New cuts to main and auxiliary pensions are inevitable, Labor Minister Giorgos Katrougalos implied on Wednesday upon returning to his post after 27 days of absence.
The cash-strapped social security funds and the country’s commitments stemming from the new bailout agreement leave hardly any scope for initiatives by the ministry. However, Katrougalos said Wednesday that he will try to find offsetting measures to counterbalance the recessionary policies imposed.
Earlier in the morning Katrougalos had left open the possibility of a reduction to certain pensions. Speaking on ANT1 TV, the minister said: “We may not be able to avert cuts to some pensions as long as there is this underfinancing of the funds. We will still protect medium-sized and small pensions. There is no chance of them being tampered with.”
The bailout program dictates a 3.5-billion-euro reduction in pension expenditure up to 2018, which will lead to the reduction of even the smallest of pensions. Katrougalos said Wednesday that he will ask for the conclusions of the experts committee on social security to be delivered in the first week of October, so that the ministry can swiftly start working on alternatives.