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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-06-21

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Strike Fever
  • [02] Reorganisation Starting in Fall
  • [03] Tension in Parliament
  • [04] War in Ano Liossia
  • [05] Papoulias-Voulgarakis Meeting
  • [06] The Driver Testifies
  • [07] Eirinaios' Allegations Crushed
  • [08] Great Victory for Daniilidou
  • [09] Sharapova's Golden Winning Plan
  • [10] World's Fastest Microchip
  • [11] "The Crew Disappeared"

  • [01] New 48-hour Strike by OTOE Strike Fever

    21 Jun 2005 15:32:00 (Last updated: 21 Jun 2005 20:44:43)

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: NET, NET 105,8, ANA

    The Money Market Committee Bill, which includes the reforms on the banks social security and OTEs restructuring scheme, will be discussed in Parliament this evening, under the shadow of a new 48-hour strike, which OTOE (Hellenic Federation of Bank Employee Unions) announced for Wednesday and Thursday, and the problems regarding the publics transactions. Economy Minister Mr Alogoskoufis described the reforms on banks as balanced and briefed the PM regarding the imminent discussion in Parliament. When asked to comment on the employees reactions, Mr Alogoskoufis stated that after all possibilities had been taken into consideration during the six-month dialogue, when all opinions were voiced, the government proceeded without agreeing with either parties. On his part, speaking at the PASOK coordinators meeting, which was held today to discuss the banks social security issue and OTEs voluntary redundancy plan, George Papandreou accused the government of creating conflict among employees. At the same time, OTOE insisted on its decisions and announced a two-day strike scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. OTOE also decided to boost the emergency staff in bank branches, to facilitate the payment of pensions and unemployment benefits. GSEE will proceed with a 24-hour strike in the private sector on Friday, in which ADEDY will participate with a three-hour stoppage.

    "The Government Has Discussed the Issue in Full"

    The proposed solution boosts competitiveness and solves the problem of the social security system by incorporating the new bank employees appointed after 1993, and at the same time it protects pension rights, repeated Mr Alogoskkoufis.

    Minister of the State Council and government spokesperson Mr Rousopoulos also referred to the subject by saying, "There are issues that concern the funds viability. If no one thinks of the future, then the problem may become worse than it is. Bearing this in mind, the government called the bank employees to reflect on the future, which concerns themselves, the next generations and the states economy," and he reminded the Reppas law provisions "which foresee all funds incorporation in IKA (Social Insurance Foundation) by 2008."

    On the question whether the government is thinking to revise certain aspects of its policy under the current situation, Mr Rousopoulos commented, "The employees exercise their lawful rights," and he repeated, "The government discussed the issues in full before adopting the amendment in question."

    Exiting Maximos Mansion, the Economy Minister was also questioned about the Common Agricultural Policy for which he noted that Greece does not agree with the Member-States efforts to open the issue. Regarding the 4th Community Support Framework he underlined that an agreement on the Luxembourgs Presidency proposal would have been welcomed. He further added that within the next months, Greece should focus on achieving the best possible result.

    Mobilisations Continue

    In the meantime, strikes continue this week due to labour relations and banks social security. OTOEs Executive Secretariat held a meeting and decided unanimously to continue the sectors mobilizations for Wednesday and Thursday. At the same time, the Executive Secretariat asks to meet with the councils of the political parties parliamentary groups in order to brief them on its positions, as well as the implications of the Economy Ministrys amendment on the social security issue.

    Speaking on NET radio, OTOEs President Dimitris Tsoukalas assured that the emergency staff will be boosted in order to facilitate the payment of pensions and unemployment benefits from 267 bank shops nationwide.

    GSEE will stage a 24-hour strike on Friday for DEKOs and th epublic sector, and a rally at 10.30 outside the Economy Ministry. DAKE (Democratic Independent Workers Movement) have differentiated their stance. GSEE described the reforms the government promotes on banks and OTE as unacceptable, and further said that the bill constitutes a coup of unprecedented improvisation resulting in the undermining of the whole social security system.

    As for OTE, GSEE estimates that the reform cost will exceed 1.6 million euros. It speaks of a great transaction bait which leads to the distortion of labour relations in OTE, and believes that the voluntary redundancy plan will double the deficit of TAP-OTE (the pension fund of OTE). The future of the mobilizations will be at the focus in the new meeting of the union on June 30.

