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Society

SYRIZA Backs Off Tougher Anti-Union Rules

December 5, 2017

ATHENS – With Greek unions stepping up anti-austerity promises, the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition is withdrawing plans for stricter regulations and limiting workers rights to strike.

The government, which includes the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) had agreed with international creditors to require that unions get approval from a majority of members before striking, instead of the current 20 to 33 percent in most cases.

But, apparently reacting to intensified pressure from the unions, the coalition has said it will go back to the lenders to rework the regulations and make them more lenient even though scores of thousands of protests and strikes have done nothing to slow the onslaught of more austerity, including from SYRIZA, which promised to stop it.

The civil servant’s union ADEDY called a nationwide strike for Dec. 5 to protest the anti-trike measure and the Communist-affiliated union PAME said it would join in. That was planned before Kathimerini said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras backed down.

“When the new amendments are submitted, there will be time for a broader discussion on their content in Parliament,” an unnamed government source told the paper in language indicating the unions had prevailed.

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