Daily Archives: February 12, 2015

Greek Australians ready for a Glendi filled weekend

Greek Australians ready for a Glendi filled weekend

This year, a huge selection of traditional dancing and music will be on offer. Photo: Kostas Deves.

Melbourne’s biggest Greek street party is on for a mind-blowing weekend celebration.

The Lonsdale Street (Antipodes) Festival, one of the most prestigious events for the Greek community, is set to transform Melbourne into a huge and free street party on Saturday 14 and Sunday 14 February.

International performers Dimitris Basis and Zoi Konstandopoulou will take the stage on Valentine’s Day, sharing their songs with hundreds of thousands of people, alongside local and other acclaimed international performers.

“I’m excited to be travelling to Melbourne to perform at the 2015 Lonsdale Street Festival. To see such a large celebration of Greek culture so far away from Greece is a testament to the strength of the Greek community in sharing our culture with the rest of Australia,” said Dimitris Basis.

It is a great success for the festival to be hosting these two renowned Greek singers, who have collaborated with Christos Nikolopoulos and Lavrentis Machairitsas, as well as with some of Greece’s premium musicians.

The festival’s main stage will also feature performances by Melbourne’s Ravaisi band, an outfit made up of young Australians playing traditional tunes from all over Greece. Local bands Meraklides Group, Nea Vradia, Mojo Sisters, The Apocalypse Boys, Santa Tarabta, along with singer Anthea Sidiropoulos and Melbourne-born singer/songwriter Stelios Antoniou, will perform some of their popular hits as well. For those who wish to prove themselves on stage, Greek karaoke will be waiting at the Delphi Bank Stage.

The Lonsdale Street Festival is not only about the music but is bound to offer some of the most delectable mouth-watering Greek delicacies to its attendees with many food stalls spanning across the festival space this weekend, not to mention a great range of imported Greek beverages. Leading Greek chefs and cooks the likes of Phil Vakos, Kathy Tsaples, Angie Giannakodakis, Greek twins Helena and Vikki, and non-Greek contestants from My Kitchen Rules will meet at the Flavours of Greece Stage.

Nitrogen-based instant ice-cream, which is creamier and natural without any added colours, stabilisers or preservatives, and Greek-style frappe and freddo coffees will be waiting next to 100 per cent natural, hand-made gelato pops, kaimaki, gourmet fairy floss and a variety of frozen Greek yoghurt on wheels.
It doesn’t end there. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, decadent fast food from a solar-powered food truck will compete with tasty seafood and traditional lamb, pork, chicken, even beef souvlakia, kalamakia and spit rotisseries. Since in Greece there is always room for dessert, a modern spin of traditional loukoumades and waffles will also be there to blow the minds of even the most eclectic visitors.

Moreover, Lonsdale Street Festival has plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained, such as face painting, balloon sculpting and storytelling at the Kids Corner, whilst classic carnival rides and giant inflatables offer an adrenaline fix for the festival’s hyper young fans.

Last but not least, this jubilant congregation offers a chance to dance your way to Greece and receive a return economy flight to a Greek island with the courtesy of Qatar Airways and Touchdown Tours, if you ‘Zorba ’til You Drop’, on the Delphi Bank Stage on Saturday 14 February.

source: Neos Kosmos

Με νίκες συνέχισαν Τσέλσι, Σίτι, Γιουνάιτεντ, «Χ» η Σαουθάμπντον

Με νίκες συνέχισαν Τσέλσι, Σίτι, Γιουνάιτεντ, «Χ» η Σαουθάμπντον

Οπως και πέρσι, η Τσέλσι νίκησε 1-0 στην εκπνοή την Εβερτον στο “Στάμφορντ Μπριτζ”.

Ο Γουϊλιαν στο 90΄ πέτυχε το μοναδικό γκολ της αναμέτρησης, που διατηρεί τους “Μπλε” σε απόσταση 7 βαθμών από τη Μάντσεστερ Σίτι, η οποία την ίδια ώρα περνούσε άνετα από το “Μπριτάνια” με 4-1 επί της Στόουκ.

Επίσης, η Μάντσεστερ Γιουνάιτεντ επέστρεψε στις επιτυχίες (3-1 τη Μπέρνλι), ενώ η Σαουθάμπτον άφησε βαθμούς (0-0) εναντίον της Γουέστ Χαμ, παρότι αγωνίστηκε με αριθμητικό πλεονέκτημα για περίπου μισή ώρα, λόγω αποβολής του τερματοφύλακα των “Σφυριών”, Αντριαν.

