Minister promises installment plan to cover arrears to social security funds
The relevant labor and social insurances minister confirmed this week that a new framework to settle arrears to social security funds will be implemented in the first quarter of 2019, with the highlights being a 120-month installment plan and even a “haircut” of the primary debt.
Minster Efi Achtsioglou made the announcement in an interview with the Athens daily “Ethnos”, published over the weekend, one of a bevy of recent relief measures unveiled by the Tsipras government ahead of general elections in 2019.
Tens of thousands of businesses and self-employed professionals in the recession-battered country owe arrears to Greece’s social security funds.
She again reiterated that the minimum monthly salary wage will be increased, while an even lower sub-minimum scale for wage-earners under 25 will be eliminated.
The current leftist-rightist coalition government won two elections in 2015 on the back of a pledge, one of many, to increase the minimum monthly wage scale to 751 euros – a promise that went by the wayside with the passage of the third memorandum bailout in August 2015.
However, with successive opinion poll results over the past year and a half showing ruling SYRIZA trailing main opposition New Democracy by significant margins, the Tsipras government has reversed previous years’ tight fiscal policies and boosted welfare spending, promised thousands of new public sector hirings and even reduced – marginally – tax rates that it had substantially increased in 2016.
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