Pensioners get more irate by the Katrougalos letters


Letters to hundreds of thousands of pensioners signed by Labor and Social Security Minister Giorgos Katrougalos have generated waves of discontent and court cases against reductions in auxiliary pensions.

Over the last few days the ministry has been sending letters to pensioners who have suffered auxiliary pension cuts of up to 50 percent, aimed at explaining those reductions. However, those letters not only fail to explain the way the cuts are calculated, but in a number of cases do not tally with what the social security funds’ pension slips say, as Kathimerini has found out.

The pensions upheaval is expected to peak in early November, when retroactive cuts of at least 50 euros per month come into force.

Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported for one more year the contradiction of the Greek state, which spends over a quarter of the gross domestic product (27 percent) in pensions, healthcare and benefits, yet has one of the poorest records in dealing with income inequality. The average rate of spending on the above as a percentage of GDP in OECD member-countries is 21 percent.

Greece is the champion in terms of salary payments as a percentage of GDP, as they amount to 17.5 percent, ahead of Italy (16.4 percent) and France (14.3 percent).