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  • Father of pilot disputes claim his son deliberately downed Germanwings plane in

    first_img Friday 24 Mar 2017, 8:41 AM Mar 24th 2017, 8:41 AM Short URL Image: Christophe Ena AP/Press Association Images 40 Comments Share11 Tweet Email http://jrnl.ie/3304082 By AFPcenter_img 21,170 Views Family members look on at the Germanwings plane crash site. Family members look on at the Germanwings plane crash site. Image: Christophe Ena AP/Press Association Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Father of pilot disputes claim his son deliberately downed Germanwings plane in Alps Andreas Lubitz was co-pilot of the plane that crashed in the Alps on this day in 2015. TWO YEARS TO the day after the deadly Germanwings crash in the French Alps, the father of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz will hold a press conference today to dispute that his son deliberately downed the plane.Both the message and the timing of the first public appearance by a member of Lubitz’s close family since the 2015 disaster that claimed 150 lives have been criticised by victims’ families, who will be holding their own anniversary events to mark the tragedy.German prosecutors in January closed their investigation after concluding that Lubitz, 27, was suicidal and bore sole responsibility for the catastrophe.Now his father, 63-year-old Guenter Lubitz, will present his own findings to reporters alongside journalist Tim van Beveren, whom he called “an internationally recognised aerospace expert”.“Up to now, everyone has believed the theory of a co-pilot who was depressed for a long time, who deliberately crashed his plane into a mountain in a planned act. We are convinced this is false,” the father said in a press release.The daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that the two men would present the theory of a carbon monoxide leak in the cabin which disabled the co-pilot, who was alone at the controls at the time of the crash.‘A very responsible person’Lubitz senior told news weekly Die Zeit that the image of the suicidal loner or cold-blooded killer did not correspond with the man he knew.“Our son was a very responsible person. He had no reason to plan and carry out a suicide, and certainly not to take another 149 innocent people with him,” he said. A file photo of Andreas Lubitz Source: FOTO-TEAM-MUELLER/DPA/PA ImagesHe accused investigators of gross negligence, and called for a new probe.“There were very clearly things that weren’t even looked into, perhaps because they didn’t want to look into them,” he said.Lubitz insisted he was simply seeking answers “just like the other relatives who lost a loved one”.Elmar Giemulla, a lawyer representing several of the victims’ families, said this week that Lubitz was waging an “irresponsible” campaign that would be rip open old wounds.“I imagine that Mr Lubitz wants to promote a theory that would absolve his son of any responsibility,” Giemulla told the Rheinische Post newspaper.Prosecutor Christoph Kumpa, whose office led the German investigation, also dismissed Lubitz’s accusations.“There are no indications of a cause of the crash that is not linked to deliberate — presumably suicidal — behaviour,” he told DPA news agency.DisbeliefLubitz’s parents had already angered the families last year when they placed a heartfelt newspaper advert in their son’s memory to mark the first anniversary of the crash.Entitled simply “Andreas” and featuring a smiling photograph of the co-pilot, the brief text ended with a message to their son in bold letters: “We miss you very much but you are and will remain in our hearts”.They spoke of a year “filled with horror and fear” but did not explicitly mention the 149 other people killed in the crash.Meanwhile the victims’ families will devote the anniversary today to remembering their loved ones.Five hundred people are expected to travel to the French Alpine town of Digne-les-Bains for an ecumenical church service. Source: Martin Meissner AP/Press Association ImagesLater in the nearby village of Vernet, where the unidentified human remains from the disaster are buried, a memorial will be inaugurated before some relatives continue on the crash site.And in the western German town of Haltern am See, which lost 16 students and two teachers who were returning from an exchange programme in Spain, their school will hold a commemorative ceremony.Its principal, Ulrich Wessel, expressed disbelief about Lubitz’s planned press conference.“There are various ways to deal with grief — perhaps also different ways to perceive reality, or not perceive it,” he told public broadcaster SWR.© – AFP, 2016Read: Families of Germanwings victims angered by parents’ tribute to troubled co-pilotRead: It’s taken more than two months for the bodies of Germanwings crash victims to get homelast_img read more

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  • This is their opportunity Irelands fringe players handed chance to impress against

