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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 4 July 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 4 JULY 2015 27 OPINION LETTERS Not two classes of citizenship The legislation to strip the citizenship of dual Australian citizens accused or suspected of involvement with terrorism, although it has removed the empowering of a minister to accuse and convict and return some power to the court of law, has, by amending a 70 year obscure law made before mass immigration and the transformation of Australia into a multicultural nation, created a legal basis for two classes of Australian citizens. One whose citizenship cannot be removed and the other that can be taken away. In the latter category are indeed millions of Australians of many ethnic backgrounds who legally hold an active or dormant dual citizenship. The fundamental issue is not that law breakers should no be punished but that punishment would be determined by the class of citizenship. The last thing Australia can afford in terms of its security, wellbeing and social cohesion is to fall back into the ‘us’ and ‘them’, White Australianism and racist calls of "go back to where you come from" that took us decades to depart from. One citizenship, one law for all Australians should be upheld and defended as a cornerstone of our human and democratic values and rights that unites a multi-ethnic nation like ours and should never be compromised or trampled upon by any other consideration, least of all political opportunism. George Zangalis Victoria Greece should return to drachma Greece should exit the euro and return to the drachma. The fact is that Greece was not large enough to be able to compete with Germany and France. Denmark, Sweden and Norway refused to join because they knew that as soon as they joined their economies would be at the mercy of Germany. These countries have continued to prosper, whilst Greece maintained a totally unsustainable level of government spending which includes pensions. How can they expect the state to support people when they retire at 50? One thing which I hope the Greek government implements is a total ban of all German products, which represents nearly 10 per cent of all imports. They should also kick out all German owned enterprises. Why? In 1942, the Greek Central Bank was forced by the occupying Nazi regime to loan 476 million Reichsmarks at 0 per cent interest to Nazi Germany. In 1960, Greece accepted 115 million marks as compensation for Nazi crimes. Nevertheless, past Greek governments have insisted that this was only a down-payment, not complete reparations. In 1990, immediately prior to German reunification, West Germany and East Germany signed the Two Plus Four Agreement with the former Allied countries of the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. Since that time, Germany has insisted that all matters concerning World War II, including further reparations to Greece, are closed because Germany officially surrendered to the Allies and to no other parties, including Greece. Germany demands Greece meet their obligations and yet Germany with two World Wars behind them still refuses to pay for the money that its parents and grandparents stole from Greece. Europe still has a short memory and it should be ashamed of itself. Yiannis Egh NSW The Greek crisis We can argue about how Greece got here and whose fault it is, but we are where we are today. The fact remains that you cannot allow a country to become destitute by being bloody minded and insisting on reforms that simply achieve nothing other than to destroy a sovereign nations economy and social fabric. It's interesting to read Merkel and Hollande supporting debt relief. Why not simply do this prior to this eleventh hour? Why not set the country on a path of reforms - and Greece needs reforms (any person who believes that the country can carry on with corruption and tax avoidance is seriously deluded) in exchange for debt relief. The trade-off could have and should have been a trade off between debt relief and economic reforms that are brought in over a period of time, allowing for an orderly transition. The EU is a failure - if it can't solve the problems of a country whose economy is less than 2 per cent of the entire EU, then how will it handle larger problems like Italy, which owes $3 trillion euro - nearly 10 times what Greece owes and Spain. Greece won't pay off its current debts. So why continue to insist that they do with punishing austerity measures? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I also think there is an element of north vs south snobbery here. This long ceased to be an exercise in reforming Greece to an exercise in simply punishing them for domestic political purposes of other EU members. Reading some of the comments of keyboard warriors who simply say let Greece fail because they don't mean much to the EU and are small. In September 2008 people believed that Lehman Brothers which was only the fifth largest investment bank in America should be allowed to collapse because it wouldn't mean much, and its collapse triggered the GFC. Vas Maroulis Victoria Peter Fokianos My older brother was a man who was gifted with the ability to make people feel warm and understood. He knew how to engage with people of all walks of life and had the IQ to match with those who challenged him. Growing up and having a brother who knew so much about cars, construction and anything to do with machines at age 20 was a gift. He was the go-to guy (Mr Fix It) when we were renovating our houses or our cars needed