Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has pledged there will be no further cuts to pensions adding that social security reform is necessary for the completion of the nation’s bailout program review by foreign creditors.
“This red line is non-negotiable: we will not reduce main pensions for a 12th time,” Tsipras told his cabinet on Wednesday.
Tsipras said the bailout agreement did not mandate fresh cuts to pensions. “What the agreement calls for is cuts in spending; it does not say that these will come by reducing pensions,” he said.
Previous cuts, Tsipras said, had brought Greek pensions down by an average 45 percent. However, they had failed to ensure the sustainability of the country’s social security system. The government is trying to build a viable system without disrupting social cohesion, the leftist PM said.
Tsipras said that pension reform is the final prerequisite for wrapping up the assessment of the Greek program so that talks on debt relief can proceed.
“The goal is to complete the first review as soon as possible while keeping in place a safety net for the weakest,” he said.