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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-09-03

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] SYRIZA leader meets Technical Chamber of Greece leadership
  • [02] OECD forecasts persistently high unemployment in Greece in 2015

  • [01] SYRIZA leader meets Technical Chamber of Greece leadership

    ANA/MPA---Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday met the leadership of the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE), underlining its special institutional role in the planning and implementation of a full production reorganisation of Greece's economy.

    The meeting particularly focused on the problems faced by Greek civil engineers and the construction sector, including rampant unemployment, inability to pay social insurance contributions and the abolition of limits in public-works tenders so that the sector had become concentrated into four large companies.

    TEE also presented ideas for overhauling and modernising the buildings in the historic centres of big cities, modernising existing social infrastructure and planning for exploiting funds for developmental investment in competitive sectors of the economy.

    According to a SYRIZA announcement, Tsipras also referred to the need to upgrade Attica Bank, in which the civil engineers pension fund is a majority shareholder, into a state-controlled bank outside the legal framework of the systemic banks.

    [02] OECD forecasts persistently high unemployment in Greece in 2015

    ANA/MPA---Unemployment rates in Greece will remain persistently high until the end of 2015 and continue to hover around the current record levels of 27 percent, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forecast in its Employment Outlook 2014 report released on Wednesday.

    It noted that Greece has one of the highest rates of long-term unemployment among OECD countries, with the percentage of long-term unemployed rising from 49 pct in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 71 pct in the first quarter of 2014.

    It called this trend "particularly alarming" as a result of the suffering imposed on the people affected and their families and for the potential increase in structural unemployment due to a deterioration of skills and reduced incentives to seek work. "This could have a visible impact on the long-term career prospects of those experiencing long periods of unemployment," the report stressed.

    The report said that the reduction in real wages in Greece was among the highest among OECD countries (more than 5 pct annually on average since the first quarter of 2009), while productivity remained stubbornly low.

    "Even though the great reduction in wages contributed to a partial reversal of the difference with Germany in terms of unit labour costs, the increase in labour productivity per hour remains stubbornly negative since the start of the crisis," the report added.

    It suggested that further reduction of wages would be difficult and increase the number of poor workers, calling for more to be done to increase competitiveness in product markets and promote policies in the labour market that facilitate the movement of workers between sectors.

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