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€11.5-Billion Package: Totally Perplexed About the Upcoming Austerity Cuts

I am totally baffled! And with me, millions of Greeks following the negotiations between Athens and the Troika, the bargain on the austerity measures to come with the €11.5-billion package. On Friday, we read about the raise of retirement age from 65 to 67, on Monday we read “the Troika doubts the effectiveness of the measure”. On Wednesday, we hear about cuts also in low-pensions of 600 euro, on Saturday we read about pensions cuts to start as of 1,000 euro. A week later, the plan to cut pensions as of 600 euro returns again. return.

On Tuesday, there is talk about additional lowering of minimum wage, on Thursday the minimum wage issue is being postponed for the far future.

Occasionally a new austerity measure appears, such a lowering the low-pensions:  from 600 euro down to 400 euro.

The best I heard yesterday on the prime time news of a private broadcaster: “The government prepares a surprise measure”!

While the cuts come and go, experts of all kinds and professional groups come out and analyze the effect of the alleged measures on the confused society, triggering brain strokes and heart attacks to thousands of people (metaphorically speaking). And this has been going on for several weeks now.

The result? The package is “locked” today and “unlocked” the following day…  

What’s the purpose of this creative confusion? This morning I read on internet, what I have been thinking the whole time:

“For many [without further elaboration], the disclosure of scenarios and information leaks mainly from the government side, are part of a larger plan to mislead the public, or worse, part of a maximalist-claims game so that the really tough measures seem milder at the end. The issue is: according to leaks from government officials, the Troika wants all the measures… And increasing the retirement age and reducing low pensions, and welfare benefits cuts, and abolishing 13th/14th salaries and cuts in supplementary pensions.” (

One thing is sure though: the Troika wants massive lay-offs in the public sector, while the government resists.

The latest news on the issue as of this morning at 10:40 a.m.: “The package is almost ready”, “it will conclude on Sunday”, “employees and pensioners will pay the price for the austerity: 9.5 billion euro cuts out of 11.5 billion measures”.

Surprised? You haven’t heard the “surprise measure” yet 🙂

PS Another sure thing is that the measures-package will have to be approved at the Parliament with a voting.

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