Greek government starts labor, pension system reform

10:00, May 05, 2010      

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Greece will keep minimum retirement age at 65 on average instead of raising it to 67 as EU-IMF experts suggested, said Greek Labour Minister Andreas Loverdos at a press conference in Athens on Tuesday.

On the other hand, the legal maximum limit of lay offs per month in the private sector will be doubled from the current two percent to four percent of personnel, Loverdos said.

According to the minister, these are the main suggestions that will be discussed in the following days at the cabinet meeting before being tabled for voting in parliament.

"We managed to save the retirement age limit at 65 years and the 13th and 14th salaries for private sector employees who suffer more from insecurity, as well as a part of the 13th and 14th pensions," Loverdos stressed.

He said Greek side had tough negotiations over the past two weeks with experts from the EU and the International Monetary Fund on the changes that Greece must make in order to put its economy back on the right track.

As a condition for the 110 billion euro (149 billion. U.S. dollars) loan from EU and IMF, the government is obliged to proceed to drastic reforms, including the labor/ pension system.

But as with other austerity measures, the changes caused strong reactions from employees and labor unions in Greece.

"The government's policy on the pension system is unacceptable as it is unreasonable and unfair,"said Giorgos Romanos, scientific advisor of the Labor Institute of the main umbrella unions of public and private sector employees ADEDY and GSEE, explaining that this way workers are the ones who pay the price of the economic crisis.

Source: Xinhua


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