Desperate Greek citizens ‘are intentionally infecting themselves with HIV’ to qualify for state benefit which is set aside for addicts


In Greece, HIV carriers are entitled to a state benefit of 700 Euros per month (picture posed by model)

In Greece, HIV carriers are entitled to a state benefit of 700 Euros per month (picture posed by model)

Desperate Greek citizens are intentionally infecting themselves with the HIV, in a bid to qualify for benefits which are given to sufferers of the killer virus, a report has claimed.

A World Health Organization report has revealed what it calls a ‘significant rise’ in the number of sufferers between 2007 and 2009, when the European financial crisis brought the country’s economy to its knees.

The number of reported new infections then continued to soar, from 22 in 2010 to 245 in 2011, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Shockingly, the research said around half of new cases could be self-inflicted by drug addicts who want to cash in on welfare handouts.

In Greece, HIV carriers are entitled to a state benefit of €700 (£590) per month as well as access to drug substitution programmes which can help battle the illness.

A European Union-funded injection site, the first of its kind in Greece, has also been opened in a run-down part of central Athens in October this year.

Addicts are paid small sums of money for visiting the facility and providing data for anonymous surveys, as well as returning to pick up their HIV test results.

The WHO report cited a piece of work by the country’s Mental Health Research Institute in 2011 which noted ‘the well-founded suspicion’ that some problem drug users ‘are intentionally infected with HIV, because of the benefit that are entitled to approximately €1,400 every two months.’

The claims show the shocking effect of the Greek fiscal meltdown which is filtering down from big business and banks to ordinary citizens.

A World Health Organization report has revealed what it calls a significant rise in the number of sufferers between 2007 and 2009, when the European financial crisis brought the country's economy to its knees

A World Health Organization report has revealed what it calls a significant rise in the number of sufferers between 2007 and 2009, when the European financial crisis brought the country’s economy to its knees

The report also found that the economic crisis could be related to a sharp rise in suicide, which soared by 17 per cent in Greece between 2007 and 2009 and then another 25 per cent in 2010.

As the crisis deepened in the first half of 2011, suicide attempts surged again by 40 per cent.

When the report was compiled in autumn of this year, Greek unemployment stood at 26.9 per cent.

That grim figure is more than the Spanish total which stands at 26 per cent and the next highest, Portugal, at 16.3 per cent.

Despite the existence of a drug benefit being linked to rising cases, drug experts have urged governments to exclude drug-abuse treatment from austerity budget cuts.

Austerity measures imposed by the Greece since their economic crisis have caused disturbances in country. But drug experts have urged the government not to impose cuts on drugs benefits, saying removing support networks could make matters worse

Austerity measures imposed by the Greece since their economic crisis have caused disturbances in country. But drug experts have urged the government not to impose cuts on drugs benefits, saying removing support networks could make matters worse

Thomas Kattau, a Council of Europe official said: ‘There are alarming figures in Greece. So I think it’s very important that vulnerable people are targeted for treatment.’

Kattau said program like the injection-zone had been regarded as successful in Germany, the Netherlands and other European countries, as well as Canada.

He added: ‘The experience in those countries shows they don’t use to the money to buy drugs, but things like hygiene products. So it puts them on a road to recovery.

‘In the end the goal is to stop the spread of HIV-Aids. Every euro invested into drug treatment is an investment to public health and public safety.

Former rockstar turned Orthodox priest, Dr Themis has joined forces with the Red Cross in Sierra Leone

The V. Rev. Dr. Themistocles Adamopoulo, born in Alexandria and raised in Melbourne, is an archimandrite in Freetown, Sierra Leone, within the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. His work is in mission and charity, using education as a means of bringing people out of poverty.

Eleftherius and Helen Adamopoulo were the parents of a Greek family who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Eleftherius was an author, successful banker and had a double qualification in Chemistry; and Helen was a headmistress of a school. In 1945, Themistocles was born. Seeing developments that would have dire consequences for foreigners in Egypt, in 1956, Eleftherius and Helen immigrated with their family – including their son, Themistocles – to Melbourne, Australia. Themistocles, because of the social stigma of Greeks at the time, grew up wishing to fit into wider Australian society.

