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ECB's Draghi defends Greek pension, tax reforms

[FRANKFURT] The president of the European Central Bank defended reforms to Greece's pension and tax system agreed in the country's bailout in a letter sent to a lawmaker in Brussels and released on Wednesday.

"The measures on the pension system have been designed to be progressive and they have been mostly applied mainly to pensions above 1,000 euros," Mario Draghi wrote in the letter dated June 30 to Notis Marias.

"The goal of the reform is to increase the ...fairness of the pension system and to ensure the system's viability also for future generations."

A delay to the phasing out of an income supplement to poorer pensioners was one of three changes to bailout proposals that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras set on Wednesday as a condition for accepting the aid-for-reforms offer made by its creditors.

Mr Draghi also defended agreed tax reforms.

"A key overarching objective of these reforms was social fairness and the creation of an environment in which all citizens pay their fair share of taxes and where tax rates can consequently be lower than in an environment of widespread tax evasion."

The ECB's policymaking Governing Council meets in Frankfurt on Wednesday to decide whether to maintain or curtail the emergency lending that is keeping Greek banks afloat.


Read more on the Greek crisis here