FinMin Tsakalotos optimistic that pensions will not need to be cut

inance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said he was “almost very optimistic” that pensions, slated to be cut as of January 1, will not be reduced, at an interview he gave to national broadcaster ERT on Tuesday night.

Tsakalotos said that the slashing of pensions was imposed by the IMF and the government had voted it because at the time the German elections were coming up and many countries wanted the IMF to be excluded from Greece’s fiscal adjustment program. “The government worked hard to convince the institutions (Greece’s creditors) and EU member-states that pensions need not be cut, and that there is a fiscal space to keep them” and to introduce countermeasures or replacements for revenues.

He said that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had announced the first set of counterbalancing measures at the Thessaloniki International Fair.

Among other issues, the Finance Minister said that the last three months markets were rough because of Italy, Turkey and emerging markets but the government had plans for accessing the markets in due time that would bring in funds to pay off the most expensive of the country’s debt, from the European Central Bank and the IMF.

He also expressed support for the Prespes Agreement between Greece and FYROM, and said that it would boost North Greece financially.