Athens: Greek voters on Sunday began casting ballots in a landmark referendum on terms of agreement with creditors on the next deal with the country’s lenders.
According to the Greek ministry of internal affairs and administrative reform, about 8.5 million people are eligible to vote in the referendum. It will be considered valid if at least 40 percent of registered voters participate in the vote, a news agency reported.
As polling stations opened in the morning, images on TV channels showed young and old voters casting their votes in the ballot boxes.
The polling would determine if Greece would avert a looming disorderly default or exit the Eurozone.
It will also decide whether to accept the debt draft deal with international creditors to restart financial aid to the country, or to reject the lenders’ programme that requires Greeks to accept further austerity measures and economic reforms.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged a “No” vote from citizens, saying it would strengthen the government’s hands in debt talks with creditors.
“I call on you to say again a big and proud ‘NO’ to ultimatum,” Tsipras said on Saturday during a rally staged in favour of the “No” vote.
The International Monetary Fund says the Greek debt load is unsustainable and Greece needs a debt relief in exchange for reforms and a new 50-billion euro ($5.5 billion) financial package until 2018 to stay afloat.
A day of the referendum voting, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis accused Athens’ creditors of “terrorism”.
On Thursday, the Leftist leader in an interview said he was confident that the reforms-for-cash debt deal Greece has been seeking for five months with creditors will be reached within 48 hours after Sunday’s referendum regardless of the result.
However, European leaders say that such a result may well lead to Greece’s exit from the Eurozone.
European leaders say a “No” vote could lead to Grexit — Greece’s exit from the Eurozone. (IANS)
A National statistics agency, SCB showed 277 more men than women in 2015
European Union population statistics suggests women will remain in the majority in most European countries for decades to come
Despite a natural birth rate of about 105 boys born for every 100 girls, European women have historically outnumbered men because they live longer
STOCKHOLM- The natural sex ratio at birth, as presented by World Health Organization, WHO, is 105 boys for every 100 girls. However, predominantly, in the West, women have always been more numerous than men because they live longer. Hence, it came as a surprise in Sweden, when, in March last year, the census highlighted the fact that there were 277 more men than women.
What’s more, the number has since then grown to a massive 12000, which is still not very big compared to 9.7 million, which is the current population of Sweden, but definitely perplexing. Many demographic analysts and population experts, like Tomas Johansson and Frencesco Billari, confess they were not expecting this event to occur so soon.
There is currently an excess of 12 million women in the European Union, which has a population of approximately 500 million as a whole. Eurostat spokeswoman Baiba Grandovska believes, however, that this gap between the number of men and women is likely to narrow in the coming years, “mainly because of the decreasing gap in life expectancy.” This comes as a result of an overall change in the lifestyle of men as compared to their fathers.
Increasing awareness of heart diseases, adverse effects of smoking and drinking and more sophisticated medical equipment has encouraged them to modify the way they live. Wealthier countries now offer safer desk jobs as compared to working in mines and the construction business.
In Sweden, particularly, the numbers are going a little crazy. There was an unusual increase in the sex ratio to 108 boys for every 100 girls born in the year of 2014. Beating that increase, the sex ratio is now an absurd 123 boys for every 100 girls among 16-17 year olds, which beats even the sex imbalance in China and India.
Valerie Hudson of Texas A&M University, who released these numbers, attributes this sudden rise in the sex ratio to the sudden wave of refugees, mostly adolescent boys, from Afghanistan, Syria and North Africa that have run away from their war-stricken homes to seek asylum in Sweden. BBC reports that Sweden has received more asylum applications than any other country in Europe -163,000 just last year.
The Scandinavian country also houses immigrant-friendly laws; any underage refugee receives stable housing and financial resources. News like this travels fast and many young men often lie about their age to avail of these services, a matter that has now become a pressing concern. The authorities are debating the application of age determination tests for better screening of underage individuals; however, this is still a sensitive topic in the Nordic country.
Adding to the appealing benefits of being an underage refugee in this country, they also enjoy the right to family reunification, through which the entire family can be brought to Sweden. Experts believe this right may work in favor of improving the sex ratio, as an invitation for the entire family into Sweden may mean that sisters and mothers arrive in Sweden, driving up the number of females.
Security forces of Sweden fear that the country may not be prepared to adjust to the masculine nature of its society. There is an expected increase in the number of crime against women, somewhat following in the footsteps of India and China. Unsatisfied male bachelors, who may not find spouses in time, have a possibility of propagating harassment cases against women, and that is a scary prospect.
Annick Wibben, of the University of San Francisco dismisses this trail of thought, claiming that the concept of gender equality is so deeply embedded in the Swedish society, that it does not make sense to compare with Indian and Chinese populations. “The way in which masculinity works in different societies needs to be taken into account”, she said.
-by Saurabh Bodas
Saurabh is pursuing his engineering and is an intern at NewsGram.
A city commonly referred to as ancient Greece of India has a long history on its part. Let us explore by merging Greece of Europe and Greece of Asia as Aasish Chandorkar elucidates the tale of two cities in a recent article published in Swarajya magazine. Here is the summary of his point of view:
Right from the birth of Thales of Miletus in 620 BCE to the death of Aristotle in 322 BCE, Greece saw a paradigm shift in its ideology, varying from mythology to science, myths to facts and reasoning based thought process. The work of various modern minds of Greece eventually led to the establishment of modern city state of Athens and paved a way for Greece to become a nation that could conquer the world.
In the similar context, Pune also lived the idea of thought processing. The outcomes resulted into political awakening, creation of institutions for lasting social change and impelling great minds to initiate a mutiny against the British rule.
The foursome of Mahadev Govind Ranade, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Dhondo Keshav Karve and Gopal Krishna Gokhale did exemplary jobs over the mission. When Ranade shifted to Pune in 1873 ,at the designation of a Magistrate, their ideas came together to impinge upon a political and social awakening. It included thoughts to awaken nationalism, surge the freedom movement and bring about a social renaissance in the nation. Pune lost this momentum with the death of Tilak in 1920. The time between 1873 and 1920 was the “Golden Philosophical Age” of Pune which was tried to be rejuvenated by Maharishi Karve later on.
Pune was also seen as the potential contender of being the capital of India after British sought a move to change the capital from Kolkata to anywhere else. Pune still resumes the legacy left behind by conglomerate of social reformers and thinkers who left behind a galaxy of ideas and theories. The ideology of Pune is still thriving and growing. Very few Indians are aware of the fact that many of the social and liberal thoughts are accredited to this city and its Golden philosophical age. It is still a hub of world class educational institutions and is still a home to writers who aspire to bring about a change.
Shruti Pandey is a third year engineering student at HBTI, Kanpur and aspires to bring a change through words. Twitter handle: srt_kaka