Daily Archives: April 2, 2015

Ikonomides ready for big time

Ikonomides ready for big time

Chris Ikonomidis (L) hopes his Socceroos appearance will boost his first team hopes at Lazio.

Turning down several approaches from Greece, Chris Ikonomides finally gets his Australian international call up.

Teenager Chris Ikonomidis hopes earning a dream Socceroos debut can convince his Italian club Lazio he’s ready for the big time.

The 19-year-old winger’s late cameo off the bench in Australia’s 0-0 draw with Macedonia in Skopje made him the first player in more than 30 years to debut for Australia before playing a senior club game.

Ikonomidis was a surprise inclusion in Ange Postecoglou’s squad, with the coach rewarding him for his stellar form with the Lazio reserves, where he is top scorer this season with 15 goals.

The Sydney-born attacker has been closing in on a first-team appearance in Italy, having been named on the bench three times.

And he feels the leap of faith shown by Postecoglou – and the lift gained from his international experience – can help him crack the Serie A this season.

“Somebody has to make the first move to give me my debut and Australia have done that,” Ikonomidis said.

“It has helped me a lot and I am really grateful for that because it’s really assured my club.

“If they weren’t 100 per cent sure, now they are definitely 100 per cent sure of my talent and hopefully they can bring me through soon.

“I think I am very close. The manager (Stefano Pioli) seems to believe a lot in me. We have 10 more really important games in the Serie A and hopefully I can get some minutes there, or even in the Coppa Italia.”

Ikonomidis has long dreamed of playing for Australia, rejecting several approaches from Greece – for whom he is also eligible.

Getting a few touches in a scoreless draw in front of just a few thousand Macedonian fans was not exactly what he had pictured, but it did nothing to diminish his pride and excitement.

“It’s incredible. I will always keep this with me,” Ikonomidis said.

“Even if it wasn’t a bicycle kick goal in the last minute, it was still special for me, my family and all my friends back home.

“I have a taste of international football now and it’s spurred me on to go back to my club, push even harder than before and prove to the boss and all the boys that I am worthy to be one of them and to remain in the squad for years to come, hopefully.”

Postecoglou spoke highly of the teen after the match.

“He’s looked pretty confident all week and he didn’t look out of place out there,” Postecoglou said.

“That’s great for us because it gives us another option up front.”

Source: AAP

Αυστραλία: «Φρικιαστική εικόνα» διπλής δολοφονίας

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Σύμφωνα με τις πρώτες εκτιμήσεις της αστυνομίας, μάλλον πρόκειται για διπλή δολοφονία.

«Φρικιαστική» περιέγραψαν την εικόνα που αντίκρισαν οι αστυνομικοί εισερχόμενοι σε σπίτι στο προάστιο Whittington του Geelong.

Σύμφωνα με τις πρώτες εκτιμήσεις της αστυνομίας, μάλλον πρόκειται για διπλή δολοφονία και οι δύο άνδρες που βρέθηκαν νεκροί στο σπίτι επί της οδού Thatcher Court, είναι ηλικίας 27 και 30 ετών αντίστοιχα.

Η αστυνομία ανέφερε ότι τα πτώματά τους εντοπίστηκαν από συγγενή, στο πίσω υπνοδωμάτιο του σπιτιού, μαχαιρωμένα στις παλάμες, τα μπράτσα και τον λαιμό.

Γείτονες ανέφεραν χθες και λίγο μετά τον εντοπισμό των δύο ανδρών, στην τοπική εφημερίδα “Geelong Advertiser”, ότι άκουσαν δυνατές κραυγές στο σπίτι και λίγο μετά είδαν μία γυναίκα να βγαίνει απ’ αυτό και να απομακρύνεται.

Η αστυνομία συνεχίζει τις έρευνές της.

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Αυστραλία:Αλλάζει η ώρα την Κυριακή

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Καλό μας χειμώνα!

Την Κυριακή, 5 Απριλίου τίθεται σε εφαρμογή η χειμερινή ώρα.

Στις τρεις τα ξημερώματα της Κυριακής οι δείκτες των ρολογιών πρέπει να γυρίσουν μια ώρα πίσω και να δείχνουν δύο το πρωί.

