A few hours before a crucial vote on a multi-bill of economic reforms demanded by the country’s international creditors as a condition for further rescue funding, the government was withdrawing provisions and submitting new ones in a bid to ensure its deputies back the legislation and to avoid alienating hundreds of mayors who have angrily opposed the proposed reforms.
The last-minute changes included the withdrawal of an amendment that would have given the 2,656 former employees of the defunct state broadcaster ERT a larger compensation package than other state company workers. Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis introduced several changes including the exemption from a mobility scheme for civil servants of municipal police officers employed in municipalities with fewer than 5,000 residents.
During the debate on the multi-bill in Parliament, the leader of the left-wing opposition SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, said the country’s future was being “overshadowed by the constant threats of the memorandums and the slavery imposed by the troika.”
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras insisted that the government was on the right track. “I am fully aware of the difficulties faced by the Greek people during this major crisis, but our efforts are bringing results,” he said.