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Retired Greeks fear for their pensions

Friday, June 19, 2015 - 01:56

Retired Greeks say they fear for their financial future as international creditors demand the PM agrees to slash their pensions. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Retired Greeks are stocking up -- as they fear further pension cuts in the their future. Between 2010 and 2014 pensions were cut by around 27 percent -- with a 50 percent cut for the highest earners. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) TITIKA DESPOTOU, PENSIONER , SAYING: "Less, of course it's less, much less. With the 500 euros pension that I get, I have to get by the entire month -- that means electricity, water, telephone bills, property taxes. Things are very hard." Lenders have denied asking for specific pension cuts. But the Greek side says there have been suggestions that a program that supports some of the poorest pensioners should be cut. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) UNIDENTIFIED PENSIONER, SAYING: "If they keep their red lines and there are no cuts in salaries and pensions we will support them forever. If they are to cut salaries and pensions let's leave the EU." Many pensioners say they will support Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras for as long as he fights to protect their pensions and keeps them as his 'red line' during any negotiation with lenders. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) NIKOS TOUSTAS, UNEMPLOYED AND WAITING FOR HIS PENSION TO START, AGED 62, SAYING: "He should make some concessions but not ones that hurt the poor and the middle class, like those whose shops have shut down and have nothing to live off. But of course he needs to make some concessions. But he can't keep fooling people and saying different things to different people, he says one thing and then goes on and acts differently. I don't understand, it confuses me." Monday's emergency meetings of euro zone leaders is seen as a last chance to reach a deal and save Greece from bankruptcy.

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Retired Greeks fear for their pensions

Friday, June 19, 2015 - 01:56