For months, public life has been revolving around the pension issue, either as regards the legislated cuts or as regards arrears that are owed to certain categories of pensioners. Undoubtedly, in a country where one-third of the population is retired, the issue concerns a huge social group.
If one factors in that the country is in a quasi-electoral period and that the vote of pensioners will be decisive in gaining the lead at the polls, it is obvious that all parties will say what they want to hear. Everyone, with very few exceptions, is trying to outbid the other in pledges, even though they know very well that the available funds do not suffice to satisfy everyone.
The government’s stance is indicative. One day it urges pensioner to file applications for back pay, and the next, realising that its pledges are unfeasible, it hastens to bring them back to reality.
It is obvious that based on the rulings of the Council of State, the best case scenario is that they will become embroiled in a legal battle that will take years, with doubtful results.
Nonetheless, it is opportunistically convenient to maintain hopes and cultivate expectations, which in fact are hollow. That practice, which was followed for decades, resulted in the travails of the insurance system today.
Whether it suits us or not, at some point we must realise that a country of pensioners has no future. Certainly, retirees are entitled to a dignified pension. However, in a country that is struggling to emerge from bankruptcy, someone must say that money trees that produce euros do not exist.
Only if the country manages to achieve an economic takeoff and the employment rate rises, and only if there are dignified wages, will retirees see better days.