ATHENS – The new debt regulation allowing repayments on 72- or 120-instalment plans is expected to begin in April, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Sunday on Skai TV.
The plan, he said, “was the toughest discussion we had with institutions.” The FinMin added, “The fact we have exited an enhanced surveillance state – like Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Cyprus – does not mean that the Greek economy is not being evaluated. This framework of settling debts exists nowhere in Europe. We carried out the most generous possible regulation to help out our compatriots who are really facing problems.”
Furthermore, “It is obvious we are not done with pensions,” Staikouras said, announcing further increases as of 2024 (assuming ruling New Democracy wins national elections). “For example, next year (2024), based on inflation and the 2023 rate of economic growth, there will be a new and permanent increase in pensions of around 3.4%,” he told Skai TV.
Staikouras asserted that the recent support measures for pensioners, borrowers, consumers, farmers, and freelance professionals “are not shaking up the economic balance.” The ability to do so, he underlined, comes from the surplus in tax revenues amounting to 9-10 billion euros in 2022. According to the FinMin, “all our compatriots have been helped by this government.” He cited the example of civil sector employees “who had no help for a decade or more, but had (wage) reductions.”
Over the next few weeks, more employee categories will be announced, he said, including plans for a new civil sector wage scale as of January 1, 2024. “More fiscal space will be created, over this year, the way the economy is moving,” he asserted.