Αναλυτικά τα αποτελέσματα και οι σκόρερ στην 25η αγωνιστική της Πρέμιερ Λιγκ:

Αρσεναλ-Λέστερ 2-1
(27΄ Κοσιελνί, 41΄ Γουόλκοτ – 61΄ Κράμαριτς)

Χαλ-Αστον Βίλα 2-0
(22΄ Γέλαβιτς, 74΄ Εντόι)

Σάντερλαντ-ΚΠΡ 0-2
(17΄ Φερ, 45΄ Ζαμόρα)

Λίβερπουλ-Τότεναμ 3-2
(15΄ Μάρκοβιτς, 53΄πεν. Τζέραρντ, 85΄ Μπαλοτέλι – 26΄ Κέιν, 61΄ Ντεμπελέ)

Τσέλσι-Εβερτον 1-0
(89΄ Γουϊλιαν)

Μάντσεστερ Γ.-Μπέρνλι 3-1
(6΄,45΄ Σμόλινγκ, 82΄πεν. Φαν Πέρσι – 12΄ Ινγκς)

Σαουθάμπτον-Γουέστ Χαμ 0-0

Στόουκ-Μάντσεστερ Σίτι 1-4
(38΄ Κράουτς – 33΄,70΄πεν. Αγουέρο, 55΄ Μίλνερ, 76΄ Νασρί)

Kρίσταλ Πάλας-Νιούκαστλ 1-1
(71΄ Κάμπελ – 42΄ Σισέ)

Γουέστ Μπρομ-Σουόνσι 2-0
(60΄ Ιντέγιε, 74΄ Μπεραχίνο)

ΒΑΘΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ (σε 25 αγώνες)

Τσέλσι 59
Μάντσεστερ Σίτι 52
Μάντσεστερ Γιουν. 47
Σαουθάμπτον 46
Άρσεναλ 45
Τότεναμ 43
Λίβερπουλ 42
Γουέστ Χαμ 38
Σουόνσι 34
Στόουκ Σίτι 33
Νιούκαστλ 32
Έβερτον 27
Κρίσταλ Πάλας 27
Γουέστ Μπρομ 26
Σάντερλαντ 24
Χαλ 23
ΚΠΡ 22
Άστον Βίλα 22
Μπέρνλι 21
Λέστερ 17

Πηγή:in.gr

Russian, Greek foreign ministers eye closer ties

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (left) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a press conference after their talks in the Russian Foreign Ministry guest house in Moscow, on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday for talks described by the latter as “successful, honest and constructive.”

Lavrov said the pair “discussed Greece’s financials” and that Russia “will consider any proposals it may receive” from Athens, though no such request was submitted by the Greek side, sources said. The two diplomats agreed there is ample scope for boosting bilateral ties on many levels, diplomatic sources indicated, but that in view of the current pressures faced by both countries, cooperation would be scaled up gradually. Lavrov expressed his gratitude for Greece’s position on the “futility” of anti-Russian sanctions. Kotzias repeated that the Greek government line was against sanctions but gave no indication that Athens would differentiate its stance from that of its European partners as tough negotiations on Greece’s bailout are under way.

Meanwhile Defense Minister Panos Kammenos clarified the Athens’s stance on another key foreign policy issue – Cyprus. On a visit to Nicosia, Kammenos described the presence of the Turkish seismic vessel Barbaros off Cyprus as “a blatant provocation.” Meanwhile Ankara is said to have dispatched the frigate Gelibolu into Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone, where Cypriot authorities have a license to drill for hydrocarbons. After talks with his Cypriot peer Christoforos Fokaidis, Kammenos said the Cyprus problem remained “a problem of invasion and occupation.”

 

A quarter of schoolchildren in Athens going hungry

60 per cent of school children suffer from food insecurity.

Following recent complaints from teachers that some children are going to school on an empty stomach, the Prolepsis Institute of Preventive Medicine, Environmental and Occupational Health released data from a survey that indicates the extent of the problem.

The organisation polled pupils at 64 schools in Athens where it provides free meals with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and found that 25 per cent of the children’s families were suffering from hunger and another 60 per cent from food insecurity.

In 61 per cent of cases, one of the two parents had no income and 11 per cent of the children were not covered by social security.

“The socioeconomic crisis is unfortunately leaving its mark on the most vulnerable group: children,” said Prolepsis chief Athina Linou.

The program provides meals for 15,520 pupils, half of whom live under the poverty threshold.

Source: Kathimerini

Greece and eurozone fail to agree on way forward

Greece and eurozone fail to agree on way forward

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, left, shakes hands with Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis during a meeting of eurogroup finance ministers. Photo: AP/Virginia Mayo.

