NEWS

State sector, pension funds

A review of Article 16 of the Constitution on private universities? No. This is not the time for this issue. The priority should be to improve the state universities. Putting technocrats rather than former deputies or party cadres at the head of public organizations? Yes. This is necessary. Abolishing permanent tenure in the public sector? No. I have proposals to improve the efficiency and competence of the public sector. Handing management of major public corporations to the private sector? Not always. There are very successful examples of state-appointed managers. You speak of reducing inequalities in the pension system. Do you mean freezing pensions that are above a certain amount for a few years? No. I mean that we have one of the most unequal social security systems among member states of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). We have the largest proportion of poor pensioners, about 25 percent of the total. We have people under different pension systems – those instituted before 1993, after 1993 and so on. At the same time we have 175 social security funds, all with radically different regulations. First we have to secure state financing of the funds, as required by law, but also in accordance with our responsibility as guarantors of the public and social nature of the pension system. Secondly we have to move to quickly unify the separate funds on the basis of the Social Security Foundation, with the ultimate goal of creating a unified national coffer with a single system of rules for all Greeks.