Greek lenders refuse to make concessions

City A.M. Reporter
GREECE’S foreign lenders have refused to make any further concessions on changes to labour laws contested by a junior coalition partner, the country’s finance minister said yesterday, prolonging an impasse on a crucial austerity package.

Athens has been locked in talks with its EU and IMF lenders on the austerity package for months, but a final agreement has been held up by the small Democratic Left party’s refusal to back the new wage laws.

The party, which says the changes undermine labour rights, has said it will vote against the measures when they are put to a parliamentary vote next week.The party has demanded the troika of EC, ECB and IMF lenders allow a national wage agreement to apply to all employees rather than just unionised workers. It also wants lenders to withdraw plans to axe a 10 per cent salary hike employees get when they marry.

“The troika has not accepted the (party’s) demands,” finance minister Yannis Stournaras told reporters.

A government official said Athens would present the bill in parliament on 5 November.