Connect with us

Current

Novak Djokovic back in detention ahead of appeal hearing

Voice Of EU

Published

on

World tennis star Novak Djokovic is back in detention at the Park Hotel in Melbourne ahead of his appeal against the re-cancellation of his visa on Sunday morning at the Federal Court of Australia.

After meeting with his lawyers for several hours, Djokovic was driven to the same immigration hotel where he spent four nights last week for what he will hope will be the final night.

The world number one’s legal team has been preparing his case following the decision of Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke on Friday to cancel Djokovic’s visa for a second time on the grounds of “health and good order”.

A brief procedural hearing was held on Saturday morning, where Justice David O’Callaghan confirmed the case has been transferred from the Federal Circuit Court and that the main hearing will take place at 9.30am on Sunday (10.30pm on Saturday Irish time).

Djokovic is due to play his first-round match at the Australian Open against fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic on Monday.

A timetable was agreed on Friday, with Djokovic to be detained at 8am on Saturday morning for a meeting with immigration officials before meeting with his lawyers, also under detention.

The world number one is appealing the decision on the grounds that it was both affected by jurisdictional error and irrational, but the threshold for success is much higher than in the first hearing.

It emerged on Friday that Hawke based his finding not on the validity or otherwise of Djokovic’s medical exemption but on the potential for his continued presence in the country to stoke anti-vaccination sentiments and a threat to public order.

Hawke cited Djokovic’s status as a “high-profile unvaccinated individual, who has indicated publicly that he is opposed to becoming vaccinated against Covid-19” and said he had “publicly expressed anti-vaccination sentiment”.

Hawke stated his belief that not cancelling the visa could encourage Australians not to take the vaccine, increasing pressure on the health service. “I consider that his ongoing presence in Australia may pose a risk to the good order of the Australian community,” he said.

‘Apparent disregard’

Hawke gave significant weight to Djokovic’s admission that he attended an interview with l’Equipe last month despite knowing he had tested positive for Covid-19 and argued Australians may follow suit.

“I have also given consideration to the fact that Mr Djokovic has, in the past, shown an apparent disregard for the need to isolate following the receipt of a positive Covid-19 test result,” he said.

Djokovic’s release from detention on Monday resulted in police pepper spraying his supporters and Hawke cited the possibility of civil unrest, although his lawyers will argue on Sunday that the same could result from his deportation.

Hawke, meanwhile, dismissed Djokovic’s arguments that the cancellation of his visa would either be seen as politically motivated or jeopardise the viability of the country hosting the Australian Open.

Djokovic had been waiting since a judge overturned the original decision on Monday to find out whether Hawke would use his powers to reimpose the penalty.

And, just before 6pm (7am Irish time) on Friday, Hawke released a statement, saying: “Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.

“This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.

“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the department of home affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.

“The Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Ban

The decision means Djokovic also faces a three-year ban from the country, which could mean he never plays at the Australian Open again, although that can be waived.

The situation has dominated global news since Djokovic was detained at Melbourne airport last Thursday morning after Border Force officials concluded he did not have the right paperwork to enter the country.

The nine-time Australian Open champion had received an exemption through Tennis Australia from strict coronavirus vaccination rules for arrivals into the country by virtue of having tested positive last month.

Two other individuals – Czech player Renata Voracova and an official – with the same exemption were subsequently told they could not stay in the country and left before Judge Anthony Kelly ruled in favour of Djokovic on Monday.

Djokovic headed straight to Melbourne Park after being freed and had practised every day since, including early on Friday morning, but his hopes of staying in the country appeared to fade as the week went on following revelations about his behaviour following his positive test.

He also admitted his declaration form falsely claimed he had not travelled in the 14 days prior to his trip to Australia, which he attributed to a mistake from his agent.

There has been strong criticism of the way the Australian government has handled the situation but public opinion has been firmly in favour of Djokovic being sent home. – PA

Source link

Current

Hyatt unveils plans for two new UK hotels

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has entered into management agreements with Stratford City Hotels Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of M&L Hospitality, for Hyatt Regency London Stratford and Hyatt House London Stratford. The 225-room Hyatt Regency London Stratford and the 127-room Hyatt House London Stratford are expected to open in Q2 2022 following an extensive refurbishment. Both hotels will be conveniently located within one of Europe’s largest urban shopping and entertainment complexes, Westfield Stratford City, and a short walk to Stratford Station and Queen Elizabeth Park.

