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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 10 June 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 10 JUNE 2017 5 NEWS PRONIA continues to support migrants The non-profi t organisation offers services to Australian citizens returning to Australia after a long absence, and individuals on temporary visas PRONIA has consistently helped and supported returning citizens and newly-arrived Greek people in Australia since 2012 with culturally and linguistically appropriate services. With the recent changes to immigration announced by the federal government in April, PRONIA has received a large number of calls from people seeking information and clarifications. The questions, which PRONIA continues to receive on a daily basis, have created the need for information, which is offered by Penny Dimopoulos, a volunteer of the PRONIA Greek Migration Agent service. Penny Dimopoulos at the PRONIA seminar Mrs Dimopoulos currently provides information about the changes to Australia's migration and citizenship laws, and will assist with the further changes that will occur on 1 July as well as those in March 2018. PRONIA will assess the upcoming changes to see how they impact new migrants and their families in relation to their current and proposed migration matters. Through a governmentfunded program and in collaboration with the Greek community PRONIA provides settlement services for people newly arrived from Greece, providing casework, with information and referral, crisis intervention services, practical support, and advocacy as well as networking support. Services extend to counselling for individuals, couples, and families with children, in addition to training programs, seminars, and workshops to help newcomers cope with the impediments of immigration to integrate, connect, participate, and contribute to the local community as well as the wider community. The services are provided free of charge to all Australian citizens returning to Australia after a long absence, and migrants with temporary visas. Additional information can be found online at www.pronia.com.au or the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website www.border.gov.au or by telephoning the department on 13 18 81. You may also seek advice from an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent. GREECE Cypriot leaders agree to reunification summit in Geneva After mediation efforts were halted last month, could this be the final round of negotiations on a peace agreement to unify the island? It was announced this week that Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have agreed to a final round of negotiations set to take place this month in Geneva, renewing hopes of reunification between the two sides. The news was revealed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who invited the two leaders to a working dinner at UN headquarters. He said that both Mr Anastasiades and Mr Akinci had agreed upon the issue of security as a matter "of vital importance" and "an essential element in reaching an overall agreement and in building trust between the two communities". The leaders have been in ne- gotiations for two years now over a reunification deal, which came to a standstill on 26 May with mediation called off due to a dispute over how the final summit would proceed. However just three days later, special advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide remained optimistic, claiming, "we are indeed very, very close - actu- ally more close than most people seem to understand" to an agreement to reunite Cyprus. The island has been split since 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by Cypriots seeking to unite with Greece, and after declaring themselves as an independent state in 1983, Turkey still has some 35,000 troops present. Greeks among most pessimistic in the world regarding national economy The findings are largely a result of the financial crisis, with most nationals downbeat about prospects for the next generation A recently released survey has revealed Greeks are among the most pessimistic people in the world when it comes to sentiments surrounding the economy and future prospects. Conducted by the Pew Research Center, nationals from across 32 countries were questioned about how they felt about their economies in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, which took place almost a decade ago. According to the survey, only two per cent of Greeks said they felt upbeat about their national economy, which was the lowest among those polled. The most optimistic countries, with more than 80 per cent were the Dutch, Germans, Swedes, and Indians. However one sentiment which was present amongst most countries, was concern about the future with a median of just 41 per cent across the board believing children would be financially better off than their parents. Greece were ranked as the third pessimistic nation regarding future prospects with 21 per cent, followed by the Japanese at 19 per cent and the French with just 9 per cent. Greek wine producers seek abolition of excise tax The taxes were noted as disastrous for the industry Winemakers have requested excise duty on wine produced in Greece be abolished, claiming it is disastrous for the industry. The point was raised during a meeting last week in the presence of Agricultural Development Minister, Vangelis Apostolou. Those in attendance, including president of the National Inter-Professional Organization of Vine and Wine of Greece, Vangelis Argyris, said that the government should put an end to the tax as soon as possible stating that is has "been proved it destroys the structures of the industry, favouring parasitic networks," reports Tornos News. A strategic plan for wine making involving the state was also discussed on the day, along with the possibility of the union using part of Tatoi Palace, the former palace of the Greek Royal Fam- ily, located 27 kilometres from Athens' city centre. Meanwhile, as various Greek wineries prepare to take part in the Wines of Greece event held in Australia this month, the union asked the Minister for assistance in promoting the event. More students sit in at the exams for a place at the university The National Exams started this week in Greece, with 104,965 students competing for the 70,726 places to study at the Greek universities, more than last year, when there were about 103,000 candidates. The majority of the candidates (84,838) are general high school graduates, while 17,995 come from vocational and evening schools, which were the first to be tested on Tuesday, on the subject of Greek Language. The rest of the student population were also tested in Greek on Wednesday, the special 'orientation' subjects are those that will determine the basis of entry to each of the Greek universi- ty schools. This means that Biology performance will determine entry to medical schools, History performance will affect humanities and Maths and Physics will be the focus for science, informatics and economy schools. The National Exams season is a time of much stress for young people in Greece, particularly these past few years when tutoring becomes unnafordable for the majority of the students. Both the Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, and the leader of the Opposition, Kiriakos Mitsotakis encouraged the candidates, wishing them luck and urging them to keep calm. Greek Embassy takes over Egypt’s diplomatic representation in Qatar Greece accepted Egypt's request to take over the diplomatic representation for the country in Qatar, after the two countries severed ties. The agreement came after a phonecall between Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and the Foreign Minister of Egypt, Sameh Hassan Shoukry, in which the Egyptian side made the request. "Within the framework of the traditionally friendly relations Greece maintains with the Arab world, Mr Kotzias responded positively to his Egyptian coun- terpart's request," reads the statement issued by the Greek Foreign Ministry. “Greece is at the disposal of all sides to contribute in any way to the benefit of regional cooperation and stability," it added. This decision came after Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, and Libya announced that they were cutting diplomatic relations with Qatar accusing Doha of supporting extremists and terrorism, which has lead to a rise in tensions in the country.
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