Thursday, May 21, 2015

Greek Pensions Said to Be in Creditor Crosshairs

May 20, 2015

Greece’s creditors are making pension reforms a top priority, leaving the door open to compromises on other issues like the country’s minimum wage proposals.

Greek negotiators are meeting Wednesday with the so-called Brussels Group as efforts continue to reach a deal by month-end, according to two officials close to the talks.

If Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras can offer sufficient pledges to overhaul Greece’s retirement program -- one of the nation’s biggest hurdles to qualifying for International Monetary Fund aid -- creditors might offer leniency on their demands to restrict increases to the minimum wage, according to another official, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

“The pension system looks unsustainable and needs reform,” said Guntram Wolff, director of the Brussels-based Bruegel group. “If you don’t reform it and want debt relief, you’re essentially asking your partners to fund an unsustainable pension system.”


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