The leaders of the three parties in Greece’s coalition government under interim Prime Minister Lucas Papademos hammered together an agreement on austerity measures demanded by the country’s creditors in exchange for a new bailout loan, though they failed to reach consensus on the issue of pension cuts.
As citizens of Greece, some of the below mentioned measures make perfect sense. They should have been adopted a long time ago… however, there are two measures we find very suspicious.
The reason we highlighted them is because we want our global friends to see that Greeks did not have it coming.
See it for yourselves. A common secretary, or bakery worker, or even teacher in Europe makes 4 times the amount that a worker makes in Greece, but still has to pay the same amount if not more for a bottle of milk, a loaf of bread and a sack of potatoes.
Now they have forced the Greek interim government to lower the minimum wage, and all newly hired employees will be making less than 500 euros a month net while their rent is 350 euros, their electricity bill has been raised 22 percent this year alone HOW THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE GOING TO SURVIVE?
Also… when a country is desperate for funds, and when you lower wages, get rid of employee union contracts, and especially RIGHTS, then you are basically doing a favor to greedy corporations who want to come in and seize these companies for pennies on the dollar, you are not really gathering funds from privatizations to patch up holes in the economy now are you?
NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE ANGRY?
These are some of the measures. Keep in mind folks, that an analytical story will follow in the days to come about these measures, because the real danger (and pillaging of our country) is in the small print, as well as the articles that are contained in the new memorandum. And as always, hellasfrappe will expose as much as it can so you can have a clear picture of what is really going on.
- A reduction to the minimum wage, of about 22 percent. Currently it is at 751 euros per month (Gross) with an additional 10 percent reduction to the basic salary for younger people under the age of 25.
- A freeze on the minimum wage for a period of three years.
- A freeze on all salary hikes until the unemployment level is reduced from its current 19 percent to under 10 percent. (The real unemployment rate is well over 28 percent)
- A slash in employee pensions of (partly owned) state owned companies such OTE telecoms and Public Power Corporation by 15 percent, as well as of all naval workers by 7 percent.
- The firing of 15,000 state employees by the end of 2012, with further firings of more than 150,000 by the end of 2015.
- The reduction from six months to three of the period over which collective sectoral labor agreements.
- Collective sectoral agreements will have a limited duration of three years, while existing contracts with a 24-month duration will expire in one year from now.
- A reduction in contributions to the IKA Social Security Fund of at least 2 percent. Effective immediately, and an additional 3 percent in 2013.
- A review by end-June of the special salary status of judicial employees, state doctors, diplomats, and police and military personnel.
- The sale of scheduled share packages in the following state-owned companies: Public Gas Corporation (DEPA), gas distributor DESFA, Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), betting agency OPAP, the Attica and Thessaloniki water and sewerage companies (EYDAP and EYATH), and the International Broadcasting Center. – ALL THIS BY MID-JUNE
- The abolition of permanency for employees at state-owned companies and banks.
- The restriction of tax exemptions, simplification of the value added tax and property tax structure.
- The closure of 200 tax offices across the country by the end of the year.
- The hiring of 1,000 more tax auditors, to bring their total number by the end of April to 2,000.
- Eliminating the extension of payment terms for overdue taxes and social security contributions.
- A further reduction in military spending by 0.15 percent of GDP.
- The recapitalization of Greek banks through common shares with limited voting rights and through contingent convertible bonds.