    "The developments on the bank sector sets a negative example for DEKOs social security, and it constitutes a direct challenge for those who belong to IKA," said GSEEs Secretary Giannis Papadopoulos speaking on Net radio.

    ADEDY decided to participate in the strike scheduled for June 24 with a three-hour stoppage from 10 am to 1 pm. Furthermore, it calls a meeting on June 27 in order to determine the public sectors unions policy regarding the negotiation talks over the new salary scale (demanding 1,200 euros basic salary, stamps for heavy and health-hazardous occupations, hygiene and security at work). Strikes during summertime culminating in the International Trade Fair (DETH) in Thessaloniki are also open to discussion.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Reorganisation Starting in Fall

    Week of Developments

    [02] Reforms for the Reestablishment of State Reorganisation Starting in Fall

    21 Jun 2005 12:09:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    The reestablishment of the state and the reorganisation of Public Administration were at the focus of the meeting between the Prime Minister with Minister of Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos. The two men discussed the bill that concerns immigration policy that is being submitted this week in Parliament, and the course of the Public Sector, Municipalities and communities code of conduct, which will be completed in the fall. According to sources, the new Public Sector charter foresees the non-mandatory appointment, while motives will be given for far away prefectures. Moreover, the criteria of advancement of Public Sector employees will be objectified. On the issue of Public Sector wages, Mr Pavlopoulos noted that the negotiations with ADEDY will start in the beginning of July, after the sending of a letter of invitation to dialogue, together with Mr Alogoskoufis towards the workers union in the coming days. The dialogue will concern benefits, as ADEDY is asking for the settle of heavy and health hazardous occupations and the connection of efficiency and wages.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] For the Amendments in Social Security and OTE Tension in Parliament

    21 Jun 2005 21:11:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The discussion in Parliament for the Capital Market Committee bill commenced on Tuesday afternoon with a request by the Opposition to withdraw the amendments concerning the banks social security and the voluntary redundancy for OTE. The objection was raised because the amendments have been incorporated in the aforementioned bill, while the MPs participating in the Parliaments Economic Affairs Committee are asking that they be submitted in a different bill. Speaking on behalf of PASOK, Evangelos Venizelos proposed that the session be adjourned, so that the Economic and Social Committees can participate in a joint meeting. Furthermore, he described the amendments and the content of the bill as irrelevant, an opinion that was seconded by KKE representative Antonis Skyllakos. A thirty-minute recess followed, at the request of Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, during which time the two Committees participated in a joint session. It should be noted that all relevant bodies have been called to present their views on Wednesday.

    However, as noted by Mr Alogoskoufis, the recess did not necessarily mean that the amendments are impertinent to the bill, while he added that the Government aims at wide discussion.

    A few hours earlier, Messrs Reppas, Kastanidis and Venizelos had filed a complaint to the Speaker of the Parliament, regarding the way it is trying to promote the Governments legislative policy.

    Finally, in an amendment submitted by Miltiadis Evert, he is asking that IKA conduct a study on the costs to the Organisation from the incorporation of the banking employees. Mr Evert also requested that the study be assigned to an international organisation and be concluded by the end of 2005. Furthermore, he mentioned that the deficits arising from the incorporation of banking employees to IKA would have to be paid by the banks, while their IKA contributions would receive the current interest rates for deposits.

    In the meantime, the bodies involved in the controversial amendments were invited to express their views on Wednesday afternoon. These include OTOE (Greek Federation of Bank Employee Unions), GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour), the chairman of IKA, OME-OTE (OTEs trade union), and the chairman of OTE.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [04] Incidents over the Transfer of Sewage Sludge War in Ano Liossia

    21 Jun 2005 17:09:00 (Last updated: 21 Jun 2005 22:55:59)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Violent incidents broke out close to the Ano Liossia Sanitary Landfill on Tuesday afternoon. Local citizens clashed with special police units, which were posted at the scene following an order by the Prosecutor for the smooth operation of the refuse dump, where the first trucks transferring sewage sludge arrived this morning. Western Attica citizens and local bodies marched towards the refuse dump on Tuesday afternoon. Upon arriving close to the Sanitary Landfill, the gathered crowd tried to break the police cordon and as a result the police used teargas and batons, while some protestors lit fires. Ten people were arrested, another five were injured and were transferred to Thriasio Hospital, while others had respiratory problems. Dozens of citizens have gathered outside the local police station, demanding that those arrested be released. KKE spoke of blatant police violence and asked that that the refuse dump close down, while SYN condemned the incident and demanded that the culprits of this unprecedented violence be named. The Inter-municipal Committee will convene on Wednesday to decide on future actions.

