September 7, 2012 / 11:33 AM / in 6 years

Greece to mull cutting bailout officials' wages

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will consider cutting managers’ pay at the country’s bank bailout fund, the finance minister said, after accusations that it was showering lavish wages on them while slashing the pay of other civil servants.

The HFSF bailout fund manages the recapitalization of Greece’s banks as part of the country’s latest, 130 billion euro bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

HFSF managers are earning up to 22,000 euros a month, compared with a minimum wage below 600 euros, said opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, who opposes the bailout.

“You’re paying salaries of 20-22,000 euros at a time when citizens are suffering,” he told lawmakers. Newspapers also decried the bailout fund’s salaries.

Civil servants’ pay has been cut by about a third since the country received its first EU/IMF bailout in 2010. They stand to be lowered even further under the second bailout agreed in March.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said he would consider lowering the fund’s compensation package.

“We’re looking into it. Wages have to be in line with the overall economic climate,” he said in response to the opposition leader.

The finance ministry was also forced to acknowledge this week that previous governments had paid about 15 million euros on fees for privatization advisers since June 2010, even though they made negligible asset sales over that period, a finance ministry statement obtained by Reuters showed.

“They have to be made accountable. Where did this money go?” Tsipras said.

Reporting by Harry Papachristou

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