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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 17 October 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 17 OCTOBER 2015 27 OPINION OPINION ALEXIS PAPACHELAS What of the IMF? Whether Greece will make it through the Bermuda Triangle (evaluation, debt restructuring and bank recapitalisation) will depend not only on what happens in parliament and the fulfilment of Greece's commitments. There is, as there always has been, the elephant in the room, which is the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Much depends on what it decides to do. The IMF has, in effect, frozen the Greek program. Senior fund officials make clear that "the current program was agreed between Athens and the Europeans, not by us". Practically, this means LETTERS Abbott’s legacy is non-existent Thank you Paul Dracakis for your sympathetic assessment of Tony Abbott stating "the nation has lost not just a great man but a Philhellene". I doubt many people will agree with you. Abbott was Australia's worst PM ever. This is a man who could only speak in three or four word slogans; no one will remember him and his legacy is non-existent. He governed on a premise of fear, hatred and division within Australia. Remember when he allowed his attorney general to state in parliament that everyone has a right to be a bigot. With every major country and economy agreeing that climate change is a significant problem and looking at alternative energy, he placed a climate denier, Maurice Newman, as his chief business advisor, and famously stated several months ago that climate change was a trick used by the United Nations in a bid for world domination. No wonder world leaders didn't accept Abbott as someone to be taken seriously. Meanwhile, unemployment has risen to the highest levels not seen since John Howard's days as PM. While tens of thousands of refugees were being settled in Europe, he continued to have those who had attempted to arrive here placed in detention camps at a cost of over $1 billion a year on isolated islands where young girls and women have been raped and bashed. Most Australians accept same sex marriage yet he continued to be guided by his Catholic religious beliefs and deny people such as his gay sister the right to marry their partner. As for Abbott being a Philhellene, Dracakis gives a lame example, that of Abbott attending a Greek Easter celebration in Kogarah, Sydney. He attended because it is a marginal seat won by the Liberals at the last election by less than 500 votes, not because of a desire to participate or experience the occasion as Gough Whitlam would have. It would have been better if Dracakis had named something Abbott did while PM that benefited the Greek community but there was nothing just as his prime ministership was. Our worst PM ever will not be missed as he was a total failure. Con Vaitsas Victoria Representing our diaspora Dean Kalimniou highlights a very key issue with his piece on a Hellenic Australian MP representing our diaspora, although the Canadians and others may also seek similar recognition. But we need to pursue what he is stating and take it all further. There are far too many associations where the key achievement of president Yiannis or Spiros has been to remain president for 20 years. Nothing more. Yet all around them, their neolea walk away and their own numbers dwindle due to death or just having had enough of the bickering, the abuse and the absolute crap. I recall co-founding a church youth group some four decades ago, only to find not only the parish priest and some of his koinotita in opposition, but others of my generation turning up just to sabotage, as one even admitted to me. I recall getting state government support in the '70s to have a state wide Greek Australian Youth Conference, only to be sabotaged by a character from the then very disfunctional GOCMV. Thankfully, under Bill Papastergiadis that group has gone further in the past few years than his predecessors went in decades. But we have two very separate issues here - one relating to a possible repre- that the IMF can ask for further cuts to pensions or even more fundamental reforms. Some - with their heads in the clouds, in my opinion - believe that the Europeans will buy Greece's debt to the IMF and so get it out of the way. In Berlin, however, IMF participation in the Greek program is seen as an inviolable condition for German funding to continue. Chancellor Angel Merkel has been hurt politically by the refugee crisis. Opponents of the Greek program are the same ones who criticise her for her handling of the refugee issue. There is a clear danger that she may try to satisfy them Managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde. on one front. Without the IMF's participation it is difficult to see German funding continuing and any restructuring of Greece's debt. This brings us to the next major issue. What the IMF is asking with respect to Greece's debt is difficult for the Northern Europeans to swallow. The fund's proposals on debt relief are considered excessive and it is certain they will be rejected. But the same applies to its demands for the Greek program, which would not pass through any parliament. The government - and the country with it - is in danger of being crushed between the Europeans and the IMF, which is exactly what happened to Antonis Samaras' administration. People in the know do not rule out the possibility that the fund's leadership wants to disengage from the Greek program because it does not believe things will work out and wants to prevent further damage to the IMF's standing. If this is the case, it is possible that the Americans could push for the fund to remain on board. But events so far have indicated that Washington has never been prepared to put its foot down within the IMF to support any Greek government. A European official who has good knowledge of the Greek issue suggested the other day that he is hopeful everything will go well between Greece and the Europeans but that he could only be certain once the IMF's position becomes clear. * Alexis Papachelas is a Greek journalist and the executive editor of Kathimerini newspaper. Email your letter to: email@example.com sentative in the Hellenic parliament, and the issue of our communities here in Melbourne. On the former, I have little faith that such a process would ever proceed fairly but rather that fanatics and self-serving egotists would seek office for their own glory. On the latter, I worry about where these communities will be in the year 2050. How many, or few, will remain. With the Epirotes that Dean refers to, we have groups from different areas as do all states or regions of Hellas, and we have two so called Omospondies, as Dean knows, being in one of them. Ridiculous. Dodoni has a house or hall in Ascot Vale which has been around since the ‘70s. Then there is the Omospondia located in Abbotsford on their building. The others have nothing. Yet that aside, with fewer and fewer younger people joining their parents and grandparents in Have Your Say LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you agree with Victoria’s decision to legalise the use of medicinal marijuana? 79% YES 21% NO THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Do you think the Acropolis ticket hike from $AU19.06 to $AU80.44 will help Greek tourism? 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. 5643 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 News editor: Journalists: Christopher Gogos Michael Sweet Anastasia Tsirtsakis, Nikos Fotakis, Zoe Thomaúdou, John Pyrros, Nelly Skoufatoglou, Panos Apostolou, George Stogiannou Contributors: Dean Kalimniou, Theodora Maios, Alex Economou, Con Vaitsas Proofreader: Angela Costanzo Graphic design: Peter Kelidis these clubs, where will these two houses be in 20 years time? It is long overdue that we talk about communities and the future and despite the severe issue of egos and even church interference, I would argue that we need a conference under the auspices of Bill Papastergiadis and the GOCMV to try to achieve some positive outcomes. What say the readers? Ange Kenos Victoria A witch hunt In a US court the testimony of Fyssas' father that he "believed that Michaloliakos had given the order to kill his son" would never be permitted. It would be stricken as ‘improper lay opinion’ and ‘speculative’ since it is without any perceptual foundation. It would also be precluded on the basis of ‘undue bias’ since the predictable emotion of a father would generate calumny and prejudice against the defendant. Additionally, the father's testimony that "his son's friends told him" that Golden Dawn supporters were assisted by the police" would be excluded as blatant ‘hearsay’, again lacking any foundation. The father's testimony is not ‘evidence’ at all, in any legal sense of the word. It has been introduced for public consumption to invite hatred against the accused. This trial is a notorious witch hunt - a blatant miscarriage of justice. A. Sklivas NSW 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.
10 October 2015
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