PM seeks new agenda

Tsipras her­alds pos­i­tive news in job mar­ket, chides ju­di­ciary dur­ing min­istry visit

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras at­tempted to change the main topic of dis­cus­sion in the do­mes­tic po­lit­i­cal agenda yes­ter­day dur­ing a visit to the La­bor Min­istry, where he her­alded pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments in the job mar­ket and took another swipe at the ju­di­ciary.

Tsipras noted in his speech that the un­em­ploy­ment level fell to 21.7 per­cent at the end of April com­pared to 27.2 per­cent two years ear­lier. He said that the un­em­ploy­ment rate would fall by 2.5 per­cent­age points per year over the com­ing years. He also pointed to a re­cent rise of 9.3 per­cent in the aver­age wage in the pri­vate sec­tor.

The prime min­is­ter un­veiled plans for a scheme that would pro­vide fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives for com­pa­nies that of­fer full-time po­si­tions to peo­ple they cur­rently use as free­lancers. He also said the gov­ern­ment would spend 100 mil­lion eu­ros on a re­train­ing pro­gram for some 50,000 peo­ple.

The SYRIZA leader also dis­played some frus­tra­tion with the ju­di­cial sys­tem, ar­gu­ing that it “of­ten pro­tects em­ploy­ers who do not pay on time, lead­ing to tragic con­se­quences some­times.” The lat­ter ap­pears to be a ref­er­ence to the case of a 42-year-old woman from Gian­nitsa, in north­ern Greece, who re­cently com­mit­ted sui­cide. It emerged that she had not been paid by her em­ployer for al­most 18 months.

How­ever, Tsipras’s com­ments were dis­missed by op­po­si­tion par­ties, who ac­cused him of try­ing to dis­guise the dif­fi­cul­ties of the Greek la­bor mar­ket.

“Mr Tsipras seems to be un­aware that more than 50 per­cent of the hir­ings in the pri­vate sec­tor re­late to low wages and flex­i­ble forms of em­ploy­ment,” said Evi Christofilopoulou of PASOK.

A sur­vey by the Dia­neo­sis think-tank pub­lished yes­ter­day in­di­cates that one in two Greeks aged be­tween 18 and 35 says that their main source of in­come is fi­nan­cial sup­port from par­ents or other rel­a­tives and 41 per­cent wants to move abroad to find work.

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