As employers’ associations and workers’ unions yesterday clashed over collective labor contracts for this year, Greece’s largest labor union inched back slightly from its initial positions on social security reform, saying it would back plans for separate funds for each professional group. The government – which has also backtracked considerably since its controversial proposals last year for the hundreds of disparate pension funds currently in existence to be merged into eight big ones – now suggests keeping one umbrella state fund that will be supplemented by smaller funds for each professional group. Such funds could even exist on a company level. Christos Polyzogopoulos, chairman of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) yesterday said he agreed with such an idea. GSEE, which represents all private sector unions, led protests against last year’s reform proposals which culminated in two massive demonstrations in Athens. Other than IAS there are no bidders. The EU has forbidden the government to provide any further support to the airline and it is not clear what will happen to it if the deal falls through. «Mr Stephanopoulos is an example of ethical behavior. Whoever attacks him the way they did today is an example of sordid behavior. Their effort to destabilize our institutions will not succeed,» Simitis said immediately after returning from a visit to Belgium.