Greek government brings forward controversial tax, pension reforms vote

Greece will grind to a halt on Friday as the country’s largest Unions called a 48-hour strike following a government decision to bring forward the legislation of taxation and social security reforms.

A vote on the draft bills was expected to be held next week. However, the Syriza-ANEL coalition government decided to bring forward the debate and subsequent vote with legislation now expected to be voted through on Sunday.

Public transport, the media, the public sector, schools and hospitals will be brought to a halt as workers union GSEE, civil servants’ union ADEDY and Greece’s two main journalists unions will strike for 48 hours in reaction to the pension reforms aimed at reducing state expenditures for the social security system.

The journalists’ strike means debate in parliament over the weekend will not be covered by the media. The media strike action has attracted criticism by media group owners and individual journalists who argue that it favors the government as the public will not be adequately informed about the controversial reforms.

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(Greek parliament photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)