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PM: There is only one choice, to save jobs

Δημοσίευση 11 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 10:55 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
PM: There is only one choice, to save jobs
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Greece is in a difficult environment and has tough battles to wage, and there is only one choice to make, to either save jobs or allow businesses to be forced to lay off employees or shut down, prime minister George Papandreou said on Friday, adding that his government's top concern is to preserve and secure work so as to emerge from the crisis with the least possible losses and return to growth.

Greece is in a difficult environment and has tough battles to wage, and there is only one choice to make, to either save jobs or allow businesses to be forced to lay off employees or shut down, prime minister George Papandreou said on Friday, adding that his government's top concern is to preserve and secure work so as to emerge from the crisis with the least possible losses and return to growth.

Responding in parliament to a current question tabled by Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga on labor relations and the new institutional framework introduced in an omnibus bill tabled a day earlier, Papandreou stressed that "we must leave behind us a counter-productive economy that does not create new jobs, and a weakened productive base which, if measures are not taken immediately to reverse will let the country be sucked deeper into recession".

"That is the truth, and we must speak this truth to the people," the premier added.

Papariga charged that "we are dealing with the most dangerous government in the post-dictatorship period", to which Papandreou retorted that "dangerous is the situation inherited by the new (PASOK) government, which undertook the responsibility of changing the country".

The "symptoms", he added, are not the result of the policy of the present government but of a long-standing situation.

Papandreou said that a "labor Middle Ages" existed today, adding that the omnibus bill neither abolished collective negotiations or minimum wage, but simply introduced business labor contracts with the agreement of the social partners.

The premier also stressed that the transition course will not be easy, but expressed conviction that 2011 will be the last year of recession in Greece and the country will re-enter growth.

Papandreou further noted that layoffs and salary reductions were also made in the KKE-owned businesses, the 90.2 FM radio station and Typoekdotiki media publishing company. "You did this because the turnover declined. That's what you said, but you don't give anyone also the right to do the same tidying up," the premier said, stressing that his government will tidy up the country, to the benefit of the citizens and without the loss of job positions.