23 April, 2010

Strike, Strike, Strike

There was a two-day strike in Greece on 22 and 23 April. Some participated one of the two days and some both of the days. The worst of these was the strike of Piraeus port. No ship could leave for two days damaging further the country's economy and reputation.
Yesterday, when I tried to enter one of the hotels on the Constitution (Syntagma), a group of Greek youth (the looked about 20-25 years old students) physically stopped me and told me to participate in the strike. The hotel men helped me to enter saying that I was a hotel guest (which I wasn't), but I was very annoyed.
If my country is in deeply public debt to the degree that cannot afford to pay salary and pension and that we should ask foreigners for money, the last thing I would do is to strike and to damage further my country.
In this country, some categories of people - especially women (and I am not speaking about particular categories as soldiers) - can still go to retirement with pension in their fifties, while in most of the countries that are going to finance Greece, it is no longer possible. In most of the so-called developed countries, the pension age is 65. In Japan, people get pension only at 65-70 years of age (if you request pension at 65, there is a punitive reduction).
The Greeks should imagine how the taxpayers in these countries feel, while their tax is going to finance the Greek pensioners of, say, 60 years old?
I, as a Japanese citizen who is still paying into Japanese pension pot (although I am not paying much tax in Japan any more), can tell you that it is very annoying.

By the way, the port workers of Piraeus decleared strike on 26 April and 1 May. Be careful if you are planning to travel by the sea at these dates. Ole!

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