Πέμπτη, 14 Μαρτίου 2013

Mark My Words!!! By Yorgos Potamitis

Greece’s dept crisis has led some sharp minds to creativity. One of them is Yorgos Potamitis, a Greek Canadian who has studied in Toronto and now lives in Athens. George has created a mobile game called Mark My Words. The Quotations Game which is now available for both androids and IOS phones. It is a game for adults and kids as well, which leads to the quotations of the great personalities of humanity throughout the centuries.

 You can download it here: www.mmwgame.com,https://www.facebook.com/markmywordsgameis the game's facebook page

You can watch  the game’s trailer on youtube here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imm0KI3FsaUis the link to the game’s trailer on youtube

 Who is Yorgos Potamitis
I could give you a brief background of the game and myself as well. Firstly for me Canada is like my second home. I spend 8 years of my life in Toronto since I got my BA from University of Toronto in IR and History and then also went to Ryerson’s University where I finished the Radio and Television Arts dept. And I also have the Canadian Citizenship so in a way I am also a Canadian product! However the game is in reality created by Greeks in Greece and it was an attempt to explore new avenues available in order to overcome the new realities that we are faced with here, which I am sure you are aware of!

 Mark My Words, the game

 Now, the game. It’s a game obviously based on quotations . The player is presented with a quotation whether it’s serious, witty, silly or even stupid and he or she has to discover who was responsible for it. There are 4 alternative answers and if this is not helpful enough the player can use 4 clues in order to make a more educated guess.

 This is the game play in an nutshell. I have tried to keep only quotes by people who to some degree are, if not famous at least recognizable by most. In addition you will find in the game quotes by people like Confucius and Socrates, Lady Gaga and Wayne Gretzky . Napoleon , Churchill, Oscar Wilde and Albert Einstein, in other words you will come across with representatives of all human activities!.

 Right now there are 800 such quotes and soon they will be 900. And the fact is that people love quotations and this is the first game exclusively based on them, with the innovative addition of the clues.

 The site of the game is www.mmwgame.com,https://www.facebook.com/markmywordsgameis the game's facebook page and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imm0KI3FsaUis the link to the game’s trailer on youtube


Τετάρτη, 13 Μαρτίου 2013

Leo Housakos considers Multiculturalism an insult!

Multiculturalism’s an outdated insult


The Globe and Mail

PublishedMonday, Mar. 11 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

involving public servants allegedly wooing the ethnic vote is a sign of the times. Multiculturalism in Canada is a fraud used for political gains.

The Liberal Party of Canada created multiculturalism in the 1960s to integrate new immigrants into Canadian society. The stated goal was to encourage and celebrate cultural diversity within a bilingual Canada.

But beneath any good intentions was a political strategy to buy ethnic votes. Multiculturalism became a state-financed marketing program. The government used tax dollars to buy photo ops with ethnic leaders – usually in culturally diverse cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. It would translate into broader support in general elections.

Although the Trudeau Liberals introduced the strategy, successive governments of different stripes led by Brian Mulroney, Jean Chrétien and Stephen Harper also embraced it to exploit the voting potential of so-called ethnic Canadians. The policy has been around for half a century and its results paint a disturbing picture. Although we Conservatives refer to it as “outreach” to the ethnic communities, I’m afraid we’re continuing the Liberals’ policy of profiling Canadians based on race, colour and religion.

My parents were targets of the policy when they arrived in Canada in the 1950s. Like most Canadians who aren’t of French or British origin, they learned the policy was not only misguided but derogatory.

Its biggest achievement seems to be the creation of hyphenated Canadians. My parents remind me that people – usually politicians – always call them Greek Canadians. Others are called Italian Canadians or Chinese Canadians. They went through a period of “integration” with this label that created more confusion and challenges than any benefits. The hyphenated labels made it harder for ethnic communities to adjust and achieve success in their new homeland.

I am a Canadian who is of Greek origin – my nation is Canada, my nationality is Canadian and my cultural origin is Greek. Canadian governments should not tolerate the classification of our citizens based on racial profiling.

