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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 February 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2015 27 OPINION OPINION DON PITTIS Keeping Greece in the eurozone is worth the pain To misquote Mao Zedong, creating a single currency is not a tea party. Despite former US central banker Alan Greenspan’s disparaging comments about the future of the euro, Americans had far worse problems creating a single currency. The question facing the Europeans as they hammer out a deal with Greece is whether the long-term advantages of the euro outweigh the pain of the current ructions. If the American experience is any guide, it is worth it. LETTERS Australia Day honours It was great to see a few names in the Australia Day honours list that have real links to Hellenism, unlike the Germanic UK prince whose family were forced onto the Hellenic nation sooo long ago. But as I have been pushing for years, the list is just not good enough. There are so many people within the Hellenic community in Victoria who have done much to help their individual communities, clubs or associations, education, media, the RSL, aged care, youth groups, peace and harmony with other ethnicities, multiculturalism, local government, medicine, the law, music, education... Yet where are their names on the list of successful recipients? I have in the past suggested many names of possible recipients so I won’t do so again but YOU must know someone who is very deserving. Of course we have the problems of jealousy. Those who should support nominations being jealous because they do not have the same awards. I have nominated people over the years who were sabotaged by such persons who should have been very much on side. There are problems of external sabotage. I know of one person nominated three times in over 20 years but an external person not on their friends list but with deep contacts told him years ago that while this external person was alive no honour would ever be bestowed onto this person. And it hasn’t. There are issues around get- ting enough information to back the nomination without letting the nominee know, although approaching their marital partner can help. Overall, seeing one of our community receive such an honour shows them respect and thanks from the community which has benefited from their efforts. But it also honours all of the Hellenic community in this state. It proves to the knockers that we are deeply involved in much of the good that is Victoria. So congratulations Steve and others on your 2015 awards, but let’s see more follow you. Ange Kenos Victoria New hope on the horizon The visit to Cyprus by newlyelected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was an overwhelming success, one that offered hope that things are about to change for the better. He has given hope not only to Hellenes across the world but also for all Europeans; a hope that has been trampled upon by bad EU policies. The EU will never be the same again. He showed leadership, determination and spoke with clarity and people listened; the mass media listened; the world listened; EU citizens listened; our enemies listened and our own politicians turned speechless with respect for what he had to say, for they saw that here is young, fresh face of a statesman in the making; one who dares to take the bull by the horn and make revolutionary changes in support of the people, economic growth and is not to be subjugated by a banking system and refused troika’s oppressive austerity philosophy that brought social and economic chaos across Europe. This is what a Revolution of the Mind does. Here was a leader who told troika and Eurogroup - who act as the new undemocratic and unaccountable masters of nations - not to come back to Greece; he is the leader who put a stop to the selling cheap of Piraeus Harbour to foreign interests. Something that none of our own politicians dared to consider, especially our shallow finance minister and the current government who plan to sell the nation’s silver because they consider EU-troika as a godsend gift to Cyprus. Tsipras has also spoken that his government will rebuild Greece within the EU family of nations but also turned his back on troika’s/Germanic bankers’ economic colonisation that has brought misery for millions of Greeks and European citizens. He charismatic presence and brains has gained the respect of most foreign governments but he has also gained Greenspan has been widely quoted as predicting the collapse of the eurozone, led by the forced exit of Greece. In the interview on the BBC, however, Greenspan did not specifically link the two, as in cause and effect. But he did say that, in the long term, the European currency union is untenable. “There is no way I can conceive of the euro continuing unless and until all of the members of the eurozone become politically integrated,” Greenspan told the BBC’s Mark Mardell. What Greenspan conveni- ently seemed to forget is that for Americans (and even Canadians), settling on a single unit of payment was a long and painful process. It costs money. And if US history is any guide, it does not depend on perfect political integration. In some ways, the US states are less integrated than the countries of the European Union. Certainly they were much less so when they were getting their currency together. Texas, as just one example, only joined the currency union in 1850 after the Texas redback collapsed. The bankrupt state was bailed out to the tune of $10 million as part of the Compromise of 1850. The size of that bailout comes into proportion when you know that in 1853 the entire US federal debt was about $50 million. Then, of course, there was the US Civil War, with its Confederate States of America dollar. Even the Union dollar collapsed. That was when the name ‘greenback’ appeared because the currency was no longer backed by gold. In 1862, the US dollar fell in value to 38 Canadian cents. Even after the US Supreme Court declared Washington to be sovereign over the individual states, it was privately owned banks that issued currency. Central banking was an innovation imported from Europe only after the US financial collapse of 1907. In the case of the eurozone, Greenspan said that’s not good enough. “Fundamentally, what clearly was the driving force was the fact that they had two world wars on European soil within 20, 25 years,” he said dismissively. I don’t know about Greenspan, but I’d say avoiding a third world war is worth a bit of trouble getting through the current rough patch. *Don Pittis has been a Fuller Brush man, a forest fire fighter and an Arctic ranger before discovering journalism. He was principal business reporter for Radio Television Hong Kong before the handover to China and has produced and reported for CBC and BBC News. He is currently senior producer at CBC’s business unit. Email your letter to: email@example.com the respect of the people of Cyprus, who now hope that his leadership will also influence the leadership of Cyprus to change its bad policies; policies of stagnation without economic growth, which rather brought misery to thousands of Cypriots, where one in three persons live in poverty. When a government refuses to decisively combat such a social stranglehold and hardship on its people, then they are not the government of the people for the people but a government driven by a bad political system. We wish Alexis Tsipras and his government the best of luck and great success because the people of Cyprus deserve strong support to regain their dignity back as a free nation and face the enemies of the day - and there are many. Andreas C Chrysafis Nicosia Bargaining chip Germany's Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel brushed off calls by Greece's newly elected government for Berlin to Have Your Say LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Are the Melbourne and Sydney Greek festivals the best forum for Greek Australians to show their solidarity to Greece? 57 % YES 43 % NO THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you think Greek street festivals in Australia need a drastic overhaul? 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. 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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 pay reparations for damage inflicted during the country's Nazi occupation, claiming that the matter was settled following German reunification in 1990. Very true, and not a lie ... but Greece did not have a say in this. What I like about this story is that it has been brought into the spotlight because of SYRIZA’s win in Greece. Even if Greece receives nil reparations, it will still get to use this as a bargaining chip. Makes the rest of the world, which agreed to let Germany off the hook, squirm ... the USA was the main culprit. Michael Alvanos Northern Territory Convenience store hero Many of our readers took to Facebook to congratulate 71-year-old convenience store owner Theo Zagoridis after the grandfather fought Theo Zagoridis off machete-wielding robbers. Patti Korkidas: Zito the Greek spirit! His generation were prepared to put up a fight, although yes, he could have been seriously hurt by the coward who tried to rob him. You've got to admire him though for putting up a fight! Bravo, papou you show 'em whose the boss! Lisa Pavlov Tasya: So he lived to tell the story. It could've been tragic for him. No need to be a hero papou. Esther Kaghelaris-Mikropoulos: Don't mess with a Greek on his turf! Bravo! Anastasia Vrionis : Time for people to protect themselves with a baseball bat from useless thugs who prey on the elderly. Great stuff papou! 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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