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We negotiated and averted a broader recession, says ND

We negotiated and averted a broader recession, says ND

ND president Antonis Samaras is trying to assess and manage the communication of the implications of the leaders' forthcoming agreement so as to maintain the cohesion of his party and its ruling prospects.

ND president Antonis Samaras is trying to assess and manage the communication of the implications of the leaders' forthcoming agreement so as to maintain the cohesion of his party and its ruling prospects.

He has accepted the basic package of the agreement to complete the PSI and the loan agreement to drive away the risk of default for the country. He argues that they negotiated with the Troika for the first time and considers it  his own success. As part of these negotiations, he says, he prevented the recession measures, first the cuts to the 13th and 14th salary that would have increased the recession by 3.5% for 2012, possibly taking it to over 7%. He also says they prevented the increase in objective values which would mean a further increase of 16 related taxes. "Greece cannot afford another recession," he said. ND argues that lowering the minimum wage will be limited to new recruitments and will not sweep all employee levels. However, this is not certain and there are estimates from within the party that the overall decline will reach 20% of the earnings when the 13th and 14th salaries are equivalent to 14%.

Similar effects will occur with pensions and insurance funds. In addition, young people under 25 are already employed with a salary 20% lower than the lowest one of the national collective agreement and for this category, the reduction will reach 40%.

The decrease in the minimum wage, coupled with the weakening of sectoral agreements through continuance and expansion of individual contracts and all within a context of increased unemployment, are leading to the full deregulation of labor relations as is desired by the Troika. The question of reductions in supplementary pensions and the lump of supplementary funds was a red line for Samaras and remains open. It is estimated that there will be a compromise that cuts be made from a specific amount onwards. The measures of 1.5% of the GDP asked for by the Troika are estimated at around 3.5 billion euros that will come from cuts in the expenditure of ministries and layoffs of civil servants.

During yesterday's meeting Papademos described to the political leaders the unbearable pressure on the part of our partners and lenders. Today the political leaders will be given the full text of the 15-page economic program asked for by the Troika and will know in detail the whole package of measures.

Tonight, after the new meeting of leaders, the executive secretariat of ND will meet with the economic team to assess the situation. The PG will convene within the week and after the Eurogroup meeting. Given that the reactions of many MPs are certain, Samaras will try to justify his decisions and to rally the PG so as not to have to raise an issue of party discipline in the voting in parliament.

Samaras hopes to avoid the issue of signatures in a political agreement that is expected to be requested by the Europeans and says that "the biggest commitment is to the voting in parliament." However, there are intense reactions from the unionists of the party, who have a significant foothold in the popular Right and deem the agreement of leaders to be "unacceptable". In this context, it is interesting to watch the anti-memorandum event scheduled for Wednesday evening by the unionist representative of the party, Yiannis Manolis, who argues strongly against the agreement of the leaders.

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