Daily Archives: February 17, 2015

Champion’s League: PSG vs Chelsea: Moaning Jose Mourinho points to Paris Saint-Germain’s ‘easy life’

Jose Mourinho kept his choice of keeper close to his chest Reuters

Chelsea manager says rigours of Premier League make his job harder

Jose Mourinho was ruminating on the subject of Paris Saint-Germain today, and their plans for European domination, when he mentioned that he had been the subject of a putative job offer almost four years ago when the Qatari money had first taken grip in the French capital.

It will come as no great surprise that a club in possession of a fortune in petrodollars, would be in want of a super-club manager with a record of winning super-club trophies, but that was not exactly Mourinho’s point in this regard. What he was getting at was not so much why PSG offered him the chance to be their manager in 2011 when Qatar Sports Investments took over, but more why he chose to turn them down.

This is the business end of the season, when the big clubs across Europe are jostling for position at the head of their respective title races and squaring their shoulders for the final heavyweight match-ups of the Champions League. This is the time that Mourinho sniffs the early spring air and decides that he needs to start ruffling a few feathers.

His chief contention was that PSG – like Real Madrid or Barcelona in Spain, or Bayern Munich, eight points clear at the top of the Bundesliga – have it relatively easy while the English Premier League, with its exhausting, competitive schedule, is the one true test.

Since he came back to Chelsea in the summer of 2013 claiming that he has missed the Premier League he has bemoaned what he sees as the non-competitiveness of other European domestic leagues. As for PSG, currently third in Ligue 1, and two points behind Lyons in spite of their massive financial advantage, Mourinho entertained no doubts about their outcome.

“They know they are going to be champions,” he said. “They know the other teams will not resist and Paris even losing a couple of matches, drawing a couple of matches, they know week after week. They draw at home this weekend, but the distance to the leader is still only two points, so I think they know they are going to be champions.

“I know the PSG project well, I know it well because when they start this project with the owner, the president and Leonardo [then sporting director], I was to be the coach. I met them in Qatar. The project was to start dominating in France, to dominate in Europe. The domination in France is there, they are champions, champions, champions. They are in the League Cup final, they are in the quarter-finals of the French Cup, they are two points behind the leaders. So the domination of France is there.”

Later he added: “You see in Germany, for Bayern it’s a promenade. You see in Spain basically they win every game and they are waiting for Real against Barça, Barça against Real, to decide which one is the champion. Atletico was an exception. The Premier League is very strong, it’s very difficult to go to Europe at the maximum of your potential.”

Later in his Uefa press conference, when he was asked about the injury problems facing PSG after Saturday’s game against Caen, in which they had only nine players left on the pitch by the end, Mourinho could barely contain his contempt. “When the French players were on holiday at Christmas, we were playing five games in 10 days,” he said, “so don’t speak to me about game accumulation.”

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Yohan Cabaye was injured at the weekend Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Yohan Cabaye was injured at the weekend The French champions lost Yohan Cabaye, Serge Aurier, Marquinhos and Lucas Moura to injury at the weekend and only Marquinhos, the Brazilian defender, is likely to be ready for tonight’s game. They beat Chelsea 3-1 at Parc des Princes in the quarter-finals last season, only to succumb 2-0 in the return leg at Stamford Bridge. For all the experienced players they have signed, PSG regard themselves as the newcomers among this last-16 elite, unproven and vulnerable.

There are worries playing on the mind of Mourinho too, however, and they centre chiefly upon Cesc Fabregas, a player of huge experience in this competition who has been ill in recent days and is by no means a certainty to play.

“We are a different team with him,” Mourinho said. “I’m not saying better or worse, I’m saying different. The team grew up from pre-season with him and the team went in a certain direction with a style of play. Without him, we lose some control, some possession. We become the same team, well organised, good in transition. But with him, we control the game better. We have possession of the ball because of the style of player he is.

