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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-07-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PASOK leader at Skaramangas Shipyards
  • [02] Protest over Parnitha fire outside Parliament

  • [01] PASOK leader at Skaramangas Shipyards

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou visited the Skaramangas Shipyards on Monday, "in order to hear about, but also support the workers in their problems", as he told reporters.

    The Skaramangas Shipyards, which have been fully privatised since 2002 and belong to the Thyssen Group, have announced 12 dismissals with another 100 expected in the near future. According to Papandreou, a further 300 employees were "living with the fear of dismissal".

    Papandreou said that the preceding PASOK governments had supported the Shipyards, which he said were the largest shipbuilding and repair unit in the eastern Mediterranean, and accused the New Democracy government of disdaining to occupy itself with the shipyard and of generally not caring either about the dismissals, or about employment or the defence industry.

    In addition, he said, the government owed the shipyard 200 million euro from orders placed by the Hellenic Navy.

    He said that the response to lost jobs and competitiveness could not be cheap labour, as was the case in shipyards in China and Korea but rather investment in human resources and innovation, which would also open up new roads.

    "Whereas the Right submits to the rules of the market, the difference is that we intervene and ourselves impose rules of the market in favour of the working people's interests," Papandreou said.

    He also endorsed open, transparent international tendering for armaments, criticising the government of 'secret procedures', adding that despite the fact that the international trend was concentration of the defence industry, it was not possible that countries such as Greece did not have a developed corresponding branch, and called for integrated planning that would also include agreements with international consortiums as well as the development of programmes and linking with the European defence industry.

    Regarding the dismissals, the PASOK leader noted the points in his party's platform concerning social labour and public sector support for dismissed older workers to help them meet the retirement requirements.

    Papandreou also met with the Shipyards' management.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    [02] Protest over Parnitha fire outside Parliament

    Hundreds of people joined a protest over the destruction of Mount Parnitha's forest outside Parliament on Sunday in an impressive spontaneous response to an appeal organised by an unnamed group of young people over the Internet. The call, picked up by the media, inspired a strong response that came one day before the government announces measures for Parnitha's reforestation.

    The call for a protest "without sponsoring", as they said in their messages through the Internet, also activated the sensitivity of environmental organisations, municipal initiatives and hundreds of ordinary people who turned up for the "blind date" at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 7 in the evening.

    People symbolically deposited a branch from "a tree that was saved" on Mount Parnitha and emptied sacks full of charred pinecones and pineneedles before the monument.

    Shouting slogans in protest at the mortal blow to Attica's last remaining forest, the crowd stayed in the area for quite a long time, blocking traffic and then dispersed peacefully.

    Later on Monday, Environment Minister George Souflias is expected to announce the measures the government intends to take in order to protect the forest that still remains on Parnitha, as well as to protect against flooding in the now vulnerable areas on Parnitha's foothills, following a meeting that will be held with Agriculture Development Minister Evangelos Bassiakos.

    Caption: Hundreds of protestors gathered outside Parliament in a protest over the burning of the forest on Mount Parnitha on Sunday, 8 July 2007. ANA/MPA/SIMELA PANTZARTZI


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