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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 March 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 18 MARCH 2017 23 GREECE WHO: Greece far exceeds normal rate of C-section births Caesarean sections account for 56.8 per cent of births in Greece, according to the World Health Organisation. The number is almost double the EU average, which stands at 30 per cent, still much higher than what the WHO considers normal. According to the medical world, just 15 per cent of births actually require a Caesarean, a surgical procedure which exposes women to heightened surgery-related risks and significantly rises the cost of childbirth; burdening the state and private insurance providers, but also individuals who cover medical expenses from their own pockets. The WHO report was presented in the Greek parliament by Health Minister Andreas Xanthos, who stated that these findings discredit the country internationally and undermine the status of Greek science and medical practice. The minister announced that the government will launch a campaign to raise awareness of the issue in the medical community and the public, as well as a detailed inquiry into the matter, in hospitals and maternity wards. "Wherever there is sig- nificant medical experience and compliance with the WHO guidelines, the percentage of C-sections is significantly lower", said the minister, bringing up the example of state maternity hospital Alexandra. Police evacuates mansion occupied by activists A police operation to evacuate the Zografos mansion in the namesake suburb of Athens ended up with seven activists being arrested. The operation, ordered by the District Attorney's office, was deemed a success, however the mansion was already vacant, as most of the usual occupants were already warned. The operation marks a change in stance of the Greek government regarding such occupation practices. So far, the governing party, SYRIZA was seen as lenient or even sympathising to the leftist-anarchist activists who follow this course of action. In recent years, there has been a rise in activist groups resorting to occupying vacant buildings, in order to set up community support centres offering shelter, soup kitchens, as well as clothing and medication to homeless, unemployed, struggling Greeks and refugees. The Zografos mansion was occupied in 2011, following a scandal that saw the Zografos council taking a €40 million loan to buy the property from the Zografos estate (the city was built on the former property of politician Ioannis United we stand My Big Fat Greek Week NIKOS FOTAKIS • Put two Greeks in a room together and you're bound to start a civil war. • Division is part of our DNA; we've been divided into Northerners and Southerners, Communists and Nationalists, Supporters of Panathinaikos and Olymbiakos, Voters of Pasok and Nea Dimokratia, and recently pro-reform and anti-memorandum advocates. • Now the country is again divided in two: those who watch 'Survivor' and those who dismiss the former. • It is rather ironic, in a crisis-stricken country, with soup kitchens in abundance, hundreds of homeless in the streets, people looking for food in rubbish bins and families living without electricity, to have people infatuated with a cheap TV show, in which quasi-celebrities pretend to have it rough. • But tragic irony is also part of our DNA, alongside entrepreneurship and inclination towards drama and show business. • Enter Sakis Rouvas; the be- Zografos) in order to cover its administration housing needs. According to the initial plans, the Zografos estate would keep usage of half of the property for commercial purposes, but the heirs have since donated their part to the council. The unserviced loan was recently highlighted by the International Monetary Fund as an example of the Greek state’s exposure to banks, which some think sparked the operation. The evacuation came as part of the council's effort to use the mansion to house the city's conservatory. In another similar operation, the police evacuated a building on Alkiviadou Street in the centre of Athens, operating as a refugee shelter by activists. More than 127 Syrian refugees were transported to the Hellenic Police's Alien Directorate, from where they'll be moved to an official refugee shelter. The occupied building belongs to the Hellenic Red Cross, which aims to use it as shelter for refugee children. New animation by Pixar veteran based on Greek myths A new animated film by former Pixar animator, Carlo Vogele will retell the myth of Icarus and the Minotaur with a modern spin. Based on the myths of Icarus and Daedalus and Theseus and the Minotaur, the family film, simply titled Icarus, will follow the story of an unusual friendship between Icarus and the Minotaur, two characters who do not meet in the original story. Originally Daedalus, a talented artisan, was commissioned by King Minos to build a Labyrinth to house the Minotaur - the King's stepson and a bull-human hybrid that feeds on human flesh - and to imprison human sacrifices. The King starts to fear Daedalus could release the secrets, and so imprisons him and his son Icarus in a tower. The father and son set out to escape with a pair of wings made from wax and feathers, yet Icarus flies too close to the sun, leading the wax to melt and he eventually falls to his death. Fast forward to the present day, and the modern version will take a slightly different approach, exploring the characters from a younger age, with Icarus and Minotaur becoming friends. According to reports, the film will be narrated by Zeus, Poseidon, and Aphrodite who will parody modernday newspaper journalists. Vogele, who was an animator for seven years with California-based Pixar Animation Studios, initially showcased his concept with a trailer at Cartoon Movie, a festival designed to serve as a pitching and co-production forum in Bordeaux, France. Behind the animation is Luxembourg-based film studio The Iris Group, and the project is being set up as a co-production between Germany and Belgium. Icarus is expected to be released in 2019. loved pop star presented another side of his personality this week, when he announced that he's going forward with a 'clean energy' investment in Karditsa, where he will set up a biogas production unit and a hydroponic greenhouse. • Let that sink in for a moment. • Right. Now consider the rumours that say Sakis is groomed to run for a parliamentary seat in the next elections, as part of Nea Dimokratia. • Syriza will have to retaliate and go for Michalis Hatzigiannis. • After all, the party-in-power has just suffered a major blow in its arts policy, as the mercurial actor-director Giorgos Kimoulis resigned from the helm of the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre, less than a month after he was appointed chairman of the board. • Syriza has had a hard time containing larger than life personalities. The largest of them, Yanis Varoufakis, returned with a vengeance on Greek TV, for viewers who did not watch 'Survivor' and proved once again that he can easily divide Greeks into two sides: pro and anti - Yanis. In his interview he welcomed a special court for his tenure as Finance Minister, warned that the goal of a 3.5 per cent surplus will be destructive to the economy and explained that the only way to avoid leaving the euro and returning to drachma is to be less afraid of the currency and more of the conclusion of the bailout program negotiations. • Meanwhile, Varoufakis' arch-nemesis, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, was the recipient of a parcel bomb sent from Greece, with the name of ND deputy leader, Adonis Georgiadis as sender. • The urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire on Thursday claimed responsibility for the bomb - and for taking trolling to the next level. • As this was happening, rumours for a new national election began to circulate more vividly than before. • Which explains why Greeks are fascinated by 'Survivor'. Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre now, only a few weeks after being handed to the state.
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