Canada is a bilingual, multicultural and multifaith society but one made of equal citizens. We should replace multiculturalism with a policy of integration. We should find ways to help newcomers settle in Canada and assume their responsibilities as citizens. We should be more rigid in expecting new Canadians to share a commitment to uphold our fundamental liberties, to respect the rule of law and to respect human rights.

Members of various ethnic communities are fed up with platitudes. They are active members of our society at all levels, and they demand no special status – they just want an equal opportunity to contribute to the continued development of their communities. That’s what they should expect and that’s what we should demand of them.

Our policy of multiculturalism is outdated and doesn’t respond to the challenges faced by new immigrants to integrate and adapt. Multiculturalism insults our status as Canadians. The most recent statistics reveal that 28 per cent of the population is of British origin, 23 per cent is French, 15 per cent is European, 6 per cent is Arabic, 2 per cent is Amerindian etc. Yet, the most remarkable statistic is that 26 per cent of the population is of a variety of mixed backgrounds – should these be double-hyphenated Canadians, or should we abandon this demeaning policy?

Leo Housakos is a Conservative senator.


Τρίτη, 12 Μαρτίου 2013


Justine Frangouli-Argyris
Huffington Post

The Greek restaurant owners in Quebec are an extremely lucky lot given the fact that their ever-popular souvlaki has a legitimate French translation. Called "brochette" and served in countless "brochetteries" all around Canada's French-speaking province, the Greeks have avoided the fate that has befallen their Italian confreres. There is, to this day, no ''souvlakigate'' of which to speak of.
Recently, the Office Québécois de la Langue Francaise or Quebec Board of the French Language, a government body charged with the task of policing the use of Quebec's official language, sent a letter to a renowned Italian eatery in Montreal informing the owners that they were in violation of the law by daring to use the words 'pasta,' 'polpete' and 'bottiglia' on the menu instead of their French equivalents.
'Pastagate,' as it has come to be known, has made its share of the world's news headlines and become a major embarrassment to the minority Parti Québécois government of Pauline Marois, forcing it to call its language inspectors to task and to ouster the Office's president, Louise Marchand.
It should be noted that Quebec's language laws are very strict, pervading all aspects of the province's society and clearly stating that French must be dominant, be it on restaurant menus or anywhere else. On external signage over buildings and businesses, for example, English is permitted only if the lettering used is half the size of the corresponding French characters whereas legal documents may be prepared in English only if expressly requested by the parties concerned.
The recently elected government, in its zeal to placate its more radical wing and maintain the unity of the party base, began its term by attempting to play up its defence of the French language, sending its 'language police' into the streets to seek out violators that refuse to comply with the law. The tactic has backfired, however, making the government the brunt of ridicule and the darling of cartoonists everywhere, where its officers are no longer portrayed as sporting rulers to measure letter sizes but, rather, as perplexed inbeciles rifling through dictionaries in the quest for translations of words such as 'pasta.'
Undaunted, however, the Marois government has attempted to introduce legislation to further strengthen the Charter of the French Language in the form of Bill 14. This highly controversial measure that appears to have little chance of becoming law, calls for, among others:
1) the designation of a minister responsible for language matters;
2) that educational institutions take steps to ensure students receive sufficient training in French to prepare them to flourish in Quebec society;
3) that small businesses employing between 26 and 49 employees make French the language of the workplace;
4) that businesses that serve the public communicate with customers in French;
5) that the bilingual status of numerous municipalities be revoked;
All this, in an effort to 'strengthen' a Charter that already proclaims that:
1) French is the official language of Quebec and a "fundamental factor of its social cohesion;"
2) every person has a right to live and receive an education and work in French in Quebec;
3) immigrants to Quebec have a right to learn French and to benefit from reasonable measures to facilitate their integration.
Not surprisingly, these developments have irked the ire of the Anglophone and Allophone communities who see these initiatives as fresh attempts to infringe on their rights as equal citizens and who have launched a petition that has already garnered over 20,000 signatures in a drive to have Bill 14 never see the light of day.
The Parti Québécois government may have only been in power for a very short period of time, however, it appears that the nine long years it spent slumped in the opposition benches have taught it little. For, instead of trying to promote the beauty of the French language through the channels of art and culture, it attempts to impose its dominance by limiting that of any other. And, rather than funding a worthy and dynamic Francophone education, it resorts to legislation to impede its citizens from attending schooling in the language of their choice.
All this is turning the "Francophonie" that is Quebec into a "Francophobie" and may well end up, once again, causing the best to leave the province in their quest for a brighter future elsewhere in Canada. Already, the first signs are appearing with last month's employment figures showing that the country as a whole generated a very strong 50,700 new hires while Quebec, on the other hand, had a large drop, shedding 11,300 jobs.
The government continues to believe that it must use the language card to enhance its popularity with the predominantly Francophone electorate in order to cling to power. The right approach, however, is one which builds on the province's French character, emphasizing its strengths and uniqueness, rather than attempting to legislate all else into extinction.
As for "souvlakigate" or "pastagate," these are policy blunders that can only result in international ridicule and lampooning.