    first_img Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO By Ben Blake Mar 28th 2017, 7:30 AM “Seamus will be very hard to replace,” the Ireland manager said. “He’s one of the best full-backs in Europe and he’s been inspirational — particularly since he has taken over as captain. He’s been terrific.“Cyrus Christie is a very talented player — very strong going forward — and it’s really up to him. I think he is capable of making that step and he’s done very well when he played for us before.”Brady has been handed the captain’s armband with Coleman missing, and the Burnley man is proud to act as stand-in skipper for the night.It will be a dream come true for me,” he said. “I’m looking forward to leading the lads out and hopefully putting on a good performance.“I’ve only captained at underage internationally before. That would have been the last time.“But I’ve played under some great captains, and I’ve previously played under a great captain in Seamus Coleman. So I’ll lead the team out and hopefully lead as best I can.”The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Daryl Horgan heads the ball during yesterday’s training session. The best way to try and impress is to go out there and do it on the international stage.”Tonight’s opponents have shaken off their ‘minnows’ tag in recent years and currently sit one place above Ireland as the 23rd-ranked nation in the world, according to Fifa.After qualifying for their first-ever major tournament last summer, Iceland caused a shock by finishing ahead of eventual winners Portugal and Austria in Group F before sending England packing in the last-16.They went out at the quarter-final stage to hosts France but have continued the impressive form in the current World Cup qualifying campaign. With three wins, one draw and a defeat, Heimir Hallgrímsson’s side sit second in Group I — behind Croatia and ahead of Ukraine, Turkey, Finland and newcomers Kosovo.“The friendly games still have an importance in terms of your positioning,” added O’Neill. “Some international teams don’t play friendly matches at all in case they lose the games and their co-efficient drops.“We’ve taken this game on — we taken some on in the summertime before we play Austria too — and they are tough challenges for us.“Iceland were brilliant at the Euros, they won on Friday night and they will present us with a few problems.“I’m hoping the lads that start in the game and the others who come on will stake a claim for future international matches.” The Iceland players celebrate beating England at Euro 2016. Source: Jonathan BradyWith Coleman sidelined for several months at least, Cyrus Christie will slot into the right full-back and O’Neill has confidence in the Derby County defender’s ability. ‘This is their opportunity’ – Ireland’s fringe players handed chance to impress against Iceland The Boys in Green welcome one of Euro 2016′s surprise packages to Dublin for a friendly tonight. Daryl Horgan heads the ball during yesterday’s training session. Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO Follow us: the42.ie 21 Comments center_img https://the42.ie/3309225 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article THEIR SQUAD MAY be severely depleted, but Ireland return to the Aviva Stadium this evening for the visit of Iceland (7.45pm).Manager Martin O’Neill was already down nine players before the events of Friday night.Since that 0-0 draw with Wales, skipper Seamus Coleman has been ruled out for the foreseeable future with a double leg-break, while Everton club mate James McCarthy has left the group after failing to shake off his hamstring problems.Robbie Brady returns to captain the side after completing his one-match suspension and Stephen Gleeson of Birmingham City has been called up, but with Sunderland defender John O’Shea and Stoke pair Jon Walters and Glenn Whelan gone back to their clubs, it leaves a panel of 22 for tonight’s friendly.Among them is an uncapped quartet — Preston North End duo Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle (formerly of Dundalk), as well as Brentford defender John Egan and Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane.And while O’Neill is unlikely to start all four, you can expect to see most, if not all, play some part. Left to right: John Egan, Callum O’Dowda and Conor Hourihane. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOIt’s also a chance for squad players such as Keiren Westwood, Alex Pearce, Eunan O’Kane, Callum O’Dowda, Jonny Hayes and Kevin Doyle to earn another cap.“This is their opportunity,” O’Neill said yesterday. “It’s an international game of some standing and it’s up to them. 14,139 Views Share3 Tweet Email Short URL A momentous night for LOI alumni and more Ireland-Iceland talking pointsO’Neill hints at handing debuts to uncapped quartet as Brady named stand-in captain for Iceland friendlyShane Long talked Seamus Coleman through broken leg with pregnancy breathing techniques Tuesday 28 Mar 2017, 7:30 AMlast_img read more

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  • Three men arrested in connection with 2015 Westmeath murder

    first_img 2 Comments Image: Garda Press Office 14,186 Views Tuesday 13 Jun 2017, 1:40 PM By Paul Hosford Short URL Jun 13th 2017, 1:40 PM Three men arrested in connection with 2015 Westmeath murder Silvestras Stoksus was found dead in March 2015.center_img THREE MEN HAVE been arrested over the murder of an eastern European national in Westmeath in 2015.The body of Silvestras Stoskus was found on 18 March by a local farmer who was out walking in Broadford, Co Kildare.He had been last seen leaving his home at Bun Daire, Kinnegad in Westmeath.Gardaí at Leixlip began a murder investigation following a post mortem carried out by the State Pathologist.Today as part of a planned operation, three men were arrested. The men, aged 46, 35 and 32, were arrested and are currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984, Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act, 1939/1998 and Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007 respectively at Naas Garda Station. Silvestras Stoskus Share1 Tweet Email Silvestras Stoskus Image: Garda Press Office Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article http://jrnl.ie/3441811 last_img read more