 

“The addition of these two hotels will be another exciting step in growing Hyatt’s brand presence in the United Kingdom and in creating a network of hotels across the key commercial and leisure markets in the country,” said Felicity Black Roberts, vice president of development Europe, Hyatt. “We worked closely with M&L Hospitality to choose the right brands for the location and are pleased to be continuing our relationship with them following the successful openings of Hyatt Regency Manchester and Hyatt House Manchester in 2019.”

 

Designed with productivity in mind, Hyatt Regency London Stratford will offer business and leisure travellers alike a stress-free and seamless environment to stay connected. Guests can enjoy 628m² of meeting space, along with a spacious restaurant, bar and an open-air terrace. Hyatt House London Stratford will provide guests with modern, apartment-style suites with fully equipped kitchens and flexible workspaces, designed to make them feel at home, especially during extended stays.

 

The hotels are located close to Stratford Station, one of the UK’s busiest train stations, giving guests swift access to Central London in only seven minutes. Stratford International Station connects guests to St Pancras International Station and transfers to the Eurostar train, which provides services to Paris, Brussels, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

 

The properties will also be easily accessible to Heathrow International Airport via the new Queen Elizabeth Crossrail line due to open mid-2022, which will offer services to Stratford in approximately 45 minutes. Furthermore, London City Airport is only 20 minutes from Stratford on the Docklands Light Railway, making it an ideal location for business and leisure guests.

 

“We are pleased to be able to continue our work with Hyatt in the United Kingdom,” said Neil Maxwell, chief executive officer of M&L Hospitality. “Our strategy focuses on identifying key gateway cities with strong economic growth. Stratford is experiencing a real boom and our plans to introduce these Hyatt House and Hyatt Regency hotels to London will capitalize on this.”

 

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Inside three new chalets for sale in Les Gets ski resort

Voice Of EU

Published

on

After France reopened its borders to British travellers, there was a huge sigh of relief among British skiers.

The French Alps are the number one skiing destination for Britons and many feel it’s high time to get back on the slopes and enjoy the mountains once again. 

One location that’s very popular with British holidaymakers and second home buyers is the smaller resort of Les Gets in the French Alps. It is is only an hour’s drive from Geneva Airport – making it the perfect destination for British skiers and snowboarders looking for easy access to the Alps. 

You can leave your desk at 5pm on a Friday evening and be in the resort that night. That kind of easy access will leave some dreaming of a property, so that they can make the most of their holidays and perhaps squeeze in a few more.   

British holidaymakers can once again travel to France after the country eased Covid restrictions

British holidaymakers can once again travel to France after the country eased Covid restrictions

We take a look at a development of three properties for sale in the French ski resort of Les Gets (pictured)

We take a look at a development of three properties for sale in the French ski resort of Les Gets (pictured)

new development of just three chalets being built in Les Gets features the kind of homes many skiers would love, but the price tags starting at more than £1.5million will be beyond the reach of many.

The prices reflect how Les Gets popularity, accessibility and limited supply of properties mean there is huge demand for holiday homes in the area.

You will need deep pockets if you want to own a home in Les Gets. But the builders of this development are keen to stress that the properties are ‘keenly priced’ for the local property market. 

The four-bedroom chalets spanning across three levels are available via skiingproperty.com from €1,848,000 euros, the equivalent of £1,536,762. It is rare to find a whole chalet in the area for less than €2million, the equivalent of £1,670,890.

However, it is possible to buy in Les Gets on smaller budgets, if you are happy to have an apartment instead of a chalet. As we highlight below, good quality apartments can be bought for around the £300,000 mark. 

The chalets can be found on the Route des Chavannes, a two-minute drive from the main Chavannes ski lifts, although skiers can take the Gentian piste down to the Gibannaz area and walk just 300 metres to the front door of the chalets.

The luxury chalets are each sold as freehold and if the new owners want to rent them out, they do so under their own arrangements once purchased.

