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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 25 April 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 25 APRIL 2015 27 OPINION LETTERS Email your letter to: email@example.com Hellas no longer being ignored I have a bias here, actually two, but first it is great to see a Hellenic Australian Naval Officer succeeding and playing a key role in these special commemorations. Let us not forget the fact that Lemnos played a key role in the history of the Anzacs, being the point from whence the ill-fated invasion of the Dardanelles began and where so many returned for hospital treatment or, some, for burial. The Australian women nurses, whom the British treated with such disdain, were based on Lemnos and gave themselves totally towards saving as many lives as they could with the total lack of support from the British snobbery. Lemnos was also the place that gave life to the donkey of Jack Simpson Kirkpatrick, a young man who saved so many lives with that Lemnian donkey and who, to this nation's shame, has never been awarded his most deserved Victoria Cross. Yet politicians will talk about him and stand by images of him for photographs. I am so disgusted. Luckily for the Lt Commander she is in the navy today, as I would guess that when S/Blt Jim Paizis was in it during WW2 it would have been much tougher, not just because of the war but also the prejudice. I certainly experienced it as a Sub Lieut myself in the 1980s, worse than when I was in the junior ranks in the 1970s. Today there are a few Hellenes in the Aussie Navy, not great numbers but more today than in the period between the 1940s to early ‘80s combined. My other bias is that I am proudly a member of the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemoration Commitee - no, I am not from Lemnos, I am an Epiroti, but greater than that I am a Hellene working with other Hellenes and nonHellenes such as our amazing Jim Claven - a Scotsman - to achieve what is being noted here. Indeed, much credit must be placed at the feet of both Jim Claven, an amazing researcher and a true modern Philhellene and the unassuming but motivational leadership of Lee Tarlamis. Both of these men have guided the rest of us to achieve this great position of Lemnos and Hellas no longer being ignored when we talk about the history and development of the Anzac legend. Of Lemnos now playing a key role in commemorative celebrations and, in a few months time, to see a statue to the Aussie nurses on Lemnos being unveiled here in our city. The whole story has many components and many little stories that are truly awesome, and the more you read and learn the more we all should be proud of this special link to the Anzacs. ΖΗΤΩ. Ange Kenos Victoria No hope No one is above the law of the land; not the president or judges, police nor politicians. The rule of law remains supreme and will always act as the true guardian of people's rights against bad governments. But when the highest authority of the land, as the president of Cyprus, tries to influence the course of justice in public by attempting to instruct or influence the attorney general how to deal with the findings of an official inquiry in a case that involves corruption against the assistant general, and where, in response, the same assistant general lashes back and officially launches his own criminal charges for corruption against his own boss (AG) for investigation by the police, then one recognises how deep the roots of corruption have reached and lodged themselves in society and deep into the chambers of authority. In fact, when there is such bad conduct by the three highest constitutional authorities in the land to defend political-party cronyism - especially by the president's action - it confirms the opinion there is no hope for the Republic of Cyprus under the current political mentality and constitution; both need to be scrapped and start again. Hope it's driven by justice, creativity and free minds, which in turn encourages bright minds to create miracles but in the absence of rule of law anything is possible. The country is heading deeper into a mess and god knows what the government plans to do next. To remain vigilant would be a wise move because the rule of law is now threatened by bad politics. Andreas C Chrysafis Cyprus 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. OPINION ANA KOKKINOS Solidarity with the Greeks The ongoing humanitarian crisis as a result of the austerity measures imposed by the eurozone has become a tragedy of epic proportions. I don't think the general population here in Australia really has a true sense of the catastrophe that has befallen the Greek people. We, as Greek Australians however, only know too well how it has affected people’s daily lives and wreaked havoc on generations of Greeks, young and old, where the basics of life - food, medicine and shelter - the things we take for granted, are now beyond the reach of many Greeks. Our relatives and loved ones are suffering. One of my aunts, who once owned her own home, has now been reduced, at the age of 91, to living in the basement room of an apartment block with no window with her unemployed 63-year-old son. Generations of young Greeks are doomed to a life of misery without hope and prospects because the tyranny of