Saturday May 18 & Sunday May 19– Musgrave Park, South Brisbane


Come on a journey…In 1976, some 37 years ago, a group of passionate   Greek Australians wanted to share their cultural traditions with Brisbane. They wanted to take this city on a journey. A journey of discovery, a celebration of dance and music, a gastronomical tour through secret recipe books, a voyage through history rich in colour and passion.

Fast forward to 2012, and this kaleidoscopic cultural explosion is now legendary with over 50,000 Greeks and honorary Greeks flocking to Musgrave Park, South Brisbane every year for the annual Paniyiri Greek Festival.

Paniyiri Greek Festival will be held on Saturday May 18 and Sunday May 19, this year, making it the longest running cultural festival in Queensland and the longest running Greek festival in Australia!

In Musgrave Park more than 30 food stalls will showcase the tastes, recipes and secrets of food from all corners of Greece while on the main stage famous Greek dances the Zorba, Sirto, Kalamatiano and Sousta, performed to music performed on traditional Greek instruments including the bouzouki, tarabuka, lira and laouto are enjoyed by Greeks and non-Greeks alike in a wonderful cross cultural celebration.

The Paniyiri Main Stage in Musgrave Park will host over 20 hours of entertainment over the weekend including the return of Greek Dancing with the Stars with surprise special guests; a world record Zorba attempt; Grape Stomping, Olive and Honeypuff Eating Competitions; Hellenic Dancing and Zorba Till You Drop. The Greek Club will be a hive of activity with the popular traditional Greek Cooking Demonstrations featuring Queensland’s culinary greats plus the screening of cultural films and just next door, the Greek Orthodox Church will conduct tours to the beautiful sounds of the Byzantine Choir.

While the historic steps of the Acropolis may be some 15,000km from the grassy flats of Brisbane’s Musgrave Park, all the sights, sounds, characters and culture from the country which produced Homer, haloumi, honey puffs, Socrates, Plato and the famous Zorba will be celebrated in style during the much anticipated festival.

So… if you only learn one Greek word this year, make it Paniyiri!!!

Paniyiri is Queensland’s signature celebration of all things Greek and the state’s largest cultural festival. The event will be held from Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20 at Musgrave Park and The Greek Club in South Brisbane. Now in its 36th  successful and exciting year, Paniyiri is a community initiative of the 25,000-strong Greek community of South East Queensland. Funds raised are channeled back into the community via the Greek Orthodox Community of St George, Brisbane’s oldest Greek community established in the 1920s.


Paniyiri 2013 Fast Facts

Date:                     Saturday May 18 & Sunday May 19, 2013

Time:                     From 12noon on Saturday and 10am on Sunday

Location:              Musgrave Park & The Greek Club, Edmondstone St, South Brisbane

Entry:                    $10 Adults (13+), $2 Aged Pensioners, Children free


Greek expats in Australia concerned about potential tax changes

Source: australiaforum

Greek expats in Australia concerned about potential tax changes

In a move which is certainly a sign of the times, and shows the Greek economy is still under major pressure, the Greek government has this week floated the idea of charging additional tax on Greek property income, either from rental or sale, for expats living in Australia. This is despite the fact that the Australian government and the Greek authorities have in place a “double taxation” agreement which should in practice avoid any such issues.

If you take a step back and look at the situation, there is no doubt that the Greek economy is under pressure, the Greek government is now in the pocket of the European Union and something needs to be done to claw back lost revenue. However, critics of the Greek government blame the fact that potentially hundreds of millions of Euros in taxes have yet to be collected, many of these debts have been written off and suggest this is the area in which regulatory changes should be made.

The Greek community in Australia

The 2006 Australian census states that there were 260,000 people of Greek nationality living Australia with 126,000 actually born in Greece. Therefore, it goes without saying that the Greek expat community in Australia is certainly a significant force and already the Australian government has confirmed that it is “monitoring the situation” with regards to potential issues of double taxation.

