Talks between Labour ministry and institutions likely to continue over weekend

Negotiations between Labour Minister Efi Achtsioglou and the representatives of the institutions as part of the second program review will probably continue during the weekend, a ministry source said on Friday.

The minimum wage and mass layoffs remain the most thorny issues in the talks, but the government aims to close the review by Dec. 5. The government argues collective bargaining has collapsed and needs to be restored in two ways: By restoring the ability to extend sectoral agreements and the principle of favorable regulation, the same source said.

Concerning the minimum wage, the institutions have not question its level, but the way it is determined, the source said. The ministry is in favour of allowing social partners to decide on it, while the institutions are completely against it.

The third issue is the minimum wage of youngsters, which the ministry believes cannot be lower than what is permitted by the European social map and the decision of the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR).