Daily Archives: April 16, 2016

Tsipras says pope’s visit to Lesvos is historic


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says Pope Francis’ visit to the Greek island of Lesvos is a historic event and an important opportunity to highlight the need to find a legal route into Europe for those fleeing conflict.

Tsipras says he is proud of the Greek people for welcoming refugees and other migrants at a time when they are suffering under austerity measures imposed on Greece by the country’s international lenders.

“I am proud of this, particularly at a time when some of our partners – even in the name of Christian Europe – were erecting walls and fences to prevent defenseless people from seeking a better life. That is why I consider that your visit is historic and important,” Tsipras told Francis shortly after his arrival at the airport Saturday.

He said the pope’s visit “is a very important opportunity to show the need to stop the war, the taking advantage of people and to give the possibility of a legal route for these people who leave their homes and search for a better future in Europe.”


Australia:Meraki TV returns to cable


Billy Cotsis speaks to the producer of the show, Ane Sevo

Meraki TV is a Greek Australian TV program made by and for Greeks living here in Australia.

By Greeks, I mean those born in Greece, but more importantly, subsequent generations. Meraki TV’s main goal is to be one of the means whereby second, third and fourth generation Greeks can connect, share their unique experience, and learn about the positive aspects of their culture.

Billy Cotsis (BC): This will be the third season for Meraki TV. Tell us about the first two – how did they go? Did they meet your expectations?
Ane Sevo (AS): The first two seasons were amazing! Among the big names of Christos Dantis, Angelo Tsarouchas, Master Tempo, Vegas, Kostas Sommer, and Alekos Zazopoulos we introduced amazing local talent such as the party pirates, author Will Kostakis, and historians Effy Alexis and Leonard Janiszewski. We spoke to the University Greek Societies from Victoria University and UTS, introduced our Kids Corner with Yiannaki, launched Helen’s Kouzina with celebrity chef Helen Demetriou (My Kitchen Rules). We also compiled mini- documentaries on everything from the Oracle at Delphi to the origins of the Zeibekiko and in between got all the glam and gossip from our celebrity socialite Stavroula, and of course, the king of Greek music in Australia DJ Krazy Kon kept us up to date with music news.

BC: Foxtel continues to grow in this country. Recently it scored a major coup with rugby league and AFL rights that are worth billions. Where do you see community TV evolving in the future? Will Foxtel remain the best platform?
AS: With the government cut backs on community TV and radio, community- based programs are all being pushed onto the web. Foxtel has shown great vision in keeping its Aurora channel. It gives us little guys access to an audience and a platform that we otherwise would not have.

BC: What are we expecting from Meraki TV this season? Any surprises?
AS: Firstly, our team has grown, with fresh young presenters jumping on board to make sure we properly represent that segment of our community. We’re also extending our Kids Corner this year. Get ready for the great Pita Challenge, Eat it or Wear it – Greek Style, some Greek toy reviews and more!

Comedy is also on the agenda this season. We can’t wait for you all to meet yiayia MD – you’re going to love her! We want to get more local music on this season. If you’re a muso/singer you need to get in touch with us.

BC: You have a star studded line-up, from arguably one of the biggest DJ’s and dance producers in the country to a socialite. Tell us about your reporters.
AS: DJ Krazy Kon is the man when it comes to Greek music, not only in Australia but now internationally. When he decided to launch a locally-mixed Greek CD he was scoffed at; he’s just released volume 17 of his Greece series and is constantly invited to tour the US. He’s a shining example of just how alive and thriving Hellenism is in this country.

Stavroula has been in Greek TV all the way back to her days with Harry Michaels. She has sass, style and brains. Her glitz and goss is the perfect balance between juicy gossip, interesting current affairs, fashion and style!

Maria Hohlastou was born and raised in Australia, but left and lived in Greece for nearly 20 years. She thrived until the crisis, and like so many, came back to her ‘other’ country. Maria gives an incredibly unique perspective. She understands the Greeks from Greece’s viewpoint and deeply feels the Grozzie viewpoint. She epitomises the great struggle we all have between being Greek and being Australian.

Helen Demetriou first came to light in My Kitchen Rules with her brother Steve. In Helen’s Kouzina she gets to showcase her love for Greek food!

Demitra Alexandria, only 23 years old and with a professionalism and attitude way beyond her years is a girl to watch. In 10 years time we will all be saying ‘I remember her on Meraki TV!’. Incredibly beautiful, intelligent and passionate.

