Reforms talk offers PM boost

Prime MinisterCostas Karamanlis looks set to boost his political weight on the structural reform pedestal this week after initial polls showed that voters are in favor of changes to the economy. The news has been met with a sigh of relief by conservative government officials who now look determined to push further ahead with economic changes. Government sources said that Karamanlis will focus on reforms in his keynote economic speech at the Thessaloniki International Fair this weekend. The news from voters comes in contrast to reactions from union groups, which, so far, have opposed most reforms with aggressive strike action. Changes to the banking sector’s pension systems resulted in employees closing down banks for a number of weeks over the summer. Other measures aimed at more flexible retail trading hours also brought on strike action across the country. Economists have applauded the changes so far but have also called for deeper reforms.