Due to the Adamopoulo’s being Greeks from a non-Greek country, they were considered to be Greeks by Anglo-Celtic Australian society, and outsiders within the Greek community. As such, Eleftherius became a labourer, and Helen worked in factories. However, in a few years, Helen was recognised by Melbourne University, becoming a teacher at Presbyterian Ladies College, and Eleftherius was recognised by local industries, becoming an industrial chemist.

Themistocles went to high school at Williamstown High School, being gifted in academic areas, and getting a result good enough to win a scholarship to Melbourne University. He began a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1964, and then formed a music group similar to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones known as The Flies. This caused a two-year deferment in his university studies while he pursued the music industry, including records, Top 10 songs, a fan club and supporting the Beatles on their Australian tour.

However, he decided that this was not to be a permanent occupation, and returned to university in a Bachelor of Arts course, studying philosophy, political science and history. His readings, and perspectives on human rights, social justice and minority groups, were formed during this period, and are acknowledged by himself to have affected the way he lives his religion today. At 22, he became a tutor at Melbourne University.

However, at the time, he held a strict athiestic view that he later recognised as contradictory. Themi attributes his conversion to anti-establishment ideas that happened in greater society, such as the opposition to the Vietnam War, and to Timothy Leary’s influence in exploring counter-cultural concepts in spiritual terms. This anti-establishment focus was brought to bear on Nietzsche and Marx, and Themi was to look at various religions, looking for truths in them that could be useful in an ideal world. Undergoing a Christian mystical experience, Themi then accepted Christianity as the path to God.

He did not immediately go to the Greek Orthodox Church of his parents, but first held a belief in Christ while looking for the denomination that could best understand his experience. Through reading the Bible and the life of St Francis of Assisi, Themi began to sell his property, give to the poor, and resign from his tutorship in political science. Speaking to one or two Greek Orthodox priests in Melbourne, he asked about God and was told not to inquire into God. Finding this unsatisfactory, he then went to other churches, finding in the Presbyterian church interesting people willing to discuss God and accommodate his previous experiences, people who accepted and greatly respected him. However, he began to ask why he was born a Greek and baptised Orthodox, and looked again at Orthodoxy.

Pity for the state of the Orthodox Church in Melbourne in the early seventies led him to join the Church – there was no teaching of Christ, Sunday schools, youth groups or Bible study groups, but rather joining together as a common identity of Greeks. Themi felt sorry for these people, whom he had already learnt more about the Bible than. He was immediately accepted due to being Greek, and received permission to begin a Sunday school.

Themi, after beginning a Masters of Education, transferred to a Diploma of Education for teaching at technical schools to continue his new-found association and identification with the working class. He went on to teach at Richmond Technical School, Essendon Technical School and Preston Technical School, all in the heartlands of the working class. However, his unwavering and spoken commitment to Christ meant that he was transferred from school to school, finally resigning from Lalor High School due to frustration at the continued restriction of his freedom of speech.

After this, due to the lack of Orthodox seminaries at the time, he took up studies at a Catholic theological school. He was advised by Archbishop Stylianos, the then-new Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia, to study at Corpus Christi College, Melbourne. He then went on to study at Holy Cross, Massachusetts, beginning a Masters of Theological Studies and concurrently studying at Harvard Divinity School. After this, he undertook a Master of Theology at Princeton Divinity School, and completed a Ph.D. at Brown University with his thesis entitled Endurance, Greek and Early Christian: The Moral Transformation of the Greek Idea of Endurance, From the Homeric Battlefield to the Apostle Paul, explaining how endurance changed from the Greek philosophical concept of something that one could do on their own, to St Paul’s transformation into endurance being something a gift of God in Christ.

Fr Themistocles, by this time a tonsured monk usually called ‘Br Themi’, returned to Australia and, in 1986, was one of the founding lecturers at St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, Sydney, Australia; he was also teaching at Macquarie University and University of Sydney.

