Pensioners are the losers in Greek bailout 50



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After 17 hours of gruelling talks, Eurozone leaders have finally struck a deal on a bailout that will prevent Greece from being kicked out of the European Union. But some say the deal is worse than the original offer the country resoundingly rejected on July 5.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted the terms on Monday night then headed back home with the enormous task of convincing his socialist party and his people that it was for the best.

The deal includes loans that will ease Greece’s huge burden of debt and revive its crippled banking system.

But the condition is that Mr Tsipras has until Wednesday to force a raft of draconian finance laws through parliament by Wednesday as a sign of good faith.

Only then will the 18 other Eurozone leaders start negotiations over what Greece will to get in return. On the table is a three-year bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($A128.68 billion), Greece’s third rescue program in five years.

‘The great majority of Greek people will support this effort,’ said Mr Tsipras.

Will they?

Mr Tsipras shot to power with his radical Syriza party on the back of promises to end five years of bitter austerity under two previous bailouts.

And while the deal on the table would mean there was no chance of a “Grexit” and would prevent Greece’s cash-strapped banks form running dry, Eurozone leaders made Greece surrender much of its sovereignty to outside supervision.

For the foreseeable future every move Greece makes will face scrutiny by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It’s likely banks will stay closed and the 60 euro ATM cash withdrawal limit will remain in place. The goods and services tax will increase, labour laws will change and, most devastatingly for a country with 50 per cent youth unemployment, pensions will be cut.

Haralambos Rouliskos, a 60-year-old economist speaking to Sky News, described the deal as ‘misery, humiliation and slavery’.

Greece’s public servants are being called to stage a 24-hour strike for Wednesday, the first since Tsipras took power.

Do you think this is a good moment for Greece? Should the country be happy to be bailed out yet again, or angry that they face further austerity measures?  Can you imagine facing such tumultuous times in your retirement? 


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  1. Thought they were gone this time. Just a matter of time. How often can the rest of Europe keep throwing money to a country that’s not willing to help itself. It doesn’t follow through on it’s promises on how it will change it’s spending habits, it doesn’t repay it’s loans and when the current government tries to enforce the promises they made to the rest of Europe, they get voted out and a new lot who run on a mandate of “no more hardship” are voted in. Basket case.

    1 REPLY
    • The Greek economy is obviously a BASKET CASE, but other than themselves who is to blame. They don’t have to accept the Euro zone bail out, they can reject that, leave the euro zone and start printing their own currency, who wants to guess what the exchange rate would be between a new Greek Drachma and a Euro. In my opinion a pension in new drachma would have less buying power than the proposed reduced pensions paid in Euro.

  2. I feel for these retired hard working people to have their pensions cut. I don’t know how the whole population can survive. Higher taxes? You need jobs and money to pay them. The government has a lot to answer for their mismanagement of public monies

    3 REPLY
    • Gwen I do not know for certain but did you see Ruth Hourigan;s comment as to how much they were receiving on the pension? Christ I wish we could get a pension like that here in Australia and we have to wait for a lot longer before we can access it.

  3. They have a traitor for a PM. After promising everything, and then going to Brussels and accepting an even more stringent bailout, what sort of person is this?! They need another election and a person of integrity installed. There is no painless way out of Greece,s mess.Also, why do people blame the EU for their hardship? Greece was not forced to join, they applied to join, with a set of false figures it seems. I feel sorry for Greek
    citizens, but really there isn,t such a thing as a free meal I’m afraid.

    3 REPLY
  4. Makes you wonder what that referendum was about, I for so very sorry for those people. I bet that Government will be replaced at the next election

    2 REPLY
  5. I feel sorry for the very old, but in regards to pensions, a retirement age of 55 plus supplements to the pension should be tweaked to bring them in line with many other countries. They certainly need to take a long look at nepotism in the public service. Once again it is the ordinary worker who is paying the price for these long standing arrangements.

  6. Yes. It is bad for the pensioners. But are people aware of how much they were receiving in pension.
    They were receiving €350 per week. That is around $800 a week. That will be dropping to around €270 per week which is around $560 per week. That’s still $130 per week higher than an Aussie aged pensioner gets to live on and the cost of living there is cheaper.

    6 REPLY
    • I only know this because I had to check it out for some paperwork I was doing for a friend. I was shocked when I saw how much they were getting.

    • Yes the welfare system in Greece has been way too extravagant, and tax collection should have been overhauled a long time ago. I have travelled to Greece 9 times and stayed for extended periods of time and lived as they do petrol very expensive $1.90 per litre, groceries are equivalent to Australia. Maybe they should vote in a parliament that is not Greek and experienced at disaster recovery.

    • You might also want to check out living expenses in comparison to Australia, how much would electricity and gas be! The only thing I believe is quite ludicrous is their retirement age of 55 years old/young!

    • Not sure where you got your figures from but the latest figures show that the average pension in Greece is 665 euros per month ( A$985) at the moment. They have had 2 massive decreases since 2010 because of their former debt crisis. Plus the current retirement age is 65 for both men and women. This was also raised after 2010 and is to be raised to 67.

  7. Wow, Ruth…I knew they got a good pension, but didn’t realise how good! No wonder they are in debt, also of course they were accessing it when in their mid fifties!

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