Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Reports and communications > Salou '04

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Solidarity with AGE

††††††††††††††† I would like to express my opinion about the need of communication and collaboration between the organizations existing in the various nations forming or that will form the European Union, including the associations themselves, in the case of our Association, and the international scale with other similar groups and in the europewide scale with the Elderly Platform AGE.


††††††††††††††† I come from an Association like ours to explain how convenient it is to achieve a continuous an exchange of information and opinions about the several problems we try to solve, all of them, of course, relating to the nature of our pensionerís groups belonging to a certain branch of the professional activity, the bank sector. However, there is a great diversity, on one side there is the prevision aspect, whether from the social securityís viewpoint or the one related to health or others having to do with the fact we are aged people.

††††††††††††††† Being aware of the different situations taking place in other countries take us to state our points of view and facilitate the actuation of our pressure programmes on or political representatives and on our Governments in an attempt to safeguard, as best as we can, our interests and our rights.

††††††††††††††† It would also be necessary to have a sort of fluent exchange of information through, why not, the electronic mail that permits a major immediacy and an instantaneous diffusion.

††††††††††††††† Returning to the subject of the National Base, we all know of other associations who assist, protect and fight for the rights and the interests of other elderly professional branches or the elderly as a group. Now would be the moment to contact them and carry out activities together. Will lend more force to it if, of course, there is a lot of us participating; in this case, the diffusion of our words is also an important and a main element. To make us known, ask and offer our collaboration, and even ally ourselves in Confederations doesnít mean our Europeanís Group participation will be less. The Group would continue being the central point of our activity but, at the same time, we can and we must learn to act together with other groups on a nationwide scale, and we must assert our participation in an international organization.

††††††††††††††† This can be easily compared with our participation in the AGE Platformís activity. I think that when an organization becomes a member of a Platform like AGE, this organization must participate in the full and, therefore, they must be in contact with the rest of the organizations in their Nations in order to carry out a common policy concerning the subjects involving the Platform.

††††††††††††††† In Italy, for instance, the organizations participating with AGE have different headquarters but they have their activity towards the elderly in common. This activity has different faces, and it can even seem that some of them have no relation with the rest, but it is not true because all these activities are carried out with a unique aim: protect the elderly, by means of protecting the health system, the human relation or, in our case, by means of protecting the acquired in the pension sector.

††††††††††††††† Indeed, it is necessary to guide the decisions taken by the Platform, it is necessary that all the members, and in our case all the Associations or Federations put together in the Group, contribute with their opinions and, because not all of them have the possibility to be heard in the organizations created in the bosom of AGE, the existence of an exchange of ideas and information in all Nations or National organizations permitting the AGE representatives show their opinions about the different subjects treated.

††††††††††††††† In our Italian Federation we have always followed the line that give preference to the participation in all those AGE activities involving pressure over politicians and the Government, whatever the subject was. This is why I am going to expose the following points:

-††††††††† In the first place, the activities promoted by AGE include the totality of the elderly peopleís needs, but also all the problems referring to the fight against all ways of discrimination, the affirmation of the parity of the rights between men and women, the assistance to childhood, in one word, the different social problems. Although it is true that a lot of these problems donít appear in our Statutes, we canít refuse to examine them and face them when our collaboration is needed. The social problems are deeply linked and canít be separated easily. The Platformís duty is to unite everybodyís voices to try to solve all the problems. When this is not like it should be, we change into separate voices with and insufficient efficacy, as we have already shown.

-††††††††† An other reason for the participation is the intention to be always present and make people learn about our existence and our ideas. Our participation must be, in consequence, wide. If we keep to the problems in our limited area, we will easily find an insufficient attention because our problems might not be interesting to other organizations. What is more, in the area involving pensions there is a big difference between the expectancies of the different working branches, caused by the rights achieved within time, determined by different agreements, but there is a common interest, the defence of the essential rights such as the defence of the pensionís purchasing power, the living spouseís protection, the tax equality, etc. And here is our obligation to face a united front in order to tackle all the problems that are proposed to us.

-††††††††† All that has been said is referred to the collaboration and coordination between the different organizations; this would mean, at the same time, compromise and the creation of a united front with all those that can reassert themselves and participate in an active way in social life, avoiding the exclusion of the research of solutions for the problems affecting us. This is why when fighting against some trade union and political powerís indifference, and thanks to the existence of our organizations, the main way to make pressure is to be all together in the problems that affect us no matter what organization or what branch be belong to. This system can be difficult, but really, our continuous presence creates in the political side a need to listen what is being said to them, because it represents a big part of the voterís voices.

-††††††††† On the other hand, I would like to say again that inside our organization is where a vast exchange of ideas and programmes, a reciprocal and continuous information, a widest research for collaboration in order to obtain the birth of allies and of true National Platforms, is taking place. In fact, I am asking myself how many consensus there is inside our Group when referring to AGEís initiatives to act as a pressure group or even about the Age Bulletinís diffusion. I am saying this because we have realized that, in Italy, the only way to reach the actual number of memberships, which we are hoping to increase, (more than 45.000) is to follow a continuous and direct monthly information, and not only through Federal Associations but also through the foreign Associations. But there is more, through an information action we have made contact with other elderly Associations, including service and pensioners, belonging to other professional branches, and the bases for the Senior Italian Federation have been established, and the same is happening with the Bank Leaderís Union with who we have a collaboration and reciprocal help relationship and, even more, in the subjects referring to the political parties. The main source of information comes from AGE through e-mail or directly through the web page and the AGE monthly bulletin. Depending on the situation, our requests and opinions can also be added. The results are stimulating because they have a positive correspondence in this action. Anything affecting the needs and the general problems of the elderly can and must be used, and this is why it is necessary to impose our presence.

With this long exposition I think I have been able to express my vision about our Organizationís political action and the possibility to increase our influence in the way all the proceedings affecting us are being treated. Obviously, I donít intend to have an exclusive right to the truth and, like always, I am willing to listen to all the ideas that can help to make our situation better and take us to an affirmation of our presence and our activity.

Franco SALZA.


President of ďFederazione Nazionale Sindicale delle Assoziacioni dei Pensionati del CreditoĒ