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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-10-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Controversial omnibus bill passed by parliament
  • [02] 774,059 unemployed in September
  • [03] Mass participation reported in demonstrations

  • [01] Controversial omnibus bill passed by parliament

    AMNA/The Parliament plenary late Thursday passed a finance ministry omnibus bill on the civil servants uniform payscale and reserve labour in the second reading (by article). The bill was passed by all 154 ruling PASOK deputies, although former PASOK Economy and Labour Minister Louka Katseli voted against the controversial article 37, which prompted Prime Minister George Papandreou to order her immediate expulsion from PASOK's parliamentary group as the roll-call vote on the bill was still in process in the 300-member House.amna

    A large number of ruling PASOK deputies expressed their opposition to the measures contained in the omnibus bill which, as they said, they voted for in order for Greece to receive the sixth tranche of the EU-IMF bailout loan. However, they said that they cannot continue to bear by themselves the political burden of such austerity measures and asked for 'national agreement'.amna

    The debate and vote in parliament took place as thousands of demonstrators staged a protest outside parliament against the omnibus bill.

    [02] 774,059 unemployed in September

    AMNA/The number of registered unemployed people totalled 774,059 in September, posting an increase of 109,000 in comparison with September 2010, the state Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) said on Friday.

    The number of registered unemployed in September was stable with respect to the preceding month of August, however the number of unemployed people receiving unemployment benefits rose by 1,038 or 0.49 percent. New hirings fell 13.2 pct in June, while lay-offs dropped 14.5 pct, leaving a positive balance in job creation in the private sector.amna

    Six out of ten unemployed come from the so-called productive ages (30-54 age group) while the unemployed women comprise 59 percent of the unemployed.

    Greek citizens accounted for 93.58 pct of unemployed people, while 46 percent of the unemployed have secondary education.

    Moreover, working positions in the private sector fell by 11,375 positions against September 2010.

    [03] Mass participation reported in demonstrations

    AMNA/Mass participation in the 48-hour nationwide labour strike on Wednesday and Thursday and accompanying demonstrations was reported by the country's two largest umbrella federations GSEE and ADEDY, representing the private and public sector respectively, which had called the strike and protests.

    Large rallies also took place in Athens, Thessaloniki and throughout the country, while a major demonstration was staged in Athens outside the parliament building on Thursday, as a debate and vote was taking place on a government omnibus bill containing the recently announced measures on a new salary scale in the public sector, reserve labour, cutbacks in tax exemptions and reliefs and labour issues. amna

    Clashes erupted in Athens as the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) affiliated labour organisation PAME -- which had formed a protective human chain around demonstrators to prevent a group of hooded trouble-makers that usually infiltrate and mar demonstrations with violence -- were attacked by hooded individuals at two points near parliament.

    A 53-year-old secretary of a local Construction Workers Union, Dimitris Katsaridis, died during the clashes, apparently of a heart attack.

    PAME attributed the blame for the incidents to "powers hostile to the labour and popular movement", and warned that "these specific mechanisms have opened accounts with the labour-popular movement, which has the power and the experience to break them up".amna

    According to the organisers, participation in the strike was total at state refineries, shipyards, public transport, ships and ports, while it reached 90 percent in the steel industry, construction, merchants, banks and public utilities and organisations (DEKO).

    They also said that the turnout in the rallies and demonstrations were the largest, at trade union level, since the restoration of democracy in Greece.

    Union leaders further underlined the fact that this was the first time in several years that GSEE-ADEDY and PAME staged demonstrations simultaneously at the same venue.

    The GSEE and ADEDY presidiums are due to hold a new joint meeting next week to decide on their next steps.

    Meanwhile, finance ministry and Tax Bureau employees continued their ongoing strikes on Friday, while state-run IKA social security foundation doctors were also on strike Friday and IKA health services were working with security staff for emergencies only.amna

    Further, ships will remain docked in port until dawn Sunday, when a new 48-hour strike called by the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) ends.

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