The fear is that the Greek government is to effectively deem all people from Greece as “living in Greece” for taxation purposes although they have stated point-blank that they will not tax income earned in Australia. For some reason the Greek expat community does not trust or believe what it is been told at the moment and there is growing anxiety amongst this expat community. There is a potential “get out clause” because the Greek government has suggested that the implementation of the recently confirmed property tax could effectively be delayed or cancelled if the Greek economy improves. How likely is this under the significant financial pressure at the moment?

The future of Greece

It is no surprise to learn that there is a significant Greek expat community in Australia especially when you bear in mind the ongoing economic difficulties. The figure of 260,000 expats gleaned from the consensus of 2006 is likely to be significantly higher especially when you bear in mind recent events. It will be interesting to see how the Australian government supports the Greek expat community because in effect by allowing them to stay in Australia they are under the stewardship of the Australian government.

Quote from : “The Greek government has this week confirmed it is looking at introducing a property tax for Greek expats in Australia, and other areas of the world, earning rental income and sales income on properly held in Greece.”

The short to medium-term outlook for the Greek economy is not good, the Greek government is effectively at the beck and call of the European Union and many experts predict significant budget problems for many years to come. Against this backdrop, it is difficult to see the so-called “get out clause” brought up by the Greek authorities ever being activated. To all intents and purposes, this is something of a red herring to potentially take the edge off the proposed property tax.


While the Greek government has been talking about austerity measures and increased taxation in the same breath, looking towards those who have moved overseas, it is difficult to see how the Greek government can justify pushing this too far. Income on rental property and property sales in Greece has been suggested although so far the legislation has been held back for further discussions. Concerns about potential double taxation problems on income earned in Australia seems to be well wide of the mark but when you bear in mind the precarious position of the Greek government perhaps anything can happen?

It will be interesting to see how far the Australian government is prepared to go to protect the assets and the wealth of Greek expats living under their stewardship. This could well be a major test of the rights of expats when moving to Australia and whether indeed the federal government will look to protect these?

Tough new property tax to hit Greeks in Australia

Source: SMH

Thousands of Greek Australians face paying higher taxes on their properties in Greece and fear their Australian earnings are also under threat of being doubly taxed.

Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Konstantinos Tsiaras, has responded to those concerns during a visit to Sydney, assuring Greek Australians his government will not tax them on income they earn in Australia.

But Mr Tsiaras said taxes on property owned in Greece and any rental income – or potential income – would be taxed at a higher rate as part of that government’s tough austerity measures.

Introduction of the new taxes has been temporarily postponed and Mr Tsiaras said it was possible they might be revised if the Greek economy improved by the end of this year.

”We believe the stabilisation program that we have followed for about five months now will give us much better economic indicators,” Mr Tsiaras said. ”By the end of the year, we are going to turn the corner.”

Australian officials are expecting the new Greek tax arrangements to be finalised by May.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the Australian government was keeping ”possible double taxation agreements under constant review”.

”We have not yet been briefed on new Greek government tax measures,” the spokesman said.

”Once details are clearer, the government will be able to determine the possible impact of the new measures on Australians of Greek descent.”

There are more than 260,000 people of Greek nationality in Australia, with almost 126,000 born in Greece, according to data from the 2006 census.

Mr Tsiaras said the Greek government was also reviewing the need for complicated paper work Greek Australians have been asked to fill out to register their Australian citizenship.

Costa Potiris, a journalist at Sydney’s Greek Herald has written about the proposed tax law changes and said Australia’s Greek community was very concerned about the possibility of paying taxes on income earned in Australia.

”I am considered to be Greek living in Greece therefore all my income is subject to Greek taxation,” he said. ”People are very worried.”

The Greek ambassador to Australia, Charalambos Dafaranos, said there was no risk Greek Australians would be taxed on the income they earned in Australia.

”We want people to know that if they have income from rented properties in Greece or if they have property, they need to declare it,” he said.

”Nobody needs to know how much they earn or pay tax in Australia.

”They will not be required to pay a double tax. What interests us is if they are residents of a foreign land.”

A spokesman for the Australian Tax Office said there had been no talks between Greece and the ATO in relation to Australian residents being taxed for the work they do in Australia.

