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IMF pressure for emergency measures unleashes more strikes

28 April 2010 / 10:04:48  GRReporter
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European Union and International Monetary Fund press the Greek Government to implement reforms in the pension system. Enraged trade unions of employees in the private (GSEE) and the public sector (ADEDY) announced their third consecutive 24-hour strike on May 5. Meanwhile leader of the parliamentary left coalition SIRIZA Alexis Tsipras called for with a formal letter members of the Communist Party, the Green Party and the two unions GSEE and ADEDY, to unite their protests on May 1 and instead of each organization protesting at a different place, at a different time, to make a general protest rally to mark the World Day of workers. 

It is expected that soon the ordinance to equalize retirement age between men and women will be applied, the pensions for unmarried daughters of employees of the public sector and of the military will be eliminated, the pensions of the insured in the Fund for self-employed, who were previously insured in the Fund of traders and freelancers, will be reduced. Along with these measures it is discussed the possibility to change the method of calculating pensions of all Funds, leading to even greater reductions in the final amount retirees will receive. 

Today, experts from the “three” (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) will meet with the management of the Ministry of Labor and the Secretary Robert Spiropoulos to clarify expectations of the EU and the IMF from the changes in the pension system and in labor relations. 

Rapidly implemented reforms must be: 

1. Leveling the retirement age between men and women. As a result of this measure the years of work for women will increase with at least five years. The law is expected to affected at least 140,000 women working in the public sector, who will have to retire either at 60 years of age with a reduced pension or at 65 with full pension. 

2. Eliminating pensions for unmarried daughters of employees of the public sector and military employees. Until now such pensions have been received by 7000 people and it is believed that another 15,000 women belong to this category. 

3. Pensioners with pensions over €1,400 will have to pay tax LAFKA to support poorer funds. This "tribute" will be monthly and will move from 2% to 5%. On the negotiations table are also the pensions of employees in the State telecommunication company and the State electricity company, who are receiving over €1,500 and their pensions should be reduced with 3% to 8%. 

4. Change in calculating pensions. 

5. From now on the Organization for insuring free entrepreneurs will ensure all vendors who develop their activities in areas with fewer than 2000 people as confectioners, butchers, owners of kiosks and taverns. It is believed that their number is between 40,000 and 60,000 people.

Tags: Greece economy IMF strikes crisis
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