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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-07-30

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Admin. Reform minister to speed up disciplinary proceedings in public sector
  • [02] Gov't VP briefs parliamentary committee on Greek priorities in 2014
  • [03] HRADF signs concession agreement with Hellenic Lotteries

  • [01] Admin. Reform minister to speed up disciplinary proceedings in public sector

    ANA-MPA -- Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday unveiled an action plan to strengthen disciplinary control and action in the public sector, as part of an overall effort to reform and improve the civil service. He said this would be a 'tool' for transparency and to inspire a sense of trust in public administration, as well as acting as a 'safety valve' for justice and meritocracy among civil servants.

    "Our aim of having a smaller public sector is being achieved. The wager that we must win is to have a healthier and more effective public sector. Not just in words, but in practice," Mitsotakis said, adding that there was a specific plan that would unfold in an organised fashion, starting with those employees that had provenly committed serious disciplinary offences.

    "We owe this primarily to the honest and hard-working civil servants," he added.

    The plan includes ensuring the unobstructed action of disciplinary boards to ensure their independence and the fastest possible examination and processing of cases. It also calls for systematic monitoring to ensure that all staff observe working hours throughout the public sector and calls for sanctions when there are violations. In addition, the records for each civil servant will be updated with emphasis on rooting out possible fake certificates and documentation, such as fake language certificates.

    The minister has signed a circular speeding up disciplinary proceedings for civil servants and removing possible causes for making such proceedings invalid. Also speeded up are processing for the dismissal of staff for criminal or disciplinary reasons, the automatic suspension for disciplinary reasons and the disciplinary procedures involved.

    Indicatively, 104 civil servants were dismissed for serious criminal or disciplinary offences in the last month, raising the total number since July 2012 to 204. Another 993 civil servants have been suspended during the same period. There has also been an increase in the number of cases examined by disciplinary boards in recent months.

    (In photo, Vroutsis on R)

    [02] Gov't VP briefs parliamentary committee on Greek priorities in 2014

    ANA-MPA -- As president of the Council of the European Union in January-June 2014, Greece will focus on development with jobs and social cohesion, immigration and security, the economic and monetary unification, and a comprehensive maritime policy, government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos told Parliament on Tuesday.

    Briefing the Committee of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Venizelos said that Greece's agenda for 2014 would be announced officially after Thursday's cabinet meeting, while he said energy diplomacy would be Greece's top priority.

    Speaking of Cyprus, he noted that both Greece and the island republic were hoping to create a mechanism of fast coordination on a number of issues, and said there is no new plan that has appeared on resolving the Cyprus issue.

    Greece recognises only one difference with Turkey, he stressed, the delineation of the continental shelf, which Turkey disputes. He added however that they were trying to keep in regular contact and said, "It is very important for foreign ministers to be able to speak on the phone at any momemnts to smooth over problems." He acknowledged that the number of Turkish violations and transgressions of Greek air space and the Athens FIR had dropped, while Greece was watching ship passages. If dialogue with Turkey does not work on the continental shelf issue, Venizelos said, Greece will have to resort to international law.

    On illegal immigration, the VP pointed out that Turkey had not respected its relationship with the EU, but acknowledged Greece's neighbor was under pressure from its northern borders and said "initiatives of a European nature should be undertaken to relieve that pressure, and Greece has that priority in mind for its presidency."

    Venizelos also briefed the committee about relations with other Balkan states and on Greece's stance in Syria, and speaking of Iran said that "Greece respects absolutely the UN and EU decisions on the embargo."

    [03] HRADF signs concession agreement with Hellenic Lotteries

    ANA-MPA -- The concession agreement for the exclusive right to operate the Hellenic Republic's State Lotteries for a period of 12 years was signed on Tuesday between the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) and the Hellenic Lotteries SA.

    Hellenic Lotteries SA is a consortium of OPAP Investment Limited (67%), Intralot Lotteries Limited (16.5%) and Scientific Games Global Gaming S.à.r.l (16.5%).

    The concession agreement, which has already been approved by the Court of Auditors, will be submitted to the Greek Parliament for ratification, while it is subject to approval by the Competition Authorities of Greece and Cyprus.

    The total value of the financial consideration for the Hellenic Republic includes the upfront fee of 190 million euros in cash, and a guaranteed minimum income of 580 million euros (over a 12-year period), namely a total amount of at least 770 million euros.

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