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Parliamentary committee begins discussion of omnibus bill on Monday

Δημοσίευση 14 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 10:30 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Parliamentary committee begins discussion of omnibus bill on Monday
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Discussion of the omnibus bill tabled by the government last week containing changes to labor relations, cuts in DEKO (public utilities and organisations) salaries and taxation changes opens at noon Monday in parliament's standing Committee on Economic Affairs, under "urgent" procedures.

Discussion of the omnibus bill tabled by the government last week containing changes to labor relations, cuts in DEKO (public utilities and organisations) salaries and taxation changes opens at noon Monday in parliament's standing Committee on Economic Affairs, under "urgent" procedures.

The draft law, which was tabled on Thursday amid a flurry of protests, will be voted on by the parliament plenary on Tuesday.

Prime minister George Papandreou will hold separate meetings on Tuesday with the political party leaders to discuss the upcoming EU summit, at his own initiative.

Papandreou will meet consecutively with main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga, and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis. The Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary alliance has turned down the prime minister's invitation.

PASOK MPs critical of omnibus bill on labour agreements

Ruling PASOK MPs in the finance and labour section of PASOK's Parliamentary group on Monday expressed strong criticism of the government's omnibus bill for reforming private-sector labour relations, wage cuts in public utilities and further tax hikes.

In a joint session with Finance Minister George Papacon-stantinou and Labour Minister Louka Katseli, during which the two ministers presented the draft bill, ruling party MPs disagreed on several measures introduced by the bill and especially with the decision to table the bill as urgent, so that there could be minimal debate on the issues.

They also questioned whether the decision to table the bill as urgent might not make it harder for the prime minister to achieve consensus with the leaders of the opposition parties.

ND to vote for 10 of 18 articles in omnibus bill on utilities, labour relations

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) on Monday said that it will vote for 10 out of 18 articles in the government's omnibus bill on labour relations and reforming state utilities, while voting against the bill in principle during the first reading on Tuesday in Parliament.

ND press spokesman Panos Panagiotopoulos said that ND, "will support isolated provisions that are in the right direction, but will also demand the withdrawal or amendment of other regulations which, instead of promoting the recovery and growth of the economy, instead sink it into shrinkage and recession".

ND, he added, criticises the government both for the content of the omnibus bill and for tabling such crucial legislation using "urgent procedures", which allows the main opposition party only 11 minutes to present its position during the parliamentary debate of the bill ahead of its voting.

According ND Parliamentary rapporteur Yiannis Vroutsis, the main opposition intends to back articles for reforming state utility companies and enterprises on provision that this is extended to the bourse-listed companies as well. It intends to vote against the measures concerning collective labour agreements and increasing VAT, however.

He also criticised the government for tabling such important and controversial legislation as urgent, accusing it of abusing democratic principles.

ND is also against a measure that will write off some 24 billion euro in uncollected taxes on the grounds that it is impossible to collect.