Daily Archives: August 28, 2014

Η ανεργία των νέων υποσκάπτει το μέλλον της Αυστραλίας

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Tο ποσοστό των νέων που βρίσκονται εκτός εργασιακού χώρου ανέρχεται στο 40% του συνόλου των ανέργων στην Αυστραλία

Το ότι το θέμα της ανερχόμενης ανεργίας των νέων γίνεται πρωτοσέλιδο στον ημερήσιο Τύπο, δεν είναι τυχαίο. Πρόκειται για ένα άκρως ανησυχητικό, κοινωνικό φαινόμενο, το οποίο, αν δεν αναχαιτιστεί έγκαιρα, θα υποσκάψει το μέλλον της χώρας.

Μέχρι την παγκόσμια οικονομική κρίση, το ποσοστό των μακροπρόθεσμα άνεργων νέων ακολουθούσε την κατιούσα. Με την έκρηξη της κρίσης, το ποσοστό των ανέργων νέων, ηλικίας 16-24 χρόνων, άρχισε να αυξάνεται ανησυχητικά σε σύγκριση με το σύνολο των ανέργων ηλικίας 15-64 χρόνων.
Ενδεικτικά να πούμε ότι τον Ιανουάριο του 2008 το ποσοστό των νέων ανέργων ήταν 9% έναντι του συνόλου 4.3%.

Οι τάσεις αυτές συνεχίστηκαν με αποτέλεσμα τον Ιανουάριο του 2014 το ποσοστό ανέργων νέων να έχει φθάσει το 12.4% έναντι του 6% του συνόλου.
Αυτή τη στιγμή το ποσοστό των νέων που βρίσκονται εκτός εργασιακού χώρου ανέρχεται στο 40% του συνόλου των ανέργων στην Αυστραλία. Αυτό σημαίνει ότι ένας στους τρεις άνεργους σήμερα ανήκει στην κατηγορία των νέων ηλικίας 15-24 χρόνων.

Εκείνο που παρατηρείται είναι ότι τα ποσοστά της ανεργίας των νέων δεν είναι της ίδιας περίπου τάξης σ’ όλη τη χώρα.
Αντίθετα, σημειώνονται μεγάλες διαφορές μεταξύ των Πολιτειών της χώρας.
Στην Τασμανία, ιδιαίτερα στο δυτικό και νοτιοδυτικό μέρος της, η ανεργία των νέων μέχρι τον Ιανουάριο του 2014 είχε φθάσει το 21%.
Στα ίδια σχεδόν επίπεδα κινήθηκε το ποσοστό των ανέργων νέων στο Cairns της Κουηνσλάνδης, φθάνοντας, κατά την ίδια περίοδο, το 20,6%.
Στη νότια Αδελαΐδα, τα ποσοστά κινήθηκαν στο 19,7%, ενώ στη Βικτώρια, πιο συγκεκριμένα σε περιοχές όπως Goulburn Valley, Woodonga και Wangaratta έφθασαν το 17,3%.

ΑΝΑΧΑΙΤΙΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΠΡΟΒΛΗΜΑΤΟΣ

Ένας από τους κορυφαίους φιλανθρωπικούς οργανισμούς της χώρας που αντιμετωπίζει το πρόβλημα των ανέργων σε καθημερινή βάση και δεν αρκείται στο να προσφέρει μόνο ένα πιάτο ζεστό φαγητό και μια κουβέρτα στους άστεγους, είναι το Brotherhood of St. Laurence.
Στην παρούσα φάση έχει ξεκινήσει μια συντονισμένη εκστρατεία για την αποτελεσματική αναχαίτιση του προβλήματος.
Με την εύστοχη επωνυμία «My Chance, Our Future» («Η Ευκαιρία μου, Το Μέλλον μας»), σκιαγραφεί την πραγματική εικόνα του προβλήματος, ενώ προσφέρει συγκεκριμένες γραμμές στρατηγικής για την αναχαίτισή του.

Υπογραμμίζοντας ότι δεν είναι απλά ένα πρόβλημα που αφορά τους άνεργους νέους και τις οικογένειές τους, αλλά έχει επιπτώσεις σ’ ολόκληρο το φάσμα του κοινωνικού ιστού, με επικίνδυνες επιπτώσεις γι’ αυτό το μέλλον της χώρας.

Δίνοντας μια σφαιρική εικόνα του παρόντος κλίματος, αναφέρει ότι η παγκοσμιοποίηση της οικονομίας προσφέρει αξιόλογες ευκαιρίες, όχι όμως χωρίς κινδύνους.
Πιο συγκεκριμένα, αποβαίνει όλο και πιο δύσκολο για τους νέους που δεν έχουν συγκεκριμένα προσόντα, επαγγελματική πείρα ή γνωριμίες, να εξασφαλίσουν αυτό το πρώτο βήμα στο χώρο εργασίας. Σε μια χώρα εύπορη, όπως είναι η Αυστραλία, η θέση εργασίας υπήρξε πάντα η βάση για να δημιουργήσει κάποιος μια καλύτερη ζωή.
Σήμερα η ανοδική πορεία της ανεργίας των νέων θα πρέπει πραγματικά να προβληματίσει τους κυβερνώντες, τις υπηρεσίες εύρεσης εργασίας, τους φιλανθρωπικούς οργανισμούς, αλλά και το κοινωνικό σύνολο.

