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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-04

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Dialogue Under Way
  • [02] Tragedy With Children in Pool
  • [03] Vice Prosecutor Accused of Breach of Duty
  • [04] G8 Agenda
  • [05] More Effective KEPs
  • [06] EBEA Supports Reforms
  • [07] "No New Taxes Planned"
  • [08] Fines Over Early Sales
  • [09] "Wife-Lifting" Championship
  • [10] Recall of Electrical Small Oven
  • [11] Without Arrears Interest Until July 12
  • [12] 45-Year-Old Climber Still Missing
  • [13] Store Employees Strike on Wednesday
  • [14] Athens is European Champion

  • [01] Over Labour and Social Security Dialogue Under Way

    04 Jul 2005 13:00:00 (Last updated: 04 Jul 2005 19:07:56)

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: NET 105,8

    ND government intends to make labour relations and social security key issues for the immediate future with the secure of political and social consensus being prime prerequisites for the intended reforms. Over the next days, Employment Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos is expected to invite all bodies involved to a dialogue on labour issues. The implementation of flexible working hours and the reduction in overtime cost are to dominate the agenda. GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour), on the other hand, decided to proceed with a 24-hour strike, possibly in mi-July, in case the government puts forward the bill on flexible working hours. In the meantime, speaking on Net radio 105,8, ADEDYs chairman demands that basic minimum wage be 1,200 euros. As for the benefit issue, he added that it cannot be solved unless the salary scale issue is solved.

    Reactions and Statements

    PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis spoke of confusing governmental statements, noting that the government disdains the bodies of the dialogue, and remembers them when needed, ie when it wants to place its duties elsewhere. SYN expressed its opposition, speaking of "anti-labour" changes of labour relations and an "ostensible" dialogue.

    As the partys Chief of Labour Policy Dimitris Stratoulis stated, the intention of the government is to give the right to businesses to one-sidedly stretch the daily work hours of the employees to 12 hours, and to pay them even less than what is foreseen in overtime conditions. Speaking on NET radio 105,8, former ND leader Miltiadis Evert underlined the importance of the dialogue in question. However, he noticed that accounting studies should precede any decision-making. He also pointed out that the government shold not make hasty decisions prior to the end of its term.

    Furthermore, Mr Evert opposed to the abolition of permanency in the Public Sector "lest the employees should be depended on the governments, " he concluded.

    On his part, Greek European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, speaking to the "Apogevmatini" newspaper, clarified that, " The unsettled social security issue requires the demographic problem be solved first." He also suggested Greece adopt the Finnish model, which allows long-lasting leaves to working mothers.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    No Further Reforms

    [02] One Dead and the Other in the ICU Tragedy With Children in Pool

    04 Jul 2005 17:23:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A tragedy was revealed when at 16:00 in Ano Liosia two small girls aged 8 and 10 were found unconscious in a houses swimming pool in the crossroad of 48 Vasiliou Meletiou and Karaiskou Streets, under unclear circumstances. According to initial information, the house was locked up, since its owners were away, and the children broke in the to swim, which in the end resulted in one dying and the other fighting for its life. The little girls, who were gypsies, were transported in Thriasio Hospital where the death of one was announced, while the condition of the second child is evaluated as extremely critical, since after great efforts by the doctors it was resuscitated and is currently in the Childrens Hospital ICU.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [03] Will Testify During the Next Days Vice Prosecutor Accused of Breach of Duty

    04 Jul 2005 15:14:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    Sources: NET

    Today important developments occurred in the investigation conducted by Supreme Court Vice Prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas, over the extrajudicial circuit. According to information, sufficient evidence arose over accusations concerning Supreme Court Vice Prosecutor and President of the Prosecutors and Justices Union Achilleas Zisis, while he will be called to testify during the next days. Mr Zisis is called to give explanations concerning accusations, that he build his vacation house with building materials paid by businessman Mr Kostas Avramidis, a litigant in the Stock Exchange scandal in 1999. Mr Zisis is called to give explanations as a suspect of breach of duty, while before him the businessman has also been called to testify. Achilleas Zisis spoke of deplorable slanders. Moreover, Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos with an order rejected the exemption request as groundless of Vice Prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas, which was submitted by Mr Zisis, claiming that Mr Sanidas and himself belong to different unions.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [04] Poverty and Climate Changes at the Focus G8 Agenda

