Politics: PM Papandreou meets ETUC leadership

Prime Minister George Papandreou on Thursday had a meeting in Parliament with the leadership of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
Addressing the ETUC leaders, Papandreou stressed that "we are experiencing a very difficult period and the only thing I can say is that I agree with some of the proposals you have tabled such as, for example, the tax on monetary transactions and the idea of the eurobonds. I believe that if we had these tools in the EU, today we would be in a position to face the crisis in the eurozone in a much more effective way and, I would say, a much fairer way."

The prime minister added that the tax on monetary transactions would not only cover the need for the payment of a price on the part of banks for their mistakes either in the US or in Europe, but it would also provide the possibility for growth in Europe, with investments in human potential and infrastructures, which growth would contribute in turn to the facing of the debt.

Papandreou stressed that changes must take place in Greece, adding that the government is implementing many structural changes so that the economny will become viable, adding however that "if there was in Europe a stronger framework of economic, not only cooperation, but mainly governance which we want, this would make this transitional period much easier and, mainly, for working people."

The prime minister said that the voice of working people in Europe and all over the world must be strengthened and added that "despite whatever differences we might have with trade union organisations in Greece, we are on the same side."

On her part, ETUC Secretary General Bernadette Segol said "Greece needs a better agreement, for citizens and working people."
"We believe that the economic governance, which is already beginning to be implemented, is not the best solution and will not lead to recovery and growth which you need and Europe needs. And this is a very strong message," Segol added, expressing also ETUC's support to proposals such as the tax on monetary transactions, the idea of the eurobonds and investments in Europe.
Segol also expressed ETUC's concern regarding the attacks against collective labour agreements, flexible labour relations and decreases in minimum salaries.
Earlier, the prime minister had a meeting with his financial advisor and former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos and Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou.

PM in Argolida today

Prime minister George Papandreou will visit the prefecture of Argolida on Friday.
During the visit, Papandreou will meet with local authorities and agencies in Nafplion on development issues concerning the wider area.

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