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  • Conceiving within a year of stillbirth does not increase risks for next

    first_img By Garreth MacNamee Approximately 3.5 in every 1,000 births in high-income countries are stillborn, and there is limited guidance available for planning future pregnancies. We hope that our findings can provide reassurance to women who wish to become pregnant or unexpectedly become pregnant shortly after a stillbirth.The study used birth records spanning 37 years (1980-2016) from Finland, Norway, and Australia to investigate intervals between pregnancies and the risk of subsequent stillbirth, preterm birth, and small-for-gestational-age birth.The authors noted that these countries have access to universal health care and free antenatal care, and the populations are primarily white, so the findings might not be generalisable to low-or middle-income countries, countries without access to universal health care, or ethnic minority groups.Overall, the study included 14,452 births among mothers who had a stillbirth in their previous pregnancy. Results were compared with 1,654,289 births following a previous livebirth from the three countries – 536,392 in Finland, 854,999 in Norway, and 262,898 in Australia. Of the 14,452 births in women whose previous pregnancy ended in stillbirth, 14,224 (98%) were livebirths, 2,532 (18%) were preterm births, and 1,284 (9%) were small-for-gestational-age births. Of the 228 stillbirths (2% of the total births), 201 (88%) were preterm and 27 (12%) were stillborn at term.For women who had experienced stillbirth in their last pregnancy, intervals shorter than 12 months were not associated with increased risk of subsequent stillbirth, preterm birth, or small-for-gestational-age birth, compared with an interpregnancy interval of 24–59 months. This trend remained the same when adjusted for maternal age, number of previous births, and decade of delivery. .The authors also noted no difference in the association between interpregnancy interval and birth outcomes based on the gestational length of the previous stillbirth.The authors note the difference in optimal intervals following livebirth and stillbirth.Dr Regan explains: “Although the mechanism linking interpregnancy interval and perinatal health is unclear, previous research offers several hypotheses, including depleted nutrition from past pregnancy, cervical insufficiency, and breastfeeding–pregnancy overlap in closely spaced pregnancies.“Without sufficient time to recover from a previous pregnancy, women may be at increased risk of entering a reproductive cycle with poor nutritional status, which has been linked to increased risk of foetal growth restriction and birth defects.“Such nutritional depletion might not occur to the same extent after a pregnancy loss, and this may affect the optimal interpregnancy interval, explaining why it may be different after stillbirth and livebirth.”The authors note that other factors that they could not study (such as maternal chronic medical conditions, pregnancy intention, use of assisted reproductive technology, cause of previous stillbirth, or socioeconomic status) may have affected their findings. They also add that women who conceive soon after a previous pregnancy might be healthier and more fertile than women who conceive later and therefore could be less prone to adverse birth outcomes. Friday 1 Mar 2019, 6:05 AM CONCEIVING WITHIN A year of stillbirth is common and is not associated with increased risk of stillbirth, preterm birth, or small-for-gestational-age birth in the following pregnancy.That is according to new research, published in the Lancet, which compared these pregnancies with an interpregnancy interval of at least two years.The results are from the first large-scale study to investigate the period between stillbirth and a new pregnancy, including almost 14,500 births in women from Australia, Finland and Norway who had a stillbirth in their previous pregnancy. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that women wait at least two years after a livebirth and at least six months after a miscarriage or induced abortion before conceiving again, but there is no guidance for the optimal interval after a stillbirth because there is limited evidence in this area.“Our results consistently showed that an interpregnancy interval of less than one year was not associated with increased risk of adverse birth outcomes in the next pregnancy, compared with an interval of at least two years. Our findings provide valuable evidence for recommended pregnancy spacing after a stillbirth,” says study author Dr Annette Regan of Curtin University, in Australia. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Shutterstock/ESB Professional Short URL No Comments center_img 6,160 Views Mar 1st 2019, 6:06 AM Image: Shutterstock/ESB Professional https://jrnl.ie/4517686 Share43 Tweet Email Conceiving within a year of stillbirth does not increase risks for next pregnancy, new study finds The study used data from 14,500 births.last_img read more

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  • Brides and grooms are still getting older but only in opposite sex

    first_img Wednesday 10 Apr 2019, 2:01 PM By Rónán Duffy Brides and grooms are still getting older (but only in opposite sex marriages) Same sex marriages still happen at a later age, but this is changing. Image: Shutterstock 18 Comments 15,725 Views Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img Source: CSO.ieThe CSO figures also looked at marriage ceremonies and the decline in religious ceremonies, where Catholic ceremonies have slipped below 50% for the first time.Stats for 2018 showed that 49.2% of weddings were Catholic marriage ceremonies, down from 50.9% in 2017, 53.7% in 2016 and 56.7% in 2015. Over 96.2% of couples married in 1980 were in Catholic ceremonies. Despite the decline, Catholic ceremonies remain by far the most popular marriage ceremonies in the State, with civil marriages the next most popular at 29.8%. Alternatives to religious ceremonies are increasing across a number of categories, with civil and humanist ceremonies both observing increases.Religious ceremonies still represent the majority of marriage ceremonies however at 61.2% of all marriages, down from 63% last year. Image: Shutterstock SAME-SEX COUPLES are getting married at a younger age each year on average but are still older when getting married compared to opposite sex couples.CSO figures for 2018 show that the average age of a groom in an opposite-sex marriage is now 36.4 years compared to 36.1 years in 2017. That translates to grooms being an average of about four months older than last year. Brides in an opposite-sex couple now marry at an average age of 34.4 years compared to 34.1 years last year. This also about four months older than last year. In same-sex marriages, partners are generally older when they marry but this is getting younger on average. Men in same-sex marriages are 40.1 years on average while women are 38.7.Last year the average was 40.3 years for men and 40.5 years for women.This means that women in same-sex marriages were almost two years younger on average in 2018 compared to 2017. Apr 10th 2019, 2:01 PM https://jrnl.ie/4585280 Share35 Tweet Email1 last_img read more

