With creditors demanding pension cuts and a strict budget and professionals and farmers refusing to pay more security fund contributions, the Greek government is caught in the middle with its popularity waning.
The clouds over Maximos Mansion are getting darker as both sides harden their stance: Creditors ask for generous cuts in main and supplementary pensions, while professionals and farmers don’t want to discuss the proposal for increase in contributions and escalate protest actions.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his cabinet are worried about the outcome of negotiations with the quartet of lenders that started on Monday and the reactions of Greek society. The general strike on Thursday is a great cause of concern, despite the fact that prime minister and cabinet members claim that they support the right of workers to go on strike.
Negotiations with lenders continue on Tuesday with several issues such as security funds, taxation, the establishment of a privatization fund and management of bad loans still open.
The prime minister is holding continuous meetings with his associates in an effort to find ways to pass the message that the reforms required will eventually pull Greece out of the economic crisis. At the same time the government tries to find ways to avoid the political cost the passing of the unpopular reforms would bring.
Farmers give government five days to withdraw draft bill
Farmers have given the government five days to withdraw the draft bill that increases contributions and taxes for their group.
Farmers have blocked all major thoroughfares and border crossing points, halting the movement of produce and goods. They demand the establishment of a bipartisan committee, which will withdraw the draft bill on pensions and taxation and start a dialogue from scratch with the participation of people in the primary production sector.
On Monday, farmers made their demand public and notified House Speaker Nikos Voutsis and all party leaders that they give the government five days to comply to their demand. Otherwise they will block all roads indefinitely.
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