After the announcement that the government will re-establish collective bargaining contracts, Labour Minister Effie Achtsioglou said that the government also plans to raise the minimum wage in 2018.
Yet it is unclear whether these and a spate of other government promises can be implemented in the coming year, as Greece’s creditors have made clear that they expect the reforms adopted during Greece’s three loan memorandums to continue to be in place after the end of the current programme, in August, 2018.
That is the precondition for any post-memorandum emergency credit line.
The government has made similar promises in the past, both before and after it first came to power in January, 2015.
In April of that year, then labour minister Panos Skourletis announced that the minimum monthly wage would hiked to 751 euros, but the relevant bill was never tabled in parliament.
Now, just eight months before the end of the programme, and amidst rampant speculation about early elections, the government is again playing the minimum wage card.
Both Achtsioglou and her predecessor Yorgos Katrougalos, who is most remembered for the law that will further cut pensions next year, have repeatedly declared that the government will restore collective bargaining, and that pre-existing collective bargaining contracts will return to the status quo ante.
Greece’s creditors, however, have signaled to the government that they will accept no changes to the current law governing collective bargaining contracts, even after August, 2018.