- Title: Thousands demand higher state pensions in Madrid
- Date: 16th October 2019
- Summary: SIGN READING IN SPANISH "INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AND European Union THREAT PENSIONS" PROTESTERS HOLDING PLACARD AND CHANTING IN SPANISH: "Whoever is in government, must protect pensions" (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PENSIONER FROM ZARAGOZA, ISMAEL IBANEZ, 65, SAYING: "We are here to protest over the pensions issue. 1,085 euros should be the minimum and there should not be penalties for those who retire after working 40 years as is currently the case. Also, widows when they lose their husbands experience pension cut and we want them to continue to get paid if their husbands have contributed to a pension, they should keep receiving the full pension." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PENSIONER FROM BASQUE COUNTRY, MARISA MARTIN, 80, SAYING: "Pensions should be updated, especially the lowest ones because when you become old, you have paid (taxes) to have a dignified life, and many elderly people either do or don't have dignified pension. If you don't have a dignified pension, you have to live very badly. Very badly. So we want them (government) to raise the IPC (Consumer price index) and to include the pensions in the government budget." PROTESTERS CHANTING IN SPANISH: "We are going to win this battle" PROTESTERS MARCHING, MAN HOLDING SIGN READING IN SPANISH: 'More pensions, less thieves" PROTESTERS MARCHING
- Embargoed: 30th October 2019 12:26
- Keywords: Spain pensioners protest protest pensioners Spain
- Location: MADRID, SPAIN
- City: MADRID, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Budget/Taxation/Revenue,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003B1CKH8N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Thousands of protesters from across Spain converged on Madrid on Wednesday (October 16) calling for higher state pensions.
Brandishing signs reading "My pensions, my rights" and "We are all pensioners," protesters took their march to parliament where they chanted and demanded that the government sets the minimum monthly state pension to 1085 euros.
They also called for payments to be raised in line with the real inflation rate.
Some pensioners walked hundreds of kilometres for days to raise awareness about their plight, coming from places as far south as Rota in southern Spain and as far north as Bilbao. Others arrived in buses.
Protesters also called for widowers to receive the full pension of their deceased spouses and workers taking early retirement after contributing over 40 years not to be penalised.
The welfare system's backup fund was decimated by around five years of recession following a burst real estate bubble in 2008, while an ageing population means funds are still being drained from public coffers faster than they can be replenished.
Spain has around 8.7 million retirees claiming a pension and a falling birth rate has prompted concerns of a potential pensions time bomb and calls for a deeper reform of the system than that passed in 2013.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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