Η διαφορά με την Ελλάδα και την Κύπρο, όπου από την περασμένη Κυριακή ισχύει η θερινή ώρα, θα είναι τώρα επτά ώρες (μπροστά η ανατολική Αυστραλία).

Πηγή: Νέος Κόσμος

Μπίσοπ: Αμετάβλητη η θέση μας στο θέμα της ονομασίας της ΠΓΔΜ

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Η υπ. Εξ. της Αυστραλίας δέχθηκε πρόσφατα επίσκεψη εκπροσώπων καταγόμενων από την ΠΓΔΜ, οι οποίοι της ζήτησαν να προβεί σε αναγνώριση της χώρας της καταγωγής τους με το όνομα «Μακεδονία»

Η υπουργός Εξωτερικών της Αυστραλίας, Τζούλι Μπίσοπ, δέχθηκε πρόσφατα επίσκεψη εκπροσώπων καταγόμενων από την ΠΓΔΜ, οι οποίοι της ζήτησαν να προβεί σε αναγνώριση της χώρας της καταγωγής τους με το συνταγματικό της όνομα «Μακεδονία».

Η απάντηση της υπουργού Εξωτερικών ήταν αρνητική.

«Η θέση μας παραμένει αμετάβλητη» είπε στην αντιπροσωπεία και εξέφρασε την ελπίδα να βρεθεί λύση με αμοιβαία αποδεκτή ονομασία στο πλαίσιο της διαδικασίας του ΟΗΕ.

Η κ. Μπίσοπ εκλέγεται στην Δυτική Αυστραλία. Στην ίδια Πολιτεία εκλέγεται και ο κ. Σίμπκινς, αλλά σε έδρα όπου ζουν πολλοί ψηφοφόροι που έλκουν την καταγωγή τους από την ΠΓΔΜ.

Γι’ αυτό και ο τελευταίος ζητά επίμονα την αναγνώριση της χώρας αυτής με το όνομα «Μακεδονία».

Σύμφωνα με τον Αυστραλό βουλευτή, οι εκάστοτε αυστραλιανές κυβερνήσεις φοβούνται το πολιτικό κόστος δεδομένου ότι οι Έλληνες ψηφοφόροι είναι περισσότεροι.

Πηγή:Νέος Κόσμος

Bill paving way for ERT to reopen

Bill paving way for ERT to reopen

ERT stopped broadcasting in 2013.

Athens Court of First Instance ruled that ERT’s 2,915 employees were fired illegally in 2013

The government submitted a bill that paves the way for public broadcaster ERT, which was shut down overnight in June 2013, to reopen.

The draft law was tabled in the House as the Athens Court of First Instance ruled that ERT’s 2,915 employees were fired illegally in 2013.

The court also decided that those who appealed against their sackings should be rehired immediately. A total of 198 ex-ERT staff appealed their dismissals.

The court’s decision comes in contrast to the Council of State’s verdict after ERT’s closure. The country’s highest administrative court found the government was within its rights to close the broadcaster and fire staff.

Source: Kathimerini

Enough is enough, Luke Simpkins

Enough is enough, Luke Simpkins

Luke Simpkins engaged in a ‘hate speech’ according to Peter Jasonides.

Victorian State head of the Australian Hellenic Council deplores MP Luke Simpkins’ speech asking Australia to change its foreign policy on the FYROM naming issue.

The latest utterance from the member for the federal seat of Cowan in Western Australia, Mr Luke Simpkins, in our federal parliament on Tuesday 17 March, 2015 is yet another example of this person’s ineptness, his promotion of irredentism in the Balkans, his blatant ignorance of history and his cheap attempt to gain ‘brownie points’ in his electorate and his superficial knowledge of the Balkans, including FYROM.

Time and again, Mr Simpkins has showcased himself as the court jester of historical facts, with his laughable and deplorable opportunism to appease those ‘supporting’ his security blanket, his blue-ribbon seat. And all this, contrary to Australia’s foreign policy, contrary to the bilateral policy of both our major parties, contrary to the United Nations, European Union and NATO rulings on the issue of the name of this Slavic state.

Mr Simpkins’ contention that “only” a few countries have not deleted the descriptors of the acronym FYROM to ‘Macedonia’ is indicative of how shallow he ‘evaluates’ circumstances. This is an artificial attempt to back his ‘argument’, as he is completely oblivious to the geo-political, diplomatic and social dynamics of the region.

