1 NEWS O C V ΓΡΑΦΕΙ ΤΗΝ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ ΤΟΥ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΣΜΟΥ ΑΠΟ ΤΟ 1915 The National Herald A weekly GREEk-AmERICAN PuBlICATION c v June 1-7, 2013 Bringing the news to generations of Greek-Americans VOL. 16, ISSUE 816 $1.50 Son Fears Release of Jailed Mom After 20 Yrs Rossakis No Longer Believes Her Claim About Self-Defense John Rossakis was heartbroken when his mother was sent to prison but now, two decades later, he s scared she might be coming home. He was just four when his mother took her husband s.38-caliber revolver from a bedside table and shot her spouse in the head. It was self-defense, Niki Rossakis told her son. His father, Gary, was an abusive savage who regularly beat and sexually assaulted her in their Astoria home, she added. In a two-part report in the New York Daily News, reporter Pete Donohue told the sad saga of a family torn apart and how a mother s son turned against her after he said he learned the truth about why she killed his father. Her case became a cause celebre for advocates of battered women nationwide, and John s faith in his mother was unwavering, even after she was found guilty of murder. I grew up believing that my father was a monster, said John, now a 24-year-old law student. I looked up to my mother as a sort of hero who made this big sacrifice for me and my brother to be safe, and that one day she would get out and we d be together again. But that dream has been completely shattered, and the old hope she would someday be free has morphed into fear and dread as his mother prepares for a July parole hearing. I m afraid, John said. I won t feel safe if she gets out. His dramatic change of heart came about after he decided to take an in-depth look into the case file from the January 1993 murder of his father, an auto mechanic who owned a gas station. John had told The News exclusively that he grew up believing his mother shot his father in self-defense in the family s Astoria house in 1993 even though a jury didn t buy her defense and convicted her of murder. For four days last summer, John pored over trial transcripts and watched videotapes of an NYPD detective interviewing his mother. Then he went to see her in person at the Bayview Correctional Facility on W. 20th St. in Manhattan their first contact in about five years. He hadn t visited and never Continued on page 6 Film, Before Midnight, is Intriguing By Penelope Karageorge Special to The National Herald To stunning effect, Greece provides the backdrop and actually plays a character in the long-awaited, just-released film Before Midnight, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. Made in Greece with an almost totally Greek crew and Greek supporting cast, Before Midnight is Richard Linklater s third film in the trilogy beloved by filmgoers. Earlier films were Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004). You will want to see this film. It is fascinating, intelligent, provocative, nerve-wracking, original, and even entertaining: a picture for grownups. In an era of cinematic pap and cookie- Continued on page 7 For subscription: Candidate Catsimatidis Meets and Greets at Rally in Brooklyn An ebullient John Catsimatidis, who is running for Mayor of New York, waves to supporters after being introduced by former New York State Assemblyman Matthew Mirones (far right) at the Rex Manor in Brooklyn, where he shared his vision for the city he loves. Who Knows Who Owns Greece Land? By Suzanne Daley The New York Times ATHENS Not long ago Leonidas Hamodrakas, a lawyer in Athens, decided to pay closer attention to his family s land holdings some fields, a scattering of buildings and a massive stone tower in Mani, a rural region in southern Greece. But property ownership in Greece is often less than clear cut. So Mr. Hamodrakas put a padlock on his gate and waited to see what would happen. Soon enough, he heard from neighbors. Three of them claimed that they, too, had title to parts of the property. In this age of satellite imagery, digital records and the instantaneous exchange of information, most of Greece s land transaction records are still handwritten in ledgers, logged By Kelsey Geiser The Humanities at Stanford in by last names. No lot numbers. No clarity on boundaries or zoning. No obvious way to tell whether two people, or 10, have registered ownership of the same property. As Greece tries to claw its way out of an economic crisis of historic proportions, one that has left 60 percent of young people without jobs, many experts cite the lack of a proper land registry as one of the biggest impediments to progress. It scares off foreign investors; makes it hard for the state to privatize its assets, as it has promised to do in exchange for bailout money; and makes it virtually impossible to collect property taxes. Greece has resorted to tagging tax dues on to electricity bills as a way to flush out owners. Of course, that means that empty property and farmland has yet to be taxed. Spyros Panagiotis Skouras escaped childhood poverty in Greece to become a top Hollywood executive and organizer of a successful World War II foreign aid campaign, making him one of the most noteworthy Greek American immigrants of the 20th Century. And yet, 86 boxes of documents chronicling Skouras remarkable achievements sat virtually untouched in Stanford s Cecil H. Green Library for two decades. Over the past year, however, Stanford alumnus and Continuing Studies lecturer Ilias Chrissochoidis has spent countless hours sifting through the contents of each box. A Greek immigrant himself, Chrissochoidis developed a deep admiration for Skouras that is compelling him to publicize Skouras impact on post-war American culture. In addition to publishing Spyros P. Skouras, Memoirs ( ), the first researched account on Skouras, Chrissochoidis has launched a campaign to celebrate his 120th birth anniversary by creating a research web page, writing articles for mainstream newspapers and producing tribute videos. Chrissochoidis is currently Greek FM Avramopoulos Visit Deepens Ties with Israel Mr. Hamodrakas is far from resolving the dispute with his neighbors. The courts in Greece are flooded with such cases. These things take years, he said, maybe a decade to settle. This state of affairs is particularly galling because Greece has thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at the problem over the past two decades, but has little to show for it. At one point, in the early 1990s, Greece took more than $100 million from the European Union to build a registry. But after seeing what was accomplished, the European Union demanded its money back. Since then, Greece has tried, and tried again. But still, less than 7 percent of the country has been properly mapped, officials say. Experts say that even the Continued on page 10 TNH/COSTAS BEJ assembling a library of Skouras footage and hopes to secure funding to digitize the Skouras papers and to write a large-scale monograph based on them. During the course of his investigation, Chrissochoidis, who received a doctorate in musicology from Stanford, found unpublished transcripts of Skouras autobiographical recordings. One of the folders contained the transcripts of tape dictations from 1953 and 1965, Chrissochoidis said. When I realized that this precious material had never been published, I knew I had to take action. He also found an amazing record of continuous activity in fields as varied as philanthropy, Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos visited Israel this week and met with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On June 2 Avramopoulos will address the annual Global Forum of the American Jewish Committee in Washington, DC. Amendment for Greek, Cypriot Nationals to Work in U.S. Advances By Constantine S. Sirigos TNH Staff Writer WASHINGTON, DC Archbishop Demetrios of America and United States Senator Charles Schumer of New York hosted a conference call to announce that an amendment to the immigration reform law that will allow Greek and Cypriot nationals to apply for a visa to work in the United States has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. Schumer said that the amendment, which he offered and still has to be voted on by the Congress, will help preserve Hellenic language and culture in America by allowing applicants to provide Greek language instruction and assistance to communities, educational institutions, and businesses. It will be included in the Senate s comprehensive immigration bill. The conference participants consisted of Greek and Cypriot- American leaders and TNH representatives. Schumer thanked Demetrios Study Reveals Skouras Impact on Am. Culture technical innovation in film and TV, as well as ample evidence of Skouras close ties to the White House under different administrations. HELP FOR HIS HOMELAND As he began reading through reams of production files, paperwork and correspondence, Chrissochoidis began to realize the scope of Skouras immense contributions to philanthropic causes and his leadership in the Greek War Relief Association. Skouras, born in 1893, immigrated to the United States in He operated a family-run theater chain in St. Louis until Warner Brothers bought the CUNY Hails Greek-Am. Sdts./Ldrs. By Demetrios Tsakas TNH Staff Writer FLUSHING Graduation ceremonies are unique in their simultaneous focus on past, present, and future. The 35th annual Certificate of Achievement Awards Dinner and The Harry J. Psomiades Memorial Lecture of the Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at Queens College honored the afore named, the Center s Founder, John Catsimatidis, who is currently running for mayor of New York, and the students who represent the community s bright prospects. Catsimatidis presented the featured lecture which was titled "A Greek Odyssey in New York and the American Dream. It was a moving presentation for joining the conference and because he also played a role in getting this done. Schumer said that several months ago the Archbishop and leaders of the Greek community contacted him and said with the immigration bill coming up and with all the hardship in Greece, Can we come up with a provision that would allow Greeks to come to America, particularly where there was a need for Greek speaking people, in corporations or schools in the churches of the Greek community. He said the provision was drafted, and he told the conference participants in Greek that he had kala nea, good news. During the call, Schumer made an impassioned appeal: We would like all Greek-Americans and Americans who love the Hellenic culture to call their congressmen and Senators and tell them two things: one, to support this provision, and second to make sure we pass com- Gov t Drops Charges Against Papanicolaou Panicos (Peter) Papanicolaou, Greek Cypriot-American developer, businessman, and philanthropist was informed by Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, that the government has dropped all charges against him and that Judge Nina Gershon, United States District Judge, has dismissed the case against him. Story on page 5. Continued on page 6 Continued on page 6 Continued on page 5 In DC, AHEPA Makes Greeks Issues Known TNH Staff TNH ARCHIVES WASHINGTON, DC The Order of AHEPA made the presence, and issues of concern, of Greek- and Cypriot-Americans known in Washington, DC last week during its annual Capitol Hill Day and at its Congressional Banquet, the 40th it has hosted. Participants traveled from as far away and Missouri, Florida, and California. AHEPA and its affiliated women s organization, the Daughters of Penelope, brought their legislative agendas to the attention of Capitol Hill legislators and their staffs on May 22. Seventy congressional offices from the Senate and House sides were visited by AHEPA family members, which represented 18 states. "Our mission, which is strongly founded on our cultural heritage and our community service programs, guides our legislative agenda," said Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides. As such, we have a diverse set of legislative interests, both foreign and domestic, that reflect our mission. We believe this makes the AHEPA family unique in its approach to Congress, he said. According to Grossomanides, AHEPA family members who participated at the organization s annual Capitol Hill Day discussed issues ranging from religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate to ending the division of Cyprus to ensuring cost-effective, job creating, and lifesaving domestic programs are preserved and maintained in the federal budget. Domestic programs of interest to the AHEPA family include senior citizen housing, medical research at NIH, and domestic vi- Continued on page 4
2 2 COMMUNITY THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 GOINGS ON... Educator Demosthenes Triantafillou brought his students, accompanied by their parents, from the Greek school of the Church of the Ascension in Fairview, NJ to the HMS Award HMS Annual Papanicolaou Award Symposium By Constantine Sirigos TNH Staff Writer NEW YORK The best community events are the ones that leave the guests feeling inspired and full of hope. That is what was prescribed by the organizers of the annual George N. Papanicolaou Award Symposium of the Hellenic Medical Society (HMS) of New York on May 23 and inspiration was what the audience of physicians, community leaders, students, and other guests received. Konstantinos Aprilakis received belated nameday wishes along with his scholarship, Ioannis A. Zervoudakis, MD, was honored for his achievements as a physician and as Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Geynecology at Weill-Cornell Medical College. Dr. Spyros Mezitis, the President of the Federation of Hellenic Medical Societies, served as the MC and Dr. Zervoudakis was also the keynote speaker. His presentation Alcohol in Pregnancy preceded the scientific program that featured Drs. William Ledger, Thomas Caputo, and Katherine Hajjar. The evening s highlight was the Adelfopoiese - Fraternization Agreement between the HMS and the Athens Medical Association that will enable the officers of the two groups to take the lead in providing medical relief for the people of Greece. Dr. Georgios Patoulis, the president of the AMA and mayor of the Athens suburb of Marousi, was present for the announcement. Dr. Nicholas Mezitis, president of the HMS, praised Patoulis for his initiatives to help MARIA-TINA MINOAN JEWLERY CUSTOM MADE - HANDCRAFTED JEWLERY Maria-Tina Minoan Jewelry designs are created by six time Emmy Award Winning designer, Maria-Tina Karamanlakis. 18k recycled gold Byzantine cross with tanzanite, sapphire, amethyst,diamonds (special commission using client's old gold pieces to recycle) HE WILL MAKE US ALL PROUD A NEW YORKER FOR ALL NEW YORKERS Symposium. Also seen in photo are: Panagiotis and Daphne Sardis, Georgia and Yiannis Constantinou, John and Anastasia Melizanis, Dr. Nicholas Mezitis, and Dr. Stella Lymberis. JOHN CATSIMATIDIS For Mayor of New York, 2013 A proud member of the Omogeneia and the FIRST Greek-American to ever run for New York City s mayoral seat. Together, we can make it happen! PHOTOS: TNH/COSTAS BEJ Dr. Ioannis A. Zervoudakis, (L), and Dr. Georgios Patoulis, president of the AMA at Weill-Cornell Medical College. Greek citizens in their time of need and said Diaspora doctors hope to play a special role and our medical and pharmaceutical supply effort. Patoulis said he was deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support in response to the Greek crisis. He also noted work of the Greek Church s philanthropic arm Apostoli- Mission, which has fed thousands and supports the AMA s effort to provide medical care to Greeks without insurance. He said that since February 2012 more than 300 volunteer physicians working with other health care professionals have made more than 20,000 medical visits throughout Greece, especially in remote areas. Archbishop Demetrios congratulated Patoulis and referred to the contributions made to date by the Greek-American groups and individuals including the Archdiocese s $2 million commitment to Apostoli as a beginning, which should be seen as a challenge to the community for matching donations. He also praised the Brothers Mezitis for their activities and declared that physicians in general must be considered the product of a special creative activity on the part of God. Patoulis noted that thanks to many volunteers, including physicians, and the cooperation of the Church of Greece, their endeavor is at a point where the fraternization agreement with the HMS will yield maximum results. He expressed his thanks to Nicholas Mezitis for believing in and driving the new endeavor, which will make an impact both on the scientific and social service levels. Spyros Mezitis, welcomed the guests and served as the MC. He acknowledged special guests including Greek Consul General George Iliopoulos, and introduced Tasos Ringos, the president of the Panevoikos Society of America, who was among those who spoke of the life and legacy of Dr. Papanicolaou, who hailed from the island of Evoia. THE GOOD CAPTAIN IS REVEALED DURING THE STORM Aprilakis, who is a student at Weill-Cornell Medical School, thanked the Mezitis Brothers and the HMS for the scholarship and Caputo and Ledger of Weill-Cornell for the support and knowledge he received from them. He placed his appreciation in the context of the loss of his dear father in 2011, who asked him to uphold three promises, first to take care of his mother, to do the same for his brothers, and to to make sure your finish school. Nevertheless he found it hard to go on. My father was my inspiration, my role model, my best friend, my reason for working as hard as I did. All I ever wanted was to make him proud and one day he just wasn t there. He took a leave from his studies, but one day, sitting alone, I was reminded of one of the many proverbs I heard from my father when I was growing up: O kalos kapetaniosu stin fortuna fenete the good captain is revealed during the storm. He snapped out of it, and was reminded that I had a loving and supportive family, that I have a wonderful an benevolent organization like the HMS behind me and supporting me through good and bad time and I was reminded of one of my role models, Dr. Papanicolaou, who overcame his own storms, and that I l have a strong Greek community to serve, give back to and make proud. He returned to school and is on track to graduate in Demetrios Triantafillou, distinguished educator and the principal of the Greek school or the Church of the Ascension of Fairview, NJ was accompanied by a number of his bright young students to the event, in the belief that such events and the achievements of the participants inspire the community s youth. Asked by TNH how the Diaspora in general can help, Patoulis replied that they should continue their collaborative effort, and simultaneously individuals should do whatever they can. n MAY 30-JuNe 2 HEMPSTEAD, NY St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Hempstead, Long Island invites you to our Famous Greek Festival, from Thursday, May 30 to Sunday, June 2. This remarkable festival includes a wide variety of incredible Greek food and pastries, both Live and D J music, dancing, Greek Dance Performers, rides, games, vendors, flea market, and tours of our gorgeous Byzantine Cathedral. n MAY 31 JuNe 22 TARPON SPRINGS, FL The City of Tarpon Springs/Center for Gulf Coast Folklife is proud to host Journey Stories. This Museum on Main Street (MoMS) exhibition was created by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The Smithsonian Institution has made the exhibition available to a limited number of communities statewide. Journey Stories will be featured at the City of Tarpon Springs Cultural Center from Apr. 11 through Jul. 5. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM. Admission to the exhibit is free. Friday, May 31. Xenitia: Journey Songs of the Greek Diaspora. Songs about immigration, its difficulties, and the havoc it creates in the lives of those who leave and those left behind, are a staple of the Greek musical repertoire. Local and national musicians and vocalists will take part. Saturday, June 22 Journey Films. Many documentary and fictional films have effectively examined the immigrant or migrant journey. We will present, interpret, and discuss films that deal with locally significant groups. What s your journey story? For further information, please call Helene MacNeil at or Tina Bucuvalas at n JuNe 1 ASTORIA The Ionian Cultural Federation, in cooperation with the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, presents an evening of Greek music: Mia Angalia Tragoudia A Musical Hug, on June 1 at 8 PM at the Stathakion Center, th Street in Astoria. The performers include: Tassos Papaioannou, Eleni Andreou, Makaria Psiliteli, Ilias Makrinos, Costas Psarros, Glafkos Kontemeniotis, and Giorgos Maniatis.Tickets: $25. For information call TARPON SPRINGS, FL The City of Tarpon Springs presents Night in the Islands a free event on the Sponge Docks. Enjoy Greek music, dancing, and dining! An hour of free Greek dance lessons will be offered by the Levendia Dance Troupe from 6-7 PM ON June 1. It will also be offered Saturdays, July 13, Aug. 3, Sept. 7, Oct. 5, and Nov. 2. MANHATTAN Movie Night at the Annunciation presents the classic conspiracy thriller Z by director Costa-Gavras. The Oscar-winning foreign film stars Yves Montand, Irene Papas and Jean-Louis Trintignant, and is based on the true story of the assassination of a Greek politician and the investigation into the government cover-up (in French with English subtitles). $15 suggested donation to support the philanthropic work of the Philoptochos Society. Refreshments will be served. Film starts at 7PM in Demas Hall, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 302 West 91st Street & West End Ave. in Manhattan Vote on our website! n JuNe 2 ASTORIA The Athens Square Committee Presents: AN AN- THOLOGY OF GREEK SONG, a unique sing along concert with the best selections of Greek music and songs that have endured the test of time from the Asia Minor tunes to the musical creations of our contemporary composers. Featuring Grigoris Maninakis and the Mikrokosmos Ensemble and young guests artist from the community. Sunday, June 2, 5:30 PM at the Stathakion Center. All proceed will go towards the funding of the statue of Sophocles, the newest addition to Athens Square. The day will be an opportunity to support our history and Hellenic cultural heritage. For more information call George Kitsios at n JuNe 4 MANHATTAN Hellenic Professional Women Inc. (HPW) will host an evening with Lori Ioannou on June 4 6:30-9:30PM at Meli Restaurant, 1 East 35 St. in Manhattan. The event is themed Promoting the Professional Self through Social Media. Ms. Ioannou, is the former Executive Editor of Custom Content at Time Inc. s News and Sports Group. Admission is $35 for members, $45 for non-members. Hors D oeuvres, dessert and coffee are included with admission. A Cash Bar. To register, call (516) or visit n JuNe 6-8 KALAMAZOO, MI Everyone is invited to the Kalamzoo Greek Festival (Theo and Stacey s 37th Greek Festival) at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place, 145 East Water Street, Kalamazoo, MI. For more information visit kalamazoogreekfest.com. MANHATTAN Aktina Productions, celebrating 20 years of excellence, presents Greek Music Journey 2013, a benefit concert for Aktina FM featuring Melina Aslanidou and bouzouki soloist Andreas Karantinis at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues) on Thursday, June 6 at 8 PM. For information contact Aktina: or nexus at Charge your tickets by calling: Tickets will be sold exclusively by AKTINA and will not be available at the Theater. Doors open 7:30 PM, Performance: 8 PM. Tickets: $75, $60, $50, $25 & $40 for handicapped. FLUSHING The Pancyprian Association of New York Presents The Pancyprian Choir: Music of Hellenes. Saturday, June 8 at 7:30 PM. Terrace on the Park, Flushing Meadows, New York. For tickets and information call n JuNe 13 LAKE SUCCESS, NY - The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Shrine Church of Flushing invite you to the 9th annual gold outing at the North Shore Towers Country Club on Thursday, June 13 at 11AM. All proceeds will benefit the St. Nicholas Church. The golf package include green fees, cart, breakfast, lunch, and beverages at the turn, and buffet dinner. Proper golf attire required. For information contact: Bill Kakoullis Harris Stathopulos ; Andy Tsiolas n JuNe 15 FLORAL PARK The Pancyprian Association, Inc. Dance Division New York, cordially invites you to a Cypriot Night on Saturday, June 15 at Towers on the Green, Grand Central Parkway in Floral Park. There will be Live Music and Traditional Folk Dancing from our Dance Groups. n JuNe 15 (DeADLINe) NEW YORK - Kyrenia Opera is proud to announce the first annual Cyprus Vocal Scholarship Competition. The organization offers a one-time no-fee application until June 15. Visit website at n JuNe TROY, MI The Church of St. Nicholas hosts the 20th anniversary Opa! Fest, the largest ongoing Greek festival in the Metro Detroit area, June on church grounds at 760 Wattles Road, Troy, MI. For info call or visit Saturday will feature Greek cooking demonstrations by the famed Three Greek Sisters from Toronto. n JuNe FLINT, MI The Assumption Greek Orthodox Church hosts its Greek festival on June Visit QUESTION OF THE WEEK You have the chance to express your opinion on our website on an important question in the news. The results will be published in our printed edition next week along with the question for that week. The question this week is: Do you think that Greek-Americans ought to place more political pressure on Greece to protect their property rights there? o Yes o No o Maybe The results for last week s question: Do you think that Archbishop Ieronymos Visit to the U.S. was helpful to the image of the Greek Orthodox Church? 53% voted "Yes" 41% voted "No" 6% voted "Maybe" Please vote at:
3 THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7,
4 4 COMMUNITY THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 A Musical Celebration of Cephalonian Liberation and Union with Greece TNH Staff NEW YORK Although 2014 marks the 150th year since the Liberation and Union with Greece of the beautiful island of Cephalonia, every anniversary is special and this year the occasion inspired a two-day celebration that began with a concert of the Septinsular Island s music at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The guests who filled the Bruno Walter Auditorium were greeted by Marika Paleos and Costas Vagelatos, before Eleni Daniels took her turn as Emcee. The program included traditional favorites and less well known songs, both beautifully performed by the Choir of Argostoli, named for the islands capital and consisting of remarkable tenor, baritone and bass male voices, and a band of 10 mandolin and guitar players nine women and one man, all led by the director, Angelos Mourelatos. Many in the audience, including the Consul General of Greece, George Iliopoulos, who attended the auspicious event with his wife Anthousa, joined in the singing, prompting Rossetos Louzis, who served as the TNH/COSTAS BEJ (L-R) John Catsimatidis, Greek Consul General George Iliopoulos, Marika Paleou, honoree Tasos Manessis, Gerasimos Stephanitsis, and Nicholas Bardis at Cephalonian concert. evening s narrator, to declare that the organizers, which should have advertised that the concert would include 300 performers, not just the 30 listed in the program, and then offered deep thanks on behalf of the musicians for making their visit and the concerts possible. The evening also served as an opportunity for the community to honor life, achievements, and contributions of Anastasios Manesis with an award for exceptional Services to Hellenism. Daniels introduced him with an overview of a life that began on the island of Erikousa, near Kerkyra, continued in Athens and finally reached New York. Manessis later sang the praises of tiny Erikousa, whose population has shrunk to about 50, but which is where his beloved parents are buried. He eventually joined his father in the restaurant business, where he proved to be a successful pioneering, and innovative entrepreneur, Daniels said. He also served as president or founder of numerous organizations, Pan Gregorian of New York and its charitable Pan Gregorian Fund and is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He also spearheaded the presidential campaigns of Michael Dukakis and Paul Tsongas in New York. Daniels expressed her special appreciation for Manessis role in mobilizing the community to save its radio broadcasts when New York City threatened to sell WNYE. He helped keep the Greek voice alive in New York. Nicholas Bardis, the president of Ionian Cultural Federation of America, under whose aegis the event was organized, gathered the presidents of all the organizations of the Ionian organizations onstage for a photo with Manessis. The two have worked together for many years to promote Hellenic Paidea, culture and education, in America. Despite being scheduled to speak elsewhere, New York mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis made sure to be there to speak about his good friend despite a schedule that demanded his presence elsewhere. Regarding his campaign he said, We will win. My opponents keep making mistakes and I m learning from them. He said of the concert that is very important for the community that it is hosting cultural events at places like Lincoln Center the Mecca of Music. Every time we do that, it s good for our young people. On the following day there was also a special concert by the same groups at the Chian House in Astoria, which also featured a lecture by writer Elpiniki Mazaraki on the Septinsular freedom fighters in the campaign for liberation from British Rule and union with Greece. She also made a fascinating slide presentation showing Cephalonia before and after the great earthquake of The event s organizers included the Ionian Cultural Federation of America; the Federation of Cephalonian and Ithakian Societies, Odysseus; the Cephalonian Society St. Gerasimos of New Jersey; the Lefkada Society, Lefkas; the Erikousa Society, Erikousa; and the Mathrakion Society, Mathraki. (L-R) AHEPA Supreme President John Grossomanides, Andrew Manatos, who received the Outstanding Public Advocacy Award, and AHEPA Chairman of the Board Nicholas Karacostas. In its Annual Capitol Hill Day, AHEPA Brings Greek Issues to National Stage Continued from page 1 olence. Also included on the agenda was comprehensive immigration reform and provisions within that legislation that would allow Greek nationals to seek highly skilled worker visas. In addition, our aim is to grow the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues back to the record-setting number we achieved in previous congresses, said Dr. Grossomanides. We are encouraged by the positive responses we received by members of Congress who are not members of the Caucus to join it. We expect to see it grow along with the newlyformed Congressional Hellenic- Israel Alliance. The day s events included a morning reception where the AHEPA family received remarks from U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R- FL), co-chair of the Hellenic Caucus and Congressional Hellenic-Israel Alliance; and U.S. Reps. Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Dina Titus (D-NV). We appreciate the strong show of support from the champions of Greek-American issues, said Dr. Grossomanides. We look forward to working with them in this Congress to achieve our goals and objectives. (L-R): Col. Steve Pisanos (ret.), 2013 AHEPA Medal of Freedom recipient; Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides, Col. Nick Vamvakis (ret.), who presented the award; Congressman Gus Bilirakis, member, Committee on Veterans Affairs. BANQUET HONORS COMMUNITY EXCELLENCE, SERVICE The Congressional Banquet, which was held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, returned to the nation s capital after a hiatus of a number of years which featured regional banquets designed to bring the national leadership into closer relations with its local chapters and to spotlight the organizations vibrant regions. This summer, no matter where you go, take The National Herald with you! Rev. Father Alex Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, was presented the AHEPA Excellence in Leadership Award by Supreme President John Grossomanides. SuBSCRIBe TO OuR ON-LINe edition AND STAY INFORMeD! every day you ll find thought provoking editorials, columns and special inserts relevant to the Greek-American, Greek and Cypriot communities. For more information contact: or call: , ext. 108 The National Herald For more information contact: or call: , ext AHEPA family members and friends gathered to honor excellence in public service and the community and Fox News Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel served as the banquet program s the master of ceremonies. Congressman Gus Bilirakis presented his colleague Albio Sires (D-NJ), with the 2013 AHEPA Pericles Award for excellence in public service, Ambassador Gianna Angelopoulos- Daskalaki, former president, 2004 Athens Olympic Organizing Committee received the Daughters of Penelope Civic Responsibility Award from Daughters of Penelope Grand President Joanne Saltas, Andrew Manatos, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce and founder, Manatos & Manatos was awarded the Outstanding Public Advocacy Award by AHEPA Chairman of the Board Nicholas Karacostas, Col. Steve Pisanos (ret.), World War II Flying Ace was given the AHEPA Medal of Freedom by Col. Nick Vamvakias (ret.) and Congressman Bilirakis, who is a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee); and Rev. Father Alex Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, was presented the AHEPA Excellence in Leadership Award by Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides. Special presentations were also made to each AHEPA chapter that organized volunteers to help victims of Superstorm Sandy. According to the AHEPA press release, in their acceptance remarks, the honorees reflected upon the importance of public service, community service, and participation in the civic or advocacy process, and they expressed gratitude toward AHEPA for promoting these principles. In addition, they stressed the importance of striving to preserve Hellenism. Several dignitaries attended the banquet, including several members of Congress. Among the dignitaries were: Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Christos Panagopoulos, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), chair, Committee on Foreign Affairs; U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D- MD), ranking member, Committee on the Budget; U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), and U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D- NH). Founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, to protect individuals from the evils of bigotry and discrimination, AHEPA is the largest and oldest grassroots association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes with more than 400 chapters across the United States, Canada, Greece, and Cyprus. The mission of AHEPA is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence through community service and volunteerism. More information is available at
5 THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 COMMUNITY 5 U.S. Government Drops its Corruption Case against Peter Papanicolaou By Demetris Tsakas TNH Staff Writer NEW YORK The federal government dropped corruption complaints against Greek Cypriot-American developer and businessman Peter Papanicolaou, President of the Cyprus Federation of America, who was accused of paying for a trip to Cyprus for U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, a Staten Island Republican. Papanicolaou was notified by letter by Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York that Nina Gershon, United States District Judge, Eastern district of New York, dismissed the indictment against him. Papanikolaou, as was reported by TNH, called the allegations of corruption against him unfounded. He defended his innocence and, and despite lawyers advice not to make any TNH Staff Writer ASTORIA The Vallone Family s roots in Astoria are deep and its relations with the Greek- and Cypriot-American community are tight, so when City Councilman Peter F. Vallone, Jr. decided to turn term limits lemons into campaign for Queens Borough President lemonade, Hellenes like new York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas and other community leaders joined the charge. Astoria Park, with its iconic bridges, was the scene for the announcement of the endorsement on May 17, and on May 15 local Greek-American leaders hosted a fundraiser at the Stathakion Center. Polling data indicate Vallone is the frontrunner for the September 10 election, but the message at both events was simple: it is in the interest of the Greek community to go vote and contribute to the campaign and to tell their friends to do the same. Simotas, who will also chair of the Women for Vallone Committee, was introduced at Astoria Park by the candidate s father, Peter F. Vallone, Sr., who served in the City Council of 29 statements, he declared his innocence and said he is certain the truth will come out. From the beginning I declared my innocence. Fortunately after a process that lasted about a year the government decided to withdraw the charge against me. All this time was a big test for me and my family, but in the end, all is well, he told TNH. Papanicolaou said that it was a very big test for me, my family, friends, and fellow activists because I am a person who came to the United States to study and worked hard to create a healthy business and to be active in public affairs. Undoubtedly my case had an impact on the Cypriot community and on the Cyprus Federation of America of which I was president. It really tortured me all this time and I did not want to expose my parents, my family, my colleagues, and my fellow fighters (to what was going on). years, many of them as its speaker. He declared her Not only the queen of Astoria but the Queen Albany, the state prehensive immigration reform. He acknowledged the vibrancy of the Greek community in New York, and pointed out: I have always had a close relationship with the community and I believe the more Greeks there are in New York and the more Greeks in America, the better New York and America are, and I ve been fighting hard to make sure that this bill helps them. The full bill with Schumer s amendment passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support on May 22, with solid bipartisan support. He said that it has a provision that will help Greek language and culture stay strong in New York and America Greek citizens are allowed the opportunity to be hired in America if there is a need for their Greek language speaking whether to teach Hellenic culture and language to Greek Americans many different kinds of organizations sponsor these types of language instruction visas summer camps, schools, travel agencies, or a big company. He added: Everything I did in my life I did in the interests of the community, my country and my birthplace. Asked if he would take legal action and seek compensation [Judge] Nina Gershon Eastern district of New York, dismissed the indictment against him. for the injuries caused by the accusation, he said: There is no such issue. I want to move on with my life and business. I want to calm down with my family to go on holiday to Cyprus, because my family and my friends have suffered greatly and it s time to rest and enjoy a carefree holiday. I would never want to go into a court adventure with the U.S. authorities, he said. The charges were levied in August of 2012 when the New York Times reported that Grimm did not include Cyprus in his report of a trip taken to Israel but then amended it. He was required to report the source of the funding. The amended filing came one day after his host Papanicolaou, was arrested on corruption charges after the government said his organization paid for the $6,890 visit. Prosecutors accused Papanicolaou of treating an official of the city s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to a free trip to Greece as part of a scheme to gain city contracts. Papanicolaou s construction company in Brooklyn was awarded $95 million in department contracts between 2002 and 2008, according to city records. Grimm s lawyer, William McGinley, maintained that the filing in June had nothing to do with Papanicolaou s arrest and that the Cyprus swing was When they are here, they also be able to apply for green cards and citizenship based on the point system, that the overall bill establishes, he said. Schumer said that, It s a win-win. It allows Greek to come and work here and help our economy and it helps the Greek-American community preserve the Greek language and culture that is at the root of all Western culture. I was proud to offer this provision and work with the community and the Archbishop and Dennis Mehiel, John Catsimatidis, and George Tsunis, and so many others to ensure that this happens. The provision had the unanimous support of Democrats and Republicans on the committee he said, So I am confident it will stay in the bill. Demetrios then told Schumer: We are deeply indebted to you and grateful for what you are doing for the Greek Orthodox community and also helping with the conditions in Greece, and said he wanted to publicly acknowledge his gratitude to the senator for this provision ant he leadership of immigration reform in general. LOTS OF HEAVY LIFTING Andy Manatos, President of the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes and whose lobbying firm is based in Washington, also thanked Schumer because we have a lot of friends in the Senate who we asked to move on this issue but the fact is that you stood up and took the heat