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  • Dora support for Gaza

    first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greece wants to play a key role in encouraging peace in the Middle East and strongly supports a two-state solution, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said in an interview with Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram last week. Bakoyannis was at an international aid conference to raise funds for  Gaza. Greece is already offering 25 million euros aid to Gaza and committed to an additional $5 million euros to assist with the reconstruction of Gaza as well as food and medical aid.last_img read more

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  • College licenses revoked

    first_imgEducation Minister Anna Diamantopoulou last week called for the 33 operating licenses granted to private colleges under the previous conservative government to be revoked, even as the European Commission threatens to impose huge fines on Greece for failing to grant the same professional rights to graduates of such colleges as their counterparts at state universities.Diamantopoulou revoked the 33 licenses, after the State Legal Council questioned the legality of the process by which the licenses had been granted by her predecessor Aris Spiliotopoulos.Diamantopoulou, who has called for the colleges’ applications for operating licenses to be reviewed, is due for talks with EC officials aimed at averting more than 600,000 euros in fines and at securing the Greek government the right to monitor the quality of teaching.These claims are unlikely to go down well in Brussels, which demands that EU-member states grant equal rights to graduates of foreign colleges, basically branches of foreign universities operating as franchises. The move by the ministry fuelled anger in the private college sector. “The minister should find those who failed to follow legal procedures. We are entirely within the law” the chairman of the Hellenic Colleges’ Association, Constantinos Karkanias, told Kathimerini. He said his association and its members were planning legal action against the ministry. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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  • Prominent media owner and philanthropist dies

    first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The publisher of To Vima and Ta Nea newspapers and head of Greece’s largest media group Lambrakis Press (DOL), Christos Lambrakis, died yesterday at the age of 75. Lambrakis inherited the media group from his father in 1957. He went on to expand DOL to include more than 20 newspaper and magazine titles. It also owns 22 percent of Teletypos, which runs Mega TV channel. “Christos Lambrakis was a very important member of the country’s public life… who made a great contribution to the arts and to education,” said Prime Minister George Papandreou of Lambrakis, who led the collection of private donors in 1991 who created the Athens Concert Hall. “His loss leaves a huge gap and marks the end of an era,” said Papandreou. Lambrakis died of multiple organ failure. His funeral is due to take place tomorrow at Athens’s First Cemetery.last_img read more

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  • Opposition announces 100 000 for new Hellenic Festival

    first_imgA new Hellenic festival in Oakleigh would be given $100 000 if the Coalition is elected in the state election on 27 November, according to an announcement on the weekend. Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nick Kotsiras, along with Liberal candidate for Oakleigh, Theo Zographos, made the announcement at the St Anargiri Feast Day in Oakleigh on Sunday. “It’s about showcasing the advantages and the merits of living in a multicultural society,” Kotsiris told Neos Kosmos. “Festivals on their own don’t solve the problem in terms of racism, but they assist in the big picture when you showcase what different cultures bring to this country.” This follows Premier John Brumby’s announcement of $1 million spending on improvements to Oakleigh’s Eaton Mall, through the Victorian Government’s $12 million Cultural Precincts and Community Infrastructure Fund. “This funding will strengthen Oakleigh’s Greek identity and help encourage more visitors to experience and enjoy the rich cultural traditions of the area,” Mr Brumby said when he announced the spending earlier this month. Mr Kotsiris said the $1 million upgrade would go ahead under a Coalition government, and the Hellenic festival would start after the work was finished. “We should showcase Oakliegh, we should showcase the Greek culture, what the Greek Australians have contributed to the area, and open it up to the wider community,” he said. The seat of Oakleigh has been held by the ALP since 1999, and the Liberal Party candidate would need a 12.4% swing to win. But Mr Kotsiris said Mr Zographos, who is 21, is in with a chance. “Gone are the days where you can assume a seat will go one way or the other,” he said. “It’s about communicating our policies, and Theo making inroads within the streets, the houses and the voters. “And I think he’s doing that.” Mr Kotsiris said he was hoping the Liberal-National coalition would win the 13 seats required to govern in their own right, but conceded it would be “a tough ask”. “People will make up their minds when they go and vote, and that’s what’s so good about our country, democracy is strong, and we have to earn the vote.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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  • Kyrkos exit stage left

