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first_imgAnthony Patrick is still at Waterhouse despite being relieved as head coach of the struggling Premier League team. He remains at the club as assistant coach and is also in charge of the youth programme. Patrick returned to Waterhouse as interim coach of the Red Stripe Premier League outfit following the resignation of Calvert Fitzgerald, who started the season in charge. Poor results led to Fitzgerald stepping aside. Patrick took over. However, the team continued to struggle. It was rumoured that Paul Young would have taken over some two months ago, but the deal was finalised last week and Young took charge on Friday. When contacted yesterday, Patrick explained his role at the club. “I was playing an interim role until Paul Young came in. Now he is at the club, so I am his assistant and also in charge of the youth programme,” Patrick told The Gleaner. Young, who also had a stint at Waterhouse in 2009, a 2-2 draw against Tivoli Gardens last Sunday at Waterhouse Stadium. Although Waterhouse are at the foot of the table, on 14 points from 17 games, Patrick remains hopeful they will start winning soon. “It will take self-discipline from players. He (Young) is stressing on that, as it is important in moving forward. “We are trying to get the players to concentrate for the entire game. We have to be hopeful that the team can start winning. With five games remaining in the second round, the aim is to win those games then enter the third and final preliminary round in an improved position and take it from there. “We still have a chance of making the last four for the championship play-off,” Patrick said. Waterhouse next play Cavalier SC at Stadium East this Sunday, starting at 5 p.m.last_img read more


first_imgThe triumph of the West Indies under 19 cricketers in winning the region’s first world title at this level is a sweet experience worth savouring for the long suffering fans of West Indies cricket. Many of us have, in recent times, become despondent, resorting to cynicism and blind hope in our search of that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for the region’s cricket. However, the manner in which this team went about its business in this tournament suggests that the hope might no longer be blind. The region’s cricket administrators now need to do everything in their powers to ensure that the core of this group makes the transition into the senior ranks sooner, rather than later. The tenacity, passion, commitment and basic cricket intelligence shown by this Shimron Hetmyer-led team has not been seen in any West Indies team at any level since the glory days of the 70s and 80s. There were some teachable moments during this tournament which left no doubt that these players possess some of the crucial qualities that have been missing from our cricket for many years. DESIRE TO WIN The ruthless desire to win, at first manifested in that now infamous run out of the Zimbabwean tail-ender by all rounder Keemo Paul to win the game and effectively keep the West Indies team in the tournament. Then there was that stumping by the wicketkeeper, which accounted for the first wicket against India in the final. Then later in the Innings when another Indian batsman was struck by a short rising delivery, the West Indies bowler was all business getting back at his mark ready to do more damage, even as the wounded batsman received treatment. There have been many West Indies senior teams in recent years that lacked both the awareness and killer instinct of these teenagers, to run out that Zimbabwean tail-ender, to stump the Indian opener; title-winning decisions made in the heat of battle. Our fast bowlers of recent years, would probably have been apologising to the injured batsman instead of keeping their eyes menacingly and uncompromisingly on the prize. These are but some of the conspicuous differences I saw with this team that should inspire genuine hope for the future. Even with elevated expectations, I urge caution as West Indies cricket overall is still in a pretty bad place, especially in the longer versions of the game. We must not forget amid our visions of grand turnaround, these Under-19s won a 50-over tournament and not a tournament of Tests. I posit that most of these young players will evolve and develop into T20 stars and not Test cricket stars. Natural athleticism, speed, power and flair remain the trademarks of Caribbean players, including the Under-19s, which make them a perfect fit for the shorter, more explosive format of the game. The reality is that these young players, like those before them, will more than likely be smote by the irresistible incentives of T20 cricket and will inevitably gravitate towards those goodies, therefore deepening our already substantial talent pool in that version of the game, as our Test and ODI relevance continue to diminish. It is downright foolhardy and naive to expect that this group of young players will behave significantly different from the current crop of international senior players, when faced with the reality making five or 10 times more the amount of money they can make as ‘T20 freelancers’ playing in the glamorous high paying T20 leagues around the world, compared to what they would make as international Test cricketers representing the West Indies. Those are the fundamental realities we need to ponder going forward, even as we raise our expectations thanks to the performance of the new Under-19 world champions, the West Indies.last_img read more