Further abusing his parliamentary privilege, the clumsy Mr Simpkins once again engaged in ‘hate speech’, falsely claiming that “literally a handful of nationalists can exert such power as to control the foreign policy of this nation”.

He’s out of control; he’s taken too many ‘junkets’ to FYROM (at whose expense and hospitality, one wonders) and believes he has a reciprocating obligation to those ‘investing’ in such … excursions! The Greek Australian community, Mr Simpkins, is not a “handful of nationalists”, as you claim. The Greek Australian community has never provoked hatred, irredentism, expansionism and violence as those from FYROM have, time and again, in protest marches, in the media, in fora, in propaganda they distribute, most of which is swallowed by just a few ‘gullible’ politicians. The organised Greek Australian community has had enough of your bile, Mr Simpkins. Enough is enough.

As the peak representative umbrella of the organised Greek Australian community, the Australian Hellenic Council calls upon our prime minister, the Hon. Tony Abbott, to pull you into line with our foreign affairs policy on this most important issue.

Mr Simpkins, you have overstepped your mark once again! Your actions highlight that you do not operate democratically, rather you are beholden to your ‘lords’, whoever they may be.

* Peter Jasonides is state co-ordinator of the Australian Hellenic Council (Victoria).

source:Neos Kosmos

Νέο νομοσχέδιο για την παρακολούθηση πολιτών διχάζει την Αυστραλία

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Δίχρονο φακέλωμα

Νέος αμφιλεγόμενος νόμος προστασίας ψηφίστηκε στην Αυστραλία, ο οποίος υποχρεώνει τις εταιρείες κινητής τηλεφωνίας και ίντερνετ να αποθηκεύουν δεδομένα όλων των πελατών τους και να τα φυλάσσουν για δύο χρόνια. Το νομοσχέδιο ψηφίστηκε με 43 ψήφους έναντι 16, με την υποστήριξη του αντιπολιτευτικού Εργατικού Κόμματος. Το κόμμα των Πρασίνων ψήφισε κατά, το ίδιο και έξι ανεξάρτητοι γερουσιαστές.

Σύμφωνα, λοιπόν, με το νέο νόμο, οι πάροχοι ίντερνετ και κινητής τηλεφωνίας οφείλουν να αποθηκεύουν δεδομένα, όπως τον αποστολέα, τον παραλήπτη και την ώρα αποστολής μηνυμάτων και e-mails. Το περιεχόμενο των μηνυμάτων δεν συγκαταλέγεται στις πληροφορίες που θα πρέπει να φυλάσσονται.

ΜΑΖΙΚΗ ΠΑΡΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΗΣΗ

Η κυβέρνηση υποστήριξε ότι το νομοσχέδιο είναι απαραίτητο για την ενίσχυση της ασφάλειας στην Αυστραλία και την πάταξη της εσωτερικής τρομοκρατίας.

«Με αυτό το νόμο η Βουλή διαβεβαιώνει ότι οι υπηρεσίες ασφαλείας θα συνεχίσουν να έχουν πρόσβαση στις πληροφορίες που χρειάζονται για να φέρουν εις πέρας την δουλειά που τους έχει ανατεθεί» τόνισαν ο Τζoρτζ Μπράντις, γενικός εισαγγελέας, και ο Μάλκολμ Τέρνμπουλ, υπουργός Επικοινωνιών, σε κοινή τους δήλωση.

Παρ’ όλα αυτά, η νομοθεσία έχει δεχτεί οξεία κριτική από υποστηρικτές της προστασίας της ιδιωτικότητας, οι οποίοι προειδοποιούν για τυχόν κατάχρηση του δικαιώματος που δίδεται στις υπηρεσίες ασφαλείας.

Ο γερουσιαστής των Πρασίνων, Σκοτ Λάντλαμ, ο οποίος έδωσε αρνητική ψήφο, περιέγραψε το νέο νόμο ως «μια μορφή μαζικής παρακολούθησης».

