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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-12-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Prices up 17% relative to last year, PASOK claims
  • [02] New labour pact extends bank opening hours
  • [03] Student protest rally in central Athens
  • [04] Children from Serbia to spend Christmas in Greece

  • [01] Prices up 17% relative to last year, PASOK claims

    Even the most objective surveys showed that prices for consumer goods had increased more than 17% in comparison with the previous year, main opposition PASOK MP Christos Papoutsis claimed on Wednesday, after a visit to the Varvakio central meat market in Athens.

    "The household basket of goods in empty and the family Christmas feast will not be the same as in previous years. This is the grim reality, the result of New Democracy's governance," he added.

    According to Papoutsis, real household incomes had simultaneously fallen, taking a cut that was greatly in excess of 10 percent.

    [02] New labour pact extends bank opening hours

    Banking staff and management on Tuesday forged agreement on a two-year labour pact in the wake of lengthy negotiations.

    Under the deal, wages will rise by 44 euros per month retroactively in 2006 and by 47 euros in 2007.

    Banks with more than 150 branches will have the right to open 10 outlets for transactions with the public during weekday afternoon hours and on Saturdays.

    Credit institutions with 30-150 branches may open five outlets for the same periods; and banks with up to 30 branches, two outlets.

    [03] Student protest rally in central Athens

    Students from universities and Technological Educational Institutes (TEI) held a protest rally in central Athens on Wednesday, demanding that the government abandon plans to revise article 16 of the Constitution in order to allow the foundation of private, non-profit universities in Greece.

    Converging on Syntagma Square opposite Parliament, the students burnt an effigy representing the government's policy, shaped like a coffin, and set fire to car tyres.

    The rally caused extensive traffic jams in surrounding roads, while students warned that protest action would peak in the days leading up to January 10, when the debate on revising article 16 is held in Parliament.

    Students, academics and secondary school teachers, as well as other groups of workers, are planning another rally in central Athens on Thursday in protest against the draft budget for 2007, as well as the revision of article 16.

    [04] Children from Serbia to spend Christmas in Greece

    BELGRADE (ANA-MPA/ N. Pelpas) - Greek families will be the hosts of children from Serbia during the Christmas holidays, according to the Red Cross of Serbia.

    A total of 216 children of refugees, who lost a parent in the war, as well as children of poor families will spend Christmas in Greece again this year within the framework of the hospitality programme for Serb children held by the Serb and the Greek Red Cross.

    Cooperation between the Greek and Serb Red Cross for the hosting of children from Serbia was launched in 1993 and since then an estimated 16,000 children, most of them refugees, have stayed with Greek families.

    Many children were helped this way to overcome psychological problems caused by the traumatic experiences they lived through while close friendship ties have been forged and in most cases the contact of the children and the host families continues.


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