POLITICS

Pentagon advisor: Europe could destabilize if old people riot about pensions

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Politics Digest

European allies could collapse as the aging populations of those countries get angrier about the lack of pensions and work, a Pentagon scholar warned Congress yesterday.

“There’s an issue of demographic decline,” Frank Hoffman, a senior research fellow at the Defense Department’s National Defense University, told a House Armed Services subcommittee yesterday. “Instead of youth bulges, [we] also have to worry about graying bulges in some areas, particularly in Southern Europe, where there are large numbers of people who are going to be pension-less, underemployed, or unemployed for long periods of time. That will produce more disillusionment, and more angry people than I think we’ve seen in the past, that will lead to political instability and also allies who are more insular in their orientation rather than exporting security.”

Hundreds of rioters, and over 100,000 protesters, took to the streets of Athens in 2011 after the Greek government passed an “austerity bill, which includes new tax hikes, further pension and salary cuts, the suspension on reduced pay of 30,000 public servants and the suspension of collective labor contracts.”

 

 

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