first_imgCardiff City’s bid to sign Tommy Smith from QPR appears to have stalled.The 32-year-old forward is not in Rangers manager Mark Hughes’ first-team plans and Bluebirds boss Malky Mackay is hoping to persuade him to move to Wales.Mackay, who recently signed Heidar Helguson from the R’s and is close to capturing Matt Connolly, knows Smith well from their time together at Watford.Smith has been told he can leave Loftus Road, but by Tuesday morning he seemed no closer to deciding his future.“There’s been an enquiry from Cardiff and certainly there’s an opportunity for Tommy to go there if he wants to,” Hughes told West London Sport.“That’s been on offer for a little bit of time though and hasn’t really progressed, so I don’t know where things stand with that at this moment.”See also:Smith could be next to make Cardiff moveCampbell will not be rushed into moveFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more


first_imgTie “survival of the fittest” to “larger brains are more fit” and what do you get?The horrors of 20th century social Darwinism are well documented.  Ideas have consequences.  Giving power-hungry leaders two principles that, when mixed together, justify their wildest ambitions in the name of science, is like giving bomb ingredients to a terrorist – only on a much more massive scale.  Those two ideas are: (1) might makes right, because nature has determined that only the fittest survive, and (2) some brains are more fit than other brains.  Need we detail the racial atrocities, genocides and wars that exploded from that toxic blend?A recent article in Nature News, had a title that should raise eyebrows: “Mostly the big-brained survive.”  It suggests that the toxic ideas themselves survive, even if under the surface in an innocent article about conservation.  Emma Marris wrote like a caring conservationist concerned about the welfare of endangered species.  But she expressed social Darwinian ideas as if oblivious to what happened in the 20th century: “Large-brained animals may be less likely to go extinct in a changing world, perhaps because they can use their greater intelligence to adapt their behaviour to new conditions,” she wrote; “….a bigger brain-to-body-size ratio usually means a smarter animal.”Although Marris did not use the word fitness or the phrase “survival of the fittest,” the idea was implicit in the notion that smarter animals are less likely to go extinct.  A corollary is that nature favors the smarter animal.Marris and Eric Abelson (Stanford U), whose research she highlighted, were discussing brain size of mammals in general.  A picture of a cute tarsier adorns the article.  To their credit, they included several points that could exonerate them from any allegations of social Darwinism.  For one, they were not talking about humans specifically at all.  Secondly, they pointed out the disadvantages of the big-brained:For species larger than about 10 kilograms, the advantage of having a large brain seems to be swamped by the disadvantage of being big. Large species tend to reproduce later in life, have fewer offspring, require more resources and larger territories, and catch the attention of humans, either as food or as predators. Hunting pressure or reductions in available space can hit them particularly hard.Third, Marris ended with a list of other factors (besides brain size) that could affect extinction risk, like “variations in body size, diet, population density, home range, lifespan and growth rate.”   She quoted Walter Jetz of Yale who argued that “analyses of extinction risk using many traits will probably be more powerful and accurate than predictions based on single traits.”  Then she ended by pointing out that even Abelson waffles about the meaning of his own analysis:Abelson is agnostic on how the extinction-brain size relationship should inform conservation efforts. One could argue for expending more resources on the smaller-brained species that are at high risk. Or one could decide to spend more energy smoothing the way for the smarter, more adaptable species, since they might have a higher likelihood of surviving. “All I can say is that I hope it is useful for whoever is making those decisions,” he says.Having diluted the ingredients of the social Darwinism bomb, Marris went on her way with a clear conscience.  