Eurozone Wants Greeks to Work 6 Days a Week

Demand likely to draw yet more resistance to austerity measures
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2012 8:26 AM CDT
People show their ID cards to members of Greece's extreme right Golden Dawn party at Athens' main Syntagma Square, to receive food aid, Aug. 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

(Newser) – If Greece's eurozone creditors have their way, a lot of people may be coming in to work on Sundays. In a leaked letter sent to Athens last week, the European Commission, European Central Bank, and IMF demanded that Greece "increase flexibility of work schedules" by allowing employers in all sectors to impose a six-day workweek, the Guardian reports. The letter advises lifting a number of other work schedule restrictions as well, such as rules governing the minimum and maximum time between morning and afternoon shifts.

The letter also recommends a "single-rate statutory minimum wage," cuts to employers' welfare contributions, and labor market deregulations. "Unemployment is too high," the creditors reason, "and policies are needed to prevent it from becoming structural." But the demands won't go over well in Greece, which has been having trouble coming up with the budget cuts agreed to in its bailout deal. (Read more Greece stories.)

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