Greece May Open GNTO Branch in Melbourne



Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura with the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, Bill Papastergiadis. They are accompanied by SYRIZA MP Chrysoula Katsavria - Sioropoulou and member of the Special Permanent Committee of Hellenism of the Diaspora (L) and the Secretary General of Tourism Evridiki Kourneta.

By Nikos Krinis

Greece is seeking to boost its presence in the Australian market with targeted promotional actions and the opening of a Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) branch in Melbourne, the Tourism Ministry said recently in an announcement.

The issue was discussed last month in Athens, during a meeting between Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura and the President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM), Bill Papastergiadis.

During his meeting with Minister Kountoura, Papastergiadis presented the activities of the Greek Community of Melbourne and highlighted the importance of promoting Greek tourism in Australia through the operation of a GNTO branch there, in a space within the community’s building in Melbourne.

Moreover, Papastergiadis underlined his strong interest in strengthening tourism relations as well as improving the connectivity between the two countries through an enhanced direct air service.

On her part, Kountoura discussed the ministry’s plans to dynamically promote Greece in Australia in order to attract more Australian tourists in the coming years.

The minister also informed Papastergiadis about Greece’s tourism policy that aims to attract tourists 365 days a year and also mentioned the positive course of Greek tourism in 2017.

The two parties also discussed the organization of the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival to be held next February, to which Papastergiadis invited Minister Kountoura to attend.

Papastergiadis’ proposal for the opening of a GNTO branch in the GCM building was also welcomed by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Moreover, Tsipras was impressed with the activities of the GCM and the Greek-Australian community in general, and expressed the wish to visit Australia next year, during the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival.

During his stay in Athens in July, Papastergiadis also met with Hellenic Republic President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou and leaders of political parties.

Macedonia aims to solve protracted name row with Greece


Macedonia aims to solve protracted name row with Greece
Macedonia aims to solve protracted name row with Greece

After a quarter-century-long dispute that has blocked its entry to NATO and the European Union, Macedonia seems determined to end the row with Greece over its name.

The quarrel between Skopje and Athens dates back to Macedonia’s declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and has poisoned neighbourly relations.

From the outset Greece denied its neighbour the right to use the name Macedonia, which is also the name of a northern Greek region.

Greeks have cited concerns about historical appropriation — both sides, for example, claim Alexander the Great as their own — and that the name Macedonia implies a broader territorial claim.

Athens and the European Union recognise the small landlocked country by its provisional name, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), under which it was also admitted to the United Nations.

Skopje has long insisted that this designation was only provisional, but in June, new Social Democratic Prime Minister Zoran Zaev seemed to relax the line of his nationalist predecessors.

“With a FYROM reference we can become a member of NATO,” Zaev said on a visit to the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

As a member of both NATO and the European Union, Athens has vetoed Macedonia’s attempts to join both blocs, but a calendar of bilateral meetings is now in place to try to resolve the dispute.

In everyday conversation, Greeks usually refer to the neighbouring country as “Skopje”, the name of its capital city.

Back in 1992, a million Greeks — one tenth of the population — took to the streets in protest over the name issue in Thessaloniki, the main city in the Macedonia region.

Tensions grew in 2006, when Skopje airport was named “Alexander the Great”. The building in 2011 of a huge monument of the warrior king on a horse added fuel to the fire.

Under international pressure, the statue in central Skopje was officially named “Warrior on a horse” but that did not deceive anyone — especially as, a year later, authorities inaugurated a giant statue of Philip II of Macedon, Alexander’s father.

The issue remains hugely sensitive on both sides.

Greece’s migration minister Yiannis Mouzalas last year faced calls to resign after referring to the country as “Macedonia” instead of “FYROM” during a television interview about the migrant crisis.

Mouzalas quickly apologised “for this error, which does not reflect my position and my convictions on the subject of FYROM”.

On Tuesday, the Greek women’s handball team was punished at the European Championship after refusing to play in Skopje against Macedonia’s team wearing national logo bearing that name.

In Zaev’s bid to end the row, he has spoken by telephone to his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras.

The Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov was in Athens in mid-June and his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias is going to Skopje later this month.

There is a “certain mobilisation,” a Greek diplomatic source told AFP, noting “some signs” of good will in Skopje.

But the source said it was now necessary to “wait for action”.

A top official in Zaev’s SDSM party, who also asked not to be named, warned that Greece “could keep the same position for two centuries. We should find a solution to deblock the process of integration with NATO and the EU”.

But, in the fragile country of about two million people, the official warned it would be necessary to reach a political “consensus” and to back up any decision with a referendum.

Many Macedonians are against a name change but some say they want a way out of the tiring row.

“We are Macedonians, we cannot name ourselves differently,” said Mirjana Jovanovska, 47, a dentist in Skopje.

She admitted, however, that “it would not be so terrible if a prefix was added to the name Macedonia”.

Suggestions to emerge in conversations include “Northern Macedonia”, “New Macedonia” or even “Vardarska” after a river that runs through the country.

The incumbent Greek government has not yet made any proposals, waiting for negotiations to resume before unveiling their game. In 2007 the government at the time proposed “a name with a geographic prefix”.

Upon an agreement, entering the 29-nation NATO is a much more likely prospect for Macedonia than the 28-country EU, which has frozen all enlargement until at least 2020.

“The question is: what is the price of joining the club?” asked Toni Deskoski, a law professor in Skopje.

Greek Yogurt Is Ours: Athens Seeks Geographical Protection From EU


The Greek Ministry of Agriculture is hoping to persuade the European Union to introduce rules which forbid “Greek yoghurt” being produced anywhere but in Greece.

They want the product to receive the same geographical protection as Champagne, Parma ham and Wensleydale cheese.

To make Greek yogurt, regular yogurt is strained extensively to remove liquid whey and lactose, leaving behind a thicker-textured yogurt.

In 2016, Greece and the Czech Republic clashed after the latter produced “Greek: and “Greek-style” yogurt.

Relations between the two countries were already poor after Czech President Milos Zeman said in December 2015 that his country would only join the eurozone on the day after Greece left it, suggesting the currency’s failures stemmed from the economic crisis in Athens.

The European Union offers three special marks for products which are deemed unique — protected geographical indication (PGI), protected designation of origin (PDO) and traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG).



To qualify for PGI, a product must be produced, processed or prepared in a geographical area which it is associated with.

The EU will only give a product the PGI mark if they decide it has “a reputation, characteristics or qualities that are a result of the area.”

In Britain there is a whole list of products which have PGI status, including Cornish pasties, Rutland bitter, Arbroath smokies, Lough Neagh eels, Jersey royal potatoes and Melton Mowbray pork pies.

But Athens wants Greek yogurt to qualify for Protected Designation of Origin status as well as a PGI.

The Association of Greek Breeders has persuaded the Greek ministry of agriculture to establish a working group to prepare an application for it to get both PGI and PDO status.

“We are taking another important step in securing our traditional product, Greek yogurt, which is famous for its unique quality on European and international markets,” said Greek Agriculture Minister Evangelos Apostolou.

“If we succeed, the benefits for yogurt would be great as it will be protected from other countries which increasingly try to usurp it considering the growing demand from consumers,” said Takis Peveretos, President of the Association of Greek Breeders.

But even if they are able to get PGI and PDO status for Greek yogurt, that protection will only apply in the EU and does not stop companies like Voskos in California from selling a product which they describe quite blatantly as Greek yogurt.


Ironically the word yogurt is actually Turkish and suggests it was invented by the Turks, rather than the Greeks.

Farmers in Greece are already angry about a trade deal between the EU and Canada which they say fails to protect their monopoly on the production of feta cheese.


Most of the products which have been granted PGI status are meats, dairy products, breads, pastries and confectionery.

But PGI status can also be granted for flowers and plants, natural gums and resins, cork, cochineal, wool and scutched flax.



Greeks Call for Parthenon Marbles Issue to be Part of Brexit Talks


International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures

The Greek government is requesting that the decades-long issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece be part of the Brexit negotiations citing EU treaty law, according to the Telegraph.

