Ministry tweaks pension reform amid protests


The Labor Ministry is planning to tweak its proposal for calculating the social security contributions of self-employed professionals in a bid to overcome a strong tide of opposition to the changes that Greece’s creditors are demanding as part of the pension reform that Athens has pledged to carry out, Kathimerini understands.

Ministry officials are drafting the changes as MPs prepare to discuss the government’s broader proposal for pension reform in Parliament on Tuesday. The debate is to be accompanied by protests as workers take to the streets with the civil servants’ union ADEDY calling members to join a rally at 6 p.m.

Government sources indicated on Monday that the authorities have little scope for improving proposals they have been working for over the past few weeks and which have formed the basis of discussions with technical teams representing Greece’s lenders.

Farmers are among those who are unlikely to see significant concessions to their demands. Producers continued to use tractors to block Greek road junctions Monday and are threatening to intensify their action unless the government gives ground. Unionists representing Greek farmers are demanding to meet Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. However, the prospects for further gains appeared slim after the premier indicated in a speech on Sunday that the government’s proposals for pension reform would already lead to the doubling of the pensions of most Greek farmers.

On Monday, representatives of associations representing Greek lawyers and doctors expressed their opposition to the government’s planned reforms.