‘Shame on you’ chant Greek pensioners over bailout cutbacks

Reuters – Several hundred elderly Greeks shouting “shame” marched through Athens on Tuesday protesting against deep cutbacks to pension payments ordered by the indebted country’s creditors.

In weak autumn sun and a city teeming with tourists, pensioners took to the streets angered by more than a dozen rounds of cuts since Greece toppled deep into crisis in 2010.

More cuts will be on the way in 2019, under further reform to pension regulations.

With unemployment at just over 21 percent and without social benefits for the long term unemployed and poor, pensioners on a steady income have long been the key earners in Greek households. Successive bailouts have repeatedly taken aim at the pension system, with creditors arguing that it needed streamlining.

Greece is expected to emerge from its third bailout adjustment program next August.

EU statistics agency Eurostat says 22.2 percent of Greece’s population are ‘severely materially deprived’.

That is defined as an inability to pay a mortgage or rent, falling behind on utility bills, unable to afford heating, buy a colour TV, unable to meet unexpected expenses or buy a washing machine.