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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-03-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PPC union announces strikes this week
  • [02] Decision on Ecumenical Patriarchate
  • [03] Map of traffic cameras found in terror probe
  • [04] Bill on retirement ages
  • [05] Gerekou visiting Moscow
  • [06] Tsipras on economy
  • [07] Áthens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PPC union announces strikes this week

    The union representing employees of the state-run power company, listed Public Power Corp. (PPC), have announced industrial actions at two main power plants, in Megalopolis and Ptolemaida, on Monday, as well as a 48-hour strike nationwide on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    The union, GENOP-DEH, is vociferously objecting to recent pay cuts affecting PPC's workforce and a projected decrease of 10 percent of the state's funding towards the utility's insurance fund.

    [02] Decision on Ecumenical Patriarchate

    ANKARA (ANA-MPA/A. Ambatzis) - The European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission, took an important decision with specific political dimensions as regards the prospect of resorting to the European Court of Human Rights on such issues as the lack of a legal status for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Universality and the Halki School of Theolody, and concerning Turkey's relations with the Council of Europe.

    It is an "opinion" adopted by the Commission on March 13 on the issue of the "legal status of the religious communities in Turkey and the right of the orthodox patriarchate of Istanbul to use the adjective Ecumenical." Special importance is given to the "opinion' by the fact that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe asked for it from the Commission.

    The finalised text of the "opinion" mentions that the Lausanne Treaty sets no restriction regarding the use of the adjective "Ecumenical" on the part of the Patriarchate, while it is noted that this right also emanates from article 9 of the European Treaty on the Rights of Man.

    It is mentioned that "from the European Treaty on the Rights of Man no obligation emanates for the Turkish authorities to proceed with the use of this title, when referring to the Patriarchate or recognise it officially. If the authorities do not want to use this title, they are formally free by the European Treaty not to do it, provided that they do not obstruct third parties from using it."

    [03] Map of traffic cameras found in terror probe

    An ongoing investigation into the background of a man gunned down during a shootout with police last week in the Dafni district of central Athens reportedly turned up a detailed map showing the positions of street traffic cameras in the Greek capital, replete with handwritten notes.

    The map was discovered in an Athens apartment belonging to Lambros Fountas, a 35-year-old biologist shot and killed in the incident.

    [04] Bill on retirement ages

    The government, via the relevant labour and social insurances minister, on Sunday referred to a series of high-profile provisions in a pending social security reform draft bill, including a prohibition on early voluntary retirement and a gradual increase in the average retirement ages.

    In published comments on Sunday in an Athens daily, Minister Andreas Loverdos also cited the establishment of a single and unified entity to manage funds' assets, although without combining one funds' assets with another's.

    Loverdos was also quoted as saying that people who have established vested pension rights by 2013 will not be affected. Additionally, he said the measures will be immediately implemented.

    Finally, he said there was no intent by the government to promote a roll-back of the so-called "14th (monthly) salary" in the private sector.

    The comments were carried in an interview published in the Sunday edition of the Athens daily "Eleftheros Typos".

    [05] Gerekou visiting Moscow

    MOSCOW (ANA-MPA/Th. Avgerinos) - Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Angela Gerekou began her visit to the Russian capital with the aim of making Greece one of the main destinations of Russian tourists, as a result of the specialisation and qualitative upgrading of the country's tourist product.

    "A mutual respect for each other exists between the Greek and Russian people that is based on spiritual refinement, hospitality, the religious and cultural origins. We want to promote these elements in the Russian market combined with the mild climate, the sea, the sun and its gastronomy, so that our country will constitute a main tourist destination for the Russian visitors," Gerekou told the Russian-language review "Ellada" that is published in Moscow for the fourth year in cooperation with EOT (the Greek Tourist Organisation) and the national news agencies of Greece and Cyprus.

    As of Monday, Gerekou will be holding successive meetings with Anatoly Yarochkin and Vitaly Mutko, the respective heads of the Federal Tourism Organisation and the Sports ministry, as well as the government of Moscow and the biggest tourist companies that specialise in sending Russian tourists to Greece.

    [06] Tsipras on economy

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) president Alexis Tsipras, addressing the Central Political Committee's two-day discussion on Sunday afternoon, regarding the party's positions in light of the special congress that were approved with a big majority, assessed that the state of the Greek economy "is going from bad to worse".

    "And what is unpleasant is that the measures that the Greek government announced and is being called on to implement are measures that will lead us very deep into the crisis and recession," he said.

    Referring to the economic situation and to political developments, Tsipras said that "with the threat of monetary bankruptcy and the way with which the government handled it, we are proceeding speedily, if we are not before the gates, to social bankruptcy."

    Tsipras called on the prime minister to tell the truth to the Greek people and added that "his policy, with mathematical precision, will bring bigger deficits, greater recession and new measures, that will be even harsher."

    [07] Áthens Newspaper Headlines

    The Monday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Monday's crucial Eurogroup meeting on two rescue plans for Greece to the backdrop of mixed opinions among the EU members, the new tax bill, the VAT increase that goes into effect Monday, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras' statements on self-catharsis in his party at its next Congress, and the increase in crime, dominated the headlines on Monday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Thriller on aid to Greece - Will European Commissioner for Monetary and Economic Affairs Olli Rehn's plan be ratified?."

    APOGEVMATINI: "Samaras preannounced catharsis in his party".

    AVRIANI: "Samaras renounces ND's past - He called on ND cadres who 'hurt the people' to leave the party".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Drastic increase in criminal activity - 22 armed robberies, with seven people injured".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Political scam with the new tax bill - Tax evasion 'party' with Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou's mark".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "EU divided in three for our sake -Confusion and argument over the 25 billion euros rescue package".

    ESTIA: "The economy is being strangled - The high taxes sending away the capital".

    ETHNOS: "Those who do not give receipts will be penalised - New tax bill regulations sealed".

    IMERISSIA: "The hour of truth today in Eurogroup - Two rescue plans on the crucial meeting's agenda".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "The new tax bill in the final stretch - On Thursday it will be discussed by the Inner Cabinet".

    TA NEA: "Bargaining over the 25 billion euros - Scenarios, ultimatums and manoeuvres".

    VRADYNI: "New VAT rates in effect today".

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