Greece to extend public sector wage freeze

Greece's prime minister vowed in a televised address to take all measures needed to pull his country out of a fiscal crisis.

Greece to extend public sector wage freeze

Greece's prime minister vowed in a televised address on Tuesday to take all measures needed to pull his country out of a fiscal crisis, including extending a public sector wage freeze and hiking taxes on fuel and off-shore firms.

"The government is determined to take all necessary measures," Prime Minister George Papandreou told the nation a day before the European Commission is due to present recommendations on Greece's austerity plan.

Papandreou said the government would extend a public sector wage freeze to those making below 2,000 euros a month for this year, excluding seniority pay hikes. Those making below that mark had previously been promised above inflation pay rises.

It was not immediately clear what impact the step would have on the budget.

He said a broader policy plan for public sector wages would be announced in the next few days and a new tax bill next week.

"It is imperative to make sure we have an immediate and real revenue increase in 2010 and that is why the tax bill will include a rise on fuel tax," he said.

He also promised tougher tax treatment of off-shore companies and the wealthy and hinted at a rise in the retirement age to make Greece's troubled social security system viable. Government officials said this will most likely apply to those seeking early retirement.

"The time has come to make brave decisions here in Greece. The viability of the system ... also passes through the increase of retirement ages as life expectancy increases," Papandreou said.

Reuters

Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2010, 09:16
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