The freehold chalets in Les Gets have yet to be completed (pictured: computer generated images of what the properties will look like once they are finished)

The freehold chalets in Les Gets have yet to be completed (pictured: computer generated images of what the properties will look like once they are finished)

Les Gets (pictured) is popular among British skiers and snowboarders in the winter, and keen mountain bike riders and hikers in the summer

Les Gets (pictured) is popular among British skiers and snowboarders in the winter, and keen mountain bike riders and hikers in the summer

Les Gets is a ski resort that is part of the huge Portes du Soleil ski network, one of the world’s largest that links 13 different villages including Morzine and Avoriaz

Les Gets is a ski resort that is part of the huge Portes du Soleil ski network, one of the world’s largest that links 13 different villages including Morzine and Avoriaz

Les Gets is popular among British skiers and snowboarders in the winter, as well as keen mountain bike riders and hikers in the summer.

The ski resort is part of the huge Portes du Soleil ski network, one of the world’s largest that links 13 different villages including Morzine, Avoriaz and Chalet on the French side and Champéry, Les Crosets and Morgins on the Swiss side.

During the summer, the bike park at Les Gets offers one of the largest network of mountain biking trails for all levels in the Alps.

There are also several famous mountain passes – known as ‘cols’ – that are often used during sections of the Tour de France cycling race.

Les Gets can be reached from Geneva Airport in around one hour by car and it is also one of the closest major ski resorts that can be reached by car from Britain.

Les Gets can be reached from Geneva Airport in around one hour by car and it is also one of the closest major ski resorts that can be reached by car from Britain

Les Gets can be reached from Geneva Airport in around one hour by car and it is also one of the closest major ski resorts that can be reached by car from Britain

An artists impression of what the interiors of the chalets could look like

An artists impression of what the interiors of the chalets could look like 

The new build chalets have four double bedrooms, three bathrooms and 314 square metres of living space.

They extend across three floors, with ensuite bathrooms for the two bedrooms on the top floor and a shared bathroom for the two bedrooms on the lower floor. The top floor bedrooms also have balconies with mountains views.

The main floor includes two separate living areas and an open plan kitchen. There is a large balcony, a private garden and a garage.

Les Gets is well-known for its family appeal, and this four-bedroom property is ideal for families looking for winter and summer holiday accommodation in the French Alps.

Because the property is being sold as a classic freehold, the owners can choose to live in the property or use it as a holiday home. They can also choose the rent the property out when they are not using it.

Prices for the four-bed chalets start at €1,848,000 euros, the equivalent of £1,536,762

Prices for the four-bed chalets start at €1,848,000 euros, the equivalent of £1,536,762

During winter, Mont Chery offers some hidden off-piste skiing mostly known only to locals

During winter, Mont Chery offers some hidden off-piste skiing mostly known only to locals

Les Gets flats for sale under £400k 

This one-bed flat is in La Turche neighbourhood

This one-bed is in the La Turche neighbourhood

Les Gets also offers properties for sale for those with a smaller budget.

Properties currently for sale include a one-bedroom apartment for sale via skiingproperty.com, which has a price tag of £391,011. 

It is part of a new-build block of 21 apartments, each with their own balcony.

The ski-in ski-out flat is in the La Turche neighbourhood, which is just five minutes away by car.

This two-bed apartment is just 200 metres from the ski lift in Les Perrieres

This two-bed apartment is just 200 metres from the ski lift in Les Perrieres

Also available is a two-bed apartment that is just 200 metres from the ski lift in Les Perrieres, at the entrance Les Gets ski resort.

The traditional style new build flat is on the market via skiingproperty.com for £310,936.

The pretty resort of Les Gets is a traditional Alpine village with classic chalet style accommodation.

During the summer, the network of hiking trails is vast. The cable car to Mont Chery offers incredible views of Western Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc, and the easy trail from the cable car station to Mont Caly offers some of the best views in the Alps. 

Recommended lunch venues include Les Chevrelles, a pretty farmhouse restaurant at the end of the walk, it is then possible to take the ‘petit train’ back to the village centre.

During winter, Mont Chery offers some hidden off-piste skiing mostly known only to locals.

La Grande Ourse is a mountain restaurant on the slopes of Mont Chery where the British owners – and chef – organise weekly dinners where they will bring diners up in cat track vehicles. The fantastic food is known throughout the area and it’s popular with both British and French guests.

The three chalets for sale are unfurnished. As a new build property, the buyer will benefit from a lower notary fee of 2 per cent – resale properties have much higher fees of 7 to 8 per cent -, allowing for further savings.

