The Ministers of Finance Euclid Tsakalotos, Economy Giorgos Stathakis and Labor Giorgos Katrougalos have arranged a teleconference to finalize the prior actions required to close the bailout review. With the European Central Bank’s board scheduled to convene on Thursday, the government will aim to address as many unresolved issues as possible, so that the first tranche of the financial aid may be paid out by the end of June.
According to a Mega Channel report, the main issues on the agenda will be the gradual abolition of the EKAS benefit, discounts for the insurance contributions of self employed and non-performing loans where the Hellenic State acts as guarantor.
In relation to the EKAS benefit, the creditors have demanded that about 100,000 pensioners return any such payments they have received since the start of the year, since new, stricter criteria was introduced. The government is considering two options, either carry out12 or 18 equal monthly deductions from pensions or find the necessary funds to cover the benefits elsewhere.
Meanwhile it appears that the government and creditors are in disagreement on the discounts for the self employed in areas with fewer than 2,000 residents and an income of up to 10,000 euros. By switching over from the OGA pension fund to the OAEE, many will see their insurance contributions increase by up to 20%.
There is also a disagreement on the insurance contributions of young scientists, with the creditors wishing to restrict any discounts to those with an annual income of up to 10,000 euros.