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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-10-11

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Interior ministry readies for local gov't elections
  • [02] Greek-Turkish trade ties booming, report
  • [03] Landslides temporarily block main N-S highway
  • [04] Gov't adamant as striking teachers rally

  • [01] Interior ministry readies for local gov't elections

    The public administration and interior ministry continued to gear up this week for Sunday's first-round municipal and prefectural elections throughout the country, with relevant Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Wednesday briefing reporters presenting, among others, the IT system to be used during the poll.

    Additionally, several four-digit phone numbers were announced to provide information to voters, as the number for the Athens municipality, for instance, is 1564.

    The Internet site for information is the "YPESDA" site. The IT system was purchased from the firm Singular Logistic.

    [02] Greek-Turkish trade ties booming, report

    Turkey has emerged as a major trading partner for Greece, with prospects of further increasing bilateral trade relations still robust, a report by the national exporters' association announced on Wednesday.

    The report said Turkey was the fifth largest export market in 2005, with Greek exports totalling 937 million US dollars, accounting for 5.4 pct of total Greek exports. Imports from Turkey totalled 1.189 billion US dollars, or 2.3 pct of Greek imports, making Turkey the 14th largest supplier of Greek markets.

    Greek exports to Turkey grew an average annual rate of 30.2 pct in the 2001-2005 period, while imports (including vessels) grew 27.4 pct over the same period. Greek exports in total grew 11.9 pct while imports rose 15 pct over the same period.

    Greek exports covered mainly cotton (61 pct of total exports in 2005) and fuel, covering more than half the value of total exports to the neighbour country. The report said Greek exporters faced various obstacles in accessing Turkish markets.

    On the other hand, imports from Turkey covered a wide range of products. Bilateral trade relations expanded in the last few years with more than 80 Greek enterprises operating in the neighbouring country. Greek investments in Turkey are expected to cover more than one-fifth - closer to 25 percent - of foreign direct investments in the country.

    [03] Landslides temporarily block main N-S highway

    Heavy rainfall that fell on most parts of the country over the past few days created serious traffic problems on Greeceās national motorways on Wednesday, with the main Athens-Lamia north-south axis closed for the better part of the morning for motorists travelling south to Athens at the Thermopylae intersection and just north of the Aghios Konstantinos coastal community.

    Traffic on the motorway was partially restored between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. after being closed for motorists during the night when the Agios Konstantinos section was blocked by debris carried by a landslide.

    Caption: Flooding in the central city of Volos destroyed dozens of homes on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2006. ANA-MPA photo / V. Paschali.

    [04] Gov't adamant as striking teachers rally

    The government will not take one step backward regarding demands by the teachers' union, Education Minister Marietta Yiannakou stressed to reporters on Wednesday.

    "Let them understand this. [The government] is under political attack. There are specific political groups that want social upheaval. They are supporting an affair that is on the wane," she said after a Cabinet meeting.

    She also asserted that the number of high schools taken over by pupils did not exceed 5 percent, though this was also a problem.

    "In every school, the take over is being carried out by one or two teachers, four or five construction workers and five or six students," she added.

    In central Athens, a protest rally announced by striking primary and kindergarten teachers got underway at noon, with the participation of teachers from high schools and universities and students.

    Also represented were workers in the private sector and broader public sector, after the civil servants union ADEDY called a 24-hour strike in solidarity with teachers and the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE) voted for a four-hour work stoppage in Athens and Thessaloniki to allow workers to attend.

    The rally, held in support of primary teachers' demands for substantial pay rises (of up to 47 percent for newly appointed teachers) and an increase in funding for education to 5 percent of GDP, began at Syntagma Square.

    Responding to the minister's statements, the head of the primary teachers' union (DOE) Dimitris Bratis said they were adding "fuel to the flame" and disagreed that teachers were waning in their resolve, calling all teachers and students to attend the next rally programme for the coming week.

    Caption: Education Minister Yiannakou is shown after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006. ANA-MPA photo / P. Saitas.


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