Last minute objections from finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and deputy prime minister Yiannis Dragasakis, led to the process being abandoned.

The Eurogroup ended without agreement between Greece and its eurozone partners but also without a joint statement on how to move forward.

“We explored a number of issues, one of which was the current program,” Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem told a news conference in Brussels.

“We discussed the possibility of an extension. For some that is clear that is preferred option but we haven’t come to that conclusion as yet. We will need a little more time.”

It appears that the two sides had agreed to release a joint statement but that last minute objections from the Greek delegations, which was led by Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Deputy Prime Minister Yiannis Dragasakis, led to the process being abandoned.

Mr Dijsselbloem said that the all the eurozone finance ministers would reconvene on Monday, which is the last planned Eurogroup meeting of the month, to reassess the situation but there would be no discussion between experts or visits to Athens in the meantime.

Mr Varoufakis made a brief statement to reporters after the meeting and played down a failure to reach a common position. He said he believed a “healing deal” could be reached on Monday.

He denied that the sticking point had been an insistence from Greece’s eurozone partners to extend the existing bailout and said there were no threats towards Greece during the meeting.

“We explained whey this bailout is not working,” he said. “We want a new contract with Europe.”

Government sources in Athens who spoke to Kathimerini insisted that Greece would not accept an extension to the current bailout and that negotiations would continue with the aim of reaching a “mutually acceptable solution.”

They added that the Greek representatives at the Eurogroup were able to set out the government’s argument that the bailouts had failed and to explain the extent of the humanitarian impact of the crisis, as well as to discuss concerns about Greece’s public debt.

Source: Kathimerini

Australian Jobless Rate Jumps to 6.4% in January

Australia's Jobless Rate

Morning commuters cross a road as trams travel past the Flinders Street Station building, left, in Melbourne. The jobless rate rose to 6.4 percent from 6.1 percent, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

Morning commuters cross a road as trams travel past the Flinders Street Station building, left, in Melbourne. The jobless rate rose to 6.4 percent from 6.1 percent, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

Australian unemployment climbed to a 12 1/2-year high, sending the currency lower and underscoring last week’s decision to cut interest rates to a fresh record low.

The jobless rate rose to 6.4 percent from 6.1 percent, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today. That was the worst since August 2002 and exceeded the median estimate of 6.2 percent from a survey of 27 economists. The number of people employed fell by 12,200, led by declines in eastern states.

The Reserve Bank of Australia unexpectedly ended a 17-month pause and cut rates this month to support an economy that’s on track to expand below its potential for six of the past seven years. Its efforts to revive business confidence and encourage investment and hiring outside the mining industry have been hampered by renewed government infighting.

“It probably means that there’s more rate cuts to come,” said Stephen Walters, Sydney-based chief economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Given volatility in Australia’s labor data in the past 12 months, “just look at the jobless rate, rather than those bounces in employment. That’s still going up.”

The Australian dollar fell to 76.50 U.S. cents at 12:48 p.m. in Sydney, from 77.21 cents before the data was released. Traders see a 67 percent chance that the RBA will cut its benchmark in March, according to swap market prices, up from 34 percent at the start of the week.

Large swings in Australia’s monthly jobs numbers over the past 12 months prompted skepticism among some analysts and led the country’s statistician to review the data agency’s calculation methods in October.

Full-Timers Fall

“The reliability of the January survey is questionable,” said Katrina Ell, an economist at Moody’s Analytics in Sydney.

The number of full-time jobs dropped by 28,100 in January, and part-time employment rose by 15,900, today’s report showed.

Australia’s participation rate, a measure of the labor force in proportion to the population, was unchanged at 64.8 percent in January, it showed.

New South Wales led job losses with a 14,500 decline in January, followed by Queensland with a 7,100 cut and Victoria with a drop of 6,300, it showed.

“Overall, the bank’s assessment is that output growth will probably remain a little below trend for somewhat longer, and the rate of unemployment peak a little higher, than earlier expected,” RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement after the central bank’s Feb. 3 policy meeting, where the board cut rates by a quarter percentage point to 2.25 percent.

Government Infighting

Stevens’s task hasn’t been helped by the government in Canberra, where Prime Minister Tony Abbott has faced the kind of internal fighting over his leadership that saw the opposition Labor Party evicted from office in September 2013 as almost 40 percent of his lawmakers have indicated they don’t support him.

“The political position in Canberra for sometime has not been conducive to the kind of stable policymaking on infrastructure, competitiveness, on foreign investment, on trade,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia Chief Executive Ian Narev told reporters Wednesday. “We need to create an environment where businesses have confidence to invest and lead to job creation.”

