Thursday, March 11, 2010

Greece redefines "hazardous occupations"

Adding to the problems facing Greece as it tries to rectify years of fiscal mismanagement is the massive abuse of early retirement, as reported by The New York Times.

Apparently there are 580 job categories in Greece that count as "hazardous," qualifying people for early retirement with full "pensions."  Among hazardous occupations, and this is not a joke:

"radio and television presenters who are thought to be at risk from the bacteria on their microphones and musicians playing wind instruments who must contend with gastric reflux as they puff and blow"
As a consequence of decades of bargains struck between strong unions and weak governments, Greece has promised early retirement to about 700,000 employees, or 14 percent of its work force, giving it one the lowest average retirement ages in Europe at 61."

Those hazardous job classifications are worth keeping in mind when sympathizing with Greek protesters.....

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