Greek government freezes public sector salaries

Greek government freezes public sector salaries Athens - The Greek government on Wednesday froze the salaries of public sector employees earning more than 1,700 euros (2,208 dollars) per month in an effort to rein in public spending.

"The decisions we announce today are difficult," Finance Minister Yannis Papathanassiou said.

Papathanassiou said all people in Greece earning 60,000 to 80,000 euros a year would pay a 1,000-euro tax contribution while those earning 80,000 to 100,000 euros would pay 2,000 euros. He said those earning 100,000 to 150,000 euros would pay 3,000 and those earning more would pay 4,000 euros.

Low-income public sector workers and pensioners would be given a one-off financial bonus of between 300-500 euros, he said.

The government said the country's economy was facing the biggest crisis since 1929 and that forecasts by international organizations were becoming more and more pessimistic.

"We are creating a safety net for the economy against the crisis," said Papathanassiou, adding that the measures would help in achieving better results. (dpa)

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