Greece, Bailout Inspectors Make Progress on Pension Reforms: Report

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Greece and its lenders – including inspectors from the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank – made progress this week on the country’s pension reforms, according to a report from Reuters.

The country’s next round of bailout money is contingent on these reforms.

Greece has resisted steep pension cuts, and has struggled to meet inspectors’ demands as lenders disapproved of portions of the country’s proposed pension reforms.

More from Reuters:

Inspectors from the European Commision, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund assessing Greece’s progress on reforms left Athens on Sunday, taking a break for the Easter holiday in western Christianity.

“The mission made important progress on key aspects of the pension reform. Work is ongoing and will continue over the Easter break. The mission chiefs will return to Athens on April 2 to resume the discussions with a view to conclude them as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants to wrap up the reform review quickly to clear the way for talks on debt relief, help restore confidence in the country’s economy and persuade the Greek people that their sacrifices over six years of austerity are paying off.

[…]

The government, which has a parliamentary majority of just three seats, has pledged to trim its pension budget by 1 percent of GDP this year. But it wants to avoid cutting pensions for the 12th time since 2010 to plug the estimated fiscal hole.

Greek government officials said the IMF opposed key pension proposals, such as hiking social security contributions, during the latest round of talks and it wants to lower a tax-exempt threshold for low-income earners.

See more Greece coverage here.

 

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