ECONOMY

Cuts to social security payments

Employers will have to cut non-salary expenses, according to the outcome of the first meetings on the issue between the labor minister and the country?s social partners.

Following the constant pressure by the country?s creditors for a downward revision to the national collective labor contract, there now seems to be universal agreement that a reduction below the minimum wage levels would likely create even greater problems.

This leads to a need for the reduction of social security contributions and to other levies for employers, although those are certain to aggravate the existing woes of the social security funds.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is set to meet on Wednesday with the board of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) and employer associations to discuss the new salary framework, although GSEE stated it does not intend to discuss cuts to salaries or labor rights.

Labor Minister Giorgos Koutroumanis will meet his counterpart in Germany on January 9 to draw on the experience of the changes conducted in the German labor market after 2004.