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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-03-01

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Unregistered work cost companies over 11.8 million
  • [02] New shipping register platform reduces bureaucracy
  • [03] SDOE gives names of Lagarde list's 49 biggest depositors to parl' probe committee
  • [04] Railway links Piraeus port with national highway network
  • [05] Cretan wines top in Germans' preferences

  • [01] Unregistered work cost companies over 11.8 million

    AMNA--Fines levied on companies for unregistered employees in 2012 reached 11,882,500 euros, according to data provided in a letter by Labour Minister Ioannis Vroutsis to Parliament on Thursday.

    The amount, which does not include fines for labour law transgressions per se, resulted from 27,599 inspections on a national level from January to November 2012 and found 1,557 cases of uninsured workers. Twenty-three companies came under a law that allows the temporary shutdown of operations from five to ten days for employing migrant workers illegally while another 238 cases found transgressions of insurance laws.

    The inspections were carried out by the ministry's labour inspection and social insurance sections.amna

    The minister, responding to a question by PASOK MP Vassilis Kegeroglou, also said that an online programme to follow up inspections was nearing completion and would link agencies such as the Social Security Foundation (IKA), the Labour Ministry services, and the Financial Crimes Unit (SDOE) of the Finance Ministry.

    [02] New shipping register platform reduces bureaucracy

    AMNA--A new shipping register using online services and reducing bureaucracy was presented on board the Liberty ship in Piraeaus on Thursday by Shipping Minister Costis Moussouroulis in the presence of Association of Greek Shipowners head Theodoros Veniamis.

    As of today, online services at have reduced the required 34 signatures (from three ministries) and 5-6 months' time for registration to 9 signatures and no more than 10 days following publication in the Government Gazette. A special one-stop service at the Shipping Ministry will receive and manage applications, while other services are simplified, with the collaboration of the Finance Ministry as of April to improve the time required to go through customs procedures.

    "The purpose is to introduce measures that support the competitiveness of Greek shipping," Moussouroulis said, and reduce obstacles "like the bureaucracy, which under current competition is not friendly to shipping business."amna

    Veniamis called for dialogue with seamen, the National Seamen's Union (PNO), officers and all involved in this effort. "If there are 100 applications for a Greek flag registration tomorrow, could we deal with that?" he asked. While economic conditions were difficult globally, he expressed optimism about Greek shipping.amna

    The Greek merchant marine is the 7th largest in the world in terms of transport capacity, according to IHS Fairplay World Shipping Encyclopedia for 2012. Data from the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee said ships sailing under a Greek flag had dropped from 980 in 2008 to 862 in 2012, while 718 shipping companies had branches in Greece. It added that 14 billion euros in foreign currency came to Greece in 2011, over 15.4 billion in 2010.amna

    Meanwhile, during a meeting on the same day, representatives of the seamen's pension fund (NAT) called for the retraction of the omnibus bill on restructuring the Shipping Ministry, because they said it would reduce the number of pensioners and the fund's revenues.

    [03] SDOE gives names of Lagarde list's 49 biggest depositors to parl' probe committee

    AMNA--The Parliamentary Investigation Committee looking into possible penal charges against former finance minister George Papaconstantinou for his involvement and handling of the so-called ‘Lagarde list' affair, was on Thursday gave a list containing the names of 49 depositors – taken from the Lagarde list, by witness Panagiotis Mantouvalos.

    Mantouvalos is an employee with the Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE) and has been control handler of the Lagarde list.amna

    According to reliable reports, the 49 are the biggest depositors in the list, with funds ranging from three to 550 million euros in bank accounts with the Geneva HSBC, and have been called to appear before SDOE for tax inspection.

    [04] Railway links Piraeus port with national highway network

    AMNA--A railway track connecting Thriasio logistics hub with the Ikonio container terminal near the port of Piraeus was inaugurated on Thursday at Cosco's cargo terminal.

    The 17km-long cargo line comprising 10 tunnels and 10 bridges is of major importance for the country, Development and Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis said. amna

    He underlined that the project constitutes the basis of the agreement between Cosco, Hewlett Packard electronics and TRAINOSE, a trilateral cooperation agreement that will be signed on Friday in the presence of the prime minister.

    "Such agreements prove that Greece is not giving up, is moving ahead and will soon be on the road to recovery and economic growth," Hatzidakis said.

    On his part, Shipping Minister Costis Moussouroulis said that the port of Piraeus was offered a great opportunity for further development.amna

    Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) CEO Captain Fu Cheng Qiu underlined that Cosco is convinced that the project will benefit Greece.

    The 143-million-euro project will considerably reduce travel time for cargo vessels originating from Asia and the Mediterranean that had to reach major ports in northern Europe.

    [05] Cretan wines top in Germans' preferences

    AMNA--Germans gave the gold medal to the wines of Crete, which received 21 substantial awards for quality and presentation at the competition Greek Wine Awards 2013 held 9 and 10 February in Bad Durkheim in Germany.

    In an event held at a Hania winery, it was pointed out that the Cretan wines are high in the wine lovers' preferences as they combine quality and competitive prices.

    The president of Crete's winemakers Nikos Miliarakis appeared satisfied with the Cretan presence in the competition. "It is a fact that in recent years the Cretan vineyard has made very important steps. However, this is something that must be promoted abroad in order that more people will learn about it".amna

    The medals awarded to Cretan wines were 10 for red wines, nine for white wines and one for a rose wine.

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