Daily Archives: July 26, 2016

Juventus beat Tottenham in ICC game of errors

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 26:  Paulo Dybala of Juventus runs with the ball during the 2016 International Champions Cup match between Juventus FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 26, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JULY 26: Paulo Dybala of Juventus runs with the ball during the 2016 International Champions Cup match between Juventus FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 26, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Italian champions Juventus have defeated Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in their International Champions Cup Australia clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground tonight.

Juve’s star striker Paulo Dybala gave the Italian side the lead after just five minutes with a clinical finish on a breakaway caused by two Tottenham errors.

Juventus’ first-team absentees have been a hot topic, but that aspect was improved this match with new signings Miralem Pjanic and Medhi Benatia making their debuts, and they combined well to make it 2-0.

Tottenham failed to clear a corner properly and Pjanic delivered a tantalising cross which was headed in by Benatia. The Spurs protested for a foul in the build-up, but to no avail.

The London club also played with a team below full strength but they too started their new recruits Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen, who had contrasting performances – the former was excellent but the latter quite anonymous.

The Bianconeri let Tottenham back into the game through an error of their own – Hernanes robbed of the ball in his own half by the busy Wanyama, who immediately played the ball forward for Erik Lamela to slot beautifully into the bottom corner of the goal.

The Spurs pushed hard for an equaliser in the final 15 minutes, creating several chances, but Juventus did just enough to see out the match 2-1, thanks largely to the efforts of Brazilian keeper Neto.


Koutris sends PAS Giannina to Europa League’s next round


PAS Giannina very nearly paid for its inexperience in European competitions, letting slip its first-leg 3-0 lead, but its away goal in extra time saw the Europa League first-timers advance past Odd Grenland in Norway with a 3-1 loss on Thursday and a 4-3 aggregate score.

After holding its host to a goalless draw in the first 55 minutes PAS conceded twice within three to find itself trailing 2-0 to goals by Fredrik Nordkvelle and Chukwuma Akabueze.

The Greeks then bowed to the Norwegians’ late pressure to give away a third two minutes from time, goal scored by Espen Ruud.

The match went to extra time, but that was when Leonardo Koutris shone for the Epirus club, scoring the precious away goal on the 98th minute and hitting the woodwork on the 110th.

PAS will now face Dutch side Alkmaar in the third qualifying round of the competition.

In the mean time Panathinaikos has found out it will face AIK Solna in the third qualifying round, as the Swedish team eliminated Europa from Gibraltar on Thursday.


Reclaiming Lonsdale Street


How the Greek Precinct Association plans to reimagine the historic Greek neighbourhood as a multicultural strip under Greek leadership.

The signs are still there, maeander-adorned, informing the passersby of the character of the neighbourhood, and so are the Greek names and words on (some of the) shops and restaurants – Karras, Tsindos, Stalaktites …

But the overall Greek presence in the busy area is like the discobole on the facade of the Greek Community building, towering over the corner of Lonsdale and Russel; you may see him, if you tilt your head and squint a bit, but he’s not visible in plain sight.

The slow decline of the ‘Greek Precinct’, which threatens to make the name a relic of the past, has been well documented, as have the echoes of concerned voices for the plight of the ‘historic’ neighbourhood where Greek-owned businesses used to thrive.

Some lament this loss of Greek character, but others are determined to fight back and reclaim Lonsdale Street on behalf of the Greek businesses and celebrate not only its historical Greek presence, but also its current status as an entertainment and restaurant precinct, still under Greek influence.

This is the goal of the Lonsdale Street Greek Precinct Association – to represent the Lonsdale Street Greek Traders, but “over and above, that it represents all the traders in the street”, explains Elly Symons, a representative of the Association’s committee.

“So, anyone with a connection to Lonsdale Street and Russel Street, whether they’re Greek or not,” she says, noting that although the area will always be known as Melbourne’s ‘historic Greek precinct’, there’s no point in denying its current character; in fact, the association is working around it, reimagining it as a ‘multicultural’ strip, with Greeks playing a leading role.
“There’s been a lot of talk about it declining and dying, and we want to say that this is not the case.
“We’re in the process of rebuilding. The precinct is very busy and thriving. There are more stories to tell. We’re looking forward to a new future, a new story that we’re going to be telling, with different layers,” she says.

