Spanish pension fund empty - but who's looking?

Spain's state pension system is running out of funds and with the world's lowest birth rate and an ageing society the problem is likely to escalate. Commentators criticise that political scandals and initiatives are diverting attention from the issues that really need to be addressed.

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ABC (ES) /

Fatal short-sightedness

Topics that receive a lot of attention in the media, such as the Catalonia crisis or the reburial of Franco's remains, only divert attention from matters that are far more important, ABC criticises:

“The case of our pension system is particularly dramatic. Its bankruptcy is being systematically ignored: election results are more important than pensioners. It's high time to reform this unsustainable model, here there's no right or left. ... Those in charge simply look on as the gap grows and try to somehow conceal it. ... The social welfare state is in grave danger, if not already dead. To blame are the politicians who bank on short-term success, and the voters who are aware of the seriousness of the situation but nonetheless tolerate such manoeuvres.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

The root problem is an ageing society

La Vanguardia explains why the pension system is struggling:

“The Actuarial Institute warns that the deficit in the pension system will grow because young people are earning less and the rising costs and growing number of pensioners will soon no longer be affordable. ... The pension system suffers from serious structural flaws. Irrespective of specific measures such as raising the retirement age, Spanish society has the problem of its birth rate, which is among the lowest in the world, and the progressive ageing of its population. ... All this presents us with enormous challenges that must be addressed without delay in order to find solutions for the future.”