    first_img“We don’t seem to have a political class that understands, on any level, what it’s like to face unemployment,” veteran left-wing film director Ken Loach told The Guardian newspaper in an interview last week. Although his comment was a swipe at the British government in the wake of the recent riots in the UK, the description could easily apply to Greek politicians, or indeed many MPs and ministers throughout Europe. Today’s politicians rarely gravitate toward public service after having gained experience and respect working outside the political arena. Instead, it’s a career option and, like any other career, those involved pursue their goals from a young age. Their path to power rarely weaves its way through the troubled back streets of the economy where initiative, courage and compassion are needed. Apart from unemployment, they’ve also not experienced genuine political conflict, the need to have core beliefs and the conviction to stand by these beliefs. Leonidas Kyrkos, the veteran Greek leftist leader who died on Sunday, was familiar with these elements of old-school politics. Kyrkos was one of the select members of a rare political breed, garnering respect from all sides of the spectrum, but he was also one of the last members of a dying species that was familiar with having its political will tested. Kyrkos spent five years in jail for his beliefs during the military dictatorship, founded and departed several parties, and risked his reputation by agreeing to become part of an ill-fated coalition government with the conservatives of New Democracy in 1989. The Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos), which Kyrkos formed with Communist Party leader Harilaos Florakis, gained just over 13 per cent of the vote in the June 1989 elections (roughly three times what the party’s successor receives now) and went through an existential struggle over whether to cooperate with New Democracy (ND) or not. Faced with a series of scandals that were at risk of being swept under the carpet unless Parliament intervened, the leftists took the plunge. It’s a decision that tarnished Kyrkos’ legacy in the eyes of many PASOK voters, who refer to the period as “dirty 89,” as well as some within his own party. Elections were held again in October 1989. Kyrkos’ coalition lost 120,000 votes and ND went on to form a government on its own. As churlish as it would be to single this out as Kyrkos’ defining moment in politics, it was a precursor to the ideological blurring that occurred in Greece and around Europe in the ensuing years. Within a decade, it would become much easier for the parties of the left and right to cohabit because the theoretical chasm that separated them was filled in by the rubble from Communism’s collapse. Parties once termed “socialist” or “social democrat” gradually blended into one with the conservatives and Christian democrats. In some ways, Kyrkos – a passionate but moderate leftist – was a pioneer. Circumstances forced him to be one of the first who would try to marry those reluctant bedfellows: vision and pragmatism. In the years that followed, the relationship between these two vital political elements often became an abusive one in which pragmatism, aided by its good friends greed and selfishness, would regularly beat vision until it cowered in a corner. Yet, ask Greeks in their 30s or 40s and most will remember Kyrkos as one of the last representatives of an era of visionary politics rather than one of the first messengers heralding the age of the politics of convenience, consensus and comfort. They are likely to tell you about how they were enchanted by his oratory and inspired by his ideas. In fact, if there is anything that Kyrkos’ passing should highlight, it is how Greece and Europe’s genuine left has retreated into irrelevance, how it has forgotten that it was meant to be a standard bearer for fairness and the engine room of hope. The financial crisis that originated in the USA and the debt crisis that ensued in Europe provided the left with a broad platform to launch itself into political relevance for the 21st century. So far, it has failed. The center-left remains fused with the center-right and, apart from Germany, where Die Linke has proved a tenacious competitor, most of Europe’s genuine left is wilting, unable to find a way to connect with the millions of disgruntled voters out there. Despite the fact that unemployment is rising, that young people are facing diminishing opportunities and the gap between the rich and poor is growing, the left has not found a way to speak the language of the concerned and disaffected or to give them a viable way out of this dead-end. In fact, the left has been caught dallying by the very representatives of the system it should be trying to improve. Emboldened by US billionaire Warren Buffett’s recent plea to Washington to stop “coddling” the super-rich and make them pay more tax, the wealthy in France, Italy and Germany have begun asking to make a bigger contribution. The German group, Vermogende fur eine Vermogensabgabe (The Wealthy for a Capital Levy) claimed this week that Germany could raise 100 billion euros if the richest paid a 5 per cent wealth tax for two years. Yet, this appears to be an argument that the left is either too scared to make or is incapable of making without turning it into a stale “them” versus “us” debate that makes society’s divisions wider. Writing for Bloomberg this week, George Magnus, a senior economic adviser at UBS, argues that policy makers need to pay more attention to the writings of Karl Marx to understand the current crisis. “The sooner they recognize we’re facing a once-in-a-lifetime crisis of capitalism, the better equipped they will be to manage a way out of it,” he writes before addressing issues such as the conflict between capital and labor and the paradox of over-production and under-consumption. It is an indictment of the left that a banker is able to invoke the spirit of Marx and then make realistic proposals for exiting the crisis, such as putting employment creation at the centre of economic policy and lightening the debt burden on households, when the politicians that camp on this ideological ground seem unable to put together convincing proposals. As Kyrkos passes into the collective memory, perhaps the most important legacy that he leaves is the message for tomorrow’s politicians. Without strong beliefs and the courage to defend them, they have little chance of unseating the current crop of MPs and ministers, for whom unemployment will continue to be a foreign concept. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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  • Samaras hoping for boost from Merkel visit to Athens on Tuesday