After considerable time lecturing, Fr Themi began to wish to personally act out his theology, and due to his being born in Africa he decided to return there in 2000, utilising his academic ability at the Orthodox Patriarchal Ecclesiastical School “Archbishop Macarius III” in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ordained and elevated in Kenya to the rank of Archimandrite, he conducted liturgies and preached in various parishes in Kenya, but his primary focus is on teaching people in Kenya to earn a living on their own. With the blessing of Archbishop Makarios, Fr Themistocles established the Saint Clement of Alexandria Philanthropic Education Centre. Through the centre, he set up a school for unemployed women to learn tailoring and dressmaking in November 2001, then a computer school for unemployed youth in 2002; in September of that year, he then set up a pre-school and primary school for children in slum areas, giving them free education, food and clothing.

In January 2003, the Teachers’ College was established. This grew into the Saint Clement of Alexandria Orthodox College of Africa, currently consisting of an education department and a business/information technology department, teaching for minimal cost to break the cycle of depression. Future plans include a nursing and pharmacy school; furthermore, serious negotiations are underway with the University of Thessalonica towards the creation of a Paediatric Medical School within the College. Fr Themistocles envisaged an Orthodox University of Africa.

In January 2008, with the blessing of His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria and sponsored by the international charity ‘Paradise Kids 4 Africa’ (PK4A), Fr Themi moved from Kenya to Sierra Leone, where he involved himself in similar activities that he had initiated in Kenya. As of 2009, there are 9 building projects in progress, including a missionary residence and 3 places of worship (including the Cathedral of St Eleftherios), as well as providing many feeding programs for the hungry.

Negotiations with the government in March 2008 led to Fr Themi having responsibility for two schools, with a total of 3500 students and 90 staff; and in May, grants were received from two Greek missionary societies, the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity and the Missionary Alliance of St. Cosmas the Aetolian – one grant to build infrastructure for one of the schools, and the other to begin construction of a Teachers’ College. Work began on the Teachers’ College before the end of that month, and construction has begun on housing for the disabled and victims of the war.

A former Australian rock star, who once shared the stage with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, has joined forces with the President of Sierra Leone’s Red Cross, to help the people of this West African country still recovering from a terrible civil war that lasted 11 years and left over 50,000 dead.

Dr. Themi Adams who, after several years of performing before screaming audiences “Down Under” turned down a life of fame to serve God as a missionary to some of Africa’s most oppressed nations and is based in Sierra Leone’s capital city of Freetown where he runs a mission.

Now Adams is receiving some invaluable help in the form of Edward T. Ngandi, the Former Registrar of Sierra Leone University who brings to the Orthodox Mission in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 30 years academic of experience, including 40 years with the Red Cross with which he is still actively involved as its local president. His organization has been hailed as the most structured in Africa

Ngandi will be passing on his many skills to new volunteers, and will be implementing a new youth recruitment drive to support the Red Cross and the local community.

“He is now working at the Orthodox Mission in Freetown, supporting brother Themi Adams, a one-time trailblazer and now a beloved Greek Orthodox priest, and he has plans to develop future youth leaders to become apart human intervention programs with the Red Cross providing aid to Sierra Leone during natural disasters,” said John Tsambazis, a friend of the ministry.

Recently Edward T. Ngandi took some time out to attend the Australian Red Cross Movement’s 2013 International Meetings in Sydney to talk to Pk4a supporters.

“Over 1,000 delegates from 189 countries came together for a series of high level international talks, humanitarian speakers and seminars, cultural performances, exhibits and outdoor events,” added John Tsambazis.

“On November 11, up to 800 lively Red Cross supporters formed a giant human formation of the Red Cross Red Crescent emblem on the famous Sydney Opera House steps.”

Human emblems have become a Red Cross tradition, and Sydney turned out a proudly Australian Red Cross symbol of humanity and volunteer spirit to share with the world. This was a colorful wonderful way to start the week-long Statutory Meetings.

Australian Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner joined the crowd as they transformed themselves into a giant Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Speaking to the members of Paradise Kids 4 Africa, known by its supporters as PK4A, Edward T. Ngandi, explained, “There are 17 district managers in Sierra Leone overseeing 7,000 volunteers, predominantly comprising of 70% of youths.

