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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-07-14

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] GSEE-Employers Failure
  • [02] Bickan in “Green”
  • [03] IQ Fights Dementia
  • [04] Trade Bill Accepted in Principle
  • [05] Harsh Tongue Against Christodoulos
  • [06] New Democracy in the Lead
  • [07] Unfavourable Report on THEMIS S.A.
  • [08] Autumn Scenery
  • [09] Satisfaction About Economy
  • [10] Unemployment Dropped
  • [11] Olympiacos New Transfers
  • [12] Twelve Songs for Thessaloniki
  • [13] ATM Goes Crazy
  • [14] GSEE-Employers Meeting

  • [01] They Agreed They Disagree GSEE-Employers Failure

    14 Jul 2005 20:20:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: NET 105,8 - ANA

    The meeting between employers unions and GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) over labour issues and mainly overtime resulted in failure. The undisputable executives right regarding the working time management, 8-hour overtime per week without the interference of the Employment Ministry paid by 25% instead of 50% of the present regime, were the requirements made by the Federation of Greek Industries President Odysseas Kyriakopoulos and the Trade Association President Dimitris Armenakis. The latter requested the working time management be implemented annually, whereas as for businesses be implemented after individual agreement. GSEVEE President Dimitris Asimakopoulos slightly differentiated his stance and asked for a 7-hour overtime per week without the authorized bodies approval. GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos pinpointed that the Greek General Confederation of Labour will address the Greek and International courts to question the imminent legislative reform forwarded by the government, since it violates the deal on overtime. In the meantime, earlier today the Greek PM Costas Karamanlis sent a clear message to the social partners. As per information, the PM told his close associates that he is determined to proceed with the basic changes without taking into account the political cost. The Greek people chose us to make the changes and solve the problems, PM is believed to have said.

    Executive Right and Overtime Without Approval

    The social partners held a meeting in order to agree that they disagree and to set a date for a new meeting in autumn, stated Mr Kyriakopoulos and he underlined that the Federation of Greek Industries (FGI) views the executive right regarding the working time management as undisputable and requested the EU law be implemented free of Greek patents.

    The Trade Association President Dimitris Armenakis asked for Gianitsis Bill to be modified since it is not applied.

    Furthermore, Mr Kyriakopoulos and Mr Armenakis requested 8-hour overtime per week without the interference of the Employment Ministry paid by 25% instead of 50% of the present regime. Mr Armenakis also requested the working time management be implemented annually, whereas as for businesses be implemented after individual agreement.

    The President of small and medium sized businesses Dimitris Asimakopoulos thinks the dialogue should continue and he differentiated his stance from the FGI when he spoke of collective negotiations being the basis for the working time management. He also asked for a 7-hour overtime per week without the authorized bodies.

    Social Conflict

    On his part, GSEE Chairman Christos Polyzogopoulos urged the government to immediately ratify the 2004 and 2005 National General Collective Working Contracts, which provide for up to a 45-hour overtime without a special permit as well as no changes over the current overtime payments. If the government fails to do so, GSEE will question any legislative reform that violates the content of the collective contract, said Mr Polyzogopoulos. As for the working time management, he asked that any reform should be based on collective negotiation.

    Mr Polyzogopoulos spoke of a social conflict in case a legislative reform violating the principles of collective negotiations comes into effect. He also said that GSEE is likely to take the case to the international courts.

    DAKEs spokesperson to GSEE Costas Poupakis referred to extreme requests on the part of the employers unions and stated that DAKE will keep fighting for the employees requests.

    Deputy GSEE Chairman Alekos Kalyvis stated that GSEE is obliged to criticize the government and FGI, to walk out from the dialogue and immediately answer back with collective actions.

    Meimarakis-GSEE Meeting

    GSEE also met with NDs Secretary of the Central Committee Vagelis Meimarakis. GSEE repeated its objections to the reforms forwarded by the Employment Ministry and pointed out that the dialogue should not be ostensible.

