Daily Archives: June 11, 2015

Melbourne-born Haris Stamboulidis tipped to play for Greece’s under-19s team

Greece shortlists Stamboulidis

Haris Stamboulidis earlier this year playing for Greece’s under-19s.

Melbourne City’s youth player, Haris Stamboulidis, is getting a lot more interest from Greece, despite his desire to one day play for the Socceroos.

The Hellenic Football Federation has starting putting out its feelers, hoping to nab talented Greeks from the diaspora to fill their youth teams.

Already playing two matches for Greece’s under-19s in Ukraine this year, Stamboulidis has been shortlisted to play in the European Under-19 Championship in Greece in July.

The former Northcote City and Heidelberg United boy has made no secret that his ambitions are to join up with the Australian national team, but as long as he’s able to play for both, he’ll be keeping his options open.

At 18, Stamboulidis still has a bit of leeway before he has to decide who will win his allegiance.

“Playing for their under-19s is an honour, but of course, playing for Australia would be the ultimate honour,” he told SBS’ The World Game.

“I was born and raised in Australia, so of course my ambition is to play for Australia, which is my country,” he said.

Interestingly, Stamboulidis has been overlooked for Young Socceroos and Joeys selection, but has been working hard at increasing his profile at Melbourne City’s youth squad.

As he tackles university exams at the moment, Stamboulidis is hoping to transfer to US Ivy League college Colombia on a sports scholarship to extend his experience.

Having Manchester City connections thanks to his home team, Stamboulidis could be teeing up a trial for New York City FC.

He was given a tour of the premises while visiting New York City a couple of weeks ago.

Source: SBS World Game

Socceroos rise in rakings


The Socceroos have climbed one spot to 63 in their FIFA rankings, still the fourth highest ranked Asian team behind Iran (41), Japan (50) and Korea Republic (58).

Ange Postecoglou’s men have a chance to boost their rankings in two weeks when they take on Kyrgyzstan in their first World Cup qualifying match.

Australia have also drawn Bangladesh (166) , Jordan (103) and Tajikistan (139) in their group as they look to qualify for a fourth consecutive FIFA World Cup.

Greece, on the other hand, has fallen one spot to 25, a far cry from its top 10 ranking in 2012.

Cyprus has been boosted nine points to 87 after some strong results.

Sitting on top of the rankings again is 2014 World Cup winners Germany, while Belgium has moved to second place, forcing Argentina down to third.

Top 10 rankings:
1. Germany
2. Belgium
3. Argentina
4. Colombia
5. Brazil
6. Netherlands
7. Portugal
8. Uruguay
9. France
10. Spain

source:Neos Kosmos

Liverpool FC transfers: Falcao to make surprise Anfield move, reports claim

Radamel Falcao in action for Monaco

Striker Radamel Falcao faces a choice between Liverpool FC and Chelsea as he weighs up his next move, that’s according to reports in France.

The Colombian star is reportedly set to depart Monaco on-loan once again, and could favour a move to Anfield because he’d receive more playing time.

The 29-year-old has been linked with a move to Jose Mourinho’s side, with the Chelsea boss keen to help the striker “reach his level” once again.

He is reported to have said: “If I can help Falcao reach his level again, I will do it. It hurts me that people in England think that the real Falcao is the one we saw at Manchester United.”

Reports in France claim that Liverpool are keen to bolster their attack with a “major goalscorer” and Falcao fits the bill. He struggled last season at Manchester United, scoring just four goals in 26 appearances, but he’s been a regular scorer everywhere else, boasting 204 career goals in 334 appearances.

The Reds could be set to miss out on Inter Milan midfielder Mateo Kovacic, that’s after Roberto Mancini denied the Croatian midfielder would leave the club.

Liverpool have been linked with Kovacic numerous times this summer, with the Reds thought to be offering a £15m package for the 21-year-old, the Liverpool Echo reports.

“Kovacic will become a champion,” Mancini told Sky Sport Italia. “He is young, but has already improved a lot. I think he will stay at Inter

“I don’t think there is anything going on with him regarding a transfer.”

And finally, Liverpool could be closing in on a deal to sign Real Madrid winger Denis Cheryshev, that’s according to the Daily Star.

New Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez is said to be happy to sanction the move for the 22-year-old Russian, with Real looking for a fee of around £22m for the player.

Cheryshev yesterday admitted he’d be open to an “irresistible offer”.

He said: “The holidays are imminent and we will see whether there are (some offers) or not. If no ‘irresistible’ offer comes through, then my first option would be to stay with Villarreal. I’m convinced that in terms of professional set up and sporting ambition, this club is way ahead of many others.

“But now everything are rumours, no more no less. I know that if I stay with Villarreal, I’ll be extremely happy, as I have been to date.

“I have no idea as to what is going to happen. I’ve spoken to Marcelino and he confirmed that Villarreal hope to have my services next season but that’s all. I don’t know where I’ll be next season.

“My future affects several parties, so it is not something easy. I must return to Real Madrid and they are the ones that have to make the first decision [on whether to keep me or selling me]. And once Real Madrid decide we will see what happen.”


Σε λίγη ώρα η νέα συνάντηση Τσίπρα – Γιούνκερ

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras walks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (L) ahead of a meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 3, 2015.   REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Σε λίγη ώρα ξεκινά η νέα συνάντηση του έλληνα πρωθυπουργού Αλέξη Τσίπρα με τον πρόεδρο της Κομισιόν Ζαν Κλοντ Γιούνκερ, με στόχο να γεφυρωθούν οι εναπομείνασες διαφορές μεταξύ της Ελλάδας και των δανειστών για να κλείσει η συμφωνία, όπως δήλωσε και μετά τη συνάντηση με Μέρκελ και Ολάντ τα ξημερώματα ο κ. Τσίπρας.

Ο έλληνας πρωθυπουργός είχε συνάντηση με τον κ. Γιούνκερ το απόγευμα της Τετάρτης πριν από την τριμερή.

Σύμφωνα με τις έως τώρα πληροφορίες, η Ελλάδα ζητά επέκταση του προγράμματος κατά εννέα μήνες, δηλαδή έως τον Μάρτιο του 2016, οπότε ολοκληρώνεται και το πρόγραμμα του ΔΝΤ.

Οι βασικοί άξονες είναι να αγοράσει o Ευρωπαϊκός Μηχανισμός Στήριξης τα ελληνικά ομόλογα που έχει στην κατοχή της η ΕΚΤ και λήγουν το καλοκαίρι.

Επίσης, η ελληνική κυβέρνηση προτείνει να χρησιμοποιηθούν τα περίπου 11 δισ. που βρίσκονταν μέχρι πρόσφατα στο Ταμείο Χρηματοπιστωτικής Σταθερότητας και τώρα έχουν περάσει στον ESM και να αυξηθεί το όριο έκδοσης εντόκων γραμματίων από την ΕΚΤ.

Με αυτά τα δεδομένα, η ελληνική πλευρά δηλώνει διατεθειμένη να συζητήσει τους στόχους για τα πρωτογενή πλεονάσματα -για τα οποία παραμένει διαφωνία-, επισημαίνοντας ωστόσο ότι δεν έχει οριστικοποιηθεί ακόμα τίποτα.

Ο επικεφαλής του Eurogroup Γερούν Ντάισελμπλουμ δήλωσε ότι απομένουν μόνο λίγα ζητήματα προς επίλυση, αλλά χρειάζεται χρόνος για τεχνική εργασία από τους θεσμούς πριν από το Eurogroup της 18ης Ιουνίου.


Μέρκελ: Συμφωνήσαμε με τον Τσίπρα να κλείσουν όλα τα ανοιχτά θέματα

Μέρκελ: Συμφωνήσαμε με τον Τσίπρα να κλείσουν όλα τα ανοιχτά θέματα

Η Άνγκελα Μέρκελ

Τη δέσμευση της Ελλάδας να εντατικοποιήσει τις συζητήσεις με τους θεσμούς προκειμένου να κλείσουν όλα τα ανοιχτά θέματα εξέφρασε η γερμανίδα καγκελάριος, Άνγκελα Μέρκελ στους δημοσιογράφους κατά την άφιξή της στη συνάντηση μεταξύ των αρχηγών της ΕΕ και της Λατινικής Αμερικής.

