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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-12-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Danger
  • [02] Government Disagrees with Michalos' Proposal

  • [01] Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Danger

    As per the Athens Chamber of Small and Medium Sized Industries, 18,000 working positions may be lost due the crisis that is hitting small enterprises. The research points to a drop in turnover, a problem with liquidity and inability for these enterprises in getting bank loans.

    Small enterprises are sending a distress message as nine out of 10 have been affected by the crisis. The processing sector is the one hit most.

    As per the research eight of 10 enterprises in Attica have a lower turnover, seven out of 10 lack cash, while three out of 10 are thinking of sacking personnel.

    In parallel, it reports that 18,000 employees may loose their job. The President of the Athens Chamber Pavlos Ravanis stated his against the cutting of working positions.

    To that end he advises the government to subsidize labour, lower the VAT and freeze prices in Public Utilities for one year.

    Moreover, small and medium-sized enterprises accuse Banks of forcing them to re-negotiate loans under harder terms. The research reports that 13,860 enterprises (one out of four) are force to re-negotiate their loans under harder terms, while 13,980 enterprises have asked for loans and one out of three applications were rejected.

    News item: 16304

    [02] Government Disagrees with Michalos' Proposal

    EVEA President K. Michalos' proposal for a flexible working week, that is, a three or four-day working week and reduction of salaries and insurance stamps continues triggering strong reactions. After her meeting with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia clarified that the government does not adopt Mr Michalos' views, stressing that the Ministry of Employment is responsible for the government's policy on employment. The opposition and employees criticized Mr Michalos' proposal.

    Ms Petalia stated after her meeting with the PM that the government's present objective amid the financial crisis is to protect work positions and employment, adding that the government does not share Mr Michalos' positions.

    Meanwhile, Mr Michalos told NET 105.8 that the policy for the reduction of working hours had been in force unofficially in the market for 20 years, adding that his proposal concerns enterprises that have been hit by the crisis and which should reduce their operating cost.

    GSEE President Giannis Panagopoulos denounced Mr Michalos' proposal in an interview with NET. He argued that if implemented, incomes would be reduced and unemployment rise.

    The Opposition Reacts

    Meanwhile, the opposition reacted to Mr Michalos' proposal with the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) holding responsible for the present anti-labour policy the ND (Conservatives), PASOK (Socialists) and SYN (Coalition of the Left) parties.

    News item: 16303


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