Salvation with no change.

The Greeks want to eat their pie and have it too.

Salvation with no change.

by Capricorner

They want to be saved but without changing what brought them to where they are now … in life support from their Eurozone partners. They are in a world of their own nowhere near reality. Either a miracle or catastrophy is around the corner and about to show up.

One of the underlying factors of the spectacular failure of the Greek Economic model is the so called “closed” professions and trades which prohibit their exercise by “outsiders”. The Troika, wisely in this case, has demanded that they become open to all. True to (his) form the Secretary General for Development decrees that whoever wants to hire Port workers must - - yes must – hire - - only - - yes only -- those that are members of the workers union and none other. A number of the union members earn as much as 6000 Euros monthly and work rules dictate that one man is working the crane and one more is on standby … at home (no kidding).

Did the Troika say “open up”? So it did, so what. Change? Why?

To beef up the Internal Revenue (Taxation) Service the state hired 340 new people. Of these 130, i.e. 38% of the total number, were sent to offices which are about to close because they are merged in to other offices. At the same time there are offices elsewhere that are understaffed and overworked.

Common sense seems is not for the public sector. Why change age old practices?

The German Minister of Finance wrote to the Greek Government offering the German Expertise in Tax assessment and collection, where Greece is evidently in great need of help.

The Greek government snubbed him. It ignored the offer, not even a thanks but no thanks note in response.

Obviously the Greek government does not want to improve tax collection. The Greek politicians and the competent ministers have their reasons, no doubt. Who wants change?

The Greek government decided it is time to strengthen the Tax collection mechanism by inviting personnel from the Tax service to participate in exams purporting to determine the qualifications of those who want to become tax assessors and collectors. The Union, however, was of a different mind. It p h y s i c a l l y prevented those who showed up for the exam from participating, blocking their way to the entrance of the building and physically rough handling those who were insisting on entering to participate in the exam. WHY? What is the Union unabashedly proclaiming? Change is loss.

In Northern Greece a closed circle of Tax collectors had set up a mechanism whereby the business people who were paying the Value Added Tax could take it back, in return for a commission to the Tax collectors. Forgery and some other penal code breaches are obvious. 15 of them are involved and another 50 are still not arrested. No doubt their union will demand their release.

Could such a thing happen in Germany? NO. The Germans are not that “smart”.

In a branch of the Social Insurance Foundation (IKA in Greek) employees called insured people and arranged that the people pretend illness and bring in their insurance book in which the IKA personnel would mark the illness and authorize the collection of illness compensation from lost wages. The beneficiaries collected the falsely paid compensation and split it with the IKA band that had set this up.

Greek public employees could teach their “dumb” Finnish colleagues how to increase their income.

The world knows that, recently, the Archaeological Museum of Olympia was robbed from some of its cherished contents. This museum is guarded (guarded?) by no less than 35 guards, of whom 25 are physically capable for the job. The rest are either invalids or on medical leave! The Greek Tax payers are burdened with the cost of ten guards who are physically unable to guard. The waste goes on. Who wants to change that and why?

In the German parliament and in other “saviors of Greece” parliaments there is a growing “fatigue” with Greece, which has not displayed the determination Italy has to correct all that is wrong. Greece carries on in its usual nonchalant ways. No drastic action to correct the ills and woes of its system. No display of realization of the causes, no determination for change.

-Why does it not rush to curtail the number of Ministers, Vice ministers, Secretaries General, all costing money and bungling the function of Government?

-Why does it maintain a large number of advisors to ministers, appointed by the ministers? They could be replaced by experts who can be called to offer their expertise as and when requested, for a fee, or, for the honor of advising the government.

-Why are members of parliament paid extra for participating in parliamentary committees? They receive a generous salary. What extra work does the participation in committees involve? What are they getting paid for in the first place?

-Why do retired members of parliament receive a pension, if they have served for a predetermined number of years, which is in addition to whatever other pension they may be receiving? Why two pensions?

-Why do members of parliament receive a car from the parliament? None is impecunious. They can all afford to move around in their own cars.

-Why is there no cap on the expense accounts and the telephone bills of Government ministers and all high ranking officials of every kind?

-Why has the government not reduced substantially the money the political parties receive from it and imposed strict rules to make their finances transparent? The reduction voted is an affront to pensioners and others suffering “austerity”. Why not wipe out 80% of what the state pays to the political parties?

-Why should citizens suffer the repercussions of austerity and the political parties not?

-Why are so many police officers engaged in the protection of current and former Government officials, MPs and a host of other “notables”, instead of being deployed for the protection of the citizens who are no longer safe even in the centre of Athens, let alone some of its neighborhoods?

-Why are University professors paid their full salary when in fact they are not engaged full time with their professorial duties, but practice a profession at the same time?

-Why is the Church of Greece not asked to play an important part in the relief of those affected the most by the austerity measures, since it has the means to do so?

All the above questions are but a small sample of what appears in the Media, think of the hundreds of other examples of the Greek “resistance” to change. If Greece wanted to be saved it should have already acted, but then the Greeks want salvation but no change.

Everything should stay the way it was, it was fine. Nothing wrong with the Greeks, plenty wrong with their partners who are too demanding. They should understand that the Greeks are content the way things are and should give them their help without asking for change. Salvation with change … unacceptable.

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