Better late than never.
Hopefully the people I personally know who filed their paperwork two years ago will eventually receive a letter soon.
So far the ?file? has been ?upstairs? and will eventually make it ?downstairs? so they figure out, 25 months after the official date of retirement, how much will the pension be and when it will be paid.
We are not talking about a complicated matter but then between schemes and fraud the legitimate retirees will have to stand in line for years to be paid what they have earned.
As always, simple issues fall by the wayside while we concentrate our efforts on how we will make things difficult for those we are supposed to ?serve?.
Chrysi Avgi and KKE
I am not a fan of the red and black Chrysi Avgi flag, which resembles the Nazi flag, although I have seen many CA supporters using Greek flags at rallies. Perhaps ekathimerini should ask Mr Mihaloliakos to explain the flag, symbol and Nazi salutes so we can all understand them better.
I am also concerned about KKE?s hammer and sickle flag. Under that banner over 50,000 Greeks were killed on both sides in the Greek Civil War, which the communists started.
Under the hammer and sickle, Joseph Stalin holds the world record for killing his own people, estimated at 20 million. I don?t think CA can compare to what the communists have done in Greece. Ms Papariga gives sermons from Perissos with a portrait of Lenin behind her. Didn?t Lenin establish a one-party state in the USSR which eliminated all opposition?
Watching Greek satellite television from far-away Australia, the Ecologist Greens, who are polling at 2-3% at best, are given airtime on mainstream Greek TV, yet CA, who are polling between 3.5% to 7%, are denied the same right because far-right politics is perceived as bad for Greece.
What does this mean for free speech, does communist ideology sit better with mainstream Greek media outlets?
My issue here is, where is the equality for all Greek political parties to have their say and let the voters decide? This would also give Greek journalists the opportunity to question Mr Mihaloliakos more intensely.
New tourism body
Living in South Africa, we used to have a good eight-hour daylight flight from Johannesburg to Athens.
My last visit took me more than 30 hours to return via Doha.
No South African Airways flights. Surely the new body could organise better flight arrangements with SAA Egypt Air and Olympic or Aegean.
Re: Pension funds to save 800 mln euros a year
Simple questions, again: Why should a new body be set up to manage the payment of pensions? What happened to the old body? Is it being disbanded, fired, prosecuted? Or did the old body consist of more blind people from Zakynthos? Or maybe some 137-year-olds? Poor things should be able to retire and get a decent pension sooner or later, with a little help from their friends. One doesn?t live forever, or maybe in Greece one does.
The extent of blatant cheating and corruption is frightening, because this is only what?s being discovered now. How much more hasn?t even been identified yet, let alone investigated? How much has been paid out in ?costly mistakes? over the past 30 years, not only in pensions?
Where would Greece be today if nobody had cheated, lied, evaded taxes, stolen or accepted corruption as the norm, especially over the past 30 years? Certainly not on its knees. No country is perfect and there will always be illegal transactions, but I think Greece has set some records and it?s nothing to be proud of.
We cannot turn back the clock, but it seems the Greeks are not even interested in a new beginning; the corruption and fakelaki culture simply continues; almost as if everyone?s afraid of taking the first step, afraid that they might be more honest than their neighbour, afraid they may pay more taxes than their relatives.
It?s a mindset that is going to take generations to change, if ever.
Computer systems can cross-check and control many transactions, but a computer doesn?t know when its operator is a crook, or whether a pension recipient is dead or alive, blind or sighted.
So, set up the new body, I presume in addition to the old body, spend even more money for another civil service function. And then of course they?ll probably need a controlling body to see that the new body is doing its work watching over the old body. Dead on their feet, poor things.
At least there?ll be a new tourism sector for Zakynthos, though: They can set up a shrine for the miraculous happenings there. All the blind pensioners can suddenly see again. Pity the same thing didn?t happen to the social security funds? employees.