    We believe in the dialogue and we encourage the social partners so that a constructive and fruitful understanding is achieved, said Mr Meimarakis and pinpointed that unless an agreement is reached, the government has no choice but intervene and legislate. He further added that the Employment Ministers initiatives are targeting to compromise the different views.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [02] Bickan in Green

    14 Jul 2005 22:06:00

    By Vasilis Kalpinos

    European champion Igor Bickan is Panathinaikos new midfielder. The Croatian ace, who was crowned European Champion playing for Liverpool, arrived in Athens on Thursday evening to sign his contract with the Athenian football club. His official presentation to the press is expected to be taking place tomorrow. At the same time, Panathinaikos chairman Giannis Vardinogiannis dispelled the rumours regarding Saviolas transfer to Panathinaikos. He also stated that two more players are needed to complete the teams roaster.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Study by American Scientists IQ Fights Dementia

    14 Jul 2005 18:22:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Extracurricular activities and high IQ in adolescence seem to be benefiting adults mental abilities. As per a study conducted by American scientists of the Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, the aforementioned factors minimize the likelihood that an individual will develop dementia later in life. According to the findings of the study, high IQ and an active lifestyle play an instrumental role against the development of this mental disorder. However, it should be noted that there are also various other factors which determine who is going to develop dementia and who is not. The new findings add to a growing body of knowledge that dementias, such as Alzheimers disease, may have a very long-term course, perhaps starting decades before clinical symptoms emerge," said study author Dr. Thomas Fritsch. He also stated that based on the findings, teenagers can adopt a healthier lifestyle so that their mental abilities will not be severely damaged later in life.

    Extracurricular Activities Prove Beneficial

    The scientists studied 396 volunteers aged 75 who had graduated from the same high school in the mid-1940s.

    With the participants permission, the scientists used the school records in order to obtain their adolescent IQ scores, while their activity levels were determined from the yearbooks. Adult mental status was determined through a telephone screening and in the cases where indications of mental weakness were reported a proxy relative was interviewed.

    Based on this evidence, the scientists observed a significant independent link between high adolescent IQ and a lower risk for dementia or mild cognitive impairment, even after taking into consideration factors like sex and education level.

    Furthermore, increased activity in youth was also associated with a lower risk for dementia or mild cognitive impairment.

    Dementia refers to a progressive brain dysfunction leading to a gradually increasing restriction of daily activities. Memory, thinking abilities and perception are severely damaged by the disease.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [04] Amidst Clashes in Parliament Trade Bill Accepted in Principle

    14 Jul 2005 15:12:00 (Last updated: 14 Jul 2005 19:44:08)

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    The competent Parliamentarian Committee voted Development Ministrys Trade Bill on Thursday noon amidst tension. The new Bill, which includes regulations on the new shopping hours, was voted in favour only by ND parliamentarians, while the Opposition voted against it, speaking of photographic regulations in favour of multinational businesses. PASOK accused the government of serving big multinational interests and even named two supermarket chains. Answering to accusations, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas urged the Opposition to submit all evidence it has to Parliament and be more careful with what they say. KKE rapporteur Nikos Gkatzis stressed the main body of trade is small and medium sized enterprises and the people working in them, while he accused the Government that with the new regulations it brings the chain of consumption closer to larger businesses. SYN Parliamentarian Dimitris Stratoulis asked for the withdrawal of the trading hours amendment, citing the Collective Labour Contract signed in June 2001. Next week, the Bill will be submitted for discussion at the first Recess Section of the Parliament.

    Support Saturdays Shopping Hours

    Briefing political reporters in the Press conference room after the Bill was voted for, Mr Sioufas spoke of a masterly provoked confusion over trading hours, which as he said will not be open, but expanded, as is the case in the rest of Europe.

    In fact, he presented a demand submitted by the Prefecture of Euboea in 2004 to the Ministry of Tourism, asking to elevate the entire prefecture into a tourist area, so as to have open trading hours.

    At the same time, the Minister stressed that the Government insists on its suggestion to keep stores open until 8 on Saturdays and underlined that if local trade associations agree to close earlier, they can do so. It is noted, that trade and employees representatives voiced their opposition to Saturday shopping hours on Wednesday before the Parliamentarian Committee.

    It is noted that GSEVEE (General Confederation of Small and Medium Sized Businesses) has announced roadblocks for the following Tuesday, July 19, reacting to trading hours regulations. In particular, there will be roadblocks in Tembi, Rio-Antirrio, the Isthmus of Corinth, the bridge over Nestos river and Promachonas.

    Saturdays shopping hours are hostile to small stores, however, I dont think its such a major issue, said ND Secretary General Vangelis Meimarakis, who met with GSEVEEs presidium, while he stressed that the Government is open to any kind of amendments that do not distort the central nature, direction and philosophy of the Bill, but are technical or legal. At the same time, Mr Meimarakis asked for a transitional period to help the market adjust to the new facts.

