(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
A poster reads: »We strike in reaction…Dec.29 and 30, 2011» at the entrance of a tax office in Greece (AP)
Comment by MySatelite:
If by now the EU and Greek politicians do not see that the enforcement of more and more taxes is not paying off then who will stop the country’s downslide? This rather proves that no one really is concerned about kick-starting the economy at all, but what matters to everyone is how certain individuals will make money off of interest (cf. Papandreou’s talks with the IMF before anyone spoke of debt problems, his pre-electoral lies that there is a lot of money to go round and his unconditional acceptance of terms and conditions of loans with an interest rate not given to other EU nations in the same predicament).
Years of quotas imposed by the EU on Greek products did wonders for the nation so yes, Greeks need to pay back the EU that helped so generously in aiding the country to become commercially competitive. Greek politicians, who have been hailed as saviors by the foreign press and have squandered trillions, are not to blame either — Greek citizens are, right? The latter therefore need to pay up for the inept governments of the past three decades, and that makes sense — no one in their right mind would hold a CEO or accountants responsible for a company’s bankruptcy. It is the factory workers who went out for drinks every Friday night that disgraced it.
Greek tax officials have walked out at the start of a 48-hour strike to protest over salary cuts and other Συνέχεια
by Jérôme E. Roos on June 24, 2011
In a short BBC interview today, I argued that the media’s witch hunt against Greece perpetuates a false impression that the Greeks themselves are to blame.
With special thanks to Naveena Kottoor, I was able to appear on BBC World Have Your Say today, for a brief segment on the international media’s coverage of the Greek debt crisis.
Asked whether I agreed that the international media are engaged in a ‘witch hunt’ against the Greek people, I pointed out that all talk about the Greeks being profligate, lazy and spoilt is simply not true (video below, my contribution from 34m50s onwards — somehow the audio got messed up):