Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions

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Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 8



Everybody thinks about the French Mai 68, but the change was already happening before, about a decade ago: the first step happened during Elvis Presley’s concerts in the 50s, crowded with teenagers. Curiously enough, youth started to walk towards the hegemonic power just as new pop groups spread out: even our parents were shocked by those storms who were the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. That was the place where hundreds of teenagers became aware of their importance, their push, their power. Everything started there.

 

And it is true, they were quite right. Until that moment to be part of the youth meant nothing else than a temporal period between school and marriage or between military service and professional life, after having experienced survived to hard proofs and long interim periods just because the boss, the businessman did not retire because of his age but voluntary or due to sickness reasons. And then the pendulum crossed the balance position and did not stop until reaching the opposite side: “let’s ask for impossible”, “forbidden to forbid”, “imagination to power” or “trust no one over 30”. What ever they might say, it was certainly a revolution. A revolution, which, without much violence, succeeded. When everything became again quiet, things have already changed and turned about 180º: business, social institutions and politics had been conquered; boys who danced to the new rhythm at night were executives in the daylight. And new technologies just came in to help them: computers left traditional practices aside and devaluated any smart knowledge. To reach an early retirement was not out of reach.

 

Ok, ok. We have already admitted that they were partly right. We, seniors, are not reactionary; we do not want to stop the clock or to recuperate old privileges. We only think that it is high time for the pendulum to come back to its balance. Not much but not less.

 

We want to say that it was unfair that reactionaries from the past kept their working places just for the sake of not allowing young people to reach the power. That is why it is unfair today to despise and to spend senior’ skills, knowledge and values which are natural in the persons who have become more mature because of his professional life. The have acquired these skills by working very hard for a society, who rejects them today. It is not only unfair but also illogical.

 

And we are not only talking about the work field or business situations: the appetite only for young workers discriminates seniors from working in political and social institutions where decisions about their particular and general interests are taken. They cannot take part in culture, health and prevision decisions even if in some cases their experience will be of much help, even in international politics.

 

It is true that the budget is aimed at most pressing matters. But intergenerational solidarity is not about that. It is not about building bridges between different social classes or generations which will continue to keep their distances. We would say that it fits better to say, that the image should be to break down the walls that are separating us and to experience the reality of a common vital area with no differences. And, finally, we all would clearly understand that high time for balance has come. We have to commit ourselves because everyone has to start to make everything. Somebody said somewhere that “we have to gain the prestige of the senior’s age”. This is the point.