Tsakalotos: Not the time to ask creditors to stop planned pension cuts


It is not the right time for the government to ask the institutions not to implement the planned pension cuts that will take effect in January 2019 and have already been agreed, Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said on Thursday.

"We have heard about it, but it is not the time for this discussion," the minister said in an interview with radio station Kokkino. "The government is focused on completing the program."

Tsakalotos recognized that pensions have been slashed significantly, but said they cannot replace the welfare state, which must be supported.

He also left open the possibility the government might ask its lenders in the coming years to reduce the primary surplus target for 3.5 percent of GDP.

Commenting on the fourth program review, he said the government aims to achieve a staff-level agreement at the Eurogroup on May 24 and an overall deal on the review, debt relief and post-bailout surveillance at the Eurogroup on June 21.