Troika Wants Six-Day Work Week for Greeks

    A confidential email to the Greek Ministries of  Finance and Labor from international lenders putting up $325 billion in two bailouts to keep the economy from failing states that Greek private sector workers should work six days a week and longer hours.

    The Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB,) already pushing the uneasy coalition government led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to make another $14.16  billion in cuts, is insisting on even harsher measures for civil servants.

    The financial newspaper Imerisia reported that the Troika’s email was sent on Aug. 31, ahead of meetings Samaras had with his coalition partners, the PASOK Socialists of  Evangelos Venizelos and the Democratic Left of Fotis Kouvelis, as the government prepared for the return of Troika envoys on Sept. 5.

    The Troika wants greater flexibility in work hours, although Greeks already are near the top in Europe, and wants to let private companies set work rules for hiring and firing and other conditions, according to their needs.

    Following the Troika’s orders, the Labor Ministry is expected to put forth measures aimed at the most vulnerable sectors in Greece, including:

    • A six-day work week with changes in shift times
    • Reducing notice before firing a worker from as much as six months and reducing  their severance, and pensions
    • Cutting by 50 percent certain severance packages by giving employers the right to reduce their time in service and warning period
    • To change working hours and make them longer
    • Restrictions on overtime and furloughs

    The changes seem certain to ramp up tension between the government and labor unions who have already warned they will take their workers to the streets to protest the onset of more austerity measures. In the midst of a deep, five-year recession, with nearly two million people out of work, the closing of 68,000 businesses so far, and the economy shrinking 7 percent, the Troika wants cuts of 5 percent in employer contributions to the national health insurance agency IKA-ETAM. The Troika wants regular briefings on the progress of the reforms.


    1.  The six day work week and longer working hours seems unreasonable given Greeks already work longer hours  than most countries but the rest of the requests seems reasonable.

    2.  In the long run – pure slavery to prop up the crumbling capitalist/banking system.
      In the short term – this going to increase unemployment and therefore public expenditure

    3. According to the Athens News this was for the private sector only who bears too much already when the public sector was largely responsible for the mess. If it will be applied to one group, it should be applied to all, especially the ministers.

    4. Greece is having to play catch up in an ever changing world. The article sounds more draconian than it sounds. The simple truth is that many Greeks have been been working in a kind of post Soviet 1970’s world of state guaranteed employment.

    5. The text of that troika email should be made public to show all European citizens how social rights in Greece are being demolished under the pretext of “aiding Greece”. What a scandal!

    6.  More hours working for employees doesn’t add up to greater productivity. Focusing on productivity increases productivity.

    7.  Greeks need to make cuts to live within our means. If we want more we should produce more.

    8. I have been working for 7 days non-stop unpaid for the extra time and over time so can Troika tell me what else should I do??? Troika, please advice………………

    9. Vlad, Greek employers don’t like skilled workers, they want unskilled to pay them less.

    10. How much more do the people of Greece and Europe have to take before they decide enough is enough!!! Open your eyes – the Greeks are simply the start – if they can get away with it here you will be next!!!

    11. Troika should be made to live on the same austerity measures for a week and work longer for less.  The teutonic dictators at the head of the three organisations demanding this Greek misery must bear an extreme grudge possibly because of the Greek resistance shown to the invaders of long ago. These sadistic instigators should bear in mind that the greek people of today did what we all do all around the world.  That is we have been stupid enough to believe politicians and bankers.  Well Troika, you are also made up of politicians and financial people and therefore should not be trusted.  You are trying to “liquidise” Greece so you can pick her and her oil up for a song.  I hope you sink without a trace but I know my wishes wont be granted.  Well Troika, and especially those Austrians that are beying for Greek blood, may you all rot in hell and I really hope that the tables are turned on you.  I hope you suffer one catastrophic destruction after another!!