Parliament, MPs, the President of Greece: The Trinity of Shame Foreign Headlines Exalt

(William Hogarth’s The Orgy)

Members of Parliament in Greece are continuing the farce they call austerity measures, aka cutbacks. At a time when Greeks are called upon to pay property tax for the third time (they already pay two on a bi-monthly basis) with a further three announced this year, when civil servant income has been lowered (often rightly so in some cases) and pensioners who receive €550 a month are subjected to a further decrease in a pension that will not enable them to pay rent, medication or fuel for central heating this winter, MPs seem to live in a world of their own.

Backed by fervent support from the media nationally and internationally which has given rise to the image of the Greek who refuses to fess up to tax evasion all these years and pay the price, Parliament has passed the new budget for 2012 which hardly touches MPs’ salaries. Although slight pay cuts – which were proportionately insignificant in relation to the cuts average citizens suffered – were effected in 2011, that is where things stayed for 2012. In fact, the precise state of affairs is shocking. While the world lauds the government for its efforts to restitute Greece’s image by cutting salaries, wages, pensions, subsidies and perks in a country that never had a welfare system that worked, Greeks are protesting because they know better.

Last year’s MP expense budget covered:

a) compensation: Yes, compensation as they call it, because what they are doing is a favor to all  Greeks, that is why they need to be compensated rather than receive a salary like those lucky enough to hold Συνέχεια

The myth of the “lazy Greek workers”

Since the crisis in Greece has hit the headlines there have appeared in the bourgeois media many stories about how Greece has too many civil servants, how the working week is very short, how people retire early on fat pensions, and so on, as if this were the cause of the crisis. Facts and figures, however, can be very stubborn things and they tell a completely different story.

During the last few days we have witnessed an unprecedented smear campaign against the Greek working class by the European bourgeois media, in particular by the tabloid press, which is specifically aimed at working class people. This campaign is aimed at deceiving the European workers and its objective is clearly to prevent them from assuming internationalist action of class solidarity towards the working class of Greece, which is being brutally attacked by both Greek and foreign capitalists.

The first myth being promoted in this campaign goes more or less like this: “these lazy Greek people, Συνέχεια