These are things we learn when some Greek official wants to argue on other issues. Minister of Labour and Social Security Giorgos Koutroumanis said that one million pensioners receive just 400 to 500 euro per month. Speaking to private broadcaster ANT1 TV Koutroumanis said that there have been no reductions in the pensions of one million low pensioners receiving 400-500 euros. He gave assurances that there would be not further cuts in pensions “provided the measures would be implemented and the high unemployment rate along with recession would not insist (!).”
Otherwise the level of pensions would be reviewed, Koutroumanis suggested and heralded that “it is better people would work at half the salary than not at all.”
Koutroumanis is currently under pressure as the insurance funds saw their assets being cut by 53.2% due to debt restructuring (PSI). Further the high unemployment (20.7% in the last 3 months of 2011) has caused revenue losses in the insurance funds as the jobless do not pay social contributions. The recession is at -7%.
And elections are coming
PS The Minister has apparently forgotten that there were cuts in the 13th and 14th pensions and that with the latest taxation law lowered the tax-free threshold from 8,000 euro annually down to 5,000 euro. And that also the low pensioners contribute with a part of their meagre pension to his full monthly salary including benefits, free car and driver, telephone costs etc etc.