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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-04-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Labour unions and employers agree
  • [02] Papandreou in Evros prefecture

  • [01] Labour unions and employers agree

    Labour unions and employers agreed on the content of the new national collective labour agreement on Monday, following prolonged and arduous negotiations.

    According to the new agreement, salaries and wages will increase by 2.9 percent as of January 1, 2006, and by a further 2.9 percent as of September 1, 2006, while a 5.1 percent increase will be given as of May 1, 2007.

    As a result of this two-year agreement, minimum salaries will increase from 591 euros today to 658 euros and minimum wages will increase from the current 26.4 euros to 29.4 euros.

    General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) President Christos Polyzogopoulos said the agreement was "an honourable compromise" adding that the outcome constitutes "an honourable and dignified agreement but which is not, of course, one worth celebrating."

    Polyzogopoulos spoke of extremely difficult negotiating under conditions which "were rendered unfavourable by the government's income policy, as well as the other interventions, such as in banks, which questioned the climate of collective negotiating prevailing in the country".

    "Under the circumstances, we achieved the best possible result. The agreement gives the income of working people the loss sustained from inflation and a part of the increase in productivity," he said.

    Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) President Odyseas Kyriakopoulos said it was a compromise that does not satisfy any side. He said industry is bound by an effort to cover the burden of increases agreed on Monday through investments and an increase in productivity.

    The SEB president termed Monday's increases "the biggest in the 15-nation European Union". He also spoke of a "message of optimism for the future where, through a tough effort, both the convergence of salaries and the continuation of the competitiveness of industry will be secured."

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    [02] Papandreou in Evros prefecture

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou on Monday visited the flood-stricken area of Amorio, Orfeas Muncipality, of Evros prefecture.

    Addressing the inhabitants of Amorio, which suffered devastation from the recent floods in Evros precture in northern Greece, Papandreou expressed his support and reiterated that he would support the Five Year Reconstruction Programme for the Evros region.

    He said it is "a programme which must not only see the phenomenon of the floods, but must also see the restoration of the economy and again give a future to the region."

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

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