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German FinMin Scholz latest top EU official to caution against any backsliding of Greek reforms

The latest message by a top European official cautioning against any backsliding by the Greek government over agreed to reforms came on Saturday, this time issued by German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

In an interview published by the Athens daily “Ta Nea”, Wolfgang Schaeuble’s successor at the ministry insisted that the Tsipras government must implement another social security reform on Jan. 1, 2019, as previously agreed to with creditors and already passed into law by the country’s Parliament.

Broadly, one-third of pensioners in the country will see reductions in monthly payments; roughly half of all pensioners will receive the same payment, and 20 percent may see increases.

Asked about the prospect of the latest austerity measure being suspended, Scholz initially said he does not want to comment on speculation, while at the same time saying that Athens should not violate agreements to implement reforms, primary budget surpluses, a supervisory mechanism and the IMF’s role.

 “Agreements must be met,” the social democrat minister said, adding: “it is a basis for investors and businesspeople to restore their confidence in Greece and invest in the country … Agreements are significant so that the country enters a course for viable growth, and for the debt’s sustainability to be guaranteed.”

At the same time, he praised Greek citizens for “climbing a very high mountain, they should be proud that the country can now independently plan its own economic course.”