OECD: Pensions threaten Greek economy

May 30, 2007 at 11:58 PM
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ATHENS, Greece, May 30 (UPI) -- Greece's pension system threatens the country's economy, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Wednesday.

The pension system needs radical reform if the country's other economic reforms are to succeed, Secretary-General Angel Gurria told reporters in Athens.

Gurria, who delivered the OECD's report on the Greek economy, said the pension system offers many early-retirement incentives, for instance, when it should offer incentives to stay in the labor market, the Athens News Agency reported.

The challenge is acute, Gurria said, adding that several OECD countries were readjusting their pensions to accommodate workers' increased life expectancy.

Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said the government had a clear economic strategy and the Greek people would decide the extent to which it would reform the country's social security system. But he acknowledged Greece needed to take measures to ensure the system's viability and to correct what he described as injustices.

He said the solution would be offered by the next government.

The OECD is an international organization of developed countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and a free market economy. The agency, based in Paris, has representatives from the 30 richest countries.

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