Είναι αναμφισβήτητο γεγονός ότι η παρατεταμένη περίοδος εκτός εργασίας στα πρώτα χρόνια της νεότητας κάποιου, υπάρχει κίνδυνος να τον καταδικάσει σε φτώχεια και περιθωριοποίηση από το κοινωνικό σύνολο, για το υπόλοιπο της ζωής του.

ΣΟΦΗ ΕΠΕΝΔΥΣΗ

Η επένδυση στους νέους αποτελεί σοφή επένδυση, υποστηρίζει η διοίκηση του Brotherhood of St. Laurence, δεδομένου ότι επενδύουμε στο κοινωνικό και οικονομικό μέλλον της χώρας. Αντίθετα, άτομα τα οποία βρίσκονται εκτός, δεν γίνεται να συμβάλλουν στην παραγωγικότητα της χώρας, γεγονός το οποίο επηρεάζει, αναμφισβήτητα, την εθνική μας ανάπτυξη και αναμφισβήτητα επιβαρύνει το δημόσιο ταμείο.
Η λύση είναι απλή, τονίζεται από τον δραστήριο φιλανθρωπικό οργανισμό. Επενδύστε τώρα στο δυναμικό των νέων ανθρώπων, χαλιναγωγήστε τις φιλοδοξίες τους, αναπτύξετε τις ικανότητές τους.

Παραλληλισμός με έργα υποδομής είναι ιδιαίτερα εύστοχος: Είναι της ίδιας ζωτικής σημασίας, όσο η κατασκευή δρόμων, σιδηροδρόμων και λιμένων.
Αναγνωρίζοντας τις μέχρι τώρα κυβερνητικές πρωτοβουλίες ο εν λόγω φιλανθρωπικός οργανισμός θα πει ότι προγράμματα όπως το Youth Connections, έχουν βοηθήσει πάνω από 70.000 νέους Αυστραλούς οι οποίοι βρίσκονταν στα όρια της περιθωριοποίησης και κινδύνευαν να απομακρυνθούν από τους χώρους της εκπαίδευσης και της εργασίας.

Είναι αξιοσημείωτο ότι το 95% όσων πήραν μέρος στο πρόγραμμα το παρακολούθησαν μέχρι τέλους, επί δεκατρείς εβδομάδες που διήρκεσε και έξι μήνες αργότερα ανήκαν στον εργασιακό χώρο.

ΠΡΑΚΤΙΚΑ ΒΗΜΑΤΑ

Είναι αξιοσημείωτο ότι αυτή τη στιγμή, ο ίδιος οργανισμός έχει βάλει σε λειτουργία ειδικό πρόγραμμα που προετοιμάζει τους νέους να αντιμετωπίσουν με περισσότερη αυτοπεποίθηση το θέμα ζήτησης εργασίας. Το πρόγραμμα λειτουργεί στα βόρεια και δυτικά προάστια της Μελβούρνης, τα οποία είναι και τα περισσότερο μειονεκτούντα. Αναφέρεται ότι 70% εκείνων που παρακολουθούν το πρόγραμμα αυτό βρίσκουν εργασία ή συνεχίζουν τις σπουδές τους.

Ο ίδιος οργανισμός προτείνει το πρόγραμμα αυτό να εφαρμοστεί σε παναυστραλιανή κλίμακα. Πολλοί εργοδότες έχουν διαπιστώσει ότι συχνά οι νέοι που ζητούν εργασία δεν είναι έτοιμοι για να εισέλθουν στον εργασιακό χώρο. Οι ίδιοι οι εργοδότες ζητούν άτομα υπεύθυνα που είναι διατεθειμένα να μάθουν και να ενσωματωθούν στο εργασιακό περιβάλλον. Ένα πρόγραμμα, όπως το προαναφερόμενο, θα τους εξοπλίσει με προσόντα απαραίτητα για να εισέλθουν στον εργασιακό χώρο, όπως είναι αυτά της συνέπειας, της ικανότητας να εργαστούν σε μια ομάδα και να συνεργαστούν με τους συναδέλφους τους, και το το κυριότερο να γνωρίσουν ποιες είναι οι υποχρεώσεις τους απέναντι στον εργοδότη.

Γεγονός, εντούτοις, παραμένει ότι όσο μεγαλύτερο είναι το διάστημα που μένει ένας νέος άνεργος, τόσο πιο δύσκολο είναι να βρει εργασία.
Αυτός είναι και ο λόγος που ο φιλανθρωπικός οργανισμός Brotherhood of St Laurence επιδιώκει το πρόγραμμα αυτό, να εφαρμοστεί όσο το δυνατόν ταχύτερα και ιδιαίτερα στα προάστια όπου υπάρχει το μεγαλύτερο ποσοστό άνεργων νέων.
Τονίζεται, επίσης, ότι θετικά αποτελέσματα θα έχει η συνεργασία με ντόπιους εργοδότες, ώστε οι νέοι να γνωρίζουν ότι υπάρχει μία πόρτα ανοιχτή μετά την εκπαίδευσή τους.

