First General Strike of 2013 in Greece
This first strike, called by Greece’s two biggest trade unions, representing half the four million-strong workforce, is against austerity. For Mark Lowen, BBC’s in Athens says that this is a reminder that government confidence in a slowly improving economic situation is not shared by many on the streets. This also remind us that even with the effort of the euro area to save the Greek’s finance, Greece is always in crisis, the government has imposed waves of unpopular spending cuts and tax rises, hitting pay and pensions and sending unemployment soaring to more than 26%. The crisis of the euro is not over, and Greece seems showing that the crisis is not only monetary, but also social.
More control over the budget of the euro area’s member states
The European Parliament and the Council should agree, this Wednesday, a compromise under which new budgetary powers will be conferred on the Commission; in return, this one should make an opening on the pooling of debts. At the end of this compromise, which puts an end to months of negotiations aimed at muscle control state budgets by the European authorities, Olli Rehn, the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, may ask the governments of the euro area countries in excessive deficit – such as France, Spain or the Netherlands – to change their draft budget just before their adoption by the national parliaments. The legislation, known as the “two-pack” in the Brussels jargon, complements the Stability and Growth Pact, as reinforced in the fall of 2011, at the height of the sovereign debt crisis. This is a new step for the power of the Commission and enhancing integration. This is also a condition for the harmony and stability of the euro area.