PM plans con­ces­sions in talks

Tsipras pre­pared to give in to cred­i­tors’ la­bor law de­mands, de­spite po­lit­i­cal cost, to keep debt re­lief on track

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras is pre­pared to make fur­ther con­ces­sions to Greece’s cred­i­tors in tough ne­go­ti­a­tions that are cur­rently un­der way to en­sure that there is no de­lay in launch­ing cru­cial talks on re­lief for the coun­try’s debt bur­den, Kathimerini un­der­stands.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, Tsipras and his key min­is­ters are ready to give in to calls by for­eign au­di­tors for more flex­i­bil­ity in the cru­cial area of la­bor laws. The gov­ern­ment has al­ready agreed to put off its de­mands for the restora­tion of col­lec­tive wage bar­gain­ing, a key pledge of left­ist SYRIZA be­fore it came to power last year.

It is un­clear to what de­gree the Greek side is will­ing to con­cede on other is­sues – such as calls by for­eign of­fi­cials for fa­cil­i­tat­ing mass lay­offs for strug­gling em­ploy­ers and mak­ing it harder for unions to call strikes.

A source at the La­bor Min­istry said over the week­end that the Greek side has sub­mit­ted its pro­pos­als for changes to la­bor laws and is await­ing the re­ac­tion of for­eign of­fi­cials.

Tsipras is said to be set on a strat­egy of with­drawal de­spite the risks. The key dan­ger is that co­he­sion in the ranks of left­ist SYRIZA, which has al­ready been tested by a se­ries of con­ces­sions to for­eign cred­i­tors, is fur­ther com­pro­mised, weak­en­ing the be­lea­guered coali­tion. The other risk is that the fur­ther con­ces­sions may boost the lead of con­ser­va­tive New Democ­racy over SYRIZA in opin­ion polls, which is al­ready sig­nif­i­cant, thereby en­hanc­ing the sense that SYRIZA’s coali­tion with the right-wing In­de­pen­dent Greeks is on its way out.

But even the prom­ise of debt re­struc­tur­ing is not a re­lief for the gov­ern­ment, as there are fears that it may be linked to fur­ther aus­ter­ity. There are fears that an on­go­ing dis­agree­ment be­tween the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund re­gard­ing the coun­try’s bud­get tar­gets could lead to de­mands for fur­ther belt-tight­en­ing.

Over the week­end, min­is­ters worked on fi­nal­iz­ing the draft bud­get for next year, which is ex­pected to be sub­mit­ted in Par­lia­ment to­day, and are pre­par­ing more leg­is­la­tion for the com­ing weeks con­tain­ing a se­ries of prior ac­tions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.