BUSINESS

Half of families in Greece live on pensions

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Economy

Greek society is evolving into a sum of households surviving on pensions while its most dynamic section, young people aged between 18 and 35, are abandoning it or considering abandoning it to seek a better life abroad, a survey by the Small Enterprises Institute of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (IME GSEVEE) has concluded.

The report published on Tuesday suggests that the long-term financial crisis, whose main victims are the middle class, is not only leading to a further decline in incomes and the broadening of inequalities, but also openly threatening social cohesion. The so-called therapy, with its constantly increasing direct and indirect taxes, may lead to primary budget surpluses but this is not returned to taxpayers in the form of public services, as at the same time public spending on health and education is also being reduced.

The survey, conducted between November 14 and 26, used a sample of 1,000 households across Greece. It found that more than three-quarters of households (75.3 percent) had endured significant declines in their income in 2016.

Crucially, 37.1 percent of households said that they live on less than 10,000 euros per year, while 49.2 percent said that their main source of income is pensions. This was actually higher in December 2014 (at 52 percent), and the small decline is attributed to the cuts in pensions.

Salaries are the main source of revenues for 37.9 percent of households, up from 37.3 percent in the 2015 survey, while 9 percent said that they mainly rely on incomes from businesses.

Almost one in every three households has an unemployed member, which amounts to 1.1 million households, while the long-term unemployed amount to 73.3 percent of all jobless. Financial problems are not limited to the unemployed though, as 22.4 percent of households also include an employee who earns less than the minimum monthly salary of 586 euros gross. No wonder 9.7 percent of respondents said at least one member of their family has left the country.

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