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Greece's New Government Is Already Hiking The Minimum Wage And Reversing Privatisation

The incoming government in Athens is already making waves: Greece’s minimum wage will be hiked by 10%, from about €680 per month now to over €750.

That’s according to Syriza’s new labour minister, speaking to Greek TV station Skai.

It’s not the only big change they’re moving quickly on.

The government had previously been planning the sale of two thirds of the Port of Piraeus, Greece’s biggest. But that was immediately halted yesterday, according to Reuters.

Greece’s wide-ranging privatisation programme is a part of its bailout agreement, so it’s yet to be seen how the country’s major international creditors react.

Here’s some more from the same Reuters report:

In a separate step, the deputy minister in charge of administrative reform, George Katrougkalos said the government would reverse some layoffs of public sector workers, rolling back another key bailout measure.

“It will be one of the first pieces of legislation that I will bring in as a minister,” he told Mega TV.

They’re not wasting any time.

Newswires reported yesterday that German Chancellor finds the debate about Greece’s debts “astonishing”, presumably suggesting that she’s not very happy with the idea of significant reductions. She’s not the only one: Finnish Prime Minister Alex Stubb has voiced his disapproval, along with senior European Central Bank and European Commission functionaries.

The government in Athens still likely has to negotiate an extension to its current bailout to cover its immediate financing needs, and its rapid reversal of the last government’s austerity measures is likely to make those negotiations very interesting.

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