Tzanakopoulos appears confident creditors won’t oppose 617mln€ ‘holiday bonus’ dolled out to 1.6 mln pensioners

9 December 2016
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The leftist Greek government’s spokesman on Friday dismissed the possibility of the country’s institutional creditors objecting to a one-off “holiday” bonus announced by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the previous evening.

In an unprecedented move, Tsipras announced the bonus for 1.6 million pensioners receiving a maximum monthly payment of 850 euros, saying the 617 million euros will come from the 2016 primary budget surplus.

“Reaction by the creditors will not be what some hope for,” spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said in televised statements on Friday morning, essentially pointing to the political opposition.

He said that the surprise spending spree is an issue affecting only Athens, with no fiscal gaps existing for 2016.
The result of this year’s “tax tsumani” and sluggish payments to third parties owed money by the state will result in a primary budget surplus as a percentage of GDP exceeding one billion euros in absolute terms, and well above the 0.5-percent of GDP target mandated in the third memorandum for 2016.

Tzanakopoulos also estimated that creditors — Commission, ECB, SSM and the IMF — will not express any opposition or displeasure with the “holiday bonus” to 60 percent of Greece’s pensioners.

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