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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-12-22
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Opening of "Closed Professions in 2011"Tuesday, 21 December 2010 21:12
The Ministers' Council met on Tuesday to discuss opening of closed professions, privatization plan and reforms in taxation system. Some 150 professions, among them lawyers, notaries public, pharmacists, bailiffs, are in the list. The draft-bill will be tabled in mid January while the opening of professions will have been materialized in the first half of 2011.
Prime-minister George Papandreou called on Ministers to accelerate actions as reforms are linked with the next tranches of 110 billion euros loan. He also spoke of a heavy legislation load, whose high significance demands briefing and deliberations with both interested sectors and society.
Finance Minister George Papakonstantinou has been authorized to draw dratf-bills on closed professions, lucky games and reforms in taxation system. Structural reforms aimed at the development of public assets and attraction of strategic investors will be also promoted.
On her part, Employment Minister L. Katseli presented the basic principals of draft-bill providing for creation of social responsibility companies, which will offer social services such as home assistance as well as regulations for effective functioning on labour relations.
Opening of closed professions could be implemented only during prosperity periods, or else it would worsen the situation commented LAOS party while SYRIZA party stressed that these measures would lead to generalization of hunger salaries.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105,8, ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 53176
 Christmas Concert 2010Tuesday, 21 December 2010 18:53
Watch video of Monday's ERT Christmas Concert at "Hristos lambrakis" hall in the Athens Music Hall. Contemporary orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra , ERT choir and "Rosarte" child choir presented "Christmas Story" by Dickens and played music from films sang Christmas songs. Host of the event was Alexis Kostalas.
Watch Concert by ERT Play service
News item: 53167
 Debate on State Budget Culminates at MidnightWednesday, 22 December 2010 15:12
Debate on 2011 state budget culminates at midnight with a roll call vote after the speeches of political party leaders. In his speech, alternate Employment Minister George Koutroumanis announced 25% reduction in employers and employees' contributions gradually in three-years time through the establishment of certain terms as well as the broadening of OAED programs, with local integrated programs aimed at the maintainance of job positions and creation of new job posts.
Debate on 2011 state budget concludes tonight with a roll call vote after the speeches of political party leaders.
Deputies and ministers have been expressing their views on the content of the budget. PASOK deputies have launched a mild criticism while the opposition which will vote against the budget maintains a tougher stand.
Peoples' sacrifices will bear fruit stressed alternate Employment Minister George Koutroumanis who said that social security funds were almost bankrupt when PASOK assumed office in 2009. Funds received 17.2 billion grant from the state budget to pay pensions while in 2010 state grant drop by 25% to 13.6 billion euros without transfer of debts to next year. He also announced 25% reduction in employers and employees contributions gradually in three years time.
Alternate Foreign Minister Mariliza Xenoyiannakopoulou defended the measures underlining the government's responsibility and obligation to stabilize the country's economy which reached brink of bankruptcy. She described 2011 budget as "difficult, painful but necessary effort to deal with the unprecedented financial crisis in Greece", which as she said "is in a state of emergency".
Alternate Culture Minister Tilemahos Hitiris said that political parties and mass media should realize that the state budget is necessary and the only option without taking into consideration political cost. Mr. Hitiris expressed certainty that we are heading into a new era and described as big advantage the fact that Greece was in the euro region as well as the creation of the European support mechanism.
Former Speaker of the House Dimitris Siufas exercized strong criticism against the government and called it to "turn the wheel, and change notion and strategy "now, not tomorrow"
George Kasapidis, ND deputy responsible for Agricultural Development spoke of bankruptcy of the political system.
Independent deputy Sophia Sakorafa objected to 2011 budget and dropped hints against the government but also a proposal for exit from the debt crisis. She maintained that the Memorandum was not a one-way road referring to Hungary's conservative government that said "no" to the IMF but imposed three-year extra contributions to banks, insurance and stock trading broker agencies. She also cited the need for another Front under a different logic that would not respond to whether Greece could pay its state debt but what part of its state debt should Greece pay.
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8 - ÁNA / ÌPA
News item: 53387
 GSEE-ADEDY Work Stoppage-POSPERT ParticipatesWednesday, 22 December 2010 11:49
The two major trade unions GSEE and ADEDY are staging a 3-hour stoppage from 12:00-15:00 on Wednesday, December, 22 in protest against the voting of 2011 state budget, which is being held at 24:00 tonight. POSPERT is participating in the Pan- Attica work stoppage. News bulletins and information programs will not be aired during this time and news on ERTonline will not be updated. A protest demonstration has been organized for 13:00 outside the Parliament building. PAME is staging a separate demonstration at 14:00, at Omonoia Square.
Source: ÍÅÔ 105.8
News item: 53322