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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 14 February 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2015 27 OPINION LETTERS Greece’s own responsibilities We hope SYRIZA can turn things around, however Greeks need to acknowledge Greece's own responsibilities regarding the economic disaster. Most Greeks appear to make out that Europe was out to get innocent Greece. But who put Greece in the position it finds itself now? Successive corrupt Greek politicians and an all-too-willing Greek electorate ready to accept the endless rhetoric, uncosted promises. Why noone spoke up when PASOK and ND (PASOK more times in government) threw money to the electorate which you knew was unsustainable? Where where Greeks when you saw the Greek public service expand to 800,000 funded by what? Massive wage and pension rises? The Greek electorate did not vote in SYRIZA because they had the best policies, they voted them in because in sheer desperation and fed up with the existing parties, they were prepared to vote in an unknown quantity because they made the same rhetorical promises that enough is enough and we can get Greece out of this mess. In this article you all have thrown your blinded support behind SYRIZA and not one of you have asked the pertinent question: “Exactly how are you going to pay for your promises?” Greeks voted for SYRIZA to stand up against Europe; beyond the Hellenistic bravado, what happens if Greece blinks first? What is plan B? There is no plan B. At this moment all we can do is hope that SYRYZA knows what it is doing. This is the unknown quantity. Greeks have rallied behind SYRIZA. Let me make it easier for you, let’s talk about the known quantities of SYRIZA. We known that they are now going to rehire all the dismissed public servants, we know they will raise the minimum wage, we know pensions will be raised back to their old levels, we know they promised free electricity, we know they will halt privation programs, we know they say they will end austerity yet stay in the euro. Where is the money to pay for these promises? There is only so much you can tax the rich but it does not address fundamentals. Two out of three Greeks refuse to pay taxes or under-report their full income. Taxes are the lifeline of any government so how will SYRIZA or any other party rectify this systemic problem? The Constitution has been manipulated by successive governments since independence, it’s broken and cements corruption in Greece. Why are public servants protected for life from ever being dismissed if it’s enshrined in the Constitution? Why are certain professions allowed to retire age 40 on full pension. Why is the Greek retirement age 64 when in most of Europe it is 67. Even in Australia we are being told the government does not have enough money to fund an ageing retiring population, thus our retirement age may go to 70. From this election, name me one party and how they will do it, to bring foreign companies/factories to Greece to alleviate 50 per cent Greek youth unemployment? You can throw your support and cross fingers behind SYRIZA today but what is their plan B, or does that not matter? A. Themis NSW The people’s priest Rev. Father Athanasios Marinakis OAM JP (21 November 1931 - 31 December 2014) was a Greek Orthodox priest, a social worker and a leader in the South Australian Greek community. Born in Athens, Father Marinakis came to Australia in 1948 amidst the Greek Civil War. Residing first in Newcastle, he soon relocated to Mackay where he met his future wife, Angeliki. Together they settled in Melbourne in 1957 and had three children. It was in these early years that his involvement with the Greek Community and the church began. He was ordained as a priest in 1962, thus marking his formal association with the Greek Orthodox Community of Victoria. In 1969, he and his family moved to Adelaide where he led the Franklin Street Cathedral of Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The church served as a place of solace and acceptance to a newly arrived immigrant community, and Father Marinakis' office was often seen with a line forming outside the door. Father Marinakis and the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia introduced an unprecedented level of political and social participation for Greek people in South Australian society. His leadership heralded a newfound, progressive era within the church whereby the people reaped the benefit of his tireless efforts. His many accomplishments included assisting Greek immigrants to obtain employment, housing and citizenship, probation officer, providing interpretation services for courts and hospi- Email your letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org Maybe now that Tsipras has been elected in Greece, some of his policies can start to rub off on our own petty politicians to start acting in the interest of the people and not in the interest of their kommata, IMF EU-Troika, NATO and others. One may well say dream on … but at least there’s no harm in dreaming for a miracle. Andreas C Chrysafis The Holy Communion tals, acting as an advocate in workers' compensation cases, and seeking donations of food hampers and financial aid for the poor. Father Marinakis encouraged the continuation of the Greek Orthodox faith to the next generation, teaching religious instruction and Greek culture in schools. He took part in cultural exchanges with teachers and university students to assist the integration of children with Greek immigrant parents. His introduction of English into marriage, funeral and baptismal services further incorporated the Greek Orthodox faith into Australian society. Father Marinakis had a strong sense of moral integrity throughout his life and advocated for the advancement of both the community and the church. He took a public stand in favour that all income generated by the church feed directly back into the