“In Europe, it is important to have experience. I’ve always said that the characteristics of the Premier League in every aspect make the Premier League something unique and beautiful.

Cesc Fabregas is struggling with illness Cesc Fabregas is struggling with illness

“But we go to Europe and we find things you don’t find in the Premier League. The style of refereeing is different, the fair play from the players is also different. Sometimes we get more of the guy that dives, the guy that tries to get clever penalties, players with a different football culture. Now we are playing against a French team, but we could play German, Portuguese or Spanish and they all have different cultures.”

Mourinho knows that pressure is on. He consoles himself that he came back to Chelsea at the expense of other choices – like PSG – because this was where he was going to be challenged and tonight, midway through a second season at the club without a major trophy, that challenge is ever more present.

source:independent.co.uk

Newcastle Council votes to raise rates by almost 50 per cent

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 NEWCASTLE council will seek to lift residential rates by almost 50 per cent over the next five years in a surprise move led by Greens and Labor councillors on Tuesday night.If approved by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, the 46.9per cent rise will add more than $500 a year to the average residential rates.

The council had been widely tipped to seek a 37.5per cent increase over five years, but at the first meeting since Labor councillor Nuatali Nelmes took the lord mayoral reins, she used her casting vote to back moves by the Greens to lift rates even higher.

Greens councillor Michael Osborne first moved for the 46.9 per cent rates hike, saying  the smaller increase would only make the council financially sustainable and not provide any additional funds for revitalisation.

He was immediately backed by Labor’s Stephanie Posniak who said ‘‘the days of councils [simply] providing roads, rates and rubbish are long gone’’.

Green Therese Doyle said it was ‘‘hard to ask residents and ratepayers to pay more but the people of Newcastle have made it clear that they want us to provide services’’.

Both Labor and Greens councillors blamed state and federal cost-shifting for the need to raise rates so dramatically, singling out the state government which was blocking the council from claiming millions of dollars worth of developer contributions on major development projects.

Only seven months ago, Cr Nelmes was a staunch opponent of rate rises.

When the 37.5 per cent rates increase was floated in April, Ms Nelmes told the council: ‘‘We’ve had all these cuts to services that don’t add up to a lot of savings. We’ve had job losses [and as a result] I don’t think we have enough standing in the community at the moment to jack up rates this much.’’

In February this year, Cr Nelmes, along with her Labor and Greens colleagues, voted against a mere 1.1per cent rise in residential rates, saying she would not support the rise because the council had failed to deliver on the projects it promised when it got a significant rates increase approved in 2012.

Last night, Cr Nelmes said she was ‘‘not going to shy away from making the tough decisions’’ because the council needed to find a more sustainable financial position.

Liberal councillors Lisa Tierney and Brad Luke led the predictable opposition during last night’s debate. Cr Tierney said the council had ‘‘just spent $40,000 on a community survey’’ in which the majority of people didn’t support the 46.9 per cent rise.

‘‘We’re not even an hour into the new council and the first decision is to raise rates by nearly 50 per cent,’’ she said.

If the application is approved by IPART, the average residential rate will rise by $101 a year. Over the five years, the average rate will rise from $1074 a year to $1578 a year.

source:theherald.com.au

 

LIVE: Eurogroup meeting: Greek FinMin Varoufakis speaks after talks failure

source:youtube

Στην 91η θέση η Ελλάδα μεταξύ 180 χωρών για την ελευθερία του Τύπου

Στην 91η θέση η Ελλάδα μεταξύ 180 χωρών για την ελευθερία του Τύπου

Στην 91η θέση μεταξύ 180 χωρών κατατάσσεται η Ελλάδα αναφορικά με την ελευθερία του Τύπου στην παγκόσμια έκθεση της οργάνωσης «Δημοσιογράφοι Χωρίς Σύνορα».

Η χώρα μας ανέβηκε οκτώ θέσεις σε σχέση με το 2014 που βρισκόταν 99η στη λίστα της οργάνωσης.

