are required by law to report payouts over $10,000 to AUSTRAC. Xenophon’s Anti-Money Laundering Amendment (Gaming Machine Venues) Bill 2012 tried to lower the AUSTRAC threshold to $1,000 but failed to gain support from the then Labor government.

Senator Xenophon will use his debating session next Thursday – one of the few he is allotted each year – to bring the bill on for a second reading.

“This is an issue now more than ever, to ensure criminals and drug dealers aren’t laundering money through poker machines,” he said.

“If poker machines are being used as a mechanism to launder funds from criminal activity then surely that’s something the operators should be concerned about.”

Xenophon, who describes the proposed changes as “pragmatic and sensible”, said he was nonplussed at why the powerful poker machine lobby would not support the bill, given the extra administrative burden would be minimal.

“If they’re serious about having zero tolerance for organised crime using poker machines in this way, why won’t they support this legislation?”

Clubs Australia executive director Anthony Ball has called the reintroduction of the bill as “wasting the time and resources” of federal Parliament.

“This bill reveals Nick Xenophon’s complete ignorance of laws involving poker machines,” Mr Ball said.

“This bill has been rejected by the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee for Gambling Reform, and its introduction would only heap further regulatory burdens on clubs, which already have significant anti-money laundering compliance measures in place despite their low risk profile.”

Xenophon described Mr Ball’s statements as “cowardly and desperate remarks by a powerful lobby”.

Meanwhile Adam Masters, an independent researcher with the Transnational Research Institute on Corruption at the ANU, has backed Xenophon’s position, saying that lowering the reporting threshold would “definitely have an effect” on the profitability of money laundering operations while exerting little extra administrative burdens on venues.

Mr Masters said the current limit facilitated the laundering technique called ‘smurfing’, where a number of people are paid several hundred dollars to insert just under $10,000 into a machine, play until they win, and then cash out.

Senator Xenophon, who has long campaigned against pokies, has described state and territory governments – who receive $4 billion in gambling taxes from pokies – as “hopelessly conflicted” over tightening laws affecting the industry.

source: Neos Kosmos

Greece:Crisis impacts on migrants


The sharp decline in the number of jobs held by immigrants is largely attributed to the collapse of construction activity.

Unable to find work, large numbers of non-Greeks have been buying one-way tickets home.

The crisis that has been gripping Greece for the last six years has also had a major impact on the economic activities of immigrants, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

Unable to find work, large numbers of non-Greeks have been buying one-way tickets home. The Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) has recorded a sharp decline in the immigrant population, the Bank of Greece has registered significant outflows of deposits, and the Social Security Foundation (IKA) has recorded a big drop in the number of the immigrants insured.

In just one year, the number of non-European Union (EU) subjects living in Greece dropped by nearly 165,000, from 817,800 in 2011 to 650,800 in 2012. The largest segment concerns people of Albanian origin. The trend is certain to have continued in 2013 but as yet there is no available data.

The deposits of non-eurozone immigrants in Greek banks fell by 30 billion euros between June 2010 and June 2014. According to Bank of Greece data, the outflow amounted to about 3.5 billion euros in the June 2013 to June 2014 period.

The latest IKA data shows that the number of insured immigrants fell 33 per cent in the first four years of recession, from 237,470 in December 2009 to 159,670 four years later. At the end of 2013, Greeks represented 90.15 per cent of those insured with IKA from 87.17 percent four years earlier.

The sharp decline in the number of jobs held by immigrants is largely attributed to the collapse of construction activity. Of the 116,890 insured in this sector in 2009, 52,620, or 45 per cent, were of foreign origin. In 2013, employment in the sector had fallen by two-thirds and the number of foreigners in it had dropped to 16,090. Employers in construction, numbering some 43,800 at end-2009, fell to just 16,050 four years later.

In 2013 IKA registered a rise in the total number of insured, from 1,434,850 in 2012 to 1,621,260. This is largely attributed to firms’ fears of being fined if caught employing uninsured workers.

Source: Ekathimerini

Patra airport gets push from Aussie


Patra airport underutilised.

A Greek Australian teacher has spearheaded a campaign to see Patra airport retain international flights.

Catherine Zgouras couldn’t sit idly by when she saw the potential of Patra’s airport and the inaction of people in power.

When a low budget airline inexplicably stopped their scarce flights from London to Patra, the third largest Greek city, with no reason given, the local government didn’t care, or rather, it did not care after it actually realised the flights had been cancelled.

A regular on those flights was Sydney teacher and local Patrini, Catherine Zgouras. She saw the demand first hand, constantly travelling on overbooked flights and meeting her fellow passengers who would tell her of the need to keep the travel route open.

“I needed the flights because I write and edit for UK publishers, parents needed them to see their children studying in the UK, business people needed them to get to work and ex-pats to visit their family,” she tells Neos Kosmos.

“These flights were a blessing.”

When she saw the flight route disappear and not a peep came out of her local representatives, she decided to launch a campaign.

It started with humble beginnings, circulating a petition with the aim of raising awareness and giving politicians a real sense of how urgent the issue was and how beneficial it would be for the town.

“I received lots of help from friends, local businesses and other authority figures but we still didn’t get direct flights,” she says.

After the campaign gained more traction when it was featured in the local newspapers, Catherine was approached by politicians in the hope of using her campaign to further their election hopes.

Not the response she was hoping for.

“[When] the then mayor offered false promises, local authority figures asked me to run with them in the upcoming elections as my campaign was making the news,” she says.

“I obviously refused, because I’ve learnt that politics here in Greece are about feeding a hungry ego rather than repairing a country’s wounds.”

In a positive step, Aegean Airlines brokered a deal with UK holiday company Thompson to reopen the route, but only London to Patras return, not the other way around.

“When I asked Thomson about it, they said that the Greek side didn’t ask for outbound flights. I was furious!” Catherine says.

The fight still continues, and with appointments set up once again with local members, Catherine isn’t one to back down easily.

She hopes to convince the municipality to see the benefit of introducing more direct flights to Patra.

“It’s important to get the airport open again because it will help Patra get back on the map,” she says.

“The Greek people in Patra have shown me great support and so I will continue because we need these flights to introduce growth in a troubled and ailing city.”

For her work on the issue, Catherine was named a Patrian Person of the Year by Peloponnisos newspaper.

source: Neos Kosmos