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Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by AlYunaniya Staff No Comments

Greece: Launches week of strikes as it braces for two crucial votes

Samaras with media

photo: ND flickr

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Along with the strikes that are expected at least through Thursday, and possibly throughout the week Greece’s coalition government is facing two crucial votes this week in its effort to secure a portion of a bailout loan by creditors that will stave off threatened bankruptcy.

Talks about Greece exiting the euro will end after critical votes in Parliament this week on new austerity measures, labor reforms and the 2013 budget, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said yesterday in a speech he delivered to the meeting of the ND parliamentary group.

“As soon as the new measures are passed and we get the critical aid tranche, liquidity will start again to feed businesses and households, uncertainty will end, sentiment will change and the fear of a return to the drachma will disappear,” Samaras told New Democracy MPs at a party meeting, Kathimerini writes.

The Premier had separate meetings with his coalition partners, in an effort to restore unity around the austerity package and 2013 budget to be put up for voting in Parliament on Wednesday.

Although Maximos Mansion appears certain that the measures will pass the critical vote next Wednesday, it is watching with concern the intraparty shocks in the government partners that are also reflected abroad, protothema.gr reports.

Prime Minister’s office told the paper with certainty that despite the refusal of DIMAR the measures will pass with the majority of ND and PASOK. They add that on Sunday, November 11, just one day before the crucial Eurogroup meeting, all three coalition parties will vote for the budget that traditionally has the character of a confidence vote. The negative impressions about DIMAR due to its rejection of the labour package will decrease outside the country as well by its vote on the budget.

In a clear message to the Democratic Left, Samaras said: “I can understand why some of those who have are on our side are having seconds thoughts. I understand that the next crucial steps are big and difficult, but they are worth the trouble. I am making a plea to everyone to proceed with us till the end.”

Sources close to the Premier said that contact with the coalition parties and the troika would continue until Wednesday’s vote, when the structural reforms will be put to vote, but it was unlikely that any major concessions would be made. Should Democratic Left fail to support the measures, there is a possibility it will reject the budget, which will be voted on late Sunday. This would likely lead to the party quitting the coalition.

Meanwhile, GSEE and ADEDY umbrella unions have called a general strike Tuesday and Wednesday. Fixed-track and other public transport services will be affected throughout the week as well. According to media reports, the Athens Metro will operate only on Wednesday.

Lawyers across the country are suspending activity for five days starting today, while prosecutors are extending their strike to November 18.

Municipal workers are expected to hold sit-ins at city halls, garbage truck depots and waste management facilities today.

Disruptions are also expected at Athens International Airport on Tuesday from a three-hour stoppage by air-traffic controllers, starting at 10 a.m.

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