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February 9, 2012

€300 Million in Pension Cuts Stall Debt Deal

Though few commentators are taking the refusal from certain political figures within the Greek parliament to cut pensions as real, versus a demonstration of "political theater," the latest EU/IMF/ECB Troika managed bailout deal nonetheless appears to be near the finish line, allowing Greece to receive the next expected tranche payment of to meet the cost of paying off maturing bonds coming due in March.

Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the lack of progress made during Wednesday's talks highlights the "certain amount of political theater involved here."

"The political leaders in Athens are campaigning," he said. "They need to be seen by the Greek population as fighting until the very last drop of blood. ... They are facing off against the Germans and IMF and the rest of the world." Complete article at CBS News

Some of the details of the latest deal:

Cut the Greek minimum wage by 20-22%

Cut the Greek state employee roll by 15,000 workers in 2012

Cut €300 million from pensions

The European Central Bank will exchange bonds purchased on the secondary market for below face value, eliminating some €11 billion in Greek payment liabilities.

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