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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-08-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] New public-sector mergers
  • [02] Crackdown on uninsured labour
  • [03] Stocks end higher

  • [01] New public-sector mergers

    A government committee chaired by government Vice-President Theodoros Pangalos on Wednesday decided on a series of new mergers of public sector organisations and agencies whose operating costs are not justified by the work that they do. The mergers are designed to improve efficiency and better coordinate government policy.

    The organisations to be merged include the National School of Public Administration and the National School of Local Government that are to become a single School of Public Administration and Local Government Administration.

    The Observatory for the Greek Information Society S.A. is to be made a part of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and will also be merged with the organisations Digital Aid SA and HDIKA (Electronic Governance of Social Insurance S.A.).

    The meeting further decided the merger, unification and reorganisation of the Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED), the Labour Housing Organisation OEK, the Home of Labour Organisation (OEE), the Employment Observatory Research-IT SA and Professional Training SA into a single National Labour Organisation (EOE).

    Lastly, the meeting decided to set up a new SA company called "Infrastructure, Transport and Development Networks Crete SA".

    Apart from Pangalos, the committee included Minister of State Haris Pamboukis, Deputy Interior Minister George Dolios, cabinet general secretary Sotiris Lytras and several senior civil servants.

    [02] Crackdown on uninsured labour

    Labour Minister Andreas Loverdos on Wednesday announced the start of intensive inspections of tourism enterprises on the island of Crete to crack down on uninsured labour.

    Speaking during a press conference, Loverdos said that teams of inspectors will descend on the island's enterprises to check on whether they were abiding by labour legislation and restrict very high reported levels of uninsured labour on the island.

    "It is a first action taken in cooperation with the Crete Regional Authority and we will extend it to all tourist destinations of the country. The phenomena reported by [Communist Party of Greece General Secretary] Aleka Papariga about hotels employing trainee students from the Balkans that come to Greece via fake agreements with Technological Educational Institutes are phenomena that we want to restrict and eradicate," he said.

    Loverdos also gave assurances that all Labour Housing Organisation (OEK) programmes underway will be completed and all promises made to households by the organisation would be honoured, in spite of a planned merger of OEK with other bodies into a single National Labour Organisation.

    According to Deputy Labour Minister George Koutroumanis, meanwhile, the government appeared to be achieving cost-cutting targets in health, where it hoped to save 800 million euro a year, while social insurance fund revenues were seen rising by 850 million euro as a result of inspections and favourable debt settlement measures.

    "On the basis of the current course of things and the assessment of the ministry, it appears that the target to restrict state spending is being achieved by a percentage greater than 80 percent. This means that the sum that will be required to close the second half based on the forecasts will be between 350-700 million euros on the basis of the best and worst scenarios," Koutroumanis added.

    [03] Stocks end higher

    Greek stocks managed to end higher for the third consecutive session in the Athens Stock Exchange on Wednesday, as the market easily absorbed some profit taking selling. The composite index of the market rose 0.43 pct to end at 1,777.55 points, with turnover at 86.790 million euros.

    The Big Cap index rose 0.38 pct, the Mid Cap index was up 0.24 pct and the Small Cap index rose 0.29 pct. Utilities (4.67 pct), Media (2.81 pct) and Insurance (2.76 pct) were top gainers, while Financial Services (2.21 pct) and Industrial Products (1.43 pct) suffered losses.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 102 to 67 with another 47 issues unchanged. Vovos (28.84 pct), NEL (14.29 pct) and Fintexport (10 pct) were top gainers, while PC Systems (12.50 pct), Attica Publications (9.72 pct) and Douros (9.60 pct) were top losers.

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