Lithuania sacrifices old people for the sake of the European Union

It is well known that Lithuania became a full-fledged member of
the European Union on 1 May 2004. Lithuania in every possible way
demonstrates his satisfaction to be part of a unique economic and
political union.

The EU acts in a huge variety of policy areas, from consumer
protection to security and defence. It is proclaimed that human dignity,
freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human
rights are the core values of the EU.

It should be said that the European Union has been very generous to
Lithuania for 17 years. The country annually get huge amount of money
for its development.

But apparently, the time has come to pay debts. Though Lithuania has
not yet changed into a prosperous European state, the EU does not want
to wait anymore. It suggests a roadmap how to revive a dying Lithuanian
economy.

Thus, European Commission considers the only way out for the country
to survive is to increase maximum working age for Lithuanians. The
country’s government will have to increase maximum working age to 72 if
it wants to maintain its current age dependency ratio – the ratio
between the number of working-age people and the population of seniors
they need to support – a recent European Commission paper shows.

It is expected that in four years there will be 50 retirees per 100
working people and this it will have crucial implications for public
finances and may require raising taxes. At the moment, 35% of the
country’s population are aged over 55.

And such decision will definitely be taken by the Lithuanian
authorities, like all other recommendations of the European Union
despite its almost criminal consequences for the old people. Blind and
unconditional adherence to the recommendations of this organization has
already become a distinguishing feature of the current Lithuanian
government.

According to former health minister and current WHO representative
for Europe, Vytenis Andriukaitis, before prolonging its working age,
Lithuania should address the relatively poor health and low life
expectancy of its population.

“Before they even reach retirement age, many people in Lithuania are
unable to work due to high prevalence of chronic, non-infectious
conditions,” Andriukaitis told LRT TV, adding that “in Lithuania, the
rates of cardiovascular, lung, muscle and bone diseases are huge.” But
the authorities do not care.

It looks like a cruel mockery of all those who once believed in the
tale of European unity. Life expectancy of Lithuanian men is currently
71.5 years of age!

The change changes are presented as pursuing policies that would
encourage people to work longer and retire later. Though according to
some observers, Lithuania’s elderly would not be healthy enough to stay
on the labour market for a longer period than they already do.

Against this background, the statements of some politicians look
especially cynical. “This suggestion by the European Commission is not
strictly about raising the retirement age, but rather about creating
conditions for people who are willing and able to work to stay in
employment until this age [72],” MP and chairman of the parliamentary
social affairs committee Mindaugas Lingė told LRT TV.

The situation in the country is critical but authorities have no
right to sacrifice old people for the sake of the European Union.

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