“The Greek flavour, the Greek theme, will always be there, underlying the area, but now we’re incorporating all these other retail and entertainment destinations, hoping to weave all that together into a vibrant and happening precinct.”

In this endeavour, the Greek Centre is bound to play an active role, being both the point of reference, “a tangible and significant focal point on that corner, that really symbolises the continuing historic Greek presence”, but also as a hub for new Greek businesses.
“Quite literally, there used to be 20 or 30 Greek shopfronts on Lonsdale Street and now we’re down to six or seven,” admits Elly Symons.

“However, in the Greek Building alone we have 15 new Greek-owned businesses. Some of these businesses, mostly the Greek Centre and the language schools, are bringing up to 2,000 people through that centre every week. Whether they are of Greek origin or not, they do come to the building for a Greek purpose, either to listen to a lecture or to attend a Greek event or to learn Greek. So that engagement and activation through that building is the heart and soul of the Greek part of that precinct.”

This fact justifies the concept of the centre being a ‘vertical’ precinct, as it was defined by Professor Nikos Papastergiadis, in one of the first lectures held at the Greek Cultural Centre.

Its director, Jorge Menidis, seems to agree.

“The Greek Precinct is the historic heart of Greek Melbourne. It is also the site of more than 19 million dollars of investment by Greek business. It is a cultural and entertainment hub that will continue to evolve,” he says.

The mandate of the association is not to attract more Greek businesses back to the CBD, although that has happened, after the opening of the new building.

“We do have some control over the tenancies of the Greek building and we encourage other buildings in the area to support Greek tenancies wherever possible, but the mandate of the association is to acquire members and promote the precinct in general as a retailing and entertainment district that is part of the city of Melbourne.”

“We are very excited about the entertainment precinct that has developed in this great part of the CBD, with amazing rooftop bars, restaurants and shopping; it is definitely one of Melbourne’s top destinations,” says Harry Tsindos, president of the association’s committee.

Apart from ensuring the precinct’s current status as an entertainment destination, the association’s secondary goal would be to tell the historic Greek story and to activate as much traffic and engagement as possible, “both Greek and non-Greek”.

For the moment, there is a marketing plan under way and a lot of ideas are being discussed, such as the placement of artwork installations – sculptures and historic markers – in the surrounding laneways, to both beautify the streetscape and acknowledge some of the Greek presence.

Having a Greek point of reference in the Melbourne CBD – which is constantly growing as a tourist destination – is very important, says Elly Symons.

“It’s symbolic of the Greeks that helped build the city of Melbourne and make it the international cosmopolitan multicultural city it has become. We have been here since the 1880s; our grandfathers had the cafes, the oyster bars, groceries, fish shops, they were the foundation of the hospitality industry which is now one of the big success stories of Melbourne. Greek businesses were instrumental in developing retail, hospitality and entertainment. It’s in our blood, it’s our heritage, it’s what we do well and we are still doing it.”

source:neos kosmos

Why today’s political leaders suck


John Michail reflects on the political leaders emerging from Australia and around the globe today

From my experience in the past it wasn’t like this …

What have the voters been telling our leaders lately? Basically, no matter whether it’s Australia, Britain, France or the United States, they’re saying in their millions that they’re fed up. They’re fed up with the barren years of unemployment, lack of affordable medical care and housing, and a perception that immigration is working against their interests, together with gloomy times ahead for young people.

Worldwide, the lack of trust that has been brewing for many years has exploded into factionalism and a growing disgust of ‘the establishment’. This growing divide between the informed public and the ordinary population on issues of trust and transparency has created an unhealthy environment for all. There’s an increasing belief that the moneyed political elite are getting everything their own way. Populist politics are on the rise, as shown by Donald Trump in the US, Marine Le Penn in France and Brexit in the UK. Their clear message is that the politicians will ignore working people, the middle classes and everyone else that does not belong to their brand of self-entitlement, to their peril.

Where does Australia stand among the rhetoric and discontent? Where did the recent federal election leave us? By all accounts, up the creek for many years to come. As former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett noted in the Herald Sun: “Nothing in this campaign addressed the interests and needs of our young people, those who will be charged with generating wealth for the next 30 to 50 years.”