to make this happen. If you weren t there, there is no question that this amendment would not be in the bill and we are greatly appreciative. During a question and answer session, Philip Christopher, the President of the Pancyprian Association and PSEKA thanked Schumer on behalf of Cypriot- Americans, because Cypriots will also be able to apply. The participants expressed their thanks to Schumer, prompting him to point out that his friendship with the community goes back to when he lived near the Three Hierarchs Church in Brooklyn, in the district where he was first elected to Congress. I spent many a happy day at that church with my friends, but I also want to thank the (entire) Greek community. It is so good for America Greek people are hardworking, dedicate and successful and they make America a better place. New York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas asked if there was a limit on the number of Greeks and Cypriots who can participate. He said he does not believe there is, but he will look into it and inform her, acknowledging that her office will be a key point of contact he said his staff will supply hers with all the information. People will be able to stay for 18 months and Schumer said the status is renewable. In response to a question regarding the value of establishing a coordinating body or a clearing house for information to match people coming from Greece with opportunities across the country, Manatos said it will be done in the implementation phase and we are quite a few months away from that. The senator noted: We still have to pass the bill on the floor okayed by the House Ethics Committee. In July 2011, about a month before Grimm s trip, his office issued a news release saying he would cosponsor a bill to help give Americans who own property in what the release called Turkish-Occupied Cyprus recourse to seek restitution for the illegal use and occupation of their property. Cyprus is divided between a Greek-Cypriot South and a Turkish-occupied North, which is not recognized internationally. The release noted thatgrimm planned to travel to Cyprus in August 2011 with representatives of the Greek-Cypriot community from his district. Papanicolaou accompanied him on the trip, as did Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, a Staten Island Republican who issued a news release about it. They met with the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the foreign minister, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, and other dignitaries. The Times reported that according to an itinerary that was belatedly filed with the House of Representatives on July 23 that year, the first full day of the weeklong trip featured lunch with Papanicolau at his home. Papanicolaou came to the attention of authorities as part of a pay-to-play scheme that has engulfed the city s Department of Housing Preservation and Development since Wendell B. Walters, a former assistant commissioner, pleaded guilty to bribery and corruption charges. The government claimed that Papanicolaou persuaded a travel agency to rebate $12,390 in charges that the assistant commissioner put on his American Express card for a Greek honeymoon in September 2007, so that Papanicolaou could pick up the tab. Peter Vallone, Jr. is Seeking Borough Presidency of His Beloved Queens capital, but the best addition to Albany we ever had. Simotas noted her own career began working for Vallone, Sr. and said she will always call him Mr. Speaker, in honor of his exemplary service. She was also Vallone Jr. s campaign manager when he first won his City Council seat and saw firsthand how committed Peter Jr. is to public service, his community and to his family. The Vallone name is synonymous with public service and Peter Jr. is a shining example of that. They have worked together on many issues, especially women s rights. Vallone, who was a very successful prosecutor, is aggressively fighting for Simotas new bill to protect women titled Rape is Rape. Vallone thanked her and said I feel like I have three daughters and I m so proud of Aravella. She s a leader. George Dellis, Former Community Board 1 District Manager in Queens, welcomed the guests at the Stathakion and introduced the candidate s father. Vallone, Sr. said his family s relationship with the community began with his own father, Judge Frank Vallone, and his many friendships with Greeks. He always marveled at that and when he finally visited Sicily he saw all the well preserved temples and declared, It s all Greek. No wonder! He urged the guests to support Peter Jr. who says exactly what he means and does exactly what he says, which is very unusual today, and his son Paul, who is running for a City Council seat in Queens. Dellis announced that Peter Vallone Senior and Junior will both be honored for their role in creating, supporting, and now renovating Athens Square Park as an important Astoria cultural venue. The June 2 concert at the Stathakion will raise funds for the installation of the statue of Socrates. Delis thanked Petros Galatoulas, the Secretary of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, Julie Pantazis, and Stamatis restaurant for the food and refreshments. Sandra Vassos, who actually ran against Vallone when he was first elected in 2001, is a friend nevertheless, and is very excited about the campaign. There is a legacy with the Vallone Family in Astoria, with their support of the Greek community and the community s support of them as leaders in this area for so many years, she said. Senate Judiciary Comm. Passes Proposal for Greek, Cypriot Work Visas Continued from page 1 Peter F. Vallone, Jr. thanked NY State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (at his right) for being one of the first local office holders to endorse him. I m controversial, he said with a smile to constituents and supporters who wouldn t have him any other way. Schumer said that the amendment will help preserve Hellenic language and culture in America. of the Senate and in the House and get it to the President to sign, but everything seems to be going well. I m optimist this bill will be on the president s desk by October. It is hoped the full Senate will debate the bill in June and the House will do so over the summer. Manatos said this amendment is what they call in Washington a very heavy lift. There are literally about 1000 interests in getting and amendment in this bill, and there were 300 that had the strength to convince a senator to introduce them, and a very small percentage of those 300 were adopted. He noted that, were it not for the fact that Chuck Schumer is the Chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee and has extraordinary credibility both with Democrats and Republicans, there would be no way that this amendment would have been adopted. It was quite an accomplishment, Manatos said, but now it must get to the Senate floor for a vote 60 votes will be required to overcome filibusters, if they occur. Greek School Graduation is an Occasion for the Blues The hearts and gowns of the 2013 graduates of the Efstathios and Stamatiki Valiotis Greek- American Day School at the Church of the Holy Cross in Whitestone are glowing Hellenic blue. Also in the photo are Fr. Dionysios Anagnostopoulos, the pastor, Archdeacon Epifanios Arvanities, Eugenia Nearchou, Supervising Principal, Eleni Thermos, Christina Makridou, Grigoria Yianniou, Elli Ziogka, Kalliopi Xanthopoulou, Pevki Simakos, Kiki Stamatogianni, and Maria Haralabou. The Hellenic Council YSee of America Invites you on Saturday June 8th 2013 at 6pm at the Stathakion Center Federation of Hellenic Societies th Street Astoria Ny for a lecture titled Placing Plato above Aristotle: The Case of Plethon Gemistos by Dr. Christos evangeliou Professor of Philosophy at Towson university, md
6 6 COMMUNITY THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 Niki Rossakis was convicted of shooting her husband, Gary, in She is hoping to reconnect with her son Gary, who is now 24 and a law student. Son Once Believed Jailed Mom s Alibi, Now Fears Her Pending Release Continued from page 1 opened her letters largely for my own sanity to be a normal young adult, he said. The meeting in prison was a cross-examination, not a reunion. I said, I want you to be straight with me. I want you to tell me why you murdered my father, John said. Niki, now 51, won a new parole hearing because she has been a model prisoner who has earned two associate degrees, has tutored other inmates and, except for minor infractions early in her incarceration, has a clean disciplinary record, lawyer Richard Greenberg said. She is not a violent person, Greenberg said. She is not a threat to anybody and she s incredibly remorseful. But if she is released, her son believes, she will again become addicted to drugs and, being a manipulator, will take advantage of her sons. John was 4 at the time; his younger brother, George, was 1. Now a 24-year-old law student at Seton Hall, John is no longer in his mother s corner. The New Jersey man spent several days last summer reading the trial transcripts and watching videotapes of his mother being interrogated by police. He is now convinced she lied about being physically and sexually NEIl SCHNEIDER/NEw york DAIly NEwS abused by his father for years before the shooting. Those two children, John and his younger brother, George, lived with his mother s sister, Lillian Alexopoulos, for about a decade after the shooting before being adopted by their uncle, Constantine, a cardiologist. The parole board rejected Niki for parole twice. A Manhattan Supreme Court judge, however, recently ruled the board failed to give proper consideration to her prison record and possible evidence of her rehabilitation, including her earning two associate degrees. A TROUBLED LIFE Niki, 51, admitted to the News she was a drug addict and not thinking clearly when she shot her husband in the head as he lay asleep in bed. She repeated claims she had been enduring years of escalating abuse, but said she came to understand over 20 long years that she could have and should have walked away instead of grabbing his revolver from a bedside table drawer. It was an impulsive act and I am sorry for it, said Niki. I caused a lot of pain. After spending nearly 20 years in prison for killing a husband she claims brutalized her, RON ANTONEllI/NEw york DAIly NEwS John Rossakis' mother, Niki, was convicted of murdering his father, Gary. He is not convinced by his mother's testimony that she was abused by his dad. Nitsa Rossakis, mother of Gary, holds photo of him at Niki's trial. Niki says she s praying for a second chance from the parole board and from her sons. I m hopeful, she said during an interview at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, a maximum-security prison in Westchester County. I want to reunite and rebond with them. I m sorry this has happened, she told the parole board in I have left the entire Rossakis Family with a hole in their heart. This should have never happened and I could have prevented it. I could have left. I should have left, but I never did, and I m sorry because he would be alive today to see his sons grow up, and Murder victim Gary Rossakis, who was murdered by his wife Niki Rossakis, is pictured in a handout photograph holding his baby son John Rossakis. most importantly, I orphaned two children. I m sorry. Tears welled up in Niki s eyes when she acknowledged she has had little contact with her two sons. The youngest was just a toddler when she was locked up and her eldest, once an unwavering supporter, now dreads the possibility of her being released after a parole board hearing this summer. It s painful, she said. We haven t been able to spend time as adults and hash this all out in private. John was more than troubled by what he gleaned from the case file, where he learned his mother was addicted to barbiturates. She forged prescriptions and illegally obtained drugs at least 60 times during her fiveyear marriage, according to trial testimony. She was even arrested while out on bail in 1994 on charges of trying to pass a forged prescription during a trip to the Hamptons. He also read that his mother told police her husband committed suicide before she admitted shooting him. He discovered that at trial, she didn t produce physical evidence of physical abuse by her husband, a bear of a man who stood 6 feet, 2 inches tall. He was a giant, John, who has a striking resemblance to his father, said. Long-term systematic abuse by someone that large would have left some kind of indication, whether it was a hospital visit or a black eye, that someone would have noticed. John thought his father was attacking his mother in their bedroom when she shot him, and that she shot him in the chest, he said. He discovered that she actually put the revolver to his temple as he lay asleep in bed. Their jailhouse meeting lasted more than four hours. A lot of it was me just letting out my frustration, John said. I was saying, How could you lie to me? Why are you lying to me? He had hoped for more, he said. How could she not see me and say, I m sorry. I m so sorry for all of this? There was none of that. She was still just trying to justify it and, frankly, it disgusted me. He also said he s worried about his own safety. As the parole board hearing approaches, John is clearly dreading the idea of his mother s release, but would not say if he is actively fighting it. I m going to do whatever I think is necessary to protect my family, he said. CUNY s Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies Shines at Graduation Time Continued from page 1 rich in inspiring messages. The story of his life began, like those of many in the audience, with the with the struggles and sacrifices of his family, including the difficulties they faced as refugees after the persecutions of the Turks, and the challenges faced by grandparents that arrived in Ellis Island in years ago. The audience was touched by the references to his parents from the book 11 Weddings and a Sacrifice, which Catsimatidis commissioned, and which is dedicated to his mother. Catsimatidis also mentioned the reasons he decided to participate in the mayoral campaign and stressed that he is in it to win. His ambition is to transcend party affiliations and become the LaGuardia of the 21st century, thereby inspiring the community s children to set lofty goals. He has an additional political wish. I want God let me live long enough to see one of my children be elected president of the United States," Catsimatidis said. Students and special guests pose for a commemorative photo at the 35th annual Certificate of Achievement Awards Dinner and Harry Psomiades Memorial Lecture at Queens College. On behalf of the students of the Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at Queens College, the program s director Dr. Christos Ioannides (R) presents New York City mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, standing next to his wife Margo, with a hooded Queens College sweatshirt. Dr. Christos Ioannidis, the Director, welcomed the guests and expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the Centre, and said he is looking forward to the 40th anniversary of its establishment. He congratulated this year s graduates, Krisztina Foldi, who majored the programs of the Center, and Elena Ioannou, Alexandra Kavouras, and Kimon Koutsouradis, who took minors, as well as the students who received the scholarships. Ioannides also thanked the donors who funded them, and all of the Center s benefactors, including the Onassis Foundation (USA), its Executive Director, Ambassador Loucas Tsilas, and its Director of Educational Affairs, Dr. Maria Sereti. The invocation was offered by Fr. Anastasios Gounaris, Dean of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan, and there were welcoming remarks by Dr. June Bobb, Assistant Provost of Queens College, the Consul of Greece Evangelos Kyriakopoulos, the Consul General of Cyprus Koula Sophianou, and the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Centre, Christ Stratakis. Dr. Ioannides also thanked the longtime Assistant Director and Program Coordinator Effie Lekas. Costas Constantinidis, who is running to be the first Greekand Cypriot-American to serve on the New York City Council and who was graduated in 2005, was honored as the alumnus of the year. He shared some of his experiences from his Queens College days and urged the graduates and students to be engaged with the responsibilities of citizenship and politics. He then spoke with passion about their future, saying Follow your visions and fight to make them become reality. Be proud to have at your side your parents, who are following each one of your steps, he concluded. Stanford U Study Highlights Skouras Impact on Modern American Culture Continued from page 1 chain and hired Skouras as manager. His entertainment career took off from there. In 1935 he masterminded one of the first big film industry mergers between Twentieth Century and Fox Studios. As President of Twentieth Century- Fox from 1942 to 1962, he green-lighted films on hitherto taboo themes, such as racism (Pinky), anti-semitism (Gentleman s Agreement) and mental illness (The Snake Pit), as well as the classic film adaptations of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. Being the head of one of the world s top film corporations, he was very influential in shaping America s image after World War II, Chrissochoidis said. In 1953, when the new medium of television had slashed movie ticket sales by half, Skouras introduced CinemaScope, a widescreen format that became the industry s standard for years. Despite his exceptional business achievements, Skouras never lost sight of his civic responsibilities. During World War II, in the midst of a major career change, he led the Greek War Relief Association ( ), one of the most successful American foreign aid campaigns. Skouras turn of mind was one that saw no incompatibility between business objectives and humanitarian action, said Chrissochoidis. As a major player in Hollywood, Skouras recruited celebrities such as Clark Gable, Judy Garland and Ed Sullivan to support the aid effort and enhance the association s public profile. He also visited President Franklin Roosevelt and pressured British leaders Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden to lift the British naval blockade on Greece to allow for the influx of assistance to starving Greeks. In addition, Skouras Brothers Enterprises Inc. movie theaters in New York were the first to become issuing agents for Treasury Department war bonds. As Skouras recalled, By setting the pattern for movie houses throughout the nation they were instrumental in selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of war and victory bonds to the public. Referring to Skouras role as America s cultural ambassador during the Cold War, Chrissochoidis said, Nobody can have political access to the White House under six different administrations, from FDR to Nixon, without being an extraordinary individual. Skouras was exactly that and I resolved to make his story known. OUT OF THE ARCHIVES Despite Skouras impressive career and achievements, Chrissochoidis found that few people were aware of the significance of his contributions. Even fewer knew that the only primary source on his life, and probably on Twentieth Century-Fox s company history during his presidency, is kept in the Stanford University Libraries Department of Special Collections. An expert on composer George Frideric Handel, Chrissochoidis never thought of expanding his research agenda to modern Greek history. But a string of 20 research fellowships beginning at the Stanford Humanities Center helped him develop a keen eye for archival discoveries. During a Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress, he discovered unpublished correspondence of the legendary Greek conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos. Later, at Harvard s Houghton Library, he found two unexplored boxes with writings of 1963 Nobel literature laureate George Seferis. Both discoveries alerted me to the fact that there has been no serious archival research on modern Greek subjects in this country, Chrissochoidis said. Returning to Stanford in 2011 as an American Council of Learned Societies fellow, Chrissochoidis was curious to explore the university s modern Greek collections. By happy coincidence, Skouras granddaughter, Damaris, a Stanford alumna, had arranged the donation of the Spyros P. Skouras Papers, to the university in For Chrissochoidis, the discovery of the memoirs was not only an important contribution to Greek American and film history but also a confirmation of the vital role of archival research in academia. Humanities scholars, Chrissochoidis said, should take a lesson or two from the sciences and put more emphasis on the excitement of discovery and innovation. Discovery, not discourse, should drive the humanities in the 21st century. Kelsey Geiser is an intern with the Human Experience, the Humanities web portal for Stanford University.
