The Plenary of the State Audit Council has ruled that the cuts to main and supplementary pensions to be implemented in 2019 are against the Constitution and contravene the European Convention of Human Rights. Pension cuts are creditors’ top favorite austerity measure.
The pension cuts the government and its creditors have agreed on in the Supplementary Memorandum of Understanding on May 2 2017 will affect more than one million Greek pensioners who will see further cuts up to 18% in their main and the supplementary pensions respectively. The pensioners will suffer losses from 45 to 350 euros per month.The total annual loss could reach 3,000 euros, that is a loss of up to 2.5 to 3 monthly pensions per year.
Excepted from the cuts are neither low-pensions nor widow or invalidity pensions.
It will be the fourth or fifth cut in pensions since 2010 when the International Monetary Fund arrived in the country together with the first bailout.
The State Audit Council council also decided that the fiscal bill containing the pension cuts contravenes the Greek legislation as it has been tabled to the audit council without a relevant actuarial study.
Government sources told media that the decision of the State Audit Council is not binding and they refereed to a decision that the Council of State should take on the issue.
The Supplementary Memorandum of Understanding, a mixture of outstanding prior actions the government signed in the third bailout of 2015 and additional austerity measures for 2019-2020 is due to be voted in the Parliament on May 18.
In an effort to convince MPs of left-wing SYRIZA to vote in favor of the measures, prime minister Alexis Tsipras said that the measures will not be implemented if there are no measures for debt relief. Without the IMF’s participation there will be no need for the implementation, the IMF will remain out of the program without debt relief, he said.
The tough additional austerity measures worth more than 3.6 billion euros have been accepted under the pressure of the IMF that has not decided yet about its participation in the Greek program that ends in August 2018.
Lat year, the Council of State had ruled that some pension cuts were against the Constitution. However the state was not in position to pay retrospective the outstanding amounts to the beneficiary.
PS I think all bailout provisions are against the Constitution and they Human Rights Convention the moment they deprive people from the essentials and push them into poverty.