First meeting with Troika on labour matters

Labour Minister George Katrougalos will hold a preliminary meeting with the Troika, Wednesday, to discuss the pending matters for reform in the Greek labour market. The agenda of talks will include among other things the thorny issues of massive lay-offs in the private sector, the reintroduction of collective bargaining and determining a mechanism for the calculation of minimum wages. Talks over the introduction of a minimum wage through a collective bargaining is expected to be a point of harsh contention, as the majority of labour market experts have sided with Greece, while the the IMF claims the minimum wage should be cut further, as it is the highest among countries with similar sizes. Negotiations are also predicted to be hard the front of massive lay-offs in the private sector, as the lenders of Greece insist the ‘ministerial veto’ should be scrapped. The institutions along with Greek industrialist are also pushing for the percentage of massive lay-offs to be raised from 5 to 10%. The Greek side is expected to request the reintroduction of collective bargaining, the predominance of collective contracts and the determination of the minimum wage rate by social partners. Substantive talks will commence in October, when the matters will be discussed in detail after the international Experts Council has submitted its findings and recommendations on the necessary reforms in October.

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