Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Greece Odyssey boys soccer advances to Class B finals

The Greece Odyssey boys soccer team defeats Penn Yan 1-0 in the semifinals of the Section 5 Class B tournament.


Greek club fires third coach

Greek football club Veria have fired their third coach after just nine matches this season -- two of the men lasted just 27 days.


Frank Gehry's first London building to be built next to Battersea power station

Gehry joins Sir Norman Foster in £8bn Malaysian-backed plan to transform derelict site with 3,500 flats, shops and offices

"It will be absolutely amazing and extraordinary," says Rob Tincknell, chief executive of the Battersea Power Station Development Company. "It really is so exciting that we will have Frank Gehry's first building in London, right next to the power station. It will become another icon, so you'll have two icons sat side by side. What could be better than that?"

It was announced last week that Gehry will be joining Norman Foster in the next phase of the £8bn Malaysian-backed plan to transform south London's derelict cathedral of power into a gleaming wonder-world of 3,500 flats, shops and offices. Gehry will be responsible for five apartment buildings including a centrepiece, named the Flower, which, says Tincknell, "will give Frank the opportunity to flex his design muscles as far as they go".

The developer is speaking in rapturous tones of awe and wonder, like someone who has just bagged the biggest real estate prize imaginable. Not the Grade II* listed brick behemoth, but the promise that a Gehry building will one day materialise next door.

"His style of architecture is completely unique," he continues. "You can't miss it. Other architects might design buildings of different styles, and do it differently each time, but Frank's buildings are a continuous interpretation of his idea of fluidness. It's just fantastic."

It is not an unusual reaction for someone who has just bagged a Gehry. The 84-year-old Canadian architect has garnered a reputation as the supreme magician of iconic forms, the go-to guy for a dose of wow-factor, bringing with him the promise of headlines, tourists and minor economic miracles. The billowing metallic flanks of his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, completed in 1997, have been credited with reviving the fortunes of this ailing post-industrial town, to the extent the building spawned its own term – "the Bilbao effect" – and ushered in a light-headed era of copycat projects initiated by countless other towns in the pursuit of icon-led regeneration.

Since the success of Bilbao, Gehry has become a global brand. He is the king of the crumple, whose tangled concoctions of swooping metal and teetering glass now dot landscapes the world over. There is the 76-storey skyscraper in Manhattan – simply branded "New York by Gehry" – which hangs like a shear silk scarf, rippling in the wind. There are tumbling university buildings in Massachusetts and Cincinnati, a museum shaped like a giant smashed guitar in Seattle, and a dancing apartment block in Prague . On the desert peninsula of Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, work is under way on what will one day be the mother of all Guggenheims, a 30,000 square metre museum complex formed from a jumble of clustered cones and tilting towers.

"He now comes packaged as 'Gehry', with quotes on," says critic Charles Jencks, a close friend who has known him since he started out in 1970s Los Angeles. "Like all the best artists, he has become part of the establishment, but he began on the outside, kicking against the fence. He's like the Woody Allen of architecture: he loves railing against the world and doesn't want to be liked by anybody – but at the same time he wants to be loved and accepted by everybody."

The Allen comparison almost extends to the level of fame he now enjoys. In a world of competing "starchitects", whose celebrity reputations often outshine their buildings, none come more starry than Gehry. His website carries a note that autograph requests can regrettably not be accommodated owing to the volume received.

He has appeared on an episode of the Simpsons, designing Springfield opera house in the shape of a scrunched-up envelope; he has made a hat for Lady Gaga, looking like a laundry bag savaged by a rottweiler; Mark Zuckerberg has asked him to design the new Facebook mega-campus, and to top it all, Brad Pitt has become the architect's unlikely apprentice.

Taking Pitt under his wing, generously indulging his fantasies of being the actor-architect, Gehry has worked with him on various projects, from a doomed development for Hove, which would have resulted in the East Sussex waterfront being desecrated with four 120-metre towers shaped like crumpled Victorian dresses, to a low-cost house in post-hurricane New Orleans, completed last year.

