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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 28 July 2018
6 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 28 JULY 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Honouring sister-city relationships Victoria’s first sister-cities forum was held last week at Parliament House Marking a Victorian first, the state's inaugural sister-cities forum was held on Wednesday 18 July, in a gathering designed to pay tribute to the concept of sister-cities and showcase the multiple benefits these relationships generate. One hundred and twenty delegates participated at the event, which took place at Queen's Hall in Parliament House, including consul-generals from over 20 countries, MPs, mayors, councillors, federal and state representatives, as well as interstate guests. The forum's program included presentations from distinguished speakers, and case studies from Victorian councils of successful relationships in various models of collaborations, such as between schools and communities, as well as the launching of a new report. Among the council representatives was Cr Mary Lalios, president of the Municipal Association of Victoria, who chaired a Q&A session discussing relationships within Victoria. Attendees were welcomed by Bruce Atkinson MLC, president of the Legislative Council of the Victorian Parliament, while Bill Wilson, president of Sister Cities Australia also made an introduction. In her introductory remarks, Christina Despoteris, executive member of Sister Cities Australia who coordinated the forum, said: "I believe this forum will go a long way in initiating discussion, at all levels, which will hopefully make people aware of the important benefits which sistercity relationships bring." Ms Despoteris, who was also the MC of the event, referred to the diversity of those benefits, ranging from cultural assets and economic gains to improving international relations. Other speakers included Dr Hass Dellal AO, executive director of the Australian Multicultural Foundation, and Dr Vasilis Sarafidis, Associate Professor of Econometrics at Monash University, whose presentation analysed the value of sister-city relationships within the age of urbanisation and Consul-General of Japan in Melbourne Kazuyoshi Matsunaga, who spoke about the diversity of those relationships and associated challenges. Alphington Grammar Principal Dr Viviane Nikou contributed in the discussion using the example of the Global Gateways Program, which she implemented at the school in 2013, that helped nurture a sense of responsibility among student participants and encouraged them to see themselves as global citizens. Thanking all the speakers and delegates for attending, Ms Despoteris stressed the importance of the event in paving the way for further "discussion and debate about the future of sister-city relationships." Cypriot woman wins right to remove religious record Her reasoning was based on the General Data Protection Regulation, providing privacy of personal information for information collected in the European Union Elena Milioti has become the first Cypriot citizen to remove her religious creed from state records. She disputed that this information was far too personal to be found on the state record, and she had it removed after a rigorous procedure. Upon her request's success in June, the Civil Registry Department of Cyprus had revised her record in reference to her religious creed, and modified it from 'Christian Orthodox' to 'unspecified'. The reasoning behind her stance was based on the General Data Protection Regulation, which applies to people in the European Union and the European Economic Area, it states that data collected on people should become anonymous, and also that public information should be consented upon before processed. These factors helped her case immensely. Milioti originally took her quarrel to the church, which informed her that she would have to first be excommunicated before she could stop being referred to as Christian. As she had no intention of creating problems with the church, she opted out of this overly complex procedure, realising that the real issue was with the state, not the church. "I fully respect the beliefs of all people and, regardless whether I myself believe or not, I think that the state has no justification to know, and to hold records, about a citizen's convictions," she told Politis newspaper. Milioti next went on to the Nicosia District Of- fice, which were refreshingly helpful and understood the basis of her request, although they asked for an affidavit, which she refused, highlighting that this would defeat the whole purpose of her request. "Even atheism is a creed, in a sense. What I wanted is for any reference to my religion to be deleted. The fact I applied for the deletion of my religious creed is irrespective of whether I believe or not," she effectively explained. Her request was accepted by the district office, and an application was sent to the state, mentioning that she refused to provide an affidavit and in the end, it was approved. Once people heard about her winning out over the state, a large of number of people submitted applications for the same reason. Poet and song lyricist Manos Eleftheriou passes away at 80 years of age Manos Eleftheriou, one of Greece's most revered and significant poets and song lyricists; a Greek man of many talents, sadly passed away early on Sunday morning aged 80 years old. An iconic figure among Greek intellectuals, Eleftheriou created an immense body of work, comprised of several poetry collections, short stories, novels and lyrics for over 400 songs. Not only was he an excellent writer, he also worked as an illustrator, a radio producer, and an editor. Eleftheriou was born on 12 March 1938 in Ermoupolis, Syros, where he lived for 14 years before moving to Athens. During this time, he attended the Stavrakos School of Cinema and Stage Studies. In 1960, during his time in the military, he began to write his first poems and plays, achieving publication of his first collection two years later at 24 years of age. Some of his poems were later set to music. Soon after that, he created two short story collections, and in 1964 finally made his introduction into songwriting, collaborating with well- known composers Christos Leontis and Mikis Theodorakis. But that was just the beginning, as soon after he worked with almost every famous Greek composer, putting words to music by Dimos Moutsis, Yannis Markopoulos, Loukianos Kilaidonis, Manos Hadjidakis, Yorgos Zabetas, Yannis Spanos, and many others. His songs have been sung by Dimitris Mitropanos, Yorgos Dalaras, Vicky Moscholiou, Haris Alexiou, and countless singers. As he grew as an artist, he widened his horizons and tried new things: he created illustrations for children's books, edited books about Syros, and branched out into novels in the 90s. One of these, The Time of the Chrysanthemums, won him the State Literature Award in 2005. In 2013, the Academy of Athens presented Eleftheriou with a lifetime achievement award, acknowledging his body of work and his contribution to Greek culture. Following the news of his tragic heart attack on Sunday, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos praised him as being "one of the country's Tourism and e-Commerce boosts demand for smaller Athens stores The demand for small retail store spaces in central Athens has been increasing over the last 12 months, reflecting a shift in retail practices, as more and more tourists arrive in Greece, and the appeal of online shopping becomes larger, according to a survey by the Arbitrage Real Estate consultancy firm. The demand reported in (L-R): Christina Despoteris, Bruce Atkinson MLC, Consul General of Japan Kazuyoshi Matsunaga, and Bill Wilson. PHOTO: SUPPLIED this period almost exclusively concerns prime properties in the most busy and popular spots in Athens, as opposed to the markets in secondary areas which are slowly declining and not showing signs of improvement. The analysis by the Arbitrage shows that the rise in e-commerce combined with the ever-growing use of so- cial media in promotion of retail products has resulted in a decline in demand for large retail stores and spaces. This has led to larger stores and businesses turning more regularly to online marketing for publicity, and wanting smaller-spaced land near the busier and more tourist-filled areas of Athens.
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