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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 23 December 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 23 DECEMBER 2017 23 GREECE Turkey claims Aegean islets Turkish Foreign Minister mentions the Imia conflict and tells the parliament that the options are diplomacy or war The president of Tur- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (#10) (L) shakes hands with the country’s President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (#196) (R) PHOTO: AAP VIA EPA/YANNIS Tsipras in the world’s top 10 ‘Hottest Heads of State’ Malcolm Turnbull ranks 11th, while Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos is #196 ‘Hottest Heads of State’ is a website that does exactly what it promises: ranks those in power, judging them by their looks. It’s superficial, it’s pointless, but it’s also fun. The website’s mission statement (of sorts) puts it very clearly: “For too long, citizens of the world have suffered under the tyranny of unattractive leaders. Some people say that this is just the way things are: unattractive people have a death grip on the levers of power that will never be loosened. We say: not with that attitude it won’t! By ranking the world’s leaders by looks, we hope to heighten voter awareness of this problem and shame the citizens of countries with unattractive leaders into rising up and staging coups or something.” If Greeks need a reason to rise up against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, it might not have anything to do with his looks and ranking in this list. The Greek PM easily made it to the top 10, ranking last, after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Haitian president Jovenel Moïse, who shares the fifth place with French president Emmanuel Macron, Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Albanian PM Edi Rama and the Prime Minister of Iceland, Bjarni Benediktsson, while Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull ranks 11th, right below the Greek PM. If this list gives Greeks a reason to rejoice, it also gives them a reason to be ashamed. The president of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos ranks 196th in the list, just two positions from the bottom, which is occupied by none other than World Enemy #1 Kim Jong Un. In general, the list’s top 20 spots are occupied by leaders who comply with conventional standards of attractiveness, such as King Felipe of Spain, or Dutch PM Mark Rutte, although the presence of Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus at #20 must have been the outcome of serious diplomatic pressure. From that point down- wards, it’s anything goes, with Russia’s Vladimir Putin ranking 25th (and followed by his alter ego, Dimitri Medvedev), Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi being at #32, UK’s PM, Theresa May is in #49 spot and the top 50 closing with Prince Albert of Monaco. The rest of the list includes Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu (#52), Pope Francis (#54), Bolivia’s Evo Morales (#64), Germany’s Angela Merkel (#68), Spain’s Mariano Rajoy (#74), Emperor Akihito of Japan (#76), Queen Elizabeth (#94), followed by Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (#95). Cyprus’ president Nikos Anastasiadis in the 184th spot, lower than the US President, Donald Trump (#136), but higher than Syria’s President Assad (#192). key, Recep Tayip Erdogan, may have made clear that his country does not have any territorial claims over Greece, but the message did not reach his cabinet. The issue of Aegean island ownership was brought up during a heated debate in the parliament this week, when the opposition confronted Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglou. Speaking about certain islands that Ankara insists are part of Turkish territory, Mr Cavusoglu said that the country will resolve the matter either by means of diplomacy, or by military intervention. “We continue our diplomatic talks with Greece,” he said. “If we do not agree, the parliament will decide on the alternatives and we will apply them. But this is a national policy. This is not an issue that will be discussed in the corridors. We established a team of military personnel at the Ministry of National Defence. PHOTO: YASIN BULBUL/AAP/POOL VIA AP We discussed the problem and the steps we can take. Is it more beneficial to reduce tension or increase it?” Referring to the Imia conflict, which resulted in Greek soldiers losing their lives in 1996, Cavusoglu insisted that the government considers this “occupation” a national issue and that the ruling party, AKP, is not responsible for how the incident turned out, because they were not the government then. During his speech, Cavusoglu said that Turkey has three options: Try to work out a diplomatic solution with Greece, take the issue to the International Court, or send the Turkish army to claim the islets. Eight ancient Roman shipwrecks discovered near Naxos island In what may be a gamechanging factor for archaeology in Greece, an underwater expedition in the Cyclades revealed no less than eight ancient Roman shipwrecks. The area, a reef near Naxos Island has long been known to the locals as being infested with ancient relics, mainly anchors and amphoras. Now, an archaeological expedition, led by Sven Ahrens from the Norwegian Maritime Museum and Ekaterini Tagonidou from the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, revealed what the locals have known for ages. That the reef is one of the richest maritime archaeology sites in the Cyclades. The expedition discovered at least eight ancient Roman shipwrecks, a discovery that will allow scholars to understand more about sea trade in the classical world and the role of Naxos, the largest of the Cy- clades islands (and one of the most popular tourist destinations), as a significant stop-over and a business and trade hub of the ancient world. The findings are dated from various eras of the Roman Empire, which spanned from 100 BCE to 300 CE, and diving teams are planning to fully explore the 98-foot deep area within 2018.
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