    04 Jul 2005 14:40:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Following a weekend marked by worldwide music events against poverty in Africa, Gleneagles in western Scotland will host the G8 summit, which is to begin its proceedings on Wednesday. In the meantime, the African Association Summit has also commenced aiming at the leaders of the 40 African countries stating their views. Poverty in Africa and climate changes are to be Britains priorities as head of the G8 this year. At the same time, Middle East issue, weapon spread, international terrorism and the upward course of the oil prices will also be at the focus of the talks to be held among the eight richest countries in the world, namely USA, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia. Talks on climate changes are expected to give G8 leaders a hard time. US President George Bush rejected in advance any agreement similar to the Kyoto Protocol, while his French peer Jacque Chirac voiced his optimism that an agreement on climate changes is feasible.

    Help to Africa

    Poverty-stricken Africa will definitely dominate the Summit. It is noteworthy that the G8 have decided to abolish the debt that reaches the amount of 18 billion dollars since June. However, both the 18 poor countries involved and non-government organisations viewed the measure as insufficient.

    London suggested an annual rise in aid from 50 to 100 billion dollars over the next decade. The objective can be covered provided that the EU and the USA double their aid.

    In the meantime, the 40 leaders of the African countries that constitute the African Union gathered in the town of Sirte, Libya, to draw up a joint agenda to urge the G8 leaders fight poverty, diseases and wars.

    "Africa has the will, but lacks the means," maintained the Somali Foreign Minister Abdullahi Sheekh Ismail, and added that, "The G8 has got the means. It is very important that the political will should be combined with the resources that the G8 can afford to help Africa.

    Global Warming Proves Thorny

    The greenhouse effect is expected to give the eight leaders a hard time. British PM Tony Blair admitted that reaching an agreement will be a tedious task.

    Unlike the European leaders, the US President George Bush views urgent measures as unnecessary, and that technological breakthroughs that are expected by 2040 will settle the issue.

    Speaking to ITV channel on Monday, Mr Bush ruled out the possibility to sign any deal similar to the Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted fives months ago without the US consent, on the grounds that such a deal would harm the American economy. Instead of immediate action, the American President suggested emphasis be given .n technological advances, including zero-emission powers stations and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

    Given the situation, scientific explanations on the greenhouse effect and the necessary reduction in the gas emissions causing it are to dominate the talks.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Live 8 Fights Poverty in Africa

    Related Links:

    Αφρικανική Ένωση

    G8

    [05] More Effective KEPs

    04 Jul 2005 20:01:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    On Monday, Minister of Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos, with a circular, took a step towards the fastest and better service of citizens in their daily transactions with Public Administration. With the new orders instituted by the Ministry of Interior, the procedures are simplified and the citizens will be served quicker and more effectively. According to the new reforms, from now on the authenticity of the signature can be certified from any administrative authority or Citizens Service Centers (KEP), while the certification of the authenticity of signature when the interested persons come to the services or KEP is banned. Moreover, copies of private documents and documents issued by foreign authorities, with the condition that they have been validated by a lawyer of a public authority will also be validated.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related Links:

    Ministry for the Interior

    Citizens Service Center

    [06] Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry Awards EBEA Supports Reforms

    04 Jul 2005 21:52:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    For the tenth year running, the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) gave out its awards to businessmen and business that showed notable progress. Speaking at the event, President of EBEA Mr Foundoukakos addressed the steps taken by the government in the social security, banks, the voluntary redundancy in OTE, and the lift of permanency for the newly hired. Furthermore, he asked for more reforms in other areas. On his part, Minister of Economy Mr Alogoskoufis underlined that the pylons of the new developmental policy are the tax reforms, the new investment bill and the partnerships of the Public and Private Sector, while he also referred to the yearly income by denationalization, which comes up to more than 1.6 billion euros.

    "Government's Steps are Positive"

    The reforms, added Mr Foundoukakos, will have to continue and be extended in other areas, such as the freeing of a series of markets and especially that of higher education, privatizations, labour relations, the further decrease of tax factors, the completion of the social security reform and others.

    Furthermore he expressed his concern over the attempt of some to put the pressure on in order for nothing to change in the Greek economy.

    The businessmen and businesses that were awarded were the following:

    Import Activity Award ELVAL INC. ALUMINUM OF GREECE

    Brand Product Award BSB CO.

