Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday began an off-the-agenda debate in Parliament on the government's proposed pension reforms, noting that all the political parties were obliged to adopt a position on an issue of such gravity as the viability of the country's pension system.
"If future generations are to have social insurance, there is no room for stalling or prevarication," Tsipras said, pointing out that the system was not currently viable. "Unless we take measures, it will collapse," he added.
The prime minister blamed 40 years of state pension fund mismanagement and "looting" under New Democracy and PASOK governments for the system's current problems, as well as an aging population and "political choices in the year of crisis that shrunk GDP by 25 pct and shot unemployment up from 7 pct to 25 pct."
Addressing the opposition parties, he asked whether "those who caused the problems, looted the funds and created the 'black holes' in these years of crisis also had any proposal to put forward."
"Will you support the government's agreement with the employer associations for an increase in their contributions or will you align yourself with the International Monetary Fund and its fixations, which will lead to new pension cuts, alongside the 12 previous [cuts] pensioners have been subjected to," he said.