"I've got a few men I respect very much and one would be Frank Gehry," Pitt told Vanity Fair. "He said to me, 'If you know where it's going, it's not worth doing.' That's become like a mantra for me."

Gehry has become a spiritual guide for more than just Hollywood stars, finding his influence reaching the highest corridors of power. In her final official speech last year, former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton went as far as using his architecture as an elaborate metaphor for where the world should be going. "We need a new architecture for this new world, more Frank Gehry than formal Greek," she said to the audience at the Council on Foreign Relations.

"Some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact, it's highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures."

So how did this rumpled everyman, who dresses in T-shirts and baggy trousers to meet corporate chiefs, end up being courted by the global elite, from princes to politicians? How did his punk post-modernist style end up being co-opted as a platitude in a Democratic presidential bid?

The beginning of the answer can be found on the corner of a residential street in Santa Monica, California, where Gehry built his first project in 1978 – a house for himself, which appears to engulf and eviscerate the carcass of a modest beige bungalow. Wrapping the existing building with a grungy cocktail of corrugated metal sheeting, raw plywood and chain-link fencing, through which angular glazed structures burst open, it was his maverick manifesto writ large. And it offended the neighbours to such an extent that one regularly brought his dog to defecate on the garden path.

The building burst on to the scene at a time when dull mirror-glass modernism was in vogue, standing out against California's conservative architectural culture of anonymous corporate blocks. Gehry's gritty street-style bricolage of cheap industrial materials was a refreshing antidote, riffing off LA's ersatz pop culture with energetic wit. His house attracted swarms of young architects and critics, and came to serve as his laboratory and showroom, coming to stand as the primal site of his myth-making. As critic Beatriz Colomina has said, it is "the House that Built Gehry".

"He developed an incredible skill at making very sophisticated work with cheap materials," says Jencks, who recalls how he would do "the kind of B-movie jobs, like malls and parking lots, that no other architect would touch."

Jencks suggests a key work was Gehry's Fish sculpture in Barcelona, commissioned to jazz up the base of a boring hotel tower in the Olympic port in 1992, which was the first time the architect employed computer modelling software, borrowed from the aerospace industry.

A curvaceous steel skeleton, draped with a shimmering golden lattice, the Fish was designed using Catia (computer-aided three-dimensional interactive application), which has since become the staple of many architecture practices grappling with complex geometries. It has even spawned an entire separate branch of the office, now formalised as Gehry Technologies. Such modelling tools also allowed the multi-directional curves of Bilbao to be generated and linked up directly with the manufacturing process, a breakthrough in the building industry at the time.

But such cutting-edge technology comes with its pitfalls, and things haven't always gone to plan. Costing two and a half times the original budget, Gehry's Walt Disney concert hall in downtown Los Angeles, launched in 1987 and finally completed in 2003, was subject to more than 10,000 requests for information from contractor to architect, resulting in a legal dispute that ended in a costly settlement.

And the problems didn't stop there. When it was finished, neighbours discovered that the building's concave polished steel surfaces had the effect of focusing the sun's rays into their apartments, leading to skyrocketing air-conditioning bills and the danger of blinding passing drivers.

Returning to manual methods, Gehry's office had to sand down the offending panels to eliminate the glare.

Having done battle with the Walkie-Scorchie "fryscraper" by Rafael Viñoly – who, somewhat ominously, is also responsible for the Battersea power station masterplan – at least London should be ready for whatever Gehry decides to throw at it.

Potted profile

Born: Frank Owen Goldberg in 1929 in Toronto, Canada, to Polish Jews. He moved to California in 1947 and, after a stint as a lorry driver, studied architecture at the University of Southern California, then city planning at Harvard – which he left before completing, disillusioned. He set up his practice in LA in 1962, and has been married twice, with two children from each marriage.

Best of times: Vanity Fair declared him "the most important architect of our age" in 2010.

Worst of times: His proposal for the $112m Dwight D Eisenhower memorial in Washington, DC, has been severely criticised by the president's son, John Eisenhower, and his granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower, who says her entire family opposes it.

