The greatest achievement of the government of PASOK will be the realization of the pension reform – while the “triple” forces the introduction of the hard reforms, the Minister of Employment Andreas Loverdos and the Financial Minister George Papakonstantinou are trying to save the money for retirement. “The regulations are so strict that we won’t be able to pay the political price” said a member of the government after the long governmental session yesterday during which the ministers of PASOK discussed the strategy they have to follow.
The two ministers burdened with the implementation of the reform have no choice and will have to take into consideration the leads of the “triple” so as not to fail the final negotiations beginning on June 15. The experts of the European Commission, the European Bank and the International Monetary Fund are coming the next week and the atmosphere in the council of ministers is tense. The will of the Prime Minister George Papandreou is the vote for the final bill to be held at the end of June, because the campaign for the local elections starts in the autumn.
It became clear during the governmental session that the ministers will insist the basic pension equal to 360 Euros to be granted together with the analogical pension, not when the retired becomes 65 as the creditors of Greece want. The analogical pension will be equal to 48% of the salary. The auditors of the “triple” insist the basic pension to be completely funded from the budget and granted at the age of 65 even if the retired person has the right to receive it at the age of 60. The Ministry of Employment will propose the reform to be implemented in stages for eight years, while the “triple” persists for 3 years for integration to the new situation.
It is certain that the condition for getting full pension is 40 years of employment. Now the government discuses maternity leave, national service and the years spent for obtaining university diploma to be included in these 40 years. But the international creditors strongly oppose to these demands of the government.
At the same time the unions are trying to find the magic formula for signing the new collective labour agreement that will “armour” the employees’ rights. According to the proposal a way should be found for indirect increase of salaries and gradual integration of leave and holiday allowances that are the eyesore for the EU.