Σύμφωνα με την έκθεση, μετά την πτώση 56 θέσεων στον κατάλογο από το 2009 έως το 2014, η Ελλάδα έχει τώρα τη δεύτερη χαμηλότερη κατάταξη στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση (τελευταία είναι η Βουλγαρία στην 106η θέση).

Όπως σημειώνεται, μεταξύ άλλων, οι λόγοι για την κατάταξη της Ελλάδας σε αυτή τη θέση οφείλονται στην «αστυνομική βία κατά δημοσιογράφων σε διαδηλώσεις και στη μη καταδίκη αστυνομικών για τέτοιες περιπτώσεις».

Η έκθεση προσθέτει, επίσης, ότι «το κλίμα βίας έχει ενισχυθεί από τις επιθέσεις εναντίον δημοσιογράφων από μέλη της Χρυσής Αυγής» και «την ίδια στιγμή, η οικονομική κρίση είχε σοβαρές επιπτώσεις για την πολυφωνία στα δημόσια και ιδιωτικά μέσα ενημέρωσης».

Όπως αναφέρεται, η αξιολόγηση για όλες τις χώρες γίνεται με βάση μια σειρά κριτηρίων που περιλαμβάνουν το νομοθετικό και θεσμικό πλαίσιο για την ελευθερία των ΜΜΕ, την πολυφωνία και την ανεξαρτησία τους, καθώς για την ασφάλεια και την προστασία των δημοσιογράφων στην άσκηση των επαγγελματικών καθηκόντων τους.

Στις δέκα καλύτερες θέσεις βρίσκονται, σύμφωνα με τον πίνακα κατάταξης: Φιλανδία, Νορβηγία, Δανία, Ολλανδία, Σουηδία, Νέα Ζηλανδία, Αυστρία, Καναδάς, Τζαμάικα και Εσθονία.

Η Κύπρος βρίσκεται στην 24η θέση, οι κατεχόμενες περιοχές της Κύπρου στην 76η θέση, η Τουρκία σε μια από τις χειρότερες θέσεις, στην 149η και η ΠΓΔΜ στην 117η.

Η Γερμανία βρίσκεται στην 12η θέση, οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες στην 49η, η Ρωσία στην 152η και η Κίνα στην 176η.

Στις τελευταίες χειρότερες θέσεις βρίσκονται η Συρία, το Τουρκμενιστάν, η Βόρειος Κορέα και η Ερυθραία.

Πηγή:in.gr

Ο Αμπιντάλ συνεχίζει από άλλο πόστο στoν Ολυμπιακό, απορρίπτοντας την Μπαρτσελόνα

Ο Αμπιντάλ συνεχίζει από άλλο πόστο στoν Ολυμπιακό, απορρίπτοντας την Μπαρτσελόνα

Στον Ολυμπιακό θα συνεχίσει να προσφέρει τις υπηρεσίες του, από άλλη θέση ωστόσο, ο Ερίκ Αμπιντάλ, όπως ο ίδιος αποκάλυψε στο περιοδικό France Football, καθώς απέρριψε την πρόταση που είχε από την Μπαρτσελόνα.

«Η Μπαρτσελόνα μου προσέφερε μια θέση μεταξύ διοίκησης και ομάδας, αλλά δεν καταλάβαινα το νόημα. Ο Μέσι γνωρίζει τον πρόεδρο. Δεν με χρειάζεται. Μου πρότειναν επίσης να αναλάβω ρόλο στις ακαδημίες, αλλά αυτό απαιτεί πολλά ταξίδια. Κι έχω το ίδρυμά μου να ασχοληθώ και φυσικά και την οικογένειά μου», εξήγησε ο Γάλλος σταρ.