    International Activity Award INTRALOT INC. ARISTOVOULOS G PETZETAKIS INC.

    Business and Environment Award VIVECHROM INC.

    Social Responsibility Award EFG EUROBANK ERGASIAS INC.

    Employment Increase Award ALOUMYL MYLONAS INC.

    Research and Technological Development Award ELPEN INC. RESEARCH-EXPERIMENTAL DEPT ELPEN

    Business and Tradition Award NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE INC. ALPHA BANK INC.

    Self-Made Businessman Award IOANNIS SP KAPRALOS

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] PASOK Sees A Tax Invasion "No New Taxes Planned"

    04 Jul 2005 20:10:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    The rationalization of expenses and the decrease of waste in the wider Public Sector are the main choices of the government. This was stated on Monday by Thodoris Rousopoulos noting that the government is focusing its attention, with insistence and constancy, to the adherence of the budget and the materialization of the stability programme, aimed at the decrease of the deficit under 3% by the end of 2006. Meanwhile, scenarios over new taxes are being denied. Deputy Minister of Economy Petros Doukas stated that at the time being there is no issue of new measures. PASOK, through its spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis, states otherwise, as it says that the government is planning a new tax invasion at the cost of the already compressed income of the citizens.

    Swords Crossed Over Economy

    Nikos Athanasakis stated that the income has collapsed to 4.1% from the foreseen target of 11.4% while the percentage of 4.1 of the expenses is fictitious, since during that period there was a pause of payments, a fact which means that there will be extremely increased expenses during the next year. The government, added the PASOK Press spokesperson, is preparing the ground for new measures, which it will label as adjustments.

    Meanwhile he reminded that last Friday PASOK MPs had asked the government for a briefing over public loan and the loan programme of 2005.

    Making reference to the reestablishment of the rural police, he stated "we are driven by the government to the era of 1990-93 and its policies."

    At that point, he also gave the journalists a document from 1992 which criticized the hiring policy of that era and which was written by Mr Rousopoulos as a journalist.

    The answer of the government spokesperson was immediate.

    "One more PASOK spokesperson, the fifth if I remember well, discovers selective texts of my 20-year journalistic profession. It is obvious that when people do not have anything to do, they partake in useless activities," stated Thodoris Rousopoulos. "This is the issue exactly; for one to not have selective memory," replied Mr Athanasakis, noting that the political importance of the events is that "Mr Karamanlis government is steadily going back to the policies of the Mitsotakis government of 1990-3."

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] To "LOLA" Clothes Store Fines Over Early Sales

    04 Jul 2005 18:11:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    A fine will be given to clothes stores "LOLA," as with a letter sent to its customers informs them that summer sales begin in the stores from July 1, while it has been designated that sales will start July 18. The General Secretariat of Trade of the Ministry of Development commits the issue for fining, in violation with bill A4-1150/17/6/05 "Decision About Sales," to the Athens Prefecture. According to the aforementioned decision, every merchant business is allowed the sale of products with decreased prices due to the end of season (summer sales) from 18/07/2005 until 27/08/2005 for Attica. The Athens Prefecture will fine the violators after the opinion stated by the relevant committee to 0.5% of the gross yearly income of the previous year. In the case of a second offence the fine will reach 3% of the gross yearly incomes.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [09] "Wife-Lifting" Championship

    04 Jul 2005 13:12:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: Reuters

    The Esthonians won for the eightieth time in a row the wife-lifting world championship. It is a funny and simple sport. Contestants are required complete a 253-metre-long obstacle course carrying their wives, or a friend, whose weight must not exceed 49 k. 25-year-old Margo Uusorg once again triumphed in this year competition, which took place in the remote Finnish village of Sonkajarvi.

    The competition was fierce, but Uusorg had no match. He covered the course in 59 seconds with his 23-year-old friend Egle Soll clinging to his back in the trademark "Estonian Carry", and won the championship for a third consecutive time with the rest of the 40 contestants eating his dust.

    The prize, which was his girlfriends weight in beer and a hi-tech mobile phone, was awarded to him by the US basketball legend Dennis Rodman in the presence of 9,000 spectators who gathered in the Arctic Circle to attend the event. Rodman refused to participate for lack of wife and training. He promised, though, to be prepared next year.

