Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday: An official work day

   Many angry and frightened people in Europe these days.  Seems austerity, in any language, is a hard word to swallow or even consider.
   Europe needs to reform in order to receive financial help from the European Union, no money to pay the bills.
   America is in need of reform, no money to pay the bills.  We can print money but to what end?  What can happen in Europe can happen here.  We in the private sector have been cutting back and doing with less for the past five years, but have as yet to see any help from the public sector other than "bail outs" from this sad administration now making decisions that will catch up with our kids and grand kids. 


Passos Coelho issued the call on Monday in addressing an anniversary celebration at a suburban Lisbon school where he once taught.
“Today more than ever”, he said, the Portuguese should be “totally demanding and in no way complacent with easy going habits in order to transform old structures, and often very lazy or sometimes self-centred old behaviour”.
Describing the country’s predicament as one of “national emergency”, the prime minister insisted people should “persist, be demanding, and not be whiners” in the face of austerity policies required by the bailout agreed last year with the EU and IMF.
In defiance to the government’s decision to cancel the ‘tolerĂ¢ncia de ponto’, a number of town halls have publicly announced they will be giving their staff the option to have the day off anyway.
Vila Real Town Hall for example decided on Monday to give all their staff and those of municipal companies the day off if they chose.
Vila Real opposition councillor and MP Rui Santos told Lusa News Agency that the measure, which was voted unanimously in a town hall meeting is a “clear sign” that the council does not agree with the Prime Minister’s decision.
By “going against” the Prime Minister’s decision, Vila Real council is showing “it is unhappy” with Pedro Passos Coelho, said Mr. Santos, adding that the measure will not affect work at the town hall and is an “important sign” that traditions must be kept. 

Greece will soon see the minimum wage drop 22%?

In a tense meeting Greece's Parliament approved in the early hours of Monday the country’s new loan agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary. But coalition partners PASOK and New Democracy emerged seriously damaged from the vote as 43 socialist and conservative lawmakers broke with the party line to reject the terms of the deal which includes, among other painful measures, a 22 percent cut in the minimum wage -- the price of releasing the next tranche of 130 billion euros in bailout loans. The “rebels” were all expelled from their parties.
Out of 300 lawmakers, 278 cast their ballot following several hours of heated debate. Of those, 199 voted “yes” in principle, while 74 voted “no” and five voted “present.” The rest did not vote.
Former Transport Minister Makis Voridis and Deputy Mercant Marine Minister Adonis Georgiadis went against the line of their LAOS party by voting for the bill. Both were expelled.
Sources told Kathimerini on Monday that Papademos is mulling a cabinet reshuffle ahead of a crucial meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Wednesday. Reports in the local media said that a reshuffle could take place as soon as Monday.

    For the public employees, holidays are important bargaining chip at contract time.   Being a private employer, we had to cut paid holidays and keep production moving which helps keep costs down.   To some a drastic policy change but our employees are very happy to have a job. We had no choice, we too are working longer hours for less in our paychecks.  


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