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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-05-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Government starts work on bill for measures required to close program review-sources
  • [02] Health ministry starts immunization campaign for refugees and migrants
  • [03] British police in Kos in renewed effort to find Ben Needham, missing since 1991
  • [04] Employment trends best since 2001 in Jan-April‏

  • [01] Government starts work on bill for measures required to close program review-sources

    The government has started drafting the bill that will include the remaining open issues required to close Greece's program review, aiming to pass it through parliament with the regular procedure before the next Eurogroup on May 24, government sources said on Wednesday.

    The bill will include measures on non-performing loans (NPLs), the privatization fund and the contingency mechanism, all of which amount to one percent of GDP.

    According to the sources, the contingency mechanism will not include contingency measures, as it will foresee interventions in the budget, either on the side of revenues, or on the side of costs. They noted, however, that the government will not need to activate it.

    After the Eurogroup, which will confirm that the program review has concluded, the institutions will start the procedures to disburse the next loan installment, which is likely to be paid out in June.

    According to the commitments of the institutions towards Greece, this loan installment will be much higher than 5.7 billion euros, as it will include, apart from the amount to cover Greece's loan requirements, an amount to repay state arrears towards the private sector.

    The same sources also said that technical teams have also started talks on the three phases of debt relief and this roadmap will be clear and automated.

    [02] Health ministry starts immunization campaign for refugees and migrants

    A campaign for the vaccination of refugees and migrants in Greece will start by the makeshift camp of Idomeni on Wednesday, the health ministry announced on Tuesday, adding it will supervise the procedure.

    The vaccination will be carried out by Doctors without Borders in cooperation with the General Secretariat for Public Health, the Hellenic Center for Disease Control & Prevention and the National Hellenic Research Foundation.

    The ministry aims at extending the campaign to all refugees and migrants staying in hosting centers, following the instructions of the National Immunization Committee and international organizations.

    [03] British police in Kos in renewed effort to find Ben Needham, missing since 1991

    British police on Tuesday returned to the Greek island of Kos in a renewed effort to find information concerning the disappearance of Ben Needham, a toddler who disappeared on July 24, 1991 at the age of 21 months old, while holidaying on the island with his family.

    In a press conference on the island, the British investigators appealed to the island's residents to come forward with any information concerning the case, promising full confidentiality and secrecy. The charity Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of 12,500 euros to anyone that provides information that could lead to finding Ben, who will now be 26 years old.

    The head of the British police investigating team, Detective Inspector Jon Cousins, said that his team "was committed to finding answers about what happened to Ben. We are not here to cast blame or create trouble for anyone. We simply want to find out what happened to him." Cousins was accompanied by Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick and a UK police officer of Greek descent, Thanassis Fourlis.

    He promised that there will be no pressure and that he simply wanted to ask the question: "Could you be Ben? When you were a child, did you have blonde hair and blue eyes? Do you have doubts over who your parents are, or perhaps you look physically different to your parents?"

    Cousins promised that anyone coming forward with such information and doubts will be treated with sensitivity and confidentiality and will have "full control", so that he is not forced to do anything he does not want to, saying it was natural for someone having doubts about who he is to also feel nervous about what could happen to him and his family.

    The British officers referred to an anonymous call received in 1993, two years after Ben disappeared, where an indentified caller told them that Ben was alive, with the name Andreas and was being cared for by someone called Nikos.

    The officers then gave three mobile phone numbers to be used exclusively for the Greek public, in order to contact British police officers in either Greek or English. The numbers are:

    â€' 6951040208 (Greek/English)

    â€' 6951040217 (Greek/English)

    â€' 6951040226 (English)

    [04] Employment trends best since 2001 in Jan-April‏

    Wage employment in the private sector grew in April, with the hiring/dismissal balance showing a surplus of 90,631 job positions in the month, official figures showed on Tuesday.

    A report by Ergani IT system of the labour ministry, said that new hirings totaled 215,175 in April, while dismissals amounted to 124,545 in the month. Compared with April 2015, the market showed a surplus of 10,408 job positions as the hiring/dismissal balance recorded a surplus of 80,223 job positions in April 2015. Ergani said it was the third successive month of positive wage employment trends in the country's private sector. April is a traditionally positive month for employment.

    In the January-April period, new hirings totaled 593,052 and dismissals amounted to 468,587, leaving a surplus of 124,465 job positions, the highest four-month performance since 2001.

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