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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-07-14
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Measures to Accelerate Judicial SystemWednesday, 14 July 2010 14:47
Minister for Justice Transparency and Human Rights Haris Kastanidis announced the submission of 2 draft-bills till the end of summer providing for three new institutions which will accelerate the judicial system. In the meantime, General Inspector of Public Administration Leandros Rakintzis spoke of special judicial treatment of prominent persons raising several questions. Prime-minister G. Papandreou said Justice is an independent branch but it can not do whatever it wants, adding "the state has its mechanisms but justice must play its role". Mr. Papandreou portrayed public administration as "sick man" accustomed to clientelism. Mr. Kastanidis met with the President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias at noon, on Wednesday.
Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis in the presence of undersecretary Apostolos Katsifaras and general secretary George Dimitrainas announced measures for the acceleration of judicial procedures.
The first measure is the introduction of mediation in civil and commercial matters in the private sector which will significantly reduce courts' work load.
Mediation is an alternative option of resolving disputes as both interested parties seek a compromise solutions through a mediator, who is a lawyer. Faster and cheaper resolution of disputes and reduction of courts' work load are some of the advantages of the new m
The second measure is introduction of "criminal conciliation" regarding offences against property or assets treated as misdemeanor or felony but committed without use of violence (embezzlement, usury etc). In case of criminal prosecution, the prosecutor starts procedures for the compensation of victims. The case will not be referred to court provided the defendant fully compensates the plaintiff.
The third measure is acceleration of cases concerning administrative justice with the introduction of "filter selection" at the State Council. A group of judges will examine priority of cases referred to the State Council.
Furthermore the "standard procedure" is established in administrative courts. Major importance pending cases will be heard within two months following requests by directors of courts, bar associations or the Finance Minister.
Mr. Kastanidis described the measures as radical and underlined that there would follow a second package of measures for the acceleration of judicial procedures.
Prominent Personalities "Never-Punished"
In the meantime, General Inspector of Public Administration Leandros Rakintzis spoke of special judicial treatment of prominent persons in the meeting of the Parliament Institutions and Transparency Committee raising several questions.
Mr. Rakintzis told state radio NET 105.8 no prominent personality stood trial during his term. He stressed that Greece has paid huge fines for delays in judicial procedures.
Sourcesò: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 38451
 Social Security Debate amid MobilizationsWednesday, 14 July 2010 10:46
Debate on social security draft-bill for civil servants and officers in the armed forces, which will be passed tomorrow, opened in the Parliament today. Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou made a number of improvements among them: two years reduction (58 from 60) in retirement age for women working in local administration cleaning department, 5 years reduction 50 from 55 for parents with unable children. There will be income criteria for survivor's pension regarding single daughter over 50yo. There will be recognition of 5 year nominal combat unit service with payment of contributions for more than 5-day work week.
New regulations provide for:
two years reduction in retirement age 58 from 60 for women working in local administration cleaning department , who will retire at the age of 58 instead of 60 from 2013.
5 years reduction 50 from 55 for parents with unable children, such as children suffering from haemophilia A and myasthenia or have been amputated or undergone bone marrow transplant.
There will be recognition of years of tertiary education studies for armed and security forces officers and recognition of 5 nominal combat unit service with payment of contributions for more than 5-day work week.
There will be income and age criteria for survivor's pension regarding single daughter over 50yo.
Parliament Regulation will provide for reforms in the pension system concerning Parliament clerks till 31/12/2010
The draft-bill for the public sector provides for retirement at the age of 65 or 60 with 40 years contributions, equal retirement age for men and women, all public servants will be insured in IKA fund as from 1/1/2011.
In an interview with state radio NET 105.8, PASOK secretary Socratis Xynidis said nobody is happy to support solutions that reduce standard of living and labour rights. He, however, added that political leaderships are responsible to give substantial solutions and materialize their promises.
Public sector unions have announced a number of mobilizations culminating with ADEDY nationwide work stoppage on Thursday from 11 till the end of the shift. Also participating are local administration employees.
On Wednesday, policemen, port officers and firemen will stage a demonstration at Syntagma Square at 18:30.
Source: ÍÅÔ 105.8
Related News: Reactions against Social Security D/B on Public Sector
News item: 38440
 Accelerate Procedures for Markets-Closed ProfessionsWednesday, 14 July 2010 15:24
Following Brussels positive comments on the course of Greece's economy, the government is accelerating procedures regarding the markets and the opening of closed professions. A delegation comprised of EU, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund inspectors will arrive in Greece next week. Their report will determine whether there will be allocation of the rescue package second installment for 2010. Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou this afternoon will brief the Parliament Economic Committee on the state budget.
The Finance Ministry staff is highly satisfied at the debt auction of the 6-month treasury bills which was oversubscribed 3.64 times.
The sum raised is 1.625 billion at 4.65% interest, just 1/10 higher compared to April's auction.
Interest yield of 4.65% is lower than interest provided by the rescue mechanism said Finance Minister after a meting of the Ecofin in Brussels.
Mr. Papakonstantinou expressed satisfaction at the EU recognition of the government's efforts to purge Greece's economy.
However, he expressed reservations regarding the EU Commission proposal about freezing European investments to states with huge deficit or debt as well as the German proposal about controlled bankruptcy.
G. Petalotis: "Something Changes in the Economy"
On the grounds of latest developments , government spokesman George Petalotis spoke of clear indications about something changing in Greece's economy as the sacrifices of people are bearing fruit.
Mr. Petalotis even left open possibility for social policies in 2011 to support weak groups of people, making clear though that in no occasion there would not be social measures endangering economic growth.
He also said revenues would further increase with the payment of ETAK, the second VAT installment and businesses contributions.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8 News item: 38455