Yianna Carpis, only just 18 and like so many Greeks her age, heading off for a European adventure between semesters. Yianna will bring us a totally different perspective. Fun, vivacious and incredibly cheeky, she will have all of us booking our next trip.

And then, of course, there’s you Billy, a well-respected journalist and deeply passionate Hellene.

BC: Where do you see the show going in the next five years?
AS: We will be filming in every part of the country and also bringing you stories from all around the globe. Once we’ve united Australia we can’t wait to unite with the rest of the world – South Africa, London, Chicago, Boston, New Zealand – even Iceland!

BC: A number of sponsors have come on board – how important are they to the show?
AS: Our sponsors are our lifeblood. I must take a moment to really thank every single one who has come on board Meraki TV. We’ve had sponsors who really didn’t need to advertise do so just to support our ideals. We even had one small business buy just one small ad; that was all they could afford but they wanted to help us get off the ground.

We’re a community show with no funding and we pay for our air time. Everything you have seen on Meraki TV has been aired through the donated blood, sweat and tears of our team. I’m honoured to have the Meraki TV team, they are professional, passionate and generous with their time and talent because they truly believe in what it is we’re trying to create here.

Our sponsors also understand that Greeks love to buy from Greeks, and they love good value and quality – that’s why they advertise with us. They know that Meraki TV is a great way for them to reach the discerning Greek market; they are our everything, and the best way to support us is to support our sponsors.

BC: Finally, any funny stories or highlights over the last two years?
AS: A personal highlight for me was interviewing Christos Dantis. The guy is an absolute legend in Greek music – he’s written half of the hits of the last 20 years and he was generous in our interview. It’s nice when you’re a massive fan and you meet your idol and walk away an even bigger fan!

Also, the day we went to interview Angelo Tsarouchas and we managed to get him locked out of his hotel room. He was great about it!

Then there was that time we filmed Helen’s Kouzina on a 43 degree day in a room with no air conditioning and closed windows because it was very loud outside. Poor Helen had to have a towel under the table in between shots to wipe the sweat off her.

Meraki TV airs from Monday, April 18 @ 7.00 pm on Foxtel Aurora Channel 183.

source:Neos Kosmos

Champions League and Europa League semi-finals fixtures


PEP Guardiola avoided his future employers as Manchester City were on Friday drawn to play Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League while Atletico Madrid will face the Spaniard’s Bayern Munich.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool earned a Europa League semi-final against Villarreal from their heroic comeback against his former side Borussia Dortmund.

Defending champions Sevilla face Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk in the second semi-final drawn Friday.

The first leg of the Champions League semi-finals will be played on April 26-27, with the second leg scheduled for May 3-4. The final will take place at Milan’s San Siro stadium on May 28.

For outgoing Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, the semi-final will be a return to the club he managed in 2009-10.

City’s only games against Real, unbeaten in their last eight games against English clubs and in the semi-finals for a record sixth successive time, were in the 2012-13 group stage. They drew 1-1 at home and lost 3-2 away.

Atletico, the Diego Simeone-coached team that knocked out defending champions Barcelona in the quarter-finals, and Bayern have previously met once in European action, in the 1974 final, the Bundesliga side running out 4-0 winners in the replay following an initial 1-1 draw.

Liverpool, who hit back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to beat Borussia 4-3 and progress into the Europa League semis 5-4 on aggregate, have never played Villarreal before.

Sevilla ousted fellow Spaniards Athletic Bilbao on penalties in Thursday’s quarter-final in their bid to win a third consecutive Europa League.

The final is set for Basel, Switzerland, on May 18. The winners will get a place in next season’s Champions League group stages.

Liverpool are the only unbeaten side left in the competition, and goals from centre-backs Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren completed one of the great Anfield comebacks against Dortmund.

The first leg will be played in Villareal on April 28, with The Yellow Submarine heading to Merseyside for the return leg on May 5.

The Spanish outfit, currently fourth in La Liga, are looking to reach their maiden major European final, after Europa League last-four defeats in 2004 and 2011 and a Champions League semi-final loss in 2006.

In stark contrast, Liverpool are attempting to win their ninth major continental trophy, and in the process, draw level with Sevilla as the competition’s record four-time winners.

Sevilla’s quartet of titles have all come in the last decade, with victory against Espanyol in 2007 making them just the second club after Real Madrid to win the competition in successive years.

They backed that performance up by repeating the feat 11 months ago against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, and now they have another Ukrainian outfit in Shakhtar standing in their way.

The first leg will be played in Seville, before 2009 champions Shakhtar host the second game in Lviv. The country’s civil war has forced them to play away from their home city.