21 October, 2011
Hellenic Parliament, on October 19, approved on first reading a bill which includes a series of austerity measures and reforms, while final voting on separate articles was concluded late yesterday evening.
The bill includes a mix of pay and pension cuts, tax hikes and changes to collective bargaining agreements as well as the introduction of the labour reserve scheme and a new, uniform pay-scale system in the public sector. "We are in an agonising but necessary struggle to avoid the final and harshest point of the crisis," Government Vice-president and Finance minister Evangelos Venizelos said addressing the Parliament, ahead of the vote.
He added that he "hoped for a substantial, definitive solution to the crisis after a European Union summit meeting on Sunday. "From now and until Sunday we are fighting the battle of all battles," he said.
During yesterday’s rally a 53-year old construction worker died of a heart-attack following violent clashes that broke out on Syntagma Square, in central Athens.
- Consultations before the European Summit
Prime Minister George Papandreou addressed a cabinet meeting yesterday, during which he informed ministers on the latest developments in view of the October 23 EU Summit, which will address the European debt crisis.
The premier also met with Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias on October 17. Leaving the Presidential Mansion, Papandreou stressed
that it is important for the European Summit to put an end to the euro-zone crisis which has "created immense insecurity and uncertainty to all the peoples of Europe, let alone the Greeks."
Source: GREEK NEWS AGENDA issued by the Secretariat Genera