Αντίθετα η πρόταση, από την άλλη, του Ολυμπιακού, στον οποίο αγωνιζόταν μέχρι πρότινος, ήταν αυτό που ήθελε: «Θέλουν να αναλάβω θέματα μάρκετινγκ, χορηγιών, προετοιμασίας της ομάδας και να έχω την επικοινωνία με τις ακαδημίες της Μπαρτσελόνα. Είναι πιο εύκολο. Μου αφήνουν επιλογή. Δεν είναι δουλειά που απαιτεί την παρουσία μου κάπου για 24 ώρες το 24ωρο. Μου ζήτησαν να είμαι στην Ελλάδα τέσσερις ημέρες τον μήνα. Έτσι λοιπόν απάντησα θετικά. Έδωσα τον λόγο μου. Και εγώ κρατάω τον λόγο μου».

Πηγή:in.gr

UK Financial Times – Athens must stand firm against the eurozone’s failed policies

patra-solidarity-reverse-image

Wolfgang Munchau is a senior editor with the UK Financial Times. So when he says the Greek government should tell their eurozone colleagues to go to hell with their veiled threats, people should take notice. He also canvasses other options halfway towards leaving the eurozone and which might offer a strategic advantage.

Full story here and excerpts below.

The Greek finance minister can expect a frosty reception on Monday where he will confront his eurozone colleagues in another ‘high noon’ European showdown. My advice to Yanis Varoufakis would be to ignore the exasperated looks and veiled threats and stand firm. He is a member of the first government in the eurozone with a democratic mandate to stand up to an utterly dysfunctional policy regime that has proved economically illiterate and politically unsustainable. For the eurozone to survive with the current geographic remit, this regime needs to go.Of course, for Greece to stand up to the EU policy elites is risky. The consequences of a failure to agree a deal have to be well understood. Greece might risk a financial collapse, and with it a forced exit from the eurozone. The concrete issue under discussion is a new loan to Athens to cover its funding needs for the next few months. The argument is not really about the money. It would only take a couple of economists in a pub with a pencil and a few beer mats to do the sums.

The dispute is about the packaging. The Greeks want a simple bridging loan combined with an implicit acknowledgment that the previous support programmes have failed. Others disagree. The Germans support austerity on ideological grounds. The Portuguese oppose any deal for Greece as they have taken their austerity medicine and did not stage an insurrection. And the Lithuanians are saying: we are even poorer than you are. Why should we bail you out? And so on.

So what should the Greek government do? They should stick with their position not to accept a continuation of the existing financial support programme. By doing this they would no longer be bound by self-defeating policy targets such as the contractual requirement to run a primary budget surplus of 3 per cent of gross domestic product. For a country with mass unemployment, such a target is insane. It would, of course, be better for this nonsense to stop while Greece remains in the eurozone. But the most important thing is that it has to stop.

If this is not feasible, Athens would need to prepare a Plan B. This does not necessarily mean a formal exit from the eurozone, which would be one of the riskiest options. There are smarter choices to pursue first.

The most sensible one is the introduction of a parallel currency — not necessarily paper money, more like a government-issued debt instrument that can be used for certain purposes. A number of economists have been thinking along these lines. Robert Parenteau, a US economist, has proposed what he called “tax anticipation notes”. These are IOUs backed by future tax revenue. Such instruments exist in the US at state level. They act as a tax credit that allows governments to run a fiscal deficit until the economy recovers. With such an instrument Greece could abandon austerity without abandoning the euro.

John Cochrane, a conservative economist at the University of Chicago, also wants the Greek government to print IOUs. They would be electronic money, not necessarily cash and would be used to pay pensions and other transfer payments. The IOUs would fulfil one of the core functions of money — a medium of exchange. You can use them to buy food in the grocery store or to recapitalise parts of your banking systems.

And what no one is saying — at least not in polite company — is that once this system is in place, you can default on the official European creditors. What can they do? They cannot eject you from the eurozone. They have no legal means to do so. They cannot kick you out of the EU either. They still need your assent for treaty change, or any policy requiring unanimity, such as the renewal of the sanctions against Russia.

