Bulgarian Foreign Ministry Issues Travel Advisory for Greece

Diplomacy | June 13, 2013, Thursday // 14:10|  views

The headquarters of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry in the capital Sofia, file photo

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued an advisory for Bulgarians with travel plans to Greece or those who are temporarily or permanently residing in the country to avoid downtown Athens and other areas with higher concentration of protesters.

The Bulgarian Embassy in Athens informed Thursday that the two big syndicates in Greece- of the working in the private sector (GSEE ) and of the working in the public sector (ADEDI,) as well as the Greek Communist Party (GCP-PAME) syndicate, have announced a 24-hour general strike on June 13 2013.

The strike is in solidarity with the workers in the Greek public radio-television broadcaster ERT, which was closed on June 11. The Television is expected to be set up again in September, but with modified concept and structure and with much less staff.

Besides from work suspension, the strikes in the country traditionally are accompanied by rallies, mostly in the center of Athens. This hinders population's movement and performance of normal activities.

The doctors who are subordinate to the National Health Service also declared a 24-hour strike. Air Traffic employees will also strike from 3.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.

A number of other trade unions have also expressed their intentions to strike, including artists, public transport, buses and more. There are canceled university exams.

The Greek government surprisingly shut down the radio and TV services of the state broadcaster ERT on June 11 and suspended all employees as part of its latest austerity measures.

"ERT is a case of an exceptional lack of transparency and incredible extravagance. This ends now," government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said earlier.

In his words the public broadcaster ERT, was a real "haven of waste".

While all 2 500 employees would be sacked, he added they would be paid compensation and would be able to apply for work when the corporation re-launches as a smaller, independent public broadcaster.

The decision took viewers by surprise as they saw the screens go to black late on Tuesday evening.

The head of ERT's foreign desk, Odin Linardatou, said the announcement took journalists by surprise too.

"We are very shocked, we are angry," she told the BBC's Newshour program. "What I cannot accept in a democracy is that Greece will not have a public broadcaster."

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Tags: state broadcaster ERT, The Bulgarian embassy in Athens, greece, Bulgaria, government, TV radio, GSEE, GCP-PAME, ADEDI, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Athens, syndicates


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