Pension report played down

A report prepared by a team of government-appointed economic experts recommending changes to the social security system is just one of many factors to be taken into consideration during the reforms process, according to two ministries. The government was responding to opposition from union groups over a report signed by Nikos Analytis, who heads the team of economic experts, calling for 14 changes to be made to the pension system in order to ensure its future viability. Recommendations include legalizing immigrants, cutting down on early retirement and increasing the age at which workers can qualify for pensions. The Finance and Employment and Social Security ministries played down the importance of the report in a joint statement, saying that it will not be the sole factor taken into consideration. «Views given by the president of the committee, N. Analytis, which have been handed to us and published in the press, are nothing more than one of many pieces of information used to handle changes in the social security system,» the ministries said. One of the opponents to the report was Yiannis Panagopoulos, head of the GSEE umbrella union group, who said, «The commitee’s recommendations lead not only to a reduction of social security rights but will also stop the government-backed nature of social security and replace it with professional private insurance.»