7 THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 COMMUNITY 7 Hellenic Voice Rising: Greek Soprano Eleni Calenos Speaks with TNH NEW YORK There is a rich tradition of Greek artists and musicians blossoming in New York and making names for themselves across America and on the international stage. Soprano Eleni Calenos (that is the stage name of Eleni Kalaitsidou) is one of the latest. One of the things that sets them apart is their Hellenic passion and love for their art, which Calenos fans feel in addition to the technical mastery acknowledged by critics and which has garnered her many international awards. The Houston Press has written, The phenomenon [in the performance of Madama Butterfly] was the Cio- Cio-San of Greek soprano Eleni Calenos, whose nuanced characterization was a true wonder to hear. She sailed through her dramatic arias as if buoyed by the stirring music." The New York Times said of her performance in Don Giovanni: "Eleni Calenos sang with a strong, clear soprano and was persuasive as a suffering yet haughty Donna Elvira." Though far from her country, she is never cut off from her roots. In 2006 she made a recording of George Tsontakis' Mirologhia, which was released on the KOCH International Classics label with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. In the spring 2009, Calenos appeared as the principal soloist with Greek composer A. Paraskevas at Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Calenos spoke with TNH about her life on and off the stage: TNH: How did you first become involved with music and opera? EC: My parents always believed that music is integral for the development of children. Growing up in my family, I was exposed to various genres of music and not exclusively classical or opera. Music and singing was part of my everyday life, and I was encouraged to study cello and piano when I was seven years old. Besides focusing on the aforementioned instruments, I had to attend theory and solfege classes, orchestra, and choir. The latter was my first contact with more sophisticated singing. Later on, I graduated with a Cello Performance diploma from the Municipal Conservatory of my hometown Thessaloniki, and performed with the Municipal Symphony Orchestra for a year. I also had a career singing Greek popular, traditional and ethnic music with well-known Greek artists. In order to protect my voice, I took a few voice lessons, and realized that my real potential was in classical singing. This was my first involvement with opera and the first time I started seriously considering opera as my path. The door to it was slowly opening up to me, and since then there was no way back. TNH: Is there a musical tradition in your family? EC: There was never a musical tradition in my family, but there was always a great love for music. I am sure there was talent for music among my relatives which remained undeveloped or developed only up to an amateur level. Their generation had to deal with adversity in life due to the difficult years Greece went through during the time after they were born. However, I remember family gatherings with my grandmother singing duets with her brother, or my father telling me about the "cantades" of his youth. TNH: Has your life path been influenced by your Ancient and/or Modern Greek and Orthodox heritage? EC: There is no doubt that traditional influences will always be evident to the observant listener of an opera artist of Greek origin. This very heritage though (Ancient/Modern Greek and Orthodox) if allowed to flow uncontrollably might prove to be damaging to the flavor and eventually to the essence and outcome of this western genre, opera. The challenge here is to render oneself a citizen of the world so as to gradually be accepted as such while maintaining one's indelible origin. TNH: What has been your greatest achievement so far? EC: Besides my artistic and professional accomplishments, I consider as an achievement the ability to maintain a positive attitude and fresh approach to life no matter what obstacles I encounter. TNH: What s the greatest lesson you have ever learned? EC: That it is of no benefit from allowing my thoughts to be obstacles to taking action, or from worrying over trifles, and that golden opportunities are wasted before laziness, while industry makes the commonest chances golden. Also, that unearned money does not enrich. TNH: Do you have role models? EC: Many great operatic divas of the past are teachers and examples for me with their life and artistry. However, I have no specific role model. I simply try to cherish the good elements of people I meet, as well as of everything I read and experience, and to see how these elements could affect me positively and help me improve myself. TNH: What s your ultimate goal in life? EC: My ultimate goal in life is to come to a position to do as much good as possible, to be able to touch other people's lives and also be equal to the opportunities live presents to me. TNH: What are your most enjoyable pastimes? EC: Traveling and visiting art exhibitions and museums, because this is a great way for me to learn about our human cultural heritage and history. Also, yoga, which helps me maintain balance among my physical, psychological and mental bodies. Last but not least is cooking, which constitutes an important tradition among Greek families. TNH: Share with us some words of wisdom. EC: Say "I love you" to yourself looking in the mirror, because this is the only way you can give true love to others. Nature never lets a person rest until he has found his place. It is the idle man, not the great worker, who is always complaining that he has no time or opportunity. I also want to say that if Greece lives in the memory and affections of men, it is the Greek devotion to art that has immortalized her. Before Midnight: Fascinating and Provocative Film of Love and Time Continued from page 1 Greek soprano Eleni Calenos Greece is one of the stars of Before Midnight, which Rolling Stone called one of the year s best movies. Clockwise from Above: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, as Paris residents Jesse and Celine, at an outdoor café; the glory of Messinia; the couple take in the beauty of the Peloponnese. cutter romantic comedies made for the multiplex, Before Midnight comes to us with a European sensibility. The film has critics reaching for new superlatives, earning a 99% fresh rating on the Rotten Tomatoes site, a survey that includes every important reviewer in America. If you tuned in to the earlier films in the trilogy, you will undoubtedly flip over this one the intimacy of the characters, their incredible dialogues. And what better setting for lengthy talks than Greece, a country that honors conversation as an art. Greece itself beautiful, troubled, ancient, modern bares its soul in a cleaned up way offering a raw but Eden-like atmosphere. Banished are the yiayias, donkeys, and quaint props of most setin-greece films. We do see a few goats. Do not go to Before Midnight looking for the earthiness of Zorba the Greek. Instead, you re seeing the world through the eyes of two visitors, a romanticized Greece. There s a certain distancing. They re mostly in their heads and their own emotions. The characters, Celine and Jesse, a successful author, are in their forties. Paris residents, they ve come to Messinia as guests of a famous writer. The ancient ruins of the Peloponnesus, the ever present sense of time and tragedy, all work to bring this couple to a mesmerizing crisis. They had had a fine interlude in Greece, surrounded by companions and their twin daughters. Alone on their final night on what should have been the perfect punctuation to a beautiful experience they tear into each other. Their brutal and sometimes humorous verbal assault takes place in a sterile hotel room so at odds with the beautiful Greek scene, a claustrophobic room. If there are windows, the blinds are closed. Friends gave it to them as a present for their last night along with a bottle of wine and couples massage therapy, the latter in which they never indulged. You spend a riveting half-hour with this couple which can also be annoying, as they occasionally veer off into self-indulgent banality. You might even be asking yourself why am I watching them? Been there. Done that. The couple dredges through their past and considers their future. They re at the crucial midpoint. Will they go on and even make a fourth film? The filmgoer can decide. In an earlier scene, Hawke and Delpy watch the sun set as it only can in the Aegean a huge ball of fire slowly sinking. The sun becomes an important part of the drama. Still there. Still there. Still there, says Delpy as the sun moves slowly down behind the mountain and finally disappears. You won t want to miss the film s al fresco dinner party. You can almost smell the basil. Almost all the actors at the table, the cream of Greek film and theatre, include Walter Lassally, Oscar-winning director of photography on Zorba the Greek. He plays Patrick, the host and famous old writer, and makes his acting debut at age 85. The setting for the dinner party, the former home of Patrick Leigh Fermor, a remarkable writer who loved Greece and wrote about it, is a beautiful grey stone house with light blue shutters oozing with charm, a terrace, a garden, and a great view of the sea. Xenia Kalogeropoulou, the legendary Greek equivalent of Sophia Loren, plays Patrick s companion. Notable filmmaker Athina Tsangari, co-producer, coaxed her to come out of retirement and appear in this movie. Tsangari also plays the sensual Ariadni, a guest at the dinner party. Other dinner guests include Ariane Labed, awarded the Best Actress honors at the 67th Venice International film festival for her performance in the Greek film Attenberg. as well as Yannis Papadopoulos and Panos Koronis. Intriguingly, Greek film lines are not given subtitles. The grand old writer, asked if he likes all of the young writer s books, replies Etsi ki etsi (soso). This is translated to Jesse/Hawke as wonderful. So we re inside and outside what s happening, part of the film s enigmatic, even mysterious subtext. Jesse and Celine, despite a long, intense relationship, keep secrets from each other. Before Midnight skirmishes briefly with the Greek crisis. At one point, during the raging dialogue, Celine says that Greeks drink wine and eat feta cheese and enjoy life while saying how miserable they are. The film s producer Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, founder of the international film company Faliro House Productions, has been involved with many Greek new wave films, including Attenberg as well as mainstream global hits. The crew, including director of photography Christos Voudouris an exceptional cinematic artist -- was nearly all Greek. Says producer Sara Woodhatch: We wanted lighting and camera people who really knew that incredible Greek light. There was a kind of gameness, a really high energy and talent in the Greek crew. We shot it in fifteen days. Eight and a half pages of dialogue the first day. We just had an amazing team. Even with the economic worries there s a renaissance in Greek film going on it s like a bolt of lightning hit their ground and the result is incredibly fertile creativity. The lines in Before Midnight ring with authenticity and spontaneity because Delpy, Hawke, a novelist as well as an actor, and Linklater wrote the script together, primarily in Greece. It didn t totally come together until we got to Greece, Linklater says. We spent seven weeks, very, very intensive weeks writing, workshopping, really demanding a lot of each other. According to producer Konstantakopoulos, We wanted to create the best creative environment for them to write in a bubble, just a fabulously idyllic setting with no outside diversion. We set them up at Costa Navarino, the gorgeous resort in Messinia where the hotel scenes in the film were shot. To watch the creative dynamism is mesmerizing. It s like they have invisible elastic bands between them. They audition funny parts and sad parts for each other to see if they work, and it s so compelling. There was just something about Greece, says Linklater. We find Jesse and Celine in a sort of paradise. They re together. He s writing books. She s an environmentalist. They have children. I mean so much of what they probably wanted to have happen in their lives has come to pass, and yet here they are on this idyllic summer vacation, and all is not perfect. It never is. The notion of time is our major subject. Jumping forward to a new stage in life, backward in memory. There s no more moving Follow us on Facebook: Eθνικός Κήρυξ / The National Herald place to be in Europe than Greece right now, says Hawke. Because its both intensely ancient and it s very present as a modern force. It s in the news every day. But romantic love is timeless love is always new and it s always been done before. Everybody s doing it. Kids are falling in love you know there s a new set of before sunrises very day. It s a well-worn path and its infinitely interesting to us, as humans. Eros is a very mysterious god, because he s both the youngest and the oldest. Greece conjures up a longing for some meaning in life, which I think is valuable as a metaphor to the film. Costar Delpy commented: It made memorizing the lines and shooting those scenes a little less painful because we were in the most amazing place I ve ever been this ancient place where western civilization basically started. The film is so much about time passing, but that s not a depressing thing they re alive in their forties as they were in their twenties. Sometimes I read a screenplay in a Hollywood film and it s like, the woman is past forty, she s angry, bitter, and I think why are you a b describing these women. I don t know any women like that. Following on the heels of Before Midnight, the great Woody Allen plans a film in Athens starring Brad Pitt and Penelope Cruz. His film bears the provisional title Athens by Night and narrates the life of a young American writer who lives in the Plaka, under the Acropolis, and writes a novel on the Greek crisis. According to rumor, Pitt will play the role of the author while Cruz will play the role of his Greek lover. Athens will also be the focus of the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival s 2013 City to City program this fall. The festival s artistic director said he wanted to introduce festival audiences to new generations of filmmakers unafraid to rewrite the rules. Toronto festival programmer Dmitri Eipedes said that after a long period of hibernation, Greek cinema has finally found its way back to the forefront. A number of young filmmakers most of them fresh out of film school or, at best, with a couple of shorts to their name turned things around. Where others saw devastation, they saw inspiration. POCKeT-LeSS PITA BReAD Kontos Foods The Leading Company in Flat Breads Well known for the Pocket-Less Pita manufacturers of Authentic Ethnic Hand Stretched Flat bread. kontos the first family in fillo dough and fillo products. FIllO kataifi, BAklAVA, SPANAkOPITA, TyROPITA NuT ROll, melomakarona and the TRADITIONAl mediterranean DESSERTS. Excellent quality and service. 