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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 08-06-11

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Harsh Hours
  • [02] Found Dead in a Well
  • [03] Promising Indications
  • [04] 65-Hour Workweek Sparks Reactions
  • [05] New Driving Licenses
  • [06] The Conservatives Hold a 2.9% Lead
  • [07] Medvedev Envisages a "Free Society"
  • [08] The World's Largest Airport in Dubai
  • [09] Oil Prices Rise again
  • [10] Alogoskoufis-Garganas Meeting
  • [11] Grp D: Spain 4-1 Russia
  • [12] "Green Light" for 65 Hours Working Week

  • [01] Three Days after the 6.5-Magnitude Quake

    Harsh Hours

    11 Ιουν 2008 12:08:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8, ANA-MPA

    State engineers and local authorities in the quake-stricken areas of Achaia and Ilia are battling against time to have damage caused by the strong Sunday earthquake recorded and open the support procedures for the quake victims. The post-earthquake activity is viewed as dying down, with five aftershocks measuring from 3.7 to 4.1 on the Richter scale were recorded in the last day. The recording of the damage caused to buildings is expected to be completed on Thursday, so that the Agricultural Bank starts paying the special funds to the quake-hit.

    Related News:

    Concern over Aftershocks

    [02] The 2 Missing Brothers Were Located

    Found Dead in a Well

    11 Ιουν 2008 15:06:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The two brothers, aged 44 and 47, who had been missing since Tuesday noon, were found dead inside a well by the Dionysou Avenue. An operation to have their bodies recovered is underway. Their car was located abandoned by the well, a fact that led authorities to locate them.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [03] Search Operation Carried out in Clandestine

    Promising Indications

    11 Ιουν 2008 12:20:0 (Last updated: 11 Ιουν 2008 14:29:0)

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: NET, ANA-MPA

    Σε πλήρη εξέλιξη βρίσκονται οι έρευνες για τον εντοπισμό του προέδρου των βιομηχάνων Βορείου Ελλάδος, Γιώργου Μυλωνά, οι οποίες διενεργούνται με άκρα μυστικότητα.

    Αν και η πληροφόρηση -για λόγους ασφαλείας¬- γίνεται κυριολεκτικά με το σταγονόμετρο, φαίνεται ότι υπάρχουν βάσιμες ελπίδες, αφού έχει βρεθεί υλικό που μπορεί να οδηγήσει σε κάποιο καλύτερο σημείο τις έρευνες, με πιθανότερο ενδεχόμενο την εγκληματική ενέργεια για απαίτηση λύτρων, ως αντάλλαγμα για την απελευθέρωσή του.

    Η Εισαγγελία Πρωτοδικών Θεσσαλονίκης και η οικογένεια του απαχθέντος ζήτησαν από τα Μέσα Μαζικής Ενημέρωσης, να μη μεταδίδουν πληροφορίες που μπορεί να δυσχεράνουν το έργο της ανάκρισης ή να ακόμα χειρότερα να αποτρέψουν την αίσια λήξη της υπόθεσης.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    Greek Businessman Abducted

    [04] 65-Hour Workweek Sparks Reactions

    11 Ιουν 2008 14:43:0 (Last updated: 11 Ιουν 2008 16:23:2)

    Sources: ΝΕΤ-ΝΕΤ 105.8-ANA/MPA

    The EU nations decision to abolish the 48-hour workweek, enabling Europeans to work up to 65 hours a week under certain conditions, has sparked reactions. Five countries, including Greece, Cyprus, Belgium, Spain and Hungary strongly objected the proposals on work time. Greek Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia stressed that Greece is against any rise in work hours. Greece will not come to terms with changes at the expense of the employees, underlined Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, while both the opposition parties and the trade unions strongly blasted they decision in question.

    Greek Government Disagrees

    The Greek government objected the proposal to have the workweek extended to 65 hours.

    Commenting on the controversial issue, Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos noted that Greece is among the five nations that refuse to accept the changes at the expense of the employees.

    We stay committed to our policy and we do not consent to the other nations intentions, stressed he.

    He then went on to add that Greece has clearly laid out its positions at the EU Employment Ministers Council, underlining that the matter will be brought up at the forthcoming EU Council.

    EU Council of Employment Ministers decided on Tuesday to have the workweek extended up to 60 or 65 hours a week, under certain conditions.

    With regard to work time, the EU Employment Ministers agreed a maximum of 48-hour. However, the agreement offers an opt-out to between 60 and 65 hours, should the social partners give thumbs up.

    While addressing the EU Council, Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia underscored that Greece remains committed to full-time and qualitative job, further adding: "We will not discuss - and we will walk out of the process, neither an increase in work time nor a reduction in long-term work contracts. This is Greeces crystal clear and firm position."

