Greeks are getting more and more angry. Each and every day fresh adrenaline shot drive high blood pressure, heart beats and deep rooted frustration. They need just a tiny spark to explode. Reason for this boiling mood are the upcoming additional austerity measures, the so-called “spending cuts” worth 11. billion euro. So far, no public announcement has been made, but through a targeted channel, Samaras government and the Finance Ministry shed a light to the cutting plans.
Ministers preferably speak to the media about what cuts will not take place.
Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras assured President Karolos Papoulias, that there would be no lay-offs in the Greek public sector. However the possibility of ‘labour reserve’ may come back, because fiscal numbers do not easily get together, Stournaras told Papoulias on Tuesday morning, in front to TV cameras and reporters microphones.
A little earlier alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras had told private broadcaster Mega TV that there will be no wages decreases in the so-called “special payrolls” that is for military and security personnel, academics, judges, state hospital doctors.
That is the nice side of the measures. The ugly is that the non-cuts have to be replaced through “equivalent measures”. And here comes the heavy hammer: Despite all previous assurances that no horizontal cuts would happen, there is a big and evil plan to cut pensions even for the low pensioners.
Cutting Low Pensions
Greek media, reported earlier today, that the coalition government partners and the finance ministry try to work out a plan to cut in fact the uncuttable: Low pensions!
3% for 600 -1,000 euro per month
5% for 1,000 – 1,400 euro per month
up to 10% for 1,400 PLUS euro per month
According to data available, 68% of Greek pensioners receive pensions up to 700 euro, 18% pensions of 700-1,000 euro and 10% more than 1,400 euro per month.
Government’s thought is allegedly that performing cuts for pensions 1,400 PLUS could not be sufficient as it’s only a ten percent receiving this money. Therefore, horizontal cuts would be necessary.
Further the government plans to lower the maximum pension cap from 2,700 euro down to 2,500. To cut double pensions (the second by 35%); 380,000 receive double pensions for having paid contributions to two insurance funds. Further there would be cuts in lump sums and compensations of the public sector. And generous cuts in all kinds of social benefits and welfare allowances.
That means a pensioner from the private sector with 650-700 euro per month will feed the golden goose, so the public sector will enjoy the ‘untouchable status’ : no lay offs, pensions of 2,500 euro.
Please, go tell a low-pensioner that 2,500 is not much and that unions from public sector and state-run enterprises (utilities companies) are going to start protesting as of September.
While opposition parties have not reacted so far, as the upcoming cuts are not official, Greek internet users keep swearing from morning til the end of the day.
“Well done, keep your curs because they’re your clients and f*** the rest of us.”
“There is one thing we, from private sector, we can do: halt payments for 3 moths.”
“Do not fire anyone, Stournaras, keep them to sing for us the Xmas carols, when we won’t have even bread to eat. Sold, sick brains for how long will you destroy the people?”
“So it is! Keep the public -curs and use five frape-guys to fix something one German alone can fix. Where are you, Schaeuble, to save us!”
“Johnny-boy [Yiannis Storunaras], how about the 1.2 million jobless of the private sector? For them you don’t have a word to spear. Give everything to the army of party voters!”
“300 thousand civil servants have to go.”
“Yes, protect the special payrolls. They’re your clients, not us.”
“You cut money from a low-pensioner, also his welfare benefits. These people will commit suicide. But nobody cares. Main thing special payrolls who retire at 45 remain untouchable.”
“We won’t give a dime to tax office just for some to enjoy salaries of 3,000 euro.”
Yes, Greeks are getting more and more divided in two-clases society: civil servants & party voters and private sector employees & self-employees.
If such measures will get indeed the final touch, I see a very hot autumn ahead. Very dangerous….