Govt tables measure to freeze pensions until 2022; latest package of ‘prior actions’ submitted

9 June 2017
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The latest and probably last round of “prior actions” demanded by creditors to conclude the long overdue second review of the Greek program was submitted to Parliament on Thursday, with the most prominent measure being a freeze on pensions in Greece until 2022.

The leftist-rightist coalition government submitted the prior actions as part of an amendment in an unrelated bill on harmonizing Greek law with the European acquis in terms of fisheries policy, with the debate and vote to be conducted via an emergency process – a development that generated sharp opposition criticism.
Another measure includes a surcharge to be imposed on an electronic auction platform, another memorandum-mandated “prior action” that awaits implementation. Other measures aim at increasing transparency in political party funding.

One particularly “painful” measure that leftist SYRIZA MPs will be called on to ratify abolishes a written commitment stipulating a timeframe for restoring collective bargaining in the country.

Another noteworthy measure allows the Greek government to determine the level of a decrease in the tax-free threshold for wage-earners, pensioners and professional farmers if the measure must be implemented a year sooner than originally forecast, in Jan. 1, 2019 instead of Jan. 1, 2020.

The increasingly embattled Tsipras government is trying to “tie up all loose ends” before a June 15 Eurogroup meeting in order to conclude the review and free up a tranche of bailout loans.

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