«Η παρακολούθηση πρέπει να είναι εστιασμένη, αναλογική και βαθμιαία προς τους επικίνδυνους εγκληματίες, το οργανωμένο έγκλημα και εκείνους που απειλούν την εθνική ασφάλεια» επισήμανε ο κ. Λάντλαμ, συμπληρώνοντας πως αυτό το νομοσχέδιο κάνει το ακριβώς αντίθετο.

Η κυβέρνηση δεν έχει εκδώσει λεπτομερή κοστολόγηση του σχεδίου, όμως τον προηγούμενο μήνα ο πρωθυπουργός της χώρας, Τόνι Άμποτ, υπολόγισε πως θα κοστίσει στις εταιρείες τηλεπικοινωνιών και ίντερνετ περίπου 400 εκατομμύρια δολάρια Αυστραλίας.

Σε αυτό το σημείο να αναφέρουμε πως ο Υπουργός Επικοινωνιών δήλωσε στο δίκτυο Sky News ότι η κυβέρνηση έχει δεσμευτεί να βοηθήσει οικονομικά τις εταιρείες.

ΤΑ «ΠΑΡΑΘΥΡΑΚΙΑ»

Ο νόμος δεν αφορά δημοφιλείς πλατφόρμες, όπως το Gmail, το Hotmail, το Facebook και το Skype.

Επίσης, από τον έλεγχο γλιτώνουν οι εσωτερικές γραμμές επικοινωνίας, όπως αυτές που παρέχουν μεγάλες εταιρείες και πανεπιστήμια.

Η νομοθεσία που θα τεθεί σε ισχύ το 2017, έχει δεχτεί οξύτατη κριτική από τα αυστραλιανά μέσα ενημέρωσης, καθώς, λόγω της παρακολούθησης, θα καταστεί δύσκολη η επικοινωνία μεταξύ των δημοσιογράφων και των πηγών τους.

Η κυβέρνηση αναγκάστηκε να προσθέσει μια τροποποίηση στο νομοσχέδιο όπου προβλέπει την απόκτηση εγγύησης από μέρους των υπηρεσιών προστασίας πριν την παρακολούθηση των δημοσιογράφων, μετά από πιέσεις που άσκησε το Εργατικό Κόμμα.

Πηγή:Νέος Κόσμος

Athens is one of Europe’s most popular tourists destinations

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The Greek capital is tipped to be very popular for travellers in 2015.

Athens is among the top destinations both in Europe and the world for 2015 according to leading international travel website TripAdvisor.

The lists that are published on an annual basis and enjoy worldwide publicity are compiled on the feedback of the website’s users from around the world.

Athens ranks 20th among the top 25 destinations in the world for 2015, and 10th in the list of top European destinations. The No 1 destination in the world is Marrakech, in Morocco, while for Europe the top choice is Istanbul.

The list of the most popular destinations within Greece has Hania on Crete and Imerovigli on Santorini following Athens in the top three. The other destinations in the Greek top 10 are two more locations on Santorini, Oia and Fyra, as well as Hersonissos, Rethymno and Apokoronas on Crete, Mykonos town and Tsilivi on Zakynthos.

Meanwhile, the year has started with a 50 per cent annual rise in visitors from abroad and a 9.1 per cent increase in revenues, according to data released this week by the Bank of Greece. Arrivals in January came to 606,100, while tourism revenues totaled 169.7 million euros. The travel balance posted a surplus of 11 million euros against a surplus of 5 million euros in January 2014.

The biggest increase in travel receipts in January came from British (up 57 per cent) and French tourists (41.8 per cent), the BoG data showed. There was a marginal increase of 0.5 per cent in terms of German visitors. A predictable 61.2 per cent decline was recorded in revenues from Russian tourists, while takings from US visitors were down 29.2 per cent.

In terms of January arrivals, the biggest year-on-year growth was seen in visitors from France (up 66.4 per cent) and the US (55.7 per cent). A whopping 50.8 per cent more Britons and 29.7 per cent more Germans visited Greece in January compared to a year earlier, while the number of Russians fell 69.3 per cent, central bank figures revealed.

Source: Kathimerini

Greek Australians succeed in NSW elections

Greek Australians succeed in NSW elections

Helen Petinos

Big wins for Helen Petinos and Steve Kamper in the NSW election.