fixing. My fondest memory of Mr Fix It's achievements was the time both of us at the ages of five and nine years decided to catch birds Peter style. We hid under our house with our sights on the backyard in which Peter had placed our metal round rubbish bin lid with one side raised by a twig and a long white string held by us. The logic of age tells me now that no bird was ever going to land as the white string was seen from the moon and scared them off. We also never spoke of what Email your letter to: email@example.com we were going to do with any bird we caught as we both where lovers, not fighters, we would've been more scared than the birds. History notes that no birds were caught but endless hours of lying under the house eating peanuts and chips with my hero ‘Mr Fix It’ were treasured. Later on he decided to go to Broadmeadows Technical school, so did I. He played in the school football and cricket team, so did I. He played trumpet for the school band, so did I. He did the subjects of Applied Science, so did I (but not as well as him). He left school for a trade apprenticeship after year 10, so did I. It was obvious I wished to grow up and be like my silent hero. The only thing I did better than him was be involved in all the school councils and SRC meetings where he STILL told me what to say. Life has us grow up and make choices and the choice Peter constantly made through life was to be loyal. He was a loyal man to everything he did, whether it be building his house to perfection, working for his employer, always completing any mammoth project or loyal to his kids and their homework or sports. He always found time to be loyal to all who knew him. We as a family always admired how this man could fit so much into 24 hours and the energy unlike us; his secret was LOYALTY. Very much like our late father, everybody who mentions their name gets the instinct reaction to smile. All who knew him will remember a funny story or a party or working bee project he was involved in. We didn't lose Peter last Sunday, we were reminded on how to stay loyal, have a party and enjoy life. Peter is the new benchmark for us all and we are lucky to have his three children among us with his DNA showing us the way. Loved and remembered always, Your little brother. Nick Hatzoglou Have Your Say LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you agree with the Greek government’s decision to call for a referendum on the measures the lenders want to impose on Greece? 56 % YES 44 % NO Still running... 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. 5598 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 Michael Sweet, Nelly Skoufatoglou, Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Zoe Thomaúdou, Vasilis Samios, Ashley Loh-Smith Greeks should vote NO Whether SYRIZA and Mr Tsipras are good or bad, since they were the choice of the Greek voters after the votes were counted, elections are over and every Greek must show respect and support the honest efforts of the new government to tidy the messy affairs of the economy as well as the other sectors of the nation. It is imperative that after the referendum the government creates a neutral task force committee composed of Greek and foreign reputable economists to contact a detailed accounting and publish the results globally so everybody will know how much Greece borrowed, how much of that amount went to the Greek people, how much went to the banks which are controlled by the creditors and how much went to the pockets of corrupt politicians with the consent of the lenders. A parallel accounting must take place immediately to determine who among the private corporations and individuals received special concessionary loans, under what terms and what the present status of these loans is today. Political parties and politicians must not be exempted or granted immunity from auditing. Cleansing the accounting books of the national economy is priority number one so the country can start anew with clean accounting books. Good luck to the NO vote on the July 01, 2015 Referendum. Expecting a minimum 70 per cent NO Vote to retrieve some of the honour and respect of Greece. Ilias Sourdis Manila Understanding family violence in CALD community Our government submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence highlights a broken system with gaps in services for victims and poor legal consequences for perpetrators. One of the major gaps is understanding the prevalence of family violence against women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. We know that cultural and religious differences can make family violence cases more challenging and that there is often less likelihood of reporting to police and other authorities. Dowry disputes and women on spousal visas can play a role in a reluctance to report family violence. CALD victims also have unique challenges within the family violence system, including access to interpreters and culturally appropriate refuges. Victoria's response to family violence must recognise that some victims and perpetrators in our community will require a specialised response. That's why the government has asked the Royal Commission to investigate the family violence support system in Victoria, with particular regard to the early identification of family violence in CALD communities. Across the board, the system for responding to family violence is under enormous strain. We can and must do better. Fiona Richardson Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Minister for Women 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.
27 June 2015
11 July 2015