ΣΤΗ ΔΙΚΗ ΜΑΣ ΑΥΛΗ

Για την ανεργία των νέων στην ελληνική παροικία δεν υπάρχουν συγκεκριμένα στοιχεία, θα μας πληροφορήσει η κοινωνική λειτουργός της Αυστραλο-Ελληνικής Κοινωνικής Πρόνοιας, Δήμητρα Λαγουδάκη.

«Συνήθως, ερχόμαστε σ’ επαφή με τις επιπτώσεις που έχει στην οικογένεια των νέων, στους γονείς, παππούδες και γιαγιάδες.
Εκείνο που πέφτει στην αντίληψή μας είναι ότι πολύ συχνά, στην ανάγκη που νιώθουν να βοηθήσουν τα παιδιά ή τα εγγόνια που είναι άνεργα, πέφτουν οι ίδιοι στην παγίδα της φτώχειας και της ανέχειας, από την οποία είναι πολύ δύσκολο να βγουν. Έτσι, έχουμε περιπτώσεις που για να βοηθήσουν τα παιδιά τους που δεν μπορούν να βρουν δουλειά, γίνονται οι ίδιοι ευάλωτοι στις απαιτήσεις των νέων. Δεν είναι λίγοι εκείνοι που υποθήκευσαν τους κόπους μιας ολόκληρης ζωής για να βοηθήσουν τα παιδιά τους και βρέθηκαν οι ίδιοι με πολύ λίγα ή τίποτε».

Η ίδια θα προσθέσει ότι «με το πρόβλημα της ανεργίας των νέων, από πρώτο χέρι, έρχονται, ως Κοινωνική Πρόνοια, σ’ επαφή κυρίως με τους νεοφερμένους Έλληνες. Είναι μία κατάσταση ιδιαίτερα δύσκολη, ακόμη και σε περιπτώσεις που το συγκεκριμένο άτομο συμβαίνει να έχει όλα τα απαιτούμενα προσόντα. Ένα μεγάλο πρόβλημα είναι ότι δεν έχουν, πριν έλθουν στην Αυστραλία, σαφή εικόνα της εδώ κατάστασης, των δυσκολιών που ενδέχεται να συναντήσουν και γενικά της εδώ πραγματικότητας».
Για τις επιπτώσεις της ανεργίας των ανθρώπων, ιδιαίτερα των νέων, η Δήμητρα Λαγουδάκη θα πει ότι «εκτός από τα πρακτικά προβλήματα που δημιουργεί, υπάρχουν και εκείνα των ανθρωπίνων σχέσεων που μπαίνουν σε μεγάλη δοκιμασία».

Τίποτε δεν είναι απλό όταν μιλάμε για ένα από τα δυσκολότερα, για επίλυση, προβλήματα της εποχής μας, όπως είναι αυτό της ανεργίας.
Μόνο η εφαρμογή συγκεκριμένων προγραμμάτων και στρατηγικής από μέρους της Πολιτείας θα μπορούσαν να το αναχαιτίσουν με επιτυχία. Μέτρων τα οποία θα είχαν ως στόχο τις πραγματικές ανάγκες και τον περιορισμό της εξάπλωσης των νέων ανέργων. Ίσως δεν είναι αργά να ληφθούν τα κατάλληλα μέτρα, αρχίζοντας από τα μειονεκτούντα προάστια, εκεί που παρουσιάζεται το πρόβλημα σε πιο απειλητική μορφή.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Στις 16 Σεπτεμβρίου Άρης και Μπέντλεϊ Γκρινς, για το κύπελλο Αυστραλίας

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Εκτός έδρας τα παιχνίδια τους

Ανακοινώθηκαν χθες Τετάρτη από την Ποδοσφαιρική Ομοσπονδία Αυστραλίας, οι ημερομηνίες διεξαγωγής των αγώνων της φάσης των «16» του FFA CUP.
Άρης Σάουθ Σπρίγκβεϊλ και Μπέντλεϊ Γκρινς, που εκπροσωπούν την Ελληνική Βικτώρια, θα αγωνιστούν εκτός έδρας στις 16 Σεπτεμβρίου, μια και κληρώθηκαν στο γκρουπ της πρώτης οκτάδας.

Οι αγώνες της δεύτερης οκτάδας είναι προγραμματισμένοι να γίνουν μια εβδομάδα αργότερα (Τρίτη 23 Σεπτεμβρίου).

Αναλυτικά το πρόγραμμα των αγώνων της φάσης των «16»:
Τρίτη 16 Σεπ. 2014, 07:30μμ.
Adelaide City-Brisbane Strikers
Adelaide United-Brisbane Roar
Palm Beach Sharks-South Springvale
Sydney Olympic-Bentleigh Greens
Τρίτη 23 Σεπ. 2014, 07:30μμ.
Olympic FC-Central Coast Mariners
St. Albans Saints-Perth Glory
Sydney United -Sydney FC
Tuggeranong United-Melbourne Victory

Πηγή: Nέος Κόσμος

Golden Dawn visit dismays Australia’s Greek community

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The Golden Dawn party more than doubled its showing in May’s Athens mayoral elections and racist attacks have proliferated over the city’s summer. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

Greek Australians vow to stop neo-fascist party from spreading hate as extremist group steps up efforts to tap diaspora for support.

