PM Tsipras: Today’s vote on the omnibus bill ‘ends a long and difficult cycle’

Today’s vote on the omnibus bill marks the “end of a long and difficult cycle,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Monday, addressing the parliament during the debate on the draft legislation enacting the prior actions needed to conclude the third review of the Greek programme.

“Essentially, this concludes the legislative part of the prior actions needed for the conclusion of the third review,” he explained, adding that “everybody is aware that with the conclusion of the third review, we are one step before the end of the programme and the final end of the memoranda.”

The prime minister spoke extensively on the changes in the way unions will call strikes, saying it has not been abolished or threatened by the government.

“The right to strike is a sacred conquest of the working class. It is neither abolished nor threatened by this government. We want bodies and trade unions to be massively, militarily and continuously active against employers’ authoritarianism and any violation of labor law,” he said.

He then criticized GSEE, Greece’s largest private sector union, for reacting to today’s bill while it didn’t comment on “the return of normalcy in labour market”, adding that the union had sided with the “Yes” vote in the referendum of 2015.

Tsipras then criticized the Communist Party and its affiliate union PAME for the latter’s storming of the Labour ministry. “The next time your party executives and unions visit the Labour ministry, they will not need TV crews or broken windows. What is needed is dialog, information and alertness, if indeed your real concern is improving the living conditions of the working class – and I believe it is,” he said.