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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 05-12-20

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Wages and Working Hours
  • [02] "Free Negotiations"
  • [03] Famous Correspondence
  • [04] Cigarettes Vs Eyesight
  • [05] "No" to Incompetence Motion
  • [06] Tragic Accident in Pakistan
  • [07] Seize of Bethlehem City Hall
  • [08] Sir Elton John's Stag Party
  • [09] By the Side of Children and the Homeless
  • [10] S. Kechagioglou Testifies

  • [01] Reactions Over Contracts and Working Sundays Wages and Working Hours

    20 Dec 2005 20:17:00 (Last updated: 20 Dec 2005 23:17:35)

    By Dimitris Alexopoulos

    During talks over the new National Collective Work Contract, the FGIs (Federation of Greek Industries) proposal to freeze certain wages triggered various reactions. After the Cabinet meeting, Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis stressed the need for free negotiations. Government spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos also took a stand on the matter, stressing whatever decisions made should be to the benefit of society and economy. The Opposition and GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) harshly criticised the proposal, while FGI President Odysseas Kyriakopoulos repeated his proposal, clarifying that wages would freeze in the present levels and only for the newly-hired in "problematic industries" which have increased unemployment rates.

    Harsh Criticism

    The FGI President also stressed that if the exceptions are not accepted, then the raise percentage in wages would be small, while he also suggested to apply this system for a test period of 2-4 years.

    Opposition parties and GSEE harshly criticised Mr Kyriakopoulos' proposal.

    The New Democracy Government's choice is to turn Greece into a country of cheap labour, said PASOK Press spokesperson Nikos Athanasakis, who accused the government of giving room to employers for bigger claims.

    Speaking on NET radio 105.8, SYN spokesperson Nikos Voutsis described the proposal as an attack against employees, while SYN member D. Stratoulis spoke of employers' blackmail.

    Speaking on NET radio 105.8, GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos estimated that the Industrialists' proposal sets an issue of job openings and wages.

    A while later, GSEE issued an announcement, condemning the proposals and describing them as unacceptable, stressing the FGI cannot level labour rights and abolish the collective work contracts.

    Clash Over Working Sundays

    Regarding the Government's proposal to open stores seven Sundays per year, consumers' first reactions were positive, but political parties and trade unions felt otherwise.

    Referring to the matter after the end of the Cabinet meeting, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas spoke of the impact of his proposal and stressed it was more than welcomed.

    At the same time, he underlined that proposals giving a breath of fresh business air to Greece and creating more opportunities for consumers should be discussed openly, as they are to the benefit of workers and businessmen. PASOK Press spokesperson voiced a different opinion and accused Mr Sioufas that six months after the changes in working hours and while everything is going wrong, he put forward the issue of working hours.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    Related News:

    "Free Negotiations"

    FGI Makes Provocative Proposal

    Stores Open on Specific Sundays

    [02] Alogoskoufis on FGI Proposal "Free Negotiations"

    20 Dec 2005 14:27:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    Sources: NET, ANA

    "Collective negotiations between social partners are free. What is important is that the existing decisions to respect national needs and policy," noted Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis, answering to a relevant question in relation to the Federation of Greek Industries (FGI) proposal for the exception of specific employees from the National General Collective Work Contract. In the meantime, on Tuesday, President of FGI Odysseas Kyriakopoulos insisted on his proposal over the selective "freeze" of wages to current levels, concerning newly recruits in "areas with difficulty" outside of Attica with a high unemployment rate. Moreover, he proposed the entrance of unemployed youth in the job market with minimum wages, as foreseen by the contract, and without insurance for a certain time period.

    In his statements to journalists, Mr Kyriakopoulos noted that the unemployed are not attending the negotiations of the new Collective Work Contract, in which they are the main factor.

    "The further up we place the bar, the more problems we are creating for these people to find a job. We cannot ignore this factor," said Mr Kyriakopoulos.

    "We respect the dialogue of bodies, as well as labour and social rights, however, all employees and employers should take into consideration the economy and the society in which all decisions are made," said on his part Government spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    FGI Makes Provocative Proposal

    [03] Famous Correspondence

    20 Dec 2005 18:54:00

    By Annita Paschalinou

    Israeli ambassador to Greece Ram Aviram gave Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stilianidis ten copies of the letters Albert Einstein and distinguished Greek mathematician Konstantinos Karatheodoris exchanged, which were kept in the Einstein Museum in Israel. "These letters are historic monuments of great value, of a friendship and collaboration that helped mankind take steps forwards," stressed the Greek deputy minister and asked the Israeli government to give Greece some of the 47 letters the two friends exchanged from 1916 until 1930, in order to exhibit them at the museum established in Komotini in honour of Konstantinos Karatheodoris.

    Close Friends and Partners

    "I view upon today's meeting as the beginning of reinforcing the relations between Greece and Israel in many areas," said Israeli ambassador Ram Aviram, thus voicing his hope to sign the Research and Development agreement that would utilise both countries' scientific capital.

    Mathematician Konstantinos Karatheodoris was a close friend and partner of the great scientist and engineer of the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein.

    In their letters, the two men exchanged opinions on mathematic notions and equations, and analysed the theory of relativity.

    Translated by Sofia Soulioti

    [04] Direct Relation Between Smoking and AMD Cigarettes Vs Eyesight

    20 Dec 2005 15:34:00

    By Despina Hristopoulou

    Sources: BBC

    Up to now we knew that smoking is largely responsible over the appearance of AMD, a disease suffered by the elderly, usually after 50 years of age, and affects the central part of the retina but leaves peripheral vision unaffected. British scientists from Cambridge University reported that passive smoking is also dangerous for the eyes. AMD, even if it not always leads to blindness, is one of the most important causes of lack of sight. In Great Britain only, 500,000 suffer from the disease. As per the research published in an ophthalmology journal, passive smoking increased the chances of the disease up to two times.

    Doubles the Chances

    The scientists studied the cases of 435 persons with AMD and 280 healthy ones, taking into consideration their relation with smoking. They discovered that the more the person smokes, the chances for him/her and their family members to manifest AMD increased.

    In particular, a person who smokes a packet of cigarettes a day for 40 years, increased AMD appearing thrice. The life shared with a smoker for five years doubles the chances.

    However, they discovered that for persons who had quit smoking for at least 20 years the chances are nearly the same with non-smokers. One of the reports co-authors, John Yates, noted that the research indicated a clear relation between smoking and the disease. In fact, he underlined that from all the causes that can trigger AMD, smoking is the most important.

    Experts commenting on the researchs findings noted that smoking should be banned in public places and work places.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Read the story on other sources:

    ┬┬C: Passive smoking 'blindness risk'

    BJO: Smoking and age related macular degenerationrisk'

    Related Links:

    British Journal of Ophthalmology

    [05] Giotopoulos Withdraws from Procedure "No" to Incompetence Motion

    20 Dec 2005 16:25:00

    By Vicky Keleri

    Sources: ANA

    The Judges of the Five-Member Appellate Felony Court rejected the motion filed over the incompetence of the court, with the reasoning that the crimes of 17N are not political crimes, but file under common criminal law. Moreover, the court ruled that the law on organised crime does not oppose any clause of the Constitution, not even Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ESDA). In the meantime, Alexandros Giotopoulos announced his withdrawal from the procedure and revoked the order of his attorneys. "I will not legalise a pre-determined conviction with my presence. I withdraw from the procedure and revoke the order for my attorneys to represent me in this fa&#231;ade," he said. However, he explained that he will not resign from any judicial means and will continue to fight until the scam against him collapses.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Giotopoulos Refutes

    [06] A Bus Fell Into a River Tragic Accident in Pakistan

    20 Dec 2005 11:55:00

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    At least 20 persons drowned and another 25 injured when a bus they were aboard swerved from a recently destroyed road by the earthquake and fell into the river. The accident took place near Chinari, 50km southeast of Muzaffarabad, which was severely afflicted by the earthquake. A spokesperson of the local police stated that 20 dead have been recovered from the Jhelum River, however, voiced the fear that another three of four persons have also drowned. At the same time, many of the injured are being hospitalised in a critical condition at makeshift tents set up for the care of the earthquake stricken on October 8.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [07] Seize Ended Without Incidents Seize of Bethlehem City Hall

    20 Dec 2005 12:45:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: Reuters, Associated Press

    Twenty Palestinian gunmen, member of Fatahs al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, seized Bethlehems City Hall. The men entered the building and closed the doors, after forcing the employees out. Some took up posts in the buildings rooftop, which is situated opposite the Church of the Nativity and pointed their weapons at the Palestinian police asking from the Palestinian Authority to pay benefits to 300 members of the organisation, who are fighting against the Israelis, but are unemployed for a number of years. Palestinian police gathered at the Manger Square and the leader of the Bethlehem police Chief stated that he warned the gunmen to exit the City Hall or he would use force. An hour later and after receiving the reassurance that their demands will be investigated they ended the seizure and departed peacefully.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [08] Sir Elton John's Stag Party