A planned visit to Australia by members of the European parliament representing Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has been met with embarrassment and dismay by leading members of the country’s Greek community.

Days after the extremist group announced that former army generals Eleftherios Synadinos and Georgios Epitideios would visit Sydney and Melbourne in October, Greek Australians vowed to stop the organisation spreading its message of hate.

“Greeks in Australia oppose Golden Dawn,” Bill Papastergiadis, the president of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, told Guardian Australia. “The visit by an anti-immigrant party is incompatible with the pluralist and multicultural society in which we live.”

More than 300,000 people of Greek descent live in Melbourne.

The forthcoming trip is the most concrete sign yet of the neo-fascists’ determination to extend their global reach. Emboldened by its unexpectedly good performance in recent local and European polls, the Holocaust-denying party, now the third-biggest political force in Athens, has stepped up efforts to tap the Greek diaspora for support.

Australia appears to have pride of place in that campaign. Ignatius Gavrilidis, Golden Dawn’s newly appointed Australia representative, told the ABC support for the group was soaring, especially among younger Greek Australians, despite a judicial inquiry in Greece that has unmasked the movement as a criminal organisation. Most of its leadership is detained in pre-trial custody as a result.

The visit aimed to raise awareness and funds, Gavrilidis said. He acknowledged that some ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn MPs admired Hitler – with its leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, keeping a portrait of the Führer in his home – but they neither espoused nor endorsed Nazi ideology.

“Yes they have admired the leadership of Hitler, just like we also admire the leadership of many strong leaders across the world,” Gavrilidis told the public broadcaster. “Vladimir Putin is a very strong leader. He’s got integrity. Benjamin Netanyahu is a very strong leader.”

Golden Dawn party

A Golden Dawn party supporter raises his hand in a Nazi-style salute during a rally in Athens. Photograph: Yannis Kolesidis/AP

Supporters in Australia numbered in the “thousands” even if there were no more than 70 activists nationwide, Gavrilidis said.

But Greek community leaders denied the far-right group had any appeal. “Support for Golden Dawn is largely nonexistent,” Papastergiadis said. “They have no profile whatsoever in Australia.”

Victorian Liberal MP Nick Kotsiras, a former minister in the state government, echoed that sentiment, saying Golden Dawn had minimal support among Australia’s Greek community.

“I am embarrassed by the existence of Golden Dawn. Golden Dawn does not represent me, it does not represent my family and does not represent the vast majority of Greeks living in Victoria,” he said. “But they are also not representative of Greeks living in Greece. They are the antithesis of what the Hellenic spirit is all about.”

The politician insisted that if the far-right MEPs were allowed into Australia it should only be after passing the character test automatically conducted on people trying to enter who are suspected of being associated with a criminal organisation.

In May, black-shirted Golden Dawn followers clashed with Greek Australians from the anti-fascist front during a protest in Brisbane that was also attended by supporters of the far-right Australia First party.

A Greek-Australian organiser with the Melbourne Anti-Fascist Initiative, Alex Kakafikas, said opponents of Golden Dawn were meeting to discuss their response to the MEPs’ visit, including a blockade of any events they held.

“The ultimate goal is to stop them from having their meeting,” he said.

Kakafikas said Golden Dawn maintained a “shadowy” presence in Melbourne and had only a few supporters.

“But one of the problems is that local Greek-Australian supporters are making connections with the far-right in Australia. Golden Dawn’s Australian leader has spoken at an Australia First meeting,” he said.

“It’s not that Golden Dawn will be able to muster enough energy for political influence here. Our concern is its ability to contribute resources [to the Greek branch] and to send people over there to work with the organisation,” he said. Australian members of the group had regularly travelled to Greece to take part in demonstrations and engage in “paramilitary training”, he said.

In Athens, leftist activists who maintain contact with the Melbourne-based “No to Golden Dawn” campaign pledged to help stop the party broadening its support base.

“Their aim, clearly, is to set up Nazi cells of hate in the Greek diaspora that would strengthen far-right forces that already exist in Australia and the United States,” said Petros Constantinou, a prominent campaigner with the Movement against Racism and the Fascist Threat (Keerfa).

“We will coordinate with our friends over there to stop them creating this black international of fascism. We will help and support their mobilisations in any way we can,” he said in Keerfa’s Athens office. “Diaspora Greeks, immigrants themselves, have been very vociferous in rejecting Golden Dawn’s message of hate.”

The party, whose insignia bears an uncanny resemblance to the swastika, has gone out of its way to soften its image as support for the organisation has risen on the back of Greece’s economic and social collapse. Both Epitideios, an erstwhile Nato commander and Synadinos, the former head of Greece’s special forces, are representative of Golden Dawn’s determination to replace boots with suits in an effort to expand its appeal.

But although the makeover appears to have paid off – with the far-rightists more than doubling the party’s showing in the Athens mayoral election in May – Golden Dawn MPs still face criminal charges for the brazen violence and hate speech they have directed against immigrants, gay people and Jews. Attacks against dark-skinned migrants and homosexuals by black-shirted assault squads have once again proliferated over the Athens summer.

