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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 January 2018
6 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 JANUARY 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Strapped for cash to gamble? Head to the casino for a loan! Legalisation of loan sharks among the omnibus reforms legislation Greek casinos are allowed to grant loans of over €50,000 to players, in what is seen as one of the most controversial pieces of legislation to be passed in the country. The omnibus bill of "prior actions", the prerequisite reforms demanded by Greek lenders for the bailout program to continue, includes an article that banishes the previous law that forbade credit and discount in gambling, which was seen as a way to protect those addicted to gambling. Instead, the Ministry of Finance replaced this provision with a new amendment that allows casino operators to issue credit of at least €50,000 το punters so that they can keep on playing. In addition to that, 'casino banks' will be able to store large sums of money and foreign currency. Despite the Greek government's reassurances that a strict framework will be set out to regulate these new 'casino banks', critics say that this policy will in effect legalise loan sharks, sanction money laundering and nurture destructive gambling addiction. The Greek government's argument is that this measure will allow casinos to attract major punters with government officials qualifying the measure as one that will aid in the country's growth, along with bringing punters, particularly from Asian and Middle Eastern countries, to Greek casinos, adding to the touristic exploitation of popular destinations such as Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete, where new casinos are expected to open, alongside the one announced at Elliniko, in the southern suburbs of Athens. Athens to have direct rail link between Port of Piraeus and the airport by 1 February Athenians and tourists passing through the Greek capital have been waiting for the direct link connecting the Port of Piraeus to the Eleftherios Venizelos airport since the summer of 2015. After almost three years of delay the direct link is ready to connect the two major locations. The long-awaited metro station at Piraeus will become a terminus for the Proastiakos suburban railway, connecting travellers to and from the islands with the Spata airport in 60 minutes. The same route will also link the cities of Corinth, Halkida and Kiato to the port. The trip between the airport and the port is expected to take around one hour, and the service is expected to run every 15-20 minutes, as of 1 February. A first course of kindness Athens-based chef Iakovos Apergis cooks up goodwill in Greek hospitals STAMATINA HASIOTIS For chef Iakovos Apergis, it was the influence from his grandparents that inspired him to become a cook; his grandfather was a baker. Born in Canada in 1974, Ia- kovos migrated with his family to Greece the year after. A few years after finishing his schooling, and after earning his degree in cookery, and working in a range of kitchens, he became a member of the Academy of Chefs of Greece. His mother’s experience as a hospital patient inspired him to think of his connection with food as an experience beyond just cooking it: commenting on the food that she received as a patient in hospital, she decribed it as cold and tasteless, not something a sick woman needed. His mother, who passed away in 2003, was a patient at Piraeus at Tzaneio (Piraeus General Hospital) and that, serendipitously, is where he finds himself working now as head chef, after relatives suggested that he apply. Iakovos is starting to create change with hospital food because, as he says, food can be, and should be, a positive experience, when it can. "In a place like the hospital it is very important to [lift a person's spirits]!" he said. His work landed him a spot at last year's TEDxChalkida, the Greek offshoot of TEDTalks, in which he also revealed his charity work with Smile of a Child in Athens’ Peristeri; his establishment of other social ventures, and how he came to redefine hospital food ("because people have the right to eat good food"). So now, he creates meals imaginatively "well-cooked and delicious, as in gourmet restaurants" and always according to the nutritional guidelines of each patient's condition. "I hope I make patients feel more human in the hospital and feel the warmth of their home," he said. Many patients have said nice things about his cooking or congratulated him – and the most popular food: the fish burgers. "I hope that good hospital food stops being news and for us all to be able to better ourselves and realise that food at a hospital is not charity but a responsibility towards the patient," he said. "Let's stop trying to seem human but actually be human and this can only be done with actions and when we give to our fellow human beings, [that's when] we ultimately give to ourselves!" See Iakovos’ TEDxChalkida talk at https://youtu.be/ kfR6y8VvY9w Heroes of the Greek-Italian war are heading for their long-delayed final resting place The remains of up to 8,000 bodies of Greek soldiers, fallen in the Albania front while fighting Italian fascists to be exhumed and buried in new cemeteries "An important step is being taken today towards laying to rest the souls of the Greek soldiers who fell in the Greek-Italian war of 19401941. The last unburied fallen of the Second World War." This statement, issued by Greece's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, marks the end of a long-pending issue that had affected relations between Greece and Albania: the building of new cemeteries for the fallen of the Albanian front. Thousands of Greek soldiers fought heroically against Mussolini's fascist troops between November 1940 and April 1941 and it is estimated that 6,800 out of 8,000 bodies are buried in mass graves in the mountainous area of Korytsa. Now these heroes are heading to their final resting place. As provisioned by the bilateral agreement signed by Greece and Albania, forensic experts of the two countries are already working in the area, where the Albanian government is exhuming the remains of the Greek soldiers. Digging is to take place in locations around Dragodi, following directions from old Italian military maps, while locals have also provided information about the whereabouts of the graves. After exhumation, the bones will be transferred to new cemeteries, purpose-built in Vouliarates and Kleisoura. "We welcome the Albani- Thousands of Greek soldiers fought heroically in the Albanian front between November 1940 and April 1941. an government's response on this historically just request, which shows that dialogue and cooperation in a constructive and open-minded spirit can lead to the reso- lution of differences and the creation of positive prospects in the relations between the region's countries and peoples," reads the Greek ministry's statement.
20 January 2018
03 February 2018