|Sunday, 17 December 2017|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-02-18
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Obama's Aides Visit AthensUS Senator Richard Durbin and Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias underlined the emphasis the Obama administration places on the US ties with Greece and Cyprus in the meetings they had Wednesday with the Greek Prime Minister, the Greek House Speaker, the Foreign Minister and the Socialist leader. They also made it plain that they are not touring the area as the US administration's official representatives, but they will convey Athens' intentions for a stronger cooperation with Washington to the US President as his closest friends.
Karamanlis Meets Durbin and Giannoulias in Cordial Climate
Greek Prime Minister welcomed Wednesday morning US Senator Richard Durbin and Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias at Maximos Mansion, the Greek government's headquarters.
Karamanlis embraced the two US officials as the first US delegation visiting Greece after new President Barack Obama assumed office.
The Prime Minister stressed, "We warmly welcome the President's commitment to work closely with friends and allies on all major affairs of mutual interest."
"This reception is not of a symbolic nature, but constitutes a very sincere and substantive commitment," Karamanlis concluded.
Senator Durbin, on his part, underlined he is not visiting Greece as an official representative of the Obama administration, but as the President's official friends, meaning to convey the message that friendship with Greece is strong and will grow even stronger.
"Greece has inspired our democracy, and our alliance today is inspiring. We have many challenges that need to be faced globally and regionally. We have cooperated in the past to solve many problems and will do the same in the future as well," he stressed.
Greek House Speaker Dimitris Sioufas also underlined how important is for Athens to have its ties with the Obama government boosted.
Bakoyannis Meets with Durbin and Giannoulias
Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias appeared optimistic over the future of Greece and Cyprus, which, as he said, are of great importance to President Obama.
Giannoulias, along with Senator Richard Durbin, are leading a US delegation which was also welcomed by Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.
Lasting for about an hour, the meeting was also attended by US ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard.
Asked on the Greeks living in the USA, Giannoulias, who is of Greek descent, said that the USA and the Greeks are striving for the solution of several issues.
He also expressed his personal interest, as well as the Greek community's, in the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Global Credit Crisis Tops Meeting between Papandreou and the US Officials
The global financial crisis and the campaign to address it through the Obama package topped the talks held between Socialist leader George Papandreou and Durbin and Giannoulias.
The two US officials asked Papandreou to brief them on the crisis in Greece and Europe, given the fact that the Stiglitz committee was set up upon Papandreou's initiative.
The USA is concerned over how the international community will react to the US initiatives to tackle the crisis, since it believes Obama's initiatives are not enough.
With regard to economy, the US officials and Papandreou also touched on matters pertaining to green development.
The US delegation will then visit Turkey.
Source: NET, NET 105.8
News item: 19094
 GSEE-Employers Join ForcesNews
The employers' unions and GSEE agreed Wednesday to join forces against arbitrary dismissals and changes in labour relations. The two sides failed to come up with specific proposals, yet they condemned any effort to alter the institutional framework governing labour relations, and branded the EBEA head Konstantinos Mihalos' call for flexible employment forms as extreme. Unions and employers vowed to jointly work out solutions to the matter. Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia hailed the agreement struck.
Working on a Package of Measures
The meeting held Wednesday between GSEE and the employers' union, including SEV, GSEVEE and ESEE, on the problems brought on by the financial crisis was held in a good climate.
Both sides decided to work on a package of measures to save jobs and dismissed calls for further flexibility in labour relations are detrimental.
GSEE President Giannis Panagopoulos said that the existing institutional framework should not be breached and a further flexibility in labour market is not necessary.
He noted that the measures heralded by the government are financed by the employees and the employers and demanded calls for partial unemployment be blasted as unfair, anti-social and ineffective.
SEV head Mr Daskalopoulos spoke of an unprecedented crisis during which there is no time for rivalry. "We should react not as social partners but as social co-partners," added he.
Being on the same page, GESEVE chairman Mr Asimakopoulos voiced his objections to proposals trimming employment time and wages.
GSEE laid down a package of measures, which the employers' unions pledged to study.
News item: 19114