«Στο τέλος των συνομιλιών υπήρξε απόλυτη συμφωνία ότι η Ελλάδα θα εργαστεί εντατικά και με υψηλή πίεση με τα τρία θεσμικά όργανα κατά τις προσεχείς ημέρες για να λύσει όλα τα ανοικτά ζητήματα» δήλωσε η Μέρκελ.

Στην τριμερή συνάντηση της Τετάρτης, που κράτησε δύο ώρες οι τρεις ηγέτες, Αλέξης Τσίπρας, Άνγκελα Μέρκελ και Φρανσουά Ολάντ, συμφώνησαν να εντατικοποιηθεί η διαδικασία γεφύρωσης των διαφόρων που απομένουν, με στόχο την έγκαιρη επίτευξη συμφωνίας που θα επιτρέπει στην Ελλάδα να επιστρέψει στην ανάπτυξη με κοινωνική συνοχή και βιώσιμο χρέος.

Εκπρόσωπος της γερμανικής κυβέρνησης δήλωσε ότι οι τρεις ηγέτες συμφώνησαν ότι οι διαπραγματεύσεις πρέπει να εντατικοποιηθούν. «Συμφωνήθηκε ομοφώνως ότι οι συνομιλίες ανάμεσα στην ελληνική κυβέρνηση και τους Θεσμούς πρέπει να συνεχιστούν με μεγάλη ένταση» δήλωσε ο Γερμανός εκπρόσωπος.
Σε δηλώσεις του μετά τη συνάντηση με Μέρκελ και Ολάντ τόνισε την ανάγκη να δοθεί μία βιώσιμη λύση. Δήλωσε ότι το κλίμα στη συνάντηση ήταν πολύ καλό και φιλικό. «Αποφασίσαμε να εντατικοποιηθούν οι συζητήσεις για να γεφυρωθούν οι διαφορές», συμπλήρωσε.


Greece:Parliamentary committee approves draft citizenship law

A new bill which would lead to some 100,000 second-generation immigrants being granted Greek citizenship was approved on Wednesday by a parliamentary committee ahead of a vote at the House’s plenary session expected next week.

The bill was backed by leftist SYRIZA, Potami, PASOK and Independent Greeks, despite objections by many in the ranks of the junior coalition partner.

Due to objections among many of its MPs, New Democracy said it would reserve judgment until the plenary session vote, which is expected next week.

Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy Tasia Christodoulopoulou indicated that the bill could be amended before its final version as “the greatest possible consensus should be achieved.”

The bill stipulates that applicants must have been enrolled at a Greek primary school and that their parents must have lived legally in Greece for five years prior to the applicant’s birth.


S&P downgrades Greece, says default likely if no debt deal

Standard & Poor’s on Wednesday downgraded Greece’s credit rating one notch further into junk territory, saying it’s likely the country will default on its commercial debt within a year if it can’t strike a deal with its creditors.

Greece has shown it is giving higher priority to its pensions and other domestic spending than making debt payments on time, the rating agency said. The country has delayed making a June 5 debt payment to the International Monetary Fund and must pay the lending organization 1.6 billion euros by the end of this month.

The move reflects “our opinion that in the absence of an agreement between Greece and its official creditors, the Greek government will likely default on its commercial debt within the next 12 months,” the agency said in its report.

The downgrade comes as Greek leaders are locked in negotiations with European officials over the terms of a fresh $8.1 billion (7.2 billion euros) rescue loan. The loan is needed for the country to make payments to the IMF and European creditors.

Yet European leaders said Wednesday that Greece needs to promise greater economic reforms in return for the funds. They are demanding steep cuts to Greece’s pensions, as well as higher sales taxes and larger budget surpluses.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said he would make some concessions, but would not impose further pension cuts.

S&P said that money is flowing out of Greece’s banks, which are dependent on the European Central Bank for financial support. Those outflows could ultimately force the country to block that money from leaving the country, the ratings agency said, precipitating an exit from the euro zone.

In addition, any agreement between Greece and its creditors in the next two weeks would likely only provide temporary relief, covering payments for the next three months, S&P said.


