Retired Staff from European Savings Banks from
Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy, England, Denmark and Germany met in
April 2000 in Platja d’Aro (Costa Brava) for the annual General
objective of each Euromeeting is to strengthen the solidarity among the European
pensioners, to discuss precarious social situations in each country and to
achieve, through a common effort, the integration of the elderly. In order to
make our objectives happen and to have political influence, we need a strong
lobby in the European Union.
is our right to demand that the pensions are ensured to maintain the purchasing
power, that we receive health care and that decisions are not made without
consulting the pensioners.
our united and strong voice is heard in Europe, the politicians will pay
attention to us.
though each country’s interests are very different, it is important to reflect
upon them. Life expectancy is increasing and the European birth rate is
decreasing, so less money is coming into the provision funds for pensions. That
is why a consistent revision of the family policy has become necessary, as well
as the government’s support and help, because after a long working life we
deserve an old age without worries.
Germany, Spain and Portugal there are still strong social contracts. But there
will be serious problems if the Savings Banks are privatised as it has happened
in France, England, Italy and Belgium.
the debates and assemblies, a wide programme of activities was offered to us
once more. We visited the Costa Brava with its rocky cliffs, soft beaches,
hidden coves and woods of pine trees and cork oaks, and we walked alongside the
Llac of Banyoles, the biggest natural lake in Catalonia and an excellent place
of rest that, in 1992, during the Olympic Games, held the rowing
excursion continued to Besalú, a fortified mountain village, full of medieval
charm and accessible only through a Romanesque bridge from the 11th century. The
urban area has totally maintained its old aspect, with narrow streets and old
religious buildings. On the hill you can see the impressive ruins of the Church
of Santa María. The most important building, the Jewish baths, is the only one
in Spain in its category, and it has a great historic
next day we went on an excursion to Blanes, where we visited the most beautiful
botanical garden in Europe, a fascinating world of flowers and subtropical and
Mediterranean plants. Its founder, Karl Faust, a German, created with his
fortune a scientific foundation to study Botany
We ended the excursion with a brief visit to Sant
Feliu de Guíxols, a traditional tourist place. Sant Feliu has a number of
modernist buildings, the Casino dels Nois and the Casino dels Senyors among
archaeological excavations of Ampúries, a metropolis from Classical times, are
the biggest Greco-Roman settlement in Spain. This enclave, placed alongside the
sea, is divided into a Greek city and a much bigger Roman city which was built
later and where its inhabitants lived in peace and
L’Escala, the second fishing port in importance in the Costa Brava, we tried
anchovies. These are known beyond the Catalonian borders as a great
Pals we walked in the little streets of the magnificent medieval Vila Vella. Its
old part, a national monument, was built mostly with natural stone. In its
highest point, the Torre de les Hores stands up.
the capital of the province that has the same name, Girona, alongside the Ter
river, we were impressed by the cathedral with monumental baroque stairs from
the 17th century. The gate, with a double door, is flanked by statues of over 5
metres. The episcopal church, built in different periods, is dedicated to Sant
high point of the excursions was our visit to the Theatre-Museum Dalí, in
Figueres. With the visionary strength of his work and personality, Salvador Dalí
has enriched the history of Modern Art with a chapter worthy of all attention.
His artistic talent had already become apparent during his childhood, and kept
growing afterwards. He was a master promoting himself, and made his complicated
dreams and fears become paintings and grotesque works of art. Gala, his wife,
was his muse and a sea of peace for his agitated artist
final moment of the week was a nice dinner with all the participants, in the
Platja Park Hotel.
thank the organisers, in the name of the German group, for the invitation to
this Euromeeting, and we wish for next year a new harmonic and productive
meeting with all the European pensioners in ISDABE (Andalusia) with Mr. Luis