Oh, the irony
They'll end up striking again, and of course, they'll use twatter and farcebook to arrange the strike action.
In a sign of just how hard the austere financial climate is hitting, it has been reported that the Greek government has been forced to put an end to one of its civil servants' most treasured privileges. We speak, of course, of the Hellenic Sir Humphreys' entitlement to an extra six days a year paid holiday if they are compelled …
"The. Greeks are still complaining, even after their debts have been paid off by someone else?"
Well of course they are. Until they have to pay for it THEMSELVES, they won't understand what the real issue is.
I see the same thing in the US with California (which is approaching Greece's state thanks to similar governmental policies) and places like Detroit (ditto).
They'll expect all us (relatively) fiscally responsible places to bail them out, and I don't see why. You made your choices, live with them. Or is asking these cretins to behave like adults too much to ask?
Is it governmental policies that cause problems in California? I had got the impression they had a problem with too much democracy, where everyone can vote for everything and the outcome is an unplanned hotchpotch of policies with no facility for serious budgeting, but I would be interested to learn more.
California has one of the highest tax rates on businesses in the US. The "too much democracy" argument is one that I often here from friends in California who work in the public schools, etc, ie in the government system.
If anything, that has exposed the problem in California. The government sector has grown quicker than the private sector, by a large margin. (Recently I saw a report on this for various US states, I think at The Cato Institute site, and it was pretty interesting.) Some of the citiies in California have already had to be bailed out, and the state isn't going to be that far behind.
Did anyone actually work or pay taxes on that damned island ?
I listened to a radio article last night that explained the only reason that the Germans are accepting to bail out the greeks is due to the fact that a lot of the German population have their savings invested down there.
I used the term Island in a more esoteric form, as in the are cut off, at least finacially, from the rest of Europe.
They appear to behave , think , cheat and steal as though they were com,peltely independant from the rest of Europe. They have obligations, like all the rest of Europe but instead they chose to lie about economy and we as a European nation have to bail them out.
For every extra day that one of the Greeks are lying in the sun, having a computer day off, you get the right to pay more taxes, the reaper has to be paid at some point in time.
They no longer exist, it's now the. German Islands and German mainland of Greece.
Long Live Merkel.... Our New Leader.
Having just come back from a holiday on Rhodes, I can say that it, at least, is now a Russian island. Busloads of them everywhere, many of the shopkeepers and bar/restaurant staff speak Russian, and there are shops selling furs all over the place.
I first encountered loads of Russian tourists in Cyprus about 10 years ago. They're obviously spreading westward. I don't know how far through Greece they travel, but it occurred to me that the Greek economy would probably be in an even worse state if it wasn't for the Russians, who presumably weren't so affected by the recession.
It also occurred to me that the Russians probably have far more infuence over parts of Europe now, through financial clout, than they ever did in the bad old days of the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain.
A joke going the rounds here (in Crete) has Angela Merkel arriving at Athens Airport and being checked by an immigration officer who does not recohnise her; the conversation goes like this:
Name? Angela Merkel.
Occupation? No, I am just here for the conference.
Apparently they have already lost a bonus they used to receive for turning up to work
Most companies in most parts of the world offer a bonus for actually turning up for work, the common name for this bonus is called "PAY". I though a lot of Greece's problems was that in the past many employees were able to claim the bonus, AKA PAY, without bothering to turn up for work.
" Apparently they have already lost a bonus they used to receive for turning up to work
Most companies in most parts of the world offer a bonus for actually turning up for work, the common name for this bonus is called "PAY". I though a lot of Greece's problems was that in the past many employees were able to claim the bonus, AKA PAY, without bothering to turn up for work."
Hey, it works for bankers and look at how productive it makes them.
"If there's one thing the average bank worker does, it's work far, far harder than workers from most industries."
I wouldn't say it's harder per se -- I used to work on farms and as a lumberjack, so I am aware of what hard work is -- but the jobs in banking do require a lot of work, brain power, knowledge, and integrity. Finding that combination isn't simple and there is a demand in many industries for it, so it's not surprising that people in banking make good money.
This austere financial climate is totally bogus, is a financial instrument thought up by the banking sector where states "borrow" from the banks, only they first give three times that amount up front to the self same financial institutions. The states invent these funds by printing money and, this is the funny bit, lending the money up-front to the banks, which lend it back to them -- it's described as quantitative easing.
My major gripe about the Greek financial problem is that for years their civil servants and politicians cooked the books, lied about the real state of the finances. Effectively they collaborated to steal billions from the other EU taxpayers. As far as I know nobody has been sent to jail for this crime. If I would steal a few thousand euros from somebody I would end up in jail. The Greeks who are responsible for this end up receiving billions more.
Geez, I wonder if they learned this by observing our Western financial institutions, who take our money and 'invest' it in things which always seem to go tits up, so that the money 'disappears', and then our governments bail them out using our tax dollars.
Money is like energy, however, it doesn't disappear - it has to go somewhere, probably into those private off-shore bank account holding umpteen trillions of dollars the Grauniad uncovered.
You are conflating actual money with the agreed market price of an asset. It's an incredibly common mistake and leads to people making conspiracies up to try to explain where "money has gone".