Scientific American reprinted the article without any disclaimers or edits.Is the reference to social Darwinism inappropriate for an innocent little article like this about species conservation?  They didn’t even mention Darwin or evolution, for crying out loud.  Is it not a fact of nature that animals differ in brain-to-body size ratios and basic intelligence?  Didn’t Marris and Abelson adequately distance themselves from the really bad ideas of social Darwinism and their implications?  Didn’t they give both sides, and remain agnostic on whether brain size matters at all to extinction?  Isn’t this much ado about nothing?  Isn’t it profoundly unfair to suggest a connection with 20th century atrocities of social Darwinism?We certainly don’t want to be unfair to Marris or Abelson, but they should have known better.  They could have done more to ensure safety precautions before playing with fire like this topic.  They could have explicitly stated that their work has nothing to say about human intelligence or brain size.  They could have specifically mentioned the harm that overemphasis on this trait in humans has done.Those were the sins of omission.  The sins of commission are: (1) using an incendiary title, “Mostly the big-brained survive”; (2) engaging in useless speculations that are impossible to prove: (3) assuming that brain size correlates with intelligence (perhaps not: quality might matter more than quantity); (4) linking intelligence to survival; (5) assuming that the smart are worth saving more than the stupid; (6) shuffling off the responsibility for the decision to others.  Abelson said he hoped his information might be “useful” to “whoever is making those decisions” – i.e., what species deserve saving from extinction, the smart or the dumb.  Can you imagine a scientist using that excuse in Nazi Germany?The Darwinist mindset is that nature favors the fit, and the fit are the smart and the strong.  Says who?  Jesus Christ taught to honor the weak and reach out to the feeble-minded.  He took the children in his arms and said that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  We’re all weak and stupid compared to our Creator.  We should each individually try to develop the gifts and talents God has given us to their fullest extent, to improve our intelligence, wisdom and strength, so that we can help our neighbor in time of need.  A society that cares for its weaker members while maintaining individual responsibility is a healthy society.  The social Darwinist societies viewed the weak as parasites and burdens that nature itself sought to eliminate.Some readers may dislike the previous paragraph because it mentions God and Jesus.  OK then, stick to the science.  Are you not embarrassed by the sloppy science Abelson did, Marris promoted, and Nature printed?  It’s useless and illogical.  The basic hypothesis is that smarts help you avoid extinction.  That idea is more full of holes than Swiss cheese.  They know it: Marris said that being smart has just as many disadvantages to fitness as advantages.   Later, she aired Jetz’s list of factors that could matter just as much to survival: “variations in body size, diet, population density, home range, lifespan and growth rate.”   That’s probably not an exhaustive list.  It’s illogical, too: if nature favored the smart, then why are the dumb still around?  Even if you restrict the category to just mammals, or just rodents, you would expect all the dumb ones to have gone extinct long before now, and natural selection to have brought the survivors to a high level of intelligence.  Clearly that hasn’t happened or Abelson would have a flat curve, and nothing to measure.Finally, animal intelligence should have nothing to do with decision-making about conservation.  We don’t let turkeys go extinct just because they are dumber than crows.  Even if Darwinists do not want to believe that our Creator has entrusted humans with a stewardship over the creatures of this world, they cannot get away from ethics.  Someone needs to decide how to spend limited resources on conserving what species we can.  Did you notice that conservation implies helping the weak?  We are the smartest animals on the planet, right?  All the others are dumber than us.  We’re fit; we’ve survived so far.  If they were consistent Darwinists, why should they care?  Even with our intelligence, there are questions whether we will be smart enough to avoid destroying ourselves and everything else.In short, for these reasons and more, we do not exonerate Marris, Abelson, Nature and Scientific American for posting this pseudoscientific poison.  