ATHENS -- A controversial omnibus labor bill was approved during a plenary vote late on Wednesday, solely by ruling New Democracy (158 votes). All opposition parties (142 votes) rejected it in principle but with each party supporting various articles.
Introduced as to the 300-strong body as legislation that would empower Greek workers and bring Greek law in line with EU regulations, the bill led to rallies during the week and on the day of its vote. A 24-hour strike and work stoppages were called by Greece's largest private and public sector unions affecting a wide range of public services including transportation, ship sailings, hospitals, most teachers and staff at ministries, among others.
Speakers at the rally called the bill "an abomination" and something that "cannot be corrected or improved upon," and demanded its withdrawal.