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SSNY shall mail a copy of any process served against the LLC to: THE LLC, th Street, Brooklyn, NY Purpose: any lawyful activity /18596 FuNeRAL HOMeS APOSTOLOPOULOS Apostle Family - Gregory, Nicholas, Andrew - Funeral Directors of RIVERDALE FUNERAL HOME Inc Broadway New York, NY (212) Toll Free GAPOSTLE CONSTANTINIDES FUNERAL PARLOR Co. (718) Services in all localities - Low cost shipping to Greece TO PlACE your ClASSIFIED AD, CAll: (718) , ExT. 106, thenationalherald.com LITRAS FUNERAL HOME ARLINGTON BENSON DOWD, INC FUNERAL HOME Parsons Blvd., Jamaica, NY (718) (800) ReAL estate /17902/7-27 ANTONOPOULOS FUNERAL HOME, INC. Konstantinos Antonopoulos - Funeral Director Ditmars Blvd., Astoria, New York (718) Not affiliated with any other funeral home. NAPLeS FLORIDA ReAL estate Μιλώ Ελληνικά Vicky Lewis Realtor DOWNING-FRYe ReALTY, INC. ReAL estate Eleni Malliaros, SFR Realtor Lic. VA & WV Cell: Office: Contact us Today! And let us guide you with expert Real Estate advise for FREE Malliaros Family Team You're not just another client... you are Family! KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY 50 Catoctin Circle NE, Leesburg, VA Office: Fax: /18484/09-07 Dorothy Jenis, Renowned Education Reformer, Mourned by Manchester Community MANCHESTER, NH (From the Union Leader) Dorothy Coucouvitis Jenis, 92, of Manchester, died April 23, 2013, following a long illness. Mrs. Jenis was well known at the local, state and national levels for her work as an educator, her efforts to improve the lives of children, and as a national advocate for educational reform. She was also a leader in the Hellenic community. Affectionately known as "Jenis the Menace" and "Dr. J" by her students and colleagues, Mrs. Jenis was a popular teacher of English and humanities at Manchester High School West and Central High School until her retirement in Fueled by a desire to improve conditions in the classroom, she became actively involved in the Manchester Education Association, then in the New Hampshire Education Association - and became president of both organizations. Eventually, Mrs. Jenis also served as the director representing New Hampshire on the National Education Association (NEA) board of directors in Washington, D.C. - a position in which she successfully lobbied for the creation of the Department of Education. She was present while President Jimmy Carter signed the legislation creating the department, and also as the first secretary of education, Shirley Hufstedler, was introduced to office. As president of NHEA, Mrs. Jenis served on various education committees, including one on home education and an advisory group on equal educational opportunity. As NEA director and a member of the benefits committee, she helped organize and also participated in national retirement forums. She was one of four NEA directors who worked to establish the association NEA-Retired. As president of the Manchester Education Association, she worked to gain federal funds for the Manchester Teacher Center and served on its policy board. She also served for several years on the local staff development committee DISCO, charged with overseeing teacher re-certification. Concerned with student abuse of alcohol and drugs, Mrs. Jenis joined the local steering committee of The Chemical People, a national program for prevention of alcohol and drug abuse. Her work in this area prompted the late Gov. Hugh Gallen to name her chairman of the N.H. Commission of Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, a position she held for six years. In connection with her humanities and literature classes, Mrs. Jenis organized, planned and chaperoned many student trips to England, France, Italy and Greece. She also organized a visit by more than 500 students to Concord, Lexington, and Boston, Mass., on the 200th anniversary of Patriots Day. Mrs. Jenis was born in Haverhill, Mass., in 1920 to James Nicholas Coucouvitis, who emigrated from Thessaly, Greece, to Haverhill in 1896, and Irene (Belchos) Coucouvitis, who emigrated from Atalanti, Greece. She attended public schools, graduated from Westbrook Jr. College, and then received a B.A. from Brown University. She went on to graduate studies at Northeastern University and the University of New Hampshire, and then worked as a test engineer at General Electric in Lynn, Mass. She later returned to Manchester and the family businesses, where she served on the board of directors of Lexington Shoe Company and as president and treasurer of MacArthur Realty Corporation until both businesses were sold. She later was a partner in the Colonial Flower Shop until her marriage to Thomas Jenis in When their children, Philip and William, were of school age she began her career in education. Following her retirement, she joined her husband, Thomas, in operating their business, Orbit Travel, in Manchester and they traveled extensively throughout the world. From her youth, Mrs. Jenis volunteered for charitable organizations and causes including the Red Cross, the United Way, and numerous other causes. She was a member of St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral and served on its board of directors. She was also a member of the Daughters of Penelope and served as local president, district governor, and as chairman of its national Cyprus committee. In 1991, the organization honored her by selecting her National Penelope of the Year in recognition of her years of service to the community and her commitment to Hellenic ideals. Mrs. Jenis also was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention that nominated Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale to the presidential ticket, and she participated in the Bi-Partisan Citizens Committee of Americans for the Canal Treaties, organized to encourage ratification of the Panama Canal Treaties. She is survived by her son Philip Jenis and his wife Shelley of Manchester, and her son William Jenis and his wife Leslie of Manchester; her sister, Elinore Coucouvitis of East Hampstead; her grandson, Thomas Jenis of Concord; her granddaughter, Alexi Jenis of New York City; and several nephews, nieces and grandnephews and grandnieces. She was predeceased by her husband, Thomas (Papaougenis) Jenis; her sister, Artemis Coucouvitis Apostle; and her brothers, C. James Covis and James Coucouvitis Jr. The family expresses deep gratitude to the staff at the Hillsborough County Nursing Home and Home Health & Hospice Care, who were a great a source of comfort to Mrs. Jenis during her illness. services: Calling hours were held at the Goodwin Funeral Home in Manchester. The funeral service was held on May 2 at in the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Manchester. Burial followed at Pine Grove Cemetery. It has been suggested that donations in her memory may be made to Hillsborough County Nursing Home, 400 Mast Road, Goffstown, Flowers are accepted, also. DEATH NOTICES n FAPPAS, ANASTASIA SINKING SPRING, PA (From the Reading Eagle, published on May 14) Anastasia Fappas, 90, loved by so many friends and family, passed away May 1 in Manor Care Health Services, Sinking Spring. Born in Greece, she was the daughter of the late Eleni and Dimitrios Kostomeris. She was employed by Pollock Furs, Reading. Anastasia was a member of St. Matthew's Greek Orthodox Church, Blandon, PA. She is survived by her daughters, Stella (Fappas) Miller and Helen (Fappas) Smith; four grandchildren, Chad, Jamie, Nicole, Derek; three great-grandchildren, Neve, Tyler, and Katelyn; sister-in-law, Cleo Kosto-meris; and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Matthew's Greek Orthodox Church, 8477 Allentown Pike, Blandon, PA For online condolences, please visit n FuLAKIS, GeORGe COLUMBUS, OH (From The Columbus Dispatch, published on May 7) Fulakis George Fulakis, age 90, passed away at home on May 3. Born June 8, 1922 within site of the acropolis in Athens, Greece to the late Fotios and Evangelia (Mavromali) Fulakis. Preceded in death by daughter Sylvia Knowles, brothers Michael, John, and Kostas and sister Christina. George is survived by loving wife of 47 years, Patricia Isaly Fulakis; daughters, Elizabeth Athena Fulakis, Lynne Ellen (Chad) Hinton of Cincinnati, Eva Vine of England; grandchildren, Mikayla and Caylan Hinton of Cincinnati and Zoe (Adam) Cox and John (Tainya) Knowles of England; sisters, Katina (Vasilis) Limberis, Sophia Poniri, and Eleftheria Sachindinis, all of Athens, Greece; brother-in-law, Charles William (Fran) Isaly of Cincinnati; and sister-in- law, Ellen Isaly (Bob Johnstone) of Dallas; great-grandchildren in England; Days and dates of funerals, memorials, and other events directly correspond to the original publication date, which appears at the beginning of each notice. nieces, nephews, neighbors, and Sunday morning Church friends. He was a tool maker machinist working at Sensotec, Rockwell, and National Electric Coil. At church he was a festival worker, a 50 plus member, and a 25 year choir member. n GeORGALOS, PANTeLIS FAIRVIEW, NJ (From The Record/Herald News, published on May 15) Pantelis,Georgalos passed away on May 13 of Fairview, NJ, age 83. Pantelis was born on Feb. 2, 1930 in Greece and came to the United States in He had worked as a self-employed hot dog vendor in Queens, N.Y. and was a member of the Ascension Greek Orthodox Church in Fairview. Beloved husband to Paraskevi (nee Stamargas). Devoted father to Nikolaos Georgalos and his wife Dimitra, Kiki Vardakis and her husband Christo and Markella Georgalos. Adored grandfather to Pantelis Georgalos, Paraskevi Georgalos, Diamanda Georgalos, Georgios Vardakis and Eleni Vardakis. Funeral from the A.K. Macagna Funeral Home 495 Anderson Avenue Cliffside Park, NJ, on Friday, May 17 at 10 AM, thence to the Ascension Greek Orthodox Church in Fairview where a Funeral Service will be held at 11 AM. Interment to follow at Hillside Cemetery in Lyndhurst, NJ. The family will receive their friends Thursday 6-9pm. m n GIONIS, MATTHeW SAN DIEGO, CA (From the Published in U-T on May 9) Matthew Gionis, a prominent San Diego businessman since 1967 and founder of Aristotle University of Carlsbad, passed away in his sleep on Thursday, May 2. Matthew was the son of Greek ship owner and hotelier, Anastasios Gionis and his wife Xanthi. Matthew was born in Poros, Greece, was a sea captain, travelled the world and immigrated to the U.S. just after World War II where he resided as a dedicated American patriot. Matthew was a noble family man who had many friends and was loved by all who met him. His favorite pastimes were his family and friends, international politics, philosophy and religion. Matthew leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Bessie Gionis, and two children, Dr. Thomas Gionis and Dr. Xanthi Gionis, as well as, three granddaughters, Anastasia, Elizabeth and Izabella. Matthew will be greatly missed. n JARDINe, evangeline WASHINGTON, DC (From The Washington Post, published on May 12) Evangeline Vassiliades Jardine, 70, of Frederick, was an empathetic overachiever, loving mother and wonderful wife. Eve was born and raised in Washington, DC and lived in Greece, Russia and Peru. After graduating from Vassar, she typed a 300 page dissertation to earn her PhD in Musicology from NYU. She was fluent in Greek, Russian and Spanish which led her to teach children and adults who were learning English as a second language. All of her students loved her because of her patience and empathy. She loved classical music and playing Scrabble. Parkinson's disease forced her retirement from DC Public Schools in After a long, painful struggle, Eve died peacefully Apr. 11at Kline Hospice House in Mount Airy, Maryland. She is survived by her husband, Cyril Jardine, son, Nikos Montesatos, and mother, Mary Freeman. A Celebration of her life is being planned. There will not be a funeral or viewing. To contribute happy memories, funny stories or mementos to Eve's Celebration, please contact Cyril Jardine at or n MASTROKOLIAS, JOHNNY SIMPSONVILLE, NC (From The Greenville News, published on Apr. 25) Johnny Mastrokolias, 59, of Simpsonville, passed away Tuesday, Apr. 23. He was born on Oct. 8, 1953 in Portoheli, Greece. He was the son of the late Athanasios & Olympia Mastrokolias from Portoheli, Greece. He is survived by his loving wife, Ourania and loving children, Olympia & Athanasios. He was the youngest of 6 children and is survived by 5 sisters and their husbands: Katina & Andreas Golfinopoulos, Vaso & Christos Koufalias, Evangelia & Stratos Kamaros, Ioanna & Phillipos Leventakis, and Maria (Thekla) Mastrokolia, who is a Nun, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was a member of the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Greenville, SC. He was co-owner of the Coach House Restaurant of Simpsonville for 22 years with his long-time friend, business partner, and brother at heart, Spero Eliopoulos. Johnny was full of life and was selfless in every endeavor. He seemed to please everyone he came in contact with, and as a result he was loved unconditionally. His laughter was infectious and unique - he always had the right thing to say. He loved his homeland which he would visit every year to fulfill his passion for fishing and spending endless time with family and many friends. Johnny was extremely ambitious and managed to create a name for himself in the Greenville community as one of the best chefs around. His ambition transcended to his children who followed their dreams, thanks to his never ending support and love. Johnny loved to entertain and prepare specialties for his friends, always seeking satisfaction in pleasing and making others feel at home. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Memory of Johnny to the Payton Dowling account at TD Bank on Woodruff Rd or Fairview Rd. Simpsonville. Visitation will be onthursday night, Apr. 25, from 6:00-8:30 PM with a Trisagion Service at 7:00 pm at Heritage Funeral Home, 313 N. Main St. Simpsonville. Funeral service Friday at 11:00 am at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Greenville. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery. n MILIONIS, BASILIOS WORCESTER, MA (From the Worcester Telegram & Gazette,published on May 6) Basilios Milionis, 95, of Worcester, passed away peacefully Monday, May 6 in his home. His wife of 60 years, Victoria (Economou) Milionis, died in He leaves two sons, Fotios B. Milionis and his wife, Lisa and Gregory B. Milionis and his wife, Darlene, all of Worcester; a sister, Georgia Iatrou of Worcester; nine grandchildren, Victoria, Paul, Georgia, Candice, Vasiliki, Alysia, William, Gregory, and Nikolaos; and nephews and nieces. He was born in Tsamanta, Greece, the son of Fotios and Vasiliki (Kalesis) Milionis and came to Worcester in Mr. Milionis was a carpenter and a factory worker at the former L. Hardy Knife Company before retiring. He was a member of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral, a very active member of the St. George's Benefit Society of Tsamanta, a former member of the AHEPA. Mr. Milionis was a veteran serving as a sergeant in the Greek Army and in the resistance against the Germans during World War II. n MITROPANOPOuLOS, KONSTANTINOS LAS VEGAS, NV (From the Pahrump Valley Times, published on May 6) Konstantinos Mitropanopoulos Konstantinos "Gus" Mitropanopoulos, 59 passed away on Apr. 26 in Las Vegas, Nev. in the comfortable care of Nathan Adelson Hospice. Gus was a warm and friendly man who loved working and making friends. He immigrated from Greece to Las Vegas at the young age of 18 and he worked for many years in the foodservice industry. He never strayed away from the area for long and he eventually settled in Pahrump. While in Pahrump he loved taking his kids to their soccer practice. He also enjoyed working in bars and meeting new people. Gus served honorably in the Greek military. He is survived by Theo, Dionisios, Sotiris, Sean, and Maria who are his loving children. He is remembered by his loving sisters Georgia, Eleni, and Giota. Services will be held within our hearts, he will be missed by all his friends in Pahrump and Las Vegas. This is a service to the community. Announcements of deaths may be telephoned to the Classified Department of The National Herald at (718) , monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST or ed to: n SIMON, VANGeLA FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (From the Erie Times-News, published on May 5) Vangela "Van" Klapsinos Simon, age 87, of Millcreek Township and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, on Orthodox Good Friday, May 3 at Millcreek Manor. She was born on Feb. 10, 1926, the daughter of the late George and Angelico Vernardos Klapsinos. She was a graduate of East High School. In 1947, she married her beloved husband, Jerry. Together they built a wonderful family life. Her great joy was following their sons' tennis careers and was honored when they were recognized as Western Pennsylvania "Tennis Family of the Year 1975." Simon Building Products was established in It was a family business and Van worked there with her husband and subsequently all her sons. Enjoying her rich religious heritage, she was a very active member of The Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. For 50 years she sang in the church choir, was a member of Philoptochos, (the Ladies Greek Auxiliary), and was named Mother of the Year in She was also a member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Ft. Lauderdale. Van loved playing bingo, cards, casino visits, and traveling world-wide, especially to her family homeland on the Isle of Crete in Greece. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Jerome "Jerry" Simon, her children: Jerome F. Simon (Lois) of Fairview and their children, Nicholas and Christopher; Michael J. Simon of Millcreek and his children, Dena Oliver (Tom) and their son, Jaydon, Jamie Simon; and Paul E. Simon (Denise) of Fairview and their children, Matthew, Alexander, and Meghan Simon. Also surviving are four sisters: Mary Ungerman of Erie, Helen Pappas (Nick) of Erie, Irene Harpst (Ronald) of Middleburg Hts., Ohio, Stella Athans (John) of Seattle, Wa., one brother, Marko Klapsinos (Lee) of Millcreek, and many nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church 4376 West Lake Rd.
