Romanias confident of reaching an interim agreement in May

The General Secretary of Social Insurance Giorgos Romanias appeared confident that an interim agreement would be signed…

The General Secretary of Social Insurance Giorgos Romanias appeared confident that an interim agreement would be signed with Greece’s creditors and partners by the end of May. Mr. Romanias told Mega Channel that a difficult negotiation was taking place, regarding the new legislative framework which will limit early retirements. According to the general secretary, the age of retirement is at the forefront of the negotiations.

Mr. Romanias noted that there was an issue with those who have established pension rights by the end of 2012, since the age of retirement increased to 67 in 2013. Mr. Romanias argued that the government backed down and will introduce new retirement ages for those expecting to retire in 2026. This is expected to affect about 300,000 in the private and public sector.

Nevertheless, the GS was confident that an interim agreement with the institutions would be achieved in May, after which point Greece would receive some funding from its creditors, before proceeding onwards to addressing further issues.

The Financial Times however do not appear as confident and report that at last Monday’s Eurogroup the representatives of the institutions –the European Commission’s Pierre Moscovici, the ECB’s Benoit Coeuré and the IMF’s Poul Thomsen – stressed how the reform of the country’s pension system was one of the major hurdles to overcome in the negotiations.

According to the newspaper, Mr. Thomsen is said to have commented that the pensions in Greece were “extremely generous”, while Mr. Coeuré warned that a “comprehensive discussion” is necessary in order to make the system sustainable.

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