Finance ministry’s proposals to increase retirement age

Greece’s Court of Auditors ruled increasing the retirement age, cutting pensions and cancelling bonuses could be unconstitutional, the Naftemporiki business paper said.

The vast majority of the court members ruled that the finance ministry’s proposals to increase the retirement age by two years to 67 years, cut pensions by 5-15 percent and abolish Christmas and Easter bonuses for retirees contradicted the constitution’s provisions about the state’s social security duties.

The proposed pension cuts were fifth since the country received its first bailout tranche in May 2010.

The Court of Auditors, which combines the roles of an administrative body and a supreme administrative court, is charged with vetting laws before they are submitted for a parliament vote.

The court convened for an emergency meeting ahead of the parliament vote on austerity measures.

However, its recommendations are not obligatory, and lawmakers can disregard them during the vote due next week.

The austerity package is crucial for secure another tranche of 31.5 billion euro from the group of international lenders.

Greece is expecting its next tranche of financial aid by mid-November.

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