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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 19 August 2017
6 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 19 AUGUST 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Highly-skilled Greek nurse with excellent spoken English denied the the right to work in Britain English test proposed to be implemented for Australian citizenship under fire While Australia suggests citizenship applicants sit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, UK's example is proof of how failed this approach could be. Highly-skilled Greek nurse Foteini Kourakou, a 27-year-old University of Athens graduate with excellent spoken English that moved to Northern Ireland to be with her boyfriend last September is not allowed in a hospital in Northern Ireland for narrowly failing her IELTS test five times. The woman is now "completely demoralised" after having paid thousands of pounds in fees and tutoring yet she keeps failing the essay component that includes writing about obscure subjects such as local road tolls and whether art can be "created by everyone", The Irish News reports - a component even Northern Ireland citizens find it hard to comprehend. Having worked in an intensive care unit in Greece for three years, she is studying for a Masters degree in nursing while working as a care assistant in a nursing home in County Antrim for the past year. Her scores in her last exam were 8.5 for listening, 8 for reading, 7.5 for speaking and 6.5 in the writing element. In the Republic of Ireland, an overall average of 7 is required to gain registration and applicants are allowed to score 6.5 in one of the four components. "If I don't pass this time I am going to take a break as it is taking such a toll on me emotionally. I get really nervous and it's getting worse. There is also the cost," Kourakou said. "I would like to work in an ICU in Northern Ireland but if I don't pass I will continue to work in the care home. Nursing is all I've ever wanted to do, I love my job. It just doesn't make any sense why they are making it so difficult with these essay questions when they need nurses so badly." The first ever photographic exhibition commemorating the Evzones’ visit to Australia THEODORA MAIOS PHOTO: HUGH RUSSELL/THE IRISH NEWS Greek population ageing and in decline A modelling on Greek population came up with some disturbing estimates about the future of the country. According to a report by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, Greece has lost 3 per cent of its population during the ongoing crisis and the trend is not in a route of reversal. From 2011 to 2016 the Greek population has been diminishing, both due to migration but, more importantly because births have been in decline, for financial reasons. In 2016, Greece had a population of 10.8 million, and according to the Institute's modelling, the decline will continue for decades. It is estimated to fall to 9.9 million by 2030, reaching 8.9 million by 2050. This 18 per cent fall is due to the fact that Greece has the lowest fertility rate within the EU, with only 1.3 children for every woman. Only 90,000 children are born in Greece annually, which makes the country one of the fastest-ageing countries in Europe with 21 per cent of the citizens being over 65 years old. By 2050, Greece will probably have the worst workerto-pensioner ratio within the continent, experts estimate. An exhibition showcasing the official visit of the Evzones, the highest ranked of military guard in Greece, who visited Australia last April to participate in the events that marked the anniversary of Anzac Day and the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Crete, opened its doors on 6 August, at St Basil Homes in Adelaide and will remain open to the public until the end of August. Three well-respected Adelaide-based photographers, Paul Bradshaw, Shane Reid and Katina Rozaklis, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes following the nine Evzones and their lieutenant entourage around whilst in Adelaide, have put together an incredibly touching and much celebrated collection of images which captured the historic moments of the Evzones' visit. The artists together with the Foundation for Hellenic Studies have decided to showcase their work during the South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA), whilst a series of books with all the images is scheduled to be released. "Art feels good. Art feels sad. Sometimes it raises questions, other times it reveals answers. Feeling and engaging with one another are just a couple of the miracles that art brings to St Basil's. We launched ‘Ψυχή (Psyche): Tell Me My Story and I Will Tell You Yours," says PR coordinator, Connie Kosti in an interview with Neos Kosmos. After obtaining special attendance permission from the Greek government, the nine Evzones and their two lieutenants visited two Australian cities; Adelaide and Sydney. "Their presence bestowed the Foundation for Hellenic Studies with a sense of great pleasure and honour in being accorded the opportunity to introduce them to our community, to have them participate in significant ceremonies in Adelaide to honour the Anzacs, and to show them our state," Harry Patsouris, trustee of the Foundation for Hellenic Studies, had said to Neos Kosmos during the official visit, that was organised in collaboration with the Office of the President of the Hellenic Republic. During their stay in Adelaide, the Greek Presidential Guards also visited St George Orthodox Church for a Vespers and Divine Liturgy Service for its patron saint, St George, where His Grace Bishop Nikandros welcomed them and, after congratulating them on their ethos, thanked them for bringing such an important part of Greece to Australia. During the speech, two of the Evzones became so overwhelmed with emotion as a result of their experiences in Adelaide and their overall Australian welcome, that they couldn't hold back their tears. This touching moment was captured by Paul Bradshaw's photographic lens and the image of 25-year-old Evzones Konstantinos Lousias from Arta went viral in Australia, the US and of course Greece, sending a message of patriotism and unity to the Hellenes all over the globe. "The heartwarming welcome and love we received from the moment we arrived in Adelaide, combined with Bishop Nikandros' Greek orthodox and Catholic church merge in Puerto Rico A lot of water has gone under the bridge since the East-West schism of 1054 that saw the separation of the 'Roman' Catholic church from the 'Greek' Orthodox one and if anyone needs proof of that, need not look any further than Puerto Rico. There, in Trujillo Alto, the Pan Orthodox Church of San Espiridion (St. Spyridon), built in the 1930s by missionaries from by the Archdiocese of Mexico of the Greek Orthodox Church in the diaspora, merged with the Catholic church to form a 'Greco-Catholic Byzantine community'. Practically this meant a transition of authority from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to the Archbishop of San Juan of Puerto Rico. The welcome ceremony was presided over by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, father Alberto Figueroa Morales on behalf of the Archbishop Latin Archbishop, Metropolitan Roberto González, who was commemorated along with Pope Francis. Despite being part of the Catholic church, the priests and parishioners will continue celebrating the Divine Liturgy and sacred mysteries according to the Byzantine tradition, and the continuous liturgy in the Church Slavonic language, English and Spanish. They will also keep following the old (Julian) calendar instead of the Gregorian one. words, who spoke so highly of Greece and us, the Evzones, brought tears to my eyes; what the world witnessed was the culmination of all the emotions I have accumulated from the day I joined the Evzones until now," Konstantinos Lousias had said the next day in an exclusive interview with our newspaper. "Exhibitions can be viewed between 12.00 pm and 3.00 pm over the remaining weekends in August and part proceeds from the art sales will be donated to St Basil's Living Well initiatives," explains Kosti. "This is the first ever exhibition showcasing the Evzones' visit in Australia and the response from the public has already been overwhelming. We are just incredibly proud that we are able to share this piece of art with our fellow Greek Australians who were touched by the Evzones' visit and want to reminisce those historic moments of their presence in Australia. "If we can wish for one thing, that would be to have the Evzones come back to Australia soon," Kosti concluded. The Vicar General of the Archdiocese father Alberto Figueroa Morales and Archimandrite Peter DiLeo explain the Community agreement document between the two churches.
12 August 2017
26 August 2017