G. Stathakis: Government decides on top issues; will continue policy of redistribution

The government is the one which takes decisions on issues of top priority, Environment and Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis told Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) in an interview published on Sunday, adding a pension bonus could be redistributed this year if conditions allow it.

Commenting on the recent clash with the institutions over the pension bonus and the suspension of the VAT for some islands, the minister said the government never violated any agreement with its lenders and cited the unblocking of Greece’s debt relief measures by EU bodies.

“It is certainly useful to have a climate of mutual cooperation and trust but in the core of it it’s the government itself which takes decisions for issues it considers of top priority,” he said.

Asked whether the government is considering distributing again a pension bonus in 2017, Stathakis responded positively. “The government has clarified that overachieving fiscal targets implies redistribution in favor of the weaker social groups. And it will continue to do so. If everything goes well, we’ll continue in the same framework,” he said.