OPINION

Insurance reform forever postponed

The social security system is a time bomb ticking away in the foundations of the economy and society of Greece. The predictions of analysts (even those of the General Confederation of Greek Labor) show that the system is heading toward an impasse, and that in 10 to 15 years insurance funds will not be able to pay out pensions. Everyone is in agreement on that, both the government and the opposition. The equivalent problem abroad, though not as acute as in Greece, has mobilized all political and social forces. There was serious dialogue, mutual compromises were made, solutions were found and a plan implemented. In Greece, an overall solution is postponed from one four-year term to the next out of fear of the political costs. The crowning absurdity is that even the partial solutions that have been voted into law have not been implemented for years due to the same fear. Thus we have a ridiculous situation where PASOK votes in laws that would relieve the problem slightly and then shelves them. And the current New Democracy government, which rejected the new measures when in the opposition, has announced, after a delay of two-and-a-half years, that it will implement them. And now it will probably come up against opposition from PASOK, which voted in the legislation in the first place. This irrational scene has to do with the structure of our political system, which allows major problems to be perpetuated for the sake of short-term political benefits. PASOK was known for voting in laws and leaving them unimplemented. But this government must, despite the delay, immediately implement the albeit faulty laws, because the final countdown really has begun.