In the future, if the owner decides to rent out their chalet when they are not using it, they can reclaim the 20 per cent VAT from the property purchase price, providing that certain conditions are met.

We are open and ready to welcome British skiers and snowboarders back to our slopes for the rest of the winter 

Julian Walker, of skiingproperty.com, said: ‘This is a rare opportunity to purchase a new chalet in a resort that normally sees prices for similar properties well in excess of €2million. Les Gets is a great summer and winter destination and just an hour’s drive from Geneva Airport, making it an attractive offering for families. The past two summers have seen record numbers of visitors in the resort as people flock to the mountain for the fresh air and space’. 

And Les Gets’ tourist office director Alexis Bongard, said: ‘We are delighted that the French Government has finally lifted these border restrictions that impacted Les Gets so badly, and of course created so much stress and worry for British people heading here. 

‘We are open and ready to welcome British skiers and snowboarders back to our slopes for the rest of the winter, it felt very strange without you here.’ 

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Varakar says law on right to seek remote working can ‘change the culture’

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that a proposed law giving people the right to request remote working arrangements will mean employers are more likely to grant them for fear of being brought to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).

Mr Varadkar said he believes the legislation can “change the culture” and that employers will embrace it.

The general scheme of a Bill to provide for remote working will be brought to the Cabinet on Tuesday by Minister for Enterprise Mr Varadkar. It will set out a legal framework whereby an employer can either approve or reject a request to work remotely from an employee.

Under the plans – which Mr Varadkar hopes to have enacted in the next couple of months – there will be an independent appeals process through the WRC.

Speaking ahead of the publication of the outline of the legislation Mr Varadkar said it will require employers to take a request seriously, to respond within a defined timeframe and “to give a good reason that actually stacks up if they were challenged.”

He added: “It can change the culture and move the dial so that employers will be more likely to say yes for fear of being taken to the WRC or to court if they say no.”

Embrace

Mr Varadkar predicted that “the vast majority of employers are going to embrace this.”

He added: “Everyone sees the benefits of home working/remote working – reduced traffic, reduced crowding in office spaces and also it’s very much an employees’ market at the moment.

“Employers are finding it really hard to hire staff and retain staff and it makes sense I think if you’re an employer or running a business to embrace new models of working because that’s how you’re going to get staff. It’s also how you’re going to keep staff.”

The Labour Party has argued that the Government’s plans will not go far enough with employment spokeswoman Senator Maire Sherlock saying the Government must guarantee the right to flexible work.

Mr Varadkar said the Bill won’t do this.

He said there was a lot of work done with the Attorney General and “Government can only interfere in contracts that employers and employees have signed to a certain extent.”

He also pointed out that remote working isn’t always going to be possible.

“It’s going to be very difficult to do in education, in healthcare, in manufacturing, hospitality for example.

“What we want to do is get to a position whereby remote working/home working becomes a choice and that employers facilitate that provided the business gets done and provided public services don’t suffer.”

Important day

Mr Varadkar said that Monday – the start of the phased return to workplaces – “is an important day as we learn to live with Covid, as we move from the emergency phase into a phase where we return to some semblance of normality.”

He said that the Government does not want things to go back to the old normal.

“We want to see more remote working, more home working, more hybrid working”.

Mr Varadkar said that there was a meeting of Government officials, unions and employer groups on Monday and it was agreed that there will be a new work safety protocol that will offer guidelines on the return to work over the coming weeks.

He said: “We’ll try to make permanent some of those things that were always a good idea in a work place such as good air quality to reduce the risk of the transmission of viruses, hygiene, avoiding overcrowding and that work is very much underway”.

He expects the updated protocol to be published by the end of the week.

Mr Varadkar was also asked about plans for an inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and he said the Government have to discuss what form it will take.

He said no decision has been made on the model of the inquiry but “ it is important that we have one that allows us to learn the lessons.

“Relative to other countries Ireland handled the pandemic well – I think everyone acknowledges that when you look at the numbers.

“But we didn’t get everything right either and I think it’s important that we have an inquiry that is not about blaming people or pointing the finger but is about working out what we did right, what we wrong and what we could do better so that we’re prepared if there is a resurgence in the virus or if there is a pandemic caused for a different reason.”

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!