He says: "In the 80s, everyone was redoing the past, rebuilding Greek temples. I said, y'know, Greek temples are anthropomorphic. And three hundred million years before man was fish. If you gotta go back … why are you stopping at the Greeks? So I started drawing fish in my sketchbook, and then I started to realize that there was something in it."

They say: "[Gehry's buildings] became not only more extravagant but also more detached: they became signs of 'artistic expression' that could be dropped, indifferently, almost anywhere … The great irony is that Gehry fans tend to confuse his arbitrariness with freedom, and his self-indulgence with expression." Hal Foster, London Review of Books, 2001

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Greece: back in the EM class

From Deutsche again: The subset of 11 Greek stocks which could potentially join the MSCI EM index have seen a rally of +50.7% in absolute USD terms since the first announcement of Greece’s demotion was made on 11 June 2013. This period marks ...


Property Tax, Venizelos and Samaras Agree on Changes

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his coalition partner Evangelos Venizelos agreed on Wednesday that the government should make changes to its property tax bill in a bid to overcome opposition from their MPs but faced the prospect of the return of the troika, planned for next week, being put off indefinitely. Samaras and Venizelos […]


Greece Downgraded from Developed to Emerging Market

S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that Greece no longer classifies as a developed market. The general consensus among participants is that emerging market status is a more appropriate classification due to the following reasons: • The Greek equity market lags behind the advancements in market practices typical of other developed markets. • Dramatic and consistent […]


A Greek Restaurant Among Top Ten in the World

The Greek Restaurant “Funky Gourmet,” situated in Athens, has made it on the list of the top ten restaurants in the world for 2013, as it was announced by the well-known travel website The restaurant that hit the top of the list is the “Maison Lameloise” which is situated in Burgundy, France. This classification […]


Exhibition Promoting Greek Diaspora

A proposal to establish the 1st of March as a day dedicated to Greek Diaspora was recently expressed during the inauguration of a special exhibition on the press of the Greeks who live abroad. This exhibition is taking place on the ground floor of the central library of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Thessaloniki, […]


“Luxury Tax” for Vehicle Owners

This year the owners of vehicles will be hit twice due to the implementation of the luxury tax, which be will imposed for vehicles with 1,929cc engines or larger and up to 10 years old. More than 500,000 owners have to pay an extra tax of 5% to 10% on the value of their vehicle. […]


Papadimoulis: Glezos Criticism Will Drive Us Forward

Coalition of the Radical Left  (SYRIZA) parliamentary representative Dimitris Papadimoulis, when asked to comment to Manolis Glezos recent statement, that the major opposition party is not capable of convincing Greek voters, he expressed his respect towards the WWII hero, and one of the most honored and influential members of major opposition party. As Mr Papadimoulis […]


Troika put return Greek visit on ice due to budget hole

* Greek government rejects more austerity measures * Athens says still expects visit next week * EU official says review will resume if Athens provides required data BRUSSELS, Oct 31 (Reuters) - International inspectors are set to put on hold a trip to Athens because they have been unable to bridge differences with Greece over how to close a 2 billion euro ($2.7 billion) hole in its 2014 budget ...


Ron the Greek out of Classic with injury

The veteran racehorse began 2013 by winning the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park. However, he failed to find the winner's circle through five other races. Ron the Greek was fourth in the Santa Anita Classic followed by thirds ...


Andrew Hunt obituary

Infused throughout the life of my father, Andrew Hunt, who has died aged 68 of a heart attack, was a love of different cultures, history, politics and travel. It was forged in the intellectual and cultural melting pot of 1940s Cairo, where he was born to a Greek mother, Elly (nee Xippas), who was descended from the Comninos line of Byzantine emperors, and a Lancastrian RAF officer, Kenneth Hunt, who was stationed in Egypt during the second world war.

