Daily Archives: July 21, 2016

Greece:Brain drain amounted to 223,000 people in 2008-2013


A special study by the Bank of Greece on Wednesday showed that 223,000 young people left the country from 2008 to 2013 in search of a better future abroad, constituting the so-called “brain drain.”

The results of recent research point to the vast majority of people aged between 25 and 39 years who left the country in the first five years of the Greek recession being single and with a university degree. The young Greeks left not only due to unemployment and adverse economic conditions but also because of state’s failure to provide and generate opportunities for professional evolution.

The Bank of Greece study revealed that the momentum and magnitude of the phenomenon makes it essential to record its characteristics and to investigate the factors that are in play before analyzing the negative consequences for the local economy.

The main characteristic identified is that it mainly concerns the section of the workforce that is healthy, educated and specialized, and has high mobility and employability rate.

The central bank also attributed the growth of the brain drain to the failure of the local education system to produce high-quality human capital and to the inability of the domestic economy to hold on to and attract talented workers.


School bans clapping and allows students ‘silent cheers’ or air punching but only when teachers agree


Elanora Heights Public School (above) has banned students from clapping, only allowing them ‘silent cheers’ if a teacher approves. Picture: NSW Department of Education

CLAPPING has been banned at a Sydney primary school which has introduced “silent cheering”, “pulling excited faces” and “punching the air” to respect students who are “sensitive to noise”.

The school now only allows its pupils “to conduct a silent cheer” when prompted by teachers and says the practice “reduces fidgeting”.

Elanora Heights Public School, which is on Sydney’s northern beaches, announced its new “silent cheer” policy in its latest school newsletter.

The latest example of a political correctness outbreak in Australian schools, which have banned hugging, singing Christmas carols, celebrating Australia Day and singing the word “black” in the nursery rhyme “baa baa black sheep”.

The ban on clapping at Elanora Heights Primary School emerged on the same day that an exclusive girls school banned teachers from calling “ladies” or “women” in favour of “gender-neutral” terms.

In its July 18 newsletter, the Elanora school has published an item under the headline “Did you know” that “our school has adopted silent cheers at assembly’s” (sic).

“If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the item reads.

“Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot.

“The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.

“When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed.

“Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.”

The ban follows a direction at exclusive Cheltenham Girls High School in northwest Sydney for teachers to avoid discrimination and support LGBTI students by avoiding the words “girls”, “ladies” or “women”.

The measure followed the introduction of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program and teachers were told at a meeting if they did not comply they could be deemed homophobic and breaking the law.

The school also has a “Queer-Straight alliance” club and holds gender equality events such as Wear it Purple Day

Last month, it lowered the Aboriginal flag to raise the rainbow flag at half-mast following the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Local MP Damien Tudehope told the Daily Telegraph that parents feared their daughters might be ostracised if they didn’t comply with Rainbow Day and Purple Day.

Elanora Heights Public School’s ban on clapping in favour of silent cheering comes after several schools have banned hugging.

In April, hugging was banned at a Geelong primary school and children were told to find other ways to show affection.

St Patricks Primary School principal John Grant said “nothing in particular” had caused hugging to be replaced by high fiving or “a knuckle handshake”.

“But in this current day and age we are really conscious about protecting kids and teaching them from a young age that you have to be cautious,” Mr Grant said.

He said he had spoken to teachers about his decision to ban hugging and then the teachers had spoken to classes, instructing the children on different methods of showing affection. He had not sent any correspondence home to parents but said there would now be a letter going home on Monday.

“There’s a range of methods including a high five or a particular knuckle handshake where they clunk knuckles as a simple way of saying ‘well done’,” Mr Grant said. “There are also verbal affirmations and acknowledgments.”

Children at the school have been enthusiastic huggers, he said, with hugs given out to teachers and other children.

“We have a lot of kids who walk up and hug each other and we’re trying to encourage all of us to respect personal space,” Mr Grant said. “It really comes back to not everyone is comfortable in being hugged.”

Comment from Elanora Heights Public School about the clapping ban has been sought by news.com.au.


Turkey coup attempt: President accuses foreign governments of possible involvement as state of emergency imposed


The Turkish President has accused unnamed foreign countries of possible involvement in last week’s attempt to overthrow his Government as its Security Council and Cabinet, meeting in Ankara, announce a state of emergency.

Charges have also been laid against nearly a third of the country’s top military officers following last week’s coup attempt.

Prosecutions thus far involve a large percentage of the country’s 356 top army, air force and navy commanders.

As the high ranking officers were being processed, so too the lower ranks. The ABC saw bus loads of soldiers with their hands tied behind their backs waiting for court appearances.

Some were said to be teenagers from a military high school.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said only a minority of the armed forces were involved in last Friday’s failed military coup, but he said it was not clear exactly how many people had taken part.

“It is clear it was a minority (of the armed forces). The terrorist organisation was trying to make the minority dominate the majority,” Mr Erdogan told the Al Jazeera channel.

He also said he believed foreign countries might have been involved in the failed coup attempt, though he declined to name any.

With thousands of prosecutors and judges sacked its unclear how the accused are being processed.

Speaking through a translator, the spokesman for the country’s judges and prosecutors, Murat Aslan, said the Government is using the coup attempt as an excuse to stamp out dissent.

“We have no reservations that whoever joined or contributed to this should get the necessary punishment within the law,” he said.

“But in periods like this we don’t have the opportunity to separate innocent from guilty. This should be investigated thoroughly.”

Dutch, German and Canadian foreign ministers have expressed concern about the scale of the crackdown by Turkish authorities and called on Turkey to respect the rule of law.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said his Government viewed with concern reports of thousands of people arrested in Turkey, with some prevented from leaving the country.

“We are looking with concern at news … that thousands of people have been dismissed and suspended, including soldiers and judges, and that university professors are now being prevented from leaving the country, that broadcast stations are being closed and having their licenses withdrawn,” Mr Steinmeier said.

“We understand, of course, that there must be a political and judicial processing of this attempted coup, but it must occur in accordance with criteria established by the rule of law.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry was more cautious in his remarks, repeating that Washington supported the Turkish authorities’ efforts to “put down” the coup and condemned any effort to overthrow a democratically-elected government.

Asked whether the Turkish Government’s initial reaction to the coup was excessive, Mr Kerry said: “There is no way for us to know because we don’t know what the evidence is.”

Turkey submits Gulen documentation to US

Mr Kerry said Turkey had submitted material to the US Government on Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric who the Turkish President accuses of orchestrating the coup and wants the US to extradite.

US officials said the State Department and Justice Department were reviewing whether the material sent by Turkey amounted to an official extradition request.

Mr Gulen, a former ally turned critic of Mr Erdogan, has denied any role in the attempted coup and condemned it.

The Secretary of State said he had emphasised to Turkey it should not submit allegations against Mr Gulen, and instead should provide evidence of his apparent involvement in the attempted coup.

Mr Erdogen told French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault “to mind his own business” after Mr Ayrault warned Ankara over the crackdown.

“He should mind his own business. Does he have the authority to make these declarations about my person? No he does not,” he told Al Jazeera.

“If he wants a lesson in democracy he can very easily get a lesson in democracy from us.”

Mr Ayrault had called for maintaining the rule of law in Turkey in the wake of the coup saying “this is not a blank cheque for Mr Erdogan” to silence critics.

European leaders have also been united in their rejection of any plans by Turkey to reinstate the death penalty in response to the coup attempt, saying that such a move would be a deal-breaker for Turkey’s bid to join the European Union.