News in English 15-9-13
Alexis Tsipras, during his press conference at the International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki today expressed his certainty, that Syriza will get the absolute majority in the new Parliament, asserting that the intention of his party is for his government to be supported by broader political forces too.
In his speech to production factors, yesterday, attending the 78th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, Alexis Tsipras said that “The great “success story” is nothing more than the codename for the third memorandum”. The president of SYRIZA painted a bleak picture of the condition of the Greek economy. He noted that: “The country is living in hell. And this is a political choice by the government. The diminishing of the social state, the redistribution of wage earner and retiree incomes that has reached historic dimensions, the ever increasing reduction in public investments, all aim at transforming the country’s economic model into a hardcore neo-liberal version.”
* The regulation of banks which are re-capitalising with borrowed public money in order to support market liquidity.
Concerning the defence industry, he mentioned:
* The establishment of a unified defence industry under public control, and the signing of agreements with other countries to boost the Greek defence industry’s ‘extroversion’ which – to some degree – existed before but had been trashed by the government’s memorandum policy.
Confronting the humanitarian crisis he countered with:
* Restoring the minimum wage from 586 to 751 euros for all workers regardless of age.
* A ‘haircut’ on housing loans for overburdened households, and the protection of the primary residence.
* The reorientation of National Strategic Reference Framework resources to bolster public and social entrepreneurship.
* Securing housing and food for everyone, guaranteed access to vital social goods such as electricity, water, telecommunications and heating.
Regarding the primary sector he also stressed that:
* Uncultivated land will be assigned by statute, under specific conditions and on a voluntary basis, for use in cooperatives set up for this purpose by the jobless, the farmers or other stakeholders.
The state should provide assistance at all stages of cultivation, and in the absorption of products. By setting up auction houses or assisting in the distribution products abroad.
Alexis Tsipras concluded:
* We are committed and we will implement our government programme regardless of the outcome of negotiations with the lenders.
The general secretary of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), Dimitris Koutsoubas, said his visit to the offices of ET-3 in Thessaloniki were an expression of continued solidarity with ERT employees. Mr Koutsoubas expressed the opinion that “the mood of rage should find its place and operate within the framework of mass participation”. At this point he also highlighted the Communist Party’s solidarity with protesting teachers. The party general secretary called on ERT employees not to allow anyone to usurp their struggle: “Neither those in power, nor ERT’s suitors.” He said the shutdown of ERT was the government’s strategic choice.
The Confederation of Secondary Education servants, has announced five-day long rolling strikes, as of tomorrow. Teachers of secondary education organize joint strike rally on Monday at noon at Proplylaia along with the Federation of Administrative personnel of Higher Education, the Federation of Workers in the Employment Service, the Panhellenic Federation of Employees of Social Security organization, and the Panhellenic Federation of Personnel at Social Policy institutions.
A team of 15 striker Teachers, after a decision of their Central Strike committee of their Union, climbed the Acropolis, and opened banners with the slogans «People Fight! – Strike» another group of teachers handed out leaflets with their announcement for the long term strike actions around the area of the Acropolis. The police intervened and proceeded to arrests of teachers, they were led to the police station of Acropolis and then to the police headquarters. They were set free after the intervention of members of the central strike committee and members of the board of the teacher’s federation.
Hospital doctors decided to stage a three-day strike on the 17th, 18th and 19th of September. They declared their vehement opposition to the dismantling of the National Health System, the emptying of hospitals, the staff issue of availability, the lack of materials, and closed intensive care unit beds. The hospital doctors are becoming allied with teachers and all workers in the public and private sectors. At the end of the week there will be a joint meeting to re-assess the situation. Responding to misinformation by the Minister of Health, the president of the hospital doctors’ union, D. Barnabas, stated in a communiqué:
«Because the political leadership of the Ministry of Health is again engaged in issuing distorting statements about the proportion of doctors on strike, we will repeat the following obvious facts.
After three years of memoranda the medical workforce of hospitals has been decimated. Gaps now exceed 6,500 – while there are hundreds of departments where now only one or two doctors remain. Beside their daily work, these doctors must be on duty up to 11 times a month to cover emergencies”, he said.
«It is obvious that if the doctors are on duty it is impossible for them to be on strike», he added.
«Mr. Georgiadis should therefore not gloat because hospital doctors demonstrate responsibility and place a large number of doctors on duty during strikes so that hospitals may operate in safety on days when there is social tension», he noted.
