Labour Research December 2012

European news

Greek austerity

The latest set of austerity measures in Greece, worth €13.5 billion (£10.8 billion) over two years (2013-14), was passed by the Greek parliament at the start of last month.

The biggest single area of cuts is in pensions. Here the government expects to make half the €9.2 billion (£7.4 billion) savings planned for 2013, by a combination of a two-year increase in the pension age — from 65 to 67 — and a cut of up to 25% in the pensions paid.

Other measures include a new round of public sector pay cuts, including cuts of up to 27% in the pay of workers such as doctors, university staff, police and the judiciary who so far have avoided the worst of the of the wage reductions.

Taxes are going up, while spending on social services, such as health, is being cut. The government also plans to reduce the numbers employed in public services, with the first 2,000 facing redundancy to be named by the end of the year.