Germans warned of pensioner power

Germans warned of pensioner power
They're retired...and angry. Photo: dpa
Former German president Roman Herzog has warned Germany could become a “pensioner’s democracy” following the government’s surprise increase in pension benefits.

“I fear we’re seeing the harbingers of a pensioner’s democracy right now. The ranks of the elderly are constantly growing and all parties are paying disproportionate attention to them,” Herzog told the newspaper Bild on Friday. “That could eventually head in the direction of the old robbing the young.”

The government recently decided to increase German pensions to compensate the rising cost of living even though Berlin is also trying to continue to consolidate the budget at the same time.

Meinhard Miegel from Bonn-based Institute for Economics and Social Studies (IWG) echoed Herzog’s concerns in the Friday edition of Die Welt. He said he was sceptical that pensioners would willingly make sacrifices for the younger generation.

“We’re on the path towards a republic of the elderly,” the IWG director told the conservative daily. “The older population has short timeframe and want to cash in now.”