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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-07-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't unveils candidacy file for 2012 Euro
  • [02] Gov't, unions fail to agree over liberalisation of labour market plan
  • [03] Big band nights at Herod Atticus Odeon

  • [01] Gov't unveils candidacy file for 2012 Euro

    The government on Monday announced a total of 11 stadiums, eight of which are the primary venues, included in a candidacy file for the 2012 Euro football championship.

    The venues include the Athens Olympic Stadium (OAKA), which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2004 Olympics as well as the Games' athletic events, along with the new Karaiskaki stadium in the southern Athens coastal district of Faliro. The latter serves as the home field of the Olympiakos Piraeus football team and hosted many of the quarter- and semi-final soccer matches during last year's Summer Olympics.

    Another four stadiums listed in the bid - Pankritio in Irakleio, Crete; Panthessaliko in Volos, central Greece; the Patra National Stadium in western Greece, and Kaftatzoglio in the northern city of Thessaloniki - also hosted preliminary Olympic soccer matches last year.

    Another two primary venues are located in the mainland cities of Ioannina (northwest Greece) and Larissa (central Greece). The three alternate venue sites are located in the northern town of Serres, the well-known Toumba pitch in Thessaloniki, the home field for PAOK Thessaloniki, as well as a sports complex in the under-developed Votanikos district of central Athens -- a facility that is projected as the home field for the Panathinaikos Athens club.

    According to the candidacy file unveiled by Deputy Sports Minister George Orfanos, some 115 million euros will go towards upgrading all of the venues, sans OAKA and Karaiskaki. The Votanikos project, meanwhile, is considered as a self-financed scheme, with the state providing only the tract of land.

    UEFA mandates the inclusion of a 50,000-, two 40,000- and five 30,000-seat venues. Other criteria set by Europe's top football body are related infrastructure, airports within a close proximity of venues, adequate hotel space and nearby hospitals.

    Greece's bid will be submitted on July 21, with three finalists to be selected in December. UEFA will announce the winning bid in December 2006.

    [02] Gov't, unions fail to agree over liberalisation of labour market plan

    The government and the country's largest trade union, GSEE, apparently failed to find common ground on Monday regarding the former's intention to liberalise the labour market and slash the cost of overtime pay, following a closely watched same-day meeting between Labour Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos and the union's leadership.

    The minister, in fact, noted that discussions and talks over the issue cannot last forever, leaving open the possibility that a draft law will soon be tabled in parliament. He also noted that a national collective bargaining agreement is still in force, regardless if he hasn't signed it.

    In exiting the meeting, GSEE president Christos Polyzogopoulos said that no dialogue was possible over demands tabled exclusively by employers' representatives, and especially not with the threat of legislation unilaterally changing the labour regime.

    [03] Big band nights at Herod Atticus Odeon

    The music of world-renowned jazz musicians Glen Miller and Duke Ellington filled Athens' Herod Atticus Odeon on Sunday and Monday evening, within the context of the Athens Festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

    The performance, titled "Big Band Nights: Duke Ellington Orchestra - Glen Miller Orchestra", featured jazz music spanning several decades.

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