Home > Economy > Greek Collapse Spurs Selloff, Greek Retirement Age as Early as 50

Greek Collapse Spurs Selloff, Greek Retirement Age as Early as 50

DJIA Loses 1000 point in minutes

DJIA Loses 1000 point in minutes

NEW YORK: The stock market sold off today in huge volume. A DJIA key support area of 9835 was nearly taken out as the Dow dropped 1000 points in minutes. Stocks recovered quickly but still ended the day down 3.2%. The selloff was in response to the collapse of the Greek economy and the enormous protests in that country due to conditions placed on bridge loans from the IMF and the EU.

Tear gas, riot police, fire bombs, rock throwing and violence abound in Greek streets as Greeks respond to inevitable reduction of benefits. One key benefit is their retirement age, as early as 50:

Vasia Veremi may be only 28, but as a hairdresser in Athens, she is keenly aware that, under a current law that treats her job as hazardous to her health, she has the right to retire with a full pension at age 50…

It is still difficult to explain to outsiders why the Greek government has identified at least 580 job categories deemed to be hazardous enough to merit retiring early — at age 50 for women and 55 for men.

Greece’s patchwork system of early retirement has contributed to the out-of-control state spending that has led to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. Its pension promises will grow sharply in coming years, and investors can see the country has not set aside enough to cover those costs, making it harder for Greece to borrow at a reasonable rate.

As a consequence of decades of bargains struck between strong unions and weak governments, Greece has promised early retirement to about 700,000 employees, or 14 percent of its work force, giving it an average retirement age of 61, one of the lowest in Europe. Landon Thomas, New York Times

The largest funding for the IMF comes from the United States, over 30% of net funds. That means your tax money will be given to Greece to prop up their retirement funds. Greeks get to retire at age 50-55 on your dime, while you have to work 10-20 years longer, plus they get to live in Greece. Talk about social justice! Its about time the American taxpayer gets some of that.

Our Social Security trust fund is nothing but IOUs, having been raided by Congress to buy votes. Now Congress is eyeing private 401(k) accounts to fund their voracious appetite for your money. The NIP has warned repeatedly that overspending on government entitlements lead to unsustainable debt loads. The US is not immune. Moody’s three warnings to the US signal a possible beginning of the end to US dollar strength and economic stability.

It’s time to wake up to the games being played by politicians all over the world. They give in to unions and others seeking handouts, in return for votes, while taxpayers are left holding the bag. An economic tsunami awaits us while your lifeboat floats somewhere in the Aegean.

Be Sociable, Share!
Categories: Economy Tags: ,
  1. Greek
    May 8th, 2010 at 12:42 | #1

    This piece is full of inaccuracies. The *average* retirement age in Greece is indeed 61, but that is not the lowest in Europe…Belgium, France, Netherlands, and Spain all have earlier average retirement ages.

    As for the early retirement for some groups (women with children, hazardous occupations) this needs to be seen in the wider social welfare context of Greece. For instance, Greece has practically inexistent benefits for families with children, the unemployed and the disabled. I don’t know what you have in America, but in most of Europe such benefits are pretty much established.

  2. Greek
    May 8th, 2010 at 12:49 | #2

    Correction to previous comment: It is actually Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Italy and Austria that have earlier average retirement ages than Greece. Spain, UK and Netherlands have slightly higher average retirement age (62 instead of the Greek 61).

    I wonder what the average retirement age in the USA is?

  1. May 7th, 2010 at 11:18 | #1