9 THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 COMMUNITY 9 Greek Style ALL HISTORY By Steve Frangos TNH Staff Writer CHICAGO- Did Greeks bring a unique way of seeing the world with them when they came to North America? If they did, what is it and how would we be able to discover its fundamental core? I believe that not only did Greeks bring a singular way of seeing (and so perceiving) the world with them but that this way of perceiving has never left us. Here are but three books that offer examples of our collectively shared aesthetics. Greek Style is a surprisingly compact volume with 700 color photographs showcasing a panoramic view of houses, interiors, objects, gardens, architectural motifs, and landscapes across Greece (New York, NY: Crown Publishers, 1988). The interior of this volume is divided into six thematic groupings: Greece the Country, Living in Greece, House Styles, The Family House, The Popular House, and The Summer House. Yet this simply listing does not do justice to the visual contents of this splendid book. The three authors Suzanne Slesin, Stafford Cliff and Daniel Rozensztroch share not simply that old chestnut, a love of things Greek they have collectively a keen eye for what is uniquely distinctive about Greek settings and detail. Among the images seen are house exteriors, living interiors, gardens, roads and/or villages along with very specific objects, decorative elements, and even the choice and combination of colors. You can just flip haphazardly through this collection to see hallways, individual plates, a view down a twisting cobble stone village path, the interior of a village kitchen and so much more that catch and hold the eye. Undoubtedly, Gilles De Chababeix, the photographer credited with taking the fullcolor photographs seen within this collection, had much to do with the precise point of view from which these impressive images of Greek material culture Two of the books that illuminate the question of a Greek-American aesthetic. Above: Ecclesia: Greek Orthodox Churches of the Chicago Metropolis by Panos Fiorentinos focuses on 59 parishes in the Midwest. Right: Byzantine Butterflies: The Folk Paintings of Peter Contis and Helen Contis. were selected. This volume is very much like a good magic trick. Without question, the point of view of this volume is that of foreigners presenting their vision of the material world in which Greeks live on a daily basis. Yet these four alofili, artfully succeed in giving us the impression of the invisible but all-seeing eye, such that the viewer moves from one photograph to another as if they we were being shown one-byone each room, home and exterior vista by a Greek host. The images seen here also extend across time as well as social class and geography. The American core attitude of new and improved has fortunately not completely affected the rest of the world. The exteriors and especially the interiors of many Greek homes seen here reflect the individual tastes and sensibilities of multi-generations of a given family. Harry Mark Petrakis, the internationally-recognized Greek- American writer, provides the Introduction to this volume. In a remarkably concise manner Petrakis interweaves his personal life history as a Greek of the Diaspora with the thousands of years of Hellenic selection and transformations in the construction of their physical environment. In sharing his memories, historical digressions (with even the inclusion of Greek poetry) Petrakis is able to situate, in broad stroke, these divergent elements. For Petrakis, the Hellenic physical world (and its transformations) is but a reflection and at times even a commentary on their interior response to the ever changing world around them. This volume is not a coffee table book to impress visitors to your living room; it has achieved that sublime mix of equal parts pure art with strict ethnographic accuracy many have attempted in Greece but that few have succeeded in capturing. But what we see in this volume can only be found in Greece. What evidence do we have that collectively Greeks maintained their unique aesthetic in the material environment they occupy in the United States? Ecclesia: Greek Orthodox Churches of the Chicago Metropolis by Panos Fiorentinos is another of those unique books that focuses on the common aesthetics of Greeks--this time in the American Midwest (Chicago, IL: Kantylic, Inc. 2004). Far more selective in scope than the Greek Style volume, Fiorentinos work is a full-color study of all 59 parishes which, at the time of its compilation, constituted the entire metropolis of Chicago. A selection of the iconography and a concise vignette on the history of each individual parish is offered. Aside from conceiving this project Fiorentinos undertook all the individual research on each parish as well as being the volume s photographer. Since their arrival the one common project the demographic majority of Greeks in North America have cooperated on has been the establishment of individual church parishes. Within these structures we see not just the commonly held faith reproduced in brick and paint but unique and highly individual expressions of that same body of religious beliefs. This volume s 223 pages are divided into seven sections along with a list of the iconographers and a bibliography. We all owe Panos Fiorentinos a debt that cannot be repaid for his having produced this volume. I know of no other similar work ever being undertaken. True, individual churches such as Hagias Sophia in Constantinople have had architects survey and write about its construction and history. No other study even approaches Fiorentinos scope. The Byzantine Butterflies: The Folk Paintings of Peter Contis and Helen Contis by David Lewis Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1995) is a unique study of the Greek way of seeing in North America. This volume of one hundred sixty pages offers not only full color and full page reproduction of the artwork but a fine selection of black and white Contis family photographs. Peter Contis and his wife Helen were hardworking Greek immigrants. The only thing unusual about them was that in time both would become renowned folk artists. Lewis offers the reader an exceedingly detailed presentation of the lives and experiences of Peter and Helen Contis. The Contises were natives of rural Greece who established themselves in Pittsburgh. Peter Contis owned and operated a number of restaurants during his life while Helen, his helpmate in all things, raised their children. The unique paintings Peter Contis created in the last ten years of his life as well as those Helen put to canvas (and other surfaces) are today judged by American art historians and critics among the most unique of their time and place. I have no idea how Greek art historians or critics evaluate (or even they are aware of the work of) Peter and Helen Contis. Daniel Lewis, at the time this volume saw publication, was a Distinguished Professor of Urban Studies at Carnegie-Mellon University. The Contis status as American folk or outsider artists is well established. If you take the time and survey the available literature on Folk and Outsider Artists in North America the names of Peter and Helen Contis are easily found. Without question other books, by yet others on the question of Greek style and aesthetics could be cited. All three of the books discussed here are readily available. Order any one of them from your local neighborhood library, bookstore or Internet outlet. There is nothing stopping you from learning more about the various ways in which Greeks see the world around them. Maybe what you will find is a mirror. May be a new way of seeing but clearly you will never know unless you go and look. Running Again By Phylis (Kiki) Sembos Special to The National Herald Something the matter, George asked Dimos, stirring his coffee. George nodded, It s Yiannis! He s thinking of running for mayor, again! John looked up, Wasn t it bad enough getting cold feet the last time when he couldn t give that speech in the auditorium? What s made him try again? George shrugged, That s show business! He liked being on that stage. He felt important. Kipreos wrinkled his brow, Does he really believe he has a chance - any chance? Looks like it! Maybe the fact that the mayor s salary got a raise did it, George said, noticing Yiannis, just entering the cafeteria. He headed for the coffee urn, dressed like a politician in his good church suit, silk tie, and new shoes. They greeted him as usual. Well, I m glad you re all here. I want to invite you all to the school auditorium tomorrow evening because I will be making my bid for mayor. He studied their expressions. Dead pan! Why do you want us there now? Voting isn t until November, John said, holding back a chuckle. Yiannis looked stern. Lots of electioneering to do, kids to kiss, cookies to pass out, hands to shake, and FLAVOURS & DELIGHTS Tastes and pleasures of Ancient & Byzantine Cuisine By Andrew Dalby, Ilias Anagnostakis, Chryssi Bourbou, Johannes Koder, Maria Leontsini 232 pages, Price: 25 Armos Publications This book may prove helpful to anyone seeking to understand and savour the gastronomic world of the past, which is still very much a part of the present. Anything truly nostimos (the Greek word for tasty ) is also our own. The roots of the Greek word nostimos lie in the substantive nostos, which means homecoming in Homeric Greek, always an event to be savoured. The etymology of nostalgia, the yearning or aching for home or some lost past, can also BOOK REVIEW be traced to the same root. But rather than creating some unfulfilled longing for the gastronomic experiences of a distant age, this book will simply take GREEK AMERICAN STORIES promises to make! Besides! I need your applause, said Yiannis, reaching for a donut. Promising to be there they sat for another hour before departing. Next evening the school auditorium was populated with neighbors and officials as the meeting came to order. The mayor, recognizing Yiannis as the odd speaker of last year s meeting, decided to have him be among the first speakers, introducing him with alacrity. I am pleased to bring to your attention a gentleman who, at last year s meeting, gave a most eloquent speech for our honored staff and...ah, myself. Please welcome Mr. Yiannis Pappas! After sporadic applause, Yiannis rose, his squeaking shoes echoing across the stage. George, Dimos, John and Kipreos sat center stage where Yiannis could see them, clearly. Bracing himself, Yiannis grasped the microphone like he was choking someone, causing loud, ear splitting squeals until one of the councilmen went to his assistance. Already, Yiannis s confidence began eroding. Clearing his throat, he began, My fellow Americans and, mayor. The mayor winced. Wasn t he an American, too? I come to you today (more throat clearing) with my bid for the next mayoral elections. I want to be your mayor next time! Not that our mayor is no good. NO! But, because I am better. Mortified, George, Dimos, John, and Kipreos bent their heads hoping to shield themselves from any connection to the speaker. First, I will tell you what I am for and against. Firming his chin, he gave a good impression of Mussolini. I am FOR children, free playgrounds, free elections and a clean environment. Someone in the audience asked, How are you for a clean environment? Yiannis looked up, bewildered but responded, Well, I... never let the exterminator in my house. He continued, I am AGIANST war, hunger, disease and... and... bad people! In your opinion, who is bad? asked a voice that sounded, suspiciously, like that culprit, George. Grinning, he said, YOU! People looked at one another, some offended, some confused. Then, there came loud, audible hums of objections from the audience. Becoming flustered, Yiannis begged the audience for their attention. But, instead, boos were heard. Yiannis, realizing he d lost control of the audience asked that they let him explain. I...thought...the bad guy...was...a friend of mine. No Ancient and Byzantine Gastronomic World the reader back to the truly nostimos food of an organic age. Chapters include: The flavours of Classical Greece Makedonisi(on). Parsley, the Macedonian herb. Byzantine diet and cuisine. In between ancient and modern gastronomy. All in the cooking pot. Advances in the study of Byzantine diet. Eating flowers Byzantine aphrodisiacs & delicacies. Liutprand of Cremona. A critical guest at the Byzantine emperor's table. Timarion Hens, cockerels and other choice fowl. Everyday food and gastronomic pretensions in Byzantium Pallikaria of lentils. The "brave boys" of beans. Everyday food in the Middle Byzantine period Dining with foreigners Food for Saints The emperor's salad "The Raw and the Cooked" way of cooking and serving food in Byzantium use! The people wouldn t let him proceed. Shading his eyes from the spotlight, he witnessed George flinging up his hands, proclaiming his innocence. It made Yiannis surmise that this audience was comprised of a collection of Progressive Liberals. So, bracing himself, he told them, The bad people are the rich, the greedy, fascist pigs and anyone who holds big bribing parties without inviting me the public! Just then, three hefty, guards leaped onstage and carried Yiannis, from under his arm pits, off stage. Outside, feeling sorry for the ousted, flustered, ego -deflated, former mayoral candidate, his friends went to his defense: T hell with them! We ll treat you to free coffee and anything you want at Dixon, tomorrow. Dimos said. Tossing his speech into the nearest bin, he asked, Free? Anything? John promised, Free! Anything! THe NATIONAL HeRALD BOOKSTORe exercise your mind with the latest books from The National Herald Collection An Encyclopedic Chronology of Greece and its History with Synoptic Presentation Author: D. PROTOPSALTIS Price: $27.00 DeMeTRIOS PROTOPSALTIS holds a doctor of education (edd) degree from Nova university of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was born in Chalkis, euboea, Greece. After graduating from the 3rd Gymnasium of Athens, he migrated to Canada and re-ceived his bachelor of arts at the university of Winnipeg, Mani-toba. He taught both english and history at the Whitemouth and Silver Heights collegiates for a number of years. He acquired his residency in the united States in 1966 and continued teaching both english and history in the Livermore and Newark School systems. After receiving his doctorate in 1985, he also served as a principal of the language school in Oakland and acted as an educational consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent visitor to the Mediterranean, where firsthand experiences in his native land deepened his interest and enthusiasm for the ancient Greek world and Hellenic culture. He now resides with his wife in Hayward, California. O R D e R F O R M Please return this form with your check or money order payable to: The National Herald, th street, Long Island City, NY Or charge your credit card: o American Express o master Card o Visa o Discover αccount: ΕxPIRATION DATe: ναμε: αddress: CITY: STATe: zip CODe: PHONe / CeLL: FAx: # BOOKS: SIGNATuRe
10 10 GREECE THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 Museums of Canada Could Learn a Thing or Two from the Ones in Greece By Andrew Cohen Ottawa Citizen THESSALONIKI In early morning, when disheveled revelers stumble home after another all-night bacchanal, the Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki is open. It opens at 8 a.m., as it does every day between April and October (except Mondays, when it opens at 1: 30 p.m.) Astonishingly, it remains open each day until 8 p.m. That means operating the museum 12 hours a day for six days a week, as well as for six and a half hours on the seventh. That's a lot of time for an institution to serve the public, particularly in a country that is broke. On a recent Sunday morning, there were more curators than visitors. But the collection, which is overseen by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is staggering. From prehistoric Macedonia to Alexander the Great and beyond, it groans with antiquities. The Greeks take pride in their past and present it here, in the country's second-largest city, with style and care. Given the financial crisis, you would have expected them to close this museum, or cut its hours. By Liz Alderman The New York Times There are other fine museums in this historic port city (also known as Salonica) of less than one million, which for centuries was a polyglot of Jews, Muslims and Christians. They include the Museum of Byzantine Culture, recalling Thessaloniki's stature as the major metropolis after Constantinople; the Jewish Museum, chronicling the city's once thriving community; and the War Museum of Thessaloniki, staffed by young soldiers keen to explain its provocative exhibitions, including a poignant one on the courageous Greek resistance in the Second World War. Some of these museums charge admission, some do not. What is important is that they survive when it would seem easy to close them. The country, beset by corruption, finds the money to keep them going. And so it is with scores of museums in Greece, which opened the spectacular Acropolis Museum in Athens, near the Parthenon, in And so it is with museums across Europe, which endure - as well as expand - in a harsh economic climate. The reason is simple: in societies mindful of their past, culture is seen as necessity, not a luxury. It is a responsibility. It is Tourism in Greece Rebounds as Message Conveyed is it s Safe to Go Back The Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki. a public good. (In Argentina, the Minister of Culture allowed that his government had actually increased spending on culture when the economy deteriorated there, believing that was when people most needed the arts.) There is no debate about it. Museums in self-conscious countries are viewed in the same way as schools, parks, libraries, hospitals, even trains. Like education, recreation and transportation, they are an obligation of the state. At their best, museums are an admirable expression of democracy. They are about openness and knowledge. They are dominions of the mind, of whimsy, serendipity and enchantment. Once traveling Americans memorably scoffed: "Europe's a museum." It's true. And Europe revels in it. That's why Paris has the Louvre, Amsterdam has the Rijksmuseum and Madrid has Tourists visit the Parthenon atop the Acropolis, a marvel of architecture, math, and skill. the Prado. It's why Berlin boasts Museumsinsel, an island of five classical museums remade after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Then again, Berlin, with some 160 museums, is unique. Museums today are about accessibility, clarity and topicality. First, they should be free. In London, the national museums are free, a policy introduced by Labour in the 1990s and maintained by the Conservatives (despite the national debt). The museums of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington are also free. Second, museums must say something. They must have a narrative. The best are those with a story to tell and things to show. They understand presentation, interpretation and marketing, which flowered with the King Tut traveling exhibition to the United States from 1976 to 1979 (recounted well in April's Vanity Fair). Third, museums must be relevant and current. They must be more than portraits, muskets, and fossils; like all good history, they must speak to contemporary life. The British Museum, for example, asks visitors to consider whether the Elgin Marbles - the sculptures from the Parthenon - should be returned to Greece, from which they were ATHENS - The sun was blazing above the Acropolis, draping the ivory pillars of the Parthenon in a golden sheen. The red-tiled roof of the ancient Agora museum glimmered in the heat, and a breeze ruffled the boughs of olive trees. On the rough cobbles of Plaka, a cafe-lined tourist area, crowds of camera-toting visitors paused to soak it all in. Kostas, a waiter at the Diodos taverna, which offers a splendid view of the scene, smiled. A year ago, amid a political and economic crisis that fueled protests in central Athens and pushed Greece toward the brink of exiting the euro zone, the surrounding streets were hauntingly empty. But on a recent Saturday afternoon, Kostas, who only gave his first name, was scrambling to find an empty outdoor table to accommodate patrons. Greece is back! he exclaimed. If last summer was a dark spot for tourism in this crisis-hit country, travelers are returning in greater numbers this year, lured by discounts of up to 20 percent on hotels in major cities and on Greece s stunning islands, as well as assurances at least for now that Greece won t be ditching the euro and returning to the drachma after all. The Greek government is stable, and we are no longer under speculation that Greece will leave the euro, said Xenophon Petropoulos, a spokesman for the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises. The valueto-price ratio is excellent at the moment, and that s helping to bring tourism back. With reports of anti-austerity protests last year and early this year fresh in people s minds, however, the first question being asked by travelers is whether it is safe to visit Greece. The short answer is yes. You may have activity in Syntagma Square, Mr. Petropoulos said. But 500 meters away, people are drinking beer in Plaka. Indeed, the number of demonstrations has dropped and, as Mr. Petropoulos noted, they are largely confined to Syntagma Square. Recently, some Americans asked this reporter about the far-right Golden Dawn group, which has used violence against ethnic immigrants. But locals are pushing back with protests and occasionally direct confrontation, resulting in a mild decrease in the group s vigilantism. There have been no reports of violence toward tourists. These days, the main nuisance for travelers is likely to be transportation strikes to protest austerity measures. They have sharply diminished but still pop up sporadically on the Athens metro, among air traffic controllers and on ferry boats to the islands. Visitors are advised to check the Living in Greece Web site, livingingreece.gr/strikes, for updates and to consult the Web sites of their national Athensbased embassies for strike, safety and other information before traveling. None of those concerns stopped Jim Wiseley, a teacher at Gobles High School in Gobles, Mich., from bringing his class of around 30 students on a Classical tour of Athens. One sunny afternoon in April, he sat with his mother and some students at the foot of the sacred rock on which the Acropolis is perched, enjoying a meal he had picked up at a taverna: feta and olives, tomatoes, grilled meats and freshly made tzatziki. Mr. Wiseley said the American tour company he used was worried about people canceling trips to Greece this year. As a precaution, the group s hotel reservation was moved from the center of Athens to a location about half an hour away. But that wasn t really necessary, he said. There have been no safety issues here. Geoff Baylee, 17, a student from Gobles, gazed at the Parthenon with awe. It s breathtakingly surreal, especially when you know that the ancient Greeks built it in 15 years, he said. Mr. Wiseley s mother, Joan, 73, said she had snapped up bargains on gold jewelry and accessories. With numerous stores shuttered in central Athens amid the crisis, some shops were giving school groups special discounts of up to 60 percent. Greece sorely needs the business. The economy has shrunk by more than 20 percent in the last five years, and unemployment recently topped 27 percent. The government is still laboring to repay international loans, and many average Greeks continue to feel the effects of an austerity program that has cut incomes and fanned social hardship. Despite the travails, Greeks remain welcoming. We are eager to see visitors enjoy the splendors of Greece, Mr. Petropoulous said. The country hopes to draw in more than 17 million tourists this year, after international visits slumped by 5.5 percent last year to 15.5 million, Alexandros Vassilikos, the head of the Athens-Attica Hotels Association, said. Hotel prices in Athens and its suburbs have dropped an average of 45 percent in the last three years, as have room rates on numerous islands, he added. Hotels near Classical sites just a few hours drive from Athens have also cut their prices, including Delphi and the well-preserved ancient theater at Epidavros, where some of the first Greek tragedies were performed. But deals are now luring travelers from Northern Europe, the Middle East and especially China, where the Greek government has engaged in a special outreach to lure newly affluent tourists. Already, reservations for hotels and cruises through July are up about 20 percent over last year. Tourism from the United States is also rebounding. Through the first few months of 2013, flights originating in the United States were up double digits from a year ago, aided by a drop in ticket prices and a strengthening dollar, Jeremy Boore, an analyst at Expedia.com, said. Much of the renewed interest was in Greece s second-largest city, Salonika, called Thessaloniki by taken in the 19th century. The Greeks want them back. In Canada, Montreal and Toronto are well served by newly renovated big museums and galleries. But Vancouver struggles with an art gallery that needs a new home in the country's third largest city without any other major museum. Ottawa? The National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian War Museum are strong, but all our national museums charge too much for admission (three national museums are also introducing paid parking.) We have no national portrait gallery, no credible science museum and a nature museum that feels like a children's playhouse, albeit in an elegantly restored building. The plans to re-imagine the Canadian Museum of History are encouraging, as is the creation of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg and the expansion of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax. Still, Canada lags. When it comes to museums, beleaguered, beggared Greece shows the way. Andrew Cohen is a professor of journalism and international affairs at Carleton University. the Greeks. Meanwhile, there has been strong growth in bookings for hotels in the Cycladic islands, especially Santorini and Mykonos. Last year, visitors, fearful of what would happen to reservation deposits if Greece reverted to the drachma, canceled their bookings or put them off. That was especially the case at upscale hotels on islands like Mykonos. This year, Mykonos hotel bookings made online are up 20 to 30 percent, with offers like 10 percent discounts for early reservations and 14-day stays for the price of 12, said George Zachos, a manager at Kyklomar Tours in Mykonos. We just hope that the politicians will let us alone this year to work without any bad surprises, he said. On a recent weekday, tourists jammed onto a Blue Star Ferries boat, which left from the Port of Piraeus outside Athens and wound its way toward Santorini. Despite three decks connected by escalator and elevators, the boat was filled to capacity to accommodate travelers who had been stranded in Athens the day before because of a ferry strike. Although it is famed for its high lava cliffs and whitewashed houses, even Santorini is working to burnish its image and recapture visitors. The island s tourism board has proclaimed this year the Year of Gastronomy dedicated to the fruits of the dry volcanic land. Food festivals will be held throughout the summer, linking tavernas and high-end restaurants with wineries and romantic hotels. At the Angel Cave Houses, one of the many lodgings overlooking Santorini s caldera, rooms were almost completely booked from May to July, said Athanasia Chalari, a manager. She was offering up to 20 percent discounts for nonrefundable bookings, after offering 50 percent discounts last year. Little by little things are coming back, she said. So, Who Owns This Land? In Greece, Well, No One is Really Quite that Sure Continued from page 1 Balkan states, recovering from years of Communism and civil war, are far ahead of Greece when it comes to land registries attached to zoning maps an approach developed by the Romans and in wide use in much of the developed world since the 1800s. But not in Greece. Here the extent of disputed land is enormous, experts say. If you calculated the total deeds that are registered, said Dimitris Kaloudiotis, an engineer who took over as president of the national land registry authority last month, the country would be twice as big as it is. Some experts wonder whether there is really the political will to sort things out. An army of lawyers, engineers and architects make their livings through the constant haggling over landownership and what kind of development is possible where. And the lack of zoning maps has proved profitable for some. Researchers, for instance, have found that enormous stretches of protected forest land have been developed in recent years after wildfires cleared the land. Spyros Skouras, an economist at the Athens University of Economics and Business, who found that the fires increased significantly during election years, says that settling land issues once and for all is difficult politically. Any government that locks in an outcome will disappoint someone, and no government has wanted to take responsibility. Land disputes are less acute in urban centers, where sidewalks, streets and building walls help clarify boundaries. But in the countryside, deeds reflect another era. Boundaries can be the three olive trees near the well or the spot where you can hear a donkey on the path. You had guys who had never been to school who had 100 sheep and they would throw a rock a certain distance and say: O.K., that s mine, said Mr. Hamodrakas, who in addition to his own problems has handled many landownership cases for clients. The documents might say from the tree to the stream. It is very hard to know what they are talking about. His own dispute, he said, arises from the language related to a sale that took place long ago. The papers say that my great-grandfather bought the threshing floor and the land around it. But did that mean 50 feet around the threshing floor or 5,000? In general, experts say, Greeks are remarkably at ease with a level of irregularity when it comes to real estate. Stelios Patsoumas, an architect in Athens, says that most houses there run afoul of regulations. The building laws are so tangled, contradictory and outdated that it is virtually impossible to build without violating one regulation or another. Recently, for instance, he said he was asked to build a summer camp for children. The law demanded that the toilet facilities be 50 yards away from the sleeping quarters, a relic from the days of outhouses. Most people involved in the real estate business say this state of affairs is rooted in the country s tangled history. Greece has weathered a long series of occupations and wars, as well as waves of emigration or migration within the country toward the cities. This means that land was widely abandoned, at least for a time. One of the problems in determining who owns what is that in many cases, use of the land for 20 years entitles you to ownership. Greece s creditors the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank have made it clear that they want the development of a land registry and a zoning map, called a cadastre, sped up. International experts have been visiting Greece in the past year, offering advice. They concluded that the most recent setbacks stemmed from a very poor tendering process, which resulted in expensive and inefficient contracts. Julius Ernst, one of the experts from Austria who participated in a fact-finding mission, said the government had not been clear enough in defining what it wanted done and how. There has been a lot of money spent, and no one knows where it went, Mr. Ernst said. The goal now is to finish by 2020, though Greek officials call this optimistic. In the end, they said, Greece will probably spend $1.5 billion straightening things out. The only parts of Greece that have had a land registry and cadastre are the Dodecanese Islands, because they were occupied by the Italians from 1912 to the end of World War II. Land use on the islands, which include Rhodes and Kos, is still guided by Italian law. But there are problems even there. The cadastre maps have never been updated. Lots include beachfront that has long since eroded and paths, once used by donkeys, that have long since disappeared. Nevertheless, residents say they are grateful for the registry, which still includes the gigantic green books the Italians used to log deeds. You have to understand, said Afroditi Billiri, a lawyer who works on Kos and handles many land issues. This is cutting edge compared to the rest of Greece.
