The secretary of the ruling conservative New Democracy party told Sunday’s Kathimerini that if unions continued to react so strongly to the government’s efforts to introduce a range of structural reforms that they paralyze the country, early elections may be called this year. Labor unions have already said they are planning imminent industrial action in protest at the government’s labor reform bill, which was submitted to Parliament on Friday. A 24-hour nationwide strike last month brought much of the country to a standstill, while the government also had to contend with a four-week strike by bank workers. Asked what the government’s reaction would be if unionists stepped up their action in the autumn, Vangelis Meimarakis, the ND secretary, refused to rule out the possibility of early elections. «In democracies, there are no dead ends and, when needed, the solution is always provided by the citizens,» he said. The spokesman for PASOK, Nikos Athanassakis, accused the conservatives of using the threat of snap elections as a tool to «keep ND deputies on their toes and not voicing their opposition» to the government’s policies.