Asunción, July 2 (EFE) .- Retirees from the public sector were mobilized Tuesday in front of the Ministry of Finance, in the center of Asunción, to demand the updating of their pensions and the implementation of a public health insurance that gives them health coverage when they reach retirement.
Men and women of the third age, some in wheelchairs, appeared in front of the ministerial headquarters and denounced that the president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, has broken his promises of the electoral campaign, which culminated with his victory in the elections April of last year.
Armed with water bottles and folding chairs, they assured that they will not move from the vicinity of the ministry until they obtain an official commitment from the owner of the portfolio, Benigno López, to increase their income.
They demand that their pensions be updated automatically at least every three years, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and in an equivalent way to the changes received by salaried employees.
The spokesman of the First Trade Union of Officials of the Ministry of Finance, Santiago Tulio, told Efe that the pension system of public workers in Paraguay is "very harmful", since it is calculated with an average of the last five years of working life .
According to their data, about 10,000 retired employees have a pension that does not reach the minimum salary of Paraguay, which this Monday was set at 2,192,839 guaraníes (353 dollars).
Tulio stressed the difficulties that retirees have to reach the end of the month, despite the fact that the updating of pensions is a right that is recognized in the Paraguayan Constitution of 1992, in its article 103.
"The State never contributed a single guaraní, this box works only with our resources, but these resources, which are ours, we do not administer," he lamented.
In that sense, the spokesman of the union denounced that the Government is using the box of the pensions of the civil servants to support other expenses like the retirement of the teachers.
"They are violating the Transparency Law because they should inform us of what they are doing with our money," he said.
Also, Tulio pointed out the difficulties that public workers have to face health expenses and the purchase of medicines when they retire, so he demanded that health insurance be established for them.
In order to address this situation, a negotiating table has been formed between the Ministry of Finance and the five trade union organizations that have joined the complaints of retired officials.
"Until they do not guarantee us that they will comply and will do the studies to automatically update our pension, people will stay here and will come more and more," Tulio added.
(tagsToTranslate) Officials (t) retirees (t) update (t) pensions (t) Paraguay