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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 24 December 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 24 DECEMBER 2016 21 GREECE INFLUENCERS Greece’s newest premium magazine, founded by Fotis Tsimelas and curated by Costas Voyiatzis NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU Amidst the general Greek media upheaval that has been tormenting the country's press non-stop since 2011, a new wave of creatives has emerged that chooses to defy the odds and the crisis by returning to print. Last week's addition is publisher Fotis Tsimelas' brainchild, INFLUENCERS, curated by art director Costas Voyiatzis, who has gain international acclaim through his online project Yatzer. The duo met in 2003 while working for a magazine and have closely followed each other since. Both Tsimelas and Voyiatzis have enjoyed long and successful careers in publishing and even though attention has shifted towards the web, they have always agreed that print has a certain allure that digital media cannot match. "I 'grew up' with magazines and worked in the industry from the age of 23, and although my business life followed an online media path through Yatzer.com, I continue to love them," said Costas Voyiatzis. With that being said he agreed to curate INFLUENCERS, a quarterly limited edition, hardcover Greek coffee table magazine, conceived by Tsimelas. "I just couldn't resist," he enthused, presenting the magazine's first issue, which is also Tsimelas' first independent endeavour in publishing. For its founder, INFLUENCERS is an ob- ject of desire; a 'haute' platform impeccably designed to offer content of unique aesthetic. It draws inspiration from influential people's creativity as well as local and international art, fashion, design, travel, gastronomy, and technology. With its first edition in December, in a way it bids farewell to 2016, admittedly one of the toughest years for Greece and the rest of the world. The tri-monthly publication will carefully select its audience; consisting of thousands of 'influencers' who introduce trends and leave their footprint on pop culture. For the inaugural issue, only 999 copies will be made available on pre-sale. "INFLUENCERS contains the crème de la crème of the leading trends in Greece and around the world, capturing reality through our very specific, ideologically and ethically distinct prism," Tsimelas explained. "Trends, creatives, and influential individuals. The most modern, important subjects that deserve to shed light upon, to be praised and publish you will find in INFLUENCERS. It is a blend of values, of aesthetics and love for life, including the brands that define us and become a continuation, an expression of our personality. "What you see, however, is merely a 'slice' a 'fraction' of a long-time vision, the charismatic Costas Voyiatzis has helped me realise," he wrote. Get your copy at www.influencers.gr Look at the supernatural dimension of life; do not only focus on what’s happening right now, because certainly there’s something else taking place at the same time.” - INFLUENCERS Issue 1, Page 72 It’s Christmas time! Go buy a ship! My big fat Greek week of news NIKOS FOTAKIS This has not been a good week for Alexis Tsipras. The Greek Prime Minister was caught on camera banging his hand on a table and shouting at representatives of the farmers' union in Crete (where he was in discussions to resolve their their ongoing issues), urging them to leave the discussion room if they're to turn the matter into a TV show. This was an odd behaviour on his part: usually, the Greek PM is - unjustifiably - high-spirited, as if savouring every moment of his premiership, despite (or maybe because of) the fact that he deals with complex, pressing matters. The official explanation was that his outrage was not addressed to the farmers; no, this was just another attack upon the media circus, the Syriza government's beloved target. -- The governing party's relations with the media are so strained that even an unrelated event was seen as something that Tsipras and co had a hand in. The issue in question is the closing of one of Greece's seminal media groups, DOL. The parent company behind two of the staples of journalism, daily newspaper Ta Nea and Sunday paper To Vima, has been in financial dire straits for quite some time, unable to pay back the massive loans granted over a number of years (with the help of a series of governments, of course, and pretty much using the papers' histories and respectability as collateral). Newspapers and the print media are a dying business, of course. All over the world the industry is undergoing a kind of slow, painful death, defeated by their online and social media counterparts. In a toxic economic envi- ronment, such as crisis-stricken Greece, there is very little hope of recovery. DOL employs more than 600 people, who have been unpaid for more than seven months. Staff had announced a strike, but then the company managed to pay Christmas bonuses, which turned out to be a ray of light. The same glimmer of hope shone over the challenged households of pensioners in Greece, as the government paid pensions, benefits, subsidies, Christmas bonuses and allowances, ensuring that the most fragile part of the population - the elderly, and especially those on a farmer’s pension - can breath during this time of year. In order to be able to go through with this action (and especially the Christmas bonus which was blocked by the European Stability Mechanism), Greece's Finance Minister, Euclid Tsakalotos had to submit a written statement to the Eurogroup Working Group, pledging that this was a one-off payment and not part of a broader policy of payments for the disadvantaged. As if this was not humiliating enough, Tsakalotos further pledged that any future policy of this kind would have to be approved by the country's lenders and not be a unilateral decision. Adding insult to injury, the International Monetary Fund issued a report on Greece's economy on its blog stating the need to further impose cuts to its "generous pension system", as well as the need for a more inclusive taxation system that will not allow whole industries to avoid taxation. All this should be part of the second bailout program evaluation, which is further postponed until the end of January; once again putting Greece in a limbo of financial and political uncertainty. COMMENT Which explains, in part, the PM's short fuse. Tsipras is in bad need of a snippet of good news - and the fact that opposition news outlets are closing down does not make the mark. Because as much as his government is at war with the traditional staples of Greek journalism, the last thing it needs is an army of unemployed journalists turned against it. Ironically, the only snippet of good news came out of the one industry that is flying below the tax radar: shipowners. According to Allied Shipbroking, 2016 was a good year for Greek shipping magnates and their ventures in second-hand vessels, as they managed to get their hands on 269 used ships, at the price of A$3.46 billion. In case anyone was wondering, there is no footage of the PM banging his hand on the table in a meeting with shipowners.
17 December 2016
7 January 2017