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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-07-30

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Tension on Public Utilities
  • [02] Karadzic at the Hague
  • [03] New Testimonies on Perama Tragedy
  • [04] Kefalonia Rocked
  • [05] Unique Evening with Leonard Cohen
  • [06] Starbucks Closes Shops in Australia

  • [01] Vote on Articles

    Tension on Public Utilities

    30 Ιουλ 2008 08:11:0 (Last updated: 30 Ιουλ 2008 10:05:5)

    Sources: NET, NET 105.8, ΑNA-ΜPA

    The ND MPs passed in principle the Economy Ministry draft-bill on secret money laundering on Tuesday, including the amendment on loss-making Public Utilities. Tensions ran high when the debate focused on the amendment on Public Utilities and collective negotiations. PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) and the rest of the opposition spoke of anti-constitutional regulation and the phrenetic abolition of labour relations. The Economy minister and the ND Parliamentary spokesman rejected the accusations, accusing PASOK of political hypocrisy. At the same time, ND MP Giannis Manolis replacement also caused tension. Reacting to the amendment on Public Utilities Electric Rail employees have decided to stage rallies on Wednesday and Thursday.

    "Balance and Social Criteria"

    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis described the bill on the prevention and combating of legalization of revenue from criminal activities institutional. He also said that if the government wished to remove a person it could have done so. His reply came to the oppositions decision to vote down the bill in principle.

    He also reminded that the text incorporates a EU directive and FATF advice against secret money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Moreover, he said that although the institution had been introduced in 1995 it was not effective.

    In relation to the amendment on the newly hired in Public Utilities, the minister stressed the importance of "balance and social criteria", stressing that there cannot be two-gear employees. "The same legislation should apply for employees in the public and private sector," he said.

    Within the same framework, he pointed out that the Public Utilities Biministerial Committee that decides on pay rises does not decide in an arbitrary way but as per the course of inflation and Consumers Price Index and the financial situation of enterprises.

    PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos described Mr Alogoskoufis position difficult, adding that the amendment on Public Utilities is a bomb in the foundations of Labour Law. "When the Labour Law in the public sector is undermined the employees rights in the private sector will be affected next. Thus, the governments argument that it will streamline the Public Utilities is provocative," said Mr Venizelos.

    ND MP Panos Panagiotopoulos said that nothing would be abolished or change, adding however that the government cannot remain passive when labour relations are being affected.

    KKE (Communist Party of Greece) MP Antonis Skylakos stated that the amendment on the newly-hired will surely affect the employees of former Public Utilities, while SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) MP Grigoris Psarianos said that as the government cannot adopt a social dialogue it passes bills to pass its positions.

    Finally, LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) MP A. Plevris told the government that it lacks the political will to combat the problem of secret money in Greece.

    Reactions on Manolis' Replacement

    Before the debate on the amendment on Public Utilities, the government replaced ND MP Giannis Manolis with MP Giorgos Kontogiannis. Mr Manolis had expressed his disagreement with the amendment and had informed the party that he would not vote for the bill whatever the cost would be.

    The opposition reacted strongly to Mr Manolis' replacement.

    Reacting to the amendment on Public Utilities, Electric Rail employees will stage a strike on Wednesday and a work stoppage from 09:00-21:00, Thursday

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Draft-bill on DEKO Reforms

    [02] Karadzic at the Hague

    30 Ιουλ 2008 08:45:0 (Last updated: 30 Ιουλ 2008 10:49:3)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΑNA-ΜPA, Reuters, AFP

    War crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic was taken into custody by the U.N. war crimes tribunal on Wednesday to face trial at The Hague on charges of genocide for his actions in the 1992-95 Bosnia war.

    The former leader of the Bosnian Serbs, arrested in Serbia last week, was taken to the Scheveningen detention centre near The Hague shortly after landing at Rotterdam airport at dawn. A police helicopter landed but several other unmarked vehicles were also observed entering the facility.

    "Radovan Karadzic was today transferred into the Tribunals custody, after having been at large for more than 13 years," the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia said in a statement.

    Karadzic will be brought before the court for an initial appearance in the coming days, at which he will have an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. Karadzic faces two charges of genocide for the 43-month siege of Sarajevo and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslims at Srebrenica, the worst atrocity in Europe since World War Two.

    Arrested last week after 11 years on the run, Karadzic was most recently living under an assumed name as a bearded, long-haired alternative healer. Earlier, he was escorted to the airport in Belgrade by masked officials from the Serbian secret service. Security was also tight at the tribunals detention facility, with armed guards patrolling the inner walls.

    On Tuesday, some 10,000 hard-line nationalists, many brought by bus from rural nationalist strongholds, showed their support for Karadzic in downtown Belgrade, chanting his name and holding up giant banners with his picture.

    Clashes broke out when several dozen youths linked to hooligan groups threw flares, stones and garbage cans at riot police. Some 45 people, most of them policemen, were wounded.

    Heavy Bill of Indictment

    Karadzic, the wartime leader of Bosnian Serbs, is accused of genocide, complicity in genocide, extermination, murder, wilful killing, persecutions, deportation, inhumane acts and other crimes against Muslim, Croat and other non-Serb civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1992-1995 war.

    The most notorious charge involves the killing of as many as 7,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in 1995.

    [03] New Testimonies on Perama Tragedy

    30 Ιουλ 2008 11:08:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The safety technician and captain of Friendship Gas will testify to the Examiner today. The two contractors in charge of carrying out repairs on the gas carrier were arrested and led to the Korydallos prison on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, Perama shipyards employees are now staging a rally in Omonia to be followed by a march to the Employment Ministry. In parallel, ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) is staging a 24-hour strike for employees of the wider Piraeus area.

    Meanwhile, Merchant Marine and Island Policy Minister George Voulgarakis on Tuesday announced that jobs in the coast guard or at the ministry would be offered to the wives and children of eight of the victims of the accident.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    Related News:

    Detained for Perama Tragedy

    [04] Kefalonia Rocked

    30 Ιουλ 2008 08:37:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    A seaquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale rocked Kefalonia at 08:02. The epicentre of the quake was located 20 kilometres south off Kefalonia. Specialists appear reassuring, while Seismologist Akis Tselentis told NET that the tremor is part of the areas usual seismic activity. There have been no reports on material damage so far.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [05] Unique Evening with Leonard Cohen

    30 Ιουλ 2008 10:43:0

    Those attending Leonard Cohens concert at Terra Vibe, Malakasa will have the opportunity to listen to Cohen singing First We Take Manhattan, Suzanne and Dance Me To The End Of Love. The concert will last three hours and include all his favourite songs. The concert starts at 18:30. The price of tickets will range from 50-95 euros. Tickets are sold at Ticket House, 42, Panepistimiou Street, tel: 210 3608366 and

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [06] Starbucks Closes Shops in Australia

    30 Ιουλ 2008 09:43:0

    By Betty Savourdou

    Sources: ANA-MPA

    Starbucks will close 2/3 of its shops in Australia by Sunday, sacking 1,000 of its employees, within the framework of cuts of it expenses. The company has already sacked 12,000 of its employees.

    The American company admitted it had struggled in Australias "very sophisticated coffee culture" and said the announcement was unrelated to its closure of 600 stores in the US this month.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

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