Aside from the provision making it more difficult to strike, the 1,531 page omnibus bill tabled in parliament by the government will change the lives of workers in a litany of professions, most often for the worse.
Aside by reducing the tax free ceiling for hundreds of thousands of taxpayer, the draft law enacts major cutbacks in social welfare benefits, including family benefits for those with three or more children and others.
In addition, the bill regulates a host of other issues, from tax audits and fines to the terms of employment of workers at utilities (DEKO), the schedules of pharmacies and of teachers, and the qualifications required to work in a number of professions.
The government is ramming the bill through the legislature with emergency procedures, and some MPs have admitted that they are not familiar with many of the details of the draft legislation.
The new law will increase fees at land and property registries, lower the labour costs at DEKOs, cut stipends to workers in dangerous and unsanitary professions, institute electronic evaluations of recipients of benefits for the handicapped, establish a minimum 40-hour work week for pharmacists (who will be forced to work occasional all night and holiday shifts), change certification procedures for dance schools, establish new qualifications for hair stylists and manicurists, and offer free food and shelter for workers in mountainous regions.
The breadth of the reforms, most of which are intended to meet bailout commitments required to complete the current fiscal adjustment programme, clearly reflects the degree to which Greece’s creditors micromanage even the minutest aspects of the Greek economy.