NEWS IN ENGLISH 6/9/13
The chief of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has left open the possibility of imposing additional conditions on Greece if international lenders decide on prolonging the Greek programme. Mario Draghi, said the Greek programme ends in 2014, so international creditors have time to consider the needs of the country. Asked about the possibility of easing the Greek debt, he clarified that the involvement of the ECB in any funding Eurozone states through monetary policy is expressly prohibited.
Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who also chairs the eurogroup of finance ministers, appearing at the European parliament said it was «realistic to assume that additional support will be needed» when the existing bailout concludes at the end of next year. «As far as the potential need for a third programme for Greece is concerned, it’s clear that despite recent progress, Greece’s troubles will not have been completely resolved by 2014,» said Dijsselbloem, who warned that Greece would probably not be able to return to borrowing from the financial markets when its bailout ends.
Aegean Airlines and Olympic airways got the green light for merger by the European Commission, a deal that, both Aegean Airlines and Olympic air, try to achieve long time now. The official announcement of the approval of the purchase of the 100% shareholding of Olympic air by Aegean Airlines, is expected at October the 16th.
All political party leaders will make their appearance, this year as it is customary, at the opening of the International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki . Meanwhile, the president of the Federation of Industries and Enterprises, Demetris Daskalopoulos, in a letter to all political leaders, in view of the opening of the fair, notes that: “We did not manage to design a basic national plan for the country’s future development» and appeals to them, «to pay close attention to the economic reality that has evolved”, emphasizing that «the patience of Greek people is running out». On the other side, the president of the Greek Confederation of Workers, GSEE, Yiannis Panagopoulos described as a joke the Prime Minister’s commitment that he will allocate 70% of the resulting primary surplus to support retirees, and accused him of deceiving pensioners, workers and the unemployed. At the same time, according to data from the annual report of the Labour Institute of GSEE, which was officially unveiled at the Labour Centre of Thessaloniki, the pay of wage earners and the self-employed has declined over the last 3 years by 41 billion euros, while the decline in domestic demand has been dramatic, returning to 1999 levels. The report estimated that unemployment will increase, reaching 29% to 30% by the end of the year, while in 2014 it will reach 31.5%.
At a meeting in their Thessaloniki headquarters, high-rank Police Officers decided on an operation involving more than 4,000 police personnel from Thessaloniki, Athens and northern Greece, in order to avoid «incidents» during the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair. Strong police forces of the DIAS and DELTA groups will patrol the main roads of the city, while riot police will be deployed at key points around the Vellidio Convention Centre, the heart of the events. Police helicopters will constantly be in flight overseeing the development of mobilisations and advising the police operations centre. Strict traffic measures will be enforced with stopping and parking of vehicles forbidden on main streets and around the Vellidio Conference Centre.
An open meeting about the development of the defence industries, ELVO, EAS and LARKO, was held today, by the administrations of the General Confederation of Greek Workers, the Workers’ Centre of Salonica, the Panhellenic Federation of Employees of Metal industries, and their unions, in the auditorium of the Labour Centre of Salonica. GSEE in their announcement, speak of a «repeated unacceptable practice of the government, which once more proves that the only think the government is able to do, is to adopt the dictates of our lenders». The Minister of Finance, stated yesterday, on the issue of the Defence industries: «What we are trying to convince the Troika and the Competition Commission about, is that the liquidation under operation, in a time span of five years, leaves a greater revenue to the state, than the bankruptcy». «We believe, that some parts of these industries have value».
Labour unions are mobilising also, on the opening of Thessaloniki International Trade Fair. Uniformed ranks will meet at the White Tower in the afternoon and march to the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace. There are four main rallies organized for 6 pm Saturday, hours after the inauguration of the 78th International Fair by Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras. The public and private sector employee unions and the Labour Centre of Thessaloniki are organising a gathering at the statue of Venizelos; the Communist Party PAME at Aristotle Square; the extra-parliamentary Left in Kamara; and the citizen committees of Halkidiki opposed to gold mining at the square of Agia Sophia. Alexis Tsipras, leading a large delegation of SYRIZA, will attend a rally at the statue of Venizelos. At bulk of the rallies will consist of workers in the defense industry, the Thessaloniki water company, laid-off ERT national television and radio employees, teachers, employees of local government authorities, health care and of other sectors particularly affected.
