|Thursday, 18 January 2018|
Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-10-20
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 ND Congress to amend Charter provisionsMain opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis announced on Tuesday an alteration of the nature of the extraordinary ND Congress he has called for November 7, which will now deal with an amendment of the provisions of the party Charter regarding the election of the party leader.
Former prime minister Karamanlis, who resigned from the ND leadership after the then ruling party's defeat in the October 4 general elections, had initially called the extraordinary Congress for the purpose of electing a new leader, at which time he intended to step down.
Under the current Charter, the party leader is elected by the Congress delegates (or 'electors).
Following increasing calls for election of the ND leader by the party's rank and file -- a position that has been endorsed by the four candidates for the leadership -- Karamanlis altered the nature of the extraordinary Congress, and has agreed to extend his tenure at the party's helm until the end of the process of amendment of the Charter and election of the new party leader. The new leader must be elected by December 14.
The extraordinary Congress Organising Committee, chaired by Dimitris Sioufas, will convene on Tuesday afternoon.
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis
 New permanent exhibition at Volos Archaeological MuseumThe evolution of the Thessaly town of Volos, on the coast of the Pagasitic Gulf, from the Mycenaean era to the Roman era, is presented in a new permanent exhibition inaugurated in the new wing of the Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum of Volos, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
The Museum was built in 1909 with a donation by Alexis Athanassakis from the Pelion village of Portaria. The initial purpose of the neoclassical building was to house the remarkable Hellenistic Period Demetrias painted steles that were unearthed in digs under Apostolos Arvanitopoulos, the first Thessaly Ephor of Antiquities.
The Museum then added antiquities from all over Thessaly to its collection.
The Museum houses many exquisite finds from the early 20th century and modern-day archaeological excavations in Thessaly, including jewelry, household utensils and agricultural tools from the Neolithic settlements of Dimini and Sesklo, clay statuettes and a variety of artifacts from the Geometric period, figurines, statues and rare jointed statuettes from the Classical era, rare steles and relief work from the Hellenist period in which the color is uncommonly well-preserved, relief work from the Early Christian and Byzantine periods, and tombs transported in their entirety from the archaeological sites where they were discovered, including human skeletons and offerings placed around it.
Just outside the museum are some interesting reconstructions of the Neolithic houses at Dimini and Sesklo, where the remains of the oldest acropolis in Greece (6000 BC) stand.
The Museum has further launched an educational program for primary school pupils on the theme "Neolithic culture: Once upon a time in Sesklo and Dimini".
Periodical exhibitions are exhibited in the Museum's two main halls, while the Angelos Bastis collection of Neolithic artifacts from all over Thessaly, which has been donated to the Museum, is also on display. There is also an exhibition of the Museum's new acquisitions from recent excavations in the regions of Magnesia and Karditsa.
The new permanent exhibition focuses on artifacts from the ancient cities of Iolcos (home of the mythological hero Jason, who sailed with the Argonauts to Colchis in quest of the Golden Fleece on the ship Argo), Feres (Pagasae) and Demetrias (established by Demetrios Poliorcetes, King of Macedonia).ANA-MPA/STR
 Draft bill for state vehiclesInterior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis on Monday unveiled a draft bill that seeks to substantially reduce the fleet of state-owned passenger vehicles in a bid to cut costs and state-sector CO2 emissions.
The measures chiefly seek to reduce the number of state-issued vehicles provided for the use of officials, ranging from mayors and metropolitans to the president and prime minister.
The draft bill has been posted on the web-page www.opengov.gr/ypes/ - for which there is a link at the ministry's website www.ypes.gr - where it will remain for a week for public dialogue until October 26.
It will then undergo further processing to incorporate suggested improvements, observations and proposals made by people that post comments on the site before being tabled in Parliament.
The bill sets a new maximum engine size for the cars used by senior government and state officials, such as the president, prime minister, supreme court judges etc, is 1,600cc and those for the use of state services are a maximum of 1,400cc, while specifying that older-technology vehicles should be replaced by new-technology hybrid or electric cars.
Exempted from the last rule are vehicles used by the fire brigade, police patrol cars, ambulances and coast guard passenger vehicles used in the course of each service's work (but not those issued for the personal use of officials within these services). Here the law justifies conventional cars of up to 2,000cc and four-wheel drive or diesel-powered cars of up to 3,000cc.
