He could hardly suppress his enthusiasm. A visibly touched prime minister appeared in our TV screens on Monday noon. Antonis Samaras hailed the deal with Greece’s international lenders painting with pink colors the future of Greece. Skillfully underlining the country’s achievements with a voice that trembled with passion and pride, Antonis Samaras told us, Greeks, that growth was right out our door step, development was galloping towards us and solution to our empty pockets was just a matter of time.
“At a time when uncertainty and concern around the world is rising, Greece is stabilizing and its position is becoming more secure,” Samaras told Greeks in his televised address to the nation us just hours after the Troika blessed the disbursement of 2.8 billion euro bailout-tranche.
“Soon, Greece will not depend on the memorandums. Greece will have growth, it will be competitive and outward-looking. In other words, we will have a strong Greece.”
He added that once Greece has met its Troika-imposed targets, “we will seek debt relief.”
In one breath with his unbridled optimism, Samaras announced also the dismissal of 15,000 civil servants: : 4,000 should be sacked until the end of 2013 and 11,000 until the end of 2014. The objections of his coalition partners PASOK and Democratic Left were given in after the Troika pressure and the usual blackmail “Do or no loan tranche!”.
Dismissals & new hires
Troikas was insistent on the dismissal of civil servants into order to create a leaner state. However Antonis Samaras heralded that “all departing civil servants will be replaced by new hires.”
As it is frequently said in the local media recently, those 15,000 civil servants will be replaced by “people with lust for work, scientists, bright brains.”
As if the problem of our debt were a few thousands of lazy civil servants or those breaching the code of conduct. OK, several thousands will also see the door exit after the merger or closing down of superfluous state organizations, some will go to early retirement, while a couple will be offered a program of ‘voluntary exit’.
“For each person that leaves, a new one will be hired through a totally meritocratic process. This is not the so-called human sacrifice that some claim. This is a marked improvement of our public sector and it is what Greek society is demanding.”
Puzzled? Me too. Dismissals to relief the state budget and thus new hires?
No, he did not mentioned that the new hires will be three-party coalition supporters. But every mean Greek – and we have many of them here – understood, that the Prime Minister somehow had exactly this on his mind.
Proud of securing the amount for the banks recapitalization, Samaras assured worried savers that “a haircut for depositors would not be considered here.
Throwing another golden pill to the frustrated and hungry audience the Greek prime minister claimed that this year would be the last year where the emergency property tax will be collected via electricity bills and that property owners would pay 15% less in property levy.
No, he did not announce any measures to increase productivity, facilitate investment, decrease bureaucracy or even lower the 23% Value-Added-Tax.
PS being mean myself, I wonder if all these nicely and emotionally articulated promises and perspectives are a sign the country could head to early elections – for the purpose to ‘refresh the public mandate’ so to say-. I also wonder about this persistent knock on my door: is it the growth knocking, the taxman or the foreclosure man?
yes in ireland everything is coming so right!! just 2 more ‘difficult’ budgets !! people are on their collective knees how much more can they be expected to give??
I don’t think that replacing the 15,000 that will be fired will go over well with the TROIKA. The point was to get rid of 15,000 that will cause the public sector to be less bloated. Otherwise they could have just kept the ones in there instead of firing people. WTF???
roflmao Hapy days are here again, right?
only happy days 🙂
Does being the Greek PM give you access to “happy” drugs and rose tinted glasses? Somebody better check and see if his feet reach the ground.
Terry Pratchet “Nation”
Take this and then read that the Greek government is of the opinion that Golden Dawn is just another democratic elected party and that its rise has nothing to do with racism and xenophobia and you know that elections are looming indeed.