With no moral authority to govern, there’ll be no reformist agenda, no strong and defining government.

“Australia is simply bereft of genuine and visionary political leadership. Campaigns are still conducted with a combination of short termism and fear, and that is emphatically not the path to growth and opportunity,” said Kennett.

The inevitable ‘play it safe’ attitude may even bring about the kind of populist backlash seen with Britain’s Brexit vote and its confused aftermath.

What does the Brexit disaster tell us? The marches, the calls for another referendum, David Cameron’s resignation, Boris Johnson’s axing, Nigel Farage’s withdrawal, the pressure for Jeremy Corbyn to resign – it goes on and on. And now, looking back, the long-awaited British enquiry into the Iraq War and the 2003 invasion means bad news for Tony Blair and George Bush and the decisions that led to the deaths of thousands of troops and the rise of Islamic State.

We can thank our lucky stars that Australia is less class conscious, nationalistic, or (as yet) riven by bitterness about the inequalities between rich and poor. What we have got is an undoubted marked lack of principled leadership ability.

We’re politically crippled at a time when we should be growing the country’s wealth and power, and setting ourselves up to meet the tremendous challenges and changes coming in the near future.

In France, the goal of ever-closer European union has been seen as ‘patriotism for humanity’ for many years. But the leader of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, thinks differently.

After the referendum, she praised the British people for standing up to the ‘totalitarian EU, that prison of people’. Then she cheered, “Frexit is next!” She promised that if she were elected president next year, France would be next to have a vote, no doubt causing the same internal strife as that being experienced in the UK.

The situation in the US is paradoxically the same – but different. Here we have aspiring leaders like Donald Trump who know little of governance or have experience of the way leadership works in the entrenched political world.

He also has no reticence or shame in insulting the poor, immigrants, Mexicans and women with equal fervour, and his authenticity and transparency in his business or political dealings have been challenged, but the people are saying who cares – the others are worse. His rhetoric appeals to millions who are unable to look beyond the wild ideas that satisfy their inner urge to destroy and punish and will probably do nothing for the future of their country. They intend to cripple it in order to ‘save’ it … that’s what desperate people do sometimes.

Does this leadership showboating have any relevance for us? Sadly, yes. Would you want your business to have similar leadership? Do you believe it’s perfectly all right to have someone at the helm who doesn’t know anything about business? Would you go along with it if that leader believed that getting rid of the foreigners on the staff would change the business’ fortunes for the better?

Probably not. And yet, that’s exactly what’s happening in the US. We can only hope that one day very soon the populace will realise that a manufactured politician (today they’re everywhere) is going to do nothing to make their lives better, and is likely to make them considerably worse.

Take those truths and apply them to yourself. Would you organise your family, business or community organisation in the way that the plastic politicians want to run their countries?

Are you transparent in your business dealings? Do you pay attention to what your workforce is saying? Do you listen to individuals and their concerns – and then do something about it?

In case you’re undecided, transparency has been defined as a ‘lack of hidden agendas or conditions, accompanied by the availability of full information required for collaboration, cooperation, and collective decision making’.

Your company is an extension of your outstanding personal reputation
Much-loved by those politicians making promises necessary to gain public office, transparency is more than just a buzzword. It means clean, unblemished honesty. It means that your company is an extension of your own outstanding personal reputation.

As in politics, the importance of transparency in the decision-making process is often overlooked. It’s a given that transparency leads to clarity, and in turn, that transparency makes the workforce more confident and productive. There are huge benefits in having the type of company structure that enables employees to have easy access to their manager or CEO. In turn, management should try to keep transparent the reasons why they make their decisions.

If we ran our businesses the way politicians run their countries, we’d be in dire straits. As indeed, the Brexit vote has proved. We don’t operate our businesses or community organisations for the benefit of ourselves rather than the wider public. We recognise that everyone in our family has to share in the family resources, not just ourselves.

You’ll improve your company culture, employee morale and productivity by being a fair and honest leader. Your impact will spread beyond your family, business and community. If you establish a reputation for honesty and decency, you’ll gain the respect that many of the plastic politicians so sadly lack.
And then, maybe, your community and country will call on YOU!

source:neos kosmos