It is empirically unsound, practically useless, and dangerous.  Let them all re-read the history of the 20th century and be reminded that such thinking can be used to justify unspeakable horrors.  Time to shed these notions and stop blessing them with the name of science. 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first_imgKenneth Tshabalala believes investing time in your students is the key to them succeeding. (Image: UCT)Two inspirational science teachers received the Stella Clark Teachers’ Award at a ceremony held at the University of Cape Town (UCT), during which their former pupils elaborated on the significant role their mentors had played in their lives.Kenneth Tshabalala from Lesiba Secondary School in Daveyton, Gauteng, and David de Storie from Harold Cressy High School, in central Cape Town, were this year’s joint winners.Both have previously been recognised by their respective provincial education authorities for achieving 100% pass rates, but the Stella Clark Teachers’ Award has special meaning for the veteran teachers because it’s their former pupils who put them forward.At the ceremony, vice-chancellor Max Price said the number of nominations that came in made the selection committee’s job hard and provided insight into the many hurdles that teachers and learners faced on a daily basis.He said this annual award acknowledged the work of these talented teachers as the “unsung heroes” who went beyond the call of duty to motivate and inspire their learners.Stella Clark was an exceptional lecturer in theCentre for Higher Education Development (CHED). After her death in March 2005, family and friends set up the award in her memory to acknowledge her many years of dedicated service teaching students from educationally disadvantaged schools in the Western Cape and at UCT.INVESTING TIMETshabalala, who has won an award from the Department of Education in Gauteng for the past four years, said the secret of his success was “investing time”. “I teach in the mornings, I teach during the periods, I teach in the afternoons. On Saturdays and Sundays, I am there. I arrive the earliest and leave the latest. I don’t take my learners for granted.”Another of his techniques was to encourage the students to get involved in teaching each other as a way of bedding down their knowledge. “Knowledge sharing is powerful,” is his motto.De Storie said the award was “unexpected” but an honour for the profession and his school. He stressed the importance of helping learners find their inner motivation and connect the concrete with the abstract, the practical with theory, and the known with the unknown.David de Storie stressed the importance of helping learners find their inner motivation and connect the concrete with the abstract, the practical with theory, and the known with the unknown. (Image: UCT)He believes in “intrinsic motivation” which allowed learners to “master the subject, the world and themselves”.MOTIVATING WORDSAt the start of each academic year, Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED) invites students to nominate high school teachers whom they believe helped make it possible for them to pursue their dream of getting to UCT. The two winning nominations this year were from Yameen Motala, a first-year BSocSci student who matriculated at Harold Cressy, and Blessed Ngwenya, a first-year BSc student who completed his schooling at Lesiba High School.About his former teacher, Ngwenya said: “Despite the multiple roles that he has to play in the system of the school (Tshabalala is also the deputy head of the school), he never fails his learners.“He is an educator, a father, friend, leader, guide and an inspiration to the youth. Personally, he has taught me a lot, along with my fellow [school] mates and, as such, he has made me a better person in society, which is why I believe he deserves recognition.“Mr Tshabalala is the reason why I managed to get a good distinction for physical science and the rest of my subjects. It was his motivation and wise words that kept us going as a class. When we were depressed, for example after a tough test, he was always there to cheer us up and remind us that failure should not act as a source of discouragement but should serve as a stimulus for success.“Due to the fact that most of us were from disadvantaged backgrounds, he even spent his own money buying us food every time we worked until late (especially on weekends) and for that, I will always appreciate his presence in the education system.“I’m very grateful to have found a teacher like him at high school because if it weren’t for him, due to lack of resources and proper information, I wouldn’t have made it to UCT.”ORAL HISTORYTo compile his motivation, Yameen Motala came away with an inspirational story and a 4500-word oral history on a man who was not his subject teacher, but who had stood out and provided him with guidance.