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Discord and disaffiliations for the law to liberalize the labour market

15 December 2010 / 14:12:38  GRReporter
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The new law on labour market liberalization, which was adopted at first reading in Parliament, raised storms. The radical leftist SYRIZA and the extreme right LAOS proved to be of one opinion for the first time and united against the plan of the PASOK government to reform labour relations in the country to meet the economic reality today. The law was supported by 156 voters and disapproved by 130 voters and the unions and opposition accused the government of bringing labour rights of employees back in the darkness of the Medieval.

The government of George Papandreou was attacked not only from outside, but from inside after the socialist MP from Preveza district and member of the PASOK parliamentary group Evangelos Papahristos called the draft to liberalize the labour market unfair. Papahristos accused the government of violating the last workers' rights at a meeting of the Economic Commission before the vote and said he would vote against the daft. The Prime Minister George Papandreou responded and excluded the naughty Evangelos Papahristos from the ranks of the Greek Socialists in the National Assembly in a letter to the President of the Parliament Philip Petsalnikos

PASOK’s disaffiliated MP is a hereditary politician. His father Kalimahos Papahristos was a member of PASOK in the period 1977-1981. According to the information in the media, the young Evangelos had opposing attitude from an early age after being detained by the junta as a fighter against the dictatorship. He went to study at the University of Essex in Britain after 1974, where he gained a Master's degree in Finance. The first acts of Evangelos Papahristos as unionist were while studying at Essex where he became chairman of the federation of Greek students in Britain. Then he continued his education with postgraduate studies at the Institute for Social Sciences in Moscow. He was back in his native Greece in 1985 and decided to run for MP as a member of the Greek Communist Party (KKE). Several years later he left the ranks of the Greek Communists and joined PASOK. Obviously, the labour rights and local economy liberalization is too great a break for the beliefs of the former communist MP, which led to his disaffiliation.

The bone of contention - the draft on the liberalization of the labour market - is expected to enable companies to negotiate individually with the employees the amount of their wages and rights, beyond the familiar context of collective labour agreements that fixed the minimum wage by sectors, annual increases and other employment rights. The Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou supported from the rostrum of the Parliament the changes in the labour market by asking: "How are being destroyed the principles of the social state through introducing rules that exist in all European countries?" He urged lawmakers to look into the mirror and understand the reality in the country. Papaconstantinou made it clear that there is no way back and the reforms to liberalize the Greek economy will continue.

The Finance Minister spoke of impunity that prevailed in the public sector and state enterprises so far. The state system has to be restructured and the political price that George Papandreou and his ministers could pay is not important. The aim is to put order in Greece, introducing important and urgent changes in the operating system of state bodies, said George Papaconstantinou.

Tags: PoliticsDisaffiliationLabour market liberalization
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