Editorial: The national insurance landmine
Beyond the troika’s inexcusable or extortionate obsessions on certain issues, we ought to recognize that the national insurance…
Beyond the troika’s inexcusable or extortionate obsessions on certain issues, we ought to recognize that the national insurance system is landmine that if left unattended, we will always find ahead of us. When T. Giannitsis dared to address the problem 15 years ago and proposed a reform, there was a universal reaction from the political system, the entire union movement and society itself, which refused any discussion. Even back in 2009 when Al. Papadopoulos warned that “anyone retiring before the age of 60, namely at 45 or 50, is not a pensioner, but rather a public sector earner” nobody was listening.
So here we are today, in part thanks to the crisis, finding ourselves in a rather bleak and dead-end situation where there are more twists than everyone have planned, because we insisted on hiding this mess under the rug. It should be rather clear that an economy with 2.7 million pensioners and 3 million workers – many of whom are underpaid or underemployed, with thousands of businesses not paying or delaying their insurance contribution payments, with a significant cash-in-hand problem – cannot support the national insurance system.
However, despite the tragic situation, rather than seek out the best possible solution to rationalize the system, the political system prefers to make empty promises. Consequently the troika demands increasingly harsher interventions, either in the age of retirement or the size of the pensions. All of the weight falls on the shoulders of the younger generations which will be forced to worked more to pay for their parents’ pensions.
As long as we still have time before even harsher measures are enforced upon us we must look into managing this landmine; with the least possible losses for those who have truly entitled to a pension and with the least possible burden on the future generations. But for that we need a national understanding and consensus, because no party and no government can manage it alone. This is something that is not, unfortunately, showing up on the horizon…