Mood upbeat as troika returns

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram At the end of another tense week for Greece, the mood within the government appeared to be one of cautious optimism and relief on Thursday as foreign officials returned to resume their audit of Greek finances and Germany’s parliament approved a European bailout fund. Addressing a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister George Papandreou thanked party cadres for taking the “difficult but necessary” decision of backing a controversial new property tax in a parliamentary vote on Tuesday – a move widely believed to have convinced foreign auditors of the government’s resolve – and stressed that his administration’s priority remained the implementation of a second Greek bailout, hammered out as part of a broader eurozone rescue fund in July by European leaders. “It goes without saying how crucial this agreement is for our country,” said Papandreou, who was due in Paris Friday to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. “These are decisions taken after months of negotiation, based on the sacrifices of the Greek people,” he said. Germany’s parliament on Thursday became the latest eurozone member state to ratify the fund, whose implementation would be a major step toward tackling the bloc’s broadening debt crisis. In a related development, Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that a decision on whether to release the sixth tranche of bailout loans to Greece, valued at 8 billion euros, would be taken on October 13. In an interview with German weekly Die Zeit, Schaeuble said Greece should be given more time to sort out its fiscal shortcomings. Papandreou told Thursday’s cabinet meeting, which focused on a new tax system being finalized and on a scheme to slash the public sector, that the new reforms were bound to provoke more political and social upheaval. “No one should take advantage of the pain of the Greek people which we are only too mindful of,” said the premier. There were some tense moments during the meeting, notably when Justice Minister Miltiadis Papaioannou accused Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos of “shilly-shallying” over a new policy obliging taxpayers to submit half their annual income’s worth of receipts with their tax returns. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

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Koala joey emerges at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

first_imgSource = Taronga Western Plains Zoo Spring has sprung as Koala joey emerges from pouchKoala joey emerges at Taronga Western Plains ZooKeepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are delighted to report early sightings of a male Koala joey that is now just over five months old and starting to emerge from its mother’s pouch.The yet to be named Koala joey is the third offspring for mother, Wild Girl who is displaying very positive nurturing behaviours.“We are really happy with how both mother and joey are doing. Wild Girl is an experienced mother and is showing all the right maternal behaviours,” said Keeper, Denyell Woodhouse.Wild Girl arrived at the Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital after being hit by a car.Unfortunately because of her injuries she couldn’t be released. She joined the Zoo’s Koala group in early 2013 and has since played an important role in the breeding program.“This is the first Koala joey to emerge from its mother’s pouch this season, and we are hopeful of having at least one more Koala joey emerge in the coming months,” said Denyell.“At present visitors need to have a keen eye to spot the joey when it is out of the pouch, as it clings to the underside of Wild Girl however, as it grows and the weather warms up, it will start to be more visible and active.”Koala joeys stay with their mother for up to 12 months of age. They will start to roam further and further away from their mother as they reach this age, exploring their surroundings before becoming fully independent.A great time to see the Koala joey in the Aussie Walkthrough exhibit is at the daily keeper talk at 2:30pm.Taronga Western Plains Zoo is located in Central Western NSW and is open every day from 9am – 4pm. For more information visit www.zoofari.com.au or 6881 1400. Taronga Western Plains Zoolast_img read more

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