The Public Sector Employee Union, ADEDY, has decided on a work stoppage throughout Attiki tomorrow from 11:30 in the morning until the end of the shift. Work will also stop in other parts of the country where protests are being organised.
The Federation of Private Educators of Greece (OIELE), attacks the Ministry of Education, with harsh words, stating, that «the ministry of Education bombards the public education with the closure of all-day primary schools». In their announcement, the Federation of Private educators of Greece, state that once again, the Ministry attempts to drive children off public schools, and force them to private schools, since working parents will not have anywhere to leave their children in safety.
Since teachers will not be paid for the extra hours of work, the private school owners will benefit with a few more millions of euros, which will be added to the 50 millions, the Minister has already given them, by taking them out from the «pockets» of private educators.
Free Public education is the oxygen of life, let’s protect it! With this slogan, the Local Teachers union of Heraclion and the local ERA radio, organize, a musical protest event, on Sunday September 15th, at 8.30 pm in the Garden theatre, Manos Hadjidakis, in protest about the dismantling of public and free character of Education, Health, Radio and Television, and all social structures. Admission to this protest event is free.
The unions of employees at Chalkis cement industry, Interchem, Neoset, Selman, and former Tsaousoglou, decided a long term occupation of the building of Evoia Prefecture in Chalkis.
Great damage to crops, and facilities of drying tobacco, was caused by the sudden squall and hailstorm that struck yesterday evening the areas of Sapes and Arianes in Rodopi.
The government has decided in the context of the implementation of the new unified property tax for 2014, to impose a land tax on all lands not included in urban planning (residential land, pastures, forests, farms etc.)
The plan of the economic team provides an average tax of 12 euros per stremma, wich is a quarter of an acre. Taxes will range from 4 euros to 50 euros per stremma depending on the description of the land and the position of the property, as well as the residential status of the property.
Emphasis should be given to the fact that reduced percentages will apply for rural farmland, with a maximum property limit of 5 acres.
About 800 million euros are estimated to be collected during the coming year from properties not included in urban plans, another estimated 1.5 billion from residential properties, and 500 million euros from business properties.
According to the findings of Financial Crime Unit audits, dozens of monasteries in Greece participated in the feast of 5 billion euros in black money and illegal subsidies with forged documents.
The Financial and Economic Crime Unit found after thorough checks for VAT violations that the Simonos Petros monastery of Mount Athos had presented a fake invoice worth 600,000 euros issued in the name of a prisoner serving time in the Diavaton jail. The monastery presented him as a restoration contractor. Financial crime auditors uncovered the participation of another monastery in Crete in the large-scale virtual invoices scandal, included in a European Community subsidisation programme. According to the findings, it presented fake invoices worth 270,000 euros. The findings so far indicate many monasteries gorged themselves in the grand “feast” as recipients of EU subsidies for renovation works, having presented inflated expenses.
An operation for the collection of immigrants from a cargo ship, at the sea area southeast of Mytilene, is underway. Boats of the Coast guard and Coast security are rushing to the area, while a super puma helicopter is heading to the spot.
Six people have been identified and are wanted by the police, for the assault against a group of Communist party members in Perama on Thursday night that resulted to nine people injured. The police raided the offices of Golden Dawn in Perama last night, with the party denouncing the «illegal invasion», accusing the authorities to have acted like «common burglars».
More than 40 people were arrested during an extensive police operation held on Friday and Saturday, in the regions of Arcadia, Korinthia, and Laconia. According to the police, during their operation, 516 people were controlled, of which 388 were Greeks and 128 foreigners, and 407 vehicles. Another 112 people were detained, from which 74 locals, and 38 foreigners, while 42 were arrested. Three hunting shotguns, one collapsible metal rod, 76 packs of smuggled cigarettes and a small quantity of cannabis were confiscated. A total of 193 traffic violations were recorded as well as 11 violations of health regulations.
The Actress director and writer Kitty Arseni, known for her anti-dicatorial action, has died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. Her funeral will be held on Tuesday afternoon at the cemetery of Maroussi.
On the occasion of the 36 years since the death of Maria Kallas, the National Opera honours the infamous Greek Soprano, with musical events in the centre of Athens. The musical walk, will begin at 6 pm from the Acropolis Museum, and will continue to the Stairs of Herodion, Agion Asomaton Square, Kotzia square, and to the National Archaeological Museum. Admission is free to all the events.
Today in ERT’s premises the composer Demetris Maramis and the performers Korina Legaki and Thodoris Voutsikakis present “Erotokritos in Blues” in first public performance in Athens.