StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the 13 September 2012 broadcast.
By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart
- September ushers in a new wave of strikes and mobilizations throughout Greece. The strike bulletin is filled on a daily basis. Here is a partial list of this week’s rallies, marches and strikes:
- Municipalities remain closed for the second day of a 48-hour strike.
- Judges of the Court have decided to go on strike for 20 days. Beginning September 17, courtrooms will be closed from 10.30 a.m. until the end of the shift.
- Greece’s two largest trade-union federations, representing private- and public-sector workers, have called a 24-hour general strike on September 26, beginning with a rally at 11 a.m.
- Tax inspectors will strike daily from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Shipyard workers will gather at 8.30 a.m. for a march from the train station in Piraeus to the Ministry of Mercantile Marine.
- People who use public transportation await the decision of the workers, who will decide today whether to hold rallies in response to an increase in fares.
- On Thursday the Hellenic Association of Paraplegics and Visually Impaired conducted a demonstration outside the Ministry of Finance building.
The Paraplegic Association, reacting to cuts in welfare benefits, used their wheelchairs in a symbolic blockade of the Victory Road entrance of the building. They accepted a request for a meeting with representatives of Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras.
- Shortages of drugs have been reported in many national health fund (EOPPY) – dispensing pharmacies, as a result of an embargo placed by pharmaceutical companies. This is leading many patients to seek their prescriptions from hospital pharmacies. Pharmacists are refusing to provide prescriptions on credit to EOPPY insured. They are expected to meet on Saturday to consider whether to continue their protests.
- OTE Management and unions at Hellenic Telecommunications (OTE) began exploratory talks on Thursday over a management plan to reduce the workforce by 2,000, through voluntary retirement and transfers, in an effort to cut costs. Under the plan, OTE would offer voluntary retirement, with full social insurance coverage, to workers nearing retirement age.
- A bill to rubber-stamp an out-of-court settlement between the government and the Greek branch of Siemens – who in the past, has been accused of paying bribes to secure public contracts – was withdrawn from Parliament on Thursday amid concerns that the cobbled-together coalition would suffer a significant amount of defections.
Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras announced that he was withdrawing the legislation, arguing that it was redundant because Siemens has already officially accepted the terms of the deal. He also accused opponents of the settlement of “demagoguery.”
SYRIZA had used parliamentary rules to ensure that the vote on the bill would not be a secret ballot, prompting fears that the coalition would be put under strain due to visible defections.
The 330€ million deal between Greece and Siemens involves a 100€-million investment in Siemens’s Greek branch, to construct a new factory that will employ 700 people.
- During the roll-call vote requested by SYRIZA / CCL to withdraw the amendment which would ratify an out-of-court settlement between the Greek government and Siemens, SYRIZA parliamentary spokesman Dimitris Papadimoulis made the following statements:
“This is a tragic illustration of the government, a government so fearful and guilty that it resorted to a stampede by withdrawing the necessary provision to invalidate the miserable compromise signed with Siemens.
Today, the disorderly retreat by the government was prompted by their fear that Parliament would vote against the shameful, extrajudicial settlement with Siemens. But this action illustrates that the voice of SYRIZA / EKM in the House is stronger than the tentacles of the corrupt relationships forged during the era of the largest parliamentary money-laundering scandal.
Moreover, it shows that the government-of-the-regime trembles at the thought of a potential loss of a parliamentary majority, so it avoided the roll-call vote.
According to Mr. Stournaras’s admissions in Parliament, the agreement that the government made with Siemens is invalid. Samaras needs to notify Mrs. Merkel that the prize he offered her on August 24 has been withdrawn.
No public official and officer of the state is entitled to execute an agreement. SYRIZA / MCM will do whatever is required to ensure that money belonging to the Greek people will be claimed and refunded in full and that all persons involved will be held accountable, regardless of their position and tenure.”
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