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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-07-07

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Karamanlis offers condolences to British PM, people over terrorist attacks in London
  • [02] Gov't continues contacts with social partners to formulate draft law for labour market
  • [03] Public Order minister expresses horror at London blasts, support for victims
  • [04] Karamanlis tours interior ministry, calls for more state reforms
  • [05] PM tours 'Research and Technology Week' exhibition at Zappion

  • [01] Karamanlis offers condolences to British PM, people over terrorist attacks in London

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis conveyed his condolences to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday afternoon, hours after multiple bomb attacks struck London's underground system and at least one double-decker bus.

    "It was with sorrow and repulsion that I was informed of today's (Thursday) terrorist attacks in London. On the part of the government and the Greek people, I would like to express my deepest condolences.

    "This act of blind violence also underlines the fact that the spectre of international terrorism remains alive. Our commitment, however, to effectively deal with this common threat continues to remain strong.

    "Our thoughts are with the families of the victims," the prime minister's message read.

    [02] Gov't continues contacts with social partners to formulate draft law for labour market

    Labour and Social Securities Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos on Thursday met with representatives of Greek industries and small-to-medium sized manufacturers, part of the government's initiative to partially deregulate and make the labour market more flexible, especially in terms of unifying and extending store hours along with cutting the overtime pay rate.

    Following the meeting, the minister said a crucial meeting with representatives of Greece's largest trade umbrella group, GSEE, has been scheduled for Monday. He added that talks with all interested parties and the views of each will be considered in the drafting of a relevant bill, as well as with the timing involved in tabling such legislation in Parliament.

    In pointing to the government's strategic goal for seeking a partial deregulation of the domestic labour market, Panayiotopoulos said increased competitiveness and employment are issues that can wait no longer.

    On his part, Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) president Odysseus Kyriakopoulos said the government has delayed in bring forth reforms to the labour market, reforms he said will increase competitiveness, employment and investments.

    Kyriakopoulos added that Greek industrialists supported measures for more flexibility in annual working times, while he implied that flexibility in working time could not exceed 12 hours daily. He also urged for measures to improve hygiene and safety in work places and stressed that measures to boost competitiveness do not undermine employeesâ rights.

    Representatives of small- and medium-sized enterprises said working time should not be less than 12 hours daily, while supporting moves to cut the cost of overtime.

    [03] Public Order minister expresses horror at London blasts, support for victims

    Greek Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis expressed his horror at the carnage wrought by multiple explosions that ripped through London's transport system during the rush hour on Thursday, as well as his unstinting support for the injured and the families of the dead, contacting British Ambassador to Athens Simon Gass soon after being informed of the tragic incident.

    Vougarakis also informed Gass that the public order ministry could provide expert staff and specialised equipment, if they were needed. The ambassador thanked Vougarakis and said he would convey his interest and support to the British government.

    [04] Karamanlis tours interior ministry, calls for more state reforms

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday continued his policy of visiting individual ministries for a briefing by its leadership as he chaired a same-day meeting at the public administration and interior ministry.

    Afterwards, Karamanlis reiterated that his government inherited a "problematic state, one far removed from the citizen and his needs; (a state) that acts as an obstacle to development; a state where petty political partisanship, bureaucracy and corruption dominated."

    Following the two-hour meeting, Karamanlis said several initiatives have been implemented in the 15 months since his government assumed power, although more needs to be done.

    "The state does not change from one moment to the next, because the necessary clashes donât just relate to structures and administrative functions, but to attitudes and syndromes of the past," he underlined.

    [05] PM tours 'Research and Technology Week' exhibition at Zappion

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday toured a "Research and Technology Week" exhibition organised by the development ministry at Zappion, where he noted the country's great potential in research and business.

    "The achievements presented here confirm the country's great potential and prove that if we cooperate effectively, we can ensure a better future with high developmental and social benefits for all," he said.

    We are working intensively in this direction, Karamanlis said, while adding that a new legislative framework for research and technology was now ready and that the government was proceeding to establish new research centres.


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