Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions

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Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 10



IT’S an historical law: thriving sentences remain for good and are rarely repeated. The actual English prosperity – prosperity for those who are fortunate, not for the vast majority- would be a less gloomy

solution than the one adopted to overcome the German crisis. Without counting with the strong economical measures for those who are not far well off (today it is not nice to say “those in the last step”).

 

The real situation in Germany is defined by the following data:

• In summer 2005, the real unemployment rate (after using all the known tricks) is 4.7 million people (it would be more honest to say five).

• Each day nearly 1.500 jobs disappear, and with them the respective tax and social contributions.

• The Central State’s debt (not including the Länder – in Spain, Autonomies- nor the Town Council), sums up to 1.45 billion Euros. Only in this financial year 50.000 (FIFTY THOUSAND) million.

• Each year 4% of the GDP is transfered to the Eastern Lander. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, 1.5 billion Euros.

• It is true that Germany has high export rate; but we can’t forget that internal consumption comes up to 60% of the GDP.

 

Not the one per thousand consumption but mass consumption. A mass without money can’t consume. Dilemma: The State can’t increase taxes, but can’t decrease the tax revenues.What is to be done?

 

 

For sometime now, Germany has been living over their possibilities.

 

Chancellor Schmidt, 30 years ago, wanted to put the bake down and introduce some changes. He didn’t find support and resigned from power. Until Schröeder reached power, the Governments that have followed haven’t had the courage to grab hold of the buck. And Schröeder himself took action, after doubting and facing defiance. This can have an explanation: it is not a pleasure to jump into freezing cold water from the cosy and warm “Social” State nor is it easy to win the elections by promising “blood, sweat and tears”

Now our time has come. A few days ago the news said that next month Pension Funds will need to be assisted by Public Finances. An impossible solution taking into account what has been exposed

before. Therefore, we must rely, once again, on mortgages and increase the debt. In other words, pass on to the next generations the load we where talking about last year: we are not talking about the weight of two retired people over the shoulders of an active worker, but perhaps two and a half (demographic problem multiplied by the unemployment rate gives a diabolical result). We all know that this load is unbearable for active workers. Therefore, it is also  clear that we, retired people, are doomed to “loose weight”. We are no longer spectators: the moment has come to go from the royal box on to the stage.

 

What is going to happen with pensions?

Politicians haven’t said yet (they are very busy trying to build up a Government with the results obtained) but “white and bottled...”.

Dear retired friends, call me a jinx or Cassandra if you like, but I must conclude recommending, like last year, to button our coats up without forgetting the scarf.

 

Eduardo Espert (Bonn)