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Thursday, 23 March 2017

EU, 60 Years; Will Greece drop objections to Rome unity declaration?



From Reuters: EU hopes Greece will drop objections to unity declaration

"Greece has threatened not to sign the Rome declaration setting out the bloc's vision of its future. It wants the text to make a clearer commitment to protecting workers' rights - an issue on which it is at loggerheads with international lenders who want it to adopt more reforms in return for new loans....Another EU diplomat said any attempt by Athens to win leverage on the international debt talks by holding off in Rome should not succeed: "We won't be blackmailed by one member state which is linking one EU issue with a totally different one."


Greece Continues to Block Joint Statement of 60th EU Anniversary. Greek Reporter

"Vangelis Kalpadakis argued that Athens could not support the text referring to the values ​​of the EU and solidarity between member states, while Greece is asked to meet the unrealistic demands of the International Monetary Fund in the bailout program review negotiations. The Greek side wants to include a paragraph with an explicit reference to EU achievements regarding labour laws and social benefits in the declaration that will be made".

Update - Letter from PM Tsipras  - Επιστολή Τσίπρα προς Ευρωπαίους για τα εργασιάκα εν όψει Ρώμης, Kathimerini


PM Tsipras Asks Juncker if the ‘European Acquis’ Applies to Greece, Greek Reporter


Statement by President Juncker on Prime Minister Tsipras' letter on the occasion of the Social Summit, European Commission Press Release


Απάντηση Γιούνκερ στην επιστολή Τσίπρα: «Μην αντιστρέψεις τις μεταρρυθμίσεις που συμφωνήθηκαν στο παρελθόν για την ανταγωνιστικότητα», To Vima


"Συγκεκριμένα, ο κ. Γιούνκερ σημειώνει στο συγκεκριμένο σημείο της επιστολής του: «Πιστεύω ότι πρέπει να επιτευχθεί μια συμφωνία που θα σέβεται τις δεσμεύσεις που έχουν αναληφθεί από όλες τις πλευρές κατά την έναρξη του προγράμματος: οι δεσμεύσεις των ελληνικών αρχών να μην αντιστρέψουν τις μεταρρυθμίσεις που συμφωνήθηκαν στο παρελθόν για τη διατήρηση της ανταγωνιστικότητας». Επίσης, στην ανακοίνωσή του ο πρόεδρος της Κομισιόν κάνει αναφορά στην έκθεση της εμπειρογνωμόνων και σημειώνει ότι ορθώς υπενθυμίζει η έκθεση και είναι γνωστό σε όλους ότι δεν υπάρχει ένα μέγεθος που να ταιριάζει σε όλους, όταν πρόκειται για την οργάνωση των συλλογικών διαπραγματεύσεων".


IMF: more work needed to reach deal on Greece loan, Agence France Press


The Times: Scheming bosses force Greeks to hand back wages

"Thousands of Greek workers are being escorted to cash machines every month to return up to a third of their pay to employers who have lost out during the government’s crackdown on tax evasion. The practice first surfaced in December when a government decree forced local companies to pay all employees’ salaries via bank transfer, a move designed to tackle widespread tax evasion and undeclared labour in the country. However, companies faced with increased taxes and social security contributions, have resorted to claiming cash back from workers after it has been paid. The technique has quickly spread across the country. The claim, made by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), Greece’s largest umbrella trade union,..".

Europe Prepares for Tough Brexit Negotiations, Spiegel Online





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