Tsipras Pins Hopes On Reversing Pension Cuts, IMF Balks

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives for a cabinet meeting in Athens, on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Tsipras' new cabinet contains only minor changes, including new ministers for the interior, public order, justice and culture.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Trailing badly in polls with elections required to be held by October, 2019, Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras wants to stop coming new pension cuts he agreed to with international creditors that would hit 30 percent of recipients.

Those are due to begin Jan. 1 but his Administration hopes to convince the creditors, the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) and the Washington, D.C.-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) fiscal targets can be meet with the additional pension slashes.

The goal of the coalition, which includes the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL), is to at least suspend the cuts, the business newspaper Naftemporiki said, to prevent what could be political suicide.

The IMF, which took part in two first bailouts of 240 billion euros ($279.62 billion) that began in 2010 but not a third, for 86 billion euros ($100.2 billion) in the summer of 2015 that Tsipras sought and accepted after swearing he would do neither, has ruled out reversing the pension cuts.

But the government is arguing the IMF has no standing in that as it dealt with the Troika for the third rescue package. The coalition’s spin now is that if fiscal goals are met then the pension cuts wouldn’t happen, although the creditors have warned that could put at risk a debt relief deal giving Greece until 2060 to repay the bailouts.

Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas, one of Tsipras’ closest associates, blamed the IMF for wanting more pension cuts after the agency earlier had said austerity was too harsh and wasn’t working.

He tweeted that the “…IMF’s insistence on cutting pensions, as cited by (press) reports, doesn’t cause surprise,” and he promised they wouldn’t happen and “serve as a “negative surprise to those (opposition politicians) who function based on coercion from abroad (the IMF, creditors) … Greece and Portugal are in the same post-memorandum situation; visits by the institutions (creditors’ auditors), discussion and reviews including the views of both sides; neither imposed measures, nor supervision. Portugal refused cuts in wages and pensions without any crisis arising.”

1 Comment

  1. Spare us the wining from Tsipras and his hoods….The IMF…is basically controlled by the United States…and is well known for imposing conditions on the countries of the world ….the United States and her allies wish to control and make into vassal states, like Greece!

    Unlike normal loans…which the recipient is given money with interest penalties until payed off…these guys also demand to control how you will pay them back…. which includes taking over the sovereignty of a country…and dictating how you will meet your obligations!
    The Banksters are now the organized families greatest capo to loan shark operations….and what Tsipras and Greece should do is …immediately default on these notes, leave the EU and Nato…. and resurrect the Drachma…and begin a policy of exchange rate valuation for the Drachma….which may be painful in the short run…but ultimately bring Greece back to a normal economy!

    Today, Greece is worst off than they were in 2008, and are economically dead, and left for dead by the Banksters of the EU and IMF! The economic package in 2008, could have been easily tailored to allow Greece to get back on her feet, but that was not the objective of these Degenerates! I call all these people Degenerates, because imposing acts against humanity, that are clearly evil ….makes you a degenerate!

    You see, Greece, is the prototype of the economic warfare to be waged in the future by the boys in Brussels and Washington…with Portugal , Spain, Ireland , Venezuela etc etc next!

    Who allows their people to be relegated to the gutters of Greece…..only degenerates

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