HELLENIC TV, U.K.: NEPOMAK INTERVIEW FOR ENFIELD COUNCIL

Youth Engagement with British Politics by Christos Tuton (VP) On Saturday 24 March, NEPOMAK UK’s Vice-President, Christos Tuton, and Committee Member, Stephanos Ioannou, visited the Hellenic TV studio to film a discussion about the engagement of young people and young Cypriots in British politics. The discussion was inspired by Stephanos Ioannou candidacy in the local council elections on Thursday 3 May.

NEPOMAK UK saw Stephanos’ candidacy as a good opportunity to highlight the topic of young peoples’ engagement with politics. One of NEPOMAK’s key aims is to encourage our community to engage with politics, and before the General Election in 2017 NEPOMAK UK made a video about why it is important to vote and why it is important for young people to have their voices heard in British politics.

During the discussion, they reflected on some of Stephanos’ experiences and involvement in politics so far. They also considered how Cypriots have excelled in fields such as law, business, medicine and teaching, and are now becoming more involved in British politics – as demonstrated by Bambos Charalambous’ election in 2017 as the Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate. One of the most important messages from the interview was that it does not matter which political party you support; the crucial thing is to get involved and have your opinions heard. Furthermore, by becoming more active in British political parties, UK Cypriots will take issues that are important to them, such as the Cyprus issue, and expose those to a wider group of people who may have never heard of the Cyprus issue before.

The discussion will be broadcast on Hellenic TV 21.04.2018 at 20.00, and will be available to view Freeview Channel 264, Cyta UK Roku Box, on Hellenic TV’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

Stephanos Ioannou is standing to be a councillor in the Southgate Ward of Enfield Council for the Conservative Party on Thursday 3 May.

BBC WORLD RADIO SERVICE, WORLD: Greek repayments to the IMF

The interview was taken place with: An Economist, a political analyst, and myself.

THE TOPIC UNDER DISCUSSION:

Greece slipped deeper into its financial abyss after the bailout program it has relied on for five years expired at midnight Tuesday and the country failed to repay a loan due to the International Monetary Fund, deepening fears over whether it will be able to remain in the eurozone.
With its failure to repay the roughly 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the IMF, Greece became the first developed country to fall into arrears on payments to the fund. The last country to do so was Zimbabwe in 2001.
After Greece made a last-ditch effort to extend its bailout, eurozone finance ministers decided in a teleconference late Tuesday night that there was no way they could reach a deal before the deadline.

My questions and answers during the interview:

Question: “What now for Greece following the failure of the IMF payment?”

Reply: “Greece, being the first developed nation in the world to miss a payment to the IMF, was quite frankly an embarrassment.  However, its not just the embarrassment that goes for Greece, but also the European Union and Central Bank,ECB, which prides its self on the notion of “stability”.
The European Union and its institutions should have done more in regards to financial aid for Greece, maybe in the form of a haircut or a reduction in interest payments on previous loans given to them, to allow for more breathing space and to give a chance for growth and employment.

Furthermore, given that Greece faces tough economic times, its worth saying that the out-of-touch political class don’t help the situation. The amateurish politics of Syriza and Tsipras not providing clarity frustrates not only Europe’s leaders but the Greek people that are still waiting for a solution.”

Question: “So what do you think should happen now with Greece? Should they default, or stay with the Eurozone currency?”

Reply: “This is the question that to be honest, I myself can’t even answer as both sides are to blame.

Lets be clear… Greece leaving the Euro currency will be a catastrophe for Greece in the short-term. However, for Europe, I think it will be beneficial as lets not forget Greece now makes up less than 2% of Euro GDP, and yet causes problems in all areas. So what do I think? Well should we leave the next day, stocks will probably improve, Europe will progress and Greece will be left behind. But for Greece, this may be an opportunity to take control of its own problems, set rates for its currency through its own independent Central Bank, and maybe get growth back on track and subsequently fix its own economic problems.
However, the short term is the problem. The loss of confidence from
investors, and from nations, that will struggle to trust Greece in the future will haunt us forever and so for generations to come.

So really the real question here is “Do we take on our duties and obligations as a nation towards Europe and our creditors, or do we turn our back on our friends that once fed us, and try and fix our own problems?”

Greece needs Europe, and its increasingly becoming fact that Greece needs Europe, and not the other way round. Hence Greece should stay in Europe, take tough decisions for the economy through austerity, and come out as true succeeders,  and with that become an example for future generations that taking the medicine can lead to a better future.”

 

BBC VICTORIA DERBYSHIRE, U.K: Conservative Party Conference Analysis

 

On the 7th of October 2015 I was invited by the Victoria Derbyshire program to talk about the Conservative Party conference taking place at that time.

Or for a more detailed take on the interview, please look at the questions and answers below.

I was asked about the:
1)The general atmosphere at conference.
2)What I thought on the Chancellors speech.
3)What I thought about Theresa Mays speech.

1) In regards to the atmosphere at conference, I mentioned how although there was a sense of “Comfort” within everyone that we now have a majority government, there was no room for complacency and for loosing pace on urgent reform that needed to be done. I also raised the speeches of the Chancellor and the Foreign Secretary, for which I praised for being both “Reassuring” and “True to our values of being Conservatives”.

