Eurogroup deal with Greece - more hardship for Greek workers and people

(13 July 2015) The longest Eurogroup summit has ended with a deal. If the Greek Parliament approves it, talks can start on a third financial assistance package. Several other national parliaments need to accept it as well. There is a list of measures for immediate approval and implementation.

The deal demands labour market reforms. They want "rigorous reviews and modernisation of collective bargaining, industrial action and, in line with the relevant EU directive and best practice, collective dismissals along the the timetable and the approach agreed with the Institutions." And "On the basis of the reviews, labour market policies should be aligned with international and European best practices, and should not involve a return to past policy settings which are not compatible with the goals of promoting sustainable and inclusive growth." Greece will be forced to privatise many of its public companies. Debt relief will only be considered much later.

EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan: "We will assist the Greek unions in opposing unfair labour market reforms. We will stand with our Greek colleagues in the fight against privatisation of public services. Our demand for Another Europe with an end to austerity and investment in public services is the alternative."

Before the summit ETUC sent an open letter to the heads of the EU institutions and heads of government. It demanded that the voice of the Greek people for an end to austerity be respected. The letter has been cosigned by European trade union leaders, including the EPSU General Secretary.

Following the summit [ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Segol said-> https://www.etuc.org/press/catastrophe-avoided-incredibly-high-price#.VaOIBjgw9KA] that while the EU has avoided the catastrophe of Grexit, "it comes at an incredibly high and hard price for the Greek people." "The emphasis on pension and labour market reforms shows that it is ordinary people who will pay the price."

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