NEWS

Troika comes on Monday to focus on labor issues

Labor issues will be at the focus of the new troika visit, that begins on Monday, as its first meetings in the new week will be with officials of the Labor Ministry.

The first thing on the agenda of representatives of the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund will be to find out whether the social dialogue between the ministry, employers and unions has started on issues set out in previous troika visits.

For the time being this is only conducted in separate meetings by the Labor Minister, as there is no common framework set yet for negotiations, so that everyone gets to sit around the same table.

According to well-informed sources, the main issues are the reduction of non-salary operating costs and the annulment of salary increases included in the three-year collective labor contract signed in summer 2010.

The non-salary operating costs the troika concern the social security contributions and the lifting of restrictions such as paying young people aged up to 25 years with at least 80 percent of minimum wage for a company to enter a program in the Manpower Organization (OAED).

The troika will then begin discussions on the new basis created by the updated fiscal figures, with the budget deficit estimated this year to get to at least 9.5 percent of the gross domestic product.

The creditors? representatives will also plan their next visit to Athens, set for January 2012, during which the measures for the next three years will be agreed on.