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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-07-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Bill Clinton in Athens on Sunday, to meet with PM at noon
  • [02] Greece switches over to fully digital TV
  • [03] Exports equivalent to just half of imports
  • [04] Hellenic Steel execs tell AMNA will not close Aspropyrgos unit

  • [01] Bill Clinton in Athens on Sunday, to meet with PM at noon

    AMNA/ Former US President Bill Clinton will be in Athens for a few hours on Sunday, and will meet with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at noon at the Maximos Mansion (government headquarters).

    Clinton is coming to Athens to address an event organised by a group of prominent Greek American, through the Hellenic Initiative Program backed by Diaspora business executives, lawyers, scientists and others, aiming at the establishment of a Fund that will promote foreign investments in Greece.

    [02] Greece switches over to fully digital TV

    AMNA/ Greece started the switchover to a fully digital signal for television on Friday, with the analog signal of nationally broadcast television stations transmitted from Mount Hymettus in Attica stopping as of 3:00 a.m. Areas served by the Hymettus transmitter include all of Athens and the Attica basin, the Mesogia areas of east Attica, the western shores of the Cyclades islands and the southern shores of Evia.

    Based on a 2012 ministerial decision, after July 20 the Hymettus transmitter will only transmit the digital signal of all private and state-run channels broadcast nationwide, with the exception of the state channels ET1, NET and ET3 for which the switchover has been postponed until August 17, after the conclusion of the 2012 Olympic Games.

    In addition to the Hymettus transmitter centre, Attica is also served by a centre on the island of Aegina that also broadcasts the digital signal of state TV channels, private channels and local television channels and serves mainly the southern areas of Attica, as well as a transmitter centre on Mount Parnitha that will continue to transmit the analog signal for all channels since it is not one of the 23 locations included in the first phase of the switchover.

    The Hymettus centre serves an estimated 120,000-150,000 households, which do not have the alternative option of receiving an analog signal once the switchover occurs, while recent laws have also given regional television stations the option of broadcasting a digital signal from Hymettus.

    According to digital provider Digea, older-technology television sets will need a digital-to-analog converter that supports MPEG4 in order to receive any signal and will need retuning to different frequencies.

    [03] Exports equivalent to just half of imports

    AMNA/ The deficit in Greece's trade balance is one of the factors that plunged the country into the crisis, competitiveness deputy minister Notis Mitarakis told an international working conference titled "National Trade Facilitation Strategy for Greece" in Athens on Thursday, adding that boosting exports is necessary for a recovery of the economy in the context of a new extrovert growth model.

    He said that although Greek exports have posted a historic, record rise, exceeding 10 percent of GDP, all the other EU countries continued to have much better exports performance. "The corresponding percentage is double in Spain and Portugal, while in Ireland and The Netherlands it exceeds 50 percent," he noted.

    The trade balance deficit may have been reduced, but is still remains high, Mitarakis said, adding that the value of Greece's exports corresponds to just half of the country's imports, which means that "we cannot be complacent but rather try much harder" to boost exports.

    The government's target, he continued, is to drastically reduce the trade deficit by 2014 and to boost exports of good so that they will correspond to 16 percent of GDP by that year. These targets can be achieved through expansion of the export base -- in other words increase of the number of exported products and exporting companies -- promotion of exports, meaning that the products will find buyers abroad -- and drastic simplification of the procedures for exporting and importing.

    [04] Hellenic Steel execs tell AMNA will not close Aspropyrgos unit


    Hellenic Steel Industry (Elliniki Halyvourgia) executives told AMNA on Friday that the company management has decided not to go ahead with the closure of its plant at Aspropyrgos, where early in the morning the gates to the facility were forcibly reopened on orders by the prosecutor after being closed for nine months due to a workers' strike.

    The executive said the Hellenic Steel management decided not to shut down the Aspropyrgos unit, noting that following the state's decision to "restore legality" by implementing a June ruling of an Athens court declaring the strike illegal, the reasons for submitting an application for mass layoffs and suspension of the Aspropyrgos unit have ceased to exist.

    Clashes broke out early Friday morning between police and protesting Hellenic Steel Industry workers at the industry's Aspropyrgos plant, as the gate of the unit reopened at 5:30 a.m. on orders of the prosecutor and the intervention of a strong police contingent.

    Nine people were detained by police early Friday, while one injury was initially reported. Scuffles were also reported between strikers and workers wishing to return to work.

    The move to forcibly open the entrance came after labour ministry deliberations with strikers aimed at breaking the deadlock fell through.

    The employees' union is demanding the re-hiring of 120 laid-off workers in order to end the strike, a demand that the steel industry's administration rejects.

    The management has demanded the immediate reopening of the plant before agreeing to any negotiation, citing a recent Athens First Instance Court ruling that declared the strike illegal.

    The management had further informed the labor minister last week that it intends to submit an application to the ministry for mass dismissals and suspension of activity of the Aspropyrgos plant.

    The police contingent was deployed to the steel plant by order of the prosecutor after recourse by workers wishing to return to work seeking state intervention because they were being barred from entering the plant by strikers.

    Some 150 people were congregated outside the plant, as well as police, as spirits calmed down.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) accused the New Democracy (ND), PASOK and Democratic Left (DIMAR) coalition government of being mainly to blame for the "MAT (riot police) raid of the Halyvourgia, on prosecutor's orders" and charged "use of chemicals against, beatings and arrests of strikers in order to protect the strike-breaking mechanism".

    A KKE announcement said that it was "once again confirmed that the state, the capitalists and their governments are united against the workers, the other popular strata, the working-class family that is desperately struggling to make ends meet", and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the riot police from the plant and the release of the detainees

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