Today, is the last of the three day long, Festival for Direct Democracy, titled «From the State of Exception towards the Creation of Movements for the Social Counterpower» held in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. This year’s festival hosts a number of political and cultural events, like discussions and workshops with international participation, concerts, theatrical plays, playground, direct selling of products, documentaries, ping pong and kick boxing tournaments, kitchen and many more. On Saturday September the 7th the Direct Democracy Block, call on a rally, with pre-gathering at 5pm in Syntrivani square, with VIO.ME (workers of the building materials factory in Thessaloniki occupied and self-managed) , and at 6pm, in Agias Sofias Square, with the Committees of Struggle Against Gold Mining.
An armed robbery took place this morning at the bank branch on the first floor of the Agia Sofia children’s hospital. According to sources, the two armed robbers were not wearing masks to avoid arousing suspicion. Threatening the staff, the seized 6,300 euros and escaped on foot. No one was injured.
A police operation took place yesterday, in Roma settlements, in the area of Kato Achaia. More than 30 people were arrested, and taken at the police station of Kato Achaia and at the Police headquarters of Patras. According to police officials there will be charges pressed for drug dealing, possession of various guns and other weapons and smaller offences. The European Commissioner for Human rights, Nil Muzniekw, warns member states, for the practices that are targeting the Roma, emphasizing, that the negative consequences of the austerity, having turned the Roma into a scapegoat.
Good news come from the Berlin Film Festival, where it was announced, that this year, the limit of 1 million euros minimum budget, as a precondition for participation, will not apply for Greek, Portuguese and Spanish films, so to enable international co-production seeking projects to participate in the Berlinale section.
Achilleas Panagoulis – activist, journalist, and in solidarity with the struggle of ERT – is being buried tomorrow, Saturday, at noon at the Zografou cemetery.
Achilleas Panagoulis, who lost his life so suddenly outside the Aghia Paraskevi broadcast headquarters of ERT in a tragic car accident, may not be physically present at future struggles, but he will always be in the hearts of all of us. To show us the way of consistency in the values of solidarity, of selfless giving, and of the uncompromising fight.
Accusations against the deputy minister responsible for public broadcaster, were unleashed by the journalist Giannis Roubatis, who said that Pantelis Kapsis, has lost the right to be called a journalist. Mr. Roubatis, was invited to the so-called public television DT. As he stated, he gave much thought on whether he should appear on DT’s program or not, but decided to go, because he had things that should be spoken out».
The Board of The National Journalists Federation ESHEA, at yesterday’s meeting, reaffirmed their stand against the arbitrary practice of the Government concerning ERT. Every day that goes by, we witness numerous new illegalities, opacity, and selective enforcement of rules, that the government itself has set, for the staffing of the so called, ”Public Television”. The promiscuity and the misleading promises, for a bad job position, are a part of our daily lives. The list of the candidates that succeeded has been bent like a rubber. It changes and «gets cooked» daily, while new issues of legitimacy arise. So successful candidates are discarded for no reason, candidates whose documents have been accepted, and they have been invited to sign contracts, in specialties that were not included in the notice of interest. There are even employees with parallel employments, while contracts that have been already signed, are abolished by just a phone call. Moreover, an inviolable condition of the new contracts, is the resignation of the employees from their right to pursuit legally the void / invalid and the illegality of their dismissal from ERT. All that we describe, is only a part of the reality, that has led to total opacity, and a great waste of money.
The Panhellenic Union of ERT’s Workers (POSPERT) expresses in their announcement, their solidarity with the Employees of Lamprakis Press organization (DOL), that recently face new wave of layoffs. We denounce the administration of Lamprakis Press organization DOL, for the new pogrom of layoffs, which leads 48 colleagues to unemployment. This new attack is the continuation of a stable anti-labour policy of the administration of the company, practiced over the last three years. The Employees of ERT, experiencing the consequences of the same memorandum policy applied by the government, both on the expense of our jobs and at the expense of information, we support and stand by the side of our colleagues in DOL. The common coordinated struggle is needed more than ever, in order to get rid of this policy that allows employers to dissolve the lives of thousands of workers.
Open Air Cinema tonight in the garden of ERT. The movies ‘Thalassografia’ and ‘Eleni Boukouri Altamura’ will be screened. They are a retrospective of the work of director Kleoni Flessa.