    first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Prime Minister Antonis Samaras hailed on Friday as “very positive” the surprise decision by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to come to Athens for talks on Tuesday, although unions and opposition parties reacted to the news by announcing protests to coincide with her visit. The Greek government sees the visit as being highly significant as it will come at a time when Athens is trying to agree with the troika on the details of the 13.5-billion-euro austerity package needed to unlock further bailout installments, a day after the meeting of eurozone finance ministers and a few days before the European Union leaders’ summit on October 18, even though sources in Brussels said that no final decision on Greece will be taken then. “The trip comes against the backdrop of this very difficult situation that Greece is going through right now, the massive adjustment and reform measures that have shaped Greece for the past two years,” Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference. “We see that the reform efforts have increased under the Samaras government and we want to support that.” Sources told Kathimerini that the visit was arranged last Friday during a phone call between the two leaders, who met in Berlin in August, and is being interpreted by Athens as a move by Merkel to show that she is in favor of the next tranche being disbursed and Greece remaining in the eurozone despite the International Monetary Fund’s concerns about the sustainability of its debt. The debt issue is expected to play a key role in the troika’s report on the progress of the Greek program, which is due later this month. “It was about time,” said Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker in response to the news of Merkel’s plans to visit Athens. Merkel will also meet President Karolos Papoulias and PASOK chief Evangelos Venizelos but will not hold customary talks with the leader of the main opposition, Alexis Tsipras of SYRIZA. It is thought Berlin was in two minds about Merkel meeting Tsipras but decided against it after SYRIZA reacted to news of her visit by calling for people to join the work stoppage and protest organized by Greece two main unions, ADEDY and GSEE. SYRIZA said the meeting was “further evidence of the government’s subservience to bankers and capital.” The leftists said they were not interested in holding talks with Merkel. The right-wing Independent Greeks also called for a symbolic encircling of the German Embassy in Athens when Merkel visits. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

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  • Lenders like loans for renovations

    first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Many home owners are prioritizing saving for renovations over other household upgrades, according to a survey by Loan Market.Loan Market Corporate Spokesman Paul Smith said 37 per cent of respondents said the main household item they were saving for this year was a major renovation. Mr Smith said that 23 per cent of the 532 respondents were saving to landscape their property and 30 per cent of Gen-Y respondents said they were saving to buy new appliances or furniture.Mr Smith said that many lenders looked upon home owners who were borrowing for renovation purposes favourably because they were investing in their home and adding to its value.Source: Loan Marketlast_img read more

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  • Stournaras discusses nine issues with troika

    first_imgThe first meeting between the heads of the representation of Greece’s creditors in Athens and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras this month took place on Sunday in a good climate, according to sources, without any serious disagreements and with nine main issues on the table.According to a top Finance Ministry official, the discussion that lasted for about four hours came to no decisions as the representatives of the country’s international creditors did not have a full picture of the situation.In the absence of the head of the International Monetary Fund’s mission to Athens, Poul Thomsen, the Fund was represented by Mark Flanagan and Bob Traa, who sat by Matthias Mors of the European Commission and Klaus Masuch from the European Central Bank.The discussion concerned estimates on the course of this year’s budget, the course of Greece’s macroeconomics for 2013, growth and unemployment, structural changes such as the opening-up of closed-shop professions, the optimum use of some 60,000 ministry employees, tax administration, privatizations, the recapitalization of banks, and the measures that have failed to improve state revenues, with the government asking for changes to the value-added tax on food catering and to the special consumption tax on fuel.The issue of public sector layoffs was not discussed, but will form a key part of the meeting the foreign representatives will have on Monday with Interior Minister Antonis Manitakis.They will meet with Stournaras again on Wednesday, as the Greek Finance Minister will be in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday for the Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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  • Mayor tilts at Katsalidis tower

