ATHENS – Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras’ plans to back off more pension cuts due to kick in on Jan. 1, 2019 have been rejected by Eurozone officials among the country’s creditors.
A senior Eurozone official, who was not identified, told Kathimerini that there will be no talk at a Sept. 6 meeting of its its Eurogroup of letting Tsipras stop the cuts to which he agreed as part of austerity measures and that it would be reviewed only when the lenders’ envoys come back to Athens for a review of reforms with three bailouts of 326 billion euros ($379.86 billion) having ended on Aug. 20.
“Any such discussion is premature,” the Eurozone official stated, adding that there is an agreement for a primary surplus of 3.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product, which, if met, means the cuts could be halted, but “I do not know whether they will be needed when the economic cycle changes.”
Tsipras’ constant claims ahead of the bailouts end there would be a “Clean Exit,” were also dashed as the lenders the economy and government will need reviews for years to make sure fiscal targets are hit and that there’s no reneging on them the way he did to voters, breaking anti-austerity pledges.
Tsipras is trailing the party he unseated in 2015, the New Democracy Conservatives, after constantly breaking his promises to help workers, pensioners and the poor and to put a 75 percent tax on the rich, crush the oligarchy and rein in tax cheats.