|Tuesday, 20 March 2018|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-01-28
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 K. Papoulias‚ Meetings on the Fire-HitA delegation of the Restructuring Observatory of the fire-hit areas met with the President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias on Wednesday. The Observatory was founded immediately after the 2007 fires. The Observatory is made up of representatives of the Technical Chamber of Greece, the Plenum of Bar Associations, the Geotechnical Chamber and the National Technical University of Athens and the Thessaly University.
After the meeting, an announcement was issued by the Observatory reading "the objective of this visit was to present the Observatory's proposals for the creation of a National Restoration and Restructuring Body that will offer its protection from natural disasters and the environment. In parallel, it will take care for the respective programmes, cooperate and coordinate the various bodies and services of the Central Administration, the province and the self-government.
Moreover, Mr Papoulias was asked to put under his auspices the inter-scientific initiative of the bodies, which are participating and support it within the framework of his institutional role, request that he accepted.
In parallel, the Greek Ship-Owners Association delivered 100 fully equipped ambulances to the National Emergency Centre and 13 vehicles to the Fire Brigade, six of which are fire engines and seven ambulances. The total cost amounts to 13.5 million euros and donation took place by the Greek Ship-owners Association on the occasion of the devastating wild fires in Greece in 2007.
GSEE (Greek General Confederation of Labour) and ADEDY (Supreme Administration of Greek Civil Servants Trade Unions) raised money to express their solidarity and help to the fire-hit in Evia, Ilia and Arkadia. According to the relevant announcement, despite the immense financial difficulties they are facing, employees have offered financial aid to our fire-hit colleagues. The sum that was raised will be distributed in equal amounts to three Local Associations of Municipalities and Communities so that they are utilized to the benefit of the Local Society from the elected Local Collective Bodies. For this reason the two confederations' presidiums will deliver at 13:00, Friday, 30/1/09 the relevant cheque to the Evia Local Association of Municipalities and Communities. Within the framework of their institutional and social role, the two confederations will continue supporting such initiatives of support and solidarity to their fellow citizens, who continue to need support due to the 2007 wildfires.
News item: 18284
 Wrangling on Heating Allowance and the UnemployedWrangling broke out in Parliament on the debate of the bill on the guarantees fund. The reasons for the political wrangling were the amendments promoted by the government on the heating allowance that will also be given to persons with disability and to those who are in the final stage of kidney deficiency, as well as on the government's measures on the unemployed.
Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia stressed that the measures concern the protection of vulnerable social groups, assuring that it is a message to the society, as per which the last euro of either the state-budget or the community funds will be spent for their support. In parallel, he accused PASOK of petty party and opposition policy.
From PASOK's (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) side, Messrs Theodoros Pangalos and Louka Katseli described the new measures "ND's miserable pre-election canvass propaganda."
PASOK proposed a roll-call vote to be held for Article 74, which concerns measures for the unemployed, who as they said are being transformed to beggars.
The rest of the opposition made similar criticisms; their representatives spoke of holding hostage and mocking Greek civilians and the unemployed.
KKE (Communist Party of Greece) Parliamentary spokesman Nikos Karathanasopoulos described the minister's stance a challenge, adding that the government is criticizing the unemployed and pretending that it is interested in the low classes.
SYRIZA(Coalition of the Radical Left) Parliamentary spokesman Panagiotis Lafazanis spoke of arrogance on behalf of the government at a time when Greece is sinking and being led to a labour status similar to that of the Middle Ages, while the employees are being mocked and held hostage."
LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) Parliamentary spokesman Asterios Rountoulis accused the government of "canvass from which it will receive the penalty for its choices."
Earlier, the Deputy Finance minister supported the heating allowance policy, stressing that the government is laying a social protection net.
From his side, ND Parliamentary spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos attacked PASOK, pointing out that it is not justified to speak as it created thousands of problems to Greece.
News item: 18270