International Monetary Fund Representative Delia Velculescu met with the leadership of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) at the Bank of Greece (BoG) building. The meeting, called by Velculescu ran for one and a half hours and took place ahead of the creation of the IMF’s annual report on the Greek economy.
The goal of the union representatives was to showcase measures that had already been implemented and their subsequent failure in order to convince the institution that new reforms in this direction should be dropped. GSEE Chief John Panagopoulos, GSEE General Secretary Nikos Kioutsoukis and the GSEE union’s consultant George Argidis outlined the reasons why group contracts, minimum wage levels and protection from mass dismissals should be left untouched.
Following the meeting, Panagopoulos said that Velculescu agreed that measures were one-sided in class structure and mainly hit workers and pensioners. Panagopoulos said that Velculescu failed to outline what the measures would be for other market forces who “enjoy wealth and prosperity” at the expense of others. Velculescu also agreed that the effect of the measures on unemployment and recession make it impossible for the Greek economy to produce a primary surplus.
Nonetheless, there were no answers given to the unionists regarding the issues put forth and there did not appear to be any point of convergence, according to Panagopoulos.
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