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Non-Stop Austerity Measures: Greek Gov’t Takes Advantage of Voters “Gold Fish Memory”

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.

PS Greeks should not complain very much about the harsh austerity. Our Spanish friends will experience cuts worth 65.5 billion euro for the next 2.5 years. Italians are on the same path as well.

“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.



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  1. If you don’t want to pay for your government workers wages, think about us Northern Europeans – what do WE get from your public sector? Why should us support them? Just because we happen to have effective tax enforcement system?

    This stubborn reluctance to cut public sector to what you can afford is the exact reason your support is wearing thin.

    • My dear Northerner, you pay for nothing other than your own banks. So just cut the crap about paying for Greece: nobody is paying for Greece which is why it is going down.

      • Actually, Finnish banks have very few if any credit outstanding from Greece. That right there is the other main reason why this scheme is so highly unpopular here, and it is repeatedly pointed out by our media. Why shouldn’t Germany and France save themselves their own banks? Or Britain, who is now totally freeriding?

        Among today’s headlines are that Finnish MP and other prominent figures propose study about effects of exit from euro to our economy, and they are dead serious about it. Olli Rehn tries to suppress study from being made. Yeah, its getting interesting, I’m telling you.

      • Not true. About 20% of Troika payments are used for covering the Greek budget deficit. The rest is used for paying the Greek debt. So, the Greeks aren’t paying anything back out of their own pockets and still can’t manage to make ends meet. It’s really hopeless and the Troika should pull the plug asap.

        • Yes. And the reason that there is now a primary budget deficit (which there was not before) is that the policies of austerity inflicted on Greece have placed the total economy in continuous depression for 3 years. With this situation, the tax take is lower even though the tax rates are massively higher.

          This is standard economics, which the Troika is pretending that it cannot understand. As you also claim. Greece has been fucked by the politics of the EU. Nothing else.

        • And what about the money that went into recapitalising Greek banks? Where did that money go? Back to Germany and France? What about the money that’s paying unemployment benefits and pensions? Is that money going back to Germany too? Where do you people work the Greek Eforia? IQ Radi-Q! (For those that don’t understand this Grenglish it means that this guy has the IQ of a radish, he should consider it a compliment!)

          • As most people seem to be too dumb to get it, let’s put it in simple language. Greece has been forced to repay most of the money it owed to foreign banks, with new loans from European institutions financed largely by Germany at high interest rates. It has recapitalised some Greek banks with similar loans. This is why Greece’s debt has doubled since the start of the problem (when Papandreou came to power).

            Basically, all that Germany and France have done is look after themselves, and made the Greek people pay the price. No banks have been significantly affected; unlike the UK and USA, no banks have gone bust. Why? Because European politicians decided that banks are more important than real economies and jobs.

            So, kindly stop all this crap about “helping” Greece. All that northern Europe has done is help itself and forced Greek people to pay for it — with the complicity of the two Greek political parties.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            it is the last time I approve a comment of yours using ‘crap’, “dumb” etc. There will be no editing but just a 100% move to trash.As I did this morning too 🙂

          • Come on; this is normal speech. Why do you try to censor people?

          • keeptalkinggreece

            I do not censor opinions I censor language. and to tell you the truth I’m kind of fed up to have to check comments for their language. Be creative!

          • I am rather more concerned to be creative with analysis and accurarcy of my comments. It is not that I wish to offend you, but I don’t speak in a formal bourgeois way. I did when I was in my 20s but life has moved on since then. The world is in a serious mess.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            bourgeois or not, I do not like when you directly attack and insult other commentators here. PERIOD.

          • Did you not read the rude comments made above by greek-repat? Anyway, I agree that it is poor debating to attack another individual with personal insults. I try not to do that, so I am puzzled at your remark since you complained about individual words rather than intent.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            occationally I approve insults and remind people not to do it. Otherwise I completely delet the comments, no matter how long or short.

    • You don’t pay nothing !
      France got 7 bilions euros last year from interest rate, minus 754milions that went back to Greece, following the last agreement.
      Usually, Germany and northern countries with lowest interest rates got more.
      So no, you paid nothing !

      • Where do the dozens of billions of Euros France lost in the haircut show up in your calculation, fx? Also, pls provide a link to the numbers.

  2. Well let’s pray that there won’t be elections before November/December as it will influence the tourism industry very badly again

  3. Without cuts to the public sector these are going to be more ineffective measures that will only deepen the crisis. While the Greek populace suffers the likes of the Fotopoulos clan and the other syndikata continue to dictate policy.

    • If you seriously think that this government (or the last ones) is prepared to cut parts of the public sector that will damage their own interests, then you are deluded. The whole problem in Greece is that the crooks of the past have been recycled by the interference of the Troika, when it is obvious that Greek citizens wanted new faces. And some hope of improvement.

      Like the actual eurozone crisis itself, like Greece’s erroneous inclusion in it, all of these problems are actually created by northern Europe and REPEATED time and time again.

      • Who of the top three would have the balls to do what is necessary? PASOK & ND, we already know them, SYRIZA, old PASOK. I wished that Stefanos Manos of Drasi was elected. He wanted to cut 400,000 civil service jobs. He’s ahead of his time for Greece.