The riskier alternative would be a hard exit — Grexit. This is an option Greece should try to avoid because it is hugely disruptive. But the scale of the downside of this, at least for Greece, depends on how it is managed. Grexit would be potentially more dangerous for the eurozone itself because it could be a seen as a template for others, especially in the absence of an economic Armageddon in Greece. Yet, while not desirable, Grexit would still be preferable than the status quo.

The worst-case scenario would be for the Greek government to blink first, and accept defeat. If Syriza were to be co-opted into the policy consensus, the only political party left to oppose these policies would be Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party.

My preference would be for the eurozone as a whole to abandon the failed policies of the past five years, and move on. If that proves politically impossible, the second best option, for Greece at least, would be a semi-exit with a parallel currency and a default on official creditors only. Either way, they will need to stand their ground on Monday.

source:australiagreecesolidarity

“Ξεχάστε το βιάγκρα” Αρχίστε να τρώτε σαν Έλληνες!

diet

Οι άντρες που αντιμετωπίζουν προβλήματα στο κρεβάτι μπορεί να «ξανανιώσουν» εάν αρχίσουν να ακολουθούν τις επιταγές της παραδοσιακής, ελληνικής διατροφής, αναφέρει η βρετανική εφημερίδα «Daily Mail».

Σε δημοσίευμά της με τίτλο «Ξεχάστε το βιάγκρα, αρχίστε να τρώτε σαν Έλληνες», επικαλείται ελληνική μελέτη που έδειξε ότι «ψάρια, σαλάτες, ελαιόλαδο και ένα ποτηράκι κρασί μπορεί να μεταμορφώσουν τη ζωή των ανδρών με στυτική δυσλειτουργία», καθώς «καθαρίζουν τα αιμοφόρα αγγεία, ιδίως αυτά του πέους που παίζουν καθοριστικό ρόλο στις επιδόσεις στο σεξ».

Η μελέτη στην οποία αναφέρεται παρουσιάσθηκε στις αρχές Δεκεμβρίου στο EuroEcho-Imaging 2014 – το συνέδριο της Ευρωπαϊκής Εταιρείας Καρδιαγγειακής Απεικόνισης (EACVI) που αποτελεί κλάδο της Ευρωπαϊκής Εταιρείας Καρδιολογίας (ESC).

Σύμφωνα με το γραφείο Τύπου του συνεδρίου, τη μελέτη πραγματοποίησαν επιστήμονες υπό τον δρα Αθανάσιο Αγγελή, ειδικό σε θέματα στυτικής δυσλειτουργίας στο Ιπποκράτειο Νοσοκομείο της Αθήνας.

Οι ερευνητές συμπεριέλαβαν στη μελέτη τους 75 άντρες, μέσης ηλικίας 56 ετών, οι οποίοι έπασχαν από στυτική δυσλειτουργία και επισκέφθηκαν την Καρδιολογική Κλινική του Ιπποκρατείου.

Οι εθελοντές συμπλήρωσαν αναλυτικά ερωτηματολόγια διατροφής και χωρίσθηκαν σε ομάδες αναλόγως με τη συμμόρφωσή τους στην μεσογειακή διατροφή, η οποία βαθμολογήθηκε σε μία κλίμακα από 0 έως 55 (από τη μικρότερη έως την μέγιστη).

Επιπλέον υποβλήθηκαν σε εξετάσεις αγγειακής λειτουργικότητας, για να αξιολογηθεί η καρδιακή λειτουργία τους.

Οι ερευνητές διαπίστωσαν ότι όσο χαμηλότερη ήταν η βαθμολογία τους στην συμμόρφωση στη μεσογειακή διατροφή, τόσο χειρότερη ήταν η αγγειακή και καρδιακή λειτουργία τους.

