Juncker against ‘major cuts’ to Greek pensions, calls for ‘reasonable’ debt relief measures

Juncker against ‘major cuts’ to Greek pensions, calls for ‘reasonable’ debt relief measures

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has voiced skepticism over plans to impose further pension cuts in Greece while addressing the need to outline possible measures on debt relief next month.

“No major cuts in the pension sector should be pursued by the institutions,” Juncker said in an interview with financial website on the sidelines of the IMF spring meetings in Washington, adding that “the poor part of the Greek society – the pensioners and the retirees – are suffering.”

“We have to acknowledge that Greece is making a huge progress and it will be a bad development if we insist on major cuts in pensions,” Juncker said.

Asked about the reaction of Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, Juncker said: “I did not get the impression that she was in total opposition to what I was telling her.”

The head of the Commission also said EU governments should take steps toward securing a Greek debt relief.

“I think that as far as debt relief is concerned, we don’t need other poems… Debt relief measures  reasonable ones – are heavily needed, Juncker said.

“I don’t think that this can be done in May. But the eurogroup in May must give a design for future possible debt relief measures,” he said.

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