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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-12-10
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 "Kallikratis" Boosts Regional GrowthFriday, 10 December 2010 15:45
We are determined to place all weight on structural reforms underlined the Prime-minister in his speech at a conference organized by PASOK deputies entitled "European Regional Policy & Local Administration". Mr. Papandreou asked for close cooperation of mayors and regional governors with the competent EU officials to reach decisions for regional development through ESPA programs. Mr. Papandreou also met with EU Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn.
"Revolutionary step" was the Prime-minister's description of "Kallikratis" plan, in his speech at the conference organized by PASOK euro deputies. Mr. Papandreou stressed that the new local administration structure moves towards Greece's convergence with many European states with mature local administration institutions.
Mr. Papandreou went on to say that EU growth policy has been oriented to regional level since some time ago while the world trend is the movement of 50% of the world's population to large cities, a fact that raises the need for creation of powerful cities in innovative regions.
Since growth is nowadays the challenge to exit the country from the financial crisis, "Kallikratis" is at the core of this policy and part of the solution said the Prime-minister. He described as a "miniature state" the structure of local administration so far underlining that "Kallikratis" would minimize State-Local Administration dependence.
"Clientelism policy so far made us look at the "center" instead of projecting what was next to us", said Mr. Papandreou adding that ESPA regional programs would be transferred to regions so each region to acquire a particular regional identity through growth.
After his speech, Mr. Papandreou met with EU Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn .
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105,8 - ÁNA/ÌPA
News item: 51832
 PM's Takes Initiative to Brief Political LeadersFriday, 10 December 2010 12:35
Prime-minister George Papandreou, in response to a relevant question by LAOS president G. Karatzaferis, announced briefing of political party leaders on developments in the economy next week in view of the EU Summit meeting. Mr. Papandreou, responding to GCP general sec. A. Papariga question on labour relations, underlined the government's determination to proceed to big reforms that will exit the country from the financial crisis. The measures taken are to ensure security for employees underlining: "we are in a tough tunnel requesting sacrifices and pain but the country will exit stronger with prospect for development which will bring prosperity and restoration of lost incomes in the next stage".
Confrontation on Labour Relations
Referring to company labour contracts, the Prime-minister said that the government's top priority was to combat unemployment, underlining that there was only one option "to save job positions otherwise companies would either resort to lay offs or close down".
On her part, GCP gen. sec. A. Papariga labeled the government as the most dangerous one after the Restoration of Democracy leveling salaries to the bottom. She added that measures promoted are neither linked to debt nor deficit but are obligations undertaken to serve the strong and take back conquests won after World War II. Mrs. Papariga also stressed the importance of strikes regardless if the draft-bill is passed with fast-track procedures.
In his counter response, the Prime-minister said the government was not dangerous but the situation of the country was dangerous and the ruling party has assumed responsibility to change the country. He also reminded Mrs. Papariga of the lay offs in businesses owned by the Communist party.
LAOS president G. Karatzaferis left no room for understanding and consent regarding movement of Muslim extremists circles in Athens. He maintained that these circles are preparing destabilization moves. The Prime-minister underlined it was a shame there was no mosque in Athens and one should have been built 25 years ago.
Possibly Referendum on Lisbon Treaty Revision
The Prime-minister left open possibility for referendum on revision of Lisbon treaty in response to leader A. Tsipras. Tsipras blamed the government for legalizing the most barbarian and class discrimination policy and should step down as soon as possible. Mr. Papandreou said SYRIZA party was overcome by catastrophe syndrome and added that the government has achieved to restore credibility of the country and secure support plan.
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 51785
 D/B on DEKO Triggers MobilizationsFriday, 10 December 2010 15:44
Multi draft-bill providing for reforms in Public Utility Companies (DEKO) and labour relations in private sector, to be passed by the Parliament on Tuesday with fast-track procedures, has triggered strong reactions. GSEE, ADEDY and EKA have announced work stoppage from 12:00-15:00, and a demonstration at 13:00 at Syntagma Square, on Tuesday while they are staging a general strike on Wednesday. Spokesman for GSEE administration board, Stathis Anestis described the draft-bill as "appalling and unacceptable" which sweeps away fundamental labour rights. Referring to company labour contracts, Mr. Anestis said "no unionist wll sign a contract which is a noose around workers' neck". Agriculture Bank employees start 24-hour repeated strikes on Monday. Employees in Mass Transport are to stage work stoppages on Sunday from 10:00-16:00 and on Monday from 11:00-17:00 while they are considering escalation of mobilizations within the week. OTOE (Banks Union) has announced a 48-hour strike on December, 14 and 15.
Petalotis: "Our Measure Is Social Justice"
Government spokesman George Petalotis, in his briefing of political reporters , defended the Ministers' Council decisions on DEKO and labour rights, stressing: "the government's measure is social justice and securing job positions through least possible painful decisions". In reference to company labour contracts he said: "the government sets rules in a deregulated labour market promoting flexibility wherever necessary".
In response to relevant question, Mr. Petalotis said fast track procedure to pass draft-bill was selected due to tight time limit within which major structural reforms should be promoted. The government spokesman called trade unions to assume their responsibilities in view of next week's mobilizations,
Defense Minister E. Venizelos also made statements on DEKO reforms, on the sidelines of his visit to Thessaloniki Higher War School. He added that the country is at a crucial stage, underlining the necessity of a national effort to overcome the financial crisis.
"Sacrifices are necessary. Sacrifices with justice. Our aim is to restore injustices, inevitable at this stage, when we overcome the financial crisisâ¦.At this stage all Greeks should contribute to the extent they are obliged on the grounds of their capacity, in order to achieve our target".
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8, ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 51837