The relevant deputy social insurance minister on Monday referred to the political "hot potato", as far as the leftist-rightist government is concerned, of pending pension cuts as of Jan. 1, 2019, saying the most prominent reductions will be applied to beneficiaries that took advantage of early retirement schemes, but with fewer contributions and years of employment.
Speaking on a news program by a radio station directly affiliated with ruling SYRIZA party, Deputy Minister Anastasios Petropoulos claimed that 20 percent of pensioners - excluding farmers - will actually see a monthly increase, especially beneficiaries with a high number of years of employment and contributions.
Conversely, he said the majority of remaining pensions will see no changes, "another portion may have very small decreases."
In a bid to deflect sharp reactions from another round social security cuts next year, Petropoulos said previous governments cut pensions 11 times between 2010 and 2014, with 45 billion euros slashed from social security spending, "yet they (political opposition) started saying pensions are being cut, which haven't been cut yet."
Lower monthly payments, he said, are actually due to higher contributions taken by the state for health care and a ceiling on maximum monthly retirement payments - 2,000 euros for one pension; 3,000 euros for two or more benefits.
Both of the measures, however, were taken by the Tsipras coalition government.