Saturday, November 28, 2015

Greek Pension Reform - An Issue Since 1958?

Having read up on the issue of pension reform in Greece, I am amazed how long this issue goes back (to 1958!). This paper by Platon Tinios gives a good overview. This is the same Tinios who was in the commission which produced the famous Spraos Report of 1997 (only available in PDF via Google) which gave an outline of what aspects should be considered when implementing a pension reform and what such a reform could look like.

There is a whole chapter on the pension issues in Yiannis Palaiologos' book "The 13th Labor of Hercules". The following paragraph from this chapter is quite unique:

"On 16 October 1997, three days after the Spraos Report had been officially presented, Christos Polyzogopoulos, president at the time of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), made an unintentionally prophetic statement. The Spraos Report, he said, 'essentially says that if its recommendations are not implemented, the system of social insurance will collapse by 2010. But the social insurance system, as a sub-system of the wider economic and social system, will collapse after the collapse of the State Budget and the economy as a whole'. Polyzogopoulos meant this as a counter-argument to Spraos. He thought he was demonstrating the absurdity of the idea that social security could ever go bust."

Well, 2010 came around faster than Polyzogopoulos might have thought at the time.

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