Greek media went on 24-hour strike on Wednesday at 6 a.m. after Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras decided in a surprise move to integrate journalists’ insurance funds into the broke national health organization EOPPY. This decision caused strong reactions in the Greek parliament when the amendment was announced as part of the ‘insurance bill’. Coalition government partners PASOK and Democratic Left threatened to down vote the bill.
Journalists’ Union ESIEA (ESHEA) took the decision on rolling 24-hour strikes, opposing the integration of their financial healthy fund to broke EOPPY.
According to ESIEA statement, the amendment is considered as “casus belli as it seizes the assets of the fund and it directly hits labour and insurance rights of employees in the Greek mass media.”
ESIEA demands also the return of of assets that undergone an obligatory “haircut” (PSI).
The ESIEA statement does not refer to the lrecent cases of censhorip (Vaxevanis, NET-TV presenters) in the media.
Journalists will hold a protest march to Parliament this morning at the time when the amendment is to be voted.
According to latest information, it looks as if Stournaras will withdraw the amendment.
The journalist amendment was voted: 143 YES, 136 NO.
The voting was decided on the majority of present MPs who were 293 today.
Journalists’ amendment would most likely return to Parliament for voting probably on upcoming Monday, with further amendments like scraping the 10% advertising fee that goes directly to Journalists’ Fund to compensate the fact that employees do not pay contributions for the health care.
Greek journalists pay a high rate of contributions for health care and pension in two insurance funds: Journo-Fund and IKA.
Even a newly employed would have to pay 400-500 euro per month to the insurance funds.
Currently ESIEA is holding a meeting to decide on how to proceed further.