So, how can we “become Europe” when a short-sighted and anachronistic political and economic elite has been trying for years to keep us entrenched in “the Balkans”?
Alexis Tsipras, president of SYRIZA – Progressive Alliance, stressed the need for “a new social contract, which will define the way to build a modern, strong, and above all else, fair Greece “, while presenting his party’s program proposal for new labour legislation.
He harshly criticized the Greek government, accusing it of “choosing to abolish the 8-hour workday during a shocking pandemic, to legalize unpaid work and privatize auxiliary social security in the midst of a crisis, at a cost of €56 billion to be paid by taxpayers, pensioners and the insured “.
Contrasting the situation in Greece with what is happening in the EU, Mr. Tsipras argued that the question never was whether we would “stay in Europe”, but whether we would “become Europe”, and he explained: “The question is whether we will achieve or even approach European standards in a series of social indicators, criteria, and rights, primarily labor legislation and disposable income.
In the EU, Collective Labour Agreements cover over 60% of workers. In Greece, only 14.7%.
The average unemployment rate in the EU is 7.3%. In Greece today it is at 17%.
The average working week in the Eurozone lasts 37 hours. In Greece, the corresponding number is 42.
So, how can we “become Europe” when a short-sighted and backward political and economic elite has been trying for years to keep us entrenched in “the Balkans”?