“Cautiously optimistic”, “hard bargaining”, “anguish about the next bailout tranche”. I was not even impressed to hear this morning on television channels the reports about the “tough negotiations” between Greece’s lenders – the Troika- and the newly appointed Minister of Administrative Reform Kyriakos Mitsotakis. High on the agenda of the two sides: lay-offs and personnel transfer in the public sector.
Athens has missed a June deadline to place 12,500 state workers into a so-called “mobility scheme”, under which they are transferred or dismissed within a year.
The Greek side follows the usual delay: “Give us some time”, “lists not complete”, “lost my pen”, “need a frappe, first”.
The international side follows the usual blackmail : “No reforms, no money”. The Troika sends its clear messages through the usual “EU source” who speaks out the threats on condition of anonymity. The strategy of fear. Packed in the famous anonymous “EU source”. A pack of a gang of blackmailers.
But gone are the times, where the Greek people would be scared to death upon hearing such threats. No a single drop of sweat is running down our temple.
We have nothing to lose because we have already lost (almost) everything during the last three years.
Nobody from us, average Greeks, cares if no fresh money will arrive in Greece. It is loaned money, that we will have to pay back and thus with high interest. It is money that comes to the country but reaches none of us, average Greeks. Money comes flying above our heads and it passes by.
To the argument “without bailout money the country would go bankrupt, would not be able to import fuel and medicine” I can say only that: “it’s not the country that is bankrupt maybe, but my private household certainly is. I have no money to buy the imported fuel and heating oil or gas, I pay almost 50% of my medicine anyway.”
So, dear Troika, do not threaten me with no money. You have to address directly the government during your face-t-face meetings . I do not feel I’m in any connection with your issues. It affects me much less than you could ever imagine. It’s an issue between you, the government and their voters.
Greek gov’t dies hard – as usual …
The Greek side fights hard against the Troika to protect the right to work and salary of its traditional voters’ pool: the civil servants. Furthermore, the Greek government certainly wants to avoid the unemployment rates skyrocketing even higher with a new army of jobless. How could PM Samaras’ success story be then justified if the number of jobless reaches one and a half million people?
Therefore, the Greek government tries hard to avoid the inevitable. Dismiss civil servants. It gives it’s daily fight against the Troika demands. “The Minister did not accept the Troika proposal to set the 12,500 public servants into labor reserve immediately,” I heard and read this morning.
As if the Greek minister had any chance to reject or accept. But the Greek side is up to delay. “The Minister proposed that those in labor reserve would not receive 75% of the salary for 12 months but for shorter time.”
What is the purpose of delaying the inevitable? A tiny win for the Greek side. “We fought and won” – or something like that.
At the very end, the Greek minister – any minister – will accept the Troika demand, will put his signature on a long list with names and state expenditure cuts but most likely, the lists will be put inside a locked drawer with a missing key.
The Troika will then return and ask new austerity measures to be paid by the usual idiots: the employed, the pensioners and the property owners.
PS “Been there, seen that” – apologies for repeating this every once in a while…
Maybe the Greek people will stand up like Popeye?
“That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more”?