We always knew that this country, Greece, is based on a two-class society: the underprivileged Mortals and the privileged Immortals.Now for one more time, this is confirmed. The upcoming Pensions Reform – Social Security bring the society upside down. Pensions will be cut, social contributions will be increased. But those who will vote for these austerity are exempted.
The exemptions for Greece’s lawmakers are based on a legislation voted by the New Democracy/PASOK/Democratic Left coalition in November 2012 and includes also those MPs who were elected for the first time in the May and June 2012 elections. The bill was part of the 2 bailout agreement with austerity measures.
Not exempted are only MPs elected for the first time in January 2015 elections.
But a big question is why the SYRIZA-ANEL government support this, even though Labor Minister Giorgos Katrougalos justified the exemption saying that “the pensions up to 2012 are been paid by the State General Accounting Office” as there is not special social security fund for lawmakers and they do not pay social contributions.
But they cash pension for a life time, if they have been elected for two legislative periods. The same applies for mayors and prefects
“Pensions for lawmakers, for victims of terrorist organizations and the honorary pensions for artists are not based on social security contributions,” Minister Katrougalos made it clear to the rest of the Greek natives with some of them to never get a pension due to the economic crisis and this dramatic unemployment that has stuck at 25% in the last four years.
The MP’s exemption is a highly political issue and the question is why left-wing SYRIZA supports this.
After the outrage in the Greek society, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has reportedly advised Labor Minister Katrougalos to include also the MPs in the Unified Pensions Fund so that they will be equal among equal Greeks, that is undergo pension cuts.
Τhis decision caused uproar in the Parliament with Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis, a SYRIZA MP, to defend the lawmakers’ rights.
“I am obliged to defend the exemption,” Voutsis told the Plenary claiming that “pensions of MPs have already been cut by 40-60%” and that these cuts affect also people who served as lawmakers for 22 years or even as Ministers and who receive a pension of 1,400 euro per month after 20 years of duty.
To make the long speech short, Voutsis claimed that these retired MPs are practically poor.
I suppose, he forgot to mention that Greek MPs receive also additional pensions from their general pension funds and usually also another pension from the professional funds. Unless, of course, they did not work a single day and had not a single IKA stamp before entering the Parliament.
PS ah, nobody is perfect, not even SYRIZA …. (:p)