Political leaders of Greece last week managed to draw up a list of measures to achieve savings worth 11.5 billion euros to satisfy its lenders, but the three parties in his administration failed to agree on them, and are due to resume talks on Monday to find the final 1.5 billion euros of savings still needed.
Greece must find savings worth 11.5 billion euros for 2013 and 2014 to satisfy its lenders who are currently on a visit to Athens to evaluate the country’s progress in complying with the terms of its latest bailout. The so-called troika is due to wrap up its visit to Athens in the coming days and return in September to complete its assessment of whether Greece needs more aid.
According to Kathimerini, it appears that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis have agreed that the measures should not include a further cut to civil servants’ salaries, thereby ending the 13th and 14th monthly payments, nor the imposition of a 1,500-euro per capita ceiling on healthcare coverage. Instead, it will raise from 5 to 15 euros the cost of a visit to a public hospital for treatment.
Greek leaders are also discussing the rise in the retirement age from 65-67 make for the shorthfall in savings and an imposition of a ceiling on main and supplementary pensions of 2300-2500 euros. There is also a proposal to reduce any pensions above 1,400 euros by 5-15 percent according to Protothema.gr.
Among the measures that look certain to be included in the 11.5 billion euro package, according to Kathimerini, is a 22.7 percent reduction to the lump sum civil servants receive when they retire. Private sector workers who draw their pensions from state-backed funds could also be in line for a cut. Also, public hospitals will be instructed to increase their use of generic drugs to 66 percent of the total medicines they use by 2014.