Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 6 February 2016
GREECE 20 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2016 Anastasiades: ‘Let’s not raise false hopes’ Greek Cypriot leader warns UN that haste in peace talks could prove detrimental According to a document obtained by the Associated Press, Greek Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades has warned the UN not to exaggerate when it comes to achieving a peace accord between Greece and Turkey. "I believe that - despite our wish for the opposite - we should not present a picture that does not reflect the reality," Anastasiades stated, referring to the recent flurry of comments that a deal is in sight. "The complexity of these issues demands time and careful planning so as to avoid reaching a solution with considerable gaps and constructive ambiguities that will negatively affect its viability." Addressing UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon, the Greek Cypriot leader stressed that time is needed to negotiate a deal reunifying the ethnically-split island without "deficiencies, gaps and ambiguities" which may lead Greek and Turkish Cypriots Tear gas First phase of troika evaluation takes place in Athens The heads of the European Union and International Monetary Fund mission assessing Greece's progress arrived in Athens earlier this week to discuss the pension plan, tax reforms and bad loans weighing on Greek banks. Mustafa Akinci (L) talks to Nicos Anastasiades during a bilateral meeting at the 46th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland. PHOTO: EPA/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT. to reject it in referendums. "Undoubtedly, significant progress has been made on an important number of issues including power sharing and the economy in an envisioned federation," Anastasiades continued. "Differences remain in all chapters, and raising expectations that a deal is 'within immediate reach' should be avoided." Anastasiades and Akinci have agreed that a deal is possible in 2016, however, key issues need to be discussed, including how much territory will comprise the Greek and Turkish administrative zones, military intervention rights ceded to Greece, Turkey and Britain under Cyprus' existing constitution, timelines for the withdrawal of Turkish troops and drafting laws. The cost of compensating property owners who will be unable to regain their property and where that money will come from is yet another matter that needs to be re- Vale Reverend John Romas Leader of Greek church at Ground Zero dies at 86 Rev. John D. Romas held together the small congregation of St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Lower Manhattan, destroyed on 11 September 2001, by the collapse of the World Trade Centre. The priest had moved his services to SS. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn until the reconstruction of the old church and shrine was completed. The construction of the new church did not begin until last year, at a site overlooking the National September The Rev. John D. Romas (C) holding an icon of St Nicholas in December 2001 at a ceremony at ground zero. PHOTO:JAMES ESTRIN/THE NEW YORK TIMES. 11 Memorial from an elevated park, designed by Santiago Calatrava to evoke the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Unfortunately, Father Romas won't be present to perform the first liturgy. After battling pancreatic cancer, he died on January 24, as announced by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of New York. He was ordained in 1984 and had been leading St Nicholas since 1987 and until 11 September 2001, when Archbishop Iakovos appointed him the pastor. Parishioners worshiped on the ground floor of a modest four-story building at 155 Cedar Street. On the exterior, about the only indication of any religious function was a small bellcote at the parapet. St Nicholas Church down- town had been a spiritual retreat for office workers on weekdays and a parish church on Sundays for about 40 to 50 worshipers who commuted to Lower Manhattan from Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, New Jersey and Westchester County. That made Father Romas at times the public face of the broader redevelopment effort. solved prior to any deal. "The cost will be far less if a significant number of owners get their properties back," Anastasiades said. "Both sides need to feel the immediate benefits of peace to make the deal work. "While Turkish Cypriots will have sea and air links to the world, Greek Cypriots will need to see the immediate return of some land and the withdrawal of a ‘significant’ number of Turkish troops." While Greek ministers were in talks with their lenders in a Syntagma hotel, 50,000 frustrated people started protesting against government pension reforms. The crowd, carrying black balloons, marched on parliament, asking Alexis Tsipras to revoke the measures implemented to meet the IMF and EU's demands. Creditors also argue that Greeks will have to work up to the age of 67 to qualify for a pension - at the same time the jobless rate has climbed to a staggering 25 per cent among the nation's young. Meanwhile, an angry group of youths broke away from the body of the protest and begun to hurl stones and molotov cocktails at the police, who responded with several rounds of stun grenades and tear gas. The 24-hour strike, which coincided with the official re- DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM over pension protesters view of Greece's performance on terms of its €86 billion bailout, is said to have worried the institutions. The lenders still object to the 1.5 percentage point rise in social security contributions and are setting the minimum national pension at €384 per month, which is considered too high. The Greek side insists that the quartet has not asked outright for a cut to existing pensions, which the government has set as a "red line" in the negotiations. The troika will make its position known next week but will be watching closely for the Greek people's reactions. SYRIZA is also concerned that prolonged talks will cause more protests against the reforms put forward by the coalition, not to mention political turbulance. The government wants to conclude the review swiftly to start talks on debt relief and convince Greeks that their sacrifices are paying off after six years of austerity and a deep recession that has brought the country to its current state of economic crisis. "Greece's economy will be the only one in the European Union to shrink this year," the EU Commission said on Thursday, "but the fall is much smaller than previously estimated." Protesters clash with riot policemen during a demonstration in central Athens on 4 February. PHOTO: EPA/SIMELA PANTZARTZI.
30 January 2016
13 February 2016