Michaloliakos, who founded the party more than 30 years ago, and is accused of murder, extortion and assault, will stand trial with other MPs later this year.

source: theguardian.com

“Να απαγορευτεί η είσοδος Ευρωβουλευτών της Χρυσής Αυγής στην Αυστραλία”

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Το αυστραλιανό υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης απέφυγε μέχρι στιγμής να κάνει γνωστό αν θα επιτρέψει σε δυο ευρωβουλευτές της Χρυσής Αυγής να επισκεφθούν την χώρα.

Το αυστραλιανό υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης απέφυγε μέχρι στιγμής να κάνει γνωστό αν θα επιτρέψει σε δυο ευρωβουλευτές της Χρυσής Αυγής να επισκεφθούν την Αυστραλία.
Ο ομογενής Φιλελεύθερος βουλευτής και, έως πρόσφατα υπουργός Πολυπολιτισμού της Βικτώριας, Νίκος Κότσιρας, κάλεσε την αυστραλιανή κυβέρνηση να μην επιτρέψει την είσοδο των δυο ευρωβουλευτών της Χρυσής Αυγής στην Αυστραλία.

Ο φερόμενος ως εκπρόσωπος της Χρυσής Αυγής στην Αυστραλία, Ιγνάτιος Γαβριηλίδης, δήλωσε στο κρατικό ραδιοτηλεοπτικό δίκτυο του ABC ότι σύντομα θα επισκεφθούν την χώρα οι ευρωβουλευτές, Ελευθέριος Συνοδινός και Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος, για να συγκεντρώσουν χρήματα και να προωθήσουν τις θέσεις της παράταξης στις τάξεις της ομογένειας.

Ο κ. Γαβριηλίδης υποστήριξε ότι η Χρυσή Αυγή έχει «περίπου 70 ακτιβιστές στην Αυστραλία και χιλιάδες οπαδούς».
«Τις θέσεις μας τις στηρίζουν ιδιαίτερα οι Ελληνοαυστραλοί νέοι» είπε και ανέφερε ότι το κόμμα συγκέντρωσε μεγάλες ποσότητες ρουχισμού και τις έστειλε στην Ελλάδα λόγω της κρίσης.

Ο κ. Γαβριηλίδης υποστήριξε ότι η Χρυσή Αυγή δεν είναι νεοναζιστικό κόμμα, αλλά ομολόγησε ότι «κάποιοι οπαδοί της θαυμάζουν τον Χίτλερ και άλλους ηγέτες.
Όπως θαυμάζουν και άλλους μεγάλους ηγέτες ανά τον κόσμο. Ο Βλαντιμίρ Πούτιν είναι ένας μεγάλος και ακέραιος ηγέτης, το ίδιο και ο Μπέντζαμιν Νετανιάχου». Φυσικά, επανέλαβε ότι πολλά σύμβολα και χαιρετισμοί των μελών του κόμματος προέρχονται από την αρχαιότητα.

Η Χρυσή Αυγή έχει συνδεθεί με το ακραίο, ρατσιστικό κόμμα της Αυστραλίας Australia First Party, το οποίο είναι σφόδρα αντίθετο στην είσοδο μεταναστών στη χώρα. Ο κ. Γαβριηλίδης παραδέχθηκε ότι έχει τις ίδιες απόψεις με το εν λόγω κόμμα σε ό,τι έχει να κάνει με την είσοδο μουσουλμάνων μεταναστών στην Αυστραλία.
«Υπάρχει μια σοβαρή απειλή από την Ανατολή. Αν δεν μπορείς να ελέγξεις τη μετανάστευση, τότε θα έχεις προβλήματα» δήλωσε.
Ο βουλευτής Νίκος Κότσιρας, δήλωσε στο ABC ότι η Χρυσή Αυγή δεν έχει θέση στην Αυστραλία.

«Η ύπαρξη αυτού του μορφώματος μας ντροπιάζει» είπε ο ομογενής βουλευτής και πρόσθεσε:
«Δεν εκπροσωπεί ούτε εμένα ούτε τη συντριπτική πλειοψηφία της ομογένειας. Είναι το εντελώς αντίθετο απ’ αυτό που πρεσβεύει το ελληνικό πνεύμα».
Κάλεσε, δε, την αυστραλιανή κυβέρνηση να κάνει χρήση του δικαιώματος που της παρέχει ο νόμος και να απαγορεύσει την είσοδο των δυο ευρωβουλευτών στην Αυστραλία «αφού σχετίζονται με εγκληματική οργάνωση».

Το ABC ζήτησε την άποψη του υπουργού Μετανάστευσης, Σκοτ Μόρισον, επί του θέματος, αλλά μέχρι στιγμής δεν έχει λάβει απάντηση.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Mihalis Hatzigiannis detained over car theft report

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The singer’s car troubles have gotten a lot worse.

The pop singer’ and his accountant detained over falsifying a police report.

Pop singer Mihalis Hatzigiannis and his accountant were detained on charges of submitting a false statement after the latter allegedly reported to police that the license plates of the singer’s Ferrari had been stolen.

According to the accountant’s statement, which was submitted to police earlier this week, the car had been parked in the southern suburb of Glyfada when unknown thieves removed the plates. But a police probe revealed that the car has been in a showroom, with its license plates removed, since 2009.

