The majority of Greeks felt an icy-cold electro-current coming down their spinal cord, when they heard new Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras speaking of the necessity that the state collects 3.5 billion euro in revenues and thus as soon as possible. Greeks – and many other voters’ masses around the world – tend to have the short term memory of a gold fish*.
Therefore, the Greek government reminded them today, that these 3.5-billion-euro revenues were/are actually bound to austerity measures approved in March, but were not implemented due to the two elections in May and in June.
Who had thought that the new government would indeed effectively renegotiate the Memorandum of Understanding or erase measures already agreed and voted at the parliament in the last spring, felt like he/she was caught in an ugly trap. Or in a bowl. Too late.
Greek Voter Trapped in a Bowl
Papademos government had approved the measures imposed by the Troika last February and they were integrated in the second bailout in March.
Additional Austerity Measures. What Else?
As the communication problem between government and the citizens/voters has been settled, with the latter banging their heads on the wall, the first leaks to the press its revenues collection plans -of course, under the pressure of the Troika that would arrive in Athens on July 24th, 2012:
– 12% wages cuts for special payrolls for judicials, academics, state hospital doctors, priests of higher rankings (bishops) and most probably diplomatic personnel – that is approximately 200,00 people. If the plan would include also cuts for the military personnel, the saving amount could reach 1 billion euro for the state – and 12% less income for the special payrolls. The cuts were originally agreed to come into effect as of July 1st, 2012.
– Cuts in pharmaceutical costs of insurance funds worth 500 million euro.
-Additional pension cuts worth 300 million euro for those receiving high pensions by certain insurance funds.
-Revenues from some privatisations.
-Equitation of heating oil with the fuel oil. This will raise the heating oil price up to 1.5 euro per liter.
The Postman Knocks Three Times – to start with…
Tough times are awaiting the Greeks as the state will send the ‘postman’ with the extra bills once a month, form August to October. The target is a total saving of 15 billion euro: 3.5 in 2012, and 11.5 billion euro in 2013 and 2014.
The Postman will bring the first tax bill in August with the first installment of the emergency property tax 2012.
Most probably in the same month or a month later those on special payrolls will see their income going down to zero, as the cuts will be retrospective from March 2012.
The Postman will knock our doors a third time in October as the tax on heating oil will be raised.
No Lay-Offs in Public Sector
The government will try to replace some of the Troika imposed measures with equivalent ones. Because the government does not want to lay-off 15,000 civil servants, among others.
Minister for Public Administration Antonis Manitakis stated on Wednesday after a meeting with public sector union ADEDY that there would not no lay-offs in the public sector. “When public institutions would close down, civil servants will be transferred to other institutions and public services.”
Well, that’s fine. But why should I pay for the government’s voters wages? Closing down an institution means that neither the institution itself nor the personnel were necessary for the citizens or the state.
“Turning Spain and Italy into Greece” is the new slogan of Euro Zone, right?
*Lately scientists busted the three-second memory myth of a gold fish. Scientists found out that Gold Fish can remember things up to five months. This perfectly coincides with scenarios claiming the next Greek elections would take part in …November.