Moving from Cairo to Gatley, Cheshire, as a child, he settled into suburban life, spending his weekends cheering on Manchester United and sneaking under barriers with school friends at a nearby airport to watch the planes take off. He seized his first opportunity for adventure, deferring a place at Oxford University at 16 to hitchhike around South America. He later won a scholarship to Princeton University, where he studied sociology. Taking part in civil rights protests in 1960s America left a deep impression, confirming in him a conviction for tolerance and social equality that permeated his life.

He embarked on a career in banking with Chase Manhattan in the UK – where he met his future wife, Rita – then with Bankers Trust in New York and Paris, before returning as general manager of the London office. He left in 1990 to set up his own consultancy and pursue a passion for helping small industrial companies, especially those in his beloved north-west, to survive the choppy waters of the business world. He came up with innovative ways for smaller companies to access much-needed development capital.

In 2007, while still running the business, he became chair of iDE UK, a charity supporting rural communities in the developing world. Taking on an organisation not in the best of shape, he instigated a restructure that transformed it, securing its future and with it the prospects of a quarter of a million farmers around the world. This huge achievement helped earn iDE a place in the Global Journal's top 100 non-governmental organisations worldwide in 2013.

Friends, colleagues and family have described my father as a man of fierce intellect and great humanity, modesty, wisdom, humour and kindness. With semi-retirement came more time to enjoy watching sport and theatre, visiting exhibitions and reading his many history books. Most often, though, he could be found walking along the Thames in south-west London or near his home in the Surrey hills, whatever the weather.

Through it all, family came first. He is survived by Rita, his daughter, Nicola, son, Alexander, myself and a granddaughter, Jenna.

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Unemployment rise in eurozone puts pressure on European Central Bank

Unemployment across 17 nations rose by 60,000 in September to 19.4 million – the 29th consecutive monthly increase

Pressure is mounting on the European Central Bank to boost activity in the euro area after the latest figures showed a fresh rise in unemployment, and inflation dropping sharply to a four-year low.

The jobless total for the 17 nations that use the single currency rose by 60,000 in September to 19.4 million – the 29th consecutive monthly increase. Unemployment is a million higher than in September 2012 and up by almost four million since the spring of 2011.

At 12.2%, the jobless rate was the highest since monetary union began at the end of the 1990s, according to data from Eurostat, the EU's statistical agency.

Analysts said the labour market in the euro area had yet to stabilise despite the return of modest growth in recent months. Jobless rates range from 4.9% in Austria and 5.2% in Germany to 26.6% in Spain and 27.6% in Greece, with unemployment in Italy rising to a record high of 12.5% in September. The jobless total in France also rose, up by 34,000 in September and by almost 250,000 in the past year.

Unemployment among the under-25s rose by 22,000 in September to 3,548,000 – nudging up youth jobless rate to 24.1%. In France, the youth jobless rate jumped from 25.6% to 26.1%, while in Italy it increased from 40.2% to 40.4%.

Meanwhile, separate figures from Eurostat showed the euro area's inflation rate dropping from 1.1% to 0.7% – well below the ECB's target of keeping it just under 2%.

In contrast to Britain, where dearer gas and electricity bills are pushing up the cost of living, cheaper energy was a big factor in reducing inflation across the euro area. UK inflation, at 2.7%, is now two percentage points higher than in the single currency zone.

Chris Towner, director at foreign currency specialists HiFX, said: "Inflation data from the EU this morning shocked the market as the rate fell alarmingly from 1.1% to just 0.7%, which is the lowest level seen in four years.

"With a strong currency it looks like the risks are increasing for the EU to fall into a 'Japan-like' deflationary spiral, and the ECB may need to act soon and cut rates again."

Nick Kounis, head of macro research at ABN AMRO, said: "This raises the question of whether this will prompt a response from the central bank, given that its price stability goal is supposed to be symmetrical. There is certainly a strong case for the ECB to put in place a yet more aggressive monetary easing stance to guard against risks of inflation settling at too low levels. However, there seems to be strong resistance in some corners of the governing council, especially from some of the northern states."

Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "An inflation rate of 0.7% could easily be seen as warranting an interest rate cut in itself, and the rise in unemployment heaps further pressure on the ECB to act, but we doubt that the bank will do so at its 7 November meeting.

"There is clearly a strong faction within the ECB's governing council against taking interest rates below 0.5% while the bank can also point to overall evidence that the eurozone is continuing to grow modestly after exiting recession in the second quarter.

"The ECB will likely limit its action at its November policy meeting to reiterating its forward guidance that it 'expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time'.

"However, latest developments reinforce our view that the ECB will end up cutting interest rates from 0.50% to 0.25% sooner or later. Indeed, we certainly would not rule out a cut in December, although the ECB may hold off acting until the early months of 2014."

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Bet the Greek With Macho Man and the Euro: David Papadopoulos

Since returning to the races in June, the colt has flashed signs of his old self and appears to be training well for the 1 1/4-mile (2-kilometer ... I’ll let the tote board guide my wagering. In a field this big and competitive, at least ...


Quest to bring Greek life to Dixie State pits school officials against would-be sorority

The school has since amended its bylaws governing campus clubs to specifically exempt Greek fraternities ... "There are potential legal ramifications if we were to allow or encourage this new group in using copyrighted trademarked symbols ...


Shameful strikes

If the eight universities around Greece that have been on strike for the past two months persist with their action, as they said they would on Wednesday, it is more than likely that the students at those institutions will miss out on the entire semester. ... ...


Latent Euroskepticism

Greece’s political system has finally come undone. The nation is drowning in a damaging cacophony of incompatible views and opinions. The confrontation is not limited to rival political parties but has hijacked the ruling coalition. A growing number of de... ...


Pangalos fends off criticism over claims Greece spied on US ambassadors

Former Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos on Thursday sought to fend off criticism following his comments earlier this week that Greek intelligence service (EYP) was tapping US ambassadors in Athens and Ankara in the late 1990s. Pangalos, who was Greek f... ...


Conservative bishop elected head of Hellenic Red Cross

A conservative cleric that has in the past expressed his opposition to organ transplants has been elected head of the Greek branch of the Red Cross, Kathimerini understands. Bishop Pavlos of Glyfada was on Thursday elected president of the troubled organi... ...


Secret intelligence chief denies allegations agency eavesdropped on Greek MPs

The head of Greece's intelligence service (EYP), Theodoros Dravillas, has denied allegations that the agency has been tapping lawmakers during his tenure, Skai reported quoting unnamed sources. Dravillas on Thursday faced the Parliament’s ethics committee... ...


GSEE slams government plans on Sunday trading, backs strike

Greece's private sector union GSSE on Thursday slammed a government decision to allow shops to open on Sunday as “unacceptable” and backed plans by the Federation of Private Employees of Greece (OIYE) to hold a nation-wide strike on Sunday. A statement re... ...


Minister slams Pangalos over claims Greece spied on US ambassadors

Minister slams Pangalos over claims Greece spied on US ambassadorsKathimeriniThe fallout from claims made by ex-Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos that Greece spied on US ambassadors in the past continued on Wednesday. “The former foreign minister has no business saying these things,” said Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis, ...


The Greek island gateway for migrants into Europe

BBC NewsThe Greek island gateway for migrants into EuropeBBC NewsIt is almost a month since 366 migrants died trying to get to the Italian island of Lampedusa, putting the focus of European migration policy on Italy. However, Greece's Lesbos island - the country's third largest, and a place of extraordinary natural ...and more »


Grecovery: Stock Market Realities From A Greek Value Investor [Global X Funds]

Grecovery: Stock Market Realities From A Greek Value Investor [Global X Funds]Seeking AlphaThe participation of Greek banks in the Greek stock market and its index was huge, and most of the decline is attributed to the dropping of their prices almost to zero. They suffered huge write-downs because of Greek bonds and bad debt (see NBG).and more »