“On finding out about the Stella Clark Teachers’ Award, [David de Storie’s] name immediately came to mind. Before I went ahead with this letter, I decided I needed to get the details as well as my facts straight. I therefore decided to pay him a visit at school, and interview him on his career for a little ‘project’ of mine,” he wrote. “This is the story of a behind-the-scenes legend, the story of a real hero [who] had made it his mission to bring education to those who would otherwise go without it,” he wrote.What he established was that De Storie, who grew up in Noordhoek, had completed school against his father’s wishes (who had wanted him to leave school and join his building business). He found money to study further at the University of the Western Cape but was only allowed to enrol for a BSc (even though he had wished to study medicine or pharmacy). He was the only member of his family to complete university, this against a backdrop of political upheaval in the 1970s.“He told me how he consciously decided to dedicate himself to help, develop and empower the youth, thereby continuing the struggle through education. This was linked to his realisation during the 1976 youth uprising that without education, the liberation of the country and its people would not be possible.”Motala wrote: “As a prefect I would often go to him for advice on how to deal with certain situations. He would even directly deal with certain learners that were difficult or that had problems facing them.“He assisted me with maths when my marks started dropping, and even played a role in bringing in outside assistance to help me and the rest of my maths class. Although we didn’t get the best marks, it was apparently the best our school has gotten in the past five years,” he wrote.“Besides currently still teaching physical science at Harold Cressy High School, he still continues to work with learners from disadvantaged backgrounds in various schools in the townships of Cape Town.“From what I know, he plans on retiring next year, and so I thought that this award could be a way of acknowledging him for his years of dedication to education.”Source: University of Cape Town websitelast_img read more


first_imgThe 2006 NSW vs QLD State of Origin Series is set to commence on the 4 August at the home of the Brisbane Metropolitan Touch, Whites Hill.  The first games will start at 1.30pm with the first round of the Men’s Opens set down for a 2.30pm start.The full draw and all of the results from the series can be viewed at the State of Origin website.last_img


first_imgart brilesTwitter/@McClain_on_NFL Last week, Baylor fired head coach Art Briles following the release of the Pepper Hamilton Report, which detailed the school’s failure to address the multiple instances of sexual assault within the Bears football program. According to the report, Baylor coaches failed to establish a “culture of accountability for misconduct,” and denied complainants true investigations into their accusations.For the first time since his dismissal, Art Briles released a statement on the matter.Art Briles releases statement pic.twitter.com/O0lsbiwyWN— Jeremie Poplin (@jeremiepoplin) June 2, 2016Former Ohio and Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe has been hired as the program’s interim head coach.last_img


first_imgTORONTO – Cott Corp.’s US$1.25-billion deal to sell its beverage manufacturing business to Refresco has raised concerns for the United Kingdom Competition Markets Authority.The company says Refresco has been informed by the regulator that the deal raises potential competition concerns regarding juice drinks in PET using an aseptic production process that allows them to be sold preservative-free without refrigeration.In the United Kingdom, the combined company produces these products in two factories, Bridgwater (Refresco) and Nelson (Cott).Cott says Refresco is examining the decision and is willing to offer suitable remedies and will co-operate with the regulator to address the concerns.Refresco is an independent bottler of soft drinks and fruit juices for retailers and brands with production in Europe and the United States.Cott (TSX:BCB) has said the sale of its traditional drink manufacturing business will help position it to better grow its water, coffee, tea and filtration businesses both organically and with acquisitions.last_img read more