    Reactions

    While briefing political reporters, Government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos underlined that the decision over trading hours was made following studies around Europe, which were analysed by Development Ministry experts, very carefully and with a strategic plan of months.

    The Government is moving against small and medium sized businessmen and in favour big interests, which only serve the few, said PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis.

    On Thursday morning, GSEVEE presidium announced its positions to NDs Secretary General. We are hoping that the Government will listen to the views of GSEVEE and traders and will proceed with the necessary correctional changes, said GSEVEE executive Dimitris Asimakopoulos and stressed that apart from the scheduled actions, GSEVEE will determine its future stance after the enactment of the Bill.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [05] Harsh Tongue Against Christodoulos

    14 Jul 2005 22:18:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Giorgos Papandreou unleashed a harsh attack against Archbishop Christodoulos for what has been released on the Archdioceses website. PASOK leader accused Christodoulos of offending the believers and the citizens, and called on the government to take its stand regarding the controversial text which maintained that PASOK abolished its national visions and was turned into A new age, globalised party.

    "A Party Spokesman"

    Being an Orthodox Greek, as well as an Orthodox within the whole Orthodox world, I feel it is improper for the Archbishop to function as a political party spokesperson, said Mr Papadreou. PASOK leader voiced his concern regarding the Greek Church, since its leadership echoes a certain political party, thus undermining its role.

    The Archbishop should be a spiritual leader and not a party spokesman, he added, and he went on saying, We wish for a raw model rather than a figure that hides himself behind anonymous texts.

    "A Contemptible Libel"

    Earlier today, Nikos Athanasakis described the text as a contemptible libel, and he called on the government to take its stand on the matter and Christodoulos to make his associates name public.

    At the same time, he overruled the explanations provided by the manager of the Archdioceses Media Office Charis Konidaris as insufficient, and warned of a harsher reaction in the future.

    Speaking to Eleftherotypia newspaper, Mr Konidaris said that Christodoulos receives several analysis on current affairs by various professors and he made it clear that the analysis in question was not signed by the Archbishop.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] K. Karamanlis More Suitable for PM New Democracy in the Lead

    14 Jul 2005 13:38:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ANA

    According to an opinion poll conducted by VPRC, on behalf of radio station SKAI, New Democracy is steadily ahead of PASOK in voting intention. Specifically, in the question Which party would you vote for if the elections were held today? 43% answered ND, 39% PASOK, 7% KKE, 4.5% SYN and 3.5% LAOS. At the same time, 48% consider that Kostas Karamanlis is more suitable for the position of PM, as opposed to 22% for George Papandreou, while 21% declared that they do not trust either of them. With regard to the question Which Government can deal with the problems of the country more effectively? 31% answered ND, 19% PASOK and 34% said that they did not trust either of the major parties.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [07] Penal Liabilities Arise Unfavourable Report on THEMIS S.A.

    14 Jul 2005 17:15:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Sources: NET 105,8

    The Inspection Authority for Public Administration (IAPA) passed the findings of the investigation into THEMIS SA on the Public Prosecutor. IAPA Secretary Lampros Feorgakopoulos pointed out that penal liabilities arise and that serious offences, including cases of opacity and mal-administration, were recorded. In particular, the Inspectors found that the company had been handling the amount of 450 million euros following opaque procedures and squandering the public money since 1997. THEMIS SA operates under the Justice Ministry supervision and it is responsible for building court and prison facilities.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [08] Autumn Scenery

    14 Jul 2005 07:35:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: ANA

    The weather in Greece has gone crazy. Thessaloniki already had a taste of this after a sudden downpour around midnight on the eastern part of town. In the Municipality of Thermaikos, streets and basements flooded, while the fire department received 70 calls for assistance. Minor traffic problems were recorded at the regional Thessaloniki-Pereas-Michaniona road, as rocks and mud covered the road surface. Minor problems were also recorded in Flogita, Nea Plagia, Potidea, Polygyros and Marmaras.

    The autumn scenery is also evident in most areas of the country, with cloud cover, showers and thunderstorms.

    In Volos, the morning showers converted the streets into rivers and caused power cuts. As a result, the fire department received calls, as people got stuck in lifts.

    In Athens, a thunderstorm just before noon resulted in traffic jams on some of the main roads, including Pireos Street and Mesogeion Avenue. The Attica Traffic Police appealed to drivers to proceed with caution, due to the slippery roads.

