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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-02-09

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

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


  • [01] Environment ministry outlines measures to clean up Asopos River
  • [02] Greece launches new tender for Vevi lignite mine
  • [03] Trial of police guards in Grigoropoulos‚ shooting death resumes on Feb. 17
  • [04] Promachonas closed for trucks
  • [05] Strike to ground planes
  • [06] Opposition on immigration bill
  • [07] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Environment ministry outlines measures to clean up Asopos River

    Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili on Monday repeated a pledge that those responsible for polluting the Asopos River would be made to pay for cleaning it up.

    "Those that caused and continue to cause the pollution will undertake, under the supervision and coordination of the state, the cost of cleaning it up," Birbili told a meeting in the Oinofyta area, during which she presented the ministry's programme for the environmental crisis at Asopos.

    The minister said that this will seek to protect public health, restrict and eradicate pollution, spatially organise the currently informal industrial zone existing in the Oinofyta-Schimatari region and ensure that the measures envisioned are carried out.

    In order to give priority to the measures, the Asopos River has now been defined as a body of water, rather than the conduit for transporting industrial wastes to the Evoikos Bay as it had been considered up until now. A Social Support Services team has been charged with setting strict limits both in terms of the level of wastes in the Asopos and on industrial emissions.

    At the same time, there will be a revision within 2010 of the environmental terms for licensing industrial uses in the surrounding region, with priority given to activities for which these terms have expired.

    Industrial activity in the area will be subject to strict inspections from the Special Secretariat of Environment and Energy Inspectors, assisted by health and labour inspectors. The inspections will include mandatory periodic reports for waste producers by companies that are potential polluters.

    Other measures taken by the ministry are designed to establish a reliable methodology for deciding the size of fines, ensuring equal treatment of those inspected and transparency and access to the results of tests.

    In the meantime, the ministry was collaborating with the Athens water company EYDAP to ensure that local residents had access to safe, drinkable water.

    In order to ensure that the measures are carried out and adhered to, the environment ministry has set up a advisory committee that includes representatives of all the bodies involved, a body to handle investments and sell new sites for establishing industrial plants, and wil reactivate the Oinofyta Environmental Inspectors Office in order to coordinate the entire effort and draft an annual report on its execution.

    [02] Greece launches new tender for Vevi lignite mine

    The Greek government on Monday launched an international tender to lease a lignite mine in Vevi, Florina, after a previous tender held in 2006 was annulled. Environment, Energy and Climate Change Deputy Minister Ioannis Maniatis, in an announcement, said candidates must express their interest in the tender within 35 days after publication of the tender.

    Selection of a winner will be made by a five-member commission, while the contract will need to be ratified by the Greek Parliament.

    [03] Trial of police guards in Grigoropoulos‚ shooting death resumes on Feb. 17

    The Amfissa trial of two special police guards on murder charges related to the December 2008 shooting death of 15-year-old pupil Alexis Grigoropoulos in Athens‚ Exarchia district, will resume on Feb. 17.

    The court adjourned on Feb.3 due to a death in the family of the chief prosecutor in the case.

    Defendants are police special guards Epaminondas Korkoneas and Vassilis Saraliotis.

    [04] Promachonas closed for trucks

    Serres prefecture farmers on Tuesday remained at their roadblocks on the road access to the Promachonas border post preventing trucks from passing through the border into Bulgaria. The Ormenio checkpoint at Evros prefecture is open, but farmers are keeping 110 tractors lined up on both sides of the road without however disrupting traffic.

    Doirani border station in Kilkis prefecture was open throughout the night.

    Thessaly farmers continue to keep closed the Nikaia and Microthebes intersection on the Athens-Thessaloniki highway.

    A delegation from 19 roadblocks, among them from Promachonas and Nikaia, will meet on Tuesday with Agriculture and Foods Minister Katerina Batzeli in Athens.

    [05] Strike to ground planes

    An upcoming strike by the civil servants union ADEDY on February 10 is expected to seriously disrupt air transport on that day because of the participation of air-traffic controllers and civil aviation electronics engineers in the strike, called to protest against a wage freeze and cuts in benefits announced by the government for public-sector staff.

    [06] Opposition on immigration bill

    ANA-MPA/Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, speaking in Parliament on Monday during a discussion on immigration policy, said "no" to the bill being brought by the government on the immigration issue.

    Papariga said that her party cannot adopt a draft law "worse than the more or less problematic previous one" and pointed out that the government may be making "concessions to the New Democracy (ND) and Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.OS) parties in exchange for the consent they showed for the measures against the working people and in favour of the exit from the crisis."

    She added that KKE would be submitting a series of specific positions during the debate on the bill and called for the legalisation of the biggest part of immigrants living in Greece, with another part receiving political asylum and a third part being given the necessary papers to leave and go to the countries they wish."

    Papariga further expressed her party's disagreement with the "nationalism developed by ND and LAOS, an extremely dangerous nationalism with extentions that we do not want to imagine," as well as cosmopolitanism "that is also appearing from leftist forces."

    [07] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Tuesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The government's draft bill on migrants and Mayor of Athens Nikitas Kaklamanis' remark that the centre of Athens resembles a 'jungle', the changes in taxation and social security, the economy and planned labour mobilisations, dominated the headlines on Tuesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Kaklamanis reveals: Downtown Athens a 'jungle'."

    APOGEVMATINI: "Turmoil in ruling PASOK over government's stability measures".

    AVGHI: "Progressive front on the migration issue".

    AVRIANI: "Public sector 'guilds' are paralysing the economy and dismantling the country - Barrage of strikes over the... (cutbacks on) benefits, as the country is just a step before bankruptcy".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "New wave of resignations in the Armed Forces".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Double blow against the middle class".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Social security measures to be announced on Tuesday".

    ESTIA: "Chaotic taxation system - Government making it even more complex".

    ETHNOS: "Triple shock on salaries, taxes and pensions - Government opens up all fronts simultaneously".

    IMERISSIA: "Burning measures on three fronts - Government's decisions on pensions, taxes and salaries".

    KATHIMERINI: "The 72 crucial hours for the economy - Stocks plunged 3.86 percent on Monday".

    LOGOS: "Drastic cutbacks in early retirements, and reversals in 35-year working minimum for pension eligibility - Government announces nine changes in social security".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Government's decisions on salaries, taxation and pensions - Maximos mansion (government headquarters) gives the green light for the changes".

    NIKI: "Five moves to save the country from bankruptcy".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Strike on Wednesday against the plutocracy".

    TA NEA: "Freeze on pensions over 1,500 euros - Dramatic meetings on the austerity measures".

    TO VIMA: "No one will be eligible for pension before the age of 60!"

    VRADYNI: "Households are going bankrupt".

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