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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-03-17

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Restoring collective labour bargaining in Greece essential, Tsipras and Pittella agree
  • [02] ELPE pleased with signing of exploration rights deal for Ionian block
  • [03] Acropolis Museum celebrates March 25th with free entrance for all
  • [04] Greece must strengthen social safety nets, OECD 'Going for Growth' report says

  • [01] Restoring collective labour bargaining in Greece essential, Tsipras and Pittella agree

    During their meeting in Athens on Friday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the head of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament Gianni Pittella were fully aligned on the issue of restoring collective labour negotiations in Greece, noting that it was a matter of principle for the EU as a whole and not Greece alone.

    "This battle is not a battle for Greece alone but a battle for Europe, because some want to invalidate the institution of collective bargaining not just in Greece but in Europe," Tsipras said at the start of the meeting. "We must therefore fight together to immediately restore collective bargaining in Greece and the rights of the working class in all Europe," he added.

    Pittella, on his part, said that the 2nd review of the Greek programme must be completed and fully backed the position that collective labour bargaining must be restored. This was not just for Greece, he pointed out, but because "it is a European institution and we must not allow institutions outside the EU to forbid respect of social and labour rights," he said.

    Pittella was visiting Greece on Friday to attend a ceremony where he was declared an honorary citizen of Athens.

    [02] ELPE pleased with signing of exploration rights deal for Ionian block

    Greece's biggest oil refiner, Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), said on Friday it is satisfied with the signing of an exploration rights deal for an offshore block in the Ionian Sea in western Greece.

    ELPE is part of a consortium led by French multinational oil and gas company Total and Italy's Edison, which secured the rights for Block 2, in an area west of Corfu. The deal has to be approved by the Court of Auditors and the parliament.

    "An important step is being made which will be completed with the ratification of the agreement by the Greek Parliament. It is a great honour for us that we are partners with two internationally recognized companies such as Total and Edison," the company said in a press release.

    "We hope that a similar lease agreement will be signed in the coming days for 'Block 10' in the southern Ionian Sea, and that the Court of Audit will complete the pre-contractual audit for the areas of 'Arta-Preveza and 'NW Peloponnese'," it added.

    ELPA also said they consider it their duty and will invest accordingly, in order to determine if and where there are exploitable hydrocarbons throughout the Greek territory.

    [03] Acropolis Museum celebrates March 25th with free entrance for all

    The Acropolis Museum is celebrating Independence Day on March 25 with the presentation of a copy of "Kore 685", on which Swiss painter Émile E. Gilliéron (1885–1939) added the ancient colours, based on the prints created by his father, Emile L. Gilliéron (1850–1924) over 100 years ago.

    The copy, which will be presented to visitors by the museum President Dimitris Pandermalis at 13:00, was created soon after the discovery of the original sculpture in 1888, southwest of the Parthenon.

    At 19:00, the museum will screen in the hall of the periodic exhibition "Dodona. The oracle of sounds", excerpts from the work of composer George Kouroupos "Voice of the oak." This project is inspired by the oracular oak at Dodona.

    On the same day, the museum restaurant on the second floor will be serving a traditional Greek plate. Access to all the halls and exhibitions will be free all day (09:00-20:00).

    [04] Greece must strengthen social safety nets, OECD 'Going for Growth' report says

    Greece must continue to strengthen social safety nets, ease regulation in network industries, enhance efficiency in public administration, improve the fairness and efficiency of its tax system and improve the quality of its education system, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) "Going for Growth 2017" report released on Friday.

    In addition to the above recommendations, the report also noted a that Greece's GDP per capita was now 50 pct below the best-performing OECD countries, after a continuous decline since 2009 due to a drop in employment and labour productivity. In that time and until 2013, there was also an increase in inequality, with the income of the poorest dropping more than that of the population as a whole.

    The OECD report said Greece had made some progress in implementing reforms based on its recommendations, such as in tax compliance and the social safety net, "whereas reforms in the areas of education and the public administration have been modest."

    "Fully implementing policies to reduce poverty and inequality, such as the Guaranteed Minimum Income, would alleviate the severe social cost of the crisis while boosting consumption and growth. Easing further regulations in network industries and strengthening the capacity and independence of regulatory agencies would raise competitiveness. Continuing to streamline regulation would improve the business environment. Pursuing the fight on tax evasion and further broadening the tax base is key to raising revenues in a more inclusive and growth-friendly way. Better exploiting EU structural funds to boost investment in education, research and innovation, and information and communication technology will enhance skills and human capital, and lay the foundation for a stronger economic growth," the OECD report said.


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