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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-06-22

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Govāt on labour relations
  • [02] Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline
  • [03] State budget deficit down

  • [01] Govāt on labour relations

    The government on Monday referred to labor relations and reactions to a handful of high-profile Presidential Decrees deregulating the labour market, underlining that "sacrifices made by the people have results, as proved by the implementation of the Stability and Development programme."

    On the changes themselves, he said that "with or without Presidential Decrees the reforms should proceed," while referring to the ruling PASOK MPs, who maintain that one specific Presidential Decree is unconstitutional, he stressed that the debate is "fruitful and imperative".

    Unions and leftist parties have reacted angrily to changes allowing for more lay-offs -- from 2 percent of a firm's workforce to 4 percent on a monthly basis -- as well as a hefty cut in severance pay.

    Petalotis stressed that the "memorandum signed will be the basis for everything approved or passed in parliament," adding, however, referring to the social insurance issue, that the MPs have not been called to vote within strict party lines.

    He also pointed out that Labour Minister Andreas Loverdos enjoys the government's full support.

    Finally, Petalotis categorically rejected speculation over early elections or a government reshuffle.

    [02] Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline

    The Greek government has not changed policy regarding the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline and is worried about recent negative developments on the part of Bulgaria, Deputy Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis told Parliament on Monday night.

    The minister was answering to a relevant question tabled by the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party. ND deputies accused the government of "double talk" regarding the project, which was agreed between Russia, Greece and Bulgaria, when ND was in office. The Bulgarian government announced its decision to withdraw from the project two weeks ago, invoking environmental reasons.

    ND deputy Dimitris Avramopoulos, after referring to the efforts deployed by the ND government for achieving the agreements on the project, he indicated that these agreements included provisions for compensations that should be paid to the rest of the parties if one party denounced the agreement on its own will.

    ND deputy and former development minister Dimitris Sioufas termed, on his part, the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline project as "the first European oil pipeline which is constructed in many decades, thus reinforcing the safety of energy supplies of western markets."

    "You have historic responsibilities. Our country, many times in the past, has taken initiatives in order to overcome differences between the Bulgarian and Russian sides. The prime minister must take initiatives now," Sioufas noted.

    Responding, the deputy minister said that the government would be taking "a diplomatic initiative, probably in few weeks, but after preparations and in a way that we consider it serves Greek national interests."

    [03] State budget deficit down

    Greece's state budget deficit shrank by 38.7 pct in the January-May period, compared with the corresponding period last year, a performance exceeding targets set by the Stability and Growth Program, official figures showed on Monday.

    A finance ministry announcement said the budget deficit fell to 8.978 billion euros in the five-month period, from 14.655 billion euros last year, for a decline of 38.7 pct. The country's updated Stability and Growth program envisages an annual target for a decline of 35.1 pct. The ministry attributed this improvement to reduced budget spending and higher revenues, a performance achieved even before additional government measures were fully integrated. Net budget revenues grew 8.3 pct in the January-May period, down from an annual growth target of 11.7 pct, while budget spending fell 10.5 pct, from an annual target of 4.8 pct, reflecting an 11.3 pct decline in primary spending (4.4 pct annual target), while spending on interest fell 7.5 pct (annual target 5.1 pct).

    Spending in a Public Investments Program fell 29.6 pct in the five-month period, with revenues down 43.2 pct over the same period.


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