NEWS

Minister says gov’t not bound by findings of experts’ pensions report

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Environment Minister Panos Skourletis, who was formerly the labor minister, claimed on Monday that the government is not necessarily bound by the findings of an experts' study of the Greek pension system.

A major overhaul of Greece's pension system is a top priority of the country's creditors. But Skourletis, in comments to Mega television channel on Monday morning, said the advice set out in the report was not prescriptive, indicating that the pension system might need to be redesigned from scratch and to seek to redistribute the burden.

On other issues, Skourletis said that non-performing loans did not pose a risk to primary residences. He added that the problem of bad loans "goes hand in hand" with that of the recapitalization of Greek banks which, Greece hopes, will happen before the end of this year.

As regards Greece's Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE), one of the assets slated for privatization, Skourletis said the government had proposed an alternative solution that, he claimed, creditors have agreed to: the creation of an independent authority that would manage public networks.

On the contentious issue of the general secretary for public revenues, Katerina Savvaidou, whose resignation authorities have sought, citing a judicial investigation against her, Skourletis said "the appropriate solution is resignation."