Unionist says Merkel backs him on ECB role

The head of the country?s main private sector workers? union, Yiannis Panagopoulos, has told Skai that German Chancellor Angela Merkel supports the position of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) on the need for a different role for the European Central Bank.

After meeting with Merkel in Berlin on Thursday, along with other European unionists, the GSEE chief told Skai on Friday that he broached several issues with Merkel including the matter of Greece?s defense spending — following the revelation that Greece is Germany’s main export market in Europe — as well as the impact of an ongoing austerity drive and the effective abolition of collective bargaining agreements in Greece.

Panagopoulos asserted that Merkel asked him whether she would be able to visit Greece ? an apparent reference to mounting anti-German sentiment among members of the public. The unionist said he told her that the mass-circulation German tabloid Bild was largely to blame for the current negative climate.