Athens agrees to revise labor rules on mass layoffs

The government in Athens has agreed to revise labor legislation on mass layoffs in order to attract investment and support job creation, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn revealed on Thursday in response to a question from a Greek member of the European Parliament.

“The Greek government has agreed to revise its labor legislation. The aim is to introduce measures which, in combination with the recent reforms, can contribute toward attracting investments and support job creation. This is expected to include the revision of regulatory issues concerning the restructuring of enterprises and group layoffs,” Rehn told Nikos Hountis of the left-wing SYRIZA party, as Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis was meeting in Athens with Economy Minister Yannis Stournaras.

Vroutsis will be holding talks with the representatives of the country’s creditors on Friday.

The inspectors from the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund – known as the troika – met with Stournaras on Thursday to discuss the structural changes in the streamlining program and the course of their implementation. A senior Finance Ministry official said that the morning meeting focused on the changes and actions the government is undertaking to bolster growth.

The two sides further discussed the privatizations program – agreeing on a target for 1.1 billion euros in revenues for this year – and the state of the banking system, ahead of new stress tests that may reveal further capital requirements for the country’s systemic lenders.

In the evening there was another meeting between Stournaras and the troika, which was also attended by Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, on the fate of Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS) and the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO) while a separate meeting on the Larco mining company took place with Environment Minister Yiannis Maniati. Sources say no agreement was reached on any of the issues.

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