Hatzigiannis is alleged to have acquired the vehicle in 2008 but to have had payments pending.

Both the singer and the accountant were released pending further investigation.

Source: Ekathimerini

Scholarship open for research in Greece

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The scholarship includes a return airfare to Greece and $4000.

Applications are now open for the biennial scholarship offered by the Australian National University (ANU) Canberra Friends of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA) and supported by the Hellenic Club of Canberra.

The scholarship is designed to assist a research student or scholar, or an artist, whose research requires a period in Greece.

ANU is one of 10 universities who are members of the AAIA, which aims to promote the study of ancient, mediaeval and modern Greece in both Greece and
Australia, and is the focal point for Australian research and excavations in Greece.

The Friends groups, which are all around Australia, support the AAIA and offer scholarships for students to visit Greece to pursue either their research projects or take part in the AAIA’s excavations.

With generous support from the Hellenic Club of Canberra, the Canberra Friends of the AAIA award a scholarship every 2 years, for a student or other scholar from the ACT to spend between two and 12 months working on a research project in Greece.

The generous scholarship offers a return airfare to Greece and a $4,000 contribution to expenses while conducting research in Greece. The scholarship must be taken up in 2015.

For further information about the scholarship please contact Elizabeth.Minchin@anu.edu.au or tracyhennessey@hotmail.com

source: Neos Kosmos

Private Bill – In Love and War

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Barrie Cassidy with wife Heather and daughter Caitlin in Mykonos.

ABC Insiders host Barrie Cassidy visited Crete to retrace his father’s capture in WWII following the Battle of Crete

In 1941, two years into World War II, Crete formed the final Greek stumbling block for the Axis powers, as they looked to take control of the Mediterranean.

A sensational battle ensued on the island, with an unsuccessful Commonwealth-led defensive trying to protect it from falling into Nazi hands. Reports claim that Adolf Hitler blamed, in part, the fall of his empire to the unexpected heavy losses it faced in Crete. Australia formed part of that Commonwealth defensive, and ABC political commentator and host Barrie Cassidy is writing a book detailing the life of his father, Australian Private William (Bill) Cassidy, who served in the Battle of Crete. Private Cassidy was captured (in a sense), following its eventual German capture, and transported to Stalag XVIII-A prisoner-of-war camp in Wolfsberg, southern Austria, via Thessaloniki, where he served for four years.

The book, titled Private Bill – In Love and War, is set to be released in late October, and details his father’s journey, from his departure in Australia through to Europe’s liberation in 1945.

Despite the heroics of Commonwealth soldiers, the eventual fall of Crete to the Germans was one of epic proportions, brought about by never before seen measures, including large scale parachute invasions by the fallschirmjäger (‘parachute hunters’).

Barrie’s journey began in Askifou, a small village in Sfakia, southern Crete, where he visited a museum littered with artefacts from the war. The museum is owned by local Andreas Hatzidakis, whose father George witnessed the effects of the war, and at age 14 set about assembling his collection in its entirety, at the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Andreas, who maintains his museum without the help of Greek authorities, and relies on the generosity and assistance of passers-by, was the starting point for Barrie, his wife Heather and their daughter Caitlin, as they set out to recollect his father’s steps.

“In Crete it was essentially filling in the gaps and seeing for myself first hand the geography of the battlefields and particularly outside of Herakleion, just beyond the airport. The Allies were camped there to protect the airport and there are two cone shaped hills and dad had described these hills and told me exactly where he was when the parachute invasion happened.

“It’s quite remarkable to get there and say ‘wow, there they are, exactly as described’. It’s an experience that I wanted to see for myself so I could then describe it accurately in the book.”

The Insiders host says that “the Battle of Crete is one of the most under-appreciated battles of World War II”. Notably because of large scale “ferocious civilian resistance” against the Axis invaders, the fallschirmjäger, and because of remarkably unprecedented circumstances that saw Allied and Axis
personnel share a Red Cross hospital in Adele, eight kilometres east of Rethymno.

“To this day I’ve spoken to a lot of war historians and none of them have been able to identify another example where a hospital was genuinely shared by the two competing sides.

“It came about almost by accident. The Allied troops stumbled on this German Red Cross centre and they were talking about the battle in the valley beyond Rethymno, and it just made sense to them that they shared this Red Cross facility, and they did.”

“Depending on where you were in the queue, whether you were German or Australian or English or whatever, you might get a German surgeon or an Australian surgeon or an English surgeon.”

His father was taken to the hospital after being wounded in two places by shrapnel and a bullet, and shared a tent with an Englishman and two German soldiers. There he found himself engaged in extensive dialogue with the enemy about Adolf Hitler’s objectives.

“He [his father] asked one of the Germans whether he ever believed that they could successfully invade England, and the German said to him ‘if that’s the Führer’s will, then we’ll do it’. He took away from that that this guy was a fanatic.”

His father had told him about the hospital, but Barrie was sceptical due to the circumstances that his father found himself in.

“Because dad’s recollection was slightly vague I was never satisfied that he didn’t in some way become confused – he was wounded after all – and that he might have been confused by who was really running the hospital.”

“But I’ve since been able to establish that. It certainly existed and it existed in those circumstances.”

