No support for coalition’s pension reforms from opposition parties


Most opposition parties said on Monday that they would not support the pension reforms proposed by the government.

The coalition’s plan has not been officially unveiled but was leaked on Monday afternoon. It relies mostly on increases in social security contributions, cost reductions and merger of funds but does not include cuts to retirement pay.

Nevertheless, officials from PASOK, the Union of Centrists, To Potami and the Communist Party said that would not back the reforms, which have yet to be reviewed by Greece’s lenders, in Parliament.

PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata said her party is against both cuts to pensions and increases to social security contributions. She said the government should seek to supplement the pensions system through revenues from privatizations.

“They should use our position to their advantage and negotiate seriously and responsibly,” she said after her meeting with Labor Minister Giorgos Katrougalos who has drawn up the pension proposals.

“When there are 2 million unemployed and farmers earning 300 euros a month there can’t be people earning multiple pensions as high as 3,000 euros or main pensions of 2,200 euros,” said Union of Centrists leader Vassilis Leventis.

Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis said that Katrougalos’s meeting with opposition officials was “simply for the cameras.”

Communist Party leader Dimitris Koutsoubas, who also met with Katrougalos, said that his party would try to ensure a parliamentary majority against the pension reforms and accused the government of “using the same unacceptable arguments of its predecessors.”

New Democracy’s interim leader Yiannis Plakiotakis said that his party would study the government’s proposals and give an official response. The conservatives are due to hold the second round of their leadership election this Sunday.

Pension reform is one of the main items on the agenda for the return of the quartet of lenders. The heads of the missions are due back in Greece in mid-January.