The marginalization of older people in the Baltic States
The growth of a dependent population
This is the generation that went through “all kinds of horror”: war, repression, persecution, exile, the Nazi regime, the Soviet regime ”. Although this generation has “struggled” for the freedom of the country, the elderly seem to be forgotten in everyday life: “Caboose” of a society which subjects them to exclusion and sometimes to misery.
With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia suffered a serious social crisis. For about thirty years, the Baltic States have been marked by a low fertility rate. Particularly high emigration rates intensified the problem. Subject to constant demographic pressure from neighboring countries, the Baltic States have difficulty tackling this issue: most aging countries in the world. With the aging of the population, there are more people who need retirement benefits and health care. This results in a higher tax rate for labor which is shrinking. The combination of increased government spending and declining tax revenues is harmful. According to Eurotas, almost 23% of the Baltic population will be in the elderly category by 2030. The free movement of nationals within the European Union, the economic crisis of 2008 and the poor living conditions are at the source of the massive emigration of the Baltic populations. The great majority of emigrants are attracted by the clearly advantageous working conditions of neighboring countries. For example, a Lithuanian who emigrates to Norway has the possibility of earning monthly almost 8 to 12 times the Lithuanian minimum wage.
A gap has widened between those who have been able to seize the economic opportunities offered by independence (businessmen, intellectuals or apparatchiks converted to the market economy ...) and the new poor (such as retirees) who survived thanks to odd jobs (there, the D system learned during the Soviet period continues to prove its worth as can be seen in my images).
The oppressive and pessimistic atmosphere of the Soviet era has not entirely disappeared.