Journalists are the latest Greek workers to go on strike in protest at the government’s pension reforms.
Yesterday it was teachers, and today the journalists were joined at least for part of the day by public sector engineers and doctors at one public hospital. Giorgos Amiras works for the state broadcaster;
“If our pension funds change I could’ve taken my pension in thirteen years because I’ve already worked for twenty two continuous years, but now I’ll have to take it in twenty five year’s time, and that I do not accept”.
Greece’s pension system is fragmented and weighed down by debt. To tackle its structural problems the Greek government is extending working lives, paying people to carry on working for longer, and is merging the some 170 existing pension funds to cut costs and simplify the system.
Reform was a central campaigning theme of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis when he won re-election in September. Reform is urgent, as the debt is expected to impact on the budget within 10 years.