Greece has promised not to implement controversial cuts to pensions, putting the indebted nation on a collision course with creditors months into a new bail-out programme.
Athens’ left-wing Syriza government said it would not slash expenditure on its main and supplementary pensions as part of a reform plan submitted to international lenders on Monday night.
The reforms have been demanded by lenders in return for the latest release of bail-out cash.
But pensions spending has proven to be the main sticking point for Greece and its Troika of creditors – the European Commision, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – during nearly a year of tortuous negotiations.
The IMF has pushed hardest for bold cuts to the govenment’s pensions outlay, leading to Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras demanding that the Fund take no further part in the country’s bail-out deal.
Greeks have seen a 40pc fall in their pension provision over the last five years – a shrinkage that has been ruled unconstitutional by the country’s highest administrative court.