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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-11-23
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Athens-Nicosia Common LineTuesday, 23 November 2010 15:12
Resolution of Cyprus issue is a prerequisite for normalization of Greek-Turkish relations said Prime-minister G. Papandreou after his meeting with Cyprus President Dimitris Hristofias. The two leaders repeated Athens and Nicosia's agreement for a bizonal and bicommunal federation within the frame of UN resolutions, International Law and EU Status Quo. In his speech at the Greek Parliament, to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Cyprus Republic, Mr. Hristofias stressed that the Cyprus issue would be resolved only when Turkey decided to comply with UN resolutions.
Athens-Nicosia Common Line
Prime-minister G. Papandreou and Cyprus President D. Hristofias, during their meeting at the Greek Parliament on Tuesday, reviewed developments and exchanged views after Hristofia-Eroglou meeting with UN Gen. Sec. in NY.
Both leaders described their meeting as fruitful while Mr. Papandreou underlined that Athens fully supports Cyprus Republic positions for an honest compromise without strict deadlines and arbitration.
Mr. Papandreou expressed hope the Turkish-Cypriot side indicated necessary willingness for a viable and operational solution which would put an end to illegal occupation and create a bizonal, bicommunal federation, in other words one sovereign state and one international entity based on the principles and values of the European status quo.
On his part, President Hristofias described as particular honour the invitation to address the Greek Parliament, underlining that it was a proof of Athens-Nicosia close brotherly and unbreakable relations.
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA
News item: 48717
 FinMin Ruled out Lay offs in Public SectorTuesday, 23 November 2010 15:47
Finance Minister G. Papakonstantinou said there was no question about lay offs in the Public sector when presenting the ten challenges for Greece's economy in 2011. The government's target is streamlining of Public sector and cut in expenditures. The Finance Ministry referred to criteria for approval of the 4th tranche of the rescue package worth â¬15 billion in February. Among the criteria are completion of study for salaries in Public sector, privatization program and draft-bill on labour relations. Mr. Papakonstantinou said Greece will receive the third installment from IMF till December 20 while Eurozone will give its sum of loan in the first half of January. Brussels expressed satisfaction.
"Transfer of Employees are not hirings"
In a press interview after conclusion of memorandum's revision, the Finance Minister reassured that there would not be lay offs in the public sector and clarified that transfer of personnel is not considered hiring. He presented the ten challenges for Greece's economy in 2011.
He also underlined that in the public sector one of every five people leaving voluntarily would be replaced. He said 40.000 people would leave this year and 8.000 people would be hired in 2011.
Mr. Papakonstantinou left open possibility for extension of time for payment of the loan or granting of additional loan, adding that no decision has been taken so far. Target to exit to markets in 2011 remains.
The 10 challenges for 2011 are:
Control of public expenses
Combat tax evasion
Cut DEKO deficits
Reforms in public sector
Reduce waste in health
Revision of labour relations
Opening of closed professions
Improvement of business environment
Strengthening stability of financial sector
Utilization of state property
Promotion of privatizations .
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA
News item: 48719
 NMF Stages New 48h StrikeTuesday, 23 November 2010 14:52
National Marine Federation (NMF), in an emergency meeting on Tuesday, decided two-days extension of its strike demanding signing of collective labour agreements with sailors of under 500 tones passenger and cargo ships and ferry-boats on domestic routes. On Tuesday ships remained anchored at ports due to the 24-hour strike staged by NMF
The National Marine Federation is toughening its stand deciding to continue mobilizations with a new 48-hour strike from Tuesday demanding signing of more satisfactory labour agreements.
The National Marine Federation and the Greek Shipowners' Association for Passenger Ships have signed an agreement for a 2% rise in 2010 labour contract while a few days ago it reached an agreement with the Greek Shipowners Association for 1.7% rise ( retroactive effect as of January, 1, 2010) for sailmen working on transatlantic ships.
NMF asks for guarantee of job positions of Greek sailmen, strict adherence to legislation for 10-month work on passenger ships and creation of an Independent Unemployment Fund for sailmen.
Minister for Sea Affairs, Islands and Fishing Yiannis Adamantidis has called for prevalence of reason and labour peace. The Ministry has taken all initiatives to erase any reason for strike mobilizations or blackmailing logic in this difficult period said Mr. Diamantidis and stressed: "in any case the Ministry will defend public interest and sea transport".
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA/ÌPA
News item: 48716
 Troika Demands Expenses & Personnel CutsTuesday, 23 November 2010 11:49
Troika senior officials, in a press interview after conclusion of negotiations with the Greek government in view of third installment of rescue package, left open possibility for extension of time for payment of the 110 billion euros loan or granting of additional loan. They underlined that fiscal stability program in general was on the right track. All targets set till the end of September have been met, they, however, cited the need for further structural changes in the sectors of Health, DEKO (Public Utility Companies) and collection of revenues from taxation. Particularly on the sectors of Health and DEKO they requested specific proposals till March.
EU, ECB and IMF representatives also underlined the need for reduction of personnel in the public sector, saying, however, that it would be achieved through transfers, voluntary resignations or implementation of "5/1" rule (5 retirements 1 hiring) and in no case lay offs. Troika representatives suggested merger or closing of public bodies and services that have lost social character. Cut down wastes through structural changes in the Public sector and DEKO is among the top priorities of the government. They characteristically referred to the need for "Kallikratis" plan in the Public sector and reorganization of social welfare system.
Regarding prospects of Greece's economy, Troika representatives predicted reversal of situation in 2011 with inflationary pressures from prices and salary cost dropping down thus laying the foundations for improvement of competitiveness.
A joint communiquÃ© on fiscal stability cites that 6 percentage points drop in state deficit is higher to the initial target but lower revenues and recent revision of 2009 fiscal data demanded further effort to achieve 7.5% drop in deficit in 2011, a fact confirmed by the government.
The communiquÃ© also says that there was agreement for new measures on expansion of taxation scale and reduction of wastes in expenditures particularly in the sectors:
Expenses on health , which are ineffective compared against other countries in the eurozone.
State companies with years of losses which are unbearable burden to Greek taxpayers.
Taxation administration which puts into force means that strengthen compliance with taxation and justice.
Sources: ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÍÅÔ - ÁNA-ÌPA
Related News: Papakonstantinou: Tough Negotiations with Troika
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News item: 48683