ATHENS - Greece's foreign lenders have refused to make any further concessions on changes to labor laws contested by a junior coalition partner, the country's finance minister said on Sunday, prolonging an impasse on a crucial austerity package.
Athens has been locked in talks with its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders on the austerity package for months, but a final agreement has been held up by the small Democratic Left party's refusal to back the new wage laws.The party, which says the changes undermine labor rights, has said it will vote against the measures when they are put to a parliamentary vote next week.
The party has demanded the troika of European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF lenders allow a national wage agreement to apply to all employees rather than just unionized workers. It also wants the lenders to withdraw a plan to axe the 10 percent salary hike employees get when they marry.
"The troika has not accepted the (party's) demands," Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told reporters.
A government official, who declined to be named, said Athens would present the bill on labour and other measures in parliament on November 5.