    For the record, the event began in 1992, and it is based on a local legend according to which wife-stealing was a common practice in the region.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [10] After a Consumer's Complaint Recall of Electrical Small Oven

    04 Jul 2005 18:03:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The small electrical oven and grill of the company "BIFINETT KH 113," and sold by LIDL super market, has been recalled with a decision by the General Secretary for the Consumer, Thanasis Skordas. The Ministry of Development was alerted after the complaint of a consumer who stated that after the use of the specific appliance, purchased at the LIDL super market chain, the glass door of the oven broke and pieces of glass were thrown at a distance. The General Secretariat for the Consumer contacted LIDL and informed it of the consumers complaint, while the super market immediately recalled the product from all its chains. The specific product is exclusively imported and sold by LIDL. 16,000 pieces had been imported, while 3,017 have been sold and 12,983 recalled. The General Secretariat for the Consumer informed the Administration of the General Secretariat for Industry for the investigation of a relevant investigation based on the current legislature and the security standards for electrical appliances.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [11] As Decided by the National Bank of Greece Without Arrears Interest Until July 12

    04 Jul 2005 17:43:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The clients of the National Bank of Greece will not burdened with arrears interest, if their dues are paid until July 12, 2005. This was decided by the administration of the bank, which has taken all necessary measures for the arrangement of relevant consequences that arose and concern the non-timely payment of clients dues to the bank from June 7-30 2005. As it is mentioned in a relevant announcement of the bank, for the better service and immediate information of the clients in the issues concerning them and concern this period, special hotlines are operating and are the following: for calls made from a house line the telephone number is 801 11 90 801 and from cell phones or overseas +30 210 3362 983. The interested persons can call the hotlines from 09:00 to 21:00.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [12] EMAK and 17 Rescuers in Valia Calda 45-Year-Old Climber Still Missing

    04 Jul 2005 15:50:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The investigations conducted since yesterday morning in the Valia Calda National Park for the location of a 45-year-old climber from Velestino, Volos, are fruitless. The crews of the Greek Fire Services Rescue Team (EMAK) of Ioannina, Grevena and Larisa are participating in the investigation with 17 rescuers, as well as teams of climbers. A helicopter was not used since the vegetation in the mountainous and inaccessible area is very dense, thus the air investigation has proved impossible. The investigations are focused mainly in the Flega Mountain, since the 45-year-old was headed there when the other climbers saw him in the area of Arkoudorema. His last telephone call with his family took place at 03:00 on Sunday, and following his whereabouts were lost, while shortly after the authorities were alerted and the search began.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [13] Reacting to the Extension of Opening Hours Store Employees Strike on Wednesday

    04 Jul 2005 15:42:00

    By Athina Saloustrou

    The decision of the government for the change of the stores opening hours has caused reactions. Small-middle businesses and merchants, which claim that they are burdened by the cost of the extended operation, as well as private employees, are opposed to the advanced reform. Reacting to the extension, store employees and employees in food markets will stage a 24-hour strike on Wednesday. The decision was made by the Private Employees Federation, while a 2-hour work stoppage from 13:00-15:00 will be staged by the bank employees. Collective actions were announced by small-middle sized business merchants and tradesmen on the occasion.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [14] With 416 "Green" Busses Athens is European Champion

    04 Jul 2005 13:53:00

    By Anna Kourti

    416 "clean busses" move around the streets of Athens, since as of today another 121 were added to the already existing. The Greek capital is in the first place of European cities, using the largest fleet of non-polluting technology busses. New measures for the reinforcement of the Public Means of Transport are expected to be announced in September. Minister of Transport and Communication Michalis Liapis attended the busses delivery ceremony, which took place in the Greek Thermal Buses (ETHEL) station, in Agios Ioannis Rendis, while he also announced the purchase of 520 new busses of non-polluting technology, Euro 3 & 4, in order for ETHELs fleet to be made up of 2,600 new busses.

    New Stations in Anthousa and Thriasio

    Moreover, the renewal of infrastructure of the company is continuing with new stations, which will result in the better distribution of busses and the restriction of unnecessary transfers. The new busses, which will be added in the routes of eastern Attica, will be stationed at the Anthousa station. Also, the new natural gas fill-up station of the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) will be situated in the area, a fact which means that at least 2.5 million euros will be saved yearly, since many lost working hours will be restricted from the unnecessary transfers of vehicles from the station to the natural gas fill-up station of Ano Liosia.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou


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