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The Voice Of Pensioners: We Are Not Asking For Mercy, We Are Demanding What People Have Fought For All Their Lives

The government prevented an extraordinary adjustment of pensions before the New Year, while the pensioners are increasingly worried about the rising prices. This has provoked, among other things, a nationwide protest of the pensioners, which will take place on the 1st of February in Ljubljana. The organiser of the protest is the civil initiative The Voice of Pensioners of Slovenia (Glas upokojencev Slovenije), which wants to let the Robert Golob government know that we live in a country where many people are struggling to survive. If they are not heard, they will step up their activities. “Do not underestimate the pensioners,” they have told the government.

Many pensioners have a monthly pension of just 450 euros, and some get even less. The needs of the elderly may be smaller, but how can they survive on such a low pension, considering today’s costs? The civil initiative The Voice of Pensioners of Slovenia has therefore decided to organise a nationwide protest of pensioners, which will take place on Wednesday, the 1st of February, at 3 p.m., at Republic Square in Ljubljana. The civil initiative The Voice of Pensioners of Slovenia was created in response to several events that affected them. They represent all those who have taken to social networks and the media to voice their problems, which are not small.

The civil initiative has addressed several demands to Prime Minister Robert Golob, including setting the minimum monthly pension, the farmers’ pension, and the disability pension at 750 euros and adjusting it to inflation at least every other month, and the average net pension should always be 75 percent of the average net salary in Slovenia.

“We demand what we have fought for all our lives”

“My dear friends, this is not the way to go on,” warned Boris Klepej of the initiative committee of The Voice of Pensioners of Slovenia, explaining that some people are struggling to survive on a disability pension of just 275 euros a month. Pavel Rupar, the organiser of the protest, pointed out that it is shameful to see what people have been writing to him on social media, saying that they have a pension of 200 or 300 euros. Innocent disabled people have been left to rot away at home in their beds, with the pittance they receive from the state. “We are not asking for social support, we are not asking for mercy. We are asking for what people have fought for all their lives,” he stressed.

“An immediate increase of all pensions which are lower than 1000.00 euros for 20 percent, and of pensions between 1000.00 euros and 1,500.00 euros for 15 percent. Setting the lowest possible monthly pensions – for farmers and for disabled people – at 750.00 euros, which should be adjusted monthly with inflation every two months, and the average pension should amount to 75 percent of the average wage in Slovenia.

“An immediate 20 percent increase in all pensions which are lower than 1,000.00 euros, and a 15 percent increase in pensions which now amount to between 1,000.00 euros and 1,500.00 euros, and setting the minimum monthly pension to 750 euros,” are some of the demands that the pensioners are addressing to the current government of Robert Golob. Rihard Gerbec also listed the other demands, namely, the inclusion of a 13th pension and a compulsory annual supplement of one average pension in the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia. In addition, they are demanding immediate regulation of access to doctors. Compulsory health insurance for pensioners with a pension of less than 1,000.00 euros should be covered by the state. The compulsory RTV contribution for pensioners should also be paid by the state.

To ensure that as many people as possible gather at the protest on the 1st of February, they have invited all citizens of the Republic of Slovenia to take part in the protest. And even though lots of the government activists are bothered by the announced protest, as is the representative of The Voice of the People initiative, Jaša Jenull, who believes that the protest is an example of abuse of pensioners, Rupar announced that no political party, much less associations and trade unions of pensioners, is behind the protest. He, therefore, called on both the associations and Jenull to join them in the streets. “It doesn’t matter who you voted for – we will always demand from the governments, whether they be left-wing or right-wing, what belongs to us: a decent living and respect. We have had enough of being ignored, it’s time for justice,” added Andrej Peterle.

Sara Kovač

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