PM Mitsotakis, Tsipras to Clash on Labor Issues in Greek Parliament


File- Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis explained to SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday in parliament. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS - During a debate in Parliament on the government's policy on labour issues, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras of having a distorted view of reality.

"SYRIZA claims there is an increase in unemployment. According to ELSTAT official data, unemployment in November fell to 16.5 pct from 18.6 pct in the corresponding month of SYRIZA's governance. The second inaccuracy has to do with layoffs. The truth is that instead of layoffs in recent months, full-time workers have increased and, to be precise, they are 65,718 more than last year. And so are the businesses that employ them. Third lie: The opposition claims that the Labour Inspectorate has been downgraded and that there is a breach in the labour market. The truth is that in the 2nd half of 2019 there were 1,000 checks more than the corresponding period of 2018. Fourth lie: He argues that permanent jobs have been lost and replaced by part-time and rotational employment. The truth is that this year we have 1,374,482 permanent workers, 65,718 more than last year and for the first time since the four-year SYRIZA governance there is an increase in the share of full time employment. Fifth lie: SYRIZA insists that collective agreements are not respected. The truth is that an exception is only provided if the social partners themselves decide to save a business. And the sixth lie, the alleged non-extension of fixed-term contracts to the public sector, referring to the 5,500 scientists who are part of the OAED programme."

"Don't you know that these workers signed a fixed-term contract? Don't you not know that what you have signed renders the extension or the signing of a new contract in the same calendar year or the conversion to an indefinite contract invalid?" the Prime Minister stressed.

Tsipras: Total turnback to the period of the memoranda

Main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras accused the government of a 'total turnback to the period of the memoranda in terms of the standard of living and the negotiation power of the workers.

He said that the promises for 4 percent growth have been already proved wrong.

Tsipras said that the "deregulation of the labor market, the lifting of the protection provisions for the workers and finally the reduction of the average wage are New Democracy's perception for growth."

PM Mitsotakis: The creation of many well paid jobs is a government priority

"We believe in producing new wealth that everyone will share. We do not believe that temporary relief benefits are the solution to the problems of social inequality. The best social policy is to create a lot of good new jobs," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said earlier to parliament on government policy on labor issues.

"There is no strong country without strong businesses. But there can be no prosperous businesses without satisfied workers. This was also the Truth Agreement we signed with the business world during the pre-election period. I have made it clear that we are reducing taxes, simplifying the licensing environment, facilitating businesses as far as it regards liquidity, and businesses in turn have an obligation to invest in our country and primarily take care of their employees. This Truth Agreement is strictly observed in the seven months that we are in government " he added.