An attempt to reach an agreement on the austerity package and structural changes measures remained inconclusive yesterday after a meeting between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis.
Democratic Left yesterday said it will not support the labour market reforms demanded by the country’s foreign lenders. “The unacceptable demands by the troika will not yield any fiscal benefit, they will only lead to further rise in
unemployment,” Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis said after a two-hour meeting with the Prime Minister and PASOK leader.
Venizelos also expressed reluctance to back the measures. “It is unjustified and provocative that the issue of labour reforms should be brought up now,” he stated, who said the changes would not contribute toward Greece meetings its fiscal targets.
Following the meeting, in a dramatic message to Greek people, Antonis Samaras argued: “The negotiation continues, I will not back down… I know very well what is at stake today for the country. For three months now, every day, we are changing the image of Greece. And we are negotiating under the most difficult circumstances to get the country out of the recession.
We already have changed many original proposals by troika on labour and other issues as well. And he negotiation continues. The only criterion for me is Greece and its future. I will not back down on this responsibility. And I do not want to think what would happen if I do not keep my hands firmly on the wheel. I look only forward, seeking the greatest possible unity. Greece will be saved by those of us who will dare.”
Sources say the Prime Minister said that the final deadline for agreement amongst political parties should be reached by Thursday.
Finally, late yesterday evening, in informal briefings towards the media, Kouvelis’ associates confirmed Democratic Left’s support to the coalition government.