MH370 mystery: Maths professor says Malaysia Airlines plane nosedived into ocean and stayed intact

Supplied Editorial mh370 chen nosedive

Nosedive … researchers used computer simulations to conclude that a 90-degree nosedive explains the lack of debris where MH370 was said to have crashed. Picture: Texas A&M University at Qatar/Notices of the American Mathematical Society Source: Supplied

THE mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has sparked numerous conspiracy theories.

Now a team of mathematicians claims the Boeing 777 vanished without a trace because it plunged into the Indian Ocean at a 90-degree angle.

The perfect nosedive kept the aircraft intact and explains why no debris or oil has been found since the plane disappeared in March last year with 239 people on board, the researchers say.

Texas A&M University at Qatar mathematician Goong Chen, who led the forensic computer simulations, says the supporting evidence is strong.

“The true final moments of MH370 are likely to remain a mystery until some day when its black box is finally recovered and decoded,” Chen said.

“But forensics strongly supports that MH370 plunged into the ocean in a nosedive.

The researchers used applied mathematics to test five different landing scenarios.

These included gliding water entry, a skilful manoeuvre performed by Captain Chesley Sullenberger when he landed a US Airways flight on the Hudson River in New York in 2009.

(The incredible landing has been dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson”.)

However this scenario was discounted with MH370 because “ditching a large airplane on the open Indian Ocean generally would involve waves of height several metres or more, easily causing breakup and the leak of debris.”

According to researchers’ fluid dynamics simulations, a vertical water entry would have caused the least resistance.

Chen said the wings would have snapped off instantly on impact but the rest of MH370 would have remained intact. All the heavy debris would have then sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

Chen, who has worked in Texas A&M University’s maths department since 1987, led the team of researchers from Texas A&M, Penn State, Virginia Tech, MIT and the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute.

The research was published in the April 2015 issue of Notices of the American Mathematical Society.

Difficult search ... the search for missing Malaysian Airline MH370 covered more than 48,

Difficult search … the search for missing Malaysian Airline MH370 covered more than 48,000 square kilometres of the sea floor. Picture: AFP/Australian Government/Hydrospheric Solutions Inc/Ryan Galloway and Joshua Phillips Source: AFP

MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board.

The search for the ill-fated aircraft has covered more than 48,000 square kilometres of the sea floor, Subsea World News reported.

At the request of the Malaysian Government, Australia has accepted responsibility for the search, with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau leading the underwater mission.

source: news.com.au

Expatriates share their experiences of living in Greece at local branch of InterNations


Zuzana Koskova, a 33-year-old woman from Slovakia, moved to Athens in 2006. She now works in the shipping sector. She is one of 4,000 expatriates who work in highly skilled jobs in Greece and who come together regularly at meetings of the InterNations community group.

“I was surprise by how cold the winter was,” says Juergen Fischhaber, a German who moved to Athens from Sofia in October. An executive at a multinational company, Fischhaber is one of 4,000 expatriates who work in highly skilled jobs in Greece and who come together regularly at meetings of the InterNations community group.

“We have 7,100 registered members, of whom 4,000 are foreigners and the rest Greeks who have spent many years abroad or who are thinking of emigrating in the near future,” Anastasios Ioannidis, the 33-year-old head of the group tells Kathimerini. Ioannidis himself spent several years abroad before returning to Greece, where he works as a business consultant.

InterNations is an international organization with branches in 400 cities around the world which is aimed at helping its members – many of whom do not speak the language of their new country – come together and network. In addition to weekly meetings and outings, the members help each other out and have online support and advice networks.

“The fora are used to address any problems that may arise,” explains Ioannidis, who coordinates members from 130 countries. “Most of the issues are solved automatically; my help is called for only when it is serious.”

Groups are also organized according to the members’ shared interests, so there is one group dedicated to hiking, another to cultural activities and so on.

The majority of InterNations members have the enthusiasm of exchange students, even though most are aged between 30 and 50.

The Greek branch, which began with just three members in 2008, is unique in the fact that it also includes natives.

“The bigger and more chaotic a city, the harder it is to adapt at first,” says Fischhaber, who has lived and worked away from Germany for over a decade. The biggest problems he has faced in Greece are not what you may imagine.

