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Thousands of troubled Greek seniors form long queues after pension stop

Thousands of pensioners at the verge of brain-stroke and heart-attack formed long queues outside the offices of Greece’s biggest insurance fund IKA on Friday morning. The troubled seniors had rushed to the local branches of IKA because their pension had been stopped. Just like that. The seniors must have been in shock on Thursday when they went to bank to pick up their pension money for June – and to see that there was no money on their account.

Greece pensioners

08:07 a.m. waiting in Chios

For one simple reason: they did not receive their pension for June, when they went to the bank the previous day.

Greek media report of several reasons as to why the pensions were not paid out: missing insurance and tax numbers but also money shortage.

A total of 96,333 pensions were stopped: 54,193 main pensions and 42,140 supplementary due to missing or wrong  tax- or general insurance registration number.

Another reason is that IKA missed 21 million euro for June pension payments due to calculation mistake. Poverty allowence (EKAS) was to paid out retrospective.

Many pensioners have reportedly received also less pension after new criteria for the poverty allowance were set in April.

IKA had announced that pensioners whose pension had been stopped, would contact directly the local branches of the insurance fund. There, they could correct the wrong data and receive their pension.

  waiting, waiting  and still  waiting...

Worth mentioning: ΙKA pensioners had to participate in pension census already twice in the last two years. Why the insurance fund did not informed the persons involved that data was missing or it was wrong on their submitted census-papers is something that only the Greek state can know.

When will state disorganization and bureaucracy stop troubling the citizens? Good question … with no answer on the horizon.

PS to those tending to believe some nasty and ill-intended rumors claiming “the state had no money to pay the pensions and invented the delay”: I can assure you that all these claims have been dismissed by the government. Fact is the Troika is going to turn on the green light for 1.8 billion euro bailout tranche today. OK?


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