Ministers push for deal as Democratic Left resists

Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis said negotiations with troika were ongoing on Thursday as objections by the Democratic Left, the coalition's junior partner, to labor reforms proposed by foreign creditors continued to pose an obstacle to a final rubber stamp on the deal.

In comments to Parliament's internal affairs committee, Vroutsis said the three parties in the coalition had done their best to minimize the social impact of the austerity measures and called on lawmakers to await the outcome of a Euro Working Group meeting in Brussels where Greece is topping the agenda.

The executive committee of Democratic Left was to reconvene at 5.30 p.m. on Thursday to discuss the thorny issue of labor reforms once again. Although party officials concede that the new agreement on labor reforms achieved by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras is «improved» they believe that outstanding issues must still be resolved. Party spokesman Nikos Tsoukalis said Democratic Left's stance «represents something different in the political scene and sets out the limits to the negotiation.»

Stournaras, for his part, rebuffed reports that the controversial labor reforms would be revoked.