Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions

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Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 8



Mr President, dear colleges! This is not a positive report.  First of all I want to remind you what I said last yearabout the situation with the pension systems in Europe. Politicians seem not any more capable to prohibit the ailure of the existing systems. That is why they nowadays never talk about these matters in the election campaigns.

 

A professor of economy at the Institute of Future Studies at the University of Uppsala, the oldest University in  Sweden, named Thomas Lindh, has sent out a report to theSwedish society. This is only a report from and for the

country of Sweden but from my point of view it can be applicable to a lot of the European countries.

 

 

“The ageing pyramid will demand uncomfortable decisions”

 

 A transfer to insurance financed elderly care could be the only way out

when the ageing pyramid threatens to collapse. In 30 years the number of people older than 85 years old will have doubled. Severe conflicts between regions and generations can come as a result of this. Communities already under severe economic pressure will be on a verge to collapse as the population gets older and fewer and fewer working people will bear the burden of financing the welfare systems.

 

Difficult and uncomfortable political decisions await as the base is shrinking at the same time as the elderly care systems will demand more and more resources combined with the increasing political influence from retired people.It will be very tempting to cut down on resources for childcare since this is the other large cost item on the community budgets.

 

“Regional tensions”

 

Much indicates that the latent tensions between generations that lie in the ageing pyramid will be followed by regional oppositions. He therefore sees a shift over to insurance financed elderly care as  necessary action. This could happen through individual or public solutions. A political problem might arise when the majority of the number of people entitled to vote in a few decades will have retired. The temptation to cut child and chool budget is then obvious. Thomas Lindh says that he already has seen such signs. Community politicians look very pleased when the numbers of children are diminishing in their communities.

 

 He therefore thinks that issue on returning the responsibility for the school to the central government will eventually surface.” Finally it is my opinion that the organisation we are affiliated to, AGE, must concentrate its resources to raise this matters. Today, in most countries in Europe, our own children are paying our pensions. What will happen when they become pensioners? What sort of society are we handing over to them if we cannot solve these problems today?

Wilhelm Lemchen (Sweldbenk - Svezia)