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Greeks Bearing Debts
Syriza Digs In

There has been at least one constant in the long-running drama between the Greek Syriza government and Greece‘s European creditors: Syriza’s refusal to compromise on pension and labor reform. Though the party has been willing to make other concessions—for instance, privatizing a port and leasing out airports—it’s continuing to stick firmly to its guns on pension and labor reform, raising the possibility that negotiations could once again stall. Reuters:

“There should not be an expectation on the part of institutions … that the government will back down on everything,” Gabriel Sakellaridis told a news conference. “When you negotiate, there should be mutual concessions.

“We won’t go beyond the limits of our red lines,” he said. “It’s clear that we cannot cut pensions.”

In a move that further signals Syriza’s unwillingness to bend, the government on Thursday rehired around 4,000 employees previously laid off under austerity measures. The move that does not violate bailout terms, but it will not be heartening to EU leaders, who are increasingly thinking the unthinkable on Greece, if not quite yet saying it out loud. When asked about the possibility of a Grexit, Juncker replied, “If I were to say that ‘Grexit’ was an option, what do you think would happen then on the financial markets?” As long as neither side is budging on pension and labor reform, a Grexit will look more and more likely as the May deadline approaches.

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  • GS

    I would think that the Grexit would be a very desirable outcome even under the different circumstances. Who needs such deadwood? And there is no need to throw out good money after the bad.

  • Pete

    This Greek situation is getting tedious, Kick them put of the EZ and be done with it.

  • mickBelker

    Greece has been a basket case since independence nearly 200 years ago. Greece’s “economy” (such as it is) has no place being on the same fiscal footing as Germany. Further monetary union will only serve to permanently cripple and enslave the Greeks.

    Besides, who wants to send any more good money down Greece’s pension rathole?

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