Illustration by Manos Symeonakis
As Greece draws breath after voting for a new package of austerity measures likely to pave the way for another loan agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, this might be an opportune moment to identify one of the key faults with the first memorandum signed last year. Because, like a Hollywood sequel which follows a dire original, Memorandum II is likely to make us want to look away in horror.
There is plenty in the medium-term fiscal plan, or MTFP as it’s known in sequel speak, about reducing public spending. Greece plans to save more than 14 billion euros by 2015. This means, among other things, that the public sector wage bill will be cut by 770 million euros this year, 600 millon in 2012, 448 million in 2013, 300 million in 2014 and 71 million in 2015.
Posted in Economy, European Union, Greece
Tagged EU, EU-IMF bailout, EU-IMF memorandum, European Union, George Papandreou, Greece, Greece austerity, Greece corruption, Greece loan memorandum, Greece memorandum, Greece public education, Greece public expenditure, Greece public health, Greece public sector, Greece public sector reform, Greece public spending cuts, Greece tax evasion, Greece taxes, Greek bailout, Greek civil service, Greek public administration, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Jean-Claude Juncker
For some reason, weddings seemed to be on people’s minds over the past few weeks. Along with tying the knot, anniversaries were also a popular subject. While Britain revelled in Will and Kate’s moment in the sun, Greeks had a less pleasant moment of their own to share: a few days before the royal wedding, Greece marked a year since it made an official appeal to the European Union and the International Monetary Fund for an emergency loan package.
Understandably, there was no flag waving or street parties to accompany the one-year anniversary of Greece admitting its political and economic failure. There was no puffing out of chests or swelling of pride to mark the 12 months since Prime Minister George Papandreou accepted that the party was over for Greece and it needed help to pay a bill that would have made even the Windsor’s wince.
Posted in Economy, Greece, Greek politics
Tagged Akis Tsochatzopoulos, Athens Olympics, C4I, Debt restructuring, George Papandreou, Goldman Sachs, Greece, Greece corruption, Greece debt restructuring, Greece submarines, Greek debt crisis, Johnson & Johnson, Royal wedding, Siemens, Wall Street
Illustration by Manos Symeonakis
There are rare moments when a thread of togetherness winds its way through a country to lift its everyday burdens. Sometimes, these moments are born from political, sporting or other types of victories. But victories tend to bring out the worst as well as the best in people. It’s usually moments of grief or sadness that stoke the purest of emotions, creating a fleeting sense of community before it’s sucked into the morass of daily stresses and strains.
Greece experienced such a moment last Sunday when the death of singer-songwriter and musician Nikos Papazoglou was announced. He was an unassuming man who made rare public appearances and dodged the media spotlight. The reaction to his death was a reflection of people’s love for his pure and passionate music, but it was also a sign of respect for Papazoglou the human being: as an artist he shunned commercialism and stayed true to his values and as a man he remained humble and generous despite his fame.
Posted in Economy, European Union, Greece, Greek politics, Media
Tagged Ah Ellada, Athens Olympics, Costas Karamanlis, eurozone, Ferrostaal, Greece, Greece corruption, Greece economic statistics, Greece eurozone, Greece Focus magazine, Greece statistics, Greece tax dodging, Greece tax evasion, Greece unemployment, Greek debt crisis, Greek diaspora, Greek people, Greeks, Johnson & Johnson, New Democracy, Nikos Papazoglou, PASOK, Siemens