Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas – Vanity of vanities and all is vanity. In the sense of “earthly life and the worthless nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.” Although atheists in the majority, left-wing comrades of SYRIZA seem to be deeply religious though. One can see a religion-based philosophical approach behind several austerity decisions and interpret them in the context of the long ecclesiastic tradition.Left-wing Social Equality is just a step away from Jesus Christ preaching of Social Justice, isn’t it?
I think it has to do with the fact that like every Greek also SYRIZA party or government members were raised in the Greek Orthodox spirit that public school were focusing – even if the children’s parents were atheists. Today’s middle-aged men and women cannot easily forget the obligatory weekly visits to church sermon, the morning prayers in schools and the Sunday school that for decades it was a must at least for elementary school pupils.
Anyway, Syriza ministers and lawmakers are desperately trying to justify the upcoming hikes in direct and indirect taxes claiming that “they take little from many but a lot from the rich ” so very much in according of the left-wing but also the religious spirit that has nothing else but social justice in mind.
Millions of Greeks disagree. Because millions of poor Greeks cannot spare the extra cent the government asks them to spare. They simple do not have it. But that’s another story…
Over the weekend, SYRIZA MP Giorgos Kyritsis, claimed that the government will financially burden more those who voted YES at last year’s Referendum and in favor to stay in Europe and consequently in the eurozone. In an article on Syriza daily Avgi.gr, Kyritsis wrote among others and quoting New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis:
“The Syriza government conducts an undeclared class war in favor of the lower social classes and against the wealthier ones.” That’s why it was voted in September, in order to pass more burden to the We-Stay-in-Europe, and that’s exactly what the government does.”
According to some media, Kyritsis also claimed during interviews that “the tax office has the means to find out who voted YES.”
In the same spirit, Labor Minister Giorgos Katrougalos, a former lawyer, said on Monday:
“We try to get a lot by a few and little by many. It is clear who do we want to burden. We can live for a while without coffee or cigarettes but no without electricity or water.”
Katrougalos was referring to the government struggle to resist to Value Added Tax hike from 13% to 24% in water and electricity that the lenders were demanding and decided instead to raise the general VAT to 24% for thousands of goods and services. Of course, the rich will pay more because in the government logic a rich will buy 10 kg pasta and not just one miserable package of 1/2 kg as the poor Greek will do. The rich will also buy huge amounts of exquisite coffee and smoke the finest tobacco blend. Therefore he will pay more than the poor.
Alas! Some Greeks, especially the crisis-hit Greeks cannot live without coffee or cigarettes, the two cheap drugs where the desperate ones find comfort. Not to mention that with the new measures they will indeed need more coffee and cigarettes to clam down their nerves.
It’s not only the impoverished, the jobless and the low-pensioners who will suffer. Ministers will have to pay the price as well.
Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis is smoking during a press conference in the Health Ministry. Yes, there is a law banning smoking in public places. Yes, a health minister should not promote health-risky habits, at least not in public.
But as said in the beginning Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas – Polakis might not be a minister tomorrow. The rich cannot take their assets to the grave.
And the tax office cannot find the YES voters, unless SYRIZA clearly determines who is rich. what’s annual income that makes one rich or the rich-threshold.
Here a little help from “above”:
“Whoever has two coats should share with him who has none.” (Lucas 3:11)
“Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” “Do not collect more than you’re required to.” (Lucas 3:12 & 3:13)
PS the picture of smoking Pollakis was uploaded on social media and reproduced by mainstream websites incl comments.