European Parliament member Stelios Kouloglou has called on the Commission to include the thorny issue in Brexit talks. “Brexit negotiators must take into account the need to protect European cultural heritage… The Parthenon Marbles are considered as the greatest symbol of European culture. Therefore, reuniting the marbles would be both a sign of respect and civilised relationship between Great Britain and the EU, and much more [than] a legal necessity.”

In response, an European Commission spokesperson said he believed that the Brexit team is not legally obliged to address the issue, citing Articles 3, 50 and 167. “The Parthenon Marbles were removed long before this date, and the EU has no competence in the matter,” Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport said, referring to a directive on the return of unlawfully removed cultural objects which applies to items removed after January 1, 1993.

For over three decades, Greece has repeatedly called on the British Museum to return the 2,500-year-old marble sculptures that once adorned the Parthenon and have been the subject of dispute since they were illegally removed and sold by Lord Elgin to the British Museum in 1817.


Junior Men’s Water Polo Day 4: Russia and Greece draw 10-10


Picture: Russell McKinnon

Russia and Greece battled to a thrilling 10-10 draw in Group A action at the FINA Junior Men’s World Championships at the Sports Centre Milan Gale Muskatirovic here today.

Greece led 6-4 at halftime and star Daniil Merkulov, who played for Russia in Budapest at the FINA World Championships, was red-carded before halftime. Konstantin Kharkov scored three of his four goals in teh second half with the go-ahead 10th goal for a 10-8 advantage. It was left to Charalampos Troulos to score the final two Greek goals in 38 seconds to secure the draw and keep Greece without a loss for the  week.

In the other Group A match, United States of America made it two from three in defeating Puerto Rico 18-7 with Tyler Abramson topping the scorers with six.

In Group D, Italy replaced Canada as the second best team with a 15-5 victory against the North Americans in the day’s opener. Hungary stayed top with a third consecutive win following a rest day, defeating Egypt 22-5. World Championship silver medallist Kristian Manhercz and Kristof Szatmari top-scored with four apiece.

In Group B, Netherlands frustrated Japan in a close encounter, taking a one-goal lead into the last period and finishing 14-2 ahead after Japan had levelled twice. Spain confirmed second place with a 17-12 margin over Montenegro after trailing by a goal at halftime and winning the third period 5-1. Alejandro Bustos and Alvaro Granados netted four goals each.

In Group C, Serbia turned it on for the home crowd with a 25-5 dissection of New Zealand, turning at 16-1.Nikola Radonjic was the best for the Serbs with five goals. Australia beat Argentina 14-5 and also remains unbeaten, heading for Wednesday’s clash with Serbia for the group win.

Progress points:
Group A: Greece 7, USA 4, Russia 3, Iran 2, Puerto Rico 0.
Group B: Croatia 6, Spain 6, Montenegro 2, Netherlands 2, Japan 0.
Group C: Serbia 6, Australia 6, China 2, Argentina 2, New Zealand 0.
Group D: Hungary 6, Italy 4, Canada 4, Egypt 2, South Africa 0.

Match schedule:
Match 25. 09:00, Group D, ITALY 15 CANADA 5
Match 26, 10:20, Group D, HUNGARY 22 EGYPT 5
Match 28. 13:00, Group A, RUSSIA 10 GREECE 10
Match 29, 16:40, Group B, NETHERLANDS 14 JAPAN 12
Match 31. 18:00, Group C, NEW ZEALAND 5 SERBIA 25
Match 30. 19:20, Group B, MONTENEGRO 12 SPAIN 17
Match 32. 20:40, Group C, AUSTRALIA 14 ARGENTINA 5

Russell McKinnon, FINA Media Committee

The Benaki Museum exhibition “Ghika – Craxton – Leigh Fermor: Charmed Lives in Greece”

Charmed Lives | Athens | To September 10

The Benaki Museum exhibition “Ghika – Craxton – Leigh Fermor: Charmed Lives in Greece” sheds light on the special friendship that bound the three emblematic figures of 0th century art and literature, against the backdrop of the amazing places that inspired them: Hydra, Kardamyli, Crete and Corfu.
Through works of art by Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika and John Craxton, and writings by Patrick Leigh Fermor, but also letters, manuscripts, publications, photographs and tributes, the exhibition also highlights their love for Greece.
Opening hours are Wednesdays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to midnight and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission costs 7 euros, while guided tours are available.