    According to the weather bureau, the showers will be accompanied by strong wings, while temperatures will range between 15 and 27o C in the north, 18-31o C in the Ionian Sea and the mainland, and 22-32 o C in the Aegean.

    In Attica the temperature will range between 22 and 31o C.

    Cloud cover, rains and thunderstorms are forecast for Thessaloniki. The winds will be moderate, while the temperature will range from 19 to 26o C.

    For Friday, local cloud cover, showers and thunderstorms are forecast for mainland Greece, while the cloud cover will increase over the Cyclades and Crete. The weather for the rest of the country will be fine.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [09] Alogoskoufis Interview Satisfaction About Economy

    14 Jul 2005 14:21:00

    By Vagelis Theodorou

    Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis, in his interview, expressed his satisfaction regarding the course of Greeces economy and pinpointed that the course of other indexes, including those of exports and retail sales, has exceeded the initial expectations. Mr Alogoskoufis explained that according to estimations, the first quarter of 2005 growth rate is to stand at 3.5%, while the same rates are expected to continue during the second quarter as well. At the same time, he made it clear that his meetings with the EU officials proved that the reforms on the banks and OTE do not run contrary with the EU legislation. He also stressed that the upcoming months the Economy Ministry has to tackle the problem of tax evasion that is recorded in terms of VAT and fuel smuggling. He finally announced that the changes on property taxation will be laid public at the end of the month.

    Changes on Property Due at the End of the Month

    According to Mr Alogoskoufis, the government is expecting the European Commissions answer regarding the exception of the first house from the VAT expected to be implemented for newly constructed buildings from 1/1/2006.

    As for the possibility to re-enact the receipts collection on the part of the taxpayers, Economy Minister noted that although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) views the measure as inefficient and bureaucratic, the government will take it into consideration. He also made it clear that its possible implementation concerns the 2006 revenues.

    Furthermore, the report of the International Monetary Fund explains that the Greek taxation system needs to be modernized.

    The immediate measures that are suggested include the collection of sums due to the state (the sums stand at 17-18 billion euros), the institution of a monthly VAT statement, the checks on cases of extensive tax evasion, the abolition of many DOY (Public Financial Office) and the online connection of the Economy Ministrys services.

    At the same time, recommendations regarding the drawing up of the budget are also included. Foreign connoisseurs suggest international models on expenditures be introduced, three-year budgets be drawn up and executed, and special accounts be thoroughly checked.

    Mr Alogoskoufis stated that the IMF report highlights a string of weaknesses of the present situation and he concluded that the government will do whatever it takes to deal with them.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Unemployment Dropped

    [10] Reached 10.4% from 11.3% Unemployment Dropped

    14 Jul 2005 13:15:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Unemployment dropped by one percentile unit in the first trimester of 2005 reaching 10.4%, while last year during the same period it was at 11.3%. According to figures from the National Statistic Service, the number of the unemployed rises to 520,000. Especially in women, the percentage is 16%, while in men it is 6.5%. Furthermore, unemployment in ages 15-29 is at 19.7%. Regarding regional Greece, the highest percentage (18.8%) is recorded in Western Macedonia and the lowest (8.8%) in Attica and Crete.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [11] Olympiacos New Transfers

    14 Jul 2005 13:44:00

    By Ilias Papaioannou

    In a Press Conference at Karaiskakis Stadium, Olympiacos presented the transfers for the new season. President Socratis Kokkalis officially presented newly acquired Kapsis, Konstantinou, Pappas, Kyriakos and Toure from the Ivory Coast. Mr Kokkalis voiced his satisfaction over the new transfers and hoped the footballers will help the red team achieve their goals, which is the double in Greece and a very good performance in Europe. Tonight at 21:00, in the presence of all players and technical staff, the new shirt will be presented.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [12] Selection Completed on Wednesday Twelve Songs for Thessaloniki

    14 Jul 2005 12:54:00

    By

    After three days of suspense for the new artists, the tough work of the two nine-member committees was concluded on Wednesday night with the selection of the 12 songs that will compete in the Thessaloniki Song Festival on 29 September. As per the committee members, all 442 songs submitted were very good, so their work was very difficult. The twelve songs that made it to the final have clear influences of various music trends, a fact which promises that this years Festival will constitute a real celebration of Greek music.

