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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-01-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Opposition on Stability plan
  • [02] Tempi closure update
  • [03] Cost cuts in ERT
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] Opposition on Stability plan

    Opposition parties on Thursday expressed their disagreement with the "express briefing" by Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou on the Stability and Growth Programme, during the joint meeting of the Parliamentary economic and European affairs committees, calling for the postponement of the meeting for adequate time to be provided for them to be informed of the content of the programme that covers many pages.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) spokesman Nikos Karathanasopoulos said that "when we have antipopular and undemocratic measures in essence we shall have antipopular and undemocratic attitudes."

    Popular Orthodox rally (LAOS) party deputy Constantine Aivaliotis said "we must face the new commissioner Olli Rehn who is tougher than the previous one, (Joaquin) Almunia," and added that the programme was only received by the party two hours ago and their was no time to examine it.

    Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary Group president Alexis Tsipras said that it is necessary that the discussion on the programme should take place with adequate consultation time and in the plenum as well.

    [02] Tempi closure update

    Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Minister Dimitris Reppas stated ον Thursday that he is waiting for the proposals of the concessionaire construction company that will define the method to be used and the time needed to repair the damage and to allow the reopening of the Athens-Thessaloniki motorway at the Tempi Valley section of central Greece.

    The specific section of the national highway has been closed to traffic since Dec. 17, 2009 following a landslide.

    Responding to a current question tabled in parliament by Communist Party of Greece (KKE) MP Antonis Skyllakos, the minister clarified that "based on the contract signed the maintenance, operation, safety and exploitation of the motorway section in Tempi belongs exclusively to the concessionaire company namely, the company that has undertaken to build the new major motorway."

    Reppas referred to the initiatives undertaken in the region aimed at providing permanent solutions, including a monitoring system that will record soil erosion phenomena. He pointed out that this is an ongoing problem that deteriorates depending on the conditions present.

    He also stated that representatives of the ministry, the TRAINOSE railway company and the railway infrastructure manager company (EDISY) are in the process of visiting European countries with "rolling highway" technology which can be used to carry buses and trucks past the blocked-off section of Greece's main north-south road axis.

    [03] Cost cuts in ERT

    Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos on Thursday said in a press conference that the government had succeeded in making significant cost cuts at the state broadcaster ERT, chiefly by not renewing the contracts of consultants and staff that provided little or no services, thus saving nearly four million euros, by trimming pay packets to its staff - including a 30 percent reduction in salaries of general managers - thus bringing savings of over 2.0 million euros.

    Speaking during a press conference, he announced that ERT would enter a new phase of its operations after the appointment of a new president and a new board director, who would be two separate people.

    At that time, he clarified, decisions would be made about which programmes would continue and which not, a new organisational chart will be drawn up and a new policy for evaluating both programmes and personnel will be unveiled.

    He noted that the government's aim was to ensure transparency, meritocracy and good quality programmes in the state broadcaster, while its new management, to be appointed in the coming week, will be selected based on their knowledge of management, technology and political criteria.

    The current board would remain for a short time after the new president and board director were chosen, he added.

    Caption: Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos speaks at a press conference on Thursday 14 January 2010 in Athens. ANA-MPA

    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The new Stability and Growth plan to be submitted on Friday to the European Commission and ECB president Jean Claude Trichet's initial reaction, and the unemployment rate's hike to 9.8 percent, dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Prime minister George Papandreou called on the people to 'give a (helping) hand'."

    APOGEVMATINI: "Greece's battle for the economy and its credibility".

    AVGHI: "Government's Instability, Recession and Unemployment plan".

    AVRIANI: "Employment Minister Andreas Loverdos' nightmarish prediction that unemployment will skyrocket to 21 percent by the end of the year".

    CHORA: "The number of unemployed will reach 1 million in 2010".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Loverdos: Hike in unemployment - The unemployed will reach 1 million".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Loverdos' torpedo of Stability plan".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "11.5 billion euros savings at all sacrifice".

    ESTIA: "The incompetent state dismantling the economy".

    ETHNOS: "Package of measures against tax evasion".

    IMERISSIA: "Emergency plan - Markets dubious over Stability plan".

    KATHIMERINI: "Stability measures in an unstable climate".

    LOGOS: "The unemployed will reach one million in 2010".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Stability plan with difficult 'wagers'."

    NIKI: "Trichet gives backing to Papandreou".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "The Stability and Growth plan bashes the popular rights".

    TA NEA: "1000 days of austerity and lists of tax evaders".

    TO VIMA: "Agony over the Stability programme and the markets".

    VRADYNI: "Unemployment a nightmare".

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