Early pension not the solution

Labor and Social Security Minister Savvas Tsitouridis is against the idea of offering jobless workers early retirement as a solution to problems created by unemployment in ailing industries. Last week the minister said that some 500 unemployed workers from the textile industry in Naoussa, Macedonia, could qualify for early pensions – at the age of 50 – on the condition that they have worked for 25 years. The amendment approving the early pension is scheduled to be passed by Parliament tomorrow. The minister told Sunday’s Kathimerini that this measure was introduced as a last resort and would not be implemented in other sectors which are facing problems. «Under no circumstances can this act as a model for other policies. An early pension remains the last solution,» the minister said. The Labor Ministry is in the process of putting together a committee that will assess the health of the social security system and will also put forth proposals on necessary changes. The conservative government has stressed that it will not deliver any reforms during its current term in office. Last week, however, Tsitouridis indicated that Greece may adopt measures to help alleviate some of the effects of unemployment but stopped short of suggesting what these measures may be.