Rift appears between employers’ groups over Greek pension bill


Just a day after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appeared to have secured the backing of associations representing Greek employers on his government's proposals for an increase in social security contributions, business group representatives expressed opposition to the plans.

The head Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Constantinos Michalos, said he objected to the plans for an increase in the contributions paid by employers. The Athens Chamber of Tradesman followed suit.

Michalos told Skai that he was "taken aback" by Thursday's agreement, noting that representatives of Greek employers' organizations and European Commission envoy Declan Costello hhad agreed in a recent meeting that there should be no such increases.

"The solution to pension reform is neither to increase contributions nor to reduce pension payments," according to the head of the tradesmen's chamber, Yiannis Hatzitheodosiou. The only solution is to boost growth and curb austerity, he added.

In his meeting with representatives of employers' associations on Thursday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pledged to introduce a "growth clause" which would aim to reduce the tax rates and social security contribution levels that will form the basis of the government's pension reform bill.