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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 10-12-27
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Circular for Civil Servants TransferMonday, 27 December 2010 15:12
The new year begins with civil servants' transfer. The Interior Ministry has sent a circular to Ministries and Public sectors requesting recording of vacancies, specialties and personnel surplus till February, 10 and briefing of general secretaries. Another circular calls employees of the 75 State services, organizations and sectors that have been abolished or merged to submit applications stating their preferences for transfer.
The Interior Ministry is attempting to draw a clear picture of personnel in the public sector , which specialties are short of personnel and in which specialties personnel is not sufficiently exploited.
The Interior Ministry's initiative aims at maximum utilization of staff on the grounds of their qualifications and the filling of vacancies due to freezing in new personnel hiring. Education and Health Ministries will send separate circulars for the recording of teachers and hospital staff.
Before the delivery of data, Interior Minister Yiannis Ragusis will have three briefing meetings, one on January 11 with general and special secretaries of all ministries and two meetings with department heads to give them instructions on data collection on January, 18 and at the end of the month.
In a separate circular, the Interior Ministry calls the 4.500 employees of the 75 public organizations that have been abolished or merged to submit transfer applications till January, 10. The circular refers to employees of the Museum, the National printing House Library, IMEPO, local centers for agriculture development , DEPOS , National Milk Committee. These personnel have to assume duties within 15 days after the transfer decision, otherwise they will be laid off without compensation.
News item: 54038
 Employees in Blue Buses Stage Work Stoppage on WednesdayMonday, 27 December 2010 10:36
Continuing mobilizations in protest against reforms in mass transport, employees in blue buses are staging a work stoppage at the start of the morning shift, on Wednesday. Therefore blue buses will run from 08:00-22:00 on Wednesday. There will be similar mobilizations but in different hours on January, 3, 5 and 10. Employees in other means of transport are likely to escalate mobilizations.
Sources: ÍÅÔ 105.8-ÁNA-ÌPA
News item: 53943
 Rise in Power Bills from 1/01/2011Monday, 27 December 2010 15:41
Power bills are expected to rise up to 14% as of January, 1, 2011. Energy Regulation Authority is expected to approve the rise on Tuesday and the Minister for Environment -Energy within this week. Regarding low income groups, state run company DEH has extended deadline for submission of applications till the end o January for inclusion in social bill that provides for 30% reduction. The new power bills, however, are favourable for commercial consumers.
Average rise in household bills from 1/01/2011 is the following:
Up to 800 kWh/4-month bill : + 13,7%
From 801 to 1000 kWh/4-month bill: +2,6%
From 1001 to 1600 kWh/4-month bill: + 2,7%
From 1601 to 2000 kWh/4-month bill: +1,6%
For example a household with 750 kWh consumption in 4-month period pays â¬ 78,3 at present. With the new rates the bill comes up to â¬ 86,2 while 2% rise in VAT leads to a total â¬ 9,6 rise in a 4-month period.
On the other hand, households consuming over 2000 kWh in a 4-month period will pay less. For 88.000 consumers reductions come up to 13.8% and for 316.000 reductions come up to 4.4%. High rises had been imposed on these consumers which are not in accordance to community regulations.
Rise in power bills is expected to attract higher interest in social bills and for this reason DEH has extended deadline to January, 31 for submission of applications to the program. So far 168.000 consumers have submitted applications for inclusion in the social pricing. Low income groups, pensioners, long-time unemployed, three children families and people with special needs are eligible for the program.
Regarding agriculture bills, some 207.000 bills will rise by 5% and 533 will rise by 7%. Power bills for some 1.5 million small businesses will drop from 5% to 18%.
Sources: ÍÅÔ - ÍÅÔ 105.8
News item: 54039
 Government Top Priorities after HolidaysMonday, 27 December 2010 12:19
The first quarter of 2011 is considered crucial in view of reimbursement of â¬110bn loan fourth tranche in March. The government is accelerating pace of reforms and structural changes while topping the list of reforms are: opening of closed professions, single salary system, mass transport and cuts in stock market listed state- run companies as well as developmental bill. Pharmacists, who react to the opening of their profession, are discussing proposals to stage 48-hour rotating strikes in a general assembly on Monday.
The Finance Ministry is getting prepared for a new Troika evaluation. Troika officials are to visit Greece in January in order to decide for the delivery of the fourth tranche of the â¬110bn loan.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8
News item: 54020
 Deadline for Settlement of Pending Tax Cases ExpiresMonday, 27 December 2010 10:18
Internal Revenue offices are expected to be busy this week as expiration of deadline for the settlement of pending taxation cases is approaching. Car owners, who have not received notification letter for the payment of 2011 road taxes or the letter contains wrong data, have to get the sticker directly from the tax offices. Finance Minister, George Papakonstantinou has repeated that there would not be extension of deadline. Regulation for closure of tax cases of businessmen and free lance professionals expires on Tuesday. Transfer of real estate property from "off shore" to personal companies expires on Wednesday while a special 15% tax has to be paid till December, 30.
Last payment of income tax has to be paid till December, 31. Also property owners who received a relevant statement for 2009 have to pay the single property tax till the end of the year.
Sources: ÍÅÔ, ÍÅÔ 105.8
News item: 53922