    The Finalists

    1. "TRAGOUDIA PALIA" (Old Songs) Composer: Anastasios Charanias Songwriter: Dimitra Mastoridou Performer: Anastasios Charanias

    2. "KOMMATIA GIA SENA" (Pieces for You) Composer: Dimitris Laskaridis Songwriter: Dimitris Laskaridis Performer: Sozos Lymberopoulos

    3. "XENO ROUHO" (Strangers Clothes) Composer: Dimitris Livanos Songwriter: Christos Stagrakoudis Performer: Stavroula Arvanitopoulou

    4. "PYRGOS TIS VAVEL" (Tower of Babel) Composer-Songwriter: Christos Giannopoulos Performers: Christos Giannopoulos & ALTER EGO

    5. "TO EPOMENO TRENO" (The Next Train) Composer-Songwriter-Performer: Athanasios Matrakas

    6. "SE SENA KRYMMENO" (Hidden in You) Composer: Dimitris Pikrakis Songwriter: Dimitris Varelas Performer: Marina Konstantopoulou

    7. "CHORIS ESENA" (Without You) Composer-Songwriter-Performer: Efstathia Mantzoufa

    8. "DROMOS" (Road) Composer: Giannis & Charis Michailidis Songwriter: Giannis Michailidis Performer: Girorgos Chatzikonstantinou

    9. "THA PERASOUN OI MERES" (The Days Will Go By) Composer: Efstathios Drogosis Songwriter: Evangelia Skourleti Performer: Efstathios Drogosis

    10. "AP TA CHEILI" (From the Lips) Composer-Songwriter-Performer: Emmanouil Lydakis

    11. "XIMEROSE XANA" (Daylight Again) Composer-Songwriter-Performer: Konstantinos Tilaveridis

    12. "CHAMENI ELPIDA" (Lost Hope) Composer-Songwriter-Performer: Theodoros Kontakos

    The order of the songs is random and does not relate to the scores they received.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [13] ATM Goes Crazy

    14 Jul 2005 13:54:00

    By

    An ATM in Sebes, Romania transformed into a Robin Hood and a protector of the poor. Many locals, 400 of whom face serious financial problems, could not believe their luck, when the Romanian Bank for Development ATM started giving them more money than they were asking for. According to the local newspaper, the ATMs generosity was due to a programming error, after the countrys recent denomination. Specifically, instead of cutting four zeroes from all accounts, the bank added two zeroes, resulting in some people making withdrawals of between 2,500 and 4,000 euros. Despite the banks pleas, only one person returned the extra money. I heard most of the lucky poor guys have already begun spending their money, said mayor Alexandru Dancila, who added, Its only the banks fault and they should deal with this.

    Translated by Vicky Ghionis

    [14] GSEE-Employers Meeting

    14 Jul 2005 14:54:00

    By Betty Savourdou

    GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) and employers unions are holding a critical meeting this afternoon, rather than next Tuesday when the meeting was originally scheduled, over labour issues and mainly overtime in a last effort of finding common grounds without the interference of the Employment Ministry. The issue topped the agenda this morning in the meeting between the Prime Minister and ND secretary Vangelis Meimarakis, who will be meeting with GSEE in the afternoon. On Wednesday, the Employment Minister addressed an appeal to GSEE to participate in the dialogue for labour relations, while together with the Minister of Economy they informed the Prime Minister on the latest developments. However, Mr Panagiotopoulos clarified there is no case of reinstating executive rights. The Bill discussed by the Government over working hours has one aim: To abolish the 7-hour and 8-hour working day and make unpaid work a fact. It literally leads to the complete violation of workers everyday lives. Life will become unbearable, stressed KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga.

    Opposition Reacts

    Workers should not fall in the trap set up by the Government with the alleged deletion of the article on executive rights. An executive will always be an executive, cold-blooded and strict, whether the law allows it or not. Besides, this is an experience shared by all employees in their working spaces. The government is setting up one more mechanism of collective contracts and arbitration, which will have the same taste. All and all, in the end the employers right will prevail. Of course, theres the employees way, but if the law is enacted, they must not legalise this decision in their minds, stressed Mrs Papariga in statements.

    What comes first is to make our Economy more competitive, without hurting employees interests, said ND Parliamentarian Zeta Makri on NET radio 105.8.

    We cannot agree to measures which are against employees, noted PASOK parliamentarian spokesperson Charis Kastanidis on the same radio station. SYN urged workers to resist against the promoted changes.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti


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