Troika inspectors to put return Greek visit on hold, officials say

KathimeriniTroika inspectors to put return Greek visit on hold, officials sayReuters UKGreek government officials said they were expecting them to come next week as scheduled. "There are growing differences between Athens and the Troika," one euro zone official said, adding that the planned trip was, for now, on ice. "The Greeks are ...Troika puts off plans to continue Greek review next weekKathimeriniRPT-Russian Railways eyes 100 mln euro investment in Greek train operatorReutersGreek ex-minister says country's secret services spied on 2 US ambassadorsFox NewsRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty -New York Daily News -Focus Newsall 97 news articles »


Treasures of Greek antiquity coming to Canadian Museum of Civilization

GATINEAU, QC, Oct. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - Over 500 treasures of Greek antiquity will be showcased at the Canadian Museum of Civilization beginning in June 2015 as the Museum presents The Greeks - From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great. It is the most ...


Greek Clinics Refuse State Insurance Patients

ATHENS - Greece?s reeling health care system, already beset by big cuts during a crushing economic crisis, is in such dire straits that the country?s private clinics have stopped admitting patients with state health insurance and will withhold care until they are paid past debts. The Association of Greek Clinics said that the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY)owes 800 million euros ($1.039 billion) to private healthcare facilities, adding that they are owed services rendered as far back as 2007 by the country's main healthcare provider. 'Our potential for survival has run out,' the association said in its statement.


New Saint Nicholas Church Mimics Aghia Sophia

NEW YORK - The fascinating saga surrounding the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero, which was among the many buildings to crumble on Sept. 11, 2001 and which was almost denied the opportunity to re-emerge as part of the new World Trade Center complex, continues to receive major media coverage, most recently evidenced by an article in the October 31 issue of the New York Times. The piece speaks to the Church?s Byzantine design, which reflects the architectural style of Ancient Islamic Mosques in Turkey and is an interesting phenomenon, considering the backlash against an actual mosque and Islamic cultural center that opened two years ago near Ground Zero.


Greek Museum Previews Ancient Health Exhibit in U.S.

The Museum of Cycladic Art (MCA) Athens, Greece crosses the Atlantic to organize two lectures in the U.S.A. on the occasion of the forthcoming major archaeological exhibition Hygieia: Health, Illness and Treatment from Homer to Galen. The lectures will present aspects of the exhibition and will be given by its curators, Prof. Nicholas Chr. Stampolidis, Director of the MCA, and Yorgos Tassoulas, Curator of Antiquities of the MCA. The first event will take place on Nov. 4 at 4 p.m. at the Harvard Medical School, Boston and the second on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at the American Museum of Natural History, NYC. The two events belong to the MCA Abroad Program through which the museum raises awareness and promotes the ancient Greek heritage at an international level, shedding light into the significance and marvel of ancient Greek art and culture.


Greece: EU’s Third Worst in Education Spending

Negative data recorded in the report of the EU’s Observatory for Education and Training included: significant reduction in the dispenses for education, high rates of school dropouts ... 11.4 (eleventh position for Greece).


Thousands protest in Greece over planned new tax

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Thousands of anti-austerity protesters clogged the Greek capital's streets to demonstrate against government plans to introduce a new property tax as bailout lenders prepare to conduct another inspection next week.


10 Terrifying Works To Get Your Blood Pumping This Halloween

Who even gets scared during Halloween anymore? These days even a serial killer themed haunted house or a 3-D Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie can barely wrangle a squirm out of the least jaded of us. And yet there remain a select collection of artworks which leave us grabbing for the nearest nightlight by using only paint or camera and a sick imagination. Whether depicting a Greek god gnawing on his offspring or two eerie twins dressed in matching garb, there is something lingering in the following images that we just can't stomach. In honor of Halloween, we present the 10 terrifying artworks. Let us know if they give you the chills or if we're totally off. Regardless, Happy Halloween, everyone! In honor of Halloween, we are revisiting a post originally published last year.


Thousands of Greeks in anti-austerity protest over planned new property tax

Thousands of anti-austerity protesters clogged the Greek capital's streets to demonstrate against government plans to introduce a new property tax as bailout lenders prepare to conduct another inspection next week.