Δευτέρα, 11 Μαρτίου 2013

Diaspora against new tax law

From the Greek Australian paper Neos Kosmos

Eugenia Pavlopoulou
More than 200 community members gathered on Monday at the hall of The Pammesinian Brotherhood "Papaflessas"; and those there, entered the door of the Brotherhood angry.
The issue of the open meeting, organized by the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, was the new tax bill of the Greek government; specifically the necessary paperwork Greeks abroad had to submit to the relevant tax authority in Greece in order to prove that they are permanent residents of countries other than Greece, so as to not be taxed as residents of Greece.
As demonstrated throughout the meeting, those present were determined to ignore their obligations of the new law and fight for it to change.
The atmosphere was electrifying, even before the meeting started. Five minutes of delay on behalf of the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, Eleni Lianidou and the crowd started to protest.
Also present at the meeting was tax law specialist from Greece, Yannis Tripidakis, and the president of Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, Bill Papastergiadis as well as members of the board.
The information night started with Mr Papastergiadis informing those present that the community has already sent two letters to the Greek Minister of Finance, Mr Yannis Stournaras, asking him to consider amendments to law in regards to those articles that relate to Greeks abroad.
"We will not forget the issue. It is unfair for the Greek tax authorities to ask us to prove that we are not 'elephants'. The community requests and demands a fair response and deserves a proper solution on this issue," said Mr Papastergiadis, referring to the changes of the new tax law.
Then, Mr Tripidakis came to the fore explaining in a summary how the provisions of the new law and supporting documents must be submitted to the Greek Tax Department. According to the current law, those who have any form of income or asset in Greece, and they file a tax return in Greece, must also file a confirmation from the Australian Tax Office to the relevant Greek authorities which shows their income, or their Australian Tax Return for the relevant year will be taxed in Greece.
Mr Tripidakis clarified that those who file a tax return in Greece, but are not required to file one in Australia, must submit another document from the municipality they live in, or another authority, to show that they and their family (if there is a spouse or underage children) are permanent residents of Australia.
All these documents, as required by law, must be submitted in the relevant tax authority in Greece from the taxpayer himself, or through a duly authorized person in Greece.
Mr Tripidakis stressed that expatriates should be very careful about whom to appoint as their authorised representative to Greece, saying it is no longer so easy for a relative to carry out these tasks as the system has become more complex.
The lawyer also stressed that those who have property in Greece must check their E9 (tax declaration of properties in Greece form) and make sure that their properties are listed there in detail.
The briefing by Mr Tripidakis was often interrupted by disappointed members of the crowd, complaining about how unfair it is for the community to have to go through this process just to prove they do not live permanently in Greece.
The protesting crowd became even more vocal when the Consul General of Greece in Melbourne, started her address to them.
"Do not send any documents to Greece. I will not allow this injustice to go ahead."
The microphone decided to "die" at the beginning of her speech. However this worked (at least semantically) in a positive way for Ms Lianidou who was forced to leave the lectern and mix with the crowed, due to the electrical malfunction, to inform them of the steps she has taken to make the situation fairer.
"Why us? Why do we have to pay for the bad economic situation in Greece?" members of the crowd declared before Ms Lianidou even started to explain the financial situation Greece is currently facing.
Ms Lianidou eventually managed to calm the restless crowd. The key to this change of mood was her evident determination to fight for a change to this "unjust bureaucratic requirement on behalf of the Greek state" as she called it.
"I want you to send a message to those who lodge your tax returns in Greece that, for now, you will not send any documents, until further notice. If they ask you why, tell them because our Consul General here in Melbourne told us so.
"And if we do not manage to solve this issue by March 30, we will get another extension, until June 30," the Consul General declared and expatriates broke into loud applause, proving that they are determined not to succumb to the whims of Greek bureaucracy.
Ms Lianidou added: "The goal is to abolish any provisions that create unnecessary problems for the expatriates, and I mean all kinds of problems. Because I hear that many of you fear for your pensions. I hear that many of you fear for your property.
"For those homes or small blocks of land that you inherited from your mothers and fathers. For properties that you kept as a treasured piece of your forefathers for your children and grandchildren, I have to tell you this:
"First, to declare it in Greece. Make sure that there is no piece of land or other property that you have not declared on the E9 form. This I advise you to do without fear. So nobody can touch your assets. And do not sell a metre of it despite pressures to do so".
The decisive tone of Ms Lianidou, assuring that the issue will be resolved and that no one should send the documents to Greece until further notice, gave birth to discussions.  It can be noted that these discussions serve as a further reason for members of the community not to send their documents to Greece, as yet.