Αυτό έχει άμεση συσχέτιση με τη στυτική δυσλειτουργία η οποία, «δεν αποτελεί απόρροια της ηλικίας, αλλά ένδειξη ότι κάτι δεν πάει καλά με την αγγείωση του σώματος» κατά τον δρα Αγγελή.

Όπως είπε, στο 80% των περιπτώσεων η στυτική δυσλειτουργία προκαλείται από αγγειακά προβλήματα και αποτελεί προειδοποίηση πως ο άντρας διατρέχει αυξημένο κίνδυνο εμφράγματος ή εγκεφαλικού.

Εφόσον λοιπόν οι άντρες που ακολουθούν την μεσογειακή διατροφή έχουν λιγότερα αγγειακά προβλήματα, «η υιοθέτησή της ίσως μπορεί να αντιστρέψει τις μέτριες αγγειακές βλάβες και κατ’ επέκτασιν την μέτρια στυτική δυσλειτουργία» κατέληξε.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Aυστραλία:Συνεχίζουν να ζουν στην εξαθλίωση οι πρώτοι κάτοικοι της χώρας

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Απέτυχαν και οι νέες προσπάθειες για γεφύρωση του χάσματος μεταξύ λευκών και Αμπορίτζινις.

Παρά το γεγονός ότι ο πρωθυπουργός, Τόνι Άμποτ, ανακοίνωσε ότι θα πάει και φέτος να περάσει μια βδομάδα με τους Αμπορίτζινις της Βόρειας Αυστραλίας, παράλληλα εξέφρασε τη βαθιά απογοήτευσή του για το γεγονός ότι και η κυβέρνησή του απέτυχε να γεφυρώσει το χάσμα που χωρίζει τους ιθαγενείς της χώρας από τον υπόλοιπο πληθυσμό.

Σχολιάζοντας ο ίδιος τη νέα έκθεση της Εθνικής Επιτροπής, που ασχολείται με την αντιμετώπιση των προβλημάτων που απασχολούν τους Αμπορίτζινις, δήλωσε ότι παρά τις πρωτοβουλίες της ομοσπονδιακής κυβέρνησης και τα χρήματα που διατέθηκαν για την υλοποίηση διάφορων προβλημάτων, οι προσπάθειες της χώρας προς την κατεύθυνση αυτή δεν είχαν τα αναμενόμενα αποτελέσματα.

Μέχρι στιγμής, η πρόοδος που έχει σημειωθεί για την γεφύρωση του χάσματος είναι περιορισμένη και θα πρέπει να γίνουν πολλά ακόμα προκειμένου να αρχίσει η αντίστροφη μέτρηση.

Ο τομέας της παιδεία και της υγείας είναι δύο από αυτούς που πρέπει να γίνουν ακόμα πολλές προσπάθειες για να υπάρξουν αποτελέσματα.

Η αντιμετώπιση της ασθένειας του διαβήτη, για παράδειγμα, θα πρέπει να είναι πιο αποτελεσματική μιας και η ασθένεια αυτή συνεχίζει να προκαλεί μια σειρά από προβλήματα και πολλούς θανάτους μεταξύ των ιθαγενών.

Στον τομέα της υγείας, αν και έχει υπάρξει σχετική πρόοδος, υπάρχουν ακόμα πολλά προβλήματα που πρέπει να ξεπεραστούν ιδιαίτερα στα δημοτικά σχολεία όπου πολλά παιδιά δεν ξέρουν ακόμα να γράψουν και να διαβάσουν.

Ενώ το αρχικό σχέδιο της κυβέρνησης Άμποτ προέβλεπε ότι το 95% των μικρών παιδιών που κατοικούν σε απομονωμένες περιοχές της Βόρειας Αυστραλίας θα πρέπει να είχαν πρόσβαση σε σχολεία, η έκθεση δείχνει ότι ο στόχος αυτός επιτεύχθηκε μόνο κατά 85%.

Πηγή;Νέος Κόσμος

Red Hill’s grape festival

Red Hill's grape festival

The blessing of the grapes at Panagia Kamariani. Photo: Kostas Deves.

