International Monetary Fund (IMF) European deputy director Poul Thomsen, who heads the IMF mission in the EU-IMF ‘troika’ is unwavering on the reduction of the minimum wage in the private sector, but flexible on the issue of abolition of the so-called 13th and 14th salaries (the full-salary Christmas bonus and half-salary Easter and summer holiday bonuses) in the private sector, in an interview with an Athens daily newspaper appearing on Wednesday, while he also proposes the closure of public organisations and dismissal of employees.
In an interview with Kathimerini newspaper, the IMF official also stresses the need for reduction of the salary cost so as to render the Greek economy more competitive. He recommends a “containment of the minimum wage”, albeit temporarily, noting that the minimum wage in Spain and Portugal is lower than in Greece. A report from the state news agency said that he further proposes the closure of public organisations and layoff of employees, and notes the importance of the commitment by the leaders of the three political parties (PASOK, ND, LAOS) backing prime minister Lucas Papademos’ interim government for adherence to the new economic programme for Greece.
Thomsen further notes the mistakes that have been made, such as the emphasis placed on taxation, and indirectly advocates a recapitalisation of the banks with preference shares, warning that “we do not want the state to govern the banks”.