Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 15

                       'In a society where everything can be bought and sold, the

  old age can also turn into merchandise like the rest.'                                    

 Norberto Bobbio.

The admired author from Turin, a distinguished internatinal figure of Law and Political science, left us this warning in his work 'De senectute'. And it is enough to look around us to realise that he is right.

We continue in crisis and revising the situation: we can understand it by shortage, scarcity... like a decisive moment in a serious business of important consequences, too; but also like a considerable mutation... in order to improve or worsen the situation... The word crisis is defined in the Dictionary of Real Academia Espaņola with all these meanings and some more. The first two definitions expound a material point of view; the third one alludes to a removal, to a change, and we do position our attitude in the last definition.

It is convenient to think about a new perspective so that this removal will be done in order to improve. The problem should not be formulated giving priority to economic factors, but instead, including others that can affect human sensibility and self-respect, and sail like fragile paper boats on the sea of these hectic times.

Poverty has been called exclusion since the 80s, which is a wider and more complicated term. The poor are not only people that do not have any money or goods, who are hungry or ill and cannot afford a doctor... but also those who do not have representation and freedom, those that have lost their social links. And there are factors of risk that directly or indirectly can drive us in such a situation -yes, us- both as individuals and as a group.

The degradation of the integration power of families is an unquestionable fact, as well as others like the ageing and ailments that we suffer, and the poor and inadequate presence of the elderly in the media.

We cannot ignore that we are vulnerable. But we feel like optimistic and active citizens too. We are useful and ready to reconcile the intergenerational differences and to contribute with our aptitudes and efforts to a common future. So that is why? We demand the prominence and active presence in society and the media that corresponds us without any doubt.

As a group, we keep alive our manifesto of the 31st October 1990, Declaration of Brussels, that express our collective identity and social vocation -the reason of the existence of our associations-, inherited from our professional practice in singular organizations, promoters of progress and richness of people, as said in this manifesto.

Protected by the right of the free association and linked collectively to a social aim of our entities of origin, we are organized in Associations, Federations, Confederations, Groups like ours, affiliated to supranational Platforms for the Elderly that bring all the sectors together in order to obtain more influence in the social processes in which we participate, and cooperate with effectiveness in the solution of conflicts and needs, including ours, although in some cases our intervention was obstructed or ignored.

We need to strengthen our Associations because the time is short. We must anticipate and provide the change of our means of government bodies, give them vitality and topicality by incorporating new associated members and encouraging them all to take part in this activity. This is a constant challenge in order to guarantee the current and active public presence in our movement of association.