Representatives of the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund – known as the troika – continue their talks in Greece on Saturday as pressure on Athens for cuts to salary costs continues, although they seem less eager to wipe out the so-called 13th and 14th salaries than the government had suggested.
On Saturday evening, at 7 p.m., the troika is due to meet New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras in order to discuss the new loan contract the creditors’ representatives are preparing with the government.
New Democracy insists against the slashing of the Christmas, Easter and holiday bonuses, known in Greece as the 13th and 14th salaries, and against the cuts to auxiliary pensions, arguing that salary workers cannot afford any further cuts to their incomes.
On Friday Panos Karvounis, the head of the Representations of the European Commission’s in Greece, told an Athens radio station Radio 9 that “the troika has not called for a slash to the 13th and 14th salaries.
“The troika is saying that Greece must return to the markets and sell its products, and this is why it should, among other things, look into the issue of salary costs. However it has not asked for a cut to the 13th and 14th salaries or asked for a reduction to the minimum salary,” stressed Karvounis.