“When I was registrar at Sierra Leone University, it was our mandate to train students for community service. The Red Cross was the perfect vehicle for their work experience and for further academic development. I would like to see this happen with the youth at the Orthodox Mission too.”

Dr. Themi Adams has also just completed a large teachers college and mission house in Freetown. It was built to house volunteers and helpers from across the globe and to offer free education for students wishing to go to college.

Overwhelmed with joy at the caliber of the people supporting him and the standard of education he can provide, Adams, who was born in Egypt to Greek parents and raised in Melbourne, Australia, said, “I welcome these initiatives that Mr. Ngandi proposes for the betterment of our society. That is what we are here for — to educate our future leaders, harness good citizens to care for their community, and for them to lead meaningful lives”.

Rev Themi went on to say: “They come from all over the world and walks of life; from football (soccer) stars, to medical practitioners, and educators with great qualifications.

“Over one year of hard work has paid off as we are able to house specialists, doctors and more volunteers inside the mission compound. I can’t express my gratitude to all the supporters who worked tirelessly to fund this project and make it a reality.

Adams added: “This is the best gift we can give to a nation that has gone through a terrible civil war and has a chronic shortage of skilled labor.

“Whilst we attend to the welfare of the local people by providing them with their basic needs like food and clothing, education is the key and can and will lift the poor out of poverty into a future where anything is possible.”

Red Cross veteran, Mr. Ngandi, during his visit to Australia, spoke of his work with the Red Cross, and stated, “Our volunteers have been at the forefront of humanitarian action during recent national disasters, including the Shenge sea accident, the floods at Daru and Pujehun; the storms in Bonthe, Kamakwe, Kono and Koinadugu, among others providing help to the victims of those disasters. Last year’s cholera outbreak.

“The Society’s active First Aid and Community Development volunteers have provided psycho-social support, activated early warning systems, worked in emergency response and long-term recovery, helped reunite separated family members and continued to be a driving force for change at the community level.”

He commended volunteers of the society for the free services they have been rendering to the nation over the past years, adding that the success stories of the society in Sierra Leone would not have been achieved without the commitment of the volunteers. He acknowledged that the number of volunteers in the society is growing rapidly, which according to him, is as a result of the active work done by existing volunteers.

So now, Themi Adams has some invaluable help in his vital ministry and he is excited by the quality that Mr. Edward T. Ngandi brings to his work.

Between them, they will be bringing a shine light to a land that has seen much violence in recent years.

The Sierra Leon Civil War (1991–2002) began on March 23, 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), with support from the special forces of Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), intervened in Sierra Leone in an attempt to overthrow the Joseph Momoh government. The resulting civil war lasted 11 years, enveloped the country, and left over 50,000 dead.

For more information on Themi Adams’ unique ministry, please go to

Australian family reclaims Guinness world record with more than 500,000 Christmas lights

Source:  he Associated Press

Australian family reclaims Guinness world record with more than 500,000 Christmas lights

People look at The Richards home illuminated with miniature lights in Canberra, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. The Australian family has reclaimed their Guinness World Record by stringing up more than half a million Christmas lights around their suburban home. Guinness World Records official Chris Sheedy confirmed Monday, Nov. 25, that the Richards family set the record for Christmas lights on a residential property with 502,165 twinkling bulbs. (AP Photo/AAPIMAGE, Alan Porritt)

CANBERRA, Australia – An Australian family has reclaimed their Guinness World Record by stringing up more than half a million Christmas lights around their suburban home.

Guinness World Records official Chris Sheedy confirmed Monday that the Richards family of Canberra set the record for Christmas lights on a residential property with 502,165 twinkling bulbs.

The family first entered the famous record book in 2001 with 331,038 multi-colored lights. But they were trumped last year by a family in LaGrangeville, New York, who illuminated their home with 346,283 lights.

The Richards home with its lights on more than 50 kilometres (31 miles) of wire in suburban Forrest will be open to the public from the weekend to raise money for charity.

David Richards — husband of Janean and father of Aidan, 13, Caitlin, 10, and Madelyn, 6 — said most of his neighbours supported the display. But some hadn’t spoken to him since the last record was set.