first_imgTORONTO – Ecuadorian villagers are set this week to try again to hold Chevron Canada legally liable for a huge award against the oil company’s U.S.-based parent for what they say are the serious health effects they suffered from devastating environmental pollution decades ago.The villagers will be asking Ontario’s top court to upend an earlier ruling that they cannot go after the Canadian company for the US$9.5-billion award they won in Ecuador against Chevron Corp.The hearing on Tuesday and Wednesday before the Ontario Court of Appeal is the latest tangle in the intense, take-no-prisoners litigation — and public relations war — fought over years and in several countries. However, it could also prove fatal to the Ecuadorian attempt to involve Canada in the protracted battle in which both sides accuse the other of acting criminally or playing legally and ethically dirty tricks.The appeal turns on a judgment from January 2015 when Superior Court Justice Glenn Hainey threw out the villagers’ case on the basis that Chevron Corp. and Chevron Canada are two distinct entities, and that the latter can’t be held liable for the debts of the former. The plaintiffs, in other legal words, could not “pierce the corporate veil,” Hainey ruled.In their written arguments before the Appeal Court, the Ecuadorians call that premise absurd. They maintain Chevron Corp. has collected more than US$25 billion in dividends from its wholly owned operating subsidiaries, including Chevron Canada.“What principle of justice is advanced that allows Chevron parent’s shareholders to collect at least US$25 billion in dividends and yet excludes the enforcement of a judgment against Chevron Canada, 100 per cent owned by Chevron parent?” their factum states. “Heads, Chevron parent and its shareholders win; tails, Chevron parent victims lose and suffer.”Chevron, with 1,500 subsidiaries and $225 billion annual revenues, insists the Ecuadorian judgment should not be honoured under any circumstances.“The Ecuadorian judgment was obtained by fraud from a corrupt legal system, including by the bribing of the trial judge,” the company says in its factum. “It would be contrary to Canadian public policy and natural justice to recognize and enforce the Ecuadorian judgment.”Even if the award were valid, the company argues, Hainey was correct to rule it could only be enforced against Chevron Corp. and not the Canadian subsidiary, which no one accuses of wrongdoing in Ecuador.Roughly 47 plaintiffs representing about 30,000 villagers trace their action to 1993, when they first sued Texaco, later bought by Chevron, for pollution of 1,500 square kilometres of rain forest in northern Ecuador that fouled streams, drinking water and garden plots.They ultimately won their US$9.5-billion judgment in 2013. However, Chevron no longer has assets in the South American country, prompting the villagers to pursue enforcement in several other countries, including Canada, so far to no avail.The Canadian action, which began in 2012, aims to have Chevron Canada pay the award on the basis that a company cannot hide behind a subsidiary to avoid its creditors.In an earlier round of the legal battle, the Ontario Appeal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the region in which the “poor and vulnerable” Ecuadorians live has suffered extensive environmental pollution that seriously disrupted their lives. Those courts also ruled the Ecuadorians could pursue their claim in Canada, although Hainey’s summary judgment — if upheld after this week’s hearing — could effectively spell the end of that effort.As part of their attempt to at least win in the court of public opinion, the Ecuadorians planned a news conference in Toronto on Monday to make the case that the villagers are standing up for communities around the globe against powerful and polluting multinationals.The villagers maintain the region has seen higher rates of cancer and other illnesses due to the pollution. They also say the award — if they ever collect it — would be put in trust and used to remediate the lands and water, and improve their health conditions.For its part, Chevron argues the villagers’ health concerns are unproven or vastly overstated, and that any quarrel they might have about polluted lands should be with the Ecuadorian government and the country’s national oil company.last_img read more


first_imgATHENS, Greece – Greece’s eight-year bailout ordeal will forever be bookended by two of the country’s iconic islands.In choosing the western island of Ithaca to declare the end of the bailout era Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras harked back to one of the country’s legendary heroes from antiquity.From the purported home place of Odysseus, the mythical Mycenaean king whose arduous 10-year travels are immortalized in Homer’s “Odyssey,” Tsipras said in a televised address that Greece was ready to become a “normal” country again.