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Pressed by creditors and society Tsipras considers new elections

02 February 2016 / 19:02:25  GRReporter
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The new round of negotiations between creditors and the Greek government began with a discussion of the familiar issues on which both sides have different positions. According to the sources of the newspaper Kathimerini, the representatives of the creditor institutions had firmly objected to the idea of ​​the Greek government to increase social security contributions for employers and employees by 1 per cent. The government plan that aims to cut public spending by 1.8 billion euro envisages an increase in contributions by 1.5 per cent. Thus, the cabinet intends to save 550 million euro, avoiding reducing the main and auxiliary pensions in this way. The newspaper notes that if creditors totally rejected this proposal, they in fact would raise the issue of reducing pensions.

According to a government official, the creditor representatives had not presented such a requirement, at least at the beginning of today's meeting of Minister of Employment and Social Security George Katrougalos with them. In his words, they had expressed their disagreement with the likelihood of social security contributions being increased, but not in a particularly insistent manner. On the other hand, the government is already discussing the possible alternative proposals to reduce the pressure on the part of creditors.

The significant delay in meeting the commitments that Greece assumed last summer might soon face it again with serious financial woes. At the same time, the public pressure is intensifying and will probably reach its climax during the general 24-hour strike on Thursday. The government is under pressure from farmers and freelancers in all economic sectors who are protesting against the pension reform.

The pressure is so strong that, according to the online edition iefimerida.gr, the associates of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras advise him to announce again parliamentary elections if his government fails to reach a "just agreement" with creditors.

The same sources indicate that both the narrow circle of Tsipras and the leading ministers in his government are flirting with the idea of ​​early elections in the event that, under pressure from the International Monetary Fund, they are forced to vote on even more severe measures than those provided for in the pension reform. They believe that this will be even more necessary if the government fails to provide even a minimal political or public support.

The newspaper comments that the election of Kyriakos Mitsotakis leader of New Democracy has changed proportions. Thus, the coalition of SYRIZA and Independent Greeks has no allies and is facing the public anger provoked by the vote on the measures for budget cuts that affect the middle and lower class.

Tags: PoliticsGovernmentCreditorsPension reformAlexis TsiprasGeneral strike
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