Barrie pointed out that the events leading to his father’s capture were unique, because it wasn’t so much a capture as a transfer – from hospital patient to war prisoner.

“Most people’s vision of how somebody becomes a PoW is that they’re captured in the field. Dad’s circumstances were exceptional again because after the
Allies evacuated the island, a group of Germans walked into the hospital one day and said ‘your mates have left the island, you’re now prisoners of war’.”
Remnants of the hospital still remain in Adele. A lone white building with a Red Cross sign can be located, which locals believe formed the basis of the hospital.

“To walk away from Crete with that confirmation, knowing 100 per cent that that’s the way it operated, and to find the location, was one of the most satisfying things that I did.”

His father’s treacherous seven-day journey to Austria following his capture was one of survival of the fittest. His passage led him through former Yugoslavia on a “cattle train”, with very limited food and water. Barrie puts his father’s survival down to the fact that he had been nursed back to health in the hospital beforehand, and had recovered from his injuries. He spent the next four years in various roles in Austria as a PoW until Europe’s liberation in 1945.

Barrie explains that the title of the book Private Bill with its subheading In Love and War, is more than just a tale of the world’s greatest armed conflict. His father was both a private in the army, and also a very private person, who did not openly discuss his experiences with family and friends. The subheading, he details, was due to a life changing event, sparked 50 years after the Battle of Crete. Barrie’s mother received a letter from a lady who wrote to her saying
‘I understand you’re my mother and I want to meet you’. Consequently his father had to confront the realities of war again, and the fact that his wife had had an affair and adopted out a child.

“This created all sorts of tensions within the family, and so the book picks up on that theme. To the extent that, the impact of war never leaves you. Here’s my father in his 80s having to deal with the impact of the war and then partly as a result of that [the affair], but also because of what he had experienced through the war, in his 80s he suffers post-traumatic stress disorder.

“So it’s a lifetime story, it’s not just a war story, and that’s what picks up the subheading In Love and War.”

source: Neos Kosmos

Greece grapples with grey tourism

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Turning tide: after six years of recession Greece is attracting holidaymakers at record-breaking rates. Photo: Mykonos/visitgreece.com

Unlicensed owners fined over holiday rentals as new internet platforms raise issues for the industry.

While Greece basks in what will be its most profitable summer since before the economic crisis hit, Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogiannis has warned property owners who rent out unlicensed holiday accommodation that their tax-free days are numbered.

In July the Confederation of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) revised its projections for 2014 – from 18.5 million to 19 million arrivals (excluding 2.2 million on cruise ships). Airline bookings are up 25 per cent, with island airports reporting major increases in traffic.

As the season reaches its peak this month, Kefalogiannis says her ministry is ramping up efforts to rein in rogue landlords, and that a new wave of inspections – coupled with clearing the backlog of violations – has already raised over €2m.

Owners who make properties available for rent without a licence face fines of up to €50,000.

“We have accelerated the process of collecting fines…” said the minister, but she added inspections alone were not enough.

“The most important thing is to cultivate a good work ethic among everyone involved in tourism. We must finally reach a stage of maturity.”

Meanwhile the Greek Hoteliers Association estimates that about 45,000 unlicensed tourist residences in Greece (made up of villas, apartments and rooms) are on average 23 per cent cheaper than similar licensed accommodation, and will earn around €1 billion in 2014; none of which will be taxed.

Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Roslyn Geronikolas, owner of three upmarket (and licensed) hotels in Rhodes and Kastelorizo, said that the letting of unlicensed accommodation undermines not just the Greek state, but the industry and its customers.

“Licensed hotels are continually checked by the authorities to ensure they comply with health and safety regulations, where it’s doubtful that non-licensed establishments comply,” said the Perth-born Geronikolas.

While home-owners renting out rooms away from the prying eyes of regulation is a global phenomenon, Geronikolas says it’s particularly noticeable on Greek islands like Kastellorizo. “They don’t declare, and of course they don’t pay taxes,” she said.

Fellow Aussie operator Nick Geronimos, owner of Athens Studios and Backpackers in Makrygianni – a stone’s throw from the Acropolis – says unlicensed accommodation in Greece has had a new lease on life since websites like Airbnb and WIMDU appeared, which allow independent travellers to rent private homes and rooms direct.

“The issue isn’t only in Greece, it’s a worldwide problem,” says Geronimos.”

“These websites have created a shadow hotel industry, leading to a loss of tax revenue to the government and a diminution of standards.”

The Athens hotelier says issues around service, cleanliness and security in the unlicensed sector should be of concern to everyone, and that he applauds the Greek government’s efforts to clean up the industry.

“All legitimate operators in Greece are subject to regular checks to ensure health and safety of clients and staff, and we have to compete with people who don’t pay tax, and who in many cases, have a very low quality product.”

Most concerning of all, he says, are the new generation of internet services such as the Couchsurfin’ website – a combination of accommodation exchange and social networking portal. “Using this service is at a high personal risk,” warns Geronimos.

“Travel like a local, stay in someone’s home and experience the world in a way money can’t buy”, promises the sales pitch of US-owned Couchsurfing company, but with a number of incidents involving criminal activity, the unregulated status of accommodation offered might well give you an experience you could do without.

