Greek Finance Minister Says MPs Back Pay Claims Are ‘Insult’
Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said claims for back pay and pension benefits by a group of former lawmakers were an “insult” and wouldn’t be considered.
“The demand for back pay of pensions or salaries is an insult to a sense of justice, particularly at this particular time for the economy,” Papaconstantinou said in an e-mailed statement from the Athens-based ministry. “The ministry won’t meet any such demand and will take all necessary action in this direction.”
The group of about 800 former lawmakers, who sat in Greece’s parliament between 2003 and 2008, are claiming 80 million euros ($119 million) in back pay and benefits, Kathimerini reported today, citing a court official. They are basing their claim on a 2008 law that members of parliament should be paid the same as the country’s top judges, the Athens- based newspaper said.
Greece’s economy has been hurt by government cuts to wages and pensions and tax increases aimed at narrowing a budget deficit that reached 15.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2009. While Parliament voted for the pay rises not to come into effect, the former lawmakers are claiming they are not bound by this decision as they are no longer MPs, Kathimerini said.
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