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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 29 April 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 29 APRIL 2017 7 NEWS relevant work experience. • Labour market testing (LMT): LMT will be mandatory, unless an international obligation applies. • Minimum market salary rate: Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold requirements. • Character: Mandatory penal clearance certificates to be provided. • Workforce: A non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers. • Training requirement: a strengthened training requirement for employers to contribute towards training Australian workers. The detailed policy settings for several of these requirements will be finalised through the implementation process. Further details on these requirements to inform stakeholders will be available in due course. What will this cost me? The DIBP fees are as follows: • TSS Medium-Term Stream: A$2,400 per applicant • TSS Short-Term Stream: A$1,1500 per applicant Can I get permanent residency? The TSS Short-Term visa program will offer no prospect of permanent residency. However TSS Medium-Term visa holders will be able to apply for permanent residency. Who is affected right now? Current 457 visa applicants and holders, prospective applicants, businesses sponsoring skilled migrants and industry. Existing 457 visas will continue to remain in effect. 457 visa applicants that had lodged their application on or before 18 April 2017, and whose application had not yet been decided, with an occupation that has been removed from the STSOL, may be eligible for a refund of their visa application fee. Nominating businesses for these applications may also be eligible for a refund of related fees. Why are these changes being made? According to the decision-makers of this change, these measures will sharpen the focus of Australia's employer-sponsored skilled migration programmes to ensure they better meet Australia's skills needs, increase the quality and economic contribution of skilled migrants, and address public concerns about the displacement of Australian workers. What about my circumstances? The circumstances are different for each of the following six cases: • You are currently on a 457 Visa (four years) • You are currently on a 457 Visa (one and a half years) • You have applied for a 457 Visa • You have not yet applied for a 457 Visa • Your occupation is listed on the STSOL • Your occupation is listed on the MLTSSL About Andreas Athanasiou Andreas Athanasiou was born in Chania, Greece in 1987 and relocated permanently to Melbourne in 2001. He is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 1685134) and General Manager at Katsaros & Associates, located at Level 8, 140 Queen Street, Melbourne, VIC. Andreas can give you expert advice on any of the available 75+ Australian visas, including visitor visas, working holiday visas, business visas, investor visas, skilled visas, temporary work visas, student visas, partner visas, protection visas, bridging visas and MRT appeals. For further information visit facebook.com/ katsarosandassociates, call (03) 9670 3663 or email email@example.com with your full name, phone number, current location and brief description of your circumstances. NIKOS FOTAKIS It's no wonder that the term deja vu is French, because nothing describes better the feeling we have, as citizens of the world. A week after the first round of the French presidential elections, it all feels a little bit too familiar. In one corner, there is a xenophobic, anti-EU, nationalist, far right, populist candidate: Marine Le Pen, claiming that she speaks for the disadvantaged and disappointed, the workers and farmers and those left behind, who are facing unemployment and financial insecurity, who are threatened by migrants, are and feel alienated from the European bureaucracy that dictates how France should be run. In the other corner, there is Emmanuel Macron: independent, former Economy minister for the outgoing Socialist government, well-educated, wellspoken; he is by all accounts a centrist, whose background in investment banking make him an instant favourite of the markets. In fact, it was these same markets that sighed with relative relief on Sunday, when it became clear that it was Macron who was passing to the second round of elections and not the far left, Trotskyist contender Jean-Luc Mélenchon. A sore loser, Mélenchon is supposedly the decider of the outcome of the next round. His decision to refrain from endorsing Macron is seen as a passive support for Le Pen, despite his party's official line being ‘No vote for Le Pen’. The far left coming to the aid of the far right? Stranger things have happened, not least among them the leftist-nationalist coalition governing Greece at the moment. In a way, Mélenchon's stance comes as a confirmation of the fears of the ‘markets’ and centrists, who saw him as a threat, an anti-globalisation, anti-EU populist, whose platform included a salary cap, a 32-hour working week, a retirement age of 60, nationalisation, an exit from NATO, and renegotiation of the EU treaties. All this, made The Economist, this Bible for free-market believers all over the world, deem a Mélenchon - Le Pen dilemma as ‘nightmare’. Isn't it ironic then, that the same people who were demonising Mélenchon for being as equally harmful as Le Pen, now chastise him for turning the tables and suggesting that Macron is as equally dangerous as Le Pen? He isn't, of course. As Hadley Freedman put it in her brilliant article in The Guardian, "Le Pen is a far-right