What if coalition government leaders PM Antonis Samaras and deputy PM Evangelos Venizelos repeatedly assured there would not no new austerity measures. Appointed and not-elected finance minister Yiannis Stournaras gave things a sober approached and even indirectly announced where the new cuts will come from: from social security funds.
“We cannot say, no new measures. We accept that measures are needed worth 500 million euro. If we say, social security funds are in trouble, the measures must be taken there.”
The additional measures are a new demand posed by the Troika, that most probably thinks, each Greek household has at home a euro-printing machine.
Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said in comments published on Friday that the government would seek an additional 500 million euros in budget cuts for next year from the country’s social security funds.
In comments published in Ta Nea newspaper, Stournaras repeated that Greece would impose no additional across-the-board fiscal cuts but said that additional savings would be required. He put the size of those savings at 500 million euros compared to the 2.5 billion euros reportedly being demanded by troika mission chiefs who are expected to return to Athens on November 4.
“We can’t just say no measures. There’s a huge difference between saying no to horizontal measures and saying no more measures at all,” Stournaras told Ta Nea.
The minister added that if the government fails to take any further measures, then all its efforts toward economic reform would be “demolished” which would postpone discussions of further debt relief indefinitely.
“We accept that there is need for another 500 million euros in measures compared to the 2.5 billion euros demanded by the troika,” Stournaras said. “Those 500 million euros have to come from somewhere. And seeing as the problem of the gap has been created by the social security funds, that is where the money should come from,” he said.
Labor and Social Security Minister Yannis Vroutsis had struck a different tone earlier this week, insisting that there would be no more measures, beyond those which have been approved in Parliament, noting that reductions to auxiliary pensions and the lump sums paid to civil servants had already been agreed. (ekathimerini)
A couple of months ago, I had read that the government was planning to cut 10 euro per month from the millions of low-pensioners. they argument was that they were much more than those with higher pensions, and that would bring more revenues.
I think, I had even write a post about this @@ as 10-euro less has more value to one with 500 euro income per month than 20 euro to one with 2,000 euro. But what am I talking about? The IMF suggests anyway not to ask the rich to suffer more austerity.
ehm.. what did I say? just €500 million?
PS and if we continue like this, with additional measure after regular measure, our last measure will be taken by grave digger and we won’t be able to pay him a dime.