With the Greek government encouraging the creation of a ‘mature’ tourism industry, wrestling with virtually unregulatable effects of globalised peer-to-peer platforms is a trickier proposition altogether.

source: Neos Kosmos

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Search: Phone Call Offers New Clue

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Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, right, and Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai sign a Memorandum of Understanding at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Aug. 28. European Pressphoto Agency

CANBERRA, Australia—Australian authorities believe Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 turned south earlier than previously thought based on an attempted phone call to the plane after it vanished, providing a new clue to the jetliner’s possible location in the southern Indian Ocean.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said the assessment was based on fresh analysis that included being able to trace the satellite phone call by Malaysia Airlines ground staff, which wasn’t successful in contacting the plane after it disappeared on March 8.

“The detailed research that is being done now has been able to identify, or trace, that phone call and help to position the aircraft and the direction it was traveling,” Mr. Truss said Thursday.

Australia recently selected the Dutch oil-and-gas consulting firm Fugro to lead a rebooted search for Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean. The search effort in an area spanning 20,000 square miles could take up to a year, following its restart next month.

Mr. Truss said the new analysis won’t lead to a shift in the search area. “But some of the information we now have suggests that areas a little further to the south within the search area may be of particular interest,” he said in Canberra after meeting with Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai and Chinese Transport Minister He Jianzhong.

Investigators have continued to adjust their assumptions about what happened to Flight 370, which disappeared en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people on board, mostly Chinese citizens. Central to the conclusion that the plane crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean after running out of fuel are a series of ping transmissions between Flight 370 and an Inmarsat  PLC telecommunications satellite.

However, the investigation remains fluid and relies more on educated guesswork than physical data.

In late June, Australian authorities said that they believed someone onboard Flight 370 likely switched on the cockpit’s autopilot system deliberately, putting the plane on a direct path to the southern Indian Ocean. They also said the end of Flight 370 was best explained by all passengers and crew becoming unresponsive, possibly after being deprived of oxygen, based on the plane’s steady altitude, its loss of radio communications, and other factors.

Searchers have so far surveyed more than 87,000 square kilometers of undersea topography ahead of a renewed hunt for the plane expected to cost more than 52 Australian million dollars (US$49 million). The search will straddle an arc drawn from a final ping transmission between Flight 370 and the Inmarsat telecommunications satellite.

Mr. Truss said the survey work had revealed a dramatic and deeper-than-expected undersea landscape containing dormant volcanoes. In places, ocean depths plunged quickly from only a few thousand feet to more than 21,000 feet, compounding the difficulties for Fugro when it deploys its towed sonar devices.

On Thursday, the Australian and Malaysian governments signed an agreement on sharing costs for the coming search effort, while China’s government said it would soon send technical experts.

Investigators have completed the first stage of the probe into what caused Flight 370 to deviate from its original flight path, which centered on collecting factual information and records, and interviewing relevant individuals and agencies. They have now moved on to analyzing this information.

Still, Mr. Liow said the mystery of Flight 370 wouldn’t be solved until the wreckage of the aircraft had been located and the flight data recorders, known as black boxes, had been recovered from the seabed.

source: wsj.com

New markets for Greek tourism

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China is an increasingly important tourism market for Greece.

Visitors from Asian and South American countries on the rise

Thanks to its improved image, Greece seems to be attracting an increasing number of visitors from emerging economies. Furthermore, tourism industry officials say that Brazilians, Koreans, Filipinos, Indians and Mexicans, among others, often spend more money than those from the so-called ‘traditional’ origin countries.

Santorini is a case in point. Mayor Anastasios-Nikolaos Zorzos says the island has for years been a magnet for visitors from Asia throughout the year. The island expects about 20,000 Asian tourists this winter. Apart from the Chinese, Koreans also represent a growing clientele, reflected in the fact that a Korean film was partly shot on Santorini between July 22 and 25. Another film, Beijing Love Story, also shot on Santorini, opened at movie theatres in China on
February this year.

Athens is also a growing pole of attraction for visitors from emerging markets. Brazilians and Mexicans stop in the Greek capital while on cruise trips and stay up to three nights. They spend considerable sums on food and drinks in the hotels as well as on souvenirs. Brazilians and Mexicans also show a particular preference for trips that include the ‘classic tour’ of Mycenae, Epidaurus and Olympia. Most Latin American tourists are aged 50-plus.
Indians usually travel with family as part of groups. They are demanding customers and prefer their own cuisine.

A group of 29 Filipino travel agents were in Athens last week to be briefed and possibly to design tours for the Greek destination.

Attracting visitors from Asia is seen as the biggest challenge for destinations around the world, including Greece. According to a study titled ‘Winning the
Next Billion Asian Travellers – Starting with China’, carried out by Tripadvisor and Boston Consulting, more than 50 per cent of the increase in global tourism traffic up to 2030 will come from the Asia-Pacific region. A billion people are projected to have annual earnings of US$15,000 or more by then and the vast majority will come from China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.

The Chinese are projected to make 1.7 billion trips in the intervening period and their spending is seen shooting up to US$1.8 trillion. They are distinct in that they prefer to travel in February, May and October, which are low-season months for many Western destinations.

Source: ekathimerini