The unions' and employers' statement undermined efforts by the coalition government to agree a package of reforms as demanded by the country's international lenders if Athens is to receive the crucial €130bn second rescue package.The three main parties in the coalition will meet on Saturday to discuss the situation, though sources close to the talks said a quick resolution was unlikely.The refusal of unions to accept further wage cuts and the discovery earlier in the week of an extra €15bn hole in Athens's accounts are expected to force negotiators to rethink their tactics over the weekend.The troika of officials from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and EU want Greece to agree a package of spending cuts and reforms before they release the fresh €130bn of funds.
Splits have opened up inside the
Greek coalition, which includes right- and leftwing parties, as leaders
jockey for position in the runup to the elections scheduled for
March.Antonis Samaras, the leader of the
conservative New Democracy (ND) party, which is leading in opinion polls,
opposes cuts to pensions and to wages
in the private sector
, which he argues would deepen the current recession.
The ND leader joined employers in proposing a salary freeze, though even
this plan is rejected by unions, which have already accepted 14% wage