Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Frank Schnittger:
By what god given law is anyone supposed to be entitled to interest on their savings, when all they have done is put it into a bank or a relatively risk free investment.

We have done more than that: we have given up the core of the public pension system for that interest on our savings, and it was exactly what our SPD and CDU and FDP governments told us to do in order to keep our pensions safe. Was that a lie? Bismarck's pension system gave pensioners a little amount, but they still depended on support from their children. After the war there were many old people who no longer had any children, so something had to be done. Adenauer reformed the Rentenversicherung and from then onwards pensions (at least men's pensions) were high enough to maintain a decent living standard without having to ask children for support. This was one of the core features of the German welfare state, and one of the main reasons why the concept of social market economy was so popular. What the NHS is for the identity of the British state, is the Rentenversicherung for the identity of the Federal Republic.

We have been told that firstly we cannot afford this any longer. Secondly that our pensions are safe. That a new reform was necessary. And that our pensions are safe. That we would have to save privately in addition to the public pension, and then our pensions would still be high enough to live from.

If this is not true, and our pensions are not safe, it must either be the fault of the governments that dismantled the pension system, and lied to us, and took the social out of the social market economy, or else it is the Greeks' fault. It is an absolute necessity for our elites to punish the Greeks, and not to stop the discussion of how one can step up the punishment of the Greeks even more. This must be the only thing to occupy our thoughts.

by Katrin on Tue Apr 26th, 2016 at 06:27:27 AM EST
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