Greek FinMin: 500 million euros in savings to come from social security funds

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said in comments published on Friday that the government would seek an additional 500 million euros in budget cuts for next year from the country's social security funds.

In comments published in Ta Nea newspaper, Stournaras repeated that Greece would

impose no additional across-the-board fiscal cuts but said that additional savings would be required. He put the size of those savings at 500 million euros compared to the 2.5 billion euros reportedly being demanded by troika mission chiefs who are expected to return to Athens on November 4.

"We can't just say no measures. There's a huge difference between saying no to horizontal measures and saying no more measures at all," Stournaras told Ta Nea.

The minister added that if the government fails to take any further measures, then all its efforts toward economic reform would be "demolished" which would postpone discussions of further debt relief indefinitely.

"We accept that there is need for another 500 million euros in measures compared to the 2.5 billion euros demanded by the troika," Stournaras said. "Those 500 million euros have to come from somewhere. And seeing as the problem of the gap has been created by the social security funds, that is where the money should come from," he said.

Labor and Social Security Minister Yannis Vroutsis had struck a different tone earlier this week, insisting that there would be no more measures, beyond those which have been approved in Parliament, noting that reductions to auxiliary pensions and the lump sums paid to civil servants had already been agreed.