This Mad House has a name.
It seems everybody is out of their mind, how else can one explain what seems like a Nationwide auto catastrophic tendency.
Pensioners whose only income comes from the Government want the TROIKA out of Greece, never to return.
*TROIKA is the triumvirate from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, executives whose responsibility is to ensure that Greece complies with the obligations undertaken in return for the financial lifeline it has received from the EU, the ECB and the IMF.*
The pensioners believe the TROIKA is responsible for their loss of income (some reduction of their pensions) and not the stupid Greek government (which dares not do what it should) and indeed the previous government which over borrowed. They do not even think that if the TROIKA leaves and Greece is left alone the government will not have enough funds to provide them with their sole income - - their pensions.
The employees of the National Statistics Service refuse to process economic data so that no decisions can be taken. They fear the government will be forced to curtail their incomes. What if the lack of data inhibits both the government and the TROIKA from having the facts and thus lead the TROIKA to the conclusion that Greece is a hopeless case and should be left to fend for itself. How will the government pay their salaries? The employees’ thinking does not go that far and they do not give a hoot for what is good for the country.
The EU has sent to Greece a team of experts to help it use the financial aid offered to Greece to materialize various projects of economic significance. The team visited all thirteen administrative districts of the country to be acquainted with the projects each of the districts wanted to materialize. To their utter surprise only ONE of the districts had ONE project which was ready for inclusion to the EU finance program. The heads of the districts want jobs and money to be spent, investments to be made, in their districts, but they do not feel obliged to do anything about it. These, ostensibly serious and accomplished individuals, expect “pennies from heaven” not results of diligent work. Are they nuts?
That same team was shocked with the attitude of public sector employees who undermine (for their own reasons) the execution of the orders they receive from their seniors, even government ministers! An additional shock came to the team when they realized that the country has no system in place to automatically charge the taxes due to those liable for their payment, but instead it is up to the tax inspectors to determine who owes what, which raises a lot of questions and explains why the government can not collect the taxes due. One would think that Greece has never had a government.
Justice. A country is judged by the quality of its judicial system and practices. Well, in Greece, the TROIKA discovered (to its utter dismay) that an ordinary civil case takes no less than 819 work days and 39 procedures to receive a final-binding judgment. By comparison in sub-Saharan African countries it takes only 619 days. Comparisons with other EU countries reveal the fact that Greece is a first world country with a less than third world judicial system.
The political system? It has conditioned the people of the public sector to the doctrine of safe employment – minimal work effort, automatic promotions and remunerative increases, together with a sense of “ownership”. The public Radio-TV network employees are striking to protest the shrinking of the service, reduction of the cost, but claim they are fighting to protect the Greek culture (not their jobs) and will therefore never permit the changes to take effect. The network is, by inference, theirs and only they know what is good for the people of Greece and so the P U B L I C Radio-TV Organization will spend two million eight hundred thousand Euros to exclusively broadcast live the Soccer Football Champions League games. The private networks had bid no more than TWO million. The public R-TV organization receives three hundred million Euros a year from the citizens of Greece (a fixed charge added on every single Electricity bill) and therefore decides that what will promote Greek culture will be the Champions League games broadcast live, at a cost of 2.8 million. Could not be done with 2.050.000, just 50000 more than what the private networks had bid? If they are shown after the games take place at a fraction of the cost the cultural benefit will not be the same? They are in the service of Greek culture, they will never permit the cost saving changes to be implemented to “their” organization.
A Bill is introduced to promote VOLUNTEERISM. Everybody is enthusiastic with its provisions. However by the time it reaches parliament for a vote the Bill has been severely altered to, in effect, negate the service of volunteers, particularly volunteer fire fighters. Why? Because the regular fire fighting corps fear the volunteers will steal their act, when in fact the Bill covered every form of volunteerism about every kind of need. No volunteerism for Greece. Sensible? The competent minister knows.
The opposition parties want nothing changed! Everything is fine the way it is, the way that brought Greece to its predicament.
The left wing opposition party is against the taxation of private property!
It is all for :
- The mess in and the degradation of the Greek Universities;
-The privileges of the members of parliament and the financing of the political parties from the government;
-The maintenance of the present number of public employees (which by any standards is excessive) and the maintenance of their remuneration at the present (high) levels;
-The maintenance of taxi licenses as a privately owned asset which can be sold (seriously);
-The maintenance of all the so called “closed” professions to their present status which bars entry to others, in short the maintenance of the “status quo” for everything.
At the same time it poses as the champion of progress and appeals to the youth of Greece!!
The extreme left wing of the communist party called the police one evening to arrest the people who were working late in a bank, well past the regular work hours. Given the inspection the bank was undergoing by the Black Rock people, who have come to Greece to determine the quality of the portfolios of the Greek Banks, there was nothing irregular about some people working as late as eight in the evening (they get compensated for that). Apparently in Greece people do not have the right to work as they please, or whenever necessary, long hours, not even Bank executives. PARANOIA?
What is rational in Greece is everybody’s opinion. No consensus about anything. There are even members of parliament, of the left wing, who advocate an exodus from the Eurozone, and non payment of the country’s financial obligations. They believe Greece is self sufficient!
Question: Do they really believe this?
Greece is like a madhouse and that is why it is doomed, unless some strong leadership appears out of the blue and brings some rationale to Greek life, to the Greek way of thinking. The chances this will happen?
May God take pity.