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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-12-14

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Government Omnibus bill ratified in principle 

  • [01] Government Omnibus bill ratified in principle

    The government's omnibus bill on the implementation of urgent measures for the Greek economy's support programme was ratified in principle with 156 votes in favour and 130 against, on Tuesday night.

    The bill was ratified following a rollcall vote called for by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Popular Orthodox Rally party (LAOS).

    Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou, speaking during the debate on the omnibus bill, said that "the government is obtaining its legalising basis from the vote of the latest (local government)elections and the vote of confidence of its deputies and will be judged for what it enacts on the basis of what it received and what it delivers in the next elections."

    Replying to criticism by the opposition, he stressed that the government is judged on the basis of what it does or tries to do, not on the basis of the political cost on each occasion, but public interest.

    The finance minister admitted that an increase in VAT is coming from 11 to 13 percent, something that was achieved following negotiations so that it would not reach 23 percent, while it was reduced for medicines and tourist accommodation from 11 to 6.5 percent.

    As regards public utilities and the changes being brought about, the minister said that "it was not possible for us to hide our heads in the sand again, when we have to face average salaries that offend the rest of the working people."

    Her added that "it is a move of justice whih is trying to reduce the deficit of these businesses by 1.5 billion, when we have five loss-making public utilities in which salaries exceed revenues."

    Employment Minister Louka Katseli said on her part that "our legalising basis is one alone: For the country not to go bankrupt, for us to be able to borrow 110 billion from the IMF and the European taxpayers over the next three years, for us to be able to pay pensions, salaries and for us to provide public services."

    Katseli reiterated that the flexibility being brought into the labour market "exists in many other European countries," while the business contracts under the corresponding sector ones as well "strengthen the collective negotiations weakening the individual ones that are prevailing in the market today, where the working man is the weakest. We are coming to reverse this status, securing in parallel a minimum safety net, that of the sector contractr, and the collective labour contract."

    More details on the subscriber's page of ANA-MPA | Subscription request form

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