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No wonder Greece has money problems

posted 6/19/2010 10:10:51 PM |
1 kudogive kudos what's this?
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tagged: crazy, news, straddle

I really thought this was an interesting article I read today in the newspaper, and wanted to share this. Talk about a country with entitlements. Makes ya shake your head.

ATHENS - Sophia Constantinidou works as a teacher in a private school in Athens. She also has a more lucrative job: remaining unmarried.

The 52-year-old gets $496 a month from the government, part of the state pension for her late mother, who died 20 years ago. Constantinidou qualifies to receive it for life as the only surviving child of a deceased civil servant, if she remains unwed.

"It's not that I didn't want to get married," Constantinidou said. "But after I turned 40, I realized I wouldn't be getting married and that thankfully I had this."

As the European Union and International Monetary Fund scrutinize Greece, they need look no further than the pension system for a prime example of how the country is living beyond its means. Greek pensioners on average live on 96 percent of the salary they had while working - more than twice the proportion of earnings of Germans, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Greece "is a classic case of entitlements granted by short-sighted governments that didn't bother to secure financing sources," said Miranda Xafa, a former director at the IMF and now a senior investment strategist at Geneva-based IJ Partners. "The political benefit of pension entitlements granted is immediate, but the cost will be incurred later."

As long as three years ago, the OECD described Greece's state pension system as a "fiscal time bomb."

Led by Prime Minister George Papandreou, lawmakers will begin passing legislation this month to overhaul the system. Under terms of last month's $123billion bailout, Greece will increase the retirement age to 65 from 58, curtail early retirement and gauge payments over a longer span of employment.

There's one pensioner for every 1.7 workers, compared with one for every four in 1950, according to a recent government study.

In addition, there are 637 occupations that Greece deems to be arduous in nature and thus qualify to stop work early, including hairdressers, car washers, steam-bath attendants and radio technicians.

The actual article

By Maria Petrakis
Bloomberg News
The Columbus Dispatch

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Jun 19 @ 10:15PM  
Interesting post.

Jun 20 @ 7:16AM  
JMHO, Socialism/Communism really does not work. Yes, it looks good on
paper for those who think they are the intelligentsia. But in actual use, enslaves
the 'small people ' and ruins the economy.
I wonder how much 'our' Socialist Government borrowed from the
Chinese Communists and Soviets to GIVE to the Greeks.


Jun 20 @ 6:46PM  
Wow!! $496 to basically stay single..and the government pays it. That is interesting. Now why can't we have that here?! Just kidding..while the extra money would be has to come from somewhere....and there is just nowhere to get it.

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No wonder Greece has money problems