Greek Pensioners Face 25% Auxiliary Cut



Greek pensioner protests have fallen on deaf ears
Greek pensioner protests have fallen on deaf ears

Breaking a vow not to impose any more austerity measures, the Greek coalition government led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader,  is set to slash already-reduced auxiliary pensions as much as another 25 percent.

Greek retirees, besides their pensions, receive auxiliary benefits they earned from deductions from their salaries over decades of work and they’ve already seen those cut.

Now they could be reduced by another 25 percent, according to  the Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Greek Labor (INE/GSEE) although the government put the figure at far less.

The Labor Ministry said the cuts are necessary after the abolition of 24 indirect taxes that fed money into the labor pool, estimating a drop of 120 million euros ($165.03 million) although the labor unions said it would be 1.7 billion euros ($2.33 billion), the money taken from pensioners.

Some pensioners are already living on benefits of 300 euros ($412.60) although Samaras has promised to help them with returns from a primary surplus of 1.5 billion euros, only to see bigger cuts later.

Lump sums that retirees earned have also been cut 40 percent and more although the country’s highest court has ruled those unconstitutional, posing a problem for the government if the money has to be returned retroactively and current retirees receive what they are fully due. The court said the money belong to the beneficiaries, not the government, which has nevertheless expropriated it.

The remaining 72 indirect taxes for such funds are also set to be revised by the end of the year, as Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis clarified this week, which would inflict a further blow on the pensions old and new pensioners receive, another blow that the government promised wouldn’t happen.

“These contributions will be gathered in one account at the Finance Ministry, which will distribute them according to the needs of each fund. No social security fund structure will be put in danger with the incorporation of all such resources in one account,” the president of the Social Security Foundation (IKA), Rovertos Spyropoulos, said.

“As of January 1, 2014, you will get what you’ve paid for, as there will be an individual share, with no discrimination, while the system of supplementary pensions will be clear and transparent for all workers,” noted Anastasios Papanikolaou, the president of the Single Auxiliary Social Security Fund (ETEA).


5 COMMENTS

  1. Why people do believe politicians??? All politicians are for themselves not for the people…

  2. It is such an outrage to financially attack the very people upon whose backs this country was kept alive during the war years–the pensioners. Of course the government can steal from them for two fundamental reasons: A) they can get their hands on the money before what is owed to them ever reaches them. B) They are the weakest and most vulnerable members of society–seen as little threat to the bullying regime which autocratically assaults them year by year.

    The sad truth is that these elderly heroes are the only bread winners in many Greek families today–using their pittance of income to feed both their children and grandchildren. Taking away more of their deserved earnings only impoverishes more of the public, many barely surviving on this very weak lifeline.

    Shame on this government of taskmasters. One more reason to reduce the number of parliamentarians from 300 to 100 and give the savings back to the papous and yaya’s that over the years paved the way for their tenure of crime.

  3. Lump sums for the pensioners have been reduced by 40%?Pure,pure Greeks,only getting $60 000 lump sum instead of $100 000…….CRY ME A RIVER,nobody in the World gets such a thing as “lump sums”!!!

  4. Do not worry Antonis Samaras will rescue the seniors from pension cuts. This is becoming a game of life and death. On one hand the government is being “forced” by the Troika to make cuts to pensions and on the other the Prime Minister and de facto Easter Bunny plans to redistribute 1.5 billion in the supposed surplus to pensioners and the needy. This bait and switch policy is outrageous, senseless and cruel especially for seniors living on at best meager pensions in dire economic times.

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