    20 Dec 2005 13:34:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Sources: BBC, "The Sun"

    Sir Elton John and his life partner David Furnish threw a pretty spicy stag party at a Londons nightclub ahead of their civil union. The ceremony is to take place at Windsor away from the public eye on Wednesday, when the civil partnerships become a reality in England and Wales. The couple sneaked into the "Too2Much" venue in Soho just a few minutes before the party started. Nearly 180 friends and family of the couple, including Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon, Orlando Bloom and Liz Hurley, were among the guests. Topless waiters wearing black ties and riding boots served everyone with champagne. There was also live music at the party. Canadian singer Bryan Adams opened the music programme, while Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears and Take That stars Mark Owen, Jason Orange, Howard Donald and Gary Barlow also performed in the party.

    Sparkling Wine and Borrowed Suits!

    The two partners told their guest they wished for no presents. Instead, they asked them to make donations to AIDS charities. However, singer and presenter Cilla Black claimed she was going to get them the tackiest toaster she could find.

    Although the party was pretty wild and although Sir Elton John is a millionaire, he made sure he curtailed spending as much as he could. Therefore, they replaced champagne with sparkling wine. In fact, the couple ordered only five bottles of Cristal to serve the guests. Furthermore, were the guests to have some other drink, they had to pay for it! Sir Elton John did not even pay for the waiters suits, for he borrowed them from a friend of his, who happens to be a theatrical producer.

    Read the story on other sources:

    The Sun: Elton's big bender

    BBC: Sir Elton holds glitzy stag party

    ╠irror: Elton's Angels

    Related Links:

    Elton John

    [09] By the Side of Children and the Homeless

    20 Dec 2005 15:01:00

    By Mary Lou Tzempelikou

    On Tuesday, President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias stood by the side of persons needing our love and care during the holidays and throughout the year. Mr Papoulias visited the Penteli infirmary, where children seeking a foster home are hosted. The children welcomed Mr Papoulias and Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis with a small celebration, Christmas carols and songs and offered them handmade gifts. Messrs Papoulias and Kaklamanis gave out gifts to the children and wished them happy holidays, while they thanked the employees for their important work. Following, Mr Papoulias attended an event at the Byzantine Museum, where Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni declared the official commencement of the proceedings of the Welcome Centre for the Homeless.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    [10] On Involvement in the Extrajudicial Ring S. Kechagioglou Testifies

    20 Dec 2005 11:22:00

    By Tina Valaoura

    Today, attorney Sakis Kechagioglou is testifying to the appeals investigators in relation to the case of the extrajudicial ring. The attorney, who stated his innocence on charges of participation in the group and bribery, submitted two memorandums to the investigators. It is noted that he is reportedly involved in setting up trials, in which former Archimandrite Ioakovos Giosakis, former First Instance Judge Antonia Ilia, former Judge Evangelos Kalousis, former Vice Appellate Prosecutor Nikos Athanasopoulos and attorneys Nikos Emmanouilidis and Giorgos Nikolakopoulos from Thessaloniki were also involved.

    Actually, the latter was released after a disagreement between the investigator and prosecutor, in relation to the event of his pre-trial detention. The issue will be resolved by the Appellate Council, which will be convening today. The attorney is charged with a felony and a misdemeanour, and as per the brief has deposited money to the bank account of remnant prisoner former Judge Evangelos Kalousis.

    Moreover, today, at 6:30pm, the High Disciplinary Board is convening in order to decide on disciplinary actions against Supreme Court Vice President Achilleas Zisis. It is reminded that Achilleas Zisis is charged with breach of duty and violation of financial audit of declaration of assets. During yesterdays procedure that adjourned an hour before midnight, a demand for postponement of the procedure was rejected, while for the defence, President of the Judges and Prosecutors Union Mr Athanasopoulos, former President of the union Mr Valmandonis, and Mrs Maria Avramidi, wife of businessman Konstantinos Avramidis testified among others.

    Translated by Eirene Nisiriou

    Related News:

    Deadline for Kechagioglou

    Heavy Charges

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