Three new Greek Australian representatives will join NSW government after Saturday’s election, which saw the Liberal/Nationals return to power under Premier Mike Baird.

Eleni Petinos secured 56 per cent of the primary vote, winning the seat of Miranda for the Liberals.

As the first Greek Australian female to occupy a sear in the lower house, Ms Petinos is regarded a rising star for the conservatives, having been involved with the Liberal party since High School.

Miranda has become one of the safest seats for the Liberals and it’s predicted that Ms Petinos will have a long tenure in parliament.

As expected, Steve Kamper was elected as the new representative for the seat of Rockdale, returning it to the Labor Party.

Having received almost 47 per cent of the primary vote, Mr Kamper will have an influential role in the new Labor caucus.

The third Greek Australian to be elected is Upper House Labor member and shadow minister, Sophie Cotsis.

Considered the ALP’s number one ticket for the Legislative Council, this will be her second four-year term, playing a crucial role in the ALP’s long campaign to regain power in 2019.

Of the other Greek Australians that contested the state elections, prominent unionist Arthur Rorris who ran as independent did not manage to win the seat of Wollongong, which remained in the hands of the ALP.

In the seat of Canterbury, Liberal Nomiky Panayiotakis got a respectable 27 per cent of the votes, but was not enough to secure a seat, with deputy leader of the Labor Party Linda Burney holding on.

According to the latest count, Mike Baird’s government obtained 53 seats, 16 fewer than the 69 the government held before the election.

Despite this, the numbers will be sufficient enough to form a majority government and push their policies through, namely the controversial action to partially lease the electricity sector.

The ALP claimed at least 34 seats, a considerable increase compared to the 20 it had before.

ALP leader Luke Foley said that the party has emerged once again as a strong opposition and will need a swing of about 6 per cent to win government in 2015.

The Greens also had a successful run, increasing their lower house members from one to three, with a possibility for a fourth.

In the Upper House, the Liberal-Nationals are expected to win an extra seat, thus needing to negotiate with only one minor party to get through its legislation, which will most likely be the Christian Democratic Party of Fred Nile.

The count for the Legislative Council will continue in the coming days.

source: Neos Kosmos

Australia:457 visa rules changed

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Government revises English language testing

The federal government has vowed to reduce regulation while strengthening the integrity of Australia’s 457 skilled visa program, after it released its response to a review into allegations of rorts and abuse in the system. The Government has adopted most of the 51 recommendations from the review.

One recommendation – to change the English language testing requirements for the 457 visa – will see the rules change for applicants who now have to average a score of five across the four components, instead of successfully passing each one.

The move has been criticised by trades unions who say the new system raises safety issues.

Australian Council of Trade Union (ACTU) secretary Dave Oliver told reporters there were concerns about the potential risks posed in some industries.

“Particularly in those hazardous industries of building and construction where it is important that you can have effective communication skills, we are deeply concerned that any watering down of that test could put these workers at risk,” Mr Oliver said.

Meanwhile, the government insists the changes are minor. Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said that the new rules provided a base line for English language competency.

“We have also put in a floor, they will not be able to achieve anything less than 4.5 in any of the components, so it does not represent a consequential lowering of the English language requirement, it merely represents some flexibility,” Senator Cash said.

Registered migration agent Penny Dimopoulos told Neos Kosmos that while the rules have been relaxed, “applicants still need to show knowledge of English, in listening, reading, writing and speaking, in order to obtain a 457 visa”.

“English language testing remains part of the process,” she added. “Applicants need to be aware of this and realise that, unless they meet the criteria, they are not in a position to be granted a 457 visa.”

Recommendations from the review process will enable the government to crack down on 457 visa sponsors being paid for migration outcomes.

“We’re also looking at …greater transparency around the department’s sanction processes, increased information sharing among key government agencies, in particular the Australian Taxation Office,” said Assistant Minister Cash.

The review of the 457 visa program did not reveal widespread rorting as claimed by the previous government, but the minister said there would be increased scrutiny on businesses suspected of operating inappropriately.

The government did not adopt all the review’s recommendations. While it called for the abolition of labour market testing – which requires employers to test the market for suitable local employees before sponsoring an individual on a 457 visa – the government noted the recommendation but is not acting on it.

source: Neos Kosmos