    Opposition Parties and Trade Unions against the Agreement

    The Greek opposition parties and the trade unions also strongly reacted to the EU Councils decision.

    Walking out of the negotiation process of the EU directive at the Employment Ministers Council, the Greek Government takes part in a game that will have unpredictable consequences to the employees health and quality of life, said Socialist MP and section head for employment and welfare issues Evi Christofilopoulou.

    Christofilopoulou slammed the Government for following a policy meant to undermine labour rights.

    KKEs (Greek Communist Party) read: "The employees must be informed on the new ruling taken by the EU Council of Employment Ministers, as it is pushing for dangerous changes in work time that will dramatically worsen the employees lives[] The employees must revolt. Yet again, it becomes obvious that the struggle for their rights, (the struggle) against the anti-labour policy, requires disobedience and confrontation with the EU."

    Head of SYRIZAs (Coalition of the Radical Left) parliamentary group Alekos Alavanos lambasted the Government for agreeing with the said resolution, with a view to attacking the 8-hour work time.

    "Greeces walkout is a step back for the acquis on labour relations, as the resolution abolishes the 48-hour workweek, extending it up to 65 hours," stressed an announcement issued by LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally).

    The Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) dismissed the resolution as disgraceful.

    "In a Europe where unemployment, inequalities and social deadlocks are dramatically increasing, a rise instead of a reduction in work time has been suggested and decided in a provocative manner. Unfortunately, Greeces refusal has been translated into an unjustifiable walkout-acceptance," said the GSEE announcement.

    The EU Parliament will have to ratify the agreement, while the European Trade Union Confederation dismissed the agreement as "unacceptable."

    Translated by Areti Christou

    Related News:

    "Green Light" for 65 Hours Working Week

    [05] New Driving Licenses

    11 Ιουν 2008 16:47:0

    Greek authorities will start issuing new credit card-style driving licenses in early 2009. The new licenses will have the holders photo on, as well as several personal data. Those who already have a driving license do not have to replace it with the new one. If they wish, however, to travel outside Greece, they will have to get a new one paying 30 euros.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [06] New Survey by MRB

    The Conservatives Hold a 2.9% Lead

    11 Ιουν 2008 15:42:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ, ΝΕΤ 105.8

    The gap between the Conservatives and the Socialists has slightly widened, has suggested an MRB poll, which was carried out between 23 May and 2 June on a sample of 2,100 people. Price hikes are believed to be by far the most important problem, while a positive rating was also given to partnership contracts. The ruling party of ND (New Democracy) enjoys a 2.9% lead, while Kostas Karamanlis remains the most appropriate for the Premiership. ND garners 32.2%, PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) 29.3%, SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) 12.1%, KKE (Greek Communist Party) 7% and LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) 4.1%. On the question, who is the most appropriate for the post of Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis leads the race with 34.1%, George Papandreou trails with 24.9% and Alexis Tsipras with 10.2%.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [07] Medvedev Envisages a "Free Society"

    11 Ιουν 2008 12:54:0

    Sources: AFP

    President Dmitry Medvedev pledged Wednesday to work toward making Russia a freer society with a new focus on defence of human rights and free media.

    "Our immutable course will be the creation of a free and responsible society, the defence of human rights, freedom of the press and of speech and, of course, supremacy of the law," Medvedev said in a speech in Moscow.

    Addressing delegates to an international congress of Russian-language media, Medvedev acknowledged that Russia still struggled with political and social problems but vowed to focus on alleviating them.

    "We are in the process of improving our political system," Medvedev said.

    The new Russian president said racism, xenophobia and extremism remained serious problems in Russian society and vowed to use law enforcement agencies and the court system to combat them.

    "These threats unfortunately are not disappearing," he said. "We face them in places where we did not expect them... If we cannot eliminate these phenomena, we must strive to reduce them radically."

    Medvedev said this was mainly the duty of the state but added that free mass media also had an important role to play in promoting civil society and fighting xenophobia.

    [08] The World's Largest Airport in Dubai

    11 Ιουν 2008 12:03:0

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    The Gulf emirate of Dubai released the construction plans of the worlds largest airport. The airport will be equivalent to 19,200 football pitches. It will be as large as Chicago and London Heathrow airports together, read the relevant report. Bob Johnson, the chief executive officer of Dubai Aerospace told the Khaleej Times that the Dubai World Central airport targets to facilitate as many as 120 million passengers, while it is expected to operate in mid 2009.

    Translated by Areti Christou

    [09] Oil Prices Rise again

    11 Ιουν 2008 11:35:0

    By Alexandros Moz

    Sources: ΑNA-ΜPA-AFP

    Oil prices have continued their surge in Asia after yesterdays drop by three dollars, in view of the OPEC meeting due to be held on 22 June.

