ECONOMY

First stage of the social security reform is over

Some 280,000 workers yesterday joined the register of the Social Security Foundation (IKA) as the first stage of the social security reform was completed. Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia expressed her satisfaction with the timely completion of the first stage «exactly on the day stipulated by the law,» as she said after her meeting with the new governor of the Social Security Fund for the Self-Employed (OAEE), Constantinos Papathanasiou and its board. Petralia explained that the merging of 23 funds and social security sectors into just five funds was concluded yesterday. The next key date will be October 1, with the full merging of 133 funds and sectors into a total of 13 funds, as envisaged by the social security law. «The government and I are expressing our satisfaction because our commitment to citizens is being realized on the exact dates set,» said the minister. Asked about the possible collapse of some funds with large deficits, as the opposition has warned, Petralia replied that it is the state that guarantees pensions, so «there is no worry on that score, since all fund deficits are covered.» Papathanasiou stated that there is no risk of pensions not being paid, and that the sale of OAEE assets is not a priority for raising the funds required for pensions. Earlier yesterday, Petralia also had a meeting with the governing board of IKA.