Trade unions criticize government’s austerity plans

Trade unions have criticized the finance minister’s austerity plans for the coming years saying they would stifle economic growth. According to an analysis commissioned by the country’s umbrella trade union organization the proposed changes would bring a drop in investments, soaring prices and growing unemployment. Twenty-four thousand employees from the public sector would have to be laid off –of that 17,000 teachers and 3,500 police officers. Trade unions are proposing a more gradual lowering of the deficit in public spending, suggesting that the deficit be stabilized at around 120 billion crowns. The finance minister has proposed a much faster pace of scaling down the deficit which this year should not exceed 105 billion and is to be lowered by 42 billion crowns next year.