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Tsipras at party labor policy presentation: Will we ever acquire a truly European labor policy?

Tsipras at party labor policy presentation: Will we ever acquire a truly European labor policy?

SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras spoke of a need for a "new social contract, that will define how to build a Greece that is contemporary, strong and fair," at an event in which he presented the party's proposed labor policy, held on Monday evening.

Criticizing the New Democracy government, he accused it of "opting to do away with 8-hour shifts, to legitimize unpaid work, and to put supplementary health insurance into the hands of the private sector, all in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic."

And all this, he noted, " at a cost of 56 billion euros, billed onto taxpayers, pensioners and those who pay their social insurance contributions."

"There never was an issue of whether we would stay in the European Union," added the main opposition party leader. "The question has always been whether we would ever 'become' Europe," he underlined characteristically.

In the EU, he added, collective labor agreements correspond to a 60 pct of workers - a mere 14.7 pct in Greece.

Unemployment in Greece stands at 14.7 pct, as opposed to a 7.3 pct EU average.

The median working week in the EU clocks in 37 hours - 42 in Greece, said SYRIZA's leader.

"How then, is Greece to 'become' Europe," he observed, "when an anachronistic political, economic elite has been trying, for so many years, to keep us tied up in a 'this is the Balkans' type of labor policy stereotype?"