    first_imgIn a bid to overturn the state government’s approval for Australia 108 – the 388 metre tower planned for Melbourne’s Southbank, Mayor Robert Doyle has suggested that the building’s shadow could disfigure the Shrine of Remembrance. Designed by architect Nonda Katsalidis, the building will be the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere and has met the approval of State Planning Minister Matthew Guy, who has regularly underlined his support for the project – describing it as an architectural example of Australia “coming of age”. Melbourne City Council and the Victorian government have been in dispute over the building’s height since the project began, with architects Fender Katsalidis winning a VCAT tribunal hearing over the City’s objections. Cr Doyle, who sits as a trustee of the Shrine told reporters “There are a couple of things that are sacrosanct – one is the Shrine and the other is the Yarra – and there are rules in the planning scheme to prevent that sort of overshadowing.” The Mayor added: “If something is getting that big that it’s overshadowing the Shrine, you’d really have to say, ‘What are we gaining through that height?’” However Cr Doyle’s concerns are not shared by the Shrine’s CEO Denis Baguley. Mr Baguley told the Herald Sun that the State Planning Department had provided illustrations of how the shadow created by Australia 108 would traverse near the Shrine on Anzac Day and at the winter solstice. “From my observation I don’t believe there are issues of overshadowing that will concern us,” said Mr Baguley. “In our view the effect is minimal – no more than (from) existing buildings and our own trees…” Nonda Katsalidis told Neos Kosmos that the CEO’s comments had pulled the rug out from under the Mayor’s feet. “The Planning Department has gone to the Shrine and shown them diagrams, so Doyle doesn’t have great credibility when talking on this issue,” said Katsalidis. “It’s water of a duck’s back, the City want limits on building heights, but there are good reasons sometimes to build high buildings.” “If the City had their way Melbourne would never have had the Eureka building. Is that a good or a bad outcome? Has it increased the stature of Melbourne? Doyle should think about those things”. Katsalidis has championed the extensive consultation with thousands of local residents and traders in Southbank on the planned Australia 108 tower. None of whom made significant objections. “What this is, is a political issue,” said Katsalidis. “What they don’t like is the minister taking away decisions on major projects from the Council. “The Council want to be part of the process, and that’s fair enough, but they have been. We’ve been through it, they objected before and the tribunal threw it out, as their objections were found to be without merit. They should learn from things like that”. Australia 108 is set to be the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. Using new construction technology developed by Katsalidis, it is likely to have transformed the Melbourne skyline by 2017. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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  • Greece has Europes highest flu deaths

    first_imgGreece has experienced more deaths from flu than any other European country this year apart from Spain, whose population is more than four times larger, according to the latest figures measuring the virus’s impact.Data collected by the European Center for Disease Prevention (ECDC), made public in Greece by the Athens Medical Association (ISA), showed that 155 people had died in Spain by Saturday after contracting flu, while the number of lives lost in Greece to the virus reached 106. Spain, however, has a population of some 46 million, whereas under 11 million live in Greece.Flu deaths in Greece were considerably higher than in a range of European countries. For instance in France, which has a population six times larger than Greece’s, 52 people died from the virus. In Romania, which has twice as many citizens as Greece, just four people died. There were also only four deaths in Sweden, which has a comparable population to Greece. Britain reported no deaths from the virus.The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) said on Monday that flu deaths in Greece had risen to 110 and that another 46 people were receiving hospital treatment. A total of 286 people have received treatment in intensive-care units since the flu season began. However, the number of people contracting the virus has been falling since March 3.The virulent H1N1 strain and a poor vaccination rate have been blamed for the increase in the number of deaths from the virus compared to last year.ISA’s president Giorgos Patoulis called for Greece to develop a national vaccination plan for the next flu season. SYRIZA said that the government’s spending cuts to primary healthcare had contributed to the virus’s more damaging impact this year. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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  • Alexis Tsipras wins election

    first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Alexis Tsipras returned to office on Sunday night after Syriza won a clear victory in Greece’s second general election this year.However, voter turnout fell to 55 per cent – the lowest since modern records began. More than 45 per cent of Greeks did not make it to the polls.New Democracy leader and former defence minister Vangelis Meimarakis conceded defeat to Tsipras saying: “I congratulate him and urge him to create the government which is needed.”Before casting his vote earlier, Meimarakis had called for voters to “banish the falsehoods and misery of the Syriza era, and bring in authentic people who could competently run the country.”Greek voters- the ones that did vote- chose to give SYRIZA another chance rather than opting for New Democracy, a solid right party.The new Greek government will have to pass new legislation yet again to boost the implementation of the the €86bn bail-out and to retain the confidence of creditors- which is likely to deter Tsipras’ voters.Before the results had called for a mandate for a “strong fighting government that could last four years and help Greece force through the reforms required to put the country back on a path to prosperity.”Warning of the “confrontations ahead” he warning of the stressed the new measures are “necessary in order to move forward with reforms”.Results show the radical left party had won sufficient seats to form a coalition government in the coming days.Greece’s centre-right Independent Greeks confirmed they would again team up with Tsipras, continuing their eight month coalition which is on course for a total of 155 seats.Meanwhile Tsipras addressed Greeks before a victory rally in Klafomonos Square reassuring his voters that the country “is on firm ground”.“In Europe today, Greece and the Greek people are synonymous with resistance and dignity, and this struggle will be continued together for another four years.”“We have difficulties ahead (…) We won’t recover from the struggle by magic,but it can happen with hard work.”Tsipras will be confirmed in office today with the formal announcement of his coalition to be made by Wednesday at the latest.Sources: Kathimerini, The Guardian, Twitterlast_img read more

