Greek Lenders’ Labor Demands Split Coalition

Prime Minister Samaras faces dissension on proposed changes in labor rules.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras faces a growing revolt from his coalition partners as representatives of the country’s lenders press for more changes to the country’s labor market as a condition for releasing further bailout funds.

Evangelos Venizelos of Pasok and the Democratic Left’s Fotis Kouvelis, whose parliamentary seats give Samaras the majority in Parliament he needs to govern, both said they wouldn’t accept further changes to labor rules after a three- hour meeting with the prime minister in Athens yesterday.

‘No Impasse’

Labor Minister Ioannis Vroutsis told reporters that “there is no impasse, just no agreement yet” after a report earlier from state-run Athens News Agency that the talks had broken down. The minister said the main sticking points with the troika centered on reducing severance pay and abolishing automatic pay increases granted after three years. He said the troika is scheduled to leave Athens today.

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