Dimitris Katsikas, head of ELIAMEP’s Crisis Observatory, gave an interview to Liberal.gr discussing, among others, the new legislative initiative to reform the pension system. Dr. Katsikas mentioned that the question of whether the reform, announced a few days ago, could save the social security system has not been effectively answered, adding that in order to make this happen, structural measures should be implemented, such as the three-pillar system that was announced during the pre-election period. Responding to Mr. Fintikakis’ questions, Dr. Katsikas noted that, contrary to what we had been expecting, the bill drafted by the Ministry of Labor is not the anticipated structural reform that would ameliorate the social security system. In this sense, we cannot yet claim that a viable and long-term solution has been agreed upon. Dr. Katsikas also highlighted that the negative international interest rates that result in the reduction of the funds’ revenues, the demographic problem, and the shadow economy, constitute an explosive mix for the pension system. In this regard, Dr. Katsikas mentioned: I would like to believe, and I hope that those exercising political power will see beyond the short-term political costs. Additionally, commenting on the government’s recent 15-year bond issue, the Head of the Crisis Observatory noted that low-interest rates and the high demand indicate that investors have confidence in the Greek economy, and are thus willing to take a long-term risk on Greece. He stressed, however, that the Greek economy is facing a marathon and not a sprint race. Having said that, the long road ahead is gradually becoming downhill rather than uphill as it was until recently. Finally, he elaborated on the potential impact of the coronavirus on the Chinese, and therefore the global and, of course, the European economy, noting that it all depends on how effective and rapid the intervention of the Chinese authorities will be to prevent the epidemic from spreading.
You may find the full interview here