Australia is also negotiating with Greece on a reciprocal work and holiday visa program between Australia and Greece.

The current draft agreement proposes a cap of 500 visas a year.


Napoleon Perdis goes global with US boutique

Source: DailyTelegraph

Napoleon Perdis

Napoleon Perdis launches at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman for FashCon. Source: The Daily Telegraph

NAPOLEON Perdis has gone from owning a small make-up boutique in Leichhardt to conquering the US market.

The cosmetics guru now has his products available in select Neiman Marcus stores and is the first Australian beauty brand to be carried by the department store since Helena Rubinstein.

“I’ve long admired Neiman Marcus as one of the most luxurious retailers in the world. I believe my brand belongs in that classic department store setting and Neiman’s is the perfect home,” Perdis said.

He started out in Leichhardt in the early `90s before working in Drummoyne, which he describes as an amazing experience.

“I love the people and the cosmopolitan feeling of it, and how my clients were of all different ethnicities. I had a very large, loyal customer base in the inner west of Sydney.”

He said his biggest challenge has been staying consistent and true to his ambition. He sees his company evolving to everything from bath and body to skincare, make-up and nails.


* 1 Creating any makeup look is all about priming – not to prime is a crime! That prepares the skin and allows for a great reactivation of the foundation
* 2 I then always do mascara first, because you may not need much more beyond that
* 3 At the moment, I love the pretty preppy make-up look – that classic Ivy League look. It’s all about natural skin, a hint of blush, a subtle mascara application and pretty pink lip

* Opening up my flagship Makeup Academy and Concept Store on Hollywood Boulevard in the US


Nick Xenophon believes Brighton Caravan Park evictees have legal case

Source: News

Brighton Caravan Park

SA Senator Nick Xenophon is pledging his support for Brighton Caravan Park residents facing eviction. Mr Xenophon and Ken Rollond with some of the affected residents. Picture: Sam Wundke

BRIGHTON Caravan Park residents facing eviction may have grounds to pursue legal action, SA Senator Nick Xenophon says.

Senator Xenophon, a lawyer, met with the residents last week to offer support and discuss possible legal remedies available to them.

“There is a potential legal case,” he told the Guardian Messenger after the meeting.

“We need to get all of the facts on the table and get advice from a barrister so my job now is to collate all the information.”

Mr Xenophon said the legal issues were complicated, and he would again speak with the tenants this weekend to garner more information, before deciding how to proceed.

Senator Xenophon hoped the council and the tenants could reach a compromise which would rule out legal action.

“I really want there to be a negotiated outcome,” he said.

About 40 permanent residents of the seafront park were told by the council in January their leases, which expire on July 1, would not be renewed, to make way for a $3 million redevelopment of the park.

Mr Xenophon also met Holdfast Bay chief executive Justin Lynch and deputy mayor Rosemary Clancy.

“It was a constructive meeting that shows the council is willing to talk,” Senator Xenophon said.

Cr Clancy said the council had informed Mr Xenophon about the council’s offer of help to relocate the tenants.

“It was a very good meeting which recognised the need for the redevelopment,” she said.

“We assured him of our flexibility with arrangements for each individual affected by the change.”


New report on migration and multiculturalism in Australia (MP Maria Vamvakinou)

Source: APH

Australia is a vibrant multicultural society according to the findings of the Migration Committee report tabled in the Parliament today (March 18). The report received bi-partisan support and made 32 recommendations after receiving over 500 submissions and holding 27 public hearings over a two year period.

The report found that Australian multiculturalism is a success story, and stands as a good example to the world on how to build a cohesive society.

Member for Parliament Maria Vamvakinou
Member for Parliament Maria Vamvakinou

Chair of the Migration Committee Maria Vamvakinou said: “immigration and settlement in Australia has always been a nation building exercise. The committee believes that access to Australian citizenship has been at the heart of the success and cohesion of Australian society. Settlement is a long term and intergenerational process, and we need a whole of government approach and better coordination between all three tiers of Australian government”.

