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Germany tells Greece “Nein” to freezing of further pension cuts

Germany says Nein to freezing of further pension cuts and calls on Greece to stick to the reforms path as agreed in summer with the completion of the third bailout program.

It was the press office of Chancellor Angela Merkel that sent the dry message following a question by Greek daily Ta Nea. Reports in local media were claiming that the Chancellor was approaching positively the Greek request to not implement the measure as of 1.1.2019.

“We do not comment on reports about the Chancellor’s supposed statements,” Merkel’s press office responded. “Irrespective of this, it is true that in the framework of  its program and its completion Greece committed itself to the continuation and implementation of the reforms path set with the ESM program. Implementation of this commitment is mainly the subject of the post-program surveillance by the institutions and the eurozone.”

Freezing the implementation of further pension cuts is top priority of the Greek government and high on the agenda of negotiations with the country’s lenders.

Beginning of the week, Eurogroup head Mario Centeno opened a window for the not implementation of the measure saying it is not fiscal measure but a structural one.

Also ESM chief Klaus Regling did not rejected such option.

The government has submitted the state Budget 2019 with two scenarios with or without the pension cuts.

One should note that Berlin would not reveal its true intentions about the issue on an e-mail, how much more the measure is currently negotiated.

The Eurogroup is supposed to take the decision on pension cuts in its meeting early December. However, as the Greek state pays the January pensions in December, it is possible that the decision is taken a month earlier.

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