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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 29 August 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 29 AUGUST 2015 23 GREECE Tsipras says no to unity government Julien taking his exam last May. PHOTO: ATHENS-MACEDONIAN NEWS AGENCY. African refugee aces Greek Uni entrance exams Among the thousands of students in Greece who were accepted on Wednesday was Julien. Julien, a 20-year-old who migrated from Africa to Greece at the age of 16 in November 2011, was amongst those students accepted into higher educational institutions across the country who scored top grades. The young African refugee was accepted into the electrical engineering department of the Technological Educational Institute of Piraeus as the school's highest test scoring entrant. Julien graduated from the 1st Professional High School of Konitsa, located in Epirus. He has been living at the Konitsa Protection Centre for Adolescent Refugees since October 2012. Before his 'adoption' by the protection centre, Julien had been held in custody in Evros for three months as an illegal immigrant and then lived on the streets of Athens. "I want to dedicate this success to my parents and siblings who are no longer alive," he told the AthensMacedonian News Agency. "My parents were the ones who had pressed upon me the value of and desire for education from a very young age." Julien, who was granted asylum this past August, also noted that his goal is to give back as much to his new home, Greece, as he possibly can. "I want to feel safe and have international safety according to the Geneva convention. I want to move forward and be useful and important to Greek society." Yanis Varoufakis says he will not take part in Greece’s ‘sad elections’ Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis will not take part in "sad" elections expected next month in Greece and will instead focus on setting up a new movement to "restore democracy" across Europe. The combative, motorbike-riding academic was sacked as finance minister last month after alienating eurozone counterparts with his lecturing style and divisive words, hampering Greece's efforts to secure a bailout from partners. The Greek Australian dual national, who lectured for more than a decade at the University of Sydney, has since stead- CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 He said it was the best deal he could get to save Greece's banks from imminent collapse, keep the country in the euro currency and avoid defaulting on international loans. Parliament approved the agreement, but only with the support of opposition parties. The former energy minister, Panagiotis Lafazanis, broke with SYRIZA last week to form the new Popular Unity party. Mr Tsipras said it was now up to voters to decide "who will lead Greece, and how". He remains popular, but it is unclear whether SYRIZA can win enough parliamentary seats to govern without a coalition partner. Tsipras rules out forming a unity government. In an interview on Wednesday with Greece's Alpha TV, Mr Tsipras ruled out forming a government with the conservative New Democracy, the socialist PASOK or the centrist To Potami parties. That could leave SYRIZA's current partner, the small, right-wing Independent Greeks, as the only viable option. Mr Tsipras said even if he achieves a slim majority of 151 MPs in the country's 300seat parliament, he will still look for coalition with other parties, but he won't remain prime minister if he has to cooperate with Greece's old, systemic political parties. The Greek premier faces the growing challenge of warding off a disintegration of his SYRIZA party, as many law- makers and party members haven't decided whether they will run in the forthcoming elections. Last week, 25 of SYRIZA's 149 members of parliament formed the Popular Unity party, completing a divorce that has been looming since July, when Mr Tsipras agreed to the austerity-heavy terms of Greece's European creditors, despite his party's longstanding campaign to put an end to the harsh measures. "It is a sad outcome, but not an unexpected one," Mr Tsipras told local Alpha TV on Wednesday. "What makes me sad is the attempt by the inner enemy to become the main enemy," he said, adding that he was hurt that many of his exSYRIZA colleagues, who a few weeks ago feared a banking collapse, are now criticising him. Apart from SYRIZA's hardliners, members of another fraction within the party, the Group of 53, were this week considering whether to stand aside in the electoral battle. The Group of 53, formed in mid-2014, stands ideologically between the hard-line left platform and Mr Tsipras' relatively pragmatic group of core backers. Many of its members have been close aides to the party leader, but some abstained during the mid-August vote on Greece's third bailout deal with the country's creditors. Even if the group decides to stick with SYRIZA, it is expected to act as an opposition faction within the party. Greek American receives France’s top honour Heroic Alek Skarlatos received the Legion of Honour after bringing down a gunman on a train A heroic Greek American prevented chaos on a train from Amsterdam to Paris last week after an armed gunman opened fire. Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. ily attacked the bailout program that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras subsequently signed up to and the austerity policies that go with it, rebelling against his former boss in parliament. US National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, along with fellow serviceman Spencer Stone and student Anthony Sadler, overpowered a 26-year-old Moroccan national who burst into their train carriage with heavy artillery. Skarlatos was on a European holiday when the events took place, having recently completing a tour of Afghanistan, and spoke to Sky News following the ordeal. "I just looked at Spencer and said 'let's go!'," Skarlatos told the network. "Spencer got to the guy first, grabbed the guy by the neck French President Francois Hollande awards the Legion of Honour to Alek Skarlatos. PHOTO: AP PHOTO/MICHEL EULER, POOL. and I grabbed the handgun, got the handgun away from the guy and threw it. "Then I grabbed the AK (assault rifle), which was at his feet, and started muzzle thumping him in the head with it." Throughout the struggle the suspect pulled out a box-cutter which he used on Stone, who later required surgery on his hand. Once the man was detained Skarlatos disarmed his weap- ons, at which point he realised the assault rifle had jammed. "He didn't know how to fix it, which is very lucky," he said. "If that guy's weapon had been functioning properly I don't even want to think about how it would have gone. We were incredibly lucky." "We just did what we had to do. You either run away or fight. We chose to fight and got lucky and didn't die." Skarlatos, along with Stone, Sadler and a British passenger Chris Norman, were all presented with France's highest honour - the Legion of Honour - by French President François Hollande. Another man, Mark Moogalian, who assisted in restraining the suspect, is recovering from a shot wound in hospital and will be honoured at a later date. The suspect has since been arrested.
22 August 2015
5 September 2015