The bill for the regulation of the 120 instalments for income tax debts and insurance funds is being introduced in today’s plenary session of the Greek Parliament, with the aim for it to be voted by tomorrow, or at the latest by Wednesday. SYRIZA, Movement for Change (KINAL) and To Potami have declared that they will vote in favour of the measures, the Greek Communist Party (KKE) has said it will vote “present”, while New Democracy, Golden Dawn and the Union of Centrists will state their position in the plenary.
As an amendment to the bill on the debts, the government will also present the measures that were announced last week by the Greek Prime Minister and the Economic Staff. Thus, in the next few days, the payment of the 13th pension to 2.5 million pensioners and the reductions in VAT on restaurants, energy and food are being voted on. The aim of Athens is for the payment of the pension to be realised on May 20.
The government’s counter-attack with relief measures and contact with citizens
With the days counting down for the European elections on May 26, the pre-election debate is escalating. Alexis Tsipras sees the government’s majority being strengthened by the three-day debate on the vote of confidence in the government by one MP, reaching 153. At the same time in SYRIZA they assess positively the great response of the citizens during the prime ministerial tours of Greece and the full stadiums during the speeches.
According to a top executive of the political party, the government’s “counter-attack” with permanent relief measures is evidence that SYRIZA’s concern is the support of the many and that the benefits of the economy be distributed fairly to the citizens, opposite the neo-liberal programme of New Democracy. Polls show a decline in the gap between the two parties while the governmental team expects to see the impact of the relief measures bring together SYRIZA voters.
The “seven-day work” heightens the pre-election confrontation
The political scene has been “set on fire” by yesterday’s interview of Kyriakos Mitsotakis where, amongst other things, he spoke about the possibility of seven-day work. “When a business agrees with employees through a business contract to go from five days to seven days work with the workers’ agreement and with much better pay and with increased rights and the two parties agree, we do nothing more but acknowledge that we are in a changing world and workers, businesses and the state need to adapt to this new reality”, he said, provoking the strong reaction of SYRIZA and other opposition parties.
“Going one step further his worrying position about the outdated eight-hours shift, he also committed himself to seven-day work, he committed, in other words, to returning the workers to the 18th century”, commented the Prime Minister’s press office, with New Democracy clarifying that Mitsotakis was referring to the “seven-day operation of a business and not to seven-day work.” In a statement the head of the ND accused Al. Tsipra of “fake news”.
In SYRIZA, however, it is stressed that the assault on employment, the 8-hour, five-day and collective agreements and the matching with IMF positions are part of New Democracy’s political agenda, recalling the respective positions and views of Manfred Weber, the Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz and other right-winged European leaders./ibna