February 25, 2021

Pensioners marches arrive in Madrid | Economy

After several weeks walking from Rota and Bilbao The two groups of pensioners arrived in Madrid on Tuesday. Several hundred people were waiting for them at the Puerta del Sol, mostly retired, just in front of the statue of Carlos III, two columns have been found: some, about 70 that came from the north, have arrived by the Alcala street ; others, the 40 that arrived from the south, have entered the square through Carretas Street.

"Govern who governs, pensions are defended." This motto was both on the banners of those who were waiting for the walkers and on their banners. Also others, that they have been habitual in the mobilizations of the State Coordinator for the defense of the public pension system, the organizer of the marches, as "Decent work to pay decent pensions", "Restore the value of pensions". "If you're still sitting, you haven't heard." And others, probably the most controversial, against the Toledo Pact, the parliamentary commission of the Congress from which the changes in the pension system start and analyze it periodically.

Skepticism with the majority of the political class was the dominant tonic among the attendees. One of the spokesmen of the march from Rota said, about the announcement that pensions will rise 0.9% in 2020, not believe "nothing." "We do not want the Toledo Pact", he has proclaimed, before requesting an increase in widow's pensions: "That widows be paid 85% of the regulatory base [the reference based on the quoted calculates the corresponding benefit "Now for many widows, not for all, that percentage is 60%," which was achieved by the mobilizations of the Basque companions, "he said. Until the beginning of last year that percentage was 52% in general, the Pension reform of 2011 contemplated gradually increasing it to 60% in 2019 for those who only received that benefit and did not have minimum supplements, however, the increase was suspended between 2012 and 2017, until in 2018 an increase in only two was agreed sections after the start of the mobilizations of pensioners.

Elvira Olmos, 68, came from Rota more for solidarity than for herself. "I can't complain," he replied when asked about his pension. "It cannot be that there are people with dependency pensions of 200 or 300 euros," explained this Canarian who moved to Rota to begin the march on September 21.

One of the demands of the mobilization is to raise the minimum pension to match the minimum wage: 900 euros per month in 14 payments or 1,080 euros in 12 monthly payments.

One of those who arrived from the north is José Miguel, who left Bilbao on September 23. Now he is 66 years old and has been retired for three years. To the list of claims, he added one that affects him, because after contributing for 43 years he retired with a "penalized pension" when he retired two years before the age of the legal retirement age.

Among those who waited for the marchers was Gloria, a retired physical education teacher, who arrives in Madridi "for others"; "I have a good pension," he says, without specifying how much. He has arrived in Madrid in the morning and plans to go to the mobilization before Congress the next day: "I go every Monday and every time there is an event." He also concentrates every time there is some macho murder, he adds.

In addition to the pensioners who have come to the Puerta del Sol to wait for the pensioners, there has also been a good part of the dome of Podemos, headed by its secretary general, Pablo Iglesias. Subsequently, when the walkers have addressed the Congress, the founder of the purple formation, Juan Carlos Monedero, has appeared and has been applauded.

This afternoon's mobilization has concluded at the door of the lions of Congress. There, symbolically, the hundred walkers who have arrived in Madrid have left their shoes.

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