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Pensioners march through Athens protesting further cuts

Thousands of pensioners marched through the streets of downtown Athens on Tuesday demanding a stop to further pension cuts. Representatives met with Deputy Minister in charge of  Social Security and Retirement, Tasos Petropoulos.

The meeting ended without the result protesters had hoped to achieve.

The Minister merely confirmed that the Greek government renegotiates the issue of pensions with the country’s European creditors.

Pensioners denounced the government for  the new pension reductions and the plans to broaden the tax-free basis down to 5,600-6,000 euros annual income.

Protesters said that it is the fifth year without the Easter bonus. “Instead of bonus, we have more cuts,” they said.

“We cut expenses here, we cut expenses there, we keep trying. I lost two thirds of my pension, I cannot afford further cuts,” a pensioner said.

Pensioners’ unions have declared that they will join the protest organized by the Communist party union PAME scheduled for Friday, April 7, 2017.

PAME protest is against the Eurogroup taking place on the same day.

The president of private sector IKA pensioners said ” we will not accept further cuts.” He stressed that after all these cuts pensions have turned into social benefits.

In a letter to Labor Minister, several unions demanded that main and supplemental pensions are restored as well as the poverty allowance for low-pensioners and restoration of the 13th and 14th pension.

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