Benaki Museum, 1 Koumbari & Vassilissis Sofias,
tel 210.367.1000,

Ελληνική αντιπροσωπεία στη Βενετία για τα λείψανα της Αγίας Ελένης

Τα ιερά λείψανα της Αγίας Ισαποστόλου Ελένης μεταφέρονται στην Ελλάδα. 
Ο επικεφαλής της αποστολής, Επίσκοπος Φαναρίου Αγαθάγγελος και διευθυντής της Αποστολικής Διακονίας παρέλαβε από τον Πατριάρχη Βενετίας της Ρωμαιοκαθολικής Εκκλησίας Φραγκίσκο το ιερό λείψανο της Αγίας με τον Τίμιο Σταυρό.

Έτοιμη προς αναχώρηση από το αεροδρόμιο της Βενετίας, προκειμένου να μεταφέρει τα ιερά λείψανα της Αγίας Ισαποστόλου Ελένης, είναι η ελληνική αντιπροσωπεία. Η μεταφορά του ιερού σκηνώματος και του Τιμίου Σταυρού στην Ελλάδα πραγματοποιείται με αεροσκάφος της Ellinair το οποίο παραχώρησε στην Εκκλησία της Ελλάδος ο ιδιοκτήτης της Μπόρις Μουζενίδης.

Νωρίτερα, στις 12.30, η αντιπροσωπεία έφτασε στον μεγαλοπρεπή ναό του αγίου Μάρκου στην ομώνυμη πλατεία της Βενετίας, όπου την υποδέχθηκε ο Ρωμαιοκαθολικός Πατριάρχης της Βενετίας και ξεκίνησε η λιτή τελετή παράδοσης – παραλαβής των ιερών κειμηλίων, του ιερού λειψάνου της Αγίας Ελένης και του Τιμίου Σταυρού, από την ελληνική αντιπροσωπεία σε κλίμα κατάνυξης.

Παραλαβή του ιερού λειψάνου

Ο επικεφαλής της αποστολής, Επίσκοπος Φαναρίου Αγαθάγγελος και διευθυντής της Αποστολικής Διακονίας παρέλαβε από τον Πατριάρχη Βενετίας της Ρωμαιοκαθολικής Εκκλησίας Φραγκίσκο το ιερό λείψανο της Αγίας με τον Τίμιο Σταυρό.

Ο Πατριάρχης Βενετίας χαρακτήρισε ευκαιρία επικοινωνίας μεταξύ των δύο Εκκλησιών το σημερινό προσκύνημα και την παραλαβή των λειψάνων της Αγίας Ελένης, ενώ από την πλευρά τους τόσο ο μητροπολίτης Καισαριανής Δανιήλ όσο και ο Επίσκοπος Φαναρίου Αγαθάγγελος εξέφρασαν την ευγνωμοσύνη τους για την ευλογία που τους δόθηκε να μεταφερθούν στην Αθήνα τα ιερά λείψανα.

Στην τελετή συμμετείχε και ο μητροπολίτης Ιταλίας Γεννάδιος, ο οποίος θα συνοδεύσει την αποστολή στην Αθήνα. Εκπρόσωπος της Ιεράς Συνόδου της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος στην αποστολή είναι ο μητροπολίτης Καισαριανής κ. Δανιήλ.

Αναχώρηση για την Αθήνα

Εν συνεχεία, πραγματοποιήθηκε η λιτάνευσή του προς την αποβάθρα Κορνολντί της Βενετίας, από όπου οδηγήθηκε στο αεροδρόμιο Marco Polo της Βενετίας.

