WITH much pleasure, I accept the polite invitation of the President of the Association of Retired Employees and Pensioners of the European Savings Banks to collaborate modestly in this edition of EUROMEETINGS. My first wish is to say a warm hello to all those who receive this magazine, which is a point of union for all the European Savings Banks retired staff.
My intention is to direct my thoughts and ideas to make us all see clearly that we have a place in society - individually and collectively - which we cannot reject. We have to give it all the contents and efficiency that has characterised our professional lives, which have been very directly aimed to improve society. This will be achieved today to the extent that all its components - young people, retired and active adults - are capable of directing their various activities to the achievement of that 'welfare state'. All in all, it is no other than to live happily, each one according to his-her age, condition and personal situation. And this will be done overcoming all 'obstacles' or 'problems' that have always existed and will always exist, because it is human nature. We also count on common purposes that allow or, at least, implement the daily human duties.
The demographic problem of the western world, together with a greater longevity of the population, in a way worsens the situation, globally considered, of the elderly people. It will not be solved with an attitude of indifference, of demands, nor of conformism. We have to offer the society we want, and of which we are a part, our experience, our work capacity, our collaboration and our effort, to feel useful and satisfy the personal desire to be considered citizens and full members of society.
I think that with it, outside of all connotations of political type, union, labour, etc., one reduces the lack of intergenerational understanding and one increases the solidarity, both in the family as in the different generations that integrate this society.
We have many worthy tasks to do in order to achieve that personal sensation of being useful to which I referred before. Associations, voluntary work, that most probably lack people ready to offer their time, their formation and experience in benefit of others, needy many times of a conversation, of words of encouragement that stimulate also those who offer them.
Savings Banks workers know well the client's satisfaction, when without big efforts from us, we have solved a problem that seemed difficult, although it was not so in reality. We have not lost, I believe, this capacity of service to others after our retirement. For this reason I encourage you to satisfy that professional desire now as well, by means of our Associations, collaborating with them and in benefit of colleagues and friends that are needy of our service some times, but always desirous of mutual friendship. Of course, always depending on each one's personal situation.
I am convinced that if we are capable of doing this work, and with it satisfying our personal desires, the society will notice more that it is a 'society for all ages'. That it does not only need elderly people in certain current circumstances, and that it encourages them to satisfy the aspirations to be duly represented in the several strata and organisms, which we have suggested and asked for so many times. We should think that every effort, no matter how small is important. The society we want has a place for all, because it makes use of all, but it is also necessary that this society works for all.
I will end by giving my best wishes to all in order to achieve what we want, with our enthusiasm, effort and the satisfaction of having done our duty, that the society, with its human imperfections, in some moment will know how to thank us.
President of the Federation of Retired Employees and
Pensioners of the Confederate Savings Banks (Spain)