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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-08-13

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Athenians flee mini-heatwave for long holiday weekend
  • [02] Bank workers to strike Tuesday in protest at pensions law

  • [01] Athenians flee mini-heatwave for long holiday weekend

    Tens of thousands of Athenians flocked out of the capital to cool beaches and mountains at the weekend, taking opportunity of a public holiday on August 15 to enjoy a long weekend.

    Holidaymakers in more than 100,000 automobiles drove out of the city, leaving the capital deserted in the annual exodus, one of the largest in recent years, according to police.

    Joining weekenders escaping a mini-heatwave were Athenians starting their annual leave on Monday, feast of the Virgin Mary's assumption.

    Movement was brisk at the Attica ports of Piraeus and Rafina with over 300,000 vacationers estimated to be sailing this weekend in about 200 island ferry departures.

    An estimated 240,000 travellers were expected to pass through Athens airport, and another 200,000 to journey by train and long-distance bus.

    Transport was booked almost to capacity.

    In the north, residents of Thessaloniki and Kavala also headed out of the city, many opting for the north Aegean island of Thassos.

    The wave of weekend holidaymakers included the country's leaders.

    Each opting for the island of Tinos, an Orthodox religious centre, were Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and the head of the opposition Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology, Alekos Alavanos.

    The leader of the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement, George Papandreou, chose the island of Paros; and the president of the republic, Karolos Papoulias, returned to his birthplace in Ioannina, northwest of the country.

    [02] Bank workers to strike Tuesday in protest at pensions law

    Bank employees are to stage a 24-hour strike on Tuesday to protest against a new law on pensions.

    The stoppage follows a long weekend due to a public holiday on August 15.

    The OTOE trade union says the law will hurt many of its members by raising the pensionable age and lowering supplementary pensions.

    Before the bill gained parliamentary approval, the union had sought a single supplementary pension system for the sector and opposed alignment of pensions with the main state fund.

    Bank employees staged a series of weekly 24-hour strikes in January and February this year and again in the spring before the bill became law after rejecting proposals by the government and employers.

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