Commodity Exports

Australia’s economy is also facing the effects of a fall in prices for its key commodity exports including an almost halving in that for iron ore in 2014. A 50 percent slump in oil prices last year could drive down prices of gas and coal.

Falling commodity prices in response to weakening demand from China and increased supply, and rising rate-cut bets have driven an 18 percent decline in the Australian dollar since the start of September.

source:bloomberg.com

Athens to ask for TAP stake, transit fees

Athens will seek a stake for Greece in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), annual transit fees and a reduction in the cost of natural gas imported from Azerbaijan, according to sources from the Energy Ministry.

Minister Panayiotis Lafazanis left on Wednesday for Baku, where he is on Thursday due to participate in the first meeting of the advisory council for the Southern Gas Corridor.

During the meeting, Lafazanis will have a chance to talk to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev as well as top officials in the TAP consortium to express the new Greek government’s demands.

Lafazanis will also discuss the issue of gas network operator DESFA, after the government stated in Parliament that it disagrees with the sale of DESFA to Azeri state company Socar.

Sources say Athens is in favor of the sale of a 49 percent stake in DESFA, and not the 66 percent previously agreed.

source:ekathimerini.com

Russian, Greek foreign ministers eye closer ties

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (left) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a press conference after their talks in the Russian Foreign Ministry guest house in Moscow, on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday for talks described by the latter as “successful, honest and constructive.”

Lavrov said the pair “discussed Greece’s financials” and that Russia “will consider any proposals it may receive” from Athens, though no such request was submitted by the Greek side, sources said. The two diplomats agreed there is ample scope for boosting bilateral ties on many levels, diplomatic sources indicated, but that in view of the current pressures faced by both countries, cooperation would be scaled up gradually. Lavrov expressed his gratitude for Greece’s position on the “futility” of anti-Russian sanctions. Kotzias repeated that the Greek government line was against sanctions but gave no indication that Athens would differentiate its stance from that of its European partners as tough negotiations on Greece’s bailout are under way.

Meanwhile Defense Minister Panos Kammenos clarified the Athens’s stance on another key foreign policy issue – Cyprus. On a visit to Nicosia, Kammenos described the presence of the Turkish seismic vessel Barbaros off Cyprus as “a blatant provocation.” Meanwhile Ankara is said to have dispatched the frigate Gelibolu into Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone, where Cypriot authorities have a license to drill for hydrocarbons. After talks with his Cypriot peer Christoforos Fokaidis, Kammenos said the Cyprus problem remained “a problem of invasion and occupation.”

source:ekathimerini.com

Greece, OECD agree to work together on reforms

Greece and the OECD agreed on Wednesday to work together on reforms to the Greek economy, but Athens insisted it would not let outsiders decide what policies it should adopt.

Speaking ahead of a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels, where Greece will present a demand for an end to its international bailout and a transition to a new debt restructuring deal, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece was committed to implementing reforms – but not those imposed by others.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has in the past provided Greece with a “tool kit” that essentially designs the reforms that have been required of Athens by international lenders.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said his Paris-based organization would work to help Greece achieve its reform goals.

“The crisis produced low growth, produced high unemployment and … Greece has suffered this very directly,” Gurria said at a news conference with Tsipras.

“It produced growing inequalities and it produced a very serious erosion of trust,” he said.

source:ekathimerini.com

Χειραψίες, χαμόγελα και αμηχανία λίγο προτού ξεκινήσει το Eurogroup

Χειραψίες, χαμόγελα και αμηχανία λίγο προτού ξεκινήσει το Eurogroup

Την παρθενική του εμφάνιση σε συνεδρίαση του Eurogroup, ενός από τα πλέον κρίσιμα των τελευταίων χρόνων, κάνει ο υπουργός Οικονομικών Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης.

Ο φωτογραφικός φακός αποτύπωσε χαμόγελα και χειραψίες με τους ευρωπαίους ομολόγους του, αλλά και στιγμές αμηχανίας.

Βίντεο με την άφιξη του Γ.Βαρουφάκη στο Eurogroup εδώ

Προσερχόμενος στο Eurogroup ο Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης δήλωσε πεπεισμένος ότι θα υπάρξει μία πολύ καλή και εποικοδομητική συνάντηση με τους ομολόγους του. Ερωτηθείς εάν υπάρχει περίπτωση Grexit ο κ. Βαρουφάκης είπε: «Σε καμία περίπτωση!».

Πηγή:in.gr