11 THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 GREECE CYPRUS 11 As Investors Consider Greece, Samaras Coalition is Experiencing Setbacks By Andy Dabilis TNH Staff Writer ATHENS Buoyed by a raft of good news that economic indicators are looking up and that investors frightened off by the country s fiscal crisis are mulling a return, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has backed away from an anti-racism bill, causing a split in his uneasy coalition government. Samaras, back from a recent trip to China where he got approval on deals he said would show Greece is on the road to recovery, has promised to roll out the red carpet for investors and there are signs people are believing it. The Financial Times (FT), joining a chorus of reports that things are picking up in Greece, noted that the Athens business sentiment index hit a 3½ -year high last month. Construction companies are preparing to resume work on EU-financed infrastructure projects stalled for the past four years. This summer should bring record inflows of tourists according to SETE, the leading Greek tourism association, based on advanced bookings. More privatization sales could also occur following a deal this month to sell OPAP, the state gambling monopoly, to a group of Greek and east European investors. Binding offers for DEPA, the state gas monopoly, and DESFA, its distribution subsidiary, are due next week. Russia s Gazprom is the frontrunner, but bids for the distributor are also expected from Sintez, a private Russian energy company, and SOCAR, the Azeri state gas operator. Trust is coming back and that makes it possible for deals to happen, George Athanassakis of Pantelakis Securities in Athens told FT. But now Samaras been distracted by the bill that would increase penalties for hate crimes and racist attacks, which many critics blame on the extreme rightwing Golden Dawn party that has 18 seats in Parliament. It denies any involvement in the assaults, but the bill is clearly aimed at the party as it also outlaws the Heil Hitler salute its members are fond of giving, as well as criminalizes NICOSIA - Struggling to keep companies from fleeing Cyprus as capital controls remain in place as a condition of getting a 10 billion euros ($13 billion) international bailout to keep the economy from collapsing, President Nicos Anastasiades has pushed back any hope of quick resumption of talks with Turkish Cypriots to reunify the divided island. Turkish troops and citizens have occupied the Northern third of the island since an unlawful invasion in 1974 in violation of international law. Only Turkey recognizes its government and none of the negotiations to solve the dilemma have gotten anywhere. Anastasiades said he will not start peace talks from where the two sides left off in 2012, The Cyprus Mail said, reporting on his meeting UN Special Advisor Alexander Downer at the Presidential Palace. The meeting was meant to be part of UN preparations for a dinner scheduled for May 30 between Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, a hardliner whose intransigence helped lead to a decision by Anastasiades predecessor, Communist Demetris Christofias, not An elderly man walks past a kiosk selling towels printed with high-denomination euro banknotes and the map of Greece in central Athens, Wednesday, May 29. to seek reelection. Both the dinner and Downer were the target of criticism by the Greek Cypriot political leadership and most of the press. The meeting also became a source of contention when Downer was asked by reporters about a UN document containing convergences achieved in the peace talks between 2008 and Responding to a question, the Australian said he handed the document over to both leaders on request last month, which is at least two weeks before the date Anastasiades initially said he had received the document. The President promptly issued a clarification statement following Downer s comments made outside the Presidential Palace, confirming that the document was delivered to his diplomatic office on April 30. However, Anastasiades argued he was not notified of the document until May 16, following statements made by AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou regarding its existence. He put the failure to brief him exclusively down to his workload and to the fact that my diplomatic office considered it simply a reference document denial of the Holocaust. The party s leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, said the Nazi death camps were a fantasy made up by critics and that Jews weren t exterminated. But for every provocative act of its members, Golden Dawn, which is a solid third behind Samaras ruling New Democracy Conservatives and the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party, the extremists seem to gain support and critics said that worries Samaras, who also has an anti-immigrant agenda and has seen disaffected voters bleed away. SAMARAS IN RETREAT The New York Times noted that the issue has set off the most intense dispute within the government since it was cobbled together after inconclusive elections last June, when the country s solvency and future in the Eurozone hung in the balance. Samaras, elected without enough of the vote to form a government, had to turn to the PASOK Socialists and tiny Democratic Left (DIMAR) for votes in Parliament for support and since then the leftists, despite occasional objections to severe austerity measures, have relented to his demands. This time they said they would not. The stated aim of the antiracism bill, drafted by the justice minister, Antonis Roupakiotis, who was the choice of DI- MAR to serve in the Cabinet, is for penalties for inciting racist attacks of up to two years in prison and fines of up to about $26,000 for individuals or $260,000 for organizations. PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos made no bones that Golden Dawn is the target. Greece has a political grouping that is unashamedly Nazi and organizes acts violating the rule of law. SYRIZA and other critics of the government have accused Samaras of turning tail against Golden Dawn and backing away from the bill he first supported, the conservatives of turning against the antiracism bill, which they out of reluctance to face down Golden Dawn and because the powerful Orthodox Church and the armed forces oppose the bill, saying it would curb freedom of speech. Venizelos and DIMAR chief Fotis Kouvelis said the bill will go to Parliament without Samaras backing and that they wanted harsher penalties for racist attacks, particularly those on immigrants. It will be a triumph for Golden Dawn if the anti-racism bill does not go to a vote and democracy will appear passive and in retreat, Venizelos said. and therefore non-urgent in terms of substance. He added: I do not assign responsibility to any of my associates because I consider that they rightly judged it not to be a document of substance, since it referred to actions during the period , according to the newspaper. He also said that he clarified to Downer in no uncertain terms that any new round of talks will not begin from the point they ended in Additionally, I clarified that any proposals tabled by the Greek Cypriot side but rejected by the majority of political forces and people in no way bind me and are discarded, he said. In his pre-election campaign, Anastasiades pledged he would handle any peace talks on the Cyprus problem in co-operation with the National Council, and he would appoint a negotiator to represent him in the talks. He confirmed that, noting that the National Council will meet on June 15 where he will present comprehensive proposals for a new upgraded Council, the appointment of a negotiator, working groups and experts, the preparation of a comprehensive framework of proposals, and the new procedure which must be agreed before the start of new talks. Responding to criticism by AKEL spokesman Giorgos Loucaides that the President was disingenuous government spokesman Christos Stylianides said there was no point adding any further comment. Besides, the President had no reason whatsoever to conceal from the political leadership a document containing a historical account of the period under former president Mr. Demetris Christofias, he added, showing how testy the subject remains. A REAL BEEF OVER DINNER Downer said the dinner that was to be hosted at the residence of UN Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim in the buffer zone, that he, the two leaders, and Buttenheim would be joined by their spouses, along with an interpreter for Eroglu because he can speak some English, but he doesn t speak a great deal of English, the international language of business and diplomacy. The dinner was to be the first meeting between the two community leaders since Anastasiades election. It was originally proposed by Eroglu for April but the UN decided it would probably work better if they hosted We have an international obligation to have adequate legislation against racist behaviors, Venizelos told reporters. Kouvelis strongly criticized the Parliament s legislative committee for coming out against the bill just two hour before a meeting between the leaders, which failed to reach an agreement, had even started. Despite the reactions of PA- SOK and DIMAR, sources in both parties said the rift would not undermine the coalition s cohesion. In the words of DI- MAR spokesman Dimitris Hatzisocratis, the government s glass has cracked; it must not break. BLACK PANTHERS WARNING International human rights groups have expressed strong support for the proposed reform, alarmed at a surge in racially-motivated attacks against immigrants and the rise of Golden Dawn, which during the weekend staged a weekend rally near Athens to protest the draft law. Party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos said the legislation was part of an effort to outlaw his party. He told supporters: They want to stop Greeks expressing themselves They are planning a law, the anti-racism law. Let them do it. We can exist outside the law. I tell them this directly and publicly. Deputy Interior Minister Haralambos Athanasiou said the government s commitment to combat racism doesn t require new legislation but amendments to existing laws with critics accusing Samaras of going soft on Golden Dawn and racism, despite a recommendation from the European Union s human rights chief that there is enough evidence of violent tendencies by the neo-nazis to ban them. A newly created Racist Violence Recording Network, supported by 30 aid and human rights groups, reported 87 serious incidents of racist violence in Greece in the first nine months of last year, including a bomb attack on refugee homes near central Athens and dozens of street attacks that led to serious injury. Protecting freedom of speech and association is essential, but this should never be an excuse for inaction against racist and xenophobic crimes, Judith Sunderland, a senior Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch, told The Associated Press. Steps to strengthen Greece s criminal justice response to hate crimes, as well as hate speech that incites imminent violence, are urgently needed, she added. These measures should not be held hostage to political infighting. Black residents of Athens many of them illegal immigrants from Africa said they will conduct night patrols in groups and confront Golden Dawn if it shows up, although the extremists have been noted for mass beatings of lone individuals and not with confronting larger numbers. Nicknamed the Black Panthers, the self-defense brigade said wants to protect themselves from racists who are targeting people who are not ethnic Greeks. The group uses mobile phones and social media to alert each other of attacks and says it can respond quickly. Michael Chege, who has lived most of his 28 years in Greece after coming from Kenya told Britain s Channel 4: I am a member of the Black Panthers and everybody knows that. So I am giving them (Golden Dawn) a straight warning - don t mess with black people, anyhow. And I mean it. We will exterminate them, he said. I m not afraid of this neo-nazi, stupid, idiotic group, he told me. In World War Two, they were crushed. In World War Three, we will exterminate them out of the face of the earth. They want to do what Hitler did. Try it. They will have the same fate and even worse, he continued. Economy Remains Top Concern in Cyprus, as Talks of Unity Pushed Aside AP PHOTO/THANASSIS STAVRAkIS Fix brewery is going to host the National Museum of Contemporary Art Workers on the scaffold put marbles at the facade of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Tuesday, May 28. The reconstruction of the old brewery into the museum has been in progress since the establishment of the museum in The project was delayed on many occasions but is expected to be completed by this October 2013 and inaugurated in March Michael Chege, who has lived most of his 28 years in Greece after coming from Kenya, is a member of the Black Panthers. AP PHOTO/PETROS karadjias A man walks by a mural that reads "Love is Peace" in the old city of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Wednesday, May 29 NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) The European Investment Bank says it will help Cyprus find the financing to build a natural gas processing plant. EIB President Werner Hoyer and Vice president Mihai Tanasescu offered support for the debt-crushed island's bid to exploit newfound offshore gas deposits. He did not specify whether the EIB might also provide financial support. Cyprus hopes the gas can revive the economy by meeting its it. Anastasiades had threatened not to turn up unless UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon could provide assurances that the dinner would not turn political, arguing that he did not want to enter into substance on the peace talks until economic conditions stabilize, following the Eurogroup s decision to force him to confiscate up to 80 percent of bank accounts over 100,000 euros ($130,000) and find 13 billion euros ($17 billion) in savings if he wanted the bailout. He had opposed the terms while campaigning. The Mail said he didn t get Ban s guarantee, but the UN chief s Director of Office did speak with the Cypriot diplomat in New York in a manner that appeared to provide some form of satisfaction to Anastasiades. Asked yesterday if the dinner marks the beginning of peace talks, Downer said, that s not the intention. He added: The main thing is to get the preparatory work done and done properly, adding the two sides obviously have to do that. Downer said the UN has not set a date for the resumption of the talks, noting that Anastasiades thinks the preparatory work could be completed sometime between September and October. Asked to comment on a letter sent by Anastasiades to Ban where the president bemoaned Downer s alleged efforts to politicize the Downer said he did not write the letter so he couldn t comment on its potential meaning. Meanwhile, Greek banker Christos Sorotos has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer at Bank of Cyprus, the island s biggest lender currently under temporary control by the Central Bank (CBC) as part of Cyprus bailout. Sorotos, now based in the UK and with experience in corporate restructurings, previously worked as a deputy governor at National Bank of Greece, country corporate officer for Citibank in Greece and General Manager at Eurobank Greece. EIB Will Help Cyprus Secure Funds for Natural Gas Project domestic energy needs and exporting excess supply starting at around Cyprus negotiated a 23 billion euro ($29.8 billion) rescue package with its euro partners and the IMF in March that forced savers in the country's two biggest banks to incur huge losses on deposits over 100,000 euros. The EIB officials also signed Thursday a 100 million euro loan deal aimed at Cyprus' small businesses.
12 12 EDITORIALS LETTERS THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 The National Herald LETTERS TO THE EDITOR A weekly publication of the NATIONAL HERALD, INC. (ΕΘΝΙΚΟΣ ΚΗΡΥΞ), reporting the news and addressing the issues of paramount interest to the Greek-American community of the United States of America. Publisher-Editor Antonis H. Diamataris Assistant to the Publisher, Advertising Veta H. Diamataris Papadopoulos Associate Editor Constantinos E. Scaros Senior Writer Constantine S. Sirigos On Line Managing Editor Andy Dabilis Production Manager Chrysoula Karametros Webmaster Alexandros Tsoukias The National Herald (USPS ) is published weekly by The National Herald Inc. at th Street, LIC, NY Tel: (718) , Fax: (718) , Democritou 1 and Academias Sts, Athens, 10671, Greece Tel: , Fax: , Subscriptions by mail: 1 year $66.00, 6 months $33.00, 3 months $22.00, 1 month $11.00 Home delivery NY, NJ, CT: 1 year $88.00, 6 months $48.00, 3 months $33.00, 1 month $14.00 Home delivery New England States: 1 year $109.00, 6 months $57.00, 3 months $41.00, 1 month $18.00 On line subscription: Subscribers to the print edition: 1 year $34.95, 6 months $23.95, 3 months $14.95; Non subscribers: 1 year $45.95, 6 months $29.95, 3 months $18.95 Reader Thanks Sirigos, TNH for Detroit Coverage To the Editor: It is wonderful to meet people who embrace our culture, our religion, and our ethnicity. Because we Greeks have such a special personal bond among us, distances from the East Coast to Detroit seem inconsequential. A prime example of the strong bond was exemplified by the recent visit of your senior writer, Constantine Sirigos, to Detroit and your newspaper s extraordinary coverage of our community over the past few weeks. On the weekend of April 13 I had the great pleasure of welcoming Mr. Sirigos to Michigan. We had only been voices over the telephone up to this time but instant friends. A dear cousin once told me that "you are never a stranger when you are Greek." So true. During two full days of events, our community opened the Hellenic Museum, dined together at the Detroit Institute of Arts, a masterpiece of architecture and culture in our city, witnessed an honorary award ceremony, attended services at the 103 year-old Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, and walked in the Greek Independence Day Parade. It was a full agenda, and Constantine became a part of the celebration. He was everywhere...meeting people, talking to people, taking photos, enjoying Detroit's Greektown historic and treasured traditions, and above all, making friends with his smile, his genuine interest in the happenings, and documenting it all in his beautiful articles. They captured the true essence of our community, our talented and compassionate religious leader, Metropolitan Nicholas, our history, and the reasons we are all so proud to be part of this expansive Greek population. Thank you again for the pleasure of Constantine's company. Angie Bournias Detroit, MI Bush Should Be Liked? Really? Think again! To the Editor: Constantinos E. Scaros wrote that Barack Obama and George W. Bush a lot alike, and it is okay to like them both (TNH, May 11). But is it? In eight short years Bush brought this country to its knees. His deficit spending and job creation levels were atrocious, and he started an illegal war in Iraq that was full of lies. When Bush dies, all those men killed and maimed will be his judge and jury. Shame on the living presidents for attending the opening of the Bush Presidential Library. There is nothing about which to honor him; he should have been impeached. Actually, I am fed up with both Democrats and Republicans, because they are so alike. But back to Bush: a few years ago I read an article that listed the ten worst presidents of all time Bush is a shoe-in to make that list. Andrew Lampros Danvers, MA Periodical postage paid at L.I.C., N.Y. and additional mailing offices. Postmaster send change of address to: THE NATIONAL HERALD, th Street, LIC, NY God Bless Charles Schumer The amendment to the new immigration law submitted by United States Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat from New York, is one of the most important pieces of news in recent years. That is because the purpose of the amendment is to maintain the Greek language and culture in America. How surprising! While many of us renounce with airs of grandiosity our Greek identity, key elements of which are the language and culture, here comes an American Jewish Senator to open our eyes. The episode is also an object lesson about never leaving the field of battle no matter how bleak the prospects for victory. Schumer, being a very sharp politician, was certainly not acting in a vacuum. He has hundreds of thousands of Greek- and Cypriot- American constituents. It is only natural for him to look out for their interests and see to act upon their reasonable requests. In any case, some prominent members of the community needed to intervene with the senator to convince him of the need for this amendment, including Theodore Spyropoulos, Father Alexander Karloutsos, Andy Manatos, Dennis Mehiel, John Catsimatidis and others. This newspaper, with many commentaries and editorials, and working behind the scenes, also worked toward that end. The issue is simple: many young people of Greece will travel to foreign lands anyway because of the economic crisis in the Motherland. Why shouldn t they seek out the welcoming arms of our community and contribute their talent and energy to the American economy? But America has strict restrictions regarding work visas. That is the situation that the Schumer Amendment seeks to remedy and it does it in a particularly useful way for the community: by facilitating the preservation of our language and culture. Greek and Cypriot immigrants would be required to offer their services as teachers, advisors, etc. in schools, churches, law firms, travel agencies, and at TNH. We have been informed that contrary to earlier reports, the amendment will provide visas for 18-month stays, which can be renewed. But even that is not enough. At the least they should be allowed to stay for a minimum of three years. Otherwise few will pack their belongings and immigrate to America. Senator Schumer said on May 25 that he will confirm that it does not limit the number of immigrants and that is a great advantage. He urged everyone, however, to contact their Congressional Representatives and Senators and ask them to do vote for the broader immigration reform bill, and support the Schumer amendment. We are on the verge of a historic evolution. Let s do it right. Greece s Land Archives of Shame The incredible disorganized labyrinth that is the Greek National Land Registry was the subject of a report in the New York Times this week. It presents a country that remains stubbornly and inexplicably bound to its distant past. The same matter was examined by our Greek Edition in its recent weekend publication. TNH presented statements by the Director of the Registry who warns Greek-Americans and others that they must take action to secure ownership of their properties. Otherwise, he says, they will be recorded as unknown property and will pass after a few years into state ownership. The required steps, he said, are: "declare, register, secure. We wish things were that easy. One of the most fundamental prerequisites of statehood is the authorities ability to recognize and protect the property of citizens. Sadly, this continues to be absent from Greece, the last EU country manifesting such a phenomenon. The problem is that a property, a house or a field, etc., may be claimed by more than one person, creating a number of problems, hindering its enjoyment or development. This chaos, an unflattering element of the Greek reality, slams a brake on growth and discourages foreign investors, who, without clear ownership titles, are certainly not going to buy a hut, let alone a house or more substantial property. For Greeks living in Greece, it is bad enough that they must waste time and money running around courts and the bureaucracy to resolve property cases. But what about the Greeks of the Diaspora whose property rights are violated not only by strangers, but often by their own relatives? How easy is it for a Greek-American to take a leave of his job and pay the costs of traveling to Greece to appear in the court adjudicating a property dispute often to be told upon arrival only that the case was postponed to some future date? Is it really so hard for judges to understand that that locals are often requesting postponements upon postponement to drive the Diaspora Greeks into despair so that they abandon their claims on the property? How much imagination does a judge need to understand that when this happens the Hellene that lives abroad will shake the dust of the place from his shoes and turn his back on the land where he or his ancestors were born and raised? The answer is that the judges understand this very well. The question, then, is why are Greek judges so indifferent to justice and to those living abroad? TO OuR ReADeRS The National Herald welcomes letters from its readers intended for publication. They should include the writer s name, address, and telephone number and be addressed to: The Editor, The National Herald, th Street, long Island City, Ny letters can also be faxed to (718) or ed to we reserve the right to edit letters for publication and regret that we are unable to acknowledge or return those left unpublished. By Dan Georgakas and Constantinos E. Scaros From time to time, an issue emerges and inspires various minds to converge, often at odds with one another, to discuss it. Hopefully, collective enlightenment will result from such conversations. The Ancient Greeks did that in 1. DAN GEORGAKAS SHARES HIS POINT OF VIEW Dino, I was heartened by the recent announcement that John Catsimatidis has been nominated by the Liberal Party for mayor of New York. Although the Liberal Party is not the force it once was, that nomination means that a Greek-American is being given serious consideration for a major office. This nomination also boosts Catsimatidis bid for the Republican nomination. These circumstances promoted me to think about how important Hellenic identity ought to be for Greek American voters. At a crude level we can ask if just being Greek is good enough. At a certain time in American history that answer often was yes. Just voting for a Greek was a vital political statement about inclusion and equality of opportunity that overrode most other concerns. There may still be areas in the United States where that is true, but generally, being Greek is now more often a plus rather than a minus. Today s norm is that every candidate with any Greek heritage comes to the community seeking financial and electoral support. Such candidates invariably express pride in their Greekness, cite Ancient Greece as the cradle of democracy, and make some flattering references about one or another Greek food. Such is the script of any ethnic candidate. Given that there are many brands of Hellenism, we need to know much more. For example, what kind of Hellenism does the candidate espouse? The thugs of Golden Dawn loudly assert their Hellenism and many other Greeks are capable of foolish or boastful views that are a disservice to the community. We certainly don t want Greek fools, racists, and chauvinists to serve as our public face. Any candidate needs to be asked about what they have done on behalf of Greece, Cyprus, and Greek America. Has the candidate shown he or GEORGE SARAFOGlOu / SPECIAl TO THE NATIONAl HERAlD AGORA THE ORIGINAL MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS the Agora, the original marketplace of ideas, and we, their modern-day descendants, aspire to continue that tradition. We respect one another s opinion very much, but often times we will disagree on particular issues. We would never fabricate a difference of opinion for the sake of writing an interesting column. Should We Vote for Candidates Because They re Greek? she is accessible once elected? Is the candidate active in the Greek community? Generally speaking, unless their non- Greek opponents are truly impressive, I am inclined to support Greek-American candidates who have demonstrated strong Hellenic commitments. This tendency, however, is balanced by the candidate s general position on fiscal and social issues crucial to our daily lives and national well-being. Consequently, I am often conflicted regarding candidates that are outstanding Hellenes but with whom I differ on domestic policies. Two examples of the phenomenon I am referring to are Congressman Gus Bilirakis, Republican of Florida, and Congressman John Sarbanes, Democrat of Maryland. Both have outstanding leadership records on Hellenic issues and have repeatedly demonstrated they can work in a bipartisan fashion on our issues. Both are readily accessible to Greek-Americans and frequently lend their prestige to Greek functions. A key difference, however, is that Bilirakis is a staunch conservative who supports the Republican agenda in the House and Sarbanes is a staunch liberal who supports the Democratic agenda. The question I wish to pose to you is if you think a Greek liberal voter in the district represented by Bilirakis or a Greek conservative in the Sarbanes district should let ethnic issues and accessibility trump genuine, domestic differences? 2. TNH s ASSOCIATE EDI- TOR RESPONDS Dan, you raise an excellent question, and it is a topic about which I ve written in my regular TNH column on previous occasions. But because it is a particularly timely issue these days given John Catsimatidis mayoral run, not only for New Yorkers but for Greeks all over the world, considering the size and importance of New York City I am glad you brought it up for discussion. Before I state fully why I, too, am heartened by Catsimatidis run, full disclosure is in order: part of the reason that I hope he wins has to do with the fact that he is a fellow Greek-American, and particularly a Nisyrian-American. I cannot help but feel excited about the prospect of a person from Nisyros a tiny dot on any map of Greece becoming mayor of arguably the most influential city in the world. If the shared common heritage had been the only quality I thought Catsimatidis brought to the race, however, I would not be supporting his mayoral run, nor, through a recent column of mine (TNH, Mar. 9), would I have given him advice on how to win. It is his ingenuity, down-to-earth personality, and ability to transcend political parties that I think render him a promising candidate. To your more general point, however, about whether shared ethnic ancestry (Greek, in this case) should trump political/ideological differences, I think it all depends on the beholder. For me, the answer is a simple, unqualified no. Yes, I am a Greek, but I am an American first. Even more significantly, I live in the United States, not in Greece, and so it is more important to me to vote for the candidate who will best serve the interests of my country, state, and town, and just because he or she might be Greek would not necessarily accomplish that. By the same token, I would expect those living in Greece to vote for local and national politicians based on what they would do to advance the interests of Greece, not those of the United States. Many Greeks would vote for Catsimatidis, Representatives Bilirakis and Sarbanes, and a host of other politicians simply because of their Hellenic roots. And Greeks are certainly not the only ethnic, racial, or religious group that would do such a thing. When that happens, however, it tends to cheapen the Rest assured, anything we write here are our sincere, heartfelt thoughts. We will share them with you every two weeks. We hope you enjoy them, and we look forward to your taking part in the discussion as well by contributing letters to the editor in response, and/or commenting on our website: quality of the candidate, and leads others to believe that the criteria by which he or she was elected are dubious. Take Barack Obama, for example. In 2008, when General Colin Powell, a Republican and an African-American, publicly stated that he would cross party lines and vote for the Democrat Obama for president, he faced a barrage of criticism along the lines of: well, he s obviously doing that because Obama is black (the implication being: why else would a Republican vote for Obama?). How, then, does that explain the millions of white Republicans across the country a handful of whom I know personally that voted for Obama, too? Let us not forget, after all, the organization Republicans for Obama that emerged in 2008, whose most prominent member was a white woman named Susan Eisenhower, who also happens to be the granddaughter of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Back to a personal example, which has to do a former Greek professional basketball player, Kurt Rambis, a starter for the NBA s Los Angeles Lakers during the 1980s. As a staunch Boston Celtics fan, it made absolutely no difference to me that Rambis is Greek: whenever he (or any other Laker) shot the ball, I hoped that he would miss! I cannot really say how I would react if a candidate of Greek descent whom I opposed for other reasons captured the Democratic or Republican nomination. Thus far, only one did, Michael Dukakis in 1988, and I supported him in great part because I think he is a decent fellow. On the other hand, if I were to find out that Al Gore, John Kerry, or Mitt Romney were Greek I still cannot imagine that I would have voted for them. I m glad you raised this point, Dan. It would be great for our readers to weigh in with their thoughts, too. 3. WHAT S YOUR OPINION? Justice is Served, as U.S. Government Vindicates Greek-American P. Papanicolaou By A.H. Diamataris It is not only Peter Papanicolaou and his relatives and friends who are celebrating the government s dismissal of the indictment against him. Included among those cheering the declaration of his innocence are all who are familiar with his character and his contributions to our community, to Cyprus and to Greece. Papanicolaou, a contractor by profession, was accused by the authorities on June 7, 2012 of bribing an inspector by paying for his honeymoon, a rather modest sum of $12,390. Two days ago, the following letter was made public: "Dear Judge Gershon, The government respectfully submits the enclosed Application and proposed Order for the dismissal of the indictment in the above-mentioned case. [United States v. Peter Papanicolaou] Respectfully submitted, Loretta E. Lynch, United States. Attorney. With these simple words, but powerful in tone and substance, the government declared Papanicolaou innocent. However, there were no apologies. No compensation. His arrest, the disturbance of his peace of mind, the consequences of the governments action on his professional career these things are not her concern. Nevertheless, the government had the courage to do the right thing, to acknowledge her mistake, and to proclaim the innocence of citizen wrongly accused. But we must trumpet the truth: the authorities have committed a grave and tragic mistake by going after an innocent man. The admission of error, however, justifies the great hope of citizens that they do have protection against the mistakes and abuses of their own government. This is probably one of the key elements that divide the democratic governments from of non-democracies. It's proof that the system works. Unfortunately, not always, but still, it works. TNH had no choice but to publish the original news about Papanicolaou s indictment. It is a matter of principle for us to publish all the news. The confidence of the newspaper's readers, our credibility, is the issue. It is a relationship we cannot guard too carefully. We will remind our readers, however, that from this we noted then that one should not rush to judgment, because in this country the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Today, we are happy because our confidence in Peter Papanicolaou was vindicated. We are particularly happy that the government solemnly declared him innocent.