The committee’s recommendations include: rebuilding Australia’s research capacity in this field, especially in qualitative research; factoring cultural and linguistic diversity into the Government’s Social Inclusion Agenda, greater flexibility in English language training and support for micro enterprises, especially for women. The Committee found Job Services Australia needs to improve its delivery of services to people of diverse backgrounds, including refugees.

Deputy Chair Louise Markus said the committee welcomed meeting people at the grass roots where business and local communities were collaborating to improve relationships, and build skills and opportunities for people from different backgrounds.

“In Dandenong, the South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance is bringing employers and young refugees together; the National Australia Bank’s African Inclusion Program is exemplary; and social enterprises, like The Studio, are inspirational. These initiatives deserve special mention and prove that cooperation, cross-cultural awareness, and commitment provide tangible results,” Mrs Markus said.

Mrs Markus said there was “no doubt that immigration has enriched the social, economic and cultural life of our country”.

Ms Vamvakinou said every society is dynamic and open to the influences of globalisation, wars, and economic crises. We are a resilient society and well placed to meet these challenges.


“Mitsias Sings For Greece”: Greek Legendary Singer Manolis Mitsias to perform at a benefit concert FUNDS RAISED AS OF THIS PRESS RELEASE $140,000

Source: greeknewsonline

New Jersey

On March 23, 2013, at 7:00 p.m., the P.G.E.I. Charitable Foundation and the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey will co-host, with the support of Pan Gregorian Enterprises, a concert to benefit charities in Greece and Cyprus who are well known for their transparency and the wonderful results of their charitable mission.

This benefit concert is anticipated for a long  time by the Hellenic Community of New Jersey and will be an event to remember.  The concert will be a first class event performed by Manolis Mitsias, the acclaimed and well known singer of many memorable songs and will be accompanied by Dimitris Mariolas on Bouzouki and the Syn-Phonia Band featuring Aphrodite Daniel, Rena Tsapela, Panagiotis Andreou Christos Papadopoulos.  The concert will be given at the impressive Nicholas Music Center at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

The funds raised are dedicated for the support of four charities: Hamogelo tou Paidiou (Smile of the Child) which provides a home and other services to needy children throughout Greece, Kivotos tou Kosmou (Ark of the World) which provides services to needy families in Greece, Apostoli (Mission) of the Archdiocese of Athens which runs soup kitchens for the hungry in Athens and surrounding areas, and The Cyprus Children’s Fund which assists needy children in Cyprus.

Place: Rutgers University                                  Time:  7:00 PM

Douglass Campus                                             Tickets & Sponsorships:

Nicholas Music Center                                      Contacts:

85 George Street                                               Despina 201-981-5764

New Brunswick, NJ 08901                                Toni:    908-624-0250


WJC urges Greek action against neo-Nazis

Source: WorldJewishCongress

Leaders of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Sunday sent a strong message of solidarity to the Jewish community of Greece as they gathered in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki for meetings of the WJC Executive Committee and commemorations on the 70thanniversary of the first deportation of Salonican Jews to the death camps. In a speech in the presence of Greek Prime Minister AntonisSamaras, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder urged Greece to take decisive action against the growing neo-Nazi movement Golden Dawn, which he called “the new Nazis” and “a threat to democracy.” In a resolution, the World Jewish Congress called on Greece to consider banning extremist parties such as Golden Dawn.

Samaras (pictured below) on Sunday became the first sitting Greek prime minister of the last 100 years to visit a synagogue. He pledged that his government would do everything to rein in the extremists. The Greek government would enact legislation that will be “completely intolerant to violence and racism,” he said, noting that with neo-Nazi parties on the rise again in Europe, governments had to “be very careful not to let them gain ground as they did in the 1930s.”

Fifty Jewish community heads and representatives from around the world attended the series of events in Thessaloniki in commemoration of the victims of the Holocaust. They were co-organized by the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki. More than 48,000 Jews of Thessaloniki were deported between March and August of 1943 and 96 percent of them were murdered in the German death camps.

On Saturday, World Jewsh Congress representatives took part in a commemorative march organized by Thessaloniki’s mayor YiannisBoutaris which attracted nearly 3,000 participants.

