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All the measures that have already passed and the forthcoming barbarous measures of the “updated memorandum”

The updated memorandum promoted in Greece by the Pasok government, IMF, EU and Greek plutocracy includes new anti-people measures with the aim to reduce further the price of the labour power:

Working relations

  • Law that provides that firm-level agreements will prevail over sectoral agreements.
  • Law that enables enterprises which are not members of the employers’ unions that sign the collective labour agreement not to implement it. Till now they were obliged to implement it after its validation by the Ministry of Labour.
  • Regulation that adapts the arbitration system for the signing of collective labour agreements to the demands of the capitalists as it specifies that the function of arbitration “should serve competitiveness on the basis of labour cost and job creation”.
  • The abolition of any restrictions on the time of part-time work and temporary contracts provided by law 3846/2010 passed by the government last May.
  • The extension on the so-called probationary period for new jobs to one year (two months until nowadays). During that period employers can dismiss without any warning and without paying any dismissal pay.
  • The implementation of the Bolkenstein Directive providing the elimination of the restriction of the minimum wage in order to boost investments.
  • Drastic cuts on the already low unemployment benefits aiming at savings of 500 million EUR.

Social security

  • “Reform of main parameters of the pension system as provided by the law 3836/2010”. The recent anti-social security law is merely the beginning. The vehicle for the new offensive is the requirement included in the “updated” memorandum, according to which the increase of the public pension expenditure should not exceed the 2,5 percentage point of GDP over 2010-60. In case that the limit of 2,5 percentage is exceeded the law will change by means of new anti-social security measures.
  • Abolition of any guarantee granted by the state for auxiliary pensions. According to the “updated” memorandum “the government implements an in-depth revision of the functioning of auxiliary public pension funds”. The goal of the government is not to pay a single euro from the state budget for the auxiliary pension funds. In practice, this means that the auxiliary funds, which grant 1 million pensions and already run a big deficit due to the policies of PASOK and ND, will not be able to grant pensions and even if they do, those will be extremely low. In addition, the “updated” memorandum provides that the pension expenditure will remain stable even in case that the number of beneficiaries increases (nowadays 2,8 million workers pay contributions to auxiliary pension funds). This will lead to the drastic reduction of pensions.
  • Revision of the list of heavy and arduous professions so as to reduce its coverage to no more than 10% of the labour force. The retirement ages in the sectors and professions that will be excluded from the list will increase from 5 to 7 years. The new list shall apply with effect from 1 July 2011 to all current and future workers.
  • Introduction of strict requirements for disability pensions and re-examination of thousands of disability pensions leading to cuts in pension wages even to abolition of several pensions.

Plundering of peoples wages through tax increases

  • Further increase of VAT through the increase of VAT rate from 11% to 23% for a considerable amount of goods and services (more than 30%).
  • Broadening of the base of the real estate tax by updating asset values, which means that the working people will have to pay 400 million EUR.
  • "Green tax" on CO2 emissions.
  • Freeze in the indexation of pensions, which means that pensioners will loose more than 100 million EUR.
  • Presumptive taxation of professionals, with a yield of at least 400 million.

Further privatization of strategic sectors

  • railway: new dismissals by means of reducing personnel by 35%. Rise in tariffs in order increase the revenues of the company by 55%. Reduction of the minimum wage by 20%. Sale of the assets of the railway and assignment of profitable lines to private companies that will increase tariffs. Closing of the so-called “loss-making lines” leaving many regions of the country without train service.
  • transport: mass dismissals, wage reduction and abolition of labour rights. Rise in ticket prices by 30-50%. Cuts even closing of lines.
  • energy: liberalization of energy market and assignment of Public Power Corporation infrastructure (DEI) and energy resources (lignite, water-supplies) to business groups. Drastic increase in regulated tariffs for households and farmers by 40-100%.
  • about the so-called regulated professions: the “opening” of those professions creates new fields for capitalists’ profit-making enabling them to invest their accumulated capital. Under the pressure of the business groups the self-employed in these sectors will be thrown out of the market.

People’s plundering

  • Further reduction of allowances and overtime remuneration in state-owned enterprises. This goal will be achieved through the bill on the “unified payments in public sector” that will impose cuts in allowances.
  • The enforcement of a general 3 euro fee for regular outpatient services in public hospitals as well as “all day” functioning of hospitals and Health Centres (afternoon shift).
  • 20-30% increase of the hospital tariffs for medical services and examinations.
  • Reevaluation of all remaining social programmes aiming at their abolition.

On 3rd March and on 3rd May 2010 the government promoted the first severe package of austerity measures since the 1950s while at the same time it promoted a series of anti people reforms:

  • It abolished the Christmas, Easter and holiday allowance for civil servants and all pensioners both in the private and public sectors.
  • It cut salary allowances for the civil servants by 20%.
  • It froze wages and pensions in private and public sectors for the next three years.
  • It reduced the wages of the workers in public utility enterprises, who do not receive any allowances, by 10%.
  • It imposed 3-10% cuts on pensions over 1400 EUR.
  • It canceled the payment of the second installment of “solidarity allowance” that addressed to the poorest segments of the population.
  • It increased the VAT rates two times in 2010.
  • It increased three times in 2010 the excise tax on fuels. As a result the price of unleaded petrol increased by 63%.
  • It increased three times in 2010 the excise tax on alcoholic beverages and tobacco. After the implementation of the measures the price of cigarettes will rise by 40% compared to the beginning of 2010. As regards beverages the rise amounts to 3 euro per bottle.
  • It imposed extra taxation on professionals on the basis of their revenues in 2009.
  • It increased the retirement age to 40 years of contributions. It abolished retirement with 37 years of contributions irrespective of age as well as retirement with 35 of contributions and set retirement age.
  • It imposed drastic cuts on pensions (more than 35%) by means of lengthening the years over which the pensionable earnings base is calculated from the top 5 out of the last 10 years of earnings to lifetime earnings.
  • It abolished retirement before the age 60, by means of abolishing early retirement, affecting above all mothers of infant children and those who have more than 3 children.
  • It reduced pension earnings by 6% per year for those who have 40 years of contributions and “dare” to retire without being at the age of 65.
  • It demolished the pension system of civil servants by transforming public social security to professional.
  • It imposed women to work 5-17 years more in the name of their equation with men.
  • It introduced the institution for the “adjustment of pensions to life expectancy” that paves the way for work until the age of 70.
  • It introduced the institution of “means-tested pension” that is equal to a welfare allowance and is not granted before the age of 65.
  • It reduced drastically the state expenditure for pensions which from now on will cover merely the means-tested pension. Thus, it abolished the three-part financing of social security system.
  • It merged pension funds in three funds.
  • It abolished Collective Labour Agreements and minimum salary. It passed legislation for minimum entry level wages for young and long-term unemployed. Under the pretext of the employment of youth and long-term unemployed it abolishes the minimum wage which nowadays amounts to 740 EUR and creates the generation of 500 EUR.
  • It abolished the 8-hour working day and reduced overtime remuneration. It passed the introduction of “annual limits for the arrangement of working time”. Thus, the workers are obliged to work overtime in a period and then be underemployed or take compulsory holiday. For the period of the overtime work workers will not receive the additional payment that applies nowadays.
  • It increased the redundancy threshold for enterprises employing 21-200 employees.
  • They imposed drastic cuts on redundancy payments that amount to 50%.


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