Older-technology four-wheel drive cars of up to 2,500cc can also be justified by state services situated in mountainous or rough terrain.
All other state cars not falling into the above categories will gradually be withdrawn from circulation over the coming year and replaced by low-emission vehicles that have hybrid or electric engines. When this is not possible, they can be replaced by conventional technology cars whose emissions do not exceed 150-160 gr/km for 1,600cc vehicles and 140-150 gr/km for 1,400cc vehicles.
The draft bill additional specifies that each individual that qualifies for a state vehicle for their exclusive personal use can only use one such vehicle, while new state vehicles can be supplied through leasing agreements.
The vehicles that are not for the personal use of officials but for use by state services must be supplied with a order showing that they are on official business when out on the road, while they will only be permitted on the road during working hours and days, except with the permission of the appropriate authority for the needs of their services, they must not carry persons or goods unrelated to their task and must not go on the road when restrictions have been imposed due to high atmospheric pollution.
In addition to the above, the bill restricts the maximum fuel allowance for state-owned vehicles by 30 percent, with the exception of cars used by the defence ministry (military vehicles), Citizens' Protection ministry (police, fire brigade and coast guard), health and social solidarity (ambulances), environment ministry, state-sector technical services and garbage-collection vehicles.
The draft bill was posted on the ministry site on Monday and has already attracted lively interest and dozens of comments.
Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Interior Minister Yannis Ragoussis
 Gov't on social insuranceCombatting social insurance contribution evasion and limiting overspending in the health sector would be the government‚s priorities, Labour and Social Insurance Minister Andreas Loverdos and deputy minister G. Koutroumanis said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters, the minister said the government was also examining re-introducing a list of pharmaceutical products to social insurance and pension funds. Loverdos said the ministry would immediately form two commissions to organizing a social dialogue on a rapid payment of pensions and reforming a regulatory framework on labour relations.
The minister said the ministry would emphasize on the operation of a Labour Inspectors‚ Agency and guaranteeing interventions in the labour market, saying that stage programs would be limited to the private sector and in particular in vocational training programs.
Deputy minister G. Koutroumanis said the government would need at least 1.2 billion euros by the end of the year to timely pay pensions and noted that contributions revenues were low so far this year.
 Athens Newspaper HeadlinesThe Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance
EU pressure on Athens for immediate measures to curtail the fiscal deficit, the government's efforts to find a way for tenuring STAGE (EU subsidised work experience acquisition programs) employees in the public sector, ongoing speculation on the succession to the main opposition New Democracy (ND) leadership, and President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias' acceptance of his nomination for re-election, dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "The employed under the STAGE program that have completed two years on the job will remain in the public sector".
APOGEVMATINI: "The entire plan for the new public administration reform: 350 municipalities in Greece"
AVGHI: "There is room for flexibility......European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Joaquin Almunia and ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet are showing understanding out of necessity towards the 'transgressors' and deny the government of an alibi for instituting harsh measures".
AVRIANI: "Tough battle for the succession in New Democracy - Opinion polls indicate former Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis' prevalence".
CHORA: "A Farewell to Arms - Karamanlis gives advice and instructions to the candidates for the party's leadership".
ELEFTHEROS: "Interior, Economy and Employment Ministries in search of a formula to tenure the STAGE program employees in the public sector".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "40,000 STAGE jobs under the microscope - Employment Ministry begins taking inventory".
ESTIA: "How former prime minister Costas Karamanlis' stance is explained - Why he 'offered' full authority to PASOK".
ETHNOS: "Social security funds and Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED) will resort to borrowing in order to pay pensions and benefits".
KATHIMERINI: "Stern warning from Brussels over the unreliability of the Greek government's reports on the country's deficit".
LOGOS: "Papoulias says 'yes' to a second term - Case closed".
NIKI: "Brussels votes for George (Papandreou) - The climate in Europe on Greece changes".
RIZOSPASTIS: "People must launch counter-attack against the anti-social policy".
TA NEA: "Brussels sends ultimatum: Game over for Greece - Europe demands harsh measures right now".
TO VIMA: "Almunia and Trichet give breather to government - What Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou discussed regarding the deficit at the Eurogroup meeting".
VRADYNI: "Semi-enclosed balconies to be legalised".
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