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Athens News Agency: News in English, 11-12-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Nationwide general strike on Thursday
  • [02] Cabinet convenes on Thurs. in parliament
  • [03] Eurogroup approves 6th tranche of bailout loan
  • [04] Major heroin bust; four arrested
  • [05] Journalist Pantelis Kapsis named new minister of state and gov't spokesman

  • [01] Nationwide general strike on Thursday

    A nationwide 24-hour strike is being staged on Thursday, called by the country's two largest labor federations GSEE (General Confederation of Workers of Greece) and ADEDY (the civil servants' supreme administrative council), representing the private and public sectors respectively, in protest against economic policy and the measures contained in the 2012 state budget.

    The main protest rallies will take place in downtown Athens, with a joint GSEE-ADEDY rally starting at 11:00 a.m. at the Pedion tou Areos Park and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) affiliated PAME labor organisation's rally also starting at 11:00 a.m. at Omonia Square.amna

    Both rallies will stage marches later to the Finance Ministry and to Parliament in Syntagma Square.

    Commuter services are participating with work stoppages early in the morning and late at night, while the Athens Metro will be working as normal, in order to facilitate strikers to take part in the rallies and other demonstrations, according to employees' representatives.

    More specifically, the Athens Metro will be running as usual up to the Doukissis Plakentias station, while the Proastiakos suburban railway and OSE (Hellenic Railway), which runs the stretch from Doukissis Plakentias to Athens International Airport, will be on a 24-hour strike. amna

    However, the Metro stations at Syntagma and Panepistimio will be closed from 10:00 a.m. on.

    Commuter bus and ISAP train employees will hold work stoppages at the beginning and end of the working day, running normally from 9:00 in the morning to 9:00 at night, trolleys will run from 8:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night, and the tram will run from 6:00 in the morning to midnight.

    Ships will remain in port as the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) is taking part in the 24-hour strike.

    The Federation of Civil Aviation Authority employees' unions will also be on strike the entire day, causing cancellations of domestic and international flights.

    Also taking part in the 24-hour strike are employees in the core and wider public sector, public utilities and organisations (DEKO), the health sector, the education sector, the justice sector, local governments, social security funds, private employees, and bank employees. The country's courts will also remain closed, as the federation of judicial employees of Greece is also taking part in the 24-hour strike.amna

    Further, all workers in the mass media will hold a four-hour work stoppage on Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with the exception of journalists covering the strike demonstrations and marches, according to an announcement by the Athens Union of Journalists (ESIEA).

    Also, three rolling 24-hour strikes have also been called at all the state media -- ERT public television and radio, AMNA, municipal radio stations and state press offices -- on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 2-4.amna

    The state media strikes and ongoing stoppages and other actions are in protest against the government's measures of reserve labour and uniform salary scale, which also affect them, and their designation as 'DEKO' (public utilities).

    [02] Cabinet convenes on Thurs. in parliament

    AMNA--The Inner Cabinet will convene on Thursday at 13:00 in parliament, chaired by Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, for a briefing and discussion ahead of the EU Summit as well as planning of the government's legislative work.

    [03] Eurogroup approves 6th tranche of bailout loan

    Brussels (AMNA/M. Aroni) -- The Eurogroup approved disbursement of an 8 billion euros 6th tranche of the 110 billion euro EU-IMF bailout loan to Greece, Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker announced in Brussels after a meeting of the group on Wednesday, adding that the disbursement will most likely be in mid-December.

    "We decided to release the sixth disbursement of the Greek programme now that prior actions have been met," Juncker told reporters after a meeting of the finance ministers of the 17 eurozone member countries.amna

    Juncker said that the letters received by the eurogroup from the leaders of the three political parties backing the new national unity government in Greece and also from transitional prime minister Lucas Papademos fully satisfied the eurogroup demand for written commitments on the implementation of the Memorandum and the decisions of the October 26-27 eurozone summit.

    The eurogroup chief also said that he will personally send a letter to Papademos stating his satisfaction with the Greek government's commitment to materialise the October 26 decisions.

    He also said that the disbursement will take place approximately in mid-December after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approves its part of the tranche.

    Juncker further appealed to the Greek authorities to speed up talks with Greece's private creditors on the Greek bond swaps, the so-called PSI, with the aim of completion of the process by the end of January.

    [04] Major heroin bust; four arrested

    AMNA--Police arrested on Wednesday four members of an international drug trafficking ring in Orestiada.

    Orestiada police, acting on a tip-off and after a surveillance, arrested a Turkish national, two Bulgarians and one local man after they found in their possession forty packages containing 21 kilos and 183 grams of heroin.

    The operation started on Monday and was concluded late Wednesday. According to police the drugs were destined for Italy.

    The four suspects will be sent before an Orestiada prosecutor.

    [05] Journalist Pantelis Kapsis named new minister of state and gov't spokesman

    AMNA--Journalist Pantelis Kapsis, former director of TA NEA and TO VIMA newspapers and managing director of the Lambrakis Publishing Group (DOL), has been named by transitional prime minister Lucas Papademos as the new minister of state and government spokesman.amna

    Papademos also appointed Gikas Hardouvelis, Professor in the Department of Banking and Financial Management at the University of Piraeus and former Eurobank Group chief economist, as the director of his economic office, and George Pagoulatos, Professor of European Politics and Economy in the Department of International and European Economic Studies at the Athens University of Economics and Business, as the director of his strategic planning office.

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