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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-09-29

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM chairs meeting on education issues
  • [02] Pipeline project submits environmental impact report
  • [03] 'Troika' representatives in Athens on Thursday
  • [04] Envoy: Cyprus' right to explore EEZ inalienable
  • [05] End to benefits for large families

  • [01] PM chairs meeting on education issues

    AMNA/ A ministerial meeting on education issues, with Prime Minister George Papandreou chairing, was held at the prime minister's office in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. Papandreou called the meeting immediately after his return from Berlin.

    The meeting was held to discuss the progress in implementing the recently amended law on tertiary education, which is experiencing continued resistance from certain academics and has triggered student "sit-ins" at universities, colleges and high schools.amna

    Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou briefed participants on the incidents that occurred in various schools in the country. According to reports, the minister asked for a renegotiation with the EC/ECB/IMF troika on restrictions imposed on academic hirings.

    [02] Pipeline project submits environmental impact report

    AMNA / The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) has submitted a Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIA) to the Greek Ministry of Environment.

    This application is an addition to the scoping documents that TAP submitted earlier this year in preparation for its full Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). In addition to complying with Greek law, TAP has also decided to carry out its impact assessment in accordance with the stringent international guidelines from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to ensure that the project optimises environmental and social performance. amna

    The PEIA gives further detail on the location of TAPís routing, as well as the evaluation of the alternative routes analysed by the TAP team. This includes more information, for example, on modelling of the preliminary air emissions and on the previously undeveloped sections along the pipeline route.

    The shareholder structure of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project comprises of Swiss EGL (42.5%), Norwegian Statoil (42.5%) and German E.ON Ruhrgas (15%). AMNA

    [03] 'Troika' representatives in Athens on Thursday

    AMNA/The final countdown for the approval of the disbursement of the 8 billion euros sixth tranche of the bailout loan to Greece starts on Thursday with the return of the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) troika chiefs in Athens.

    According to Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, agreement has already been reached by telephone on the figures for the current year as well as for 2012, but the figures of 2013 and 2014 must be reviewed within the framework of the revision of the Mid-Term Strategy programme. Provided agreement is reached on those as well, an extraordinary Eurogroup meeting will take place in October and the sixth tranche will be disbursed by the end of October.amna

    Apart from the government's new measures (surtax on real estate properties, decrease of tax-free ceiling, etc.), the troika will also discuss the reserve labour plan, the uniform payroll in the public sector and in the Public Utilities and Organisations (DEKO), as well as the new taxation system.

    [04] Envoy: Cyprus' right to explore EEZ inalienable

    NICOSIA (AMNA/A.Viketos/CNA) - Cyprus has the inalienable right to explore its Exclusive Economic Zone to locate any oil or gas reserves, Greek Ambassador to Cyprus, Vassilis Papaioannou, underlined here on Wednesday.

    In his statements, following a meeting with Cyprus House Speaker Yiannakis Omirou, during which they discussed Greece's initiatives to address

    the economic crisis, as well as the latest developments in the region, Papaioannou reaffirmed Greek commitment to international law and its full engagement to defending Cyprus' sovereign rights.amna

    "I stressed Cyprus' inalienable right to proceed with the drilling currently underway within its EEZ", the Greek ambassador said, adding that Cyprus and Greece send the message that they do not wish to cause tension in the region, but they wish to maintain stability and security.amna

    Replying to a question, Papaioannou pointed out that Cyprus and Greece coordinate their moves on all levels. "We monitor the situation and developments", he said.

    [05] End to benefits for large families

    AMNA/ A new amendment attached to a draft bill for reforming the health care system on Wednesday will abolish large-family benefits for households earning more than 55,000 euro a year. The benefits were previously received by all families with three dependent children, while higher benefits were paid to families with four or more children.

    The draft bill is currently being discussed by the appropriate Parliamentary committee.

    Loverdos said that the minimum income for receiving the benefits will be increased by 5,000 euro a year for each additional child after the fourth.


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