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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-07-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Gov't unveils closely watched draft bill on labour relations
  • [02] Ano Liossia municipality files lawsuit to slash amount of garbage transported to its landfill
  • [03] Greek inflation at four-year low
  • [04] Tourism minister meets with World Travel & Tourism Council chief

  • [01] Gov't unveils closely watched draft bill on labour relations

    The government on Friday tabled a draft bill in Parliament envisaging significant changes in labour relations in the east Mediterranean country, such as cutting the cost of overtime work and determining working time.

    Speaking to reporters, Labour Minister Panos Panagiotopoulos said the draft bill would change the way overtime work is calculated and compensated, with the overtime rate lowered to 25 percent of hour-payment from 50 percent at present. On an annual basis, overtime work up to 120 hours will be paid with an additional increase of 50 percent, and by 75 percent for overtime work of more than 120 hours annually.

    The draft bill also envisages a method of calculating working time on a four-month, or on an annual basis for seasonal enterprises, with a ceiling of 10 hours daily work. The new system calls for agreements between companies and workers' unions. In cases of disagreement, a special commission will be formed to find a mutually accepted solution on the prefectural level.

    The draft legislation also foresees stricter procedures for inspecting businesses and worksites.

    Panagiotopoulos said the measures aim at supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as reducing the problem of Greek enterprises moving abroad. Deputy Labour Minister Gerassimos Giakoumatos also said the measures were part of an effort to combat unemployment.

    GSEE, the country's largest trade union umbrella, however, has strongly criticised the draft bill, saying it was put together to satisfy employers' demands whlie at the same time undermining employees' rights. GSEE president Christos Polyzogopoulos, in fact, said workers' unions would react to the measures, a more-or-less warning of strike actions.

    [02] Ano Liossia municipality files lawsuit to slash amount of garbage transported to its landfill

    A first instance court in Athens is expected to decide next week on a motion filed by the mayor of the west Attica district of Ano Liossia to slash the amount of garbage transported to a landfill in the municipality from around the greater Athens area, as well as to completely block the transfer of sewage sludge.

    The municipality has demanded that the landfill in the district, the only legally operated site in Attica prefecture, receive only 500 tons of rubbish from the 7,000 it receives today.

    The motion names the town planning ministry, the water and sewage authority for greater Athens (EYDAP) and another authority as defendants.

    [03] Greek inflation at four-year low

    Annual inflation in Greece remained at its lowest levels in four years despite surging oil prices in international markets and speculation of a new round of price hikes in the country, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Deputy Minister Yiannis Papathanasiou both said on Friday.

    Speaking to reporters, the two ministers said the average inflation rate remained at the lowest levels in four years in June (3.2 percent, from 3.1 pct in June 2004; 3.6 pct in June 2003 and 3.5 pct in June 2002). The ministers also pledged to continue working, in cooperation with market authorities, towards further containing prices in the domestic market.

    [04] Tourism minister meets with World Travel & Tourism Council chief

    Greece's tourism development minister Dimitris Avramopoulos on Friday met with visiting president of the World Travel and Tourism Council Jean-Claude Baumgarten, with whom he discussed views on the current tourism season.

    Avramopoulos told reporters that a series of ideas were put forward on ways that Greek tourism could become more deeply involved in the activities of the World Travel and Tourism Council.

    Tourism, on a global scale, was entering a "very interesting" period, he said, given that new methods of tourism policy management were arising and international collaborations were being promoted.

    Greece was breaking out of its borders and becoming involved in such activities, Avramopoulos added, aiming at rendering it a major tourism force, and reiterated that systematic work and professionalism were among the means for achieving that target.

    Baumgarten, replying to press questions on how the tourism season was developing for Greece, said that the season had started extremely well, adding that Greece should take advantage of the momentum from last year's Olympic Games in Athens and its increased presence in the new markets.

    The visiting official, questioned on the repercussions of the recent lethal terrorist attack in London on world tourism, opined that the incident would not have a negative effect, noting that people continued to travel and engage in tourism.

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