By Theo Ioannou
Oct 3, 2017
Several hundred elderly Greeks shouting “shame” marched through Athens on Tuesday, protesting against deep cutbacks to pension payments ordered by the country’s creditors.
In weak autumn sun and a city teeming with tourists, pensioners took to the streets angered by more than a dozen rounds of cuts since Greece toppled deep into crisis in 2010. More cuts will be on the way in 2019, under further reform to pension regulations.
The protests were focused on the leftist Syriza party which swept to power in 2015 promising to do away with austerity, then had to accept further cuts in return for a third multi-billion euro financial lifeline.
With unemployment at just over 21% – double that when taking into account people under 25 – pensioners on a steady income have long been the key earners in Greek households.
Successive bailouts have repeatedly taken aim at the pension system, with creditors arguing that it needed streamlining.
EU statistics agency Eurostat says 22.2% of Greece‘s population are ‘severely materially deprived’.