Κυριακή, 10 Μαρτίου 2013

Brogurt, Greek Yogurt For Men By Men

Nothing screams masculinity quite like shirtless, hairless, physically fit men eating Greek yogurt--at least, it doesn’t seem that way to Powerful --the company behind a new all-natural snack/meal substitute called Powerful Yogurt.
Packed with protein and “specifically designed to meet the health and performance needs of busy men with an active lifestyle,” Powerful Yogurt is said to help those who eat it lose fat, gain muscle and improve digestive health. According to the website, the yogurt, which is sold in “man-sized” packages with six flavors including banana, apple-cinnamon and mango, was designed by sports nutritionists, trainers and food scientists. Powerful Yogurt also boasts the tagline “find your inner abs.”
"In a niche typically dominated by female consumers, we decided to develop a new Greek yogurt specifically suited to address the unique health and nutrition needs of the most neglected consumers in the category: men," the website says.
Grubstreet was quick to coin aptly-nicknamed “brogurt” -and other websites such as the Atlantic Wire posted images of screen grabs from Powerful Yogurt's website claiming that the yogurt contains mineral zinc, "which according to studies done at the University of Michigan can help male fertility..." These claims have since been removed from the company's site.
Powerful has not yet responded to FoxNews.com’s inquiry as to why they are no longer advertising that ingredients in the yogurt may help improve the quality of a man’s sperm.
No word on whether it is safe for women to enjoy Powerful Yogurt, but the brand’s blog does include a picture of what looks like an attractive woman they claim is a nutrition consultant eating

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/02/26/brogurt-greek-yogurt-for-men-by-men/#ixzz2N8tDZFCg

Σάββατο, 9 Μαρτίου 2013

My name is Margarita Papandreou

Maragrita Papandreou  is a former first lady of Greece. She contributed this personal perspective to EnetEnglish, has written a book, Nightmare in Athens, about the 1967-74 Greek dictatorship, and is now writing a memoir.

She is a woman who enjoyed Greece's nepotism at its best. As she claims: "I was the daughter-in-law of a Greek prime minister, the wife of a Greek prime minister and the mother of a Greek prime minister. "

Margarita's letter to the press

Over a month ago as I was climbing out of bed, my cell phone rang. The voice said, “Margarita, there are articles in To Vima and Proto Thema about you. Have you seen them?” I had stopped reading Greek newspapers or listening to Greek TV newscasts because they kept telling lies, and spewing out hatred, fear and anxiety. I don’t want this rage and bleakness in my heart. I know we are better than that. The caller told me that I was supposedly holding an account in Switzerland amounting to $550m dollars!
I shouted, “Is this a joke?”
“You are on the Lagarde list,” the phone caller added. Christine Lagarde is the managing director of the International Monetary Fund and former French finance minister. The list was for uncovering tax-evasion accounts of Greeks, and had been handed over to the “black money” unit of the Greek government for investigation. It was from this unit that bases most of its information on sheer gossip that my name was released to the newspapers. I responded, “Holy Cow,” using the slang of my childhood generation. “Another big lie!”
I had stopped reading Greek newspapers or listening to Greek TV newscasts because they kept telling lies, and spewing out hatred, fear and anxiety.