community for its benefit - a conviction shared by the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia. In June 1988, Father Marinakis was bestowed the Order of Australia medal in recognition of his service to the Greek community of South Australia. It was an honour he accepted humbly, and viewed as a victory for the community as a whole. He truly believed in the equality of humanity, work- ing with leaders across multiple political parties and faiths to better the outcomes of others. This was his life's work, undertaken selflessly for the good of the Greek community that he so deeply cared for. He had a presence and warmth that related well to young and old, rich and poor, and was frequently called upon to counsel people during their most difficult times. His wife, his children and his grandchildren sorely miss him. His influence on his family was profound and his love of humanity shall continue through them, their thoughts and actions. The Greek community is mourning the loss of Father Marinakis, but his legacy will continue through what we have gained. A. Miridakis South Australia Something missing A wise government is one that displays leadership and is blessed with a vision to act in the interest of its citizens and break through the maze of political traps. Greece now has a chance to regain its dignity lost by incompetence and political opportunism. It will take a lot of effort and years to dismantle the oppressive institutional stronghold enforced upon the nation by bad government policies, but not impossible. Have Your Say LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Does a priest have the right to throw a child out of church for improper behaviour? 28 % YES 72 % NO THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Are the Melbourne and Sydney Greek festivals the best way for Greek Australians to show their solidarity to Greece? YES/NO Vote online now. Go to neoskosmos.com Published by Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (ABN: 13005 255 087) of 169 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Printed by Rural Press Printing, Ballarat. NEOS KOSMOS Published since 1957 Contacts Reception Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Email: email@example.com Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.neoskosmos.com Advertising letters Email: email@example.com NEOS KOSMOS - English Publisher: No. 5538 Address: Level 1, 169 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 Mail: PO Box 6068 Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122 Subscriptions Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (03) 9482 2962 Letters should not be more than 200 words and they must indicate your full name, address and a day time telephone number for verification. By submitting your letter to us for publication you agree that we may edit the letter for legal, space or other reasons and may, after the publication in the paper, republish it on the internet or in other media. Editor-in-Chief: Sotiris Hatzimanolis Graphic Design: Peter Kelidis Fotis Petsinis Contributors: Dora Kitinas-Gogos Christopher Gogos Journalists: Proof Reader: Angela Costanzo Maja Jovic, Helen Velissaris, Michael Sweet, John Pyrros, Nelly Skoufatoglou, Anastasia Tsirtsakis Alexis Tsipras, the charismatic young new leader and his supporters, are on a mission and have a goal in the interest of the people. Time will tell but the Revolution of the Mind has begun. Out of the ashes of political chaos, despair and social injustice, Greece has been given the opportunity to rise in prominence once again and do the right thing for the Greek people. Does Cyprus have such a similar chance? Under the present political climate and culture it’s impossible. No products of the same system can introduce revolutionary changes. That one special leader has not risen in Cyprus yet to guide the nation forward; it was never blessed with one. Instead, the nation harnesses political opportunists as ‘leaders’ borne out of a culture dominated by kommatokratia. Free thought and free minds on the island have been stagnated by the inability to speak out in a society, a society that shies away from practicing fairness in a meritocratic system and transparency. Unless that attitude is torn down and yanked out by its roots to clean out the stables of nepotism and corruption there is no chance for Cyprus to rise above its present mess; that's where the Revolution of the Mind plays a crucial role. Regarding the saga of the Holy Communion, it would be no surprise to find the real events have been exaggerated as another attempt to mock and trivialise the Christian Orthodox traditions. With regards to preparing children for Holy Communion, perhaps it would be better to prepare ourselves along with our children for the Orthodox Christian way of life more consistently; communion is central and the Orthodox calendar, mysteries, scriptures and prayer set up for a logical, rhythmic and harmonious experience. Fittingly, we just celebrated the Presentation of the Lord, where Panayia demonstrated to us that the early participation of a child (even the Lord) in the church function. Notwithstanding, these parents were new to the Orthodox life and understandably had not involved their child or themselves regularly in communion with Christ, some allude that the church needs to make accommodations to the infinite ignorances of the baptised but nonpracticing Christians. A. Lemi Victoria Please note that the submission of a letter does not guarantee that it will be published. We reserve the right to edit your letter for clarity, grammar, spelling and style. Letters that use inappropriate language will not be published. All letters published will include the author’s name and location. Comments posted on Neos Kosmos’website, facebook and twitter pages can also be included for submission at the editors’ discretion and will be edited accordingly.
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