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Greece’s largest labor union condemned as “inhuman” Thursday a local version of a reality show made popular in the United States by real-estate mogul Donald Trump, and threatened to stage “active protests” against the program. Private Alpha Television is due to launch a Greek version of “The Apprentice” this month, testing corporate survival skills among contestants ruthlessly vying for a high-paid executive job. Episodes typically ended with Trump informing a losing contestant: “You’re fired.” “We should not allow this inhuman trade of people’s souls,” Stathis Anestis, a spokesman for the Confederation of Greek Labor, or GSEE, told The Associated Press. He said the union was planning “active protests” against the show but did not elaborate. “An unemployed person who has financial obligations, who has small children, who is in a state of desperation, if he is made to compete against another unemployed person … they will wipe each other out like animals,” Anestis said. The unemployment rate in Greece is nearly 10 percent. Reality shows — testing everything from signing talents to survival in the wild — are popular with Greek TV viewers but have prompted protests in the past. In 2001, scores of demonstrators rallied outside a private television station in an unsuccessful effort to stop the show “Big Brother.” On Wednesday, the union asked television regulators to examine another reality show planned by Alpha, called “Congratulations You’re Hired,” which also puts participants in a job setting. Details of the show have not been released. Complaints were also sent to Greece’s prime minister and Supreme Court. Anestis said GSEE was taking aim at both shows. “We are totally opposed to any program — whether it is ‘The Apprentice’ or ‘Congratulations, You’re Hired’ — which ridicules people, degrades their personal dignity and does not respect the rights over every unemployed person,” he said. Private Alpha television and the London-based Fremantle Media, which will produce the show, both declined to comment. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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