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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Glimpse of total solar eclipse on tiny isle
  • [02] Employers offer 9.8% 2-year pay hikes
  • [03] Folias: Positive US response to economy

  • [01] Glimpse of total solar eclipse on tiny isle

    The small southeastern Aegean island of Kastellorizo had the honor of being the only European Union territory that witnessed a total solar eclipse on Wednesday, as the rare celestial phenomenon stretched from eastern Brazil over the Atlantic to west and North Africa and then into the Middle East, Central Asia and to western China, only to vanish over Mongolia's horizon.

    It was the first total eclipse visible anywhere from Greece after decades, as the remote island -- southeast of Rhodes and just across from the Turkish mainland -- attracted hundreds of visitors.

    A partial glimpse of the eclipse was also visible elsewhere in Greece, with large crowds gathering in Athens' central Syntagma square to view a video-wall showing a live satellite feed from Kastellorizo, whereas dozens of local residents also headed up the Acropolis to view the phenomenon with special filtered glasses. The last two total solar eclipses in Greece were recorded in 1936 and 1870, whereas the next one is scheduled for far-off 2088.

    Caption: Scores of Athenians and tourists viewed a partial solar eclipse on Wednesday, March 29, 2006, from atop the Acropolis in central Athens. The Classical-era Parthenon temple, the pre-eminent monument on the Acropolis, is shown in the background. ANA-MPA / P. Saitas.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] Employers offer 9.8% 2-year pay hikes

    Union officials and employers' representatives will hold another round of talks on Monday in an effort to reach an agreement over a new national collective bargaining agreement in the country.

    Employers, in a meeting on Thursday, offered a 9.8-percent pay increase for the two-year period 2006-07, while trade unions demanded a 5.5-percent pay increase only for 2006.

    Dimitris Armenakis, president of the national commerce assosiation said the employers' offer would result to a minimum monthl wage of 650 euros and a minimum day pay of 29 euros by January 1, 2008. Speaking to reporters, Armenakis said the offer was an increase of 9.8 percent covering both the Greek inflation rate and part of productivity. He stressed that details of the offer would be discussed on Monday.

    Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, president of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) underlined the link between pay increases with inflation, investments and competitiveness. The manufacturing sector was already feeling the pressure from competitiveness, with some enterprises reporting profits but one-third of manufacturing enterprises suffering losses, or a decline in sales, Kyriakopoulos stressed. He noted that the pay rise offered by employers was the highest offer in the eurozone.

    Christos Polyzogopoulos, GSEE's -- Greece's largest trade union umbrella -- president said the Union did not agree with the employers' offer, although he agreed to another meeting on Monday only to contribute in preserving a positive climate.

    Caption: SEB President Kyriakopoulos. ANA-MPA photo.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [03] Folias: Positive US response to economy

    Deputy Economy and Finance Minister Christos Folias on Thursday said his visit to the United States aimed to examine intentions and trends prevailing in the American business world, part of an effort to attract foreign investments to the Greek market and to promote joint investment programmes between small- and medium-sized US and Greek enterprises.

    Speaking to reporters in Washington, the Greek deputy minister said US officials and businessmen were well informed over the course and performance of the Greek economy, which they positively assessed. He also noted that Washington acknowledged Greece's business presence in the Balkans, where around 10 billion euros have been invested, as well as the country's geopolitical position as an energy and investment hub in south-eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Black Sea region.

    Folias also presented opportunities offered by the government's new investment and tax breaks as well as a plan to promote joint ventures between public and private sector companies.

    Caption: Deputy Minister Christos Folias. ANA-MPA photo.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

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