TABLE-Greek retail sales drop 7.8 pct y/y in August

ATHENS, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The slump of Greece's retail sales continued in August, highlighting the pain fiscal austerity is inflicting on household consumption, data by statistics service ELSTAT showed on Thursday. Retail sales by volume fell 7 ...


Comment of the week: on the Roma child Maria

Filip Borev explains whe he chose Jupitar's comment about people's desire to remove children from Roma families

In this series Comment is free writers and editors want to highlight some of the best comments on the site. Each week, either an editor or the author of a recent piece will pick a comment that they think contributes to the debate. Hopefully it will give staff and readers an opportunity to see how thought-provoking such contributions can be and allow great posts the chance to be seen by a wider audience.

This week Filip Borev has chosen a comment by Jupitar on his article about the discrimination that Roma face:

Even though it turns out Maria is actually a Roma child, I see many people are still calling for her to be removed from the community and adopted into a "loving" family. Is this case ironically going to go from a supposedly white child being allegedly stolen by non-whites, to a child who despite physical appearance can no longer really be classified as white being permanently taken away by whites? As this case has highlighted, the latter is the only acceptable arrangement in society's eyes when it comes to interracial guardianship of other people's children.

Filip explains why he chose this comment:

The only child abduction to take place in the past two weeks was the abduction of Maria by the Greek authorities and this is why I chose this comment. Maria's mother left her child, in the care of Christos Salis and Eleftheria Dimopoulou due to the rampant poverty that much of the Roma population faces. Given that no kidnap took place, the only crime committed was a failure to obtain the approved paperwork. We must ask, therefore, is this reason enough to prevent Maria returning to the only family, neighbourhood and culture she has known? Still absorbed by the colour of her skin, the authorities have clearly decided that denying Maria of her family and culture is the correct thing to do. A white Roma child has deeply upset notions of "whiteness" and it seems clear to me that they will do all in their power to make certain that every last drop of Romany is squeezed out of the girl. Her fate is either a lifetime of institutions, or adoption by a respectable white couple. Either way she has been snatched from a family who loved her, and of the culture that runs through her veins. So, who will save Maria from her real abductors?

Jupitar tells us their reasons for commenting on the piece, and gives us a bit more information:

Have you commented on Comment is free before?


For how long have you commented on Cif?

I registered about three years ago, but have only really been commenting over the past year.

How would you describe the community of commenters you find here?

Obviously there is always a variety of viewpoints expressed on any given topic as would be expected in any debate forum. There are a lot of commenters who come across as intelligent and well informed, and who seem able to think about the bigger picture. There are others whose opinions I personally find frustrating, where it seems they either can't, or won't think beyond their own narrow, rather close-minded worldview.

Why did you feel motivated to comment on this piece?

Probably primarily because I am mixed race and was adopted by a white family. I know that this racial arrangement, despite attempts in recent times to match adopteers and adoptees by race, is still ultimately seen as perfectly acceptable. A non-white child in the guardianship of whites does not arouse the kind of gut horror we have witnessed in the reactions over the past couple of weeks to the sight of a seemingly white child being brought up by non-whites. I am acutely aware of race issues and how prejudiced values tend to manifest themselves in what goes on in the world and people's reactions to it. With regard to this particular case, it was clear to me from the outset that much of the media coverage and public reaction was fuelled by racist beliefs.

In regards to your comment highlighted here, do you feel you changed the conversation or moved the debate on?

Probably not much, but I hope it might make at least some people question things a bit more.

Where are you in the world?

The UK.

• Let us know your thoughts on this exchange in the comments below, and tell us whether it has given you a new insight into the issue

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'Maria' to live with foster family

A blond girl found in Greece whose birth parents were traced to a Bulgarian Roma village will be cared for by a foster family when she's returned to Bulgaria, the government's social services agency said


Authorities: Maria to be placed with foster family in Bulgaria

(CNN)-- A blond girl found in Greece whose birth parents were traced to a Bulgarian Roma village will be cared for by a foster family when she's returned to Bulgaria, the government's social services agency said Maria, as the girl was known by ...