Boxes of grapes in the Greek Holy Monastery of Panagia Kamariani’s courtyard were blessed and shared amongst the lucky festivalgoers.

Red Hill came alive last Sunday 8 February, when people of all ages from across the Greek Australian community gathered to celebrate the annual Grape Festival.

For ten years now the community has been coming together to partake in the festivities, in what has come to be recognised as a traditional custom.

Following a service at the Greek Holy Monastery of Panagia Kamariani in Red Hill by father Eleftherios Tsatsis, boxes of grapes in the church’s courtyard were blessed and shared amongst those present on the day.

Α panigiri followed, with festivalgoers enjoying a day of music, dancing, tasty Greek food and of course, the day would not have been complete without wine from the grapes of Red Hill.

source: neos kosmos

Aussie Eurovision inclusion increases Greece’s chances

Aussie Eurovision inclusion increases Greece's chances

Eurovision hosts, Sam Pang and Julia Zemiro

.Eurovision host Julia Zemiro says the Greek Australian community’s obsession with Eurovision could help bring some extra points to the crisis-hit country.

With the announcement that Australia will take part in the Eurovision Song Contest in May, some have already started talking tactics.

Along with being able to include an act in the grand final of the contest, Australia will have the chance to vote for its favourite act, giving countries with large migrant populations in Australia a chance of picking up some extra points.

Australian host to the Eurovision Song Contest, Julia Zemiro, says there’s a good chance Greece might get 12 points from Australia judging by the community’s size and involvement.

“I wouldn’t be surprised (if Australia votes for Greece),” she tells Neos Kosmos.

“There’s that really big community in Melbourne.”

Even if it didn’t count, SBS has been offering Australian fans a chance to cast their votes online for a number of years.

Almost every year, Greece has been in the top five. Notably, when Greek heartthrob Sakis Rouvas was representing the country in 2009, Greece won the SBS fan vote by a landslide.

Ms Zemiro says the voting will be a “social experiment” this time round.

“Australia’s got this wild card,” she says.

“In a way it will be fascinating, of the viewers that we have, who will be giving their votes to Europe and who in Europe will give Australia the votes.”

She has an inkling that most voters will vote with patriotism.

“There’s this assumption that our Greek or French relatives are going to vote (for their country),” she says. “Who knows?”

On the fluke chance Australia wins the competition this year, SBS will be tasked with co-hosting, but won’t be able to take the competition down under.

It will co-host the contest in a European city together with an EBU member broadcaster.

Would SBS consider choosing Greece as the host country? Julia Zemiro says she’s already keen to bring it up to SBS management.

“That’s a bloody great idea. I’ll pass it on to the boss,” she says.

“I suppose if Greece wants to put in their bid now and say we will do it cheap-as-chips, because we have to, I’d love that.”

No word yet on who will represent Australia on stage in Austria.

There’s a big push to get Kylie Minogue on board, and more interestingly, there’s been a call for anti-pop band, TISM (This is Serious Mum) to represent the country.

Former member Humphrey B. Flaubert (Damian Cowell) found the petition to get the band to Eurovision “hilarious and deeply flattering [that TISM was associated] with trashy crap disco music performed in a shoddy cheesy fashion in a highly rigged political arena”.

Eurovision initially was created to unify a post-WWII Europe in a friendly and peaceful competition but has never really avoided touching a political nerve.

Many acts have tried to sneak in politically motivated lyrics into their songs while others show their allegiance with their votes.

Greece is notorious for that, giving 12 points to its best friend Cyprus for years, with Cyprus doing the same for Greece.

Last year’s winner, bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, saw many countries leave politics behind and support the gay rights movement.

Forty countries will participate in the contest this year, with Cyprus, the Czech Republic, and Serbia all returning, while Ukraine announced their withdrawal due to financial and political reasons.

source: neos kosmos