SEV presses on social security

The government cannot avoid discussing the reform of Greece’s social insurance system as it is a worsening problem, the head of Greek industrialists said yesterday. Until now, the government has been unwilling to discuss the matter but Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, president of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV), urged the New Democracy administration to begin talks. «If we can agree on the problem, we can easily find the solution,» he said. International Monetary Fund representatives met with SEV’s board last week and urged them to pressure the government into finding ways to reform Greece’s cumbersome social security system. The IMF experts also handed Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis a report casting doubt on whether the social insurance funds could meet future health and pension costs. The ministry denied reports that Alogoskoufis had publicly declared talks on reforming the system would begin soon. Union leaders said they would strongly resist any government efforts to reduce the level of social cover.

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