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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 1 November 2014
SATURDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2014 23 AUSTRALIA St Anna's Church honours Oxi Day in Queensland The most optimistic message for the future comes always from the youngest, who car- ry on the traditions and the flame of the Hellenic spirit. Two days prior to the 'Oxi' national holiday, the Greek Community and Parish of St Anna's Church, in Queens- land's Gold Coast, paid trib- ute to the day on October 28, 1940, when the tiny - but full of courage and fortitude - country of Greece refused to let the Italian forces step on its ground during WWII. The church celebrated the memory of St Dimitrios on Sunday 26 October, with a liturgy followed by a glori- fication service commemo- rating Oxi Day. The Greek Orthodox Com- munity of St Anna welcomed a great number of people, including Queensland offi- cials, Greek Consul General Jim Raptis with his wife Ele- ni, priests and dignitaries, as well as representatives of the Gold Coast AHEPA. The young students of the Greek National School of St Anna passionately honoured this special anniversary, ex- pressing their love for Greek culture and history by high- lighting Greece's outstand- ing opposition to fascism, its hurdles to preserve freedom, democracy and equality of the nations. In blue and white attire, the school's pupils danced, cheering for Greece, recit- ed poems and sang the Na- tional Anthem, touching the hearts of the attendees, whilst showing their respect for the thousands of Greeks who fought and died to pro- tect Europe. The event in- cluded dances from the Com- munity's and Parish's danc- ing groups, while part of the ceremony regarded students receiving awards. The epic of the '40s still lives in our hearts, inspiring students and voicing the Hel- lenic ideal, even this far away from its home. Top photos featuring: Father Romanos, Mr Jim Raptis, Mr James Nides and AHEPA representatives. Seen below: Penelope Tsolakides receiving her dancing award, Dr Giota Kordalis assisting her class with reading poetry and students from St Anna's school. Musical stylings of Nestoras College Nestoras College showed its music might last Sun- day, with students from its musical program tak- ing part in a special cel- ebratory music concert for the college's 40 year anni- versary. Two hundred and sixty people came along to see students play eve- rything from the bouzouki, the acoustic guitar and the Pontian lyra. Four musi- cal families also joined in, with three generations hit- ting the stage. Grade four student Apostolis Karalis playing the Thracian gaida alongside principal John Kostarakis. The music program teaches 70 students. Demetria's Concert of the Hellenes The lively annual event The Concert of the Hellenes took place last Sunday 26 October at Alphington Grammar, as part of the 2014 Demetria Cultural Festival. Organised by the Pan Mac- edonian Association of Mel- bourne and Victoria, the con- cert saw over 300 people make the trip for the event. Audiences were treated to traditional theatre and dance performances by the Pan Mac- edonian, Pan Cretan and Pon- tiaki Estia's dancing groups. Young dancers performing at the concert, sharing in their cultural heritage. Greek gaming company In- tralot has announced its plans to launch a multi-million dol- lar lawsuit against the Victo- rian government - with the Herald Sun reporting it could amount to $63 million - on the back of a 10-year licens- ing deal it signed in 2007. Intralot's contract with the government gave it a licence to run scratchies and Keno in the state. Former Labor gaming minis- ter John Pandazopoulos, who oversaw the initial stages of the deal whilst in cabinet, told Neos Kosmos the decision to quit Victoria was due in part to the duopolised control by TAB Corp and the Tatts Group over the gaming industry. "I was gaming minister as part of national competition policy. Nationally there was a move to break monopolies and duopolies and create compe- tition, so the gambling sector had to be part of that." "There's no doubt they (In- tralot), since entering the market, were fighting estab- lished names in the market like Tattersalls. They entered the market with a bloody nose and all the way through they've struggled, they haven't necessarily been as aggressive as other gambling operators to protect their in- terests, maybe because they entered the market with the Greek economic crisis, I'm sure it hasn't helped them getting out there." Pandazopoulos said the com- pany had its "hands tied" be- cause of a deal that gave Tatts Group power to implement "anti-competitive measures", which meant Intralot had to sell its products on different counters in stores, leading to increasing costs - something not seen in other business sectors. "My view is that it is not the fault of government, my view is that it is the fault of the ACCC, which never ended up taking on the industries' anti- competitive measures, they're flexing a bit of muscle in the supermarket area but they didn't do it in the gambling products area, and that's been an unfair marketplace. "You go to any shop you can buy multiple products from the same counter, why can't you buy multiple gambling products from the same coun- ter? For me that's anti-com- petitive." Pandazopoulos said biases against the company because of its Greek roots may have driven people away. "It's unfortunate from a Greek business point of view, but the reality is, like any other company, if they don't see any growth in the area and their costs are too high, why stay in the game?" Intralot will still maintain a presence in Australia, with business agreements in West- ern Australia and other juris- dictions. Greek gaming company quits Victoria Intralot backs out of deal with government after millions of dollars in losses Then Intralot Australia managing director John Katakis at a launch in Melbourne in 2008. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/SIMON MOSSMAN.
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