Greek races to ax pension cuts days before implementation

Greek races to ax pension cuts days before implementation
European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici, left, speaks with Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos during a round table meeting of eurogroup finance ministers at the Europa building in Brussels, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Eurozone finance ministers meet in Brussels on Monday to discuss the standoff between Italy and the group over its spending proposals for the 2019 budget. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek lawmakers have agreed to fast-track draft legislation to cancel a major round of pension cuts scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, after bailout lenders agreed they were no longer needed for the country to balance its budget.

A parliament committee voted Thursday to debate the amendments as emergency legislation, cancelling articles in a law voted last year that would impose cuts worth 1 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product.

According to European Commission estimates, the measures would have seen 1.4 million out of Greece’s 2.6 million pensioners suffer a monthly loss of at least 14 percent.

Greece emerged from its third successive bailout program in August but has pledged to pursue strict fiscal policies for years in exchange for a promise by lenders to provide better repayment terms.