If you invest in buying a house, and the housing market collapses, you will have "lost some money", only you haven't, you gave the money away to someone in exchange for an asset of variable monetary value (all assets have variable monetary value, so what I mean here is one of relatively high price volatility). The money hasn't "disappeared", you gave it to someone when you invested, and your investment hasn't made the returns you expected.
@The First Dave:
I don't think the prime meridian is the dividing line when people talk about Eastern and Western countries. Cambridge, Norfolk and Suffolk are east of the meridian, but I don't expect much Oriental mystery in Lowestoft. My house is 1'53'' east of the line, but the people in the next village aren't noticeably more thrifty and hard-working.
"Money is like energy, however, it doesn't disappear"
Um actually, it does, because most of it doesn't actually exist!
To simplify it to a ludicrous level, Two dollars, two people, one business, loaning money at one third interest.
Person A lends both Dollars to B. Now there's actually FOUR dollars and 67 cents present, the original two, plus the two B now owes A, that is in 'circulation' and 67 cents interest. Then B loans the money to A, and back and forth it goes.
As long as B and A keep loaning money to each other, there's more and more money in circulation, more and more interest accruing, Bang! Next thing you know, A and B are Millionaires!
They can keep this up forever, as long as both stay in debt, only repaying the loans with money in circulation, unless... something happens and one of them defaults.
Then suddenly the money in circulation suddenly 'collapses', the millions are gone, and all that can be salvaged is... two dollars.
All the money that was 'created by commerce' has vanished like... it never actually was. Odd that...
At the time these perks were introduced it kind of made sense. Think back to an era where DOS ruled the roost and the 5.25" floppy disk was the only mass storage. There was a skills shortage and a need to reward those who had mastered the command line (in a foreign language) and the arcane arts of Word Perfect, Lotus 1-2-3, etc. Windows (especially in Greek) and the Internet were some years away yet from being generally available, even in the universities. I believe it was Windows 95 that first had Microsoft support for Greek with truetype fonts and all, even then using a computer was a rare skill and Internet usage even rarer. It was only in the run up to the 2004 Olympics that OTE (the state Telco) was shamed into providing a limited broadband service (mainly 384kbps as the heady heights of 1Mbps cost a fortune), with most businesses still being on 128kbps ISDN.
Of course the extra holidays should have been scrapped years ago, but who was going to face down the militant unions during the years money was being frittered away left, right and into politician's pockets? It has taken this crisis to enable these measures to be taken as the civil servant union protests will get very little sympathy from the private sector workers struggling to feed a family or the even less fortunate multitude seeking employment.
"...who was going to face down the militant unions during the years money was being frittered away left, right and into politician's pockets? It has taken this crisis to enable these measures to be taken as the civil servant union protests will get very little sympathy from the private sector workers struggling to feed a family or the even less fortunate multitude seeking employment..."
Now could several thousand of us email the above extract to McCluskey & Le Marinel
surely a better resolution would've been to give the rest of us 6 days extra hols
this would've increased overall global happiness and slightly improved relative greek competitiveness, trebles all round
instead they've just deepened the hellenic zone of despondency thereby reducing overall global happiness
"instead they've just deepened the hellenic zone of despondency thereby reducing overall global happiness"
But they haven't. You see, happiness actually IS a lot like energy....
The happiness that they used to have those 6 days per year? That's just been transferred to the rest of Europe in smaller slices, because every time I see some unionised moron with zero understanding of basic economics getting shafted, I crack a nice big smile.
Every state, especially Britain, should be looking at the largely unjustifiable perks & pay levels of the public sector, which unions demand with menaces from those of us in the productive sectors of the economy.
I am a public sector worker, the only IT support for a School in Suffolk containing 1,000 users and about 600 computers on a windows2008r2 domain all managed by me, my "Network Manager" is a maths teacher who is highly compitant with using Windows but had minimal admin skills.
For this I earn £10,750 a year (37 hours a week, 39 weeks a year) when I recently asked for a pay rise pointing out I was doing a job that would pay 20,000+ a year in the public sector the school just gave me a £300 a year pay rise (mainly because would have been under minimum wage when it rises in October)
Does anyone think this is an unjustified level of pay?
Unsurprisingly I am looking for alternate work.
Is why the extra days off were granted.
Way back when screen users were advised to have a 15 minute break every two hours. Rest your eye sort of stuff.
The Greeks looked at this and changed it to an extra day off every two months. Not really solving the problem of eye strain really.
There are two main parties in Greece, each run by a political dynasty, and they've spent the last 30 years taking turns buying votes with unfinanced reforms (such as the one in this article), and to mislead the EU on the true state of their finances. For at least the last 3-4 election cycles they were completely aware that the Greek economy was heading for a crash, but persisted in vote buying, apparently on the hope that their rival would be in power when the economy crashed and/or the EU would rescue them.
No one has been held responsible for this. Because both leading parties are guilty, and the same people who caused the crash are still in power, they have no interest in prosecuting the guilty, and they and all their loyal critters and media instead blame Germany and the EU.
This is the reason Greece has had a much harder time repairing its finances than Italy, Spain or Ireland. Sadly it seems most Greeks believe their politicians BS.
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