Bloomberg News

Greek Labor Overhaul Needed to Get Loan Payment, Venizelos Says

October 13, 2011

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s Parliament must approve changes to collective-labor laws before the nation can receive its next bailout loan, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said.

The demand was spelled out by the “troika” of inspectors from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF that assesses Greek progress in meeting the terms of last year’s 110 billion-euro ($150 billion) rescue, Venizelos said in Athens today.

“A summary version of the troika’s report was presented to the International Monetary Fund’s managing board the day before yesterday, and the first item listed as a ‘prior action’ before anything can happen is to change collective-labor relations,” Venizelos told a parliamentary committee meeting.

Lawmakers are debating reforms required to receive the sixth bailout payment, an 8 billion-euro loan vital to helping Greece avert default. One measure makes it easier to negotiate company-level labor accords instead of industry-wide agreements.

Venizelos and Prime Minister George Papandreou have said that parliamentary approval of those measures and next year’s budget before a summit of EU leaders on Oct. 23 will help the country in “difficult” loan negotiations.

--Editors: Jeffrey Donovan, Fergal O’Brien

To contact the reporter on this story: Marcus Bensasson in Athens at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at

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