“I have always loved Christmas. Having the Christmas lights with the community coming in and sharing it is a time when you get to know people you probably should know better, I guess,” he said.

He said while he bought the lights, a local power company would donate the estimated 2,500 Australian dollars ($2,300) in electricity that would illuminate them for the next month.

He had vowed he had retired from Christmas lights competition after his 2011 record. While Richards won’t rule out a defence of his latest record, he said he would need a generator to get any more electricity for his home.

1950s, 60s and 70s before them, Cypriot youth are being forced to leave the island in search of work

Looking to Europe for work

Source Constantinos Psilides

Looking to Europe for work

LIKE THEIR relatives in the 1950s, 60s and 70s before them, Cypriot youth are being forced to leave the island in search of work.

In the European Union as a whole, unemployment for the under 25s averages out at 23 per cent. In Cyprus it is nearly double that. Around 44 per cent of under-25-year-olds are looking for work.

But unlike their predecessors who emigrated as far away as Australia and South Africa, young Cypriots are turning for help in the only direction currently available to them, the European Union.

Among a whole raft of measures the EU has announced to help young adults find work was a locally organised two-day job fair in Nicosia called Youth on the Move. Jointly organised by the European Employment Services (EURES) Cyprus and the European Commission Representative Office, the fair focused on job opportunities and living conditions in various EU countries.

The fair, which ended on Saturday, was attended by hundreds of young adults who had travelled from as far away as Paphos.

Looking for work: Valentina

Looking for work: Valentina

“I’ve been unemployed for a year. I came here to ask for jobs in Cyprus but mostly for opportunities in other countries,” said Valentina, 27, a mathematician from Paphos.

“When I started studying mathematics there weren’t a lot of us. Now the list for appointments in the public sector as a teacher is really long and we don’t have much chance for employment in the private sector due to the financial crisis,” the young scientist said, adding that if the opportunity arose she would most probably leave the island.

Looking for work: Chryso

Looking for work: Chryso

Chryso, 24, a graduate from Derynia is in her second year of unemployment. “I was just told that there job vacancies in my field of studies in Finland and Holland. I have a degree in psychology so as you can guess there are no job opportunities in Cyprus,” she said.

She said she was prepared to move abroad even though it would be hard to leave her family behind.

“Families in Cyprus are closer than families abroad. We have stronger bonds,” she said. “Leaving the country will take some thinking. But what can we do? If I get a job offer I’ll probably leave,” the 24-year-old said.

Andria, 23, was mostly interested in getting a job in Finland. “If I get a job there I’m leaving the next day,” said Andria, who is currently a part-time employee in a job unrelated to her studies.

“I studied business administration and I enquired about jobs related to my field. I wouldn’t mind being employed in another field though. What matters is employment and that things are better in other countries,” the 23-year old said.

While specific job opportunities were available at the fair, a major focus was on the practicalities and hurdles of living in another country.

Top of the list is the need to learn another language.

Chryso, who found job vacancies in her field of psychology in Finland and Holland, accepted this was a problem, but preferred to focus on the fact that job opportunities existed at all.

For 16-year-old Nikoletta, the issue of language appeared to be just a minor obstacle.

“I’m likely going to live abroad. Job opportunities and the job market is far bigger than Cyprus,” said the teenager from Paphos, expressing the preference for countries like Bulgaria. “There, the only requirement needed is knowing the language,” she added blithely.

She was among the many lyceum students were bussed in for the Friday session by the ministry of education which was a co-sponsor of the event.

Nikoletta’s friend Niki said she would jump at the chance of leaving Cyprus.

“I’ll do it in a heartbeat,” the sixteen-year old said. “I think I’ll have more luck there, a better chance to find employment, have better experiences and see new things.”

Twelve countries were represented in the job fair.

“I hope more people come and ask me for a job. We have them there!” said Niek Iversen the Netherlands representative, almost apologising for the fact that most vacancies were in engineering.

“It’s still a job,” he added, expressing his satisfaction that many people had come to his stand and asked about life in the Netherlands.

Antonis Kafouros, EURES Cyprus manager

Antonis Kafouros, EURES Cyprus manager

The man in charge for the event, Antonis Kafouros the EURES manager in Cyprus explained that providing guidance was a major part of the event.