Holocaust revisionist. Macron isn't. Hard choice?" No, it is not a hard choice. The French people know it; the French left knows it; they've been OPINION Deja vu A week after the first round of the presidential elections in France and the world is still trying to digest the result, presented with the same kind of dilemma that dominates politics all over the world French independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. PHOTO: AAP VIA AP PHOTO/THIBAULT CAMUS down this road before. In 2002, they were presented with a similar dilemma: Jacques Chirac against Le Pen (albeit not Marine, but her father, Jean-Marie, founder of the National Front who remains a harsher nationalist and Nazi-collaborator apologist to this day). Presented with the possibility of having a far right xenophobe as president, all factions of the political spectrum united to defend democracy, forming an overwhelming majority. Chirac became president, but nothing in his presidency indicated any kind of acknowledgement that he would not have been in this position, had it not been for the support of the left. Instead, he applied the same Gaullist conservative policies his party is known for, to the extent of trying to introduce a law allowing employers to easily fire employees - he then retracted it, after a 2006 student uprising. The previous year, he saw the Paris suburbs burn in riots that revealed the frustration of the alienated parts of the population. His cabinet member responsible for handling the crisis, Interiors Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, not only did not face any kind of consequence for his spectacular failure, but he was groomed to succeed him in power, being at the helm of the EU, alongside Angela Merkel, when the global financial crisis (GFC) erupted, crippling Europe, and highlighting its shortcomings. Now the French are about to repeat history; in most probability, they will form the same kind of unified front for democracy, standing behind Emmanuel Macron to ensure that the country will not steer to the far right. Despite not being part of traditional French politics parties; neither a socialist, nor a Gaullist, he is all but certain to keep the country within the EU and conduct himself as the market-darling that he is; everything will be 'business as usual'. Democracy will have won; the markets will have won; inclusive society will have won; humanism will have won. It happened in Austria, when Geert Wilders was defeated. It even happened in Greece, during the last elections for Mayor of Athens, when the major parties were defeated and backed the colourless, odourless, spineless former State Ombudsman George Kaminis, to block the Nazi nostalgist Ilias Kasidiaris from becoming Mayor of Athens. Macron is equally unremarkable - not even his supporters know exactly what he stands for. But on 7 May, he will stand for democracy against fascism. This doesn't mean that Marine Le Pen will go without a fight: she has been clever enough to soften her rhetoric, much to her father's dis- may, and she even resigned from the National Front after the first round; she still fights hard against Macron, sidelining him during his visit to a factory, to point out that she is the one who listens to the common people and their problems. If this sounds like she ripped a page out of Donald Trump's book, it's not coincidence. What the first round of the French elections showed was the same that observers saw happening in the US elections, or in the UK, during the Brexit vote. There is a significant gap in the way people in urban areas vote, compared to those in rural areas, who are facing greater unemployment, fewer education opportunities, and who live under the effect of continuous deindustrialisation. These are the underprivileged - people left behind, afraid for their livelihood. They are the ones left with the bill of the GFC, created by the banking system that gambled with their mortgages and loan rates. They see jobs becoming scarcer, wages going down, their retirement age going up, the welfare state dismantled. They are afraid that migrants will take away what little is left for them. The far right does that, betting on people's fears to impose a policy that benefits the elites. Four months into his presidency, Donald Trump presented a program of big corporate tax cuts - and backed down on the promise to build a wall securing US borders from unwanted migration. Did he betray the voters who feel disenfranchised? Yes. But this doesn't mean they are not disenfranchised. If anything, they are more alienated and more frustrated and betrayed by the system. And they are everywhere. Hillary Clinton failed to address their concerns; David Cameron failed to address their concerns; Matteo Renzi failed to address their concerns; Malcolm Turnbull is failing to address their concerns; Emmanuel Macron does not seem to be the person that will address their concerns either. Sooner or later, someone has to. Because the policy of dismissing people's concerns will soon wear out. Sooner or later, it will not be enough for 'sensible' politicians to dictate how voters should feel towards globalisation and trade agreements and tell them to understand that their lives are better off now and that they just have to accept that the welfare state is no longer viable and just accept employment 'flexibility'. Sooner or later, not being a Holocaust revisionist fascist (and by the way, neither is Mélenchon) will not be enough. And when that day comes, Holocaust revisionists, the Hansons and Le Pens of the world, will still be waiting in one corner.
22 April 2017
6 May 2017