In his speech at the Monastiriotes Synagogue, Ronald Lauder thanked the survivors – some of whom were present and lit candles – for returning and rebuilding the Salonican community. He also praised Jewish community leader David Saltiel for his tremendous efforts in strengthening the community.

As part of the resolution, the WJC calls on Greece to “consider banning political parties, such as the Golden Dawn movement, which pose a serious danger to liberal democracy”; and also calls on the European Union to “ensure that political movements that actively espouse a platform of discrimination of ethnic or religious minorities, in contravention of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, are dealt with in a coordinated manner in all EU member states that law enforcement authorities receive all necessary support for the protection of citizens against such crimes.”

On Monday, the members of the WJC Executive will travel to Israel to hold talks with members of the newly appointed Israeli government and President Shimon Peres.

Resolution by WJC Executive Committee, adopted on 17 March 2013 in Thessaloniki, Greece

The Executive Committee of the World Jewish Congress, meeting in Thessaloniki, Greece on 17 March 2013 to commemorate the 70thanniversary of the deportation of nearly 50,000 Thessaloniki Jews to the Nazi death camps where more than 48,000 of them were murdered:

EXPRESSES the solidarity of world Jewry with Greek Jews, many of who are suffering from growing anti-Semitism and economic hardship;

NOTES that Greece is the country where Democracy was born and that during World War II, thousands of Greeks gave their lives to protect freedom and in opposition to the barbarism of the Nazis;

NOTES with alarm the growing expressions of anti-Semitism and the rise of the extremist and violently racist Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) movement, which has parliamentary representation, manifest in: its open denial of the Shoah and the existence of gas chambers at Nazi death camps; a series of anti-Semitic and racist statements; and physical assaults on dark-skinned people and immigrants which have become an almost daily occurrence in Greece;

EXPRESSES its great concern that a part of Greek society appears not to be sufficiently alert as to where such hateful ideology can ultimately lead, with members of Greek law enforcement authorities being repeatedly accused of leniency toward Golden Dawn activists who brutally attacked immigrant workers, and with the Greek judiciary being weak in bringing those who commit hate crimes, to justice;

RECALLS with immense sadness the fact that the failure by Germany’s democratic parties to effectively combat the Nazis, led to the appointment, 80 years ago, of Adolf Hitler as German chancellor and the establishment of a murderous dictatorship that ultimately led to World War II and the Shoah;

URGES the Greek authorities to: take serious and concerted actions against Holocaust denial, anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia; implement all relevant European laws in that domain; and unite all democratic forces against the enemies of democracy, so as not to allow society to drift into the darkness of racial hatred and anti-Semitism.

CALLS on Greece to consider banning political parties, such as the Golden Dawn movement, which pose a serious danger to liberal democracy;

CALLS on the European Union to ensure that political movements that actively espouse a platform of discrimination of ethnic or religious minorities, in contravention of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, are dealt with in a coordinated manner in all EU member states and that law enforcement authorities receive all necessary support for the protection of citizens against such crimes.



Source: YahooNews

70 years on, Greek survivor recalls red sky over Birkenau

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AFP) – Heinz Kounio was put aboard the first train to transfer Jews from the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki to the Auschwitz death camp on March 15, 1943.

As Greece held solemn ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the forced deportations, the 85-year-old says he vividly recalls “the red sky” over the death camp, lit up by flames from the crematoria chimneys.

One of the last living survivors, every detail of Nazi horror is engraved in the memory of Kounio who was 15 at the time of his deportation and totally unaware of the hell of methodical human extermination he was about to experience.

Once he got off the train, at night, after a harrowing seven-day journey, the first thing he saw was “a red sky over Birkenau,” and “a kind of rain of small ashes that fell from the sky”.

“The SS were waiting for us. They had dogs. They hit us and they did not understand why nobody obeyed,” he told AFP.

The Thessaloniki Jews, often of Spanish origin, did not speak German.

Kounio, his father, his mother who was of Czechoslovak origin and his sister were the only ones who spoke German.

They were immediately selected to translate the SS orders into Greek.


“Don’t speak.”

Kounio says this is what saved them.

