OPINION

Using other people’s money

One of the main problems with state policy is that no one ever knows who pays for what and why. State corporations carry out social policy; the state subsidizes public corporations; governments use the reserves from social security funds to enact social or other policies, while social security funds in the red expect funds from the state budget. This ongoing transfer of funds and debt provides ample opportunity for waste and scandal. Above all, the buck is continuously being passed and we never learn who is responsible; moreover, the goals set by society are never achieved. This should not be repeated with the problem of early retirement for unemployed textile workers. Easing a major problem in a specific region cannot place a burden on the overall social security system. In any case, the funds’ reserves do not belong to the state. They are the contributions made by working people toward their retirement. Nor can they be paid from the Employment and Vocational Fund (LAEK). These contributions by employers and employees are for providing jobs, not to be used for pensions. The problem of unemployment among the over-50s is a serious one. Today it is affecting textile workers in Naoussa, tomorrow it will appear in other sectors. There should be an overall plan for dealing with it, but the policy should not be paid for with other people’s money. It has to be spread out over Greek society as a whole. The taxation of gasoline could be a solution.