Greek self-employed almost suffered mass heart attacks and brain strokes on Tuesday noon, when they heard in the news, the Labor ministry planned to cut pensions of new retirees at 35 percent. Furthermore the ministry was trying to secretly pass this ‘clause’ in a multi-bill on labor issues and thus short before the bill was to be submitted to the Parliament for voting.
Private sector union GSEE but also coalition government partner PASOK took notice of the ‘hidden austerity measure” and brought it to the media.
According to the media, the amendment foresaw horizontal cuts of 35% to all new pensions independently of final pension amount.
The new austerity measure would affect all self-employed insured at TEBE/OAEE yet to apply for retirement. “The cuts would save 25,000,000 euro.”
Prompt was the angry response by unions, citizens, aspiring pensioners and even government coalition partners who were caught by surprise.
All the above protested the measure denouncing that the government has repeatedly claimed, there would be no new austerity measures.
“They should also consider lowering the TEBE contributions at 35%,” said a citizen on a TV-report.
” They have seized the TEBE contributions even with the haircut last March, and now they have no money to pay pensions,” said a unionist.
In less than one hour after the government secret was leaked to the press, Labor Minister allegedly removed this clause from the multi-bill. However, he refrained from clarifying if the issue is off the table for ever or it would return into a later point.
Social contributions to TEBE fund are considered in Greece as a drag to any self-employed, as the minimum monthly payment is 250 euro independently of the business revenues. Revenues that have suffered decrease of more than 40% during the last three years of loan agreements and tax hikes.
PS I really can’t tell if the government fiesta of re-starting economy had as main aim to distract from this incredible measure. Sorry, guys, the crisis turned us “awfully sober”.