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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-09-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] ADEDY will not attend TIF opening speech
  • [02] Minister on Thessaloniki 'cultures crossroads' programme
  • [03] Annual Book Festival opens at Zappeion in Athens
  • [04] Changes in armed forces
  • [05] Building activity down
  • [06] ASE opening: Small rise

  • [01] ADEDY will not attend TIF opening speech

    aNA-MPa/The Civil Servants' umbrella federation ADEDY announced on Friday that will not attend the opening address of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) this year because, as it stated, "there is no point" and characterized the meetings in the framework of the TIF' on economic and social policy as "public relations".

    In an announcement, ADEDY also called for a meeting with the government to discuss the problems faced by public administration and salary and pension earners.

    "The government, in cooperation with the IMF and EU, decided on and are implementing the anti-popular and anti-labour Memorandum," it said.

    ADEDY further said that the Memorandum policies and government's selections have brought a sharp reduction in workers' incomes, abolition of social security rights, and are leading labour relations to the barbarous conditions of the previous century, with dramatic repercussions on the working people and society, as unemployment is rising and poverty and penury are affecting an increasing proportion of the population, while at the same time the profits of the financially strong are increasing and the economy is being plunged into recession.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Minister on Thessaloniki 'cultures crossroads' programme

    ANa-MPA/The culture and tourism ministry's proposals for implementing a five-year "Cultures Crossroads" programme in Thessaloniki were presented by Minister Pavlos Geroulanos in the northern Greece city on Thursday.

    "The aim of the programme is, in essence, coordination of the action of the cultural agencies of Thessaloniki, so that the considerable wealth of the city, which begins from antiquity, down to Byzantium and to the new metropolis, be utilised in the best possible way, so that Thessaloniki may direct to the Balkans and to Athens a unified cultural and tourism identity," he said, addressing representatives of agencies of Thessaloniki supervised by the ministry.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Annual Book Festival opens at Zappeion in Athens

    The 39th annual Book Festival opened Friday in the courtyard of the Zappeion Mansion in central Athens.

    The Book Festival, which runs through September 19, is organised annually by the Association of Book Publishers in collaboration with the City of Athens' Cultural Organisation and Historical Archives under the aegis of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, also features a number of side events, including photo exhibitions readings for children.

    More than 160 publishers will present some 50,000 books in 13 stands in this year's festival.

    An exhibition of up-to-now unpublished photographs of Athens in 1888 will also be on display. The photographs are from the City of Athens' Historical Archives and are contained in a collectors' edition published by the city, called "Athinai", which will be formally presented on September 15 in the evening.

    Also, the National Book Center has scheduled a series of readings for children, titled "Fairytales of the World". On Saturday, Sunday and next Sunday (Sept. 19), at 7:00-8:00 p.m., children will have the opportunity to attend readings of traditional folk tales and literature from all parts of the world, which have been handed down from generation to generation in the oral tradition or written by Greek and foreign writers.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] Changes in armed forces

    ANA-MPA/National Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Thursday presented a draft bill for career advancement, promotions, hierarchy and related issues within the Greek armed forces.

    According to the ministry leadership, the draft bill is an ambitious and broad-ranging legislation that tackles the sum of outstanding issues within the military, establishing a comprehensive system by which members of the military rise up the ranks based on transparency and professionalism.

    Among others, Venizelos noted that the government's goal was a realistic and rationalised method for designing a medium-term and long-term arms procurements programme, while he emphasised the need for full Parliamentary transparency.

    "Our goal is to make better choices of arms programmes for protecting our national integrity," he said, adding that the ministry leadership also intended to carry out an audit of arms procurements over the past 20 years.

    Replying to a question on the prospects of defence cooperation with Israel, the minister said that Greece was a country that needed to have its eyes on the Mediterranean and that Israel offered opportunities for exchange of know-how, joint military exercises and political-military cooperation.

    Concerning the draft bill, Venizelos said that it was designed to compensate for recent changes to the pension system in the military, ensuring that each member of the armed forces was able to complete the necessary period of actual military service (35 years) and meet the criteria for buying five additional pensionable years available under the system (40 pensionable years).

    The bill also established minimum periods of remaining at each rank, so that officers reach the rank of colonel after completing 35 years of actual military service.

    Among others, the bill deals with issues like the categories of officers, the status of professional and long-term volunteer troops, establishes criteria for appointments, transfers and detachments, criteria for assessing and promoting officers, armed forces structure and hierarchy and bringing the disciplinary rules for armed forces personnel in line with the rulings of Greek courts and the European Court of Human Rights.

    The draft bill will be tabled in Parliament and discussion by the appropriate Parliamentary committee is expected to begin on Monday.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] Building activity down

    ANA-MPa/Building activity fell 32.24 pct in August, compared with the corresponding month last year, the Technical Chamber of Greece announced on Thursday.

    The chamber said the August figures were the lowest in the last five years, during which actual data was recorded on a daily basis.

    The chamber said building activity fell for the third consecutive month in August, while revenues from surveys and supervision services fell 12.19 pct and 14.01 pct in June and July, respectively.

    "It is a tragic course resulting from government measures in taxation, liquidity, breaking down industrial relations and a lack of a cohesive and growth strategy in the building sector," said Yiannis Alavanos, the chamber president.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [06] ASE opening: Small rise

    Equity prices were rising at the opening of trade on Friday on the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), with the basic share price index up 0.13 percent, standing at 1,615.49 points at 11:00 am, and turnover at 11.698 million euros.

    The biggest gains were in Media, up 1.79 percent; and Food and Commerce, up 0.34 percent.

    The biggest losses were in Food and Beverages, down 0.83 percent; and Oil and Gas down 0.69 percent.

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks was up 0.22 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index was down 0.09 percent, and the FTSE/ASE-80 small cap index was up 0.40 percent.

    Of the stocks traded, 26 were up, 23 were down, and 12 were unchanged.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form


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