    Transfer of Sewage Sludge

    The first trucks arrived from Psitallia at 5am, while the Municipal Authorities and the citizens have expressed fears of collapse of the Sanitary Landfill under the huge amount of sewage sludge, since it is estimated at 300 tonnes.

    According to the Public Works Ministry, the treatment of sewage sludge using the land application method will begin in seven days, while the whole amount will have been converted into soil for fertilising within 20 days.

    However, Western Attica citizens and local bodies continue to react to the transfer of sewage sludge and apart from organising rallies and protests, they will also resort to Justice. The Inter-municipal Committee will be filing a lawsuit against all responsible parties around the middle of the week. The lawsuit will include violation of duty, misapplication of the law and lack of scientific substantiation for the treatment of sewage sludge.

    Furthermore, the Supreme Administrative Court will soon discuss the Western Attica Prefectures appeal, which asks for the repeal of the Courts decision that gave the green light to the transfer of sewage sludge to Ano Liossia.

    During a rally at Ano Liossias central square, the protestors asked to Government to propose alternative solutions, after having discussed with scientific, social and ecological representatives. Meanwhile, they asked for the closing down of the Ano Liossia Sanitary Landfill and the reinstatement of the area. Finally, they protested against the creation of another refuse dump in Fyli.

    It should be noted that according to the Public Works Ministry, the sewage sludge would only be transferred to Ano Liossia until December, while the Psitallia Dehydration Unit, which will provide a solution to the problem, will be ready by March 2007.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Sludge in Ano Liosia Refuse Dump

    Prosecutor Intervenes in Refuse Dump

    [05] Initiative for the Intelligence Service Papoulias-Voulgarakis Meeting

    21 Jun 2005 14:18:00 (Last updated: 21 Jun 2005 17:14:04)

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105.8

    Today, President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias welcomed Minister of Public Order, Giorgos Voulgarakis in the Presidential Mansion. Mr Voulgarakis briefed Mr Papoulias over issues of his Ministry and mainly about the planning of the services of the Police, Fire Department and Hellenic National Intelligence Service (NIS). According to information, the Minister also briefed him over his intention to go forth with a legislative proposal for the NIS, targeted at the reinforcement of the Parliamentary investigation and also the role of the Intelligence Service. The President of the Republic was interested in the security issues of the citizen and fire protection as well. Also, he accepted an invitation to visit the Operations Centre of the Fire Department and Forensic Laboratories in the Athens Police Directorate.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [06] At the Trial for the Tragedy in Tempi The Driver Testifies

    21 Jun 2005 16:47:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: MPA

    Tension prevailed on Tuesday morning in the Volos Mixed Sworn Court, where the trial of those responsible for the multi-fatality accident in Tempi continued with the testimony of the truck driver, Dimitris Dolas. Before the commencement of the hearing, the parents of the ill-fated children verbally assaulted Alexis Kougias, the defence attorney of one of the truck owners.

    Ruling in July

    During his testimony, the truck driver apologised to the parents of the victims. As he said, had he known the truck was overloaded, he would have refused to drive it. He further claimed that he did not participate in the loading of the truck, but only fastened the straps.

    In addition, Dimitris Dolas testified that he is not refusing any responsibility, just as long as he is attributed the responsibilities due to him. Furthermore, as he claimed, had the bus driver reacted on time, the tragedy would have been avoided.

