The European Commission is, according to sources, examining an alternative scenario that would leave the pension cuts due in January open until April, in an effort to respond to government pressure to this end but without offering a definitive answer for the time being.
Discussions with Athens on the issue have started on a conference call level and at the Euro Working Group, ahead of Monday’s arrival of the creditors’ representatives in Greece for the preparation of the 2019 budget.
Sources from the creditors’ side say that the main scenario the Commission’s mission will put forwards in talks will be the implementation of the pension cuts from January 1, 2019. Yet in view of the government pressure and the arguments about excessive surpluses, Brussels appears to have formed an alternative plan according to which any decisions will have to wait until the announcement of the definitive fiscal data of 2018 by Eurostat in April 2019.
Although this does not help pensioners feel any less uncertain, such a solution would give the government some breathing space and facilitate its election plans, thrusting the problem onto the shoulders of the next government if elections are held early.