I have had a number of unexpected events in my life, in fact, I probably should be on Ripley’s list. I was the daughter-in-law of a Greek prime minister, the wife of a Greek prime minister and the mother of a Greek prime minister. My name is Margarita Papandreou. It used to be Margaret Chant, child of a working class family from Elmhurst, Illinois. Perhaps it is not so strange that an American woman became First Lady of Greece. It is consistent with the American dream mentality – a kind of rags to riches story. But I never contemplated the riches that were now assigned to me!

Perhaps it is not so strange that an American woman became First Lady of Greece. It is consistent with the American dream mentality – a kind of rags to riches story. But I never contemplated the riches that were now assigned to me!

I have been described as having high ambitions though. Once in a journey back to my home town as First Lady, I was interviewed by a young journalist from the Chicago Tribune. It was to be “a local girl makes good” story. His first question was “as a little girl running across the plains of Illinois, did you ever dream that you would be the wife of the prime minister of Greece?” When I was that age I didn’t even know Greece existed, nor was I contemplating marriage to anybody. I replied with mock seriousness, “ I dreamt I would BE the prime minister of Greece.”

This revelation was picked up by Greek newspapers, and soon I was charged with having ravenous ambitions, of training Greek women to deny their cultural upbringing and heritage (this referred to my founding of a grassroots feminist organisation), and that the prime minister must put strong shackles on me. It was an early lesson on the use and misuse of humor in public life. Or, at least, my type of humour.
Soon after the phone call from my friend, I had one of the Sunday papers in my hand. There it was, with a fairly nice photo of me, “Mother of George Papandreou involved in Lagarde list.” The second title next to my photo was “as beneficiary of a $550m account”. For quite a while now the Papandreou family has been targeted as the vulture of the entire economic crisis in Greece. The more specific target has been my son George, who, as head of the government, took a loan from the International Monetary Fund – a move that was critical to avoid declaring bankruptcy. He also started the reforms that were needed to bring us out of the crisis.
For quite a while now the Papandreou family has been targeted as the vulture of the entire economic crisis in Greece.

These included crackdowns on foreign accounts. Over 54,000 have been found with more money than they can account for. Rather than applaud, the reformer is being called to task. As life worsened, as jobs got lost, as salaries got cut and as pensions were chopped, there apparently had to be a boogey man, a scapegoat, or in this case, a whole family. Logical? No. But a population hurting, homeless and hungry, is unlikely to use logic in explaining fate. And the newspapers loved to play it up as well. My name had not yet been attacked. Now, it seems, was my turn.