13 THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 VIEWPOINTS 13 Speech Therapy: Helping to Shape Greek-Turkish Talks By Paul Glastris The Washington Monthly In November of 1999, President Bill Clinton flew to Turkey and Greece on a trip aimed at easing tensions in the broader Balkan region, and in particular between those two countries. As the Greek American on Clinton s speechwriting staff, it fell to me to write the address he would give in Athens. The Greek-Turkish problem was not nearly as geostrategically important as the Israel-Palestine situation, but it seemed no less intractable. Sparked by the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, it had roots in the Ottoman occupation of Greek lands centuries before. As recently as 1996, the Greek and Turkish militaries had almost come to blows over the disputed sovereignty of an uninhabited Aegean islet; Clinton himself had had to talk the two countries into holstering their weapons. Then, in the summer of 1999, Turkey was hit by a devastating earthquake, and the Greeks responded by sending badly needed humanitarian aid a spontaneous outpouring of sympathy that surprised both sides. A few months later, Greece itself suffered an earthquake, and Turkey responded with assistance. Seizing the moment, the two countries foreign ministers, Ismail Cem of Turkey and George Papandreou of Greece, began a round of seismic diplomacy meant to explore more permanent ways of building trust. Chief among It takes the capacity to be self-critical to begin settling our own problems with our adversaries. these was a deal the Clinton administration had been advocating: Greece would end its objection to Turkey becoming a candidate for membership in the European Union, something Turkey desperately wanted. In return, Turkey would amend its constitution to better protect its minorities (including its shrinking Greek population), reduce the role of the Turkish military in civilian politics, and press for a negotiated end to the division of Cyprus that would include the removal of Turkish troops from the island. None of this was likely to happen, however, without sustained U.S. involvement, and there were two major obstacles to that. The first was a profound undercurrent of anti-americanism in Greece that dated back to the U.S. government s ill-advised support for the military junta that ran Greece from 1967 to The second was Kosovo. In 1998, the U.S. led a NATO bombing campaign against Slobodan Milosevic s Serbia that pushed Serb forces out of Kosovo and allowed hundreds of thousands of Kosovo Albanians to return to their homes. Though Greece, a member of NATO, had not stood in the way of the bombing, average Greeks, who generally sympathized with their fellow Orthodox Christian Serbs, were infuriated by it. That fury was focused directly on Clinton. I was working in the White House at the time of the Kosovo campaign, and remember getting a call from a cousin of mine in Athens, whom I adore, pleading with me to do something to get my boss to end his crimes against humanity. I did not share her opinion, having seen Milosevic s handiwork up close as a journalist in Bosnia. But as GueST editorials I worked on the Athens speech in an Istanbul hotel room on our way to Greece I tried to convey some empathetic understanding of her distress. The Greek leg of the trip was scheduled to last two days, but had been reduced to one after the Greek government said it could not guarantee the president s safety such was the depth of Greek anger. As Air Force One descended at night into Athens, we could see out the windows the glow of fires from downtown storefronts set ablaze by leftists protesting the president s visit. The next day, Clinton gave a speech that, like Obama s Jerusalem address, began by expressing his personal identification with his audience. He spoke of gifts of democracy and learning that ancient Greece had given the world, quoting the poet Shelley s famous line We are all Greeks. He hailed the vitality and success of the Greek American community and their contributions to the United States, singling out his boyhood friend from Arkansas, David Leopoulis, who, after forty-five years, still every single week sends me an about Greece and Greek issues to make sure I don t stray too far from the fold. (That last line, with its charming mix of ingratiation and authenticity, was, of course, ad-libbed.) He detailed the long history of friendship between the United States and Greece, including fighting as allies in World War II. And then he said this: When the junta took over in 1967 here, the United States allowed its interests in prosecuting the Cold War to prevail over its interests I should say, its obligation to support democracy, which was, after all, the cause for which we fought the Cold War. It is important that we acknowledge that. With those two sentences still remembered today in Greece as an apology, though in fact it stopped short of that the president managed to lower the defenses of the entire Greek population, just as Obama s defense of Zionism would later do in Israel. That made Greek listeners open to hearing the rest of his speech, which was an extended argument for Greece to take the lead in promoting stability and democracy in the region and bridging ethnic and religious divides, especially between itself and Turkey. We can never wholly forget the injustices done to us, nor can we ever escape reminders of the mistakes we, ourselves, have made, Clinton said, his words applicable to both his own country and his audience s. But it is possible to be shaped by history without being a prisoner to it. The speech was an enormous success, hailed by pundits who had only recently condemned Clinton. The impact, I hope, is that people in our country too will realize that it s good to look back on our own history and recognize our errors, a leading Greek think tank scholar, Ted Couloumbis, told the Los Angeles Times. It takes the capacity to be self-critical to begin settling our own problems with our adversaries. A month later, the Greek government dropped its veto of Turkey s EU candidacy, a risky move domestically but one made less politically painful by Clinton s speech. Today, tensions between Greece and Turkey still exist, but they are a fraction of what they once were. Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of The Washington Monthly and a senior fellow at the Western Policy Center in Washington, DC. The National Herald welcomes manuscripts representing a variety of views for publication in its View Points page. They should include the writer s name, address, telephone number and be addressed to the View Points Editor, The National Herald, th St., lic, Ny They can also be ed to - herald.com. Due to considerations of space we enforce a strict 850- word upper limit. we reserve the right to edit. Alexis Tsipras Moment Reminiscent of Gen. Boulanger In the 1880s, France, like present day Greece, was going through a period of upheaval: financial crisis, corruption, and political malaise. The crisis eroded the morale of the French people and for many, created an appetite for radical political alternatives. The prospect for change came in the shape of General George Boulanger. For a brief time, Boulanger emerged as the leader of a radical movement of disparate groups that included leftists, royalists, Bonapartists, as well as people without any particular political affiliation. Remarkably, Boulanger achieved this sudden adoration with limited accomplishments. As minister of defense, he had passed laws and regulations that benefited soldiers of all ranks in contrast to his government that was plagued by scandal. Yet his actions hardly justified the emergence of a mass movement. At the critical moment, when his popularity peaked, his followers pleaded with him to seize power. Boulanger procrastinated and rather than take control of the government, he chose instead to stay with his mistress. The crucial moment passed and Boulanger, along with his movement, dissipated rapidly. Effectively, Boulanger s success was based on the yearning of part of France s people for a savior who would lift them out of the morass of defeat and material paucity. People simply read into Boulanger s vacuous slogans what they wanted to see sadly there was little substance in the general s political platform. Perhaps the general realized this and decided to seek political oblivion rather than face the daunting task of actually accomplishing the phantom policies he had promised. Consequently, Boulangisme has become a metaphor for a political leader s failure to seize opportunity. A case in point is Alexis Tsipras and SYRIZA: both emerged on the heels of Greece s financial and political crisis. The country s economic collapse swept away all the buoys that marked Greece s political and economic infrastructure. Revelations of greed and corruption linked with the political Maria retired nine months ago after working as a teacher in Greece for 33 years. She still hasn t received her first benefit check, has been told it could be another three months or six months, or who knows, because this is Greece. Oh, and she s not allowed to work because if she does every penny she earns will be deducted from her pension benefits, when they arrive. She can t work either because, in the Greek way of thinking, that would deprive a young person of a job except that there aren t any jobs for the young in Greece where the unemployment rate for those under 25 is 64 percent, and the government is cutting back on hiring teachers to save money in a crushing economic crisis. At least enough to pay for the free cars, free cell phones, and other luxuries for Members of Parliament, who receive their pension checks and lump sums for a few years of sitting around doing nothing, and get it the first month after they leave office. Maria earned lump sum of 50,000 euros ($65,000) from money taken out of her paycheck every two weeks for 33 years without interest. She ll be lucky to receive 9,000 euros ($11,640) in five or six years, maybe in worthless bonds and not in cash, or not at all because this is Greece. The government, as it does with so many workers, is stealing her money, and not to pay for bridges or roads or hospitals or pay for healthcare or better education, but to line some establishment gutted the faith of even of the most gullible leaving almost a leadership vacuum. In these desperate circumstances, parts of Greek society turned to the extreme right, which led to the rise of Golden Dawn a fascist party that apes Nazi mannerisms. Others looked to the left, in particular, to SYRIZA, a party rather a conglomerate a radical groups ranging from communists, socialists, environmentalists and varieties of Marxists that boasted it would revolutionize the Greek political and economic system. As Greece was falling into a spiral of debt and dependence upon Germany and the EU, resulting in the acceptance of austerity measures that drove hundreds of thousands into poverty and despair, SYRIZA's siren song found appeal. In the last Greek election, SYRIZA almost matched the ruling New Democracy in votes and came within a hair s breadth of forming a government. While this was good news for the radicals and many of the unemployed youth, this development frightened the rest of the population, especially the middle and upper classes. The politician s pocket so he can buy another boat or another house or stash it in some secret Swiss bank account. Maria s salary was cut 30 percent over the last three years of her career as successive governments first the PASOK Anti-Socialists when then-premier George Papandreou, who is knocking down $10,000 a month as a Member of Parliament while spending most of his time teaching at Ivy League colleges in the United States and then the coalition headed by New Democracy leader and Prime Minister Antonis Mr. Bean Counter Samaras imposed austerity measures. That was on the orders of international lenders and because New Democracy and PASOK had spent the last 40 years packing the public payrolls with hundreds of thousands of needless workers in return for votes, and now are cutting their pay, raising their taxes and slashing their pensions. If not for her partner, Maria would be on the streets because unlike many Greeks who own their own homes she s a renter. Without any pension benefits that she earned, and prohibited from working, she has no income and no savings. Nothing. Her retirement pay when it arrives will be about $1,332 a month before tax by DR. ANDRe GeROLYMATOS Special to The National Herald prospect of a radical left government filled mainstream Greek society with dread and visions of Greece transforming into a communist-style Albania. H o w e v e r, Tsipras, the leader of SYRIZA, attempted to assuage these fears with gentle talk of supporting middle class values and business enterprise. He denounced the memorandum that bound Greece to the EU s austerity program and encouraged people to believe that a SYRIZA government would return Greece to stability and reverse the effects of the hated memorandum. Meanwhile, he had to also keep the loyalty of SYRIZA s radical factions, who cared less for actual governance, preferring to use their newfound status as a soapbox to rant against the state. Tsipras found himself caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. He craved political power and began to understand that success meant he had to expand his base of support. Last January, he traveled to North America, met with prominent Greek-Americans, and spoke at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC. On these occasions, Tsipras Perhaps, Tsipras realized that he has little national political experience or that he could not in clear conscious tackle the monumental problems confronting Greece. LETTER FROM ATHENS or $333 a week. That is for rent, food where prices are higher than in many European Union countries, medicines whose subsidies have been cut back, utility rates that are soaring, and the daily costs of living. Like 25 percent of Greeks, she was forced to default on loans and credit cards when the government broke its contract with her, although the banks who are going to receive $65 billion in free government recapitalization money and have given New Democracy and PASOK 250 million euros ($ million) in free, fake bad loans that will never be repaid are insisting she pay hers in full. Although she has no income, hasn t received her overdue benefits and isn t allowed to work because this is Greece. The government that has barred her and pensioners from working making them criminals if they do has also given immunity to bank officers who gave PASOK and New Democracy bad loans and allowed them to use the banks as a slush fund, pushing the institutions almost into ruin. Her father, Thanassi, a retired garment worker who toiled for 50 years, has had his pension cut from 630 euros ($815) a month to 430 euros was the soul of reason; even the New York Times found him a rational political leader and one with promise. Tsipras seemed poised to offer mainstream Greek society a real alternative a center-left party on social issues, but one that was supportive of business and investment. Riding on the wave of his successful trip to the United States, Tsipras returned to Greece, only to reverse his image of moderation and revert back to the radical and angry young man. It is here that Tsipras had his Boulanger moment. Like the general, he decided to forego the opportunity to become a national leader. Rather, he chose to placate the radical wing of SYRIZA with its outdated Marxist ideas and voodoo economics. The radicals in SYRIZA had little interest in appeasing the US or Greek- Americans so they chastised Tsipras for his moderation. Perhaps, Tsipras realized that he has little national political experience or that he could not in clear conscious tackle the monumental problems confronting Greece. What he knows about politics he learned as a student agitator at university. He has never held a job or had any real managerial experience except the rough and tumble of Greek university politics. Therefore, like Boulanger, he realized that becoming leader of a country was beyond his reach. Instead, leading a radical party that will surely become marginalized is a more comfortable option. To some degree it is a pity that Tsipras failed, because Greece needs a rational opposition with plausible alternatives. As Tsipras has proven a disappointment, Antonis Samaras, the current prime minister of a coalition government, has proven to be more capable at bringing Greece out of an economic nightmare, slowly, but to use an old Churchillian cliché it is not the end or the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning. In this way, Samaras has secured his place in history, while Tsipras will become a curious footnote. Andre Gerolymatos is the Director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. A Greek Pensioner s Lot is Not a Happy One Happy One by ANDY DABILIS Special to The National Herald ($556) before taxes. That s an important distinction because the rich don t pay any taxes in Greece, hiding their money in secret bank accounts, such as the list of 2,062 with $1.95 billion in the Geneva branch of HSBC that hasn t even been looked at for possible tax cheats for three years. Thanassi lives in the same building as Maria so she can care for him because he has Alzheimer s. Apart from a few dedicated professionals in one clinic who help, she has no other help because her sister works only part-time and has had her phone turned off for non-payment and her brother, a musician, hasn t been paid for government-sponsored concerts for three years and never will because this is Greece. Of Thanassi s $556 a month for 50 years work before taxes about $388 goes for rent, utilities and heating oil, which has gone so high under huge tax hikes he won t be able to buy any this year. That leaves him with $168 a month, which comes to $42 a week, for food and medicine. He pays 25 percent of the cost of his drugs in theory, but often 100 percent because the government frequently doesn t pay pharmacies for overdue state insurance programs. The good news is that none of this misery in Greece applies to the rich or politicians, who don t need pensions but accept them anyway because this is Greece.
14 14 THE NATIONAL HERALD, JUNE 1-7, 2013 *The flying chef service is available on flights which take 8 hours or more. facebook.com/turkishairlinesusa twitter.com/tk_us turkishairlines.com
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