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Stournaras says agreement on measures has been reached with troika

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras has informed journalists that there is an agreement between the Greek government and the troika on all aspects of the austerity and reform program and the coalition is likely to be in a position to submit the measures to Parliament by the end of the week.

“The package has been sealed,” Stournaras is reported to have told journalists, less than 24 hours after coalition partners Democratic Left and PASOK expressed objections to some aspects of the measures.

Democratic Left, the smallest of the three parties in the coalition, objected to some of the labor market reforms but it appears that a compromise with the troika has been found.

Sources said that instead of reducing the notice companies have to give to employees before making them redundant from six to three months, a compromise has been reached on four months.

Democratic Left had also objected to a restrictive cap on compensation for workers who are fired when they have at least 16 years of service. It appears it has been agreed that employees’ compensation for their first 16 years of service will be paid according to their salary, while the remaining years will be capped at 2,000 euros per year, which is higher than the troika originally proposed.

Greece’s lenders have also agreed to maintain a benefit for married couples and have set aside for now a request to scrap the automatic three-year wage maturation for workers on the minimum wage.

Stournaras said that Greece would inform the Euro Working Group of the status of negotiations when technical staff meet in Brussels on Friday and Monday, ahead of the next Eurogroup meeting on November 12.

The measures of the new bailout memorandum will now be drafted in two bills that will be tabled in Parliament Stournaras reportedly said. He added that the bills would be categorized as urgent to speed up debating time.

The aim is for everything to have been approved by the House by November 12.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday October 24, 2012 (14:43)  
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