Greek PM seeks consensus on austerity measures and reforms with social partners

08:49, September 03, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou held a meeting with representatives of the Greek business world and labor unions on Thursday, seeking consensus on his government's austerity policies, as Greek economy and people face a harsh autumn.

Social partners expressed objections to certain measures introduced so far and structural reforms underway, presenting the Greek premier with a string of alternative proposals to overcome the acute economic crisis the country faces.

"It is important to reach a national strategy through dialogue. It is important we show that despite different opinions, there is a national effort," said Papandreou during the meeting in the presence of many cabinet ministers.

"It is very important that Greece shows to the whole world who is watching, that (we) will beat the crisis. Because if the world sees a country tripping over, this image will be presented ten times worse than the real situation," he stressed.

Greece is due to receive the second tranche of financial aid by the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this September to face the crisis, but in exchange for that, is also under pressure to stick to a harsh Stability and Growth Program of austerity measures and reforms that causes strong reactions of Greek society.

After a short break during summer holidays, the government faces a new wave of demonstrations starting from the Thessaloniki International Fair in northern Greece, which will be inaugurated by Papandreou on Sept. 11.

At the premiere of the Fair, Greek prime ministers traditionally deliver a speech on the government's economic policy for the following months.

Due to the crisis this year's speech at Thessaloniki, as well as remarks expected on the anniversary of the founding of the ruling socialist PASOK party on Sept. 3, will be analyzed with great interest by representatives of the business world and labor unions, who discussed the prospects of Greek economy with Papandreou on Thursday at his office at Maximou Mansion.

During Thursday's meeting, union leaders asked the government to force Greek banks to release funds to the real economy and households, to support small businesses, the unemployed and low income employees and pensioners.

They also demanded the prime minister avoid further increases in taxes and ask the EU and the IMF for more time and support to put the Greek national economy back to the path of recovery and development.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Players of Iran throw up their coach Velasco Julio during the awarding ceremony at the 16th Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Tehran, capital of Iran, Sept. 29, 2011. Iran won the champion after beating China 3-1 in the final on Thursday. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
  • Greek artists burn copies of emergency tax notices during a protest against austerity measures in Athens, Greece, on Sept. 29, 2011. The Greek government is facing a new wave of protests as it introduces new austerity measures to obtain the sixth tranche of aids necessary to overcome the acute debt crisis.(Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
  • A winner of the 36th Miss Bikini International 2011 poses for a photo at the Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, a coastal city of east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
  • Staff members are in position at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • Champion of Miss Bikini from Poland receives trophy at the final of the 36th Miss Bikini International World Competition in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 28, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 28, 2011 shows autumn scenery of populus euphratica forests in Ejina Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia. The populus euphratica forests here, with an area of 390,000 mu, or 26,000 hectares, is one of the world's most famous populus euphratica forests. The golden leaves and sunshines here in autumn is able to attract more than 100,000 person-times annually. (Xinhua/Zhao Tingting)
Hot Forum Discussion