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Greek races to axe pension cuts days before implementation

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday Dec. 5, 2018. The European Commission on Wednesday presented actions to strengthen the role of the euro in a changing world. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

ATHENS, Greece — Greek lawmakers have agreed to fast-track draft legislation to cancel a major round of pension cuts scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, after bailout lenders agreed they were no longer needed for the country to balance its budget.

A parliament committee voted Thursday to debate the amendments as emergency legislation, cancelling articles in a law voted last year that would impose cuts worth 1 per cent of Greece’s gross domestic product.

According to European Commission estimates, the measures would have seen 1.4 million out of Greece’s 2.6 million pensioners suffer a monthly loss of at least 14 per cent.

Greece emerged from its third successive bailout program in August but has pledged to pursue strict fiscal policies for years in exchange for a promise by lenders to provide better repayment terms.

The Associated Press