“Since 2010, Greece has undergone a modern Odyssey,” he said, in a speech heavy on Homeric and nautical allusions. “Ithaca is just the beginning.”Tsipras declared that Greece has regained its financial freedom, after years of bowing to bailout creditors’ demands for — sorely-needed — cutbacks and reforms.Overlooking a small bay from the pine-forested hills, Tsipras’ address provided a reminder of the beginning of Greece’s crisis. In 2010, then-prime minister George Papandreou addressed the Greek people from the eastern island of Kastellorizo, informing them that the country was effectively bankrupt and had to get financial help.In return for the loans, successive governments imposed crippling cutbacks to right the country’s finances and balance budgets deeply in the red. Over the bailout era, the Greek economy contracted by a quarter and unemployment swelled with one in five still out of work. Incomes were repeatedly slashed and taxes hiked.It’s clearly been a hugely difficult and painful journey for Greece and one that has lasted almost as long as Odysseus’ legendary adventures.Odysseus was an unwilling protagonist in the 10-year Trojan War, a semi-mythical expedition by Mycenaean Greek kingdoms to conquer the city of Troy in what is now northwestern Turkey. After the fall of Troy, pursued by angry gods, Odysseus took another ten years of trials and tribulations at sea to return to Ithaca.And once there, battered and in a beggar’s rags, Odysseus found his home taken over by a bunch of youths who were badgering his faithful wife to remarry. He massacred them, and a more apocryphal story tells how later Odysseus died at the hands of his own son with the enchantress Circe.“Now we have reached our destination,” Tsipras said. “The bailouts that carried with them austerity and recession and turned our country into a social desert are over.”“Our country is regaining its right to define its own fortunes and future,” he added. “Like a normal European country, without having policies forced on it by foreign officials, with no more blackmail, no more sacrifices for our people.”Greek stocks closed 1 per cent down Tuesday, while the yield on the benchmark 10-year Greek bond fell slightly to 4.2 per cent.Opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose conservative New Democracy party is leading in Greek opinion polls ahead of scheduled parliamentary elections next year, poured scorn on Tsipras’ “false” Ithaca symbolism.“We have not reached the end of the journey,” he said. “Today is the end of cheap funding, but the harsh measures and heavy commitments undertaken by Mr. Tsipras continue.”The country remains shackled to the austerity demands of its former creditors. And even though it has little fear of new calls for cutbacks from abroad, its hard-won fiscal freedom still carries a high price.Though the country will no longer have to pass regular checks from creditors to get money it needs to avoid bankruptcy, it cannot return to the old lax ways that put it in a mess in the first place.During the past eight years, Greece avoided bankruptcy after getting loans worth some 260 billion euros ($300 billion) from the other countries that use the euro currency, and from the International Monetary Fund.Though Greece has turned a massive deficit on its annual budget into a sizeable surplus, further austerity measures remain on the horizon. Pre-agreed pension cuts and tax hikes lurk in 2019 and 2020.Greece has a 24 billion-euro cash buffer, set up with the help of bailout funds that will provide substantial breathing space up to the summer of 2020.After that, it will really have to stand on its own feet and as such it will have to take consideration of the demands of investors in international bond markets — any slippage on the budget front could see the interest rates they charge for Greece to borrow rise again, potentially to unsustainable rates.In the coming period, Greece must develop a working relationship with private investors, who will need robust signs of fiscal prudence, adherence to agreed reforms and economic growth to agree to place their funds in a country whose credit rating is still well below investment grade.The GSEE main private sector labour union contended Tuesday that the Greek people’s Odyssey is far from over.“For us, there can be no exit from the bailouts unless there is an end to the vicious cycle of austerity, unemployment and widespread social crisis,” it said in a statement.Tsipras has repeatedly issued assurances that his left-led government will tread the mandated course of fiscal virtue.In Ithaca, he promised “prudence and responsibility, so that we never return to the Greece of budget deficits and bankruptcy.”At the same time though, Tsipras is under pressure to provide some form of relief to wide swathes of the population hard-hit by the recession — chiefly pensioners, the unemployed and low-income groups.Government officials say this will be publicly formulated in early September, at the opening of an annual trade fair in the northern city of Thessaloniki which is traditionally a platform for governments to announce their economic policy plans.last_img read more