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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-12-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greece's cultural heritage is its 'real capital', Koniordou tells ANA radio
  • [02] Return of collective negotiations in Greece essential, Dutch MEP Agnes Jongerius tells ANA
  • [03] MARLAB suvey on Greek 'Black Friday' sales finds muted consumer response

  • [01] Greece's cultural heritage is its 'real capital', Koniordou tells ANA radio

    The best way to protect Greece's monuments, both material and immaterial, was to "bring the citizens closer to them in such as way as to enliven their own love and own awareness that these monuments bring added value to their lives," Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou said on Sunday, talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) radio station 'Praktorio 104.9 FM'.

    "This is Greece's real capital and perhaps the most important thing it has at this time," Koniordou said from St. Petersburg, during the ANA's "Sputnik Express" broadcasting slot, noting that it could translate into progress, prosperity and also help encourage other activities, in education, local community activities, quality tourism and sustainable growth.

    Koniordou was interviewed about her visit to St. Petersburg for the inauguration on November 30 of the exhibition "Genii Loci. Greek art from 1930 until today" at the Manege State Museum. The exhibition was among events arranged for the Greece-Russia Year 2016 and features 147 works of art by 100 Greek painters of the 20th century until the present day. The minister also took part in the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum on December 1-3.

    "Like latter-day Noahs, we have to preserve the diamonds of humanity's adventure and keep these not in a museum but alive, with the subversive and many times even revolutionary spirit they had in their own time, to relay this spirit to the younger generation," she said.

    She noted the Russian public's strong interest in the Manege Museum exhibition and said Greece needed to invest in this "comparative advantage that all give us credit for."

    Koniordou said that Greece's intention and goal was to continue cooperating with Russia in these areas after the end of the Greece-Russia Year 2016, while adding that the experience gained will also be put to good use during Greece-China Year, which follows.

    "We wish to follow up by cooperating with another important ancient civilization that also seeking to find a balance between outwardness and preserving cultural heritage," she added.

    [02] Return of collective negotiations in Greece essential, Dutch MEP Agnes Jongerius tells ANA

    Collective labour negotiations must be restored in Greece, Dutch MEP Agnes Jongerius said in statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Sunday, expressing her full support for the government's efforts in this direction.

    A member of the European Parliament's Socialists and Democrats group, Jongerius was among the MEPs that met with Greece's Labour Minister Efi Achtsioglou last week.

    "The current regime for labour negotiations in Greece is not compatible with either the European Charter of Fundamental Rights nor with the core of International Labour Organisation conventions," she said. When Europe asks its trading partners around to the world to respect labour rights, it should first put its own house in order, she added.

    Jongerius also expressed full support for the letters that the S&D group sent to Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker supporting Greek positions on this issue.

    Referring to her meeting with Achtsioglou, Jongerius said that she assured the minister of her full support for Greece's demand to restore collective negotiations as part of the review of Greece's economic adjustment programme.

    Noting that she had recently been part of a European Parliament delegation that visited Bangladesh to discuss labour issues, she said the MEPs had pressed Bangladesh for progress on a series of fundamental issues, in order to ensure that workers enjoyed the freedom to associate and negotiate collective agreements. It was "unacceptable" that the EU was failing to respect the same fundamental social rights it demanded of others, she noted.

    "Given this, it is essential for us to reinstitute the effective exercise of the right to collective negotiations, so that Greek workers have decent wages," she said.

    [03] MARLAB suvey on Greek 'Black Friday' sales finds muted consumer response

    Greek consumers did not embrace Greece's first 'Black Friday' to the degree that retailers might have hoped, according to a survey carried out by the Macedonia University's Marketing Laboratory (MARLAB) and unveiled on Sunday.

    Only 32 pct of a survey sample responding to the internet poll, posted on various Facebook pages and LinkedIn, did any shopping on November 25, the first day that "Black Friday" was introduced in Greece. Of these, 82 pct preferred to visit the shops in person and only 11.1 pct did their shopping online, while 6.5 pct did their shopping both online and in shops.

    A 58-pct majority paid cash, 26 pct paid using a debit card and only 10 pct used credit cards, while 6 pct used both cash and cards.

    Most purchases were from cosmetics firms, technology outlets and apparel/footwear outlets, with consumers reporting purchases from Hondos (20.9 pct), Public (13.8 pct), Plaisio (13.4 pct), H& M (13.7 pct), Zara (12.5 pct), Media Markt (5.6 pct) and Sephora (4.9 pct).

    Of these, Zara did not participate in Black Friday and had no discount offers.

    More than two thirds (67.6 pct) of purchases were of footwear/apparel, followed by cosmetics (20.1 pct) and games/game machines (7.3 pct). Just over half (56 pct) spent up to 50 euros, 25 pct spent between 51-100 euros.

    Shoppers were mostly unimpressed by the discounts on offer, which mostly ranged from 20-30 pct, while only 7.6 pct reported buying at discounts exceeding 50 pct. The biggest discounts were for technology products (75 pct).

    The survey concluded that consumers had limited awareness or information about Black Friday, with social media serving as their main source of information. This was reflected in both limited purchases and small amounts spent, possibly due to the limited discounts on offer.

    Another possible explanation was a high percentage of unemployed people (37 pct) participating in the survey, who would have limited capability to shop even with discounts.

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