Η λιτανευτική πομπή πραγματοποιήθηκε υπό τους ήχους της Φιλαρμονικής της Βενετίας «Τεσέρα». Προηγούνταν τέσσερις νέοι με παραδοσιακές φορεσιές, Κρητικοί και Πόντιοι βρακοφόροι, που κρατούσαν τη σημαία της Βενετίας, καθώς και άλλοι τέσσερις που κρατούσαν τη βυζαντινή σημαία.

Ακολουθούσε τριάδα ιερέων με αναμμένες λαμπάδες, ο αρχιμανδρίτης Ιουστίνος Μαρμαρινός, διευθυντής ΓΕΝ, ο π. Κυριακός Τσουρός, γραμματέας της Ιεράς Συνόδου και ο π. Ευθύμιος Κερμελής, προϊστάμενος του Ι.Ν. Αγ. Αναργύρων Ηλιουπόλεως.

Ο Επίσκοπος Φαναρίου μετέφερε τον Τίμιο Σταυρό, τη συνοδεία των αρχιμανδριτών Ιερώνυμου Νικολόπουλου, α’ γραμματέα Ιεράς Συνόδου, και Ιερόθεου Καλογερόπουλου, γραμματέα Ιεράς Συνόδου.

Τη λάρνακα με το ιερό λείψανο της Αγίας Ελένης μετέφεραν οι αρχιμανδρίτες και γραμματείς της Ιεράς Συνόδου Αθηναγόρας Σουπουρτζής, Διονύσιος Χατζηαντωνίου και Χερουβείμ Μουστάκας, ο ιεροκήρυκας της Ι.Μ. Καισαριανής αρχιμανδρίτης Καλλίνικος Νικολάου, ο εφημέριος του Καθεδρικού Ναού των Αθηνών π. Βασίλειος Χρυσόπουλος και ο διευθυντής Θρησκευτικού ΓΕΕΘΑ π. Νικόλαος Γουρδούπης.

Ακολουθούσαν οι μητροπολίτες Καισαριανής Δανιήλ και Ιταλίας Γεννάδιος, οι αρχές της Βενετίας, οι χορηγοί και τα υπόλοιπα μέλη της αποστολής.

Τελετάρχης της λιτανευτικής πομπής ήταν ο πατήρ Θωμάς Συνοδινός.

Υποδοχή από τον υπουργό Άμυνας στην Αθήνα

Το πρωί, στις 11.00-11.15, η ελληνική αντιπροσωπεία εκκλησιάστηκε στο ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου των Ελλήνων, όπου ανέμενε ο μητροπολίτης Ιταλίας Γεννάδιος και συμπροσευχήθηκαν οι ιερείς της αποστολής της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος, παρουσία ορθόδοξων πιστών.

Τα ιερά κειμήλια θα υποδεχθούν στο αεροδρόμιο της Αθήνας ο μητροπολίτης Μεσογαίας και Λαυρεωτικής Νικόλαος και ο υπουργός Εθνικής Άμυνας Πάνος Καμμένος, για να οδηγηθούν ακολούθως στο Δημαρχείο Αιγάλεω και εν συνεχεία η λιτανευτική πομπή θα οδηγηθεί στον Ι.Ν. Αγίας Βαρβάρας όπου και θα φιλοξενηθούν για ένα μήνα.

The story of Hellenic Textile Mill starts in the 19th century

Documenta show sheds light on family business

The story of Hellenic Textile Mill starts in the 19th century, in the cosmopolitan Ottoman Empire, and ends at a building complex on Pireos Street that has been home for the last few decades to the Athens School of Fine Arts, where the Sikiaridis and the Ambazoglou families, bonded by marriage, founded one of the country’s most important textile mills.

“Documenta asked us to make a short film about the premises that once belonged to our family,” says architect Elizabeth Sikiaridi, who is one of the narrators of the 18-minute documentary “Fabric,” along with her brother Simos Sikiaridis.

The film is being screened at the art school’s old library at 256 Pireos Street as part of the documenta 14 international art show. While detailing the history of the textile mill, the documentary also casts light on the lives of the middle and upper classes in the Ottoman Empire. In addition it offers insight into industrialization in Athens after 1922 and the influx of refugee workers from Asia Minor.

