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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-05-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Tsipras meets with regional governors at the Maximos mansion
  • [02] Fraport Greece presents plans for Corfu airport
  • [03] Lack of meritocrary, corruption, lead human capital abroad
  • [04] Economic crisis forced Greek primary sector to boost investment, extroversion
  • [05] Greek SMEs, workers strongly oppose Sunday liberalization plans

  • [01] PM Tsipras meets with regional governors at the Maximos mansion

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is currently in a meeting with the country's 13 regional governors in the presence of Interior Minister Panos Skourletis at the Maximos mansion.

    The discussion focuses on the productive reconstruction and the regions' role in the restoration of the Greek economy and society.

    Tsipras said that the reasons of the crisis are well known and referred to the distorted productive model of the past that contributed to the crisis. He asked from the regional governors to draft "a new plan on the productive model that should be fair, sustainable and viable" he said underlining that "this issue refers to the whole political system, the productive groups and the local administration".

    [02] Fraport Greece presents plans for Corfu airport

    Fraport Greece presented its plans for the development and upgrade of Corfu airport, during a special event organized at the Chamber of Corfu on Tuesday.

    "The condition in several of the 14 airports is very problematic, so our first goal in the next eight weeks is to make a good cleaning, to improve toilets, to make passengers' stay more pleasant, to install a new control system and to transform airports in the model of all international airports," Alexander Zinell, CEO in Fraport Greece told ANA in an interview.

    He presented the benefits for passengers and workers in these airports and noted that nothing will change in the labour status of workers in Civil Aviation Authority.

    "Our investment will offer benefits to passengers and to airport workers, currently working under very difficult working conditions. Our aim is to improve labour conditions and airport to become better, cleaner and safer for passengers and workers and the society," Zinell said, adding: "Civil Aviation Authority workers are state employees and will not lose their work, but they could work to different posts. We created 560 new job positions and signed cooperation contracts with cleaning and other services companies. This way we create new job positions in all airports for local communities," he added.

    Zinell said Fraport Greece plans to build five new terminal stations in the next four years, among them Corfu, adding: "It is not necessary to have new airport facilities everywhere, but in the next four years we will build five new terminal stations and Corfu will be among them. At the same time, we will make dramatic changes to the remaining airports to bring them to a whole new level".

    He said Fraport Greece was seeking to sign a cooperation agreement with Qatar Airways, an airline interested in launching flights to Thessaloniki and Mykonos. Zinell said there will be no extra charge for passengers in Greek airports but left the door open to introduce a parking fee in airports.

    [03] Lack of meritocrary, corruption, lead human capital abroad

    Lack of meritocracy and corruption drive abroad human capital (Brain Drain) in Greece, according to an ICAP People Solutions' primary research results, were presented at the 3rd Human Capital Summit.

    The survey, conducted for the 3rd consecutive year, was compiled on a sample of 1,268 Greeks living abroad: 68% of people are up to 35 years of age without high-qualified family responsibilities (64% of postgraduate and / or doctoral students).

    Of those who participated last year in the survey, which accounted for 30% of this year's sample, only 5 people have returned to Greece for work in the meantime. The main reasons for people leaving to work abroad were lack of meritocracy and corruption in Greece (41%), the economic crisis and the uncertainty in Greece (34%) and the prospects for career abroad (33%). The percentage of Greeks who did not expect their return to Greece grew further to 42% compared to 35% in 2016.

    It has been observed that individuals have slightly higher wage requirements for their return to Greece, compared to the requirements they claimed in 2016. Half of those who participated in the survey intend to help the country to regain its competitiveness, mainly through the purchase of Greek products (25%) or by suggesting Greece as the main holiday destination (23%).

    According to the results of the survey, the view that immigrants can benefit the country is relatively high, particularly for those migrating to non-European countries.

    [04] Economic crisis forced Greek primary sector to boost investment, extroversion

    The economic crisis forced Greeks of the primary sector to wake up from a state of complacency and to become active again, raising their extroversion activity and cooperation around the world, high-ranking officials from Tesco and Metro told ANA on Wednesday.

    The officials stressed that the entry of new generations in the sector altered conditions in bilateral cooperation and noted that a prevailing trend for big players in the global market was cost reduction to the benefit of producers and consumers.

    Giorgos Bitsakos, Lead Supply Development Manager Tesco European Hub, said his visit to this year's Freskon fair -for the second year in a row- was part of a strategy to find new fruit and vegetable products for Tesco, a leader in the UK and Ireland operating a network of more than 1,000 units in Eastern Europe (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland). Bitsakos underlined "there is still deflation in food in Britain and prices continue falling," adding that Tesco was already cooperating with very good suppliers in Greece and was constantly looking for new suppliers, innovators investing in quality.

    He noted that primary sector producers and suppliers were seeking to significantly boost extroversion activity and were open to new things. Bitsakos said several producers were experimenting with new grape varieties from Israel and the US with the aim to raise both volume and value of Greek grape exports. He said that Tesco was investing in agricultural production and said that Greek exports were rising steadily after 2010.

    Commenting on the possible impact of a Brexit on the business community, Bitsakos said: "In Tesco its business as usual, the world will not stop turning...No matter what happens, England will continue buying fruit and vegetables. I don't think that duties will be imposed, but even in such a case, something will be found, I am optimistic".

    Sylvia Ewa Czochara, Metro Group Trading Office Valencia, speaking to ANA said that economic crisis has lead to the flourishing of business activity in the primary sector and noted that Greeks from the primary sector have developed into serious and credible professionals in the last few years. Czochara, who attended last year's Freskon fair as well, noted that Greeks were now investing and that was clearly evident in the improvement of product quality, they are affluent in English and they do not declare, but they are open-minded. "The entry of young people in the sector upgraded the level in all fields," she said.

    Metro is always looking for credible partners in Greece, "and why not new products" and noted the group was aiming to directly contact its suppliers. Valencia Trading Office/Metro Group is the central unit of fresh fruit and vegetable market of the group. It is based in Valencia, Spain and serves 17 countries in Europe and Asia.

    [05] Greek SMEs, workers strongly oppose Sunday liberalization plans

    Greek small- and medium-sized enterprises and traders will resort with the Council of State in case the government decided to legislate on the opening of stores 32 Sundays annually, while strike mobilizations will begin to declare the sector's categorical opposition to such a measure, the sector's representatives (both employers and workers) said during a news conference on Wednesday.

    They announced a strike mobilization in the commerce sector on Sunday, 7 May and said that traders will close their shops one Sunday -from a total of 8 Sundays currently operating- for each Sunday that the government will legislate.

    Vasilis Korkidis, president of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (ESEE) and George Kavathas, president of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE), denounced the reappearance of the Sunday issue as an initiative of specific domestic business interests, with creditors acting as intermediaries to a demand by large multinational groups, shopping centers and malls.

    "Their target is that large retail groups to control the market, crushing SMEs through the implementation of monopoly conditions and practices of pre-agreed prices and offers and to overturn workers' rights by imposing and expanding flexible labour relations and wide-spread labour insecurity," they said.

    ÅSEE and GSEVEE urged all political parties to present their position on the issue and urged the government to present a clear plan by May 7. They also asked to meet with the President of the Republic and the Prime minister.

    Panagiotis Kiriakoulas, secretary-general of the Federation of Employees in the commerce sector said a 30 pct of workers in the commerce sector were already suffering a breach of their labour rights and attacked plans for a further liberalization of Sunday work as a hostile measure for employment, labour conditions and payment.

    They said that Sunday operation of shops so far has shown that the measure did not contributed to the country's growth effort or in the creation of new job positions.

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