Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 5




It is an expression coined in the wars and, therefore, argumentative when simply stated. 'Our people', besides being applied to those who share a camp, a party, an opinion or any long or short reaching link with us, always implies an exclusive, antagonistic sense. 'Our people' object, despise and even fight against those in the other camp, the other party, the other opinion, that is to say, the others. And that is exactly what is deplorable, in our point of view, when it applies to the elderly, the retired people, the pensioners.


It seems that the socio-political evolution, together with a well-intentioned attitude of 'helping' the elderly, is promoting their isolation in more or less comfortable 'ghettos', but 'ghettos' anyway. And from there, from some of those communities sometimes comes that resigned tribalism of 'our people'.


Once and for all we must affirm, proclaim, shout from the rooftops that our people are everybody, that our people are the children, the teenagers, the youth, the mature people, the very old people. That those generalised three ages are a lie and, therefore, we must reject that 'third age' behind the walls of which they try to lock up all those older than fifty or fifty-five, making them 'protectable' subjects because of it, not fit to hold public charges, to give opinions, to decide, to contribute basic values, to coexist in all areas in equal conditions with people of all ages. Jean Vauriot really knew how to catch this aspiration in his writing about a previous 'Euromeeting'!


By speaking in this tone we think of another group historically relegated from areas of power, decision and opinion: women, that half of the human race who is taking today a decisive step from marginalisation to prominence. A great achievement that somehow belittles that 'our people' defended by the radical feminism. In that case, it is obvious that 'our people' are the women who get to make themselves heard and make their way in the social framework, but also the men, and youth of both sexes, who may help with that conquest and, in fact, they have been doing so with work and very precise actions. Our people may also be, to a great extent, the others. Thus, there is no doubt, we will win.


The purpose and vocation of our European Group is to be a river willing to admit affluents from anywhere they might come, alert and ready to pour their water into the currents which will eventually flow into the appropriate treatment of the elderly. Happily the waters are going forward. We and you, all of us, can contribute to a unity of action which might achieve substantially our righteous aspirations.


'Our people', after all, are those who, together, will establish that society that today is just a motto: a society for all ages.