Commission spox on looming social security spending cut in Greece: Agreements must be kept

Friday, 14 September 2018 15:02
REUTERS/Yves Herman
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A European Commission spokesman on Friday flatly repeated that Greece must meet previous commitments to creditors, in directly referring to looming pension cuts in 2019 and amid conflicting press reports out of Athens the same day claiming that creditors are "positive" to a suspension of the austerity measure.

Reuters quotes Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein as saying that Brussels' position is crystal clear over the matter. The Commission official added, in Latin - which the leftist-rightist government recently said will be eliminated from certain university entrance exams - Pacta sunt servanda (agreements must be kept).

Winterstein was asked during a regular press briefing if the Tsipras coalition government has the right not to implement the scheduled social security reduction, set for January 2019.

The spokesman's answer echoes an even more high-profile statement this week by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Nevertheless, in an earlier dispatch from Athens, Reuters reported that institutional creditors are considering a "freeze" of the austerity measure, following the conclusion this week of the first mission back to Greece by their top auditors since the third memorandum officially concluded on Aug. 20.

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