2) I expressed how the Chancellors speech was a “Pillar of stability” for the north, and that it was about time the regions up north received some investment for which so long under previous governments they were deprived of. The idea of the Northern Powerhouse I also welcomed, as not only does it help to boost popularity for the region, but it encourages investment by businesses and hopefully may help to reduce unemployment. Generally I also mentioned how it was reassuring not only for areas like Manchester, but for the whole of England, that the government is looking to spread the opportunity and wealth throughout cities across England, and trying to provide a solution to the North and South investment inequality.

3) On the question for Theresa Mays speech, I had a mixed answer. I expressed my frustration that the speech “Did not go deep enough on immigration”. Having set targets, and by missing those targets, we are accountable to the electorate that gave us their vote and we must now act to set about achieving them once and for all.

The “In/ Out Referendum” was not really touched upon. Finally I mentioned that the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis should come to the British government more than ever, and that either we must help financially through humanitarian aid, or other means.

BBC VICTORIA DERBYSHIRE, U.K.: Post Election Analysis of Greek elections and Syriza Victory

 

Many thanks to the Victoria Derbyshire program that invited me to attend the studio, to discuss with others, the “What happens next question” facing Greece as the country has snap elections. This comes at a time when the country faces political and economical uncertainty that without a doubt has ruined generations prospects to come.

“Despite the economic and political uncertainty that Greece faces, it still remains one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and we should not forget that because it’s not all bad.”

TRT WORLD NEWS, TURKEY: Post Election Analysis of Syriza Victory

 

The interview came the day when the Greeks went to the ballot boxes again for the second time in one year, to vote for a new government. The Syriza party of Alexis Tsipras won for the second time, and I gave my reaction.

TVP INFO, POLAND: Brexit Interview

Midwives and manufacturers, lawyers and labourers, farmers and phone companies, unions and universities – they’ve spoken with one voice, proving the strength of feeling about Britain staying in Europe.

I don’t speak out of any love for Brussels – just a deep-hearted love for Britain. When I look at the EU I see 500 million people we can trade with and a network of countries we can combat crime with.
In times of economic uncertainty, when the threat of terrorism is so grave, I know we need those things more than ever.

And in an age when democracy, equality and human rights are no longer assured, the EU has become an even more powerful means of standing alongside those who share our fundamental values.
Remember Britain has the best of both worlds – a special status in the EU. We are part of the Single Market but keep our own currency. We can trade and travel but have kept our own borders.

While the Leave plan is left blank, we’re clear what we’re fighting for. We’re fighting for jobs. Three million people’s livelihoods are linked to trade with Europe, countless more indirectly. Indeed, every single job depends on a strong economy, which, in turn, depends on our membership of the EU. Last week the Governor of the Bank of England said we may suffer a new recession if we left. We know all too well who’s hit hardest in a ­recession – the poorest and most vulnerable.

STAR NEWS, GREECE: A Brexit Deal with the Parthenon Marbles

The timing of the interview was surrounding an article by the British newspaper
The Guardian, that the Parthenon Marbles could form a basis for the Greeks to veto Brexit talks.

I explained that although this could very well be the case, indeed the European Union will be the ones advocating such a stance. Under Article 50 of the European Union the Union has a right to protect existing members cultural heritage, and with that have no choice but to assist the Greeks on the possible request should it happen.

It’s worth remembering 500,000 Greeks now reside in the U.K, a significant increase from 2005, and the relationship between the two nations stretches deep in-time. In terms of students in both University systems, Greek and UK business in other countries, and as NATO allies, I am confident this wont be the most fuming issue that will be of Brexit talks and subsequent negotiations.

BBC 2 VICTORIA DERBYSHIRE, U.K.: Greece and the YES/NO referendum

I was invited to be part of the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC 2. It came at a time when Greece either has the choice of voting  no0“OXI”  or “NAI”-yes to creditors proposals for a new bailout. I expressed how I believed the outcome of a no vote was the wrong decision to make, and that in all its victory, it will harm the future generations to come for Greece.

I myself was YES “NAI”, and remain so. Stability and prosperity are what nations need, and I believe that by Greece being part of the Euro we will be more prosperous compared to going back to the Drachma. Democracy has taken place and we accept the result, but sadly the real pain is yet to come, along with the European hostility in future negotiations.

ANT 1 NEWS, GREECE: Brexit and membership of the European Union

A day before the historic referendum on the UK’s  membership of the EU I was interviewed on Greek TV by ANT 1, to give my view on the issue.

I made it clear that as our closest neighbour, we must continue to remain a member of the European Union because when we leave, there is no going back…. The door will be shut for good. What’s more, 45 percent of our trade is done with the EU. An exit therefore puts our existing trade agreements at risk, and with that jobs, and crucially investment.

If we want to create more jobs, better-paid jobs and higher-quality jobs, and if we want to keep protecting the rights of British workers, there is no road to the future that does not go through Europe. But the vote tomorrow is about more than that. It is a momentous, generation-defining decision about what kind of country we are and what kind of future we offer our children.

Britain should be leading in Europe, not leaving it.