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  • Read the Prespes agreement on the Macedonia name issue in English

    first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Prespes agreement was released in the English language by Greek Parliament, just days ahead of the demonstration protesting the name change at Syntagma Square.The document focuses on the recognition of FYROM as the Republic of Northern Macedonia, however also clarifies details concerning the area’s identity, language and people. Not only does it deal with the name dispute, but it also outlines the future collaboration between the Skopje and Athens on issues such as cooperation in different fields, such as defence and education, civil protection, and settlement of disputes.Supporters of the agreement feel that it would put an end to a 28-year dispute and lead to a new era in Greek-FYROM ties. Critics, however, state that the document fails to deliver on certain points. A rally was held on Sunday with clashes between protestors and the police at the Athens city centre.The Greek government is set to ratify the agreement this week following a vote of confidence that took place last week.Read it for yourself, by CLICKING ON THE LINK.last_img read more

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  • iSlate iPad ou iTab un nom encore incertain mais une sortie confirmée

    first_imgiSlate, iPad ou iTab : un nom encore incertain mais une sortie confirmée pour demainÉtats-Unis – C’est officiel : demain mercredi 27 janvier, à 19 heures (en France), Steve Jobs présentera la dernière invention d’Apple, la fameuse tablette iSlate. Le patron d’Apple est confiant et attend cette nouveauté avec enthousiasme : “C’est la chose la plus importante que j’ai jamais faite” a-t-il déclaré. Le monde entier est impatient et excité de découvrir la dernière création de la marque à la pomme. Demain, à San Francisco, on saura enfin à quoi ressemble ce produit, à la pointe de la technologie. À lire aussiiPhone 6 : un smartphone fragile qui se plierait en restant dans une poche ?D’après les 50 prototypes repérés sur le campus de Cupertino, siège de la compagnie Apple, cette tablette permettrait d’accéder à plus de 200 applications, aussi bien personnelles (jeux, divertissements, livres même) que professionnelles (bases de données, fichiers, dossiers et outils de travail).Le nom du produit reste apparemment à confirmer. Apple voudrait le baptiser iPad, mais ce nom appartient à la société Fujitsu. Bien que cette dernière ne s’en soit jamais servi, des négociations sont encore en cours pour que Apple en détienne les droits. Le nom pourrait être iSlate, ou encore iTab. Cette tablette graphique interpelle bien des curieux. Patience, plus que quelques heures et toutes les informations seront transmises. Le 26 janvier 2010 à 11:44 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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  • iPad bientôt un razdemarée

    first_imgiPad : bientôt un raz-de-marée ?Europe – L’iPad débarque en Europe et avec lui arrivent les prévisions les plus ambitieuses concernant ses futures ventes. L’année 2010 sera de toute évidence celle des tablettes internet.L’iPad sera bientôt disponible en France et les experts prévoient un succès hors normes pour le dernier né d’Apple. Les cabinets d’étude estiment, dans une fourchette plutôt large, des ventes s’échelonnant entre 4 et 10 millions d’unités dans le monde. À lire aussiL’effet terrible et inattendu de la 5G sur les insectesFaisant partie des spécialistes plus “mesurés”, le cabinet GfK explique son raisonnement : “Il s’est vendu 8 millions de netbooks dans le monde l’année de son lancement, alors que son prix tournait autour de 300 euros. Cette fois, il s’agit d’un nouveau marché qui reste à défricher. Nous pensons que l’expérience des utilisateurs va faire la différence.” Voyant le succès se profiler, la concurrence n’a pas tardé à pointer le bout de son nez. Dell s’apprête à sortir sa tablette en juin au Royaume-Uni. Une nouvelle bataille a déjà commencé.Le 26 mai 2010 à 12:47 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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  • Drogues la prise de conscience des Français

    first_imgDrogues : la prise de conscience des FrançaisFrance – L’Observatoire français des drogues et des toxicomanies a publié hier une étude sur l’opinion des Français concernant les drogues.Il apparaît que les Français sont de plus en plus méfiants vis à vis des substances addictives illicites (héroïne, cannabis, etc.) ou licites (cigarette, alcool). Cette méfiance s’étend aux consommateurs puisque 84% des sondés les jugent responsables de leur comportement et dangereux pour leur entourage ; 24% seulement les jugent malades. À lire aussiEn donnant de l’ecstasy à des pieuvres, des scientifiques découvrent un lien évolutif avec l’HommeOr, rappelle Étienne Apaire, président de la Mission interministérielle de lutte contre les drogues et les toxicomanies, les addictions doivent être considérées comme des maladies.Cette prise de conscience des Français, bien que parfois un peu radicale, est néanmoins positive. En effet, elle prouve que les campagnes mises en place par les pouvoirs publics depuis des années sont efficaces. Ainsi, les citoyens voient positivement tout dispositif susceptible de lutter contre les dépendances, qu’il soit répressif, préventif ou curatif. Le 22 juin 2010 à 10:51 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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