Margarita Papandreou (C) and her son George (Eurokinissi)Margarita Papandreou (C) and her son George (Eurokinissi) I tried to consider what I would do, what my reaction should be to this absolutely untrue charge. Then I got to thinking, dreaming maybe, what could I do for Greece if I had that kind of money? Before I looked at the revenge or attack option, I let my mind wander, imagining different choices. I am an economist only through osmosis. My husband Andreas was head of the department of economics at the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to developing one of the best departments of economics, in competition with the one at Harvard, he was considered a member of the group of top American economists: Galbraith, Samuelson, Kaysen, Tobin, and others.
Something rubbed off on me. Yet I am still an amateur at putting all the pieces together and understanding the vocabulary ... flogged toxic financial derivatives, financial cliff, robo signing, expansionary fiscal expansion, austerity. Ah, that last one I know. We are living it today. I used to like that word when I thought it meant self-restraint, simplicity and self-discipline. As a child it fit my own developing philosophy. It comes from the word “austere”, and the synonyms for that word describe the situation our citizens confront today: harsh, relentless, morose, severe punishment. That last one is it. We are being punished. Not for something we have done – although we are part of the problem, but for a system, the capitalist system gone awry. Or maybe just doing its thing: exploiting the majority so the few at the top can get rich.
I am not going to analyse all of this. I leave that up to the professionals. But what I do know is that the austerity path does not work. And what makes eminent sense to me is that you can’t ask a country to pay back its debt and then rope its body. Let’s say as an illustration that a divorced father does not pay for a child’s care. You put him in jail, cutting him off from a job that provides income, and until he pays, he can’t come out. Does that make sense? On the austerity train, every shop that is obliged to close puts its employees on the bread line. Every new tax declared takes food from the mouth of a baby. And most of that money comes from the lower and middle classes. Now I am Margaret Chant, the 15-year-old after school waitress, the bus girl in the cafeteria of the University of Minnesota’s Student Union, the riveter in the Douglas Aircraft factory during the war, and I am crying out along with my fellow citizens, WHY US?
Every new tax declared takes food from the mouth of a baby. And most of that money comes from the lower and middle classes.

To return to my fantasy, with the money under my name, I would invest in growth, in the country’s future. I would propose a national development plan that would take advantage of our natural and human resources. It will have a vision, for example that our country becomes the center of health in the world. Instead of getting foreign money to pay back our debt, we will pay only when our economy is booming again. And I would be severe on reforms and needed changes of our institutions. I would demand a national audit to know where indeed people have lots of money.

I have two choices. I could start running over the plains ... or I could sue for slander ... My choice is the latter

As for me and the charge against me, I have two choices. I could start running over the plains, the mountains, and sea of this exceptionally beautiful country, with its exceptionally warm-hearted people singing a song from my native country’s 1950’s collection of music – “Make the World Go Away, (get off my shoulders),” though at 89 years of age and a serious fall a few years ago it is difficult for me to run anymore. Or I could sue for slander those who constructed this monstrous story.

My choice is the latter.
* Margarita Papandreou is a former first lady of Greece. She contributed this personal perspective to EnetEnglish, has written a book, Nightmare in Athens, about the 1967-74 Greek dictatorship, and is now writing a memoir

Παρασκευή, 8 Μαρτίου 2013

Celebrating the Greek woman act by Alexandra Valassis

Alexandra Valassis, an actress (actor) from the Greek Communtity of Montreal is playing at the new Montreal production "Palace of the End". Alexandra stated about her new role:

"When I first read this text I cried right through it. I thought to myself, "How am I going to get through this?" As an actor you have to go beyond that & tell the story, educate your audience & bring them along on a journey with you. This is not only a story about pain & suffering it's also a story about compassion for humanity in all its forms."

Montreal’s Waterworks Company is proud to present Judith Thompson’s Iraq War trilogy, “Palace of the End” at Espace 4001, 4001 Berri, March 14-24, 2013.
The production coincides with the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In this gripping triptych of monologues, Canadian writer Judith Thompson imagines the voices of three real-life figures who witness the unfolding disaster from very different times and places:
* A disgraced American soldier defends her actions as a prison guard at Abu Ghraib.
* A weapons inspector exposes the false case for war and, shortly afterwards, ends his life.
* An Iraqi dissident who survived torture in Saddam’s brutal prisons, witnesses her country’s descent into chaos.
Judith Thompson evokes the cruelty, moral ambiguity, and betrayal by the powerful that preceded and followed the invasion, retelling history through the insights of her all-too-human characters.
The Waterworks Company is the project of Montreal director Rob Langford. Previous productions include Sam Shepard’s “Cowboy Mouth” and Montreal writer John Dutton’s “Sane Men”. More recently, Rob directed Clint Earle’s philosophical farce “Adopolis” at the 2012 Fringe for Psychic Puppy Productions.
“Palace of the End” opens Thursday, March 14th. Showtimes are 8 pm Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 2 pm on Sundays. Tickets are $15. There will be a special 2-for-1 price on the Sunday matinée presentation on Sunday, March 17th.

For tickets check here: