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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 15-04-14

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Social dialogue to focus on restitution of labour relations, Labour min says
  • [02] Cyprus issue, economy and energy expected to dominate President Anastasiades' talks in Athens
  • [03] ND leader on occupations in universities
  • [04] Large number of undocumented migrants reached Lesvos island in the last four days
  • [05] ECB council meeting on Wed. to examine possible further emergency funding to Greek banks

  • [01] Social dialogue to focus on restitution of labour relations, Labour min says

    ANA/MPA---The restitution of the power of collective bargaining and the timetable for the gradual restoration of the minimum wage are the main points in the dialogue between the social partners that will start on Wednesday , Labour Minister Panos Skourletis said in an interview with ANA-MPA.

    He said that the gradual restitution of the minimum wage to 650 euros will start as of October 1, while by the end of the year the government will present its plan for "a brave radical reform of the social security system focused on finding new social resources."

    We are entering a new phase, Skourletis said and explained that "we leave the five dark years that dismantled labour relations behind and we enter a new phase to repair at least one part of the damage that has been done."

    The minister assured that the regulation the ministry is putting forward will only have positive impact and noted that the abrupt wage cuts of the previous years had negative repercussions since they wounded the market and made unemployment skyrocket.

    He said that the persistence of the lenders in recessionary measures or measures that dismantle the weak presence of social benefits is a dead-end and added that "if the previous government's commitments are put into force then we will have a 90 percent reduction of supplementary pensions over the next three years."

    Referring to the negotiations underway and the pressures exerted he said "a hard and real negotiation is taking place, which will result in a mutually beneficial compromise solution."

    [02] Cyprus issue, economy and energy expected to dominate President Anastasiades' talks in Athens

    ANA/MPA---The developments on the Cyprus issue, as well as economic and energy issues will dominate the talks that Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will have in Athens, where he will pay an official visit on Friday. According to Cyprus government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides, Anastasiades will brief Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the developments in the Cyprus issue and the imminent resumption of talks. Christodoulides said that the Greek Cypriot side is more than ready for the third phase of the negotiations.

    Christodoulides said that there will also be talks on economic issues, including Nicosia's request for the lifting of the 26 percent tax, imposed by the Greek government on imports of goods and services. The spokesman said that according to the indications so far, Athens will respond positively to the request. Energy issues will also be discussed while the two sides will decide upon their next steps.

    On his part, Tsipras is expected to brief Anastasiades on the progress of the negotiations that Athens is having with the institutions of the European Union.

    [03] ND leader on occupations in universities

    ANA/MPA---New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras called Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to enforce the law and the police to intervene in the University premises that are under occupation.

    "It should have happened a few days ago," noted the main opposition leader, underlining that conditions of state dissolution and violation of fundamental rights of thousands of students and their families exist.

    Samaras also said that the rectors' plea is revealing and that the responsible alternate minister's public statements show the impasse of the so-called unprecedented dialogue-policy with the hooded individuals. "Lawlessness dominates every passing moment for which the government and its provocative policy are fully responsible," added Samaras.

    [04] Large number of undocumented migrants reached Lesvos island in the last four days

    ANA/MPA---497 undocumented migrants, mostly Syrian nationals, reached several beaches of Lesvos island in the last four days. 85 more migrants were located on Tuesday morning.

    Meanwhile the number of undocumented migrants and refugees that arrived on the islands of Eastern Aegean in the first months of 2015 has tripled in comparison with the same period of 2014.

    According to Coast Guard data, 10,445 persons, 6,498 of them in March, arrived in Greece by sea in the period of January-March 2015 while in the corresponding period of 2014 the number of undocumented migrants reached 2,863.

    It is noted that one of two migrants got into Greece through Lesvos island which indicates that the specific island received the highest number of undocumented migrants from the opposite Turkish coasts.

    [05] ECB council meeting on Wed. to examine possible further emergency funding to Greek banks

    ANA/MPA---European Central Bank policymakers gathering on Wednesday will examine possible further emergency funding for Greece's banks via the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) mechanism as they take stock of a wider economic picture showing early signs of improvement, Reuters news agency reported.

    ECB President Mario Draghi will hold a press conference on Wednesday before he travels to Washington to join finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 top economies at the International Monetary Fund's Spring meeting.

    He may reveal whether the ECB's decision-making Governing Council extended the limit on emergency liquidity that can be drawn by Greek banks.

    With falling prices in the euro zone beginning to stabilize, Draghi will be able to claim an early success for the quantitative easing scheme -- money printing to buy chiefly government bonds -- launched by the bank in March.

    According to the report, the ECB's borrowing rates are all but certain to be held at record lows, but continued wrangling between Greece and the euro zone over reforms and aid is casting a cloud of uncertainty over the 19-country currency bloc.


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