“The documentary presents the history of Hellenic Textile Mill but also the story of our family, which, starting from Cappadocia and stopping in Constantinople and Beirut, settled in Athens in the mid-1920s and founded the business,” says Sikiaridi.

The factory was founded by Simos Sikiaridis, the narrators’ grandfather. Before 1924, his business had extended beyond the Ottoman Empire to the West, the main market for his fabrics. When the Sikiaridis and Ambazoglou families moved to Athens, they decided to open a mill for processing wool. Both families were wealthy – the former thanks to textiles and the latter to grain – and bought land on Pireos Street, building their homes and the factory, and later selling other plots at a profit. They founded the Sikiarideio Foundation to treat children with trachoma but World War II scuppered the original plan, though after the war and up until 1971 it did help children at risk of tuberculosis.

The family also invested in the Greek capital’s boom and built the avant-garde Rex Theater on Panepistimiou Street, as well as founding a Greek community school in Beirut in 1951. Despite being rebranded as the Anglo-Hellenic Textile Mill, the factory gradually lost its edge and eventually went bankrupt in 1981. The space was saved thanks to Nikos Kessanlis, who was looking for a new home for the Athens School of Fine Arts, and in 1992, the entire complex was bought by the state.

“There is virtually nothing left of the family’s history,” says Sikiaridi. “But the purpose for which the space is being used is perfect.


Greek drama: Chanel recreates Parthenon for Paris show 2017

Karl Lagerfeld climbed Mount Olympus for inspiration in creating Chanel’s latest resort collection, presenting a spectacular Grecian-themed show to a celebrity audience in Paris on Wednesday.

While Gucci will go to Florence, Louis Vuitton to Kyoto, and Dior to Los Angeles to show off their cruise fashions- Lagerfeld chose to host the normally itinerant mid-season collection in Chanel’s terra mater.

Lagerfeld, a larger-than-life fashion showman who is rarely upstaged, opted instead to bring the wonders of the ancient world to Paris’ Grand Palais.

Celebrity guests who included Keira Knightley, Isabelle Huppert and filmmaker Pedro Almodovar gazed in awe at the backdrop that recreated ruins from the Parthenon in Athens and the famed Temple of Poseidon on Cape Sounion stone for stone, column for column.

Pebbles, marble stones and sand decorated the runway alongside a real olive tree, while shrubs and mountain flowers peeked out from between the rocks by which the Grecian goddess-styled models walked during the 15-minute presentation.

“Reality is of no interest to me. I use what I like. My Greece is an idea,” Lagerfeld said of the display.

If Greece invented drama, Lagerfeld is perhaps a fitting heir.

The over-the-top decor contrasted with some very subtle and accomplished fashion designs.

Cycladic blues, terracotta, earth browns and gold infused the looks, which riffed on Ancient Greek references.

They were replete with laurel leaf head ornaments, golden arm clasps, footwear bearing knee-high straps and even an arrow quiver transformed into a golden backpack. Thick fibers reminiscent of loomed weavings fringed tweed tunic dresses.

A clay-colored dress – with a roll under the bust and tight midriff – evoked the silhouette of the curved Greek amphora vase.

Lagerfeld loves ancient history.

“The criteria of beauty in ancient, then classical, Greece still hold true. There have never been more beautiful representations of women. Or more beautiful columns,” Lagerfeld said.

“It is really about the youth of the world in all its power and unpredictability, just like the unforgiving gods,” he added.

Cruise or resort collections – mid-season shows presented by only a handful of the world’s fashion power houses – were conceived to target wealthy women who travelled on cruise ships in winter.

Nowadays, they’re used simply as a lucrative commercial stimulant for the increasingly buoyant fashion industry’s between-season lull.

Previous years have seen Chanel’s Lagerfeld present the cruise collection in far-flung places such as Havana and Dallas.

But more recently, the 83-year-old designer has chosen his home city to celebrate the brand’s commitment to Paris and its importance to global fashion.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at
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Associated Press

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