Tsipras promises a 50€ hike in monthly pension rates for all, but in 2020, after general election

23 May 2019
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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Thursday evening pointed to an increase of 50 euros next year – a period after general elections must be held – in a latest pre-election pledge ahead of Sunday’ s European Parliament election.

The latest high-profile promise comes after last week’s abrupt announcement of a modest reduction in VAT rates and the partial restoration of a so-called “13th pension rate”, a package of measures ridiculed by the opposition and attracting creditors’ scrutiny.

Tsipras, whose ruling SYRIZA party is trailing ND, at least according to opinion polls, made the pledge during a live television appearance on a private channel main newscast.

In a reply from the northwest city of Florina, and speaking at a pre-election rally, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis lambasted the fact that, via ministerial decision, pensions for June will be disbursed on Friday, 48 hours before the European Parliament election.

“At the rate they’re going, they’ll also release July’s pension payments as well,” he said.

Mitsotakis, whose ND party is shown ahead in the polls, also called on voters to avoid smaller parties and cast their vote for ND, saying “the wager this election has a greater national dimension. It’s for either taking the country forward or falling behind. Ideological differences of the past have no significance… we’re going to take Greece out of the impasse,” he said.

The pro-reform and pro-business Mitsotakis has repeatedly said that Sunday’s election is a ‘referendum’ on SYRIZA’s continued rule, much in the same manner that SYRIZA reacted when it won the 2014 European Parliament election.

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