Giannoulis HANACs Man of the Year

NEW YORK - The Hellenic Neighborhood Action Committee (HANAC,) established in 1972 to address the needs of new Greek immigrants and is now one of New York City's largest and most successful social service organizations, celebrated its 41st Anniversary Gala in Manhattan's Mandarin Oriental Hotel with a dazzling affair. The guests, who got a spectacular view of glittering Gotham and ...


Greek Island Ios Rated for Good Value

island of Ios ranks third among the top 100 tourism destinations in the world that stand out for their value-for-money factor, quoting a survey by holiday booking website Trivago. The top 20 features another four Greek destinations, with Megalo Papingo (near Ioannina) in sixth, Kavos on Corfu in 12th and Koutouloufari on Crete in 13th. Platanias Rethymnou (66th) and Delfi (83rd) also made the ...


Theotokatos Brings Greek Passion to Yonkers Council Bid

NEW YORK - It's nine a.m. on a Saturday. Most of Tim Theotokatos' neighbors are barely out of bed, but he knows he must knock on their doors and meet those who are out and about in places like supermarkets and key intersections because he has a mission and a message. Theotokatos said he believes those people and their families deserve better from their elected representatives and he ...


Greek Democracy and its Discontents

A defiant Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos in police custody after being arrested on charges of running a criminal gang as the government cracked down. History shows that breakdowns in democratic institutions and culture are the midwife of political extremism. The democracy-extremism connection is currently being played out in Greece, the birthplace of democracy, where Nikos Michaloliakos, ...


Greek Council Lists Megara as Archaeological Site

Greek Central Archaeological Council (KAS) voted for an area of 4,000 hectares in the western Attica region, Megara. After the voting procedure, it was announced that the area of Megara is listed for protection as an archaeological site. The location ...


Vallones Greek Community Ties Span a Borough

New York City Council Candidate Paul Vallone (L) is greeted by The National Herald's publisher, Antonis H. Diamataris, at the newspaper's Long Island City headquarters. LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. - Paul Vallone is the Democratic candidate for the New York City Council's 19th District, a part of Eastern Queens comprised of a number of neighborhoods with strong Greek populations. Even ...


Greek investigation finds no Nazi cells within police force

An internal investigation has found no evidence to support claims that organized cells, that support the Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party, exist within Greece's police force, officials said ...


Greeces Chinese Ambassador Pushes Business

(Photo/Jason Lee-Pool/Getty Images) Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, left, gestures as he talks to China's premier Li Keqiang during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on May 16, 2013. Samaras wants a lot more Chinese deals in Greece. Greece and China should boost economic cooperation and cultural exchanges to match their excellent political ties, said ...


Russia Pledges to Support Greece to Overcome Economic Difficulties

(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met here Wednesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov . During the meeting, Lavrov said that his country is exerting all efforts support Greece to overcome some difficulties in the economy by activating trade relations between the two countriesHe reaffirmed the historical depth of the relations between Moscow and Athens ...


Greek recovery makes Athens stocks worldís best as Paulson buys

KathimeriniGreek recovery makes Athens stocks worldís best as Paulson buysKathimeriniGreek stocks, once shunned by investors concerned that a default would force the nation out of the euro, are beating every market in the world as a six-year recession eases and new investors consider purchases. Since June 5, 2012, two weeks before MSCI ...and more »


Greece downgraded to emerging market status by S&P Dow Jones

A European Union flag is flying over the temple of Parthenon on Acropolis hill in Athens. Greece has been downgraded to emerging market status by S&P Dow Jones. EPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU Photograph: ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU/EPA Good morning, and welcome ...


Europe border patrol: On board boat off Greece island of Lesvbs

BBC NewsEurope border patrol: On board boat off Greece island of LesvbsBBC NewsAfter the Greek government increased controls on the land border with Turkey, Greece's islands have seen a surge in immigrants attempting to enter the country. Lesbos in the north-east Aegean Sea now has the highest number of migrant arrivals. The EU's ...and more »