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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-05-04

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Inquiry Committee on Economy to Be Set Up
  • [02] Bill on Austerity Measures to Be Submitted to House
  • [03] Incentives against Resignation Wave
  • [04] Armed Robbers Could be Associated with Terrorism
  • [05] National Strike Grips Greece
  • [06] Tensions Run High in ERT

  • [01] Inquiry Committee on Economy to Be Set Up

    Tuesday, 04 May 2010 15:23

    The government is going to set up a committee of inquiry with a view to investigating the reasons that pushed the Greek economy to its current situation. Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said that those who led the country to this situation will have to be held accountable. He then added that the committee will be set up as soon as the committees investigating the Vatopedi and Siemens scandals wrap up their proceedings.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 36207

    [02] Bill on Austerity Measures to Be Submitted to House

    Tuesday, 04 May 2010 12:07

    The bill on the new austerity measures the Greek Finance Minister will be submitted to Parliament on Tuesday. The cuts in wages and bonuses won't be retroactive. Rises in taxes on fuel, alcohol and tobacco have already taken effect, while rises in the VAT rates will take effect on 1 July. After the intervention of the President of the Republic, talks on the setting-up of an inquiry committee and the attribution of responsibilities for the situation of the Greek economy are flaring up. World markets remain nervous, while France agreed to contribute to the support mechanism for Greece with 16.5 billion euros. Athens should fulfill its obligations, said the German Finance Minister, with Angela Merkel promoting a financial aid to Greece.

    Talks on Inquiry Committee on Economy Are Flaring Up

    The day after the new austerity measures were unveiled, the Greek Prime Minister is determined to proceed with the appropriate procedures to attribute political responsibilities for the situation of the Greek economy.

    Schaeuble: Athens Should Stick to Its Deficit-Reduction Plan

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned Tuesday that unless Greece sticks to its deficit-reduction plan, it runs the risk to go bankrupt.

    The EU Finance Minister called on European lenders to contribute to the rescue of the Greek economy.

    French Aid Approved

    The French House approved its share of the three-year European Union-International Monetary Fund loan package for Greece.

    Action must be taken quickly because the eurozone stability is at stake for the first time in its history, commented the French Finance Minister.

    Source: NET, NET 105.8, ANA/MPA News item: 36205

    [03] Incentives against Resignation Wave

    Tuesday, 04 May 2010 09:24

    The Greek government is to give civil servants incentives to stay at work, in an attempt to put a stop to a mass resignation wave. The Employment Minister said those who rushed to hand in their resignations have the chance to recall it without losing their pension rights. The redundancy threshold in the private sector rose to 4% for companies employing more than 20 people.

    Redundancy Threshold to 4% / Severance Pay in 6 Installments

    The Minister rest everybody assured that the collective work contracts will neither be abolished nor frozen.

    With regard to redundancies in the private sector, the redundancy threshold will rise to 4% for companies employing more than 20 people. The provision will take effect as of 2011.

    As for the severance pay, it will be given in 6 monthly installments. No proposal has been made to have them reduced.

    Solidarity levies, including LAFKA, will be imposed on pensions above 1400 euros and will take effect as of 1 August.

    The new retirement age limits for women working in the public sector will start rising as of 2011, while the new pension system will start taking effect as of 2018.

    The association of the retirement age with life expectancy will be brought up in 2020, said the Employment Minister.

    If life expectancy goes up, for every three years that are added up to life expectancy, four months will be added to the working time. Until then, retirement comes at the age of 65.

    Source: NET 105.8

    News item: 36193

    [04] Armed Robbers Could be Associated with Terrorism

    Tuesday, 04 May 2010 08:49

    The police manhunt that followed an armed robbery and the arrest of wanted outlaw Simeon Seisides, who was member of a gang called "robbers in black" is backed by the anti-terrorist squad, as there is information he could be involved with terrorism.

    Seisides was injured while clashing with police. His accomplice was seized and taken to the police headquarters for questioning. The two men had two guns and a grenade in their possession.

    Initial information said that Seisides was implicated with a guerrilla group, but the investigation showed he was a member of a robber gang.

    The anti-terrorist squad is investigating whether the two arrestees are members of another terrorist group.

    They also believe that at the armed robbery in Praktiker, where the two gunmen opened fire injuring an employee, they did not act alone, because police did not find the money they had stolen.

    Source: NET 105.8, ANA News item: 36190

    [05] National Strike Grips Greece

    Tuesday, 04 May 2010 08:46

    Debt-plagued Greece is in the grip of yet another national strike in protest against the new austerity measures taken by the government. ADEDY, the umbrella union for the public sector, has been on a 48-hour strike. Teachers and hospital doctors have joined ADEDY's strike. Earlier, about 200 PAME (All Workers Militant Front) members, who had unfurled banners Tuesday over the defensive walls of the ancient Acropolis, the country's most famous monument, left the place. Pensioners are now marching in central Athens protesting pension cuts.

    Nationwide Strike on Wednesday

    The strike wave against the austerity measures will culminate on Wednesday with the joint strike by ADEDY and GSEE.

    The strike led to several domestic flights by Greece's Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines being canceled, while all flights to and from the country were to be grounded for 24 hours Wednesday as air traffic controllers join in a nationwide general strike.

    Wednesday's strike is expected to shut down services across the country. Public transport will halt in the morning and evening, government offices will remain closed throughout the day and state hospitals will function with emergency staff.

    On Tuesday morning, protesters from the Greek Communist Party hung banners in Greek and English reading: "Peoples of Europe - Rise Up."

    After the prosecutor's intervention, they left to avoid being charged.

    Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis blamed PAME and KKE for keep torpedoing tourism.

    Access to the Acropolis was not hampered, said KKE spokesman Panagiotis Mentregas.

    Source: NET 105.8, ANA, AFP News item: 36189

    [06] Tensions Run High in ERT

    Monday, 03 May 2010 23:58

    Minor incidents took place at ERT, Greece's national broadcaster, when a group of about 50 school teachers, who have yet to be appointed, stormed Monday night the first floor of the building to butt in the interview the Education Minister was to give. Riot policemen tried to push them away. However, about 40 people managed to interrupt the news bulletin that was underway.

    The ERT Board Issued the Following Announcement:

    "Today at 21.30, a group of school teachers awaiting to be appointed, despite the presence of police officers, stormed the ERT building and took over the studio where the news bulletin was underway.

    The ERT board, interested in protecting its personnel and everyone present, decided to air a statement of them at the 23.00 news bulletin.

    The ERT board vehemently denounces the violence intrusion of the protesting teachers, stressing that such moves are at the expense of the unhampered information of the citizens and runs contrary to the democratic dialogue."

    Statements by the Government Spokesman

    Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said, "No one can consent to what happened at the ERT building. The intruders are of a certain political position. Such phenomena coming from teachers are unacceptable.

    Reaction by SYRIZA

    Commenting on the incidents that took place Monday evening, SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) argued:

    "The teachers' request to be given the chance to briefly express their views in a show hosting the Education Minister is totally correct.

    From what we learned afterwards, this had been agreed with the ERT board. However, the use of police violence against the teachers is unacceptable."

    Source: NET News item: 36188


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