News in English 11-9-13
Today is the eleventh of September – 3 months after the government’s decision to shut down ERT.
This decision of the Greek government to shut down the public broadcaster without warning caused shock and anger in Greek society. On the night of 11 June 2013, thousands of people immediately began to gather at ERT’s premises in Athens, with many staying there for days and nights, to voice their opposition to this arbitrary and undemocratic decision.
Renowned Greek artists and intellectuals united to denounce ERT’s closure as an insult to Democracy and culture, since they know better than anyone that in these years of austerity and economic crisis ERT, as Greece’s only public broadcaster, is not only necessary, but the last bastion of intellectual and cultural expression and full internet coverage.
Journalists, technicians and the staff involved in ERT’ s program production are working tirelessly and continuously for exactly three months, whilst tackling many difficulties caused by the government’s intractable position, in order to cover breaking news stories and longer term issues with the same professionalism they have always demonstrated.
The Premises of ERT in Agia Paraskevi in Athens, ET3 in Thessaloniki, and all the regional stations have become a benchmark of community, grass roots action and solidarity. Every day, hundreds of people participate in cultural events and public discussions, organized by ERT employees. The response of artists and musicians, who selflessly and voluntarily donate their time to support the struggle of the employees, is really moving.
The new academic year for primary and secondary schools started today but under a barrage of teachers’ strikes, even in private schools.
The Federation of Secondary Education has announced five-day long rolling strikes, starting at September the 16th.
The teachers will review their stance after each five-day strike, while they appeal to parents and students to support their struggle, with open letters they sent.
The teachers in private schools, declared a 48 hour strike for the 16th and 17th of September.
Protest activities are underway in Universities and Technical Institutions, amidst student’s enrolment and examination periods, in protest of the impending availability of 1.600 employees, until September the 20th.
The Senate of the university, decided to suspend the operation of Athens University until Friday.
The professors of the National Technical/Metsovion University of Athens, will be on strike until the 16th of this month, while the teachers of Technical Universities will also proceed with strikes.
With 52 votes for, and 45 against, the parliament passed the bill for Secondary Education reform. During the discussion, the minister of Education, Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos, assured that all educational staff that is under the state of availability, will be transferred either to organizations of public health or to Vocational-Training-Institutes.
Answering on behalf of the opposition party, the MP, Tasos Kourakis, accused the government of having created a «tsunami of layoffs» in secondary education, called upon them, to withdraw the availability measure and expressed the support of SYRIZA, to the protest demonstrations of teachers.
The federations of teachers, university professors and private educators gave a joint press conference today at the offices of OLME – the Greek Federation of Secondary Education.
The teachers are united in their agreement to establish a pan-educational front.
Five-day long, rolling strikes begin as of Monday, employees of Social security organizations, protesting for the availability of 600 employees.
The employees of the Foundation of Social Security, IKA, have provided information and data on the plight of the largest public insurance organization.
A meeting without the presence of the employees, was held to discuss the reforms in Public Health, at the Children’s Hospital «Agia Sofia». The meeting was attended by the Minister of Health, Adonis Georgiades, the board and managers of the hospital, partners of the Ministry of Health, and Task Force experts, who provided their expertise in relation to the management and development of human resources.
The president of Syriza, who had a meeting with the presidents of the unions of the company at the Parliament, is strictly opposed to the shrinkage and privatization of LARKO. As A. Tsipras pointed out, “with the plan that is promoted by Samaras and Venizelos, along with TROIKA, a major source of national wealth is bartered, since the company is the only one in the European Union, that produces high quality nickel, exploiting its own domestic mines, with an estimated total value of 25 billion euros».
The president of the party of «Independent Greeks» (AN.EL), Panos Kammenos, will speak this afternoon, at an event of his party’s youth, in Salonica, the president of Democratic Left party (DIMAR), Fotis Kouvelis, is visiting the premises of ET3 in Thessaloniki today, and he will meet with the employees of ERT, while at 8pm he will speak at a meeting of friends and members of his party, at the Town Hall.
A solidarity march for the “Antiviosi” squat was staged yesterday afternoon in Ioannina, after 6pm from the town’s central square, which was the meeting place. Approximately 500 people – antiauthoritarians and a separate SYRIZA bloc – participated in the march protesting the attack being waged against social spaces. The march passed outside the “Antiviosi” buildings on Georgiou Panadreou Street, where some people tried to break in and one person was detained by police. Police forces were deployed to several parts of the town.
A large-scale police operation targeting undocumented immigrants has been underway since this morning in the Patission and Kypseli area. The sweep is part of the «Xenios Dias» operations.
The Generic medicinal products are more expensive in our country, at rates ranging from 194 per cent up to an amazing 880 per cent, in comparison with relative prices in Sweden, according to a survey conducted, by the Federation of Hospital Doctors (OENGE).
One more earthquake happened at 11.16 am, on the south of Crete, and specifically, in the underwater area near Timpaki, where there is intense seismic activity recently. The magnitude of the earthquake, according to the first estimate, of the Geodynamic Institute of The National Observatory of Athens, was 3.7 on the Richter scale, however, other seismological institutes, raised the magnitude, to 4 on the Richter scale.
The epicentre of the quake was 46 kilometres, southeast of Timpaki, and the focal depth estimated at 10 kilometres.
Two people died and three seriously injured, is the tragic result of a road accident that happened early this morning, at the 30th kilometre of the National Road of Ioannina – Preveza, at the position of Chani Terovou.
The Communal Kitchen on Wednesdays returns to its cooking ranges! The kitchen will be set up for the fifth successive autumn on the paths to solidarity and dignity at the Autonomous Hangout in Exarchia.
Responding to the publication of the list of successful candidates and new hires at DT, the POSPERT union and ERT journalists announced that:
”The successive lists of successful candidates and new hires at DT achieve nothing more than to constantly and consistently confirm that those devoted to the “black signal” are by nature and position unsuitable to guarantee transparency and meritocracy, let alone to establish a truly public radio and television. These lists suffer constant «corrections» with telephone calls, false promises, and blackmail with the need for work. Appeals that are made to order; the privileged correction of applications; the continuous bypassing of any procedure – even for the most basic of criteria – lead to the same phenomena again: the lists still include reporters who enjoy parallel employment and who are not entitled to the 200 merit points of ERT employees on the eleventh of June.
Finally, the superficial television creation of Kapsis and Manalis, and their inadequacy to provide the most basic technical function leaves them irreparably exposed.”
In Thessaloniki, ET-3 will broadcast a special theme for the evening on the growing scale of strike actions set to begin next week. Teachers, health care workers, and employees of welfare funds and municipal services will be at the studio. In Athens, at the ERT headquarters, there will be an exhibition by 37 professional and amateur cartoonists, organised as an act of solidarity with ERT. In the courtyard there will be a major concert with 35 well-known artists. Finally, cultural and other solidarity events will be held in nearly all the regional radio stations in the country.