“The red tape is not much different than that in other countries, but the traffic on the streets certainly is,” stresses Fischhaber. “I can never calculate how long it will take me to get to an appointment.”

Being a German in Greece, he says laughing, “is a good excuse to start a conversation on politics.”

“Sometimes I meet Greeks who are very critical of their own country in regard to the economic crisis as well as others who blame the foreigners for everything,” Fischhaber says. “I don’t know what the mood was like before the crisis, but right now I see an aggressiveness in the way people drive.”

Slovakian Zuzana Koskova, a veteran of the expat community who has lived in Athens since 2006, makes the same observation about impatient Greek drivers who honk at every opportunity.

“When I first came to Greece, I was surprised by the expensive-looking purses carried by young girls,” she says in flawless Greek. “When I started working for a salary of 720 euros, I started wondering. Then I discovered the huge market of knockoffs, which does not exist in my country. I was surprised that they preferred to buy something fake just to make an impression.”

As the crisis starting taking its toll, Koskova’s sector, air travel, was also hit, yet the 33-year-old’s love for Athens remains unchanged “though the good and the bad.” “Now I work in shipping and I’m studying German literature,” she says. “I have been given a lot of opportunities in Greece.”

Her love of Greece also probably stems from the fact that when she was younger she wanted to be an archaeologist, as well as because all the Greeks she has met so far have embraced her. “Whenever I have time I visit the museums. The Cycladic Art Museum is my favorite,” she says. “Every time I land in Athens, I feel awe, just as I did the first time.”


Greece and creditors: What game are they playing?

The repeated willingness of Greece and its creditors to bring the entire euro area to the brink of disaster presents a difficult and fascinating question for economic theorists: What game are they really playing?

On the surface, it seems like a classic game of chicken, in which each side tries to look determined enough to make the other crumble. The creditors, including the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, insist that they can’t provide any more debt relief or loosen their austerity demands any further. Greece pushes for more, suggesting that it is willing to default on its debts, possibly triggering an unraveling of the monetary union, if it doesn’t get its way.

It might also be a prisoner’s dilemma, as my Bloomberg colleague Justin Fox suggested back in February. Both sides would be better off if they cooperated, but distrust prevents them from doing so. As a result, the creditors keep demanding terms far too onerous for Greece to meet, and Greece edges toward a disorderly default that would be the most costly outcome for the creditors. This interpretation, though, assumes that the potential gains and losses for both players are roughly symmetrical — a condition that doesn’t necessarily hold here, given the immense downside for Greece.

Hence, another classic game — the ultimatum game — might provide a better analogy. In the game, a player receives some money — say, $100 — but can keep it only by convincing a second player to accept part of the sum. If both parties are interested solely in maximizing their financial well-being, the first player should be able to offer as little as $1. After all, for the second player, $1 is better than nothing.

When real people play the game, though, that’s not how it works out. The second player tends to reject any offer less than $30, seeing it as insulting. As a result, neither player gets any money. The game reaches inside people and stirs up deep emotions, demonstrating that humans are not dispassionate economic calculators. You can’t understand it without thinking about human perceptions of fairness, justice and honor.

This seems to fit the current situation in Europe. The creditors think Greece, in a position of weakness, should be grateful for the relief they’ve offered and get on with economic reforms. After all, it’s better than nothing. Yet Greece, while recognizing the need for reform, sees that the creditors can afford to do more and feels insulted by the suffering it must endure. If necessary, the Greeks are ready to risk blowing up the euro to preserve their independence and dignity.

From this perspective, it’s not really an economic confrontation at all. The technicalities of funding mechanisms and repayment schedules are merely the instruments through which power is being exerted from one side and resisted from the other. So when Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the creditors’ latest proposal “absurd,” it might have been because, from the broad perspective of human decency, it was absurd. And when Jean-Claude Juncker, the chief executive of the EU, reportedly refused to answer a subsequent phone call from Tsipras, he might have done so because he was completely flummoxed by Greece’s irrationality.

The ultimatum game teaches us that the Greek standoff can’t be understood through the lens of economic rationality alone. Those who attempt to do so risk making a costly miscalculation.