June 2, 2020 / 5:36 AM / a month ago

Romanian PM says pensions will rise but not by 40%

BUCHAREST, June 2 (Reuters) - A massive 40% hike in all state pensions from September risked blocking an economy already hurt by the coronavirus outbreak and was unlikely, but the government will raise pensions by a realistic percentage, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said.

Faced with local and parliamentary elections, the centrist minority government has tiptoed around the pension hike, approved by a previous Social Democrat cabinet. The pension bill has prompted warnings of ratings downgrades.

“The 40% rise would have been very difficult even under normal economic conditions,” Orban told private television station Digi24 late on Monday. “It is hard to enforce something without solid economic grounds.”

“We will certainly hike pensions but realistically and ... guaranteeing they are sustainable in the long term.” (Reporting by Luiza Ilie)

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