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Easy Ways to Cut the Pensions of Others


Greek Minister for Employment & Social Security reads in the monring newspaper how to get along with 600 Euros per month. Andreas Loverdos is concerned…

With the new austerity measures in force, low earners and pensioners bleed, while deputies at the Greek Parliament enjoy double and threesome income.

A couple of days ago I was watching a late night TV talk show about the pensions system overhaul in Greece. Guest star was the Minister of Employment & Social Security, Andreas Loverdos, in charge of the radical changes hurled at the head of millions of Greeks.

He tried more or less to answer questions about the injustice in the new pension and retirement system. A clear answer was not there.

Andreas Loverdos is an attractive guy in his middle 50’s, lawyer and politician since 2000. When he is out of convincing arguments, he uses a well trained behavior pattern: He leans his head slightly to the left, he plunges his look innocentlyin the eyes of his interlocutor and keeps silent for a second or two. At this point, viewers know: Mr. Loverdos is concerned about what he hears and listens…

Monday night, in TV Show “Anatropi” of  Y. Pretenteris,  Mr. Loverdos was silent again for a second or two. He had just listened to short interviews of two white-hair old ladies complaining they hardly come along with their pensions of 700 and 800 Euros per month; let alone with their  future pension cut approximately 35% yearly.

Here I should mention that one of the ladies had earned her 800-Euro-pension through early retirement. “Early retirement” means you get your pension after 25 or even 15 years of labor; of course, only if you belong to the social class of “Greek privileged civil servants”. And here was the point, when my father  got really upset.

My father, 82, a self-employed, who struggled for his hard earned money to feed his family had worked for 70 years in the streets with rain and cold, or sun and heat. The retirement money he receives from IKA (State Social Security for self-employed and private sector) is only 600 Euros. Monday night my father got really upset, raised his hands and voice and started to curse….

But Mr. Loverdos does not know my father. He doesn’t know as well neither your father or your mother, who struggle to come along with 600-700 Euros  per month.

So, Monday night, Mr. Loverdos kept silent for a second or two. He was concerned. He even spoke of ‘social injustice’. But finally he said that “there is nothing more we can do”. He also mumbled that if the budget deficit improves, he will be happy to give extra money or money back to the low pensioners.

When Mr. Loverdos retires, he will be proud receiver of pensions from two social funds. He will receive one pension for having worked as a lawyer and one for being a member of the Parliament. Members of the Greek Parliament fortify pension rights if they serve for two legislative periods.

Had Mr. Loverdos served 8 years as a Major  too, he would have received an additional third pension.

But Andreas Loverdos does not know my father. So he won’t proceed in cutting his own benefits and fix social injustice.

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