Tags: Greece | austerity | 14 | months

Greek Austerity Is Workers Being Paid for 12 Months a Year, Not 14

By Michael Carr   |   Friday, 09 Nov 2012 07:36 AM

Riots spread throughout Athens as Greek politicians voted on austerity measures. Protesters were unable to stop the actions, which are needed if Greece is to be saved. Politicians are simply taking what many would consider to be common-sense steps to restore sanity.

In Greece, the calendar consists of 12 months, just like it does here. Workers are required to be on their jobs for 11 months, with one month of paid vacation time. For years, government workers have been given 14 monthly paychecks for their 11 months of work.

Austerity means workers will now only be paid for 12 months a year, and pensioners will receive only 12 monthly benefit checks instead of the 14 they had been enjoying.

While a 14 percent pay cut is significant, workers should never have been receiving the two additional payments a year. That is a sign of the excesses that an entitlement society is capable of inventing when given the opportunity.

In addition to working 11 months for 14 months of pay, Greece allowed everyone to retire at the age of 60.

The average Greek citizen would enjoy more than 20 years of retirement benefits, with life expectancy in the country topping 80 years. In the United States, life expectancy is only 78.2 years and the average retiree enjoys 13 years of retirement.

Austerity might prove to be painful for Greece, but for now the steps are simply reversing policies that offered too much compensation and what many would consider to be an excessive retirement benefit.

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Riots spread throughout Athens as Greek politicians voted on austerity measures. Protesters were unable to stop the actions, which are needed if Greece is to be saved. Politicians are simply taking what many would consider to be common-sense steps to restore sanity.
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