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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 03 August 2019
8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 3 AUGUST 2019 Briefs CALOMBARIS APOLOGY Celebrity chef George Calombaris did not respond to Neos Kosmos' requests for an interview following the wage theft scandal where he underpaid his staff by almost $8 million. He told ABC host Leigh Sales that he takes "full responsibility" for the wage error which he attributed to back-office mistakes and his own inexperience. "I'm sorry," he said, adding that his restaurants and food brands company, MAdE Establishment, have repaid the money owed to current and former employees. He was recently fined $200,000 by the Fair Work Ombudsman and has been crucified by unionists and other critics who started petitions to have him removed as from his role as MasterChef judge. Calombaris told the ABC that his own inexperience was to blame for the error. "The thing happened about 13 years ago, you're a young chef, 26 years of age, you want to open your first restaurant, you get together with three other partners at that point, and you open the first one, then the second one opens, the third one, the creativity is flying, the ideas are flying, the dreaming is there," he said on Wednesday. 13 YEARS FOR MURDER Police guard Epaminondas Korkoneas, who had previously been convicted to life for the deadly shooting of teenager Alexis Grigoro- poulos in downtown Athens back in December 2008, attended an appeals court in Lamia, central Greece, on Monday. The former officer had shot 15-year-old Grigoropoulos dead during an alleged verbal altercation with him and a group of his friends as they were hanging out in Exarchia. He got his original sentence reduced to only 13 years in prison. 200 YEARS OF FREEDOM The former head of the Athens Olympics Organizing Committee Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki will head the organising committee for the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence in 2021. Following the announcement of her appointment in the post, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said: "2021 will be a year when all Greeks will celebrate together 200 years of liberty for the Greek state, with pride in our past and confidence in our future." The prominent businesswoman expressed her gratitude over the appointment. "We will all together make our best effort," she said. PARTNER VISA RULES Australia's partner visa system could be overhauled following figures of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and a departmental migration study by Dr Bob Birrell, head of The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI), that shows that thousands of former overseas students in Australia are staying on by marrying citizens. Dr Birrell, the report's author, states that about 40,000 partner visas were issued last year, with another 79,000 applications in the queue. Respectively, the total number of marriages that were contracted in Australia in 2017 were 112,000 making partner visa applications seem disproportionate. He points to the exploitation of partner visa rules by people in Australia on temporary visas, especially overseas students. A prime example of the weakness to the rules is the fact that an Australian resident of 18 years is eligible to sponsor a partner even if they are living at home, unemployed and on welfare benefits. Even those who newly acquire permanent residency in Australia are eligible to sponsor a spouse. Dr Birrell urges the government to raise the age of a sponsor to 21 years, and ensure that they can provide for their spouses without relying on welfare. Ethnic community leaders have slammed the report and claims that partner visas are "easy". Mary Patetsos, chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia told the Australian that a "rigorous process" is involved when applying for a partner visa. She said that these visas took up to two years in 75 per cent of cases and were critical to the immigration program's success as well as for the well-being of permanent residents with partners abroad. NO IMMIGRATION PLEBISCITE The Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA) has welcomed the Senate's categorical rejection of Pauline Hanson's proposed plebiscite on immigration, after the Bill was voted down 54 to 2. FECCA Chairperson Mary Patetsos said the last thing Australia needed was a divisive public debate on immigration. "The only thing Pauline Hanson's plebiscite would achieve would be to divide Australia at a time when we should be looking for ways to bring our communities closer together," she said. "Ms Hanson's Bill is also based on a number of assumptions that are completely untrue." 114-YEAR BIRTHDAY The oldest known woman living in Greece, Katerina Karnarou had the joy of celebrating yet another birthday surrounded by generations of her family. Just a few days ago, Ms Karnarou from Krestena, Greece turned 114 years old. "Να τα χιλιάσεις γιαγιούλα μας" ("May you live to be a thousand, our beloved grandmother"), is the wish written on her cake, organised by her grandchildren, Tasos and Dimitris Karnaros. Her goal is to get a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. According to all official documents and electronic records, Ms Karnarou was born in the village of Grylos in the Peloponnese on 25 July, 1905. Meanwhile, her family is attempting to gather all the necessary documents for the Guinness World Records, to grant their grandmother's wish. SMOKING BAN Regional authorities across Greece received a memo with detailed instructions on the strict implementation of the much awaited smoking ban in all indoor public areas. The measure formally went into force over a decade ago but has not been properly implemented by establishment owners or their clientele. Greece has among the highest smoking rates among developed nations around the world and Greeks have been unwilling to abide by that specific law. Greek Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, reportedly sent the memo as a reminder to authorities that New Democracy intends to impose the law, putting harsh repercussions into effect for offenders. The ban officially includes all state, government, local, medical, educational and childcare services, as well as sports arenas, all indoor bars, restaurants and cafes, work areas, airports (with the exception of smoking rooms), passenger waiting areas, public transportation and taxis. It also bans smoking in vehicles, whether public or private, when there are children under the age of 12 in the car. GREEK WINNERS The Greek team of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) was awarded a prize at the 2019 Royal Navy International Air Day that took place in the United Kingdom from the 11-21 July.The Daedalus team received the prize of Best Fixed Wing Flying Display 2019 after amazing audiences who watched the air show at the Yeovil- ton Naval Base at West England's Somerset. The team also won the Spitfire Award 2019 for their impressive arrival at the airport during the Royal International Air Tattoo 2019 from 19-21 July 2019 at Fairford. VOTING RIGHTS Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday that the new electoral law will be debated by political parties in Parliament, however the granting of voting rights to Greeks living abroad will not be linked to this discussion. Instead, voting rights for the diaspora will be tabled in a separate provision. “The right of Greeks abroad to vote from their place of residence is a priority and the relevant provision is coming soon, and independently, and I hope this issue will secure the necessary convergence in Parliament,” he said during the first meeting of ruling New Democracy (ND) party’s political committee since the 7 July election. “If there is a law that all 300 deputies must vote for, it’s this one.” The centre-right New Democracy party currently in power has been a long proponent of the diaspora’s right to vote. Giving Greek citizens the right to vote from their place of residence overseas would align Greek electoral policy to that of many other European countries that set up polling stations in embassies and consulates for their citizens abroad. Should the ruling ND party be successful, Greeks abroad may have the right to vote in Greek elections by September. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Katerina Karnarou turned 114! Greeks wowed British audiences during the 2019 Royal Navy International Air Day.
27 July 2019
10 August 2019