    The testimonies of the seven defendants for the Tempi case will have been concluded by Thursday 23 June, while the court is expected to pass its ruling around mid-July.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    Related News:

    Tempi Accident Trial Begins

    [07] For the Sale of Immovable Property Eirinaios' Allegations Crushed

    21 Jun 2005 16:03:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    As per a letter written by a law firm and sent to the Palestinian lessee Abu Walid Mohammed Dajani, the Imperial Hotel (which belonged to the Patriarchate) in Jerusalems Old City will be transferred over to the Jewish-owned company Richard Marketing Corporation. This letter crushes all of Eirinaios allegations towards Greece and Jordan that nothing had been sold while he was the Patriarch of Jerusalem. As per the letter, which was drawn up on 8 June, the new owner will have the rights to the hotel for the next 198 years, while Mr Dajani will not be dealing with the Patriarchate anymore, but with Richard Marketing Corporation. As soon as he received the letter, Mr Dajani contacted the Patriarchate to clarify the circumstances.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [08] Great Victory for Daniilidou

    21 Jun 2005 19:54:00

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    The injuries that plagued Lena Daniilidou last year, did not manage to stop the top Greek tennis champion. Combating against her bad luck, her injuries, as well as the long period she spent away from the courts, she eventually surprised everyone. In the first round of the Wimbledon tennis tournament in London, she played with passion and determination and managed to defeat the winner of this years Roland Garros, Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne (No 7 in the world), by 2-1 sets (7-6, 2-6, 7-5).

    Granville Up Next

    It is a great success, which everyone is hoping would signal her great return to victories as well as a higher ranking in the WTA.

    Lena Daniilidou is scheduled to play against American Laura Granville in the second round.

    24-year-old Granville, who is ranked No 68 in the world, easily defeated Czech Klara Koukalova by 6-1, 6-2 and qualified to the next round. It should be noted that her best performance in Wimbledon so far was reaching the fourth round in 2002.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Sharapova's Golden Winning Plan

    21 Jun 2005 15:01:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    For yet another time, the golden girl of the courts, 18-year-old Russian tennis champion Maria Sharapova, managed to attract everyones attention, during her Press conference for the British Grand Slam, Wimbledon, which commenced yesterday. The reigning champion will be defending her title wearing shoes trimmed with 18-karat gold, valued at 600 euros a pair, and a T-Shirt with a golden zip. As per the Siberian beauty, her aim is to stun her opponents with her glowing shoes and win the matches!

    One Pair Per Week

    It all looks like the blond bombshell seems determined to reach to the finals, as she has brought 10 pairs of golden shoes with her.

    "I will be wearing a different pair every week, since I have bought ten pairs, which cost $600-900. However, I am not thinking of selling any of them," stressed the Russian tennis player.

    Under Guard Every Step of the Way

    Then, stunning Maria Sharapova, who is constantly at the focus of the Media, revealed that she does not go anywhere without her bodyguards.

    "I have five bodyguards with me at all times, who make me feel safe and secure," stressed the No 2 tennis player in the world, who noted that she is not concerned over the show of adoration by her fans. "If I were scared, I would never leave the house. I have my personal bodyguards with me all the time," she concluded.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [10] 500,000 Pages Per Second World's Fastest Microchip

    21 Jun 2005 13:31:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: AFP

    South Korean company Samsung Electronics devised a new microchip able to transmit data equivalent to half a million pages of news print per second. The company announced that the microchip being the fastest memory chip in the world, will be released in the market at the end of the year. Half a million of pages are equivalent to a dailys newspaper issue for 34 years. The microchip runs at up to 8,0 GigaBytes per second, which is 70% faster than 1,2 Gbps devices. This new chip will also provides high-quality images and animations for P/Cs, as well as the sophisticated games consoles.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related Links:


    [11] Trial Continues With the Witnesses for Prosecution "The Crew Disappeared"

    21 Jun 2005 15:20:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET, NET 105,8

    The witnesses for prosecution on the Express Samina case described the wreck as being worse than that of Titanic in Athens Court of Appeal. So far, the rescued as well as the victims relatives have held the crew accountable claiming that nobody helped them. They claimed that at the time of the crash "everybody disappeared", adding that "They did not give us any buoys, while they were only a few in the cabins." They further said there was neither any information nor a rescue plan in case of wreckage, and that the existing buoys were in a terrible condition. They also made it clear that it was the fishermen of Paros that rescued them, and added that if the ships watertight doors were not locked, none of these would have happened. They finally made an extensive reference to Vima Newspaper which in 2000 hosted an English newspaper article which spoke of dangerous ship including Samina that English tourists should avoid.

    Translated by Areti Christou

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