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Greek government new austerity package freezes pensions and collective bargain hikes

In a Bill for Fishing, Greek labor ministry quietly tabled two amendments that among others freeze future pension hikes as wells as hikes in collective bargains. The two amendments are part of a 5-amendment package of austerity measures to please the creditors.

The package is the rest of prior actions, a total of 18 prerequisites demanded by creditors. The package will voted at the Greek Parliament later on Friday.

Freeze pension hikes extended to 2022 and or to 2023: 250 million euros

Lowering tax-free basis may be implemented already in 2019

Decrease in tax-free allowance: 650 million euros

Freeze hikes in collective bargains

Other measures refer to electronic auctions, funding of political parties and use of the funding as collateral for loans as wells as the obligation of candidates for the Greek or the European Parliament to allow access to bank accounts they used for expenses.

Some media claim the package contains measures worth 2.17 billion euros.

Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos appealed to coalition government lawmakers to adopt the bill saying “there is great danger that some of our creditors will ask that we discuss about the prior actions” at the Eurogroup of June 15 and “not about the debt relief.”

He stressed that Greece has been “under supervision for seven years” and that creditors ask to have a saying also in the legislation of “small things.” Speaking at the Parliament, Tsakalotos said the Greece may seek the way to the European Court against some of the creditors’ institutions that insist on abolishing certain EU rights.

Following the outrage by opposition parties in the parliament, Labor Minister Efi Achtzioglu defended that the amendment is not about ‘cutting pensions, but freezing pension hikes until 2022″ so that primary surplus of 3.5% will be maintained.

She praised the decrease in unemployment and the jobs creation in the private sector.

Citizens and unions had no time to react. They were caught by surprise. No that a reaction would change anything….

According to Greek Statistics Authority ELSTAT, unemployment fell to 22.5% in March for the first time since the beginning of the crisis. In March 2016, unemployment was 1.3% higher.

Youth unemployment also decreased to 46.6%, while the rate was 3.6% higher in March last year.

Generally, unemployment decreased in march due to seasonal hiring in the tourism sector.

However, the number of unemployed remains 1,000,000 people.

PS Some mean Greeks complain that they find full-time jobs at a salary of 400 euros.

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One comment

  1. Well if I can find workers full time at the official salary for 520 EUR a month gross, why would I pay more? It’s not the fault of the employer, its the fault of the country/government for there being such a mess that I have so many workers willing to work for that much! And it is a completely legal on the books salary.

    That’s why I tell young people to leave Greece, at least for now. They can always visit on the weekends their family/friends/parents! Actually, most of their friends are leaving too so they have friends there as well!