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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 09 December 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 9 DECEMBER 2017 23 GREECE Andrews gets ready for Greece Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews met with the Greek Minister of Economy and Development Dimitri Papadimitriou on his recent visit to Melbourne in which business and trade links between Victoria and Greece were discussed. Premier Andrews discussed his upcoming visit to Greece where he will host a business lunch, and Minister Papadimitriou briefed the premier on Enterprise Greece’s 2017 Investment Roadshow. Minister Mikakos said, “The Victorian Government is open to exploring potential trade and investment opportunities between Victoria and Greece. During the meeting, the Premier committed to sending a trade mission to Greece. “The Victorian Government and Minister Dalidakis and I will now work with peak Victorian business groups on the details and to progress this initiative”. Cutting-edge technology, medical research, jobs, education, and culture are on the agenda including medical research, and strengthening cultural and education ties with Greece. Victoria’s ties to Greece are already strong, with Melbourne boasting the largest population of Greek people outside of Greece, and more than 110,000 Victorians speaking Greek in their home. To ensure Victoria’s Greek heritage continues to be passed onto future generations, a number of new education and early childhood agreements will be announced on the visit. With Greece renowned for its culture, the visit also presents an important opportunity to continue to build upon our strong relationship with Greece and further deepen our creative and cultural ties. While in Greece and Israel, Mr An- Premier Daniel Andrews met with the Greek Minister of Economy and Development Dimitri Papadimitriou. PHOTO: SUPPLIED drews will meet with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs director general Yuval Rotem, Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos, and Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras. Athens Holocaust Memorial vandalised COMMENT This is the area where Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot. Plenty of flowers have been laid down and notes stuck to the walls along with a petition to name the street after the boy. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS Athens is burning NIKOS FOTAKIS PHOTOS: EUROPEAN JEWISH PRESS Two meaningful inscriptions disappeared from the Holocaust Memorial in Athens on Saturday. Written in Greek and French, the words by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel touchingly called on passersby to remember the victims of the Holocaust. The European Jewish Press reported Minor Moisis, president of the Jewish community of Athens, calling the incident an act of "vandalism, disrespect, insult'. He acknowledged that it wasn't the first time the memorial had been tar- geted, and that it likely "won't be the last either" but called on Athens to "restore the pieces that have been removed". To the vandals, who remain unknown at this stage, Mr Moisis said that they would "never succeed in making us alter our memory''. Instead the memorial will remain open and accessible to the general public, inviting the passerby "to walk through it, stand for a while, remember, and understand. ''The vandals will never win," he added. — There are not many certainties in life (and they seem to be getting fewer every passing day), but there is one thing that you can definitely bet on and that is that on certain days, riots will take place in Athens. — It will happen on 17 November each year, when the anniversary of the students’ anti-junta revolt will predictably lead with clashes between so-called anarchists and the riot police. — For the past few years, another annual ritual of the same kind takes place on 6 December. The date commemorates a horrific event: the cold-blooded murder of a 15-year-old boy, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, by police officer Epaminondas Korkoneas. Let's repeat it, so that we finally get it. On a random Saturday night nine years ago a police officer shot a 15-year-old unarmed child dead. In the meantime, he's gone through a trial, been convicted, issued several apologies covering all range of emotions, said that he has nothing to apologise or, fired his attorney, issued another apology and is now again on a trial that is taking painfully long. — In the meantime, there has been no major overhaul of the Greek police force, no audit to determine the culture Korkoneas emerged within, why an officer of the law, responsible for keeping people safe, would aim his gun at a child and pull the trigger. — In the meantime, Greece has defaulted, the political system has entered an ongoing crisis ,and a group of Nazi criminals have become the third largest political party. — With a large following within the police force, according to election statistics. — Are you surprised? — Greek media are constantly surprised; so, even though one would be certain that anti-fascist groups and riot police would clash on the anniversary of the incident, the clashes are reported as something unexpected. Rocks and firebombs were thrown, rubbish bins and flower pots were turned into barricades, and the neighbourhood of Exarchia was, once again, drowned in fumes from burning things and tear gas. — The Greek chorus of media pundits once again started chanting about the lawlessness that rules the neighbourhood, which has been traditionally considered as a haven for the underground (from leftist political groups to philosophers to punk rock groups taking their first steps), although previous underground bars and anarchist bookshops are closing and giving way to mainstream restaurants and cafes, signalling a slow, but certain, process of gentrification. — In fact, despite the Opposition persisting on the 'law and order' rhetoric and targeting Exarchia, official police statistics show that, but for petty theft, Exarchia is no more dangerous for passers-by than picturesque Plaka, nor more dirty than any other part of Athens, really, the city is completely abandoned to filth. — Yet, only in Exarchia would a local butcher shop be vandalised by a group of activists protesting against the meat industry, like it happened a few weeks ago. — Which leads to the other issue that sparked debate in Greece. The threat that the EU would ban one of the traditional Greek dishes, gyros, or doner kebab (more on that later). — This, of course was fake news, first printed by one of Europe's usual suspects, the German Bild newspaper, stating that EU is considering to ban phosphates used to preserve meat used for gyros. -- Adressing the rumour, the European Commission worked to disperse the fears of indignant Greek meat lovers, stating that the opposite is in fact happening. So 24 out of 28 EU countries agreed to allow the further use of phosphates in frozen meat products, deeming the procedure safe for the health of consumers. — This is an understatement, of course. Gyros meat might be 'safe' but it is not by any chance 'healthy'. — But who cares? It's our national dish. — Doner kebab, that is. — Yes, the Greek national dish has a distinctly Turkish undertone to it - but at this stage, we're probably used to this. — As used to having an Athens neighbourhood engulfed in smoke and fumes every now and then. — So, the Greeks rioted against another EU assault at what makes us culturally special (our reliance on chemically enhanced meat). — But there was no riot when the leader of our neighbours at the other side of the doner visited Greece. — Modern-day tyrant Recep Tayip Erdogan came to Athens and managed a first win - to make the Greek PM issue a statement against Anti-Erdogan 'coup plotters', saying they are not welcome in Greece. — From his part, the Turkish president said that it's time to reconsider the Lausanne Treaty. — No sign of riot against this statement. — Apparently people were still digesting their phosphate-laden gyros.
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