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One hundred thousand "dead souls" take pensions in Greece

07 October 2011 / 20:10:19  GRReporter
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Over one hundred thousand pensioners in Greece are "dead souls" as revealed by the census carried out by National Insurance Institute IKA. Until yesterday, the institute had registered 898,643 retirees who receive primary or secondary pension, and 109,421 did not appear at all. This probably means that the rightful claimants are deceased and their families continued to receive their pensions illegally.

According to IKA’s manager Rovertos Spiropoulos, the Institute will stop paying those pensioners who are "not counted". "Those who were negligent can go to any bank branch and be counted. We will pay them their pensions and they will continue to receive them only then. "

He said that the Institute will investigate the cases of non census retirees. "If it is proved that they illegally received pensions we will require that they or their heirs return the amounts within ten years, and we will begin criminal persecution against them too."

Rovertos Spiropoulos said that if the number of people who illegally received pensions is equal to the number of those not counted, this will mean that the Greek National Insurance Institute is losing € 1.5 billion annually. "Within ten years, IKA’s loss will exceed € 15 billion."

The loss in this case is greater if we take into account that according to an analogous study IKA’s annual deficit is expected to reach 0.1 per cent of GDP or € 200 million by the end of this year and 0.7 per cent of GDP or € 1.15 billion in 2050.

In the coming days, Minister of Employment George Koutroumanis is expected to decide to open the census in all insurance funds from public and private sectors. Within the implementation of the austerity plan, the Greek Ministry of Employment is obliged to save a total of € 6.5 billion. Of this amount, it is expected that € 3.5 billion will be saved from cuts in pensions, allowances, medical expenses and medicines.

Pensioners receiving pensions from the farmers’ insurance organization were counted. 8,000 of the total 810,000 registered pensioners are not counted. The losses in the farmers’ health insurance fund amounted to € 80 million annually.

Troika representatives hope that the census of pensioners will not be the same as that of the civil servants, the results of which they encountered a few days ago. When they asked to be informed of  the results of the census, they were confused not by the procedure, but by the responses of some officials that none of the Greek authorities bothered to notice.

According to sources, when the Greek ministers said that civil servants who were just about to retire could be transferred to the labour reserve, the members of the Troika showed the incredible results from the census. The tables showed that the number of civil servants aged over 60 exceeds 80 thousand.

One can only imagine how great their surprise was to discover that 6,000 civil servants said they were aged over 90 and even 100 years. Another eight officials, perhaps priests who said they were archbishops, surprised them too.

Tags: SocietyCensusRetiredDead soulsSupervisory TroikaCivil servants
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