Talks on labour and privatisation issues start between Greece and lenders

15 November 2016
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Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos will meet with the country’s creditors, including IMF representative Delia Velculescu at 11am, Wednesday, while newly appointed Labour Minister Efi Achtzoglou is scheduled to have her first encounter with the lenders at 6pm, in an effort to find common grounds on a number of open issues. Although the Greek negotiating teams expect to come under pressure for more measures, they seem determined to reject any demands on labour issue and privatisations that go beyond the agreed requirements provided in the 2015 memorandum. The IMF has returned to the table of talks with a new mandate of higher involvement in the Greek bailout program, a matter that will be determined after the first contact with the Greek team of negotiators. The EU institutions and the IMF representative will hold a series of meetings with the Greek authorities until November 21, the details of which will be agreed upon during Tuesday’s first meeting between the Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and the institutions. The issue of privatisations will be touched upon during a meeting at 5 in the evening on Tuesday, followed by a meeting on labour matters with the new Greek Labour Minister Efi Achtzoglou, where the intentions of both sides on the subjects of collective labour bargaining, the minimum wage and mass layoffs will be presented. The new Labour Minister will unfold her strategy on the contentious issues that separate the two sides, which include the reinstatement of the free collective bargaining; the return of the collective agreements in specific labour sectors which was scrapped in 2012; the defence of a quota on mass layoffs; and the rejection of the lock out.

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