“What we are aiming for here is to give them the necessary information to start looking for something else,” the EURES manager said recognising that moving to another country is hard. “We inform people on living conditions, about transportation and a variety of practical issues that may arise, such as taxation for example. People who decide to move to another country must be determined and most of all, properly informed.”

Other opportunities exist for those interested in starting off in the business world but lacking proper training and innovative ideas via the Erasmus Plus initiative which was passed by the European Parliament on Tuesday. The youth learning programme has set aside 14.5 billion euros over a seven year period to provide training and education opportunities. Each year Erasmus Plus will allow more than 400,000 students to go on internships abroad.

Cyprus representative Nadia Karayianni was at the jobs fair and explained just what the programme will offer.

“Let’s say a beautician is interested in opening up a beauty parlour but wants to be original and learn how to handle day-to-day problems. We can get her a job at a beauty parlour of another European country,” Karayianni explained, adding that the programme pays for transportation and living costs.

“It’s not a job. It’s a chance to learn from people who were at this job for years and know a thing or two” Karayianni said.

The Erasmus Plus programme is just part of a larger plan to fight youth unemployment. The EU has approved an eight billion euro plan for the next seven years to fight youth unemployment in the EU as part of its Youth Employment Initiative. The goal of the project is for any person under 25 to be able to secure a job or an internship position, four months after finishing studies or losing their job. Cyprus has been allocated 10 million euros.

Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou told the opening session of the jobs fair that with these funds the government intends to unveil two more initiatives to battle youth unemployment in 2014, though she did not specify what those initiatives would entail.

“Our goal is to utilise all forms of funding the EU has to offer regarding youth unemployement,” said the minister.

But in the meantime, there was a sense that the government, like the unemployed visiting the fair, accepted the reality of looking abroad for work.

“Our goal is to inform people on the chances of securing a job in another European country,” said the minister. “We want to give them whatever they need to succeed in that endeavour, if they choose that path.”

The EURES operates a portal to inform people on job vacancies in the EU, found at More about the Erasmus Plus initiative can be found at

Philia Kambitsis wins Medal of Honour for Outstanding Philanthropic and Volunteering Support in Australia

Source: TheAdvertiser

Philia Kambitsis has received a prestigious national medal within the Greek Orthodox Church for her tireless work volunteering a

Philia Kambitsis has received a prestigious national medal within the Greek Orthodox Church for her tireless work volunteering and helping the homeless for the past 60 years. Picture: Roger Wyman Source: News Corp Australia

CHARITY is literally a way of life for Philia Kambitsis.

When she met a homeless man, she gave him shelter in her own home – and he stayed for 32 years.

But that’s only one of Mrs Kambitsis’ countless selfless generosities over 60 years and her huge heart has been recognised in a community award.

The Blackwood woman was awarded the inaugural Medal of Honour for Outstanding Philanthropic and Volunteering Support in Australia, through the Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and Oceania.

She said she was “honoured and humbled” to receive the award from the Australian Greek Orthodox community.

Mrs Kambitsis has organised many fundraising events and has recently celebrated the funding and building of a church for the elderly at the Ridleyton Greek Home for the Aged, but her will to help others extends far beyond the generosity of the average volunteer.

After meeting a homeless man on the street, he lived in her home for 32 years until the day he died.

“I gave him a room at the back of the house and a bathroom, I didn’t know him, he was just a stranger to me,” she said. “He was a man off the street, but he became part of the family.”

Mrs Kambitsis also bought a Centennial Park plot for the man and saw that he had the Anglican funeral service he had wanted.

She is proud of the Ridleyton church.

“We have this church which is for the benefit of 120 residents,” she said. “They have a service every week and they can have communion there. It’s a very necessary thing.

“It’s at the latest part of their lives. They have a church that they can go to and pray and prepare themselves for a life thereafter.”

Mrs Kambitsis has also recently helped a church minister find a home after he lost his job.

“He has a unit which I pay rent for,” she said.

“He was employed by the Greek Orthodox community and he helped me finish the church at the aged home. That’s how I met him.”