    Light crude is now trading in Asian markets at $US132 per barrel, while London Brent has been trading at $US131.89. In the morning transactions light crude for July deliveries rose by 61 cents to $US131.92 from yesterdays $US131.31 in New York. Brent was also up by 68 cents to $US131.70 per barrel. Saudi Arabia, a leading OPEC power, has announced that OPEC will meet in Jeddah on 22 June to examine the causes for surge of oil prices, which have quintupled in the last five years. Many countries approved Saudi Arabias initiative, while the US has announce that it will attend the meeting.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [10] Alogoskoufis-Garganas Meeting

    11 Ιουν 2008 11:34:0

    By Vivian Papastefanou

    During their farewell meeting at the ministry today, Economy & Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and outgoing Bank of Greece Governor stressed their excellent cooperation. Mr Garganas is leaving his post on 14 June. Mr Alogoskoufis described the governor excellent, adding that he sealed Greeces entry to the Eurozone. He also described Mr Garganas advice on Greek economic policy useful. Mr Garganas referred to the great work done by Mr Alogoskoufis in the economy, stressing that we should all support that policy because the world and Greek economy are undergoing difficult times.

    Translated by John Crystallidis

    [11] Grp D: Spain 4-1 Russia

    10 Ιουν 2008 21:22:0

    David Villa scored a hat trick Tuesday to give Spain a 4-1 win over Russia, confirming it as one of the favorites at the European Championship. Fernando Torres fed the streaking Villa for a right-footed goal in the 20th minute. The Valencia striker later slid Andres Iniestas slick pass under goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev for his second in the 44th. Villa completed his memorable Group D game after dribbling around Roman Shirokov in the 74th to slot past Akinfeev with his right foot. Roman Pavlyuchenko scored one for Russia with a header in the 86th, and Cesc Fabregas added a fourth for the Spanish in injury time.

    Lineups

    Spain: Iker Casillas, Carlos Marchena, Carles Puyol, Joan Capdevila, Sergio Ramos, Marcos Senna, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta (Santi Cazorla, 63), David Silva (Xabi Alonso, 77), David Villa, Fernando Torres (Cesc Fabregas, 54).

    Russia: Igor Akinfeyev, Denis Kolodin, Sergei Semak, Roman Shirokov, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Konstantin Zyryanov, Yuri Zhirkov, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Igor Semshov (Dmitri Torbinski, 58), Dmitri Sychev (Vladimir Bystrov, 46; Roman Adamov, 70), Aleksandr Anyukov.

    [12] "Green Light" for 65 Hours Working Week

    11 Ιουν 2008 11:11:0

    Sources: ΝΕΤ 105.8, ΑNA-ΜPA

    The majority of EU social policy ministers, who met in Luxemburg, have agreed to abolish the 48 hours working week and instead adopt a 65 hours working week. The European Parliament will have to ratify the agreement. Disagreeing with the decision were Greece, Cyprus, Belgium, Spain and Hungary, with Greek Employment Minister Fani Palli Petralia stating that the Greek government objects to the increase of working hours and promotion of short-term work contracts. The European Confederation of Trade Unions described the directive "unacceptable."

    Working Time and Temporary Employment

    As per social policy ministers, contract workers should enjoy the same rights with permanent workers, with a 60-65 hour working week if the countrys legislation allows it. The agreement will have to be ratified by the European Parliament.

    Regarding working time, the ministers agreed that a 48-hour working week is the maximum. However, a 60-hour working week is another option, while a 65-hour working week is possible for some profession, provided the social partners reach an agreement.

    The basic points of the Working Time Directive agreement are the following:

    On-call time to be split into active and inactive on-all time. Active on-call time to be counted as working time. Inactive on-call time may not be counted as rest time and can be counted as working time if national laws or social partners agree. Standard maximum limit remains 48 working hours per week unless an individual workers chooses otherwise (opt-out) New protective limit (cap) for workers who opt out: Maximum working week of 60 hours unless employer and union agree otherwise. New cap for workers who opt out if inactive on-call time is counted s working time: Maximum working week of 65 hours. The cap protects all workers employed for longer than 10 weeks with one employer.

    Regarding temporary employment, the 27 EU ministers agreed that employees with fixed time contracts should enjoy the same rights with indefinite time contract employees.

    Ms Petralia described this development positive, adding that Greek legislation secures equal rights between fixed time and indefinite time contract employees. In parallel, she reported that a balance should be found so that the enterprises competitiveness and security in work are equally boosted.

    Reactions

    In its announcement the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) urges employees to be briefed on the reactionary decisions the EU social policy ministers had taken and protest.

    In parallel, GSEE (General Confederation of Greek Workers) Institute of Labour President Savas Robolis told NET 105.8 that if that measure was implemented, then employers will impose a flexible working week through individual agreements, depending not on the employees needs but on their needs.

    Translated by John Crystallidis


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