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Parliamentary questions
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23 July 2018
Question for written answer E-004119-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Cuts to pensions for widows and widowers
 Answer in writing 

While Greece is experiencing a period of acute economic crisis, increased social exclusion and high unemployment, particularly among women and certain age groups, under Article 12 of Law 4387/2016 age-based pensions for widows and widowers have been abolished and other pensions have been reduced from 70% of the deceased spouse’s pension to 50%.

Social security payments are built up during an entire working life, and pensions for widows and widowers are a right. They are a form of respect for human dignity. It is extremely clear that a decision like this is blatantly unjust and adversely affects social cohesion, as well as the institution of the family.

Since Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU prohibits any discrimination (including on the basis of age) and since protection of the family is enshrined in Article 33:
1. Does the Commission consider that the above approach complies with Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, which prohibits any discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of age?
2. In any event, does the deceased’s family not have a right to workers’ social security payments, and does this approach not infringe that right?
3. Is it not the case that a change to a sensitive social issue such as pensions should take into consideration the overall economic and social situation of the population and the consequences on people’s lives?
Original language of question: EL 
Last updated: 9 August 2018Legal notice