By George Georgiopoulos
Cash-strapped Greece will cut the pay of bank bailout fund executives by 40 percent because their salaries are a “provocation” during a time of austerity cuts elsewhere, the finance ministry said on Friday.
The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), financed by the country’s bailout package, is the rescue vehicle that recapitalised Greece’s big banks and covered the costs of winding down others deemed non-viable.
“The minister (Yanis Varoufakis) understands that positions with high responsibility must be remunerated accordingly but salaries at the HFSF are a provocation for Greek society when incomes in the private and public sectors have shrunk,” the ministry said.
The move will save more than 300,000 euros ($335,000) a year, the ministry said. Greece has adopted a series of one-off measures elsewhere to save cash amid a liquidity squeeze.
The pay cuts will need the approval of Greece’s international lenders and Varoufakis has informed Thomas Wieser, the head of the Euro Working Group of euro zone deputy finance ministers, and expects no objections, the ministry added.
The bank rescue fund is currently looking for a new board chairman and chief executive after the resignations of Chairman Christos Sclavounis in March and CEO Anastasia Sakellariou earlier this month.
The annual salary for the HFSF’s CEO is currently set at 215,000 euros while that of the board chairman is 175,000 euros, a fund official said.