Mrs Kambitsis said she owed her kind nature to her mother and grandmother.

“It gave them pleasure to help others and I think I’ve had that streak through me,” she said. “I’m forever doing something for someone (because) there are lots of people that need help.”

She encouraged people to help others where they could.

“I like to know that young people give some thought to elderly people and act kindly towards them and give them consideration,” she said.

“I think its very important to help one another.”

Pop star singer Despina Vandi lashes out at colleague Notis Sfakianakis over comments supporting Golden Dawn

Best-selling Greek pop singer Despina Vandi has announced that she will be breaking off her collaboration with her colleague Notis Sfakianakis due to recent remarks made by the controversial artist in support of the neofascist Golden Dawn party.

In a message posted on her Facebook page on Friday, Vandi said an upcoming joint appearance in Athens was off “because the things that divide us are more than those that bring us together.”

“My parents were migrants,” said Vandi, causing a furor on social media.

In comments made on television on Thursday, Sfakianakis, who has in the past claimed that humans were created by aliens, praised Golden Dawn and the 1967-1974 military dictatorship, and called PASOK leader and government Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos a “pig.”


Here’s how to make sure you can keep watching SBS – or find our channels if you’ve lost them


Retune to watch SBS

Retune Information

  • SBS and other digital TV channels around the country are being moved to new frequencies as the final step in the move to digital-only TV. These changes will occur progressively in most areas of Australia between now and the end of December 2014.
  • There are different public retune dates for different areas and information can be found by visiting the Australian Government’s retune website and typing your address details into the “get retune information for your place” section.
  • What do I need to do? – If you are in an area where SBS or other channels are changing frequency, you will need to do a retune if you find you are missing TV channels after your retune date.
  • When do I retune? – You will need to retune your digital TV or receivers on or after your public retune date.
  • How do I retune? – Consult your user manual or for general instructions click here.
  • Missed your retune date? – If you are away during your retune date, don’t worry. You can retune your digital equipment when you return home.
  • Apartment and other shared antenna systems – If you receive TV in a building with a shared antenna like a hospital, motel, office or apartment block you should check with your building manager or body corporate for more information if you are having problems retuning.

If you own or manage a building with a Master Antenna TV system, click here for information.

How to do the Retune

The instructions below are for general retuning. Menu descriptions and labels may vary depending on your equipment.

Auto Tuning

Menu or Home button on remote control

Press OK

Settings or Setup

Press OK

Digital Setup

Press OK

Auto scan or Auto retune will appear,

Press OK

It will take few seconds to do the rescan. This will search for the channel and restore it in your Digital TV or receiver.

Press Exit

For detailed retuning instructions, see your equipment manual. For more assistance or information regarding retune, please contact the Digital Ready Information line on 1800 20 10 13, from 8am to midnight (AEDST), 7 days or visit the Australian Government’s retune website.

Information for owners or managers of Multi Dwelling Units (MDUs)

If you own or manage a multiple dwelling units (MDU) then you may need to have your distribution system and in some cases, possibly your antenna checked to ensure it can accommodate the frequency changes.

Contact your installer or system maintainer to determine if your system will require adjustment or possibly an upgrade. If you choose not to do anything then viewers in the MDU may lose some (or all) of their free to air channels on the retune date.

If you watch TV from the main site in Perth, both old and new frequencies of channels that are changing (including SBS) will transmitted for 1 month before the retune date and If you are watching TV from the main sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or the Gold Coast then both old and new frequencies of the channels that are changing (including SBS) will be transmitted for 3 months before the retune date so that people have time to have their systems checked and adjusted if necessary before the retune.

For all other areas, we recommend you have your distribution system and antenna checked in the lead up to the public retune date, so you can arrange for any adjustments or upgrades (if required) to occur at the appropriate time.

We suggest you discuss your options as soon as possible to ensure the availability of an installer as there may be increased demand in some areas for installers to check shared systems in the lead up to the retune.

After the frequency changes, the spectrum previously used for UHF television channels 52 to 69 may be used for other purposes. You should discuss with your installer and system maintainer anything you may need to do in order to avoid any interference and other potential problems.