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Parliamentary questions
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5 September 2012
Question for written answer P-007872/2012
to the Commission
Rule 117
Sylvana Rapti (S&D)

 Subject: Proposals by the Troika eroding worker protection and entitlements in Greece
 Answer in writing 

In its August bulletin the European Central Bank (ECB) notes the high level of employment recorded for the third quarter of 2012, which is expected to increase further at the end of the year as a result of economic adjustment programmes by countries in need of assistance. The ECB takes the view that further sweeping changes to working conditions, in particular more flexible worker protection legislation, will be necessary to boost employment in these countries.

Among the most recent financial adjustment measures to be introduced in Greece at the beginning of September, the Troika (ECB, Commission and IMF) is proposing an increase in working hours with the introduction of a six-day week and a daily rest period of eleven hours (it is not specified whether they must be consecutive). It should be noted that the most recent attempt to amend Directive 2003/88/EC concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time in the EU and limiting the working week to a maximum of 48 hours fell in the face of massive opposition to introducing a working week with the number of hours in line with those now being proposed by the Troika for Greece.

Article 151, 152 and 153 TFEU, referring to the European Social Charter and the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers, specify that EU objectives include improvements regarding living and working conditions, social protection, and the health and safety of workers.

In view of this:

1. Does the Commission in fact endorse proposals effectively undermining working conditions in Greece?
2. In what way does it consider these proposals to comply with the basic tenets of the EU and the provisions of the Treaties and of the Charter of Fundamental Rights regarding the health and safety of workers?
3. Has it carried out scientific studies to show that the weekly working hours being introduced will not in fact jeopardise the health and safety of workers?

Original language of question: ELOJ C 308 E, 23/10/2013
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