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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-05-31
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Siemens Case Causes Political UnrestMonday, 31 May 2010 17:54
The Siemens case keeps causing political unrest in Greece. The committee investigating bribes paid to politicians in return for contracts is expected to wrap up its workings with regard to the C4I file. Main opposition New Democracy party's request to have former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis called to testify before the committee has fueled political reactions, with the former Premier speaking of moves meaning to create impressions.
ND deputy and member of the committee probing the Siemens case Kostas Tzavaras said his party would propose Haris Kastanides who was succeeded by Tassos Mantelis in the Transport Ministry, as well as Simitis' close aides, including Pantagias and Tsoukatos, testify.
Transparency and corruption have no colour, underlined the government spokesman and confirmed the government's determination to conclude the procedures underway and attribute responsibilities if they come up.
Asked to comment on ND's persistence to see former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis testify before the committee investigating the case, Petalotis stressed that ND, which failed to cement transparency during its rule, has one last chance to prove it has realized what transparency means.
Source: NET, NET 105.8 News item: 37134
 GSEE Abstains from Talks on Labour AffairsMonday, 31 May 2010 15:40
The talks on the reform of labour relations have kicked off, with GSEE, Greece's umbrella union for the private sector abstaining from the talks. Employment Minister Andreas Loverdos reiterated they could sidestep the agreement signed with the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Yet, he added, there are issues that have to be discussed by the parties interested. The Employment Minister suggested the GSEE and the employers discuss and submit their proposals in black and white by 15 June, so that the presidential decrees can be issued for the implementation of the reforms. SEV head Dimitris Daskalopoulos requested a three-year income freeze and the implementation of the agreement.
The government's dialogue with the social partners on the changes in the labour relations commenced Monday without the participation of GSEE.
Among the issues brought up were the increase in the redundancy threshold from 2% to 4% in businesses employing more than 200 employees, as well as the amount of compensation.
The SEV President requested a three-year income freeze and the implementation of the agreement.
"The business community neither asked nor decided measures on the labour relations. They just demonstrate Greece's pledge to its creditors," said Dimitris Daskalopoulos.
Daskalopoulos argued that the talks really relate to the immediate and effective implementation of Greece's obligations so that it can get the bailout money to pay the salaries and the pensions.
"There is not time to waste. We will either fully commit ourselves to our obligations without denying reality or we will sink," stressed he.
GSEE head Giannis Panagopoulos dismissed the procedures followed and the content of the talks as a "tragedy."
"We did not attend the talks because it is clear that what they agreed on with the troika is what the businessmen had been asking for years," said Panagopoulos. News item: 37120