“We were there each time a Greek transport arrived in Auschwitz, to translate.”

Sometimes he saw familiar faces, but “I could not talk to people I knew, never,” or he would be beaten.

After Auschwitz, Kounio was transferred to Matthausen, then Merk and finally to the Ebensee camp in Austria where he remained until the arrival of general George Patton and his army in 1945.

Today, sitting on the front row during the commemoration events in the former “Jerusalem of the Balkans,” Kounio still has the number 109565 tattooed on his arm.

Decimated by the Nazis, the Jewish community of his city which amounted to nearly 50,000 before World War II now numbers fewer than 2,000.

Kounio does not want to talk about politics although he said he finds the existence of Holocaust deniers in many European countries and a lack of democracy “frightening”.

In June, in a shocking first for Greece, neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn was elected into parliament, riding a wave of social tensions as a result of the deep economic crisis.

But Kounio said he is optimistic for the future of Europe.

“I don’t think Europe will split again, politicians know it is too dangerous,” he says.

“I believe Germany wants power but they know they cannot survive without the others.”

In May, Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos publicly denied the Nazis’ extermination of the Jews and the existence of concentration camps.

“Many of the problems in Greece stem from the fact that, despite official statements, the Holocaust is not really taught at school,” said the head of the Thessaloniki Jewish Museum, Erika Perahia.

“History books only contain about five lines, that’s all.”

Addressing one of the commemorative events on Sunday, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called for zero tolerance on racism adding that society had no room for racists and anti-Semites.

“Today neo-Nazism is reappearing in all of Europe, aided by the crisis and the high numbers of unemployment,” Samaras said.

“That is why today, more than any other time and especially in countries experiencing a great crisis, it is our duty to be alert.”

Speaking at the same event, head of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder asked Samaras to take action against what he called the “new Nazis.”

“The same extremist, fanatic ideology that brought devastation over Europe 70 years ago has today representation in the Greek parliament. They call themselves Golden Dawn,” Lauder warned.

On the same day, 20-year-old footballer Giorgos Katidis was banned for life from playing for his country by the Greek football federation after giving a Nazi salute during a game.

“I am not a fascist and I would not have done it if I had known what it means,” claimed the midfielder on his Twitter account on Saturday.

Cypriot banks to transfer Greek units to Greek owners


CYPRIOT banks will transfer their Greek units to Greek owners as part of the island’s international bailout agreed earlier yesterday, two government and banking sources in Athens told Reuters.

Cypriot banks account for the bulk of the €0 billion that Nicosia will get from eurozone countries to stave off bankruptcy. In sharp contrast with previous bailouts for other indebted nations, the rescue package is co-funded by levies on bank deposits.

The units of Cypriot banks in Greece, which account for about a tenth of Greece’s banking market, were specifically excluded from the levy after a deal to transfer them to Greek lenders, one senior banking source and one senior finance ministry official said.

“They will be transferred to a Greek bank,” the finance ministry official said. It was not yet clear which Greek bank would take them over and on what terms.

Greek lenders have themselves been bailed out with up to €50 billion in EU/IMF funds after a Greek debt cut in 2012 severely hit the value of their bondholdings.

The eurogroup said earlier yesterday, without elaborating, that it welcomed “that an agreement could be reached on the Greek branches of the Cypriot banks, which protects the stability of both the Greek and the Cypriot banking systems”.

It said this would be done in a way which “does not burden the Greek debt-to-GDP ratio”.

Cyprus’ two top lenders with a presence in Greece are Bank of Cyprus and Popular Bank. Greek operations accounted for more than a quarter of total group operating income at Bank of Cyprus and 10 per cent at Popular, according to nine-month 2012 results.

According to Greek media reports, Cypriot lenders’ assets will be most likely transferred to Hellenic Postbank, a formerly state-controlled lender which was itself bailed out in January.

But a Postbank official told Reuters it was not yet known if this would happen.

Postbank, whose capital shortfall was estimated at €3.7 billion passed into the full ownership of Greece’s bank bailout fund (HFSF) with a view to being sold at some point to private investors.


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