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Listen to some and you might believe that the people of Greece have a life of riley. They will tell you that Greek's retire early, do not pay their proper taxes and more. In truth though many Greeks are experiencing tough financial times. There have been reports of children being abandoned
and even the bereaved being unable to afford to bury their dead
. With the price of medicines beyond many people's reach, plus medical shortages, the health of Greeks is set to worsen.Understandably in Greece many people now live in fear. What will the future hold for the young? Will the elderly be forgotten as austerity measures bite? When will the pain end for Greeks?There is no end in sight. It is a case of tighten your belts further Greeks in order to receive the next financial hand out from the EU. This however cannot continue. It makes no sense.
You can only cut so far.If your household budget needs to be cut you make changes, reducing costs when and where possible, but there must be something left or you will not survive.Today, November 7, 2012, there have once again been violent protests on the streets of the Greek capital Athens. Petrol bombs have been thrown by protesters and tear gas canisters fired by the police.
For the first time in many years water cannons have been used against the protesters. 80,000 people have protested outside of the Greek Parliament ensuring that their representatives know that the people are at breaking point. Parliament is set to vote on the latest cutbacks deemed necessary by the EU to secure the next bail out. Today the government has been debating the cuts needed. They will involve cuts of €13.5 billion ($17 billion) over the next two years, If it was not such a sad situation it would be laughable. German leader Angela Merkel will be visiting David Cameron in the UK to reassure him that Britain is needed in the EU. She will tell him that whilst she understands British concerns regarding a proposed increase in the EU budget but that such an increase is necessary.How ironic, idiotic and obscene.
Austerity for the people but not the leaders who must be held responsible for this dire mess.People in Greece and parts of the EU are being told that they must sign up to austerity measures but not the EU chiefs. For them it is spend as usual if not more.
In the UK there has been an angry response to news that the country will be expected to pay more into the failed EU. An increase in a budget when the people are basically being told "tough" we have no money.Parliamentary leaders in Greece are stating that they must vote for the austerity measures in order to get the funding needed. They have been told it is their duty to do so. Perhaps their duty to the people who elected them should be their first priority.When will the EU dismantle? It is long overdue. As Germany
tightens the reins on Europe it will soon be the only country with a chance of coming out of this mess unscathed, It will have its future assured with or without the EU. The rest of us will sink.In the Greek parliament today
employees went on strike to protest cuts to their wages. These were brought in by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras in an amendment to the austerity bill. Within minutes he withdrew the amendment. One law for some it would seem.A country and government in disarray, but no-one cares.Related reading - Greek Barter systemGreek judges want MP salaries cut
Greece's financial mess continues unabated. Austerity measures are the order of the day with those in high office in the EU demanding ever more stringent measures. People can only take so much. They have already passed the point when they have little left to give. Bartering is on the increase
as cash disappears. For those who want to perpetuate the current banking infrastructure this could be bad news. As people fend for themselves much needed revenues will slip away and the spiral into bankruptcy will be assured.As we have so often said austerity has to be fair. For those who say "why does it have to be fair?" take a look back into history.
Sooner or later the proverbial will hit the fan. The Elite who created all of this mess will not be allowed to sit back and live on the fat of the land. They too must take a hit. In truth they should be hit the most having done nothing to prevent this ongling fiasco.In Greece judges have been protesting since the middle of September. Their gripe is pay cuts. Those in high office tend to care not one iota for the ordinary man and woman on the street. They are told to get on with it when their incomes are slashed. Once austerity starts to attack higher up the chain all hell breaks lose.Currently the judges action has taken the form of a work to rule. This guarantees the protesters a minimum loss of income, if any, whilst hitting the service hard. Backlogs of work tend to be hard to shift ever.The judges work to rule has meant they have only worked in the mornings. Their action is due to end on October 20. They have now issued a warning to Politicians.
One judge spoke anonymously to the media saying, "Since June 2011, parliamentarians earn on average 5,934.87 euros a month.“But these earnings are augmented by appearances on parliamentary committees for which they earn 150 to 350 euros.”
He went on to say, "judges would seek to ensure that MPs are taxed for the benefits they receive, which include 935 euros a month for offices expenses, 1,136 euros for postal services and 364 euros for travel costs."
Greek judges have now peldged to cut the salaries of MPs. You may argue that without a hefty pay packet people would not bother to stand for election and serve the country. There are always a few though who do so for the right reasons not to simply feather their own nests. If Parliament wants to implement austerity measures it should be prepared to take a hit. Leadership should be about leading by example.
Shame on them.
Greece went to the polls last weekend for the second time in six weeks. This time however the New Democracy Party won a majority and its leader quickly began trying to forge a coalition government.
