Greek govt could owe pensioners billions after historic cuts ruled unlawful

The Greek government could have to pay out billions of euros to retirees after the country’s Council of State found that cuts to pensions between June 2015 and May 2016 were unlawful.

Initially reported by Reuters, the ruling from Greece’s supreme administrative court did not specify whether all 2.5 million citizens affected by the cuts would be eligible to claim money back, or whether that would just apply to those who had petitioned the courts.

The report also quoted Greek labour expert, Kostas Bourlos, claiming that repaying the affected pensioners could cost as much as €3bn.

Greek publication Neos Kosmos said pensions had been slashed by as much as 50 per cent during the Mediterranean country’s decade-long debt crisis, as the government struggled to satisfy creditors.

The Council of State had ruled in October 2019 that pension cuts levied against future and current retirees which had taken place under the 2016 Katrougalos Law were unconstitutional.

The Greek government has yet to unveil a detailed approach to tackling the ruling, with an unnamed government official telling Reuters: “We must see all the details of the decision first and then we will decide our strategy.”

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