austerity demands nothing less. So why impose austerity measures that kill the lifeblood of a people? What's the point of austerity when it reduces people's capacity to feed themselves and their children? Why ignore the democratically elected Greek government’s right to determine reforms and to stimulate economic and social activity in a way that preserves dignity and selfdetermination? Why austerity? Because EU policy towards heavily indebted countries like Greece is one of extending the pay-back period, but pretending that all debts will eventually be paid. So why is this fiction being continued? It's not just the political ex- around the basic needs of its people - it is the struggle to find a new path that honours the integrity of its people, the struggle to find an entirely new way of life that doesn't merely pay heed to a world threatened by rapid globalisation and a culture of servitude. pediency of debt extension to placate German voters, or the prospect of contagion to other countries such as Portugal, Ireland and Spain. The underlying reason is that those in power do not really want the debt to be fully repaid. The real goal of lending money to the debtor is not to get the debt reimbursed with a profit, but rather the indefinite continuation of the debt that keeps the debtor in permanent dependency and subordination. When Argentina a decade or so repaid its debt to the IMF, the reaction of the IMF was surprising - it expressed a worry that Argentina would use its new freedom and financial independence from international financial institutions to abandon tight financial policies and engage in careless spending. As Slavoj Zizek points out, the ongoing pressures on Greece to implement austerity measures fits perfectly with what psychoanalysts call the superego. The superego is not an ethical agency proper, but a sadistic agent, which bombards the subject with impossible demands, obscenely enjoying the subject's failure to comply with them. The paradox of the superego is that the more we obey its demands, the more we feel guilty. Have Your Say LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Has Tony Abbott’s visit to a Sydney Greek Orthodox Church during Easter changed your opinion of him? 24 % YES 76 % NO THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Should the government restrict benefits for families that don’t vaccinate their children? 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: email@example.com Web: www.neoskosmos.com Advertising letters Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NEOS KOSMOS - English Publisher: No. 5568 Address: Level 1, 169 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122 Mail: PO Box 6068 Hawthorn West, Victoria 3122 Subscriptions Phone: (03) 9482 4433 Email: email@example.com 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,Nelly Skoufatoglou, Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Alexandra Manatakis It's not unlike a vicious teacher who assigns his students impossible tasks, and then sadistically jeers when he sees their anxiety and panic. This is what is so wrong with the EU demands; they do not give Greece a chance - Greek failure is part of the game. This is why the EU establishment are so concerned about SYRIZA - they admit debt, but without guilt. Varoufakis has fully acknowledged the weight of the debt, but since the EU austerity measures haven't worked for seven years, and in fact the debt is even larger now, and therefore clearly not working, another path needs to be found. But what Tsipras and Varoufakis also acknowledge, I think, is that the biggest threat to Greece is the corrupt state of Greece itself - what the EU should be blamed for is that while it criticised Greece for its corruption and inefficiency, it supported the politics of New Democracy, which embodied this corruption and inefficiency. For this reason, the main task of all progressive people is to express their solidarity with SYRIZA as they try to cut the Gordian knot of neoliberal dogma. SYRIZA’s struggle reaches far beyond a set of demands As a filmmaker, this bigger narrative is one which I believe will be expressed by the great artists and storytellers of Greece - whilst they have been decimated by austerity, I feel a great sense of hope that this next generation of storytellers will shine a light on these human realities and keep the ideas of freedom and democratic practice alive. In the same way that Greeks themselves have found new ways of cooperating and have banded together through this crisis, the lessons they will learn and the new paths they will forge will become a beacon for us all. The very fact that SYRIZA persists in the struggle for a humane outcome to its negotiations with the Euro policymakers means there is a chance for us all in our pursuit for freedom and equality. I join with you all in expressing our solidarity with SYRIZA and the Greek people. Note: In an effort to try and understand the issues around austerity beyond the usual political discourse, I found Slavoj Zizek's thoughts on the Greek crisis the most compelling. I have drawn heavily on his thoughts for this speech. * Ana Kokkinos is a wellknown film director. This article is based on a speech presented by her on 21 April 2015 at the Greek-Australia Solidarity Campaign meeting in Melbourne.
18 April 2015
2 May 2015