|Thursday, 19 October 2017|
Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-04-25
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Government withdraws Manitakis articleANA-MPA -- A controversial article included in the government's omnibus bill by Administrative Reform Minister Antonis Manitakis was withdrawn on Thursday afternoon, following strenuous objections voiced by Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis. The proposed legislation would have countermanded court protection offered to employees that had filed suits disputing their dismissal, allowing them to remain in their jobs until there was a final ruling in their case.
The decision to withdraw the article was taken after aides of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras contacted the head of the Democratic Left (DIM.AR) party Fotis Kouvelis, who leads one of the two junior parties supporting the coalition government, and DIM.AR's leader then contacted the two ministers involved in the dispute.
According to the government secretariat, the measure will be tabled once more after Easter with new wording that ensures the consent of all parties in the coalition government. An official government announcement with further clarifications is pending.
Commenting on the issue during a press conference held in Brussels, where he is currently on a visit, Kouvelis said the problem arose due to the long delays before final court orders were issued, which meant that court rulings envisaged as temporary effectively lasted several years.
"Those dismissed from their jobs - not only now but in the past - have the option, in accordance with the law, to resort to the courts and through a temporary order, provided this is issued by the court, to return to their jobs until there is a final judgement on the suit they have filed," he said.
However, DIM.AR's leader continued, these temporary orders had effectively lost their temporary nature in the sense that a final ruling in a case often took several years to be issued.
The solution, according to Kouvelis, was to retain the temporary orders suspending an employee's dismissal - which were an element of providing a legal process - but introduce a special legislative measure that specified a final date by which court rulings settling the employer-employee dispute had to be issued, including those between contract workers and the Greek state.
Roupakiotis, who is one of the ministers included in the cabinet at DIM.AR's request, had earlier repeated his refusal to sign the draft legislation prepared by Manitakis. The proposed measure, which would have been effectively backdated to cover previous temporary court orders, affected a large number of contract workers disputing their dismissal from public sector jobs.
The justice minister had categorically ruled out support for the legislation and refused his consent to any attempt to pass the measures without his signature. Outlining the reasons for Roupakiotis' objections, his aides claimed that these concerned issues of "substance, since there is an attempt to abolish any remaining elements of the rule of law and because there was a machination at the expense of the justice ministry, at the time when it contributes to the cohesion of the government".
 PM: 'Country is turning a new page'ANA-MPA -- "Our country is turning a new page. I truly believe that recovery is not far off," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said during his visit with PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left (DIM.AR) parliamentary spokesman Nikos Tsoukalis to the Olympia Motorway construction site in Corinth, where work has resumed in the last few days.
"The Greek people's sacrifices have not been in vain. Day after day it is proven that Greece has rolled up its sleeves and gotten down to work. The restart of the economy is here, we can see it. These motorways will generate thousands new jobs," underlined Samaras.
Olympia Motorway slated for completion in October 2015
The Olympia Motorway is expected to be completed in two-and-a-half years, by October 2015, the project's chief engineer assured Samaras, Venizelos and Tsoukalis during their inspection of the Olympia Motorway construction site at Corinth on Monday morning.
Asked by Samaras when the ordeal faced by commuters on the Patras-Corinth motorway will end, the chief engineer replied that certain sections of the motorway will be opened to traffic more quickly.
He said that the new jobs along the Patras-Corinth stretch alone will reach 3,000, out of a total 25,000 jobs on all four of the major roads under construction.
According to sources, the construction site will be working full-swing after Easter and the great majority of the workers will come from the surrounding areas. A number of local small and medium size enterprises along the route of the construction work are expected to benefit.
Earlier, the prime minister, Venizelos and Tsoukalis, representing the three partners in the three-party coalition government, visited another construction site at Zevgolatio, where they were briefed on the progress of the project and the difficulties that have arisen, including the discovery of archaeological finds during excavation for the roadworks in the Corinth area.
The three also visited construction sites in Mavra Litharia and Platanos, where they were old that five tunnels totaling 6 kilometres were being built, while the opening of some 200 meters of tunnel that was outstanding has been completed, and would be followed by the placement of electricity cables.
 Proastiakos employees call strike action on Easter holiday weekendANA-MPA -- Proastiakos suburban railway services will be disrupted on the May 4-5 weekend, coinciding with the Greek Orthodox Easter holiday, due to strike action called by its employees, it was announced on Thursday.
On Saturday, May 4, the Proastiakos will not run from 18:00 p.m. until the end of the shift, while a 24-hour strike has been called on Sunday, May 5.
The Proastiakos employees are opposed to the privatisation of rail operator TRAINOSE, demand a new collective work contract, implementation of the labour law and abolition of the wage cuts imposed.
 Rail employees continue work stoppages WednesdayNormal 0
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ANA-MPA -- Rail services will continue to be disrupted on Wednesday and Thursday, as Hellenic Railways (OSE) and Proastiakos suburban railway employees enter the second of three days of stoppages, from 8:00 p.m. to midnight.
Several OSE itineraries that overlap the stoppages will be cancelled or re-routed as a result.
Travelers are advised to call OSE at 14511 or check the revised itineraries on the webpage www.trainose.gr.
Metro trains between Doukissis Plakentias station and Athens' international airport will run according to schedule.
On Tuesday, ships were docked at ports throughout the country due to a 24-hour nationwide 'warning" strike called by seamen in protest over a Merchant Marine Ministry omnibus bill for restructure of the sector, which is being introduced to the parliamentary plenary for debate. The strike ends Wednesday morning at 6:00 a.m.
Dockworkers' and merchant marine ministry employees' unions will be participating with work stoppages.
Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) sources told ANA-MPA that a new mobilisation has been scheduled for the May 1 Labor Day.
PNO has asked for withdrawal of the omnibus bill, which it considers is an attempt to overturn the institutional framework in place today (ship crew compositions, collective labor agreements also in sea-going vessels, and other demands).
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 Emma Delta gets one week extension to submit improved offer for OPAPANA-MPA -- Emma Delta, the sole eligible bidder in a tender to buy a 33 pct stake in Hellenic Football Prognostics Organisation SA (OPAP), on Thursday asked for and received a one-week extension of a deadline to submit an improved offer in the tender.
Representatives of the investment group asked from Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) for more time in order to reach their final decisions over a demand by HRADF to improve its initial offer. Emma Delta offered 622 million euros for the acquisition of a 33 pct stake in OPAP. An independent evaluator and the government's privatization advisors believe that the offer should range between 615-650 million euros. Jiri Smejc and Melissanidis Group are the main shareholders of the investment group, while Lottomatica also participates.
Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund unanimously accepted Emma Delta's request and said it will examine the issue again in a meeting on May 1.
 National Bank raises target for private investors' participation to 12 pctANA-MPA -- National Bank on Thursday said it was raising its target for private investors' participation in a forthcoming share capital increase plan to 12 pct from 10 pct currently, following strong investment interest expressed by both existing shareholders and other investors.
The bank's board said it will seek shareholders' approval to a plan to raise the target for private investors' participation to 12 pct, or 1.171 billion euros, from 975.6 million euros currently. A bank's statement said that if the new target was achieved, then the bank's warrants will represent 7.33 additional common shares for each one share of the share capital increase plan. Under the current plan, warrants' rights are 9 shares.
National Bank said its shareholders totaled around 250,000, including 70,000 shareholders of Eurobank who exchanged their shares with National Bank's shares during a share swap transaction.
National Bank also said it has raised its equity stake in M.I.Maillis to 23.18 pct from 18.44 pct.
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