NEWS

Migrants being left uninsured

The number of foreigners insured by a state social security fund dipped in 2004 despite more migrants reaching the country’s shores in the same period, according to a survey released yesterday. A study by the Immigration Policy Institute (IMEPO) showed that 7.3 percent fewer migrants were insured in December 2004 than a year earlier. An estimated 1 million currently live in Greece, making up 11 percent of the private sector workforce. The study found that the majority of foreigners insured with IKA, the country’s largest fund, are employed in the construction sector (34 percent). The support offered by Albanian nationals to social security funds is significant, representing nearly 7 percent of contributors to IKA. Out of the 42,000 people insured with OGA, the Farmers’ Pension Fund, 79 percent are Albanian. The social security system is facing financial pressure due to the country’s aging population but governments have been slow to overhaul it fearing the political cost involved.