Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 12 March 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 12 MARCH 2016 19 GREECE RIP Kostas Koutsomitis Modern Greek TV fiction legend dies at the age of 77 Director and screenwriter Kostas Koutsomitis, known for a number of works of modern Greek fiction for TV, has died. The 77-year-old was being treated for health problems at the Sismanogleio Hospital in northern Athens at the time of his death, Kathimerini reports. Koutsomitis began his career in 1965, when he directed a short film. He then worked for Finos Film, the country's largest movie production company. He gained recognition from the 1990s, when he directed a number of much-loved series, including Vammena Kokkina Mallia (Dyed Red Hair), based on the book by Costas Mourselas. Border shutdown - refugees stuck in Greece His TV career spanned four decades, with his most recent work being the adaptation of Dido Sotiriou's classic Matomena Homata (Farewell Anatolia). "His work improved the quality of series on public and private TV," said the Greek Directors' Society. "For colleagues of his generation, but also for younger generations, his work will remain as an example and all will remember his gentleness and straightforwardness." More pension reductions for Greece Labor Minister Giorgos Katrougalos admits austerity measures ‘may have to cut deeper’ Speaking to Sto Kokkino FM radio station on Thursday, Labour Minister Giorgos Katrougalos admitted that the government may have to make deeper cuts to pensions than it had wanted. Greece's lenders stressed on Wednesday that they will not accept the 1.5 percentage point increase in social security contributions, needed to produce the fiscal results for a sustainable pension system. The Labour Ministry is now set to adopt an alternative plan that will see significant cuts to auxiliary pensions implementing a mechanism that will lead to immediate cuts to pensions if the social security funds post a deficit. There is also a possibility the ministry's plan could see supplementary retirement pay being slashed by as much as 20 per cent affecting auxiliary payments even below €170 a month. Katrougalos suggested that anyone earning more than €1,300 per month in total from their main and supplementary pensions is likely to face a reduction. "There will be no cuts to main and auxiliary pensions that add up to less than €1,300," he said. "We guarantee that, no matter what." GREEK HEADLINES AVGHI: THE BOIL WILL BE LANCED EFIMERIDA TON SYNTAKTON: TWO-YEAR GRACE PERIOD FOR MAIN PENSIONS; CUTS TO THE SUPPLEMENTARY PENSIONS ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: TRAPPED IN PENSION CUTS ESTIA: UNBELIEVABLE TURKISH AUDACITY ETHNOS: FOUR MINES TO THE PENSION SYSTEM IMERISIA: OVER 27.5 MILLION TOURISTS EXPECTED TO VISIT GREECE IN 2016 KATHIMERINI: TENSION BETWEEN BRUSSELS AND ATHENS OVER THE REFUGEEMIGRANT FLOWS Migrants at Victoria Square battle hunger and cold LEFTERIS PAPADIMAS Mohammed Asif and his family have no food, no shelter and no security. ‘Home’, for now, is a thin green blanket spread over a piece of plastic on a pavement in a grimy neighbourhood of the Greek capital. Asif, who though 43 looks at least 20 years older, is one of thousands of Afghans trapped in Greece, their hopes of reaching sanctuary in northern Europe dashed by a cascade of border shutdowns from Austria to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). "We are desperate. We left Afghanistan because we are Hazaras and the Taliban threatened to kill us, my entire family," he told Reuters. "What will we do now?" Most of the 400 Afghans vying for limited pavement space in Athens's Victoria Square are Hazaras, an eth- nic minority who have long suffered discrimination and persecution back home, with thousands massacred by Taliban militias in the 1990s. Asif, his wife and their two children, 10 and 13, have been sleeping rough for three days. The Greek state, inundated by an influx of trapped refugees which was at the last count at least 22,000, is clearly absent from Victoria, a once upmarket area of Athens that has now sunk into disrepute. Drug dealing and prostitution are rampant. There are no public facilities and soiled nappies are strewn on a sidewalk next to bins brimming with rubbish. A Christian charity distributes biscuits and orange juice, and the occasional local turns up with a saucepan of food. Further down, young mothers with month-old babies sat on the sidewalk. A man held a child aged about 10 in his arms, looking stonily ahead. "I'll stay here until Macedonia opens its borders," said Ali Khan Ranjbar, 28, from Ghazni, a city in central Afghanistan and a Hazara like Asif. As of February 20, crossings of Afghans to FYROM have A migrant woman cries while holding a baby at Victoria Square in Athens. PHOTO: VADIM GHIRDA. ceased, with witnesses reporting migrants being forcibly removed from border outposts and sent by buses back to Athens. On Monday, FYROM police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of migrants who stormed the border from Greece as a deeply divided Europe traded barbs over how to tackle its biggest humanitarian crisis in decades. According to United Nations data, about a quarter of the one million refugees and migrants who fled their homes to head to Europe last year were Afghans. "I don't have any more mon- ey. I paid $10,000 to get to Europe ... I want to go to Germany or Sweden or Austria for my kids to have a better future," said Asif. Source: Reuters, Kathimerini Cyprus’ first public gay wedding For Marios Frixou, 36, and Fanos Eleftheriades, 26, last week saw a dream of theirs came true, when they said 'I do' in what was Cyprus' first public gay wedding. The only unconventional aspect of the wedding was the two grooms at the front of the altar; from there on it was as traditional as they come. Mr Frixou's mother greeted the couple by handing both a gold coin - old family heirlooms - that they each hung around their necks. The couple then danced to the traditional wedding song, with guests feasting on roasted pork and lining up with offerings of cash-filled envelopes. Overjoyed to be finally be wed after seven years together, the couple said they opted for the traditional trimmings to encourage others on the island to be open and proud of their own love. "We wanted to give courage to other couples and to all gay and transgender people to accept themselves and not to be ashamed of who they are," said Mr Frixou. "We've gotten scores of messages from people telling us how much courage we've given them." The simple yet meaningful ceremony, which took place before the Nicosia District Officer, was made possible late last year, when lawmakers passed a civil union law recognising gay marriage. The move was a big step forward for gay rights across the globe, and for Cyprus itself, which decriminalised homosexuality just 18 years ago. The newlyweds exchanged vows in the presence of their two best women, along with a few friends and family, before heading to the reception where hundreds turned out to wish the couple well. Though the civil union law grants gay couples the same Marios Frixou wipes tears from his eyes after embracing his mother with his new spouse Fanos Eleftheriades next to him during the couple’s wedding reception in the village of Kellia. PHOTO: BIG STORY/ AP PHOTO/ PETROS KARADIJAS. legal rights as heterosexual couples, there continues to be a restriction against joint adoption of children. While the church and local religious groups continue to hold their stance in opposition of gay marriage, they haven't been as vocal of late says Costas Gavrielides, pres- ident of gay rights group ACCEPT. "People are coming to terms with the fact that the rights of all people must be respected and actually enshrined in law," said Mr Gavrielides. "Same-sex couples have been given the opportunity to feel legitimised."
5 March 2016
19 March 2016