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Continuing HALC’s “Best & Worst” of the week series, here are the nominees for this week. Every Friday, HALC’s Facebook community votes on who should win each category. The results are announced on our Facebook page every Monday. The nominees are:
BEST OF THE WEEK NOMINEES
1. The European Parliament
The European’s Citizen’s Prize of 2012 has been jointly awarded to Greek Cypriot Petros Souppouris and Turkish Cypriot Huseyin Akansoy. The two men suffered dreadfully and lost nearly all members of their family during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Despite the horrific circumstances, they continued to work closely together to promote inter-communal peace:
“They instantly joined forces to organise and take part in joint events in order to convey the message that the pain caused by the bloody events are common to all Cypriots and must not become a tool for the development of extreme nationalism.”
For jointly awarding the European Citizen’s Prize of 2012 to a Turkish Cypriot and a Greek Cypriot who survived the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the European Parliament takes the top spot on this week’s Best of the Week nominee list.
2. The Greek National Basketball Team
Greece’s national basketball team is drawing worldwide attention as it rapidly advances in the Olympic Qualification tournament. The team defeated Puerto Rico on Thursday, bringing electrifying pride and hope back to Greece:
“Greece had the upper hand almost throughout the game despite its defensive problems owing to Puerto Rico’s supreme front line.”
For beating Puerto Rico and getting one step closer to competing in the upcoming Olympic Games, the Greek National Basketball Team is nominated as HALC’s Best of the Week.
3. The Republic of Cyprus
Cyprus took over the rotating 6-month presidency of the European Union on July 1st amid doubts about whether it can navigate Europe’s debt crisis. The young, small-island nation must lead the EU, suffer through Turkey’s continued occupation and colonization, and deal with Turkey’s attempts to deprive the nation of its right to exploit its own hydrocarbon reserves. But Cyprus is already showing it’s up the challenge.
President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said: “In Europe, there aren’t big or small presidencies. There are presidencies that are either a success or not. I’m sure the Cypriots have a strong chance of reaching a deal in regard to their finances.’‘
For fearlessly for taking on the EU presidency, despite dealing with economic uncertainties and non-stop threats from Turkey, the Republic of Cyprus lands the final slot in our Best of the Week list.
Vote for your choices now! Click here to vote on our Facebook page!
WORST OF THE WEEK NOMINEES
1. British Prime Minister David Cameron
During a recent discussion with a House of Commons committee, British Prime Minister David Cameron said he would be prepared to bar Greek migrants in order to keep England “safe” should Greece exit the Eurozone No one is exactly sure what Cameron meant by “keeping England safe,” but Cameron’s comments are being lambasted as xenophobic:
“I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to keep our country safe, to keep our banking system strong, to keep our economy robust,” said Cameron
However, if you are rich this doesn’t apply. Rich Europeans are more than welcomed and Cameron will give you “red carpet treatment.”
For being bluntly xenophobic and suggesting that Britain will block would-be migrants from Greece, David Cameron is easily this week’s first Worst of the Week nominee.
2. Executive Board Member of the ECB Jörg Asmussen
Rather than acknowledge that the troika-imposed austerity program is breaking Greek society and impeding structural reforms, top European Central Bank Official Jörg Asmussen urged Greece to avoid further delays in implementing major structural reforms. Failure to quickly tackle Greece’s lack of economic competitiveness, high debt and a bloated public sector, would only result in more pain, he said, offering no reasonable way for Greece to accomplish those goals in light of its fragmented political and social system:
Asmussen said, “… there can be no departure from the aims of consolidating Greece’s budget and restoring its competitiveness. If the government intends to lower a tax, it will have to increase another tax by the same amount.”
For accusing Greece of wasting time on bail out negotiations, Jörg Asmussen is a Worst of the Week nominee.
3. Greek Municipal Authorities
Greek start-up entrepreneurs have found themselves frustrated and discouraged by municipal authorities. Instead of helping these entrepreneurs to jump-start economic growth in the ailing country, municipalities pile on the red tape and a bewildering state bureaucracy that hinders creativity and growth at every turn:
“Every start-up faces the same issue,” said Areti Georgilis, who left her career as a public relations executive to open the Free Thinking Zone with her savings. “Much paperwork, much bureaucracy, much time consumed. I spend 70 per cent of my time working on silly idiot bureaucratic issues and not in my shop creating ideas.”
For unfairly adding unnecessary layers of red tape to Greek entrepreneurs who are daring to dream of their own business during these tough economic times, Greek Municipal Authorities take the final slot on HALC’s Worst of the Week list.
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