NEWS

Pension proposals being finalized for lenders’ scrutiny

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Social Security Minister Giorgos Katrougalos on Wednesday gave Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the latest version of his ministry’s proposal for reforming Greece’s pension system as government sources insisted that authorities were committed to avoiding any further cuts to main pensions.

There is to be a final round of talks between Tsipras and his top aides over the coming days with the aim of sending a final proposal to representatives of Greece’s creditors by Monday. The authorities are hoping to get the proposed reforms to Parliament by mid-January following a discussion with the lenders of its provisions.

Though the creditors have indicated that further cuts to pensions are all but inevitable, the government has suggested that it can raise adequate revenue for cash-strapped social security funds by increasing the contributions paid by employers and workers. Creditors remain skeptical about such a move, however, due its potential impact on struggling businesses.

Tsipras reiterated his commitment to protecting primary pensions in discussions with ministers yesterday, his aides said.

In its proposal to creditors, Athens plans to stress the damage that further pension cuts would wreak on the recession-wracked economy, sources indicated Wednesday.

Greek officials also plan to highlight the humanitarian impact of further cuts, noting that high unemployment has led to entire families relying on pension payments.