The New Democracy majority may have been small but with willing political partners it is expected to be enough to form a workable government. Today June 20, 2012, Antonis Samaras, leader of the New Democracy party, will be sworn in as prime minister. At time of writing the Greek coalition talks were ongoing but reportedly close to a finalised deal.
The people of Greece need a government but whether a coalition can bring stability to Greece is not known. Their debt crisis continues and too many people in Greece are suffering. As they struggle on in poverty tax dodgers and system abusers in the country prosper. These two issues will need urgently addressing by the new government.
The Markets around the world are still faltering as Greece forms its new parliament. There was no huge surge in the markets on the back of the Greek election, as the situation remains unstable. Angela Merkel the German Chancellor and leading light in Europe right now, has made it plain that the Greek bailout will not be renegotiated.
Yesterday President Obama speaking, as the G20 summit in Mexico drew to a close, said that Europe knows what it has to do. The talk is of leaders having to make tough choices and decisions. Of course those tough choices rarely affect those who make the decisions. It is easy to play politics when it is someone else who will experience a massive drop in income, or the loss of a home, for example.
President Obama should also publicly acknowledge that Europe's financial woes stem in so many ways from the USA.
Samaras is meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias prior to being sworn in as Prime Minster. Updates will follow....
Latest: Samaras has been sworn in as PM. "The ceremony came shortly after he agreed a coalition government with the Socialists (Pasok) and the smaller leftist party, the Democratic Left. Mr Samaras took the oath at a Greek Orthodox ceremony in Athens."
In May 2012 the Greek people went to the polls. The national election was not due until 2013 but the resignation of former leader George Papandreou meant an early election was necessary. The post of leader was filled temporarily by a technocrat, Mr Lucas Papademos, and he led an interim government,The Greek people have endured a terrible few years and it looks like it will get worse, before if ever it gets better. In May the people failed to return a majority government. The main players were unable to form a coalition government and so a further election was scheduled for June 2012.
This weekend the people will vote once more. Has enough changed to return a majority government this time?It will be a hard one to call. The Greek people could choose to elect and support a pro-bailout government or an anti-austerity one.
It is not a straight forward choice however between the right and the left of politics. The Greek political front runners include communists, the extreme right, socialists, neo nazis and conservatives.If the vote is split again it will be hard for any party to win through. However
since the failed election in May the political front runners have been campaigning hard. Up until the death each party has been trying to win over voters and make that one last push.Currently many are predicting a win for the liberal conservatives, the New Democracy Party. However some see these politicians at the heart of Greek woes. As the party in office during the economic crisis the New Democracy Party failed to resolve the situation. When it comes to it though will the majority of Greeks see them as the only sensible way forward?Behind the scenes preparations are underway for an EU exit by Greece, if it is deemed necessary. To the cameras people maintain that Greece will not leave the
Eurozone and no EU countries want them to leave. Whether that is what is said behind closed doors is doubtfulShould Greec
e leave the EU it will be a protracted affair. It will not be easy for any country in Europe and possibly beyond. The economic fall-out will reach far and wide, but what of if they stay? How much longer can the Eurozone farce continue? One that demands the people suffer whilst the banking sector continues to crumble. One that increases unemployment to disastrous levels? Related reading regarding the USA and their involvement with the EU crisis since 2008 hereTags: Greek election 2012, EU crisis, Greek New Democracy party, second election in Greece, Eurozone exit, Greek politics, Greece
Greece is facing a general election this coming weekend. The Greek people have been pushed from pillar to post this year and with more austerity measures on the cards who will they elect to power? Many Greeks will feel a distinct distrust of all their politicians but someone will have to rule the country. Without a democratically elected government they are at the mercy of technocrats and the EU.
The social democratic Pasok and the conservative New Democracy (ND) have traditionally been the main political parties of Greece since 1975. Countries with economic problems right now are tending to rightly or not lay the blame at the door of the elected politicians. Those in power right now.This could by why both the Pasok and the ND are keeping a very low profile. No public electioneering for them but rather a quiet presence behind the scenes.
Greece's recent financial woes have led to the formation of many splinter groups and political parties. It could be that a rag tag of many parties ends up forming a coalition government in Greece.
Although World News has not detailed Greece's debt problems lately that does not mean that they have miraculously vanished. Greeks face more cuts, austerity and a sinking standard of living for many years to come. One fairly new Party is the Independent Greeks which is currently led by Panos Kammenos. This party like other new ones wants to turn its back on Greek Debt and austerity and start again.
This may be the only way forward for Greece and its people but it will have those such as Angela Merkel breaking out in a cold sweat. Independent Greeks has said they will abandon the bailout agreement. Kammenos said, "In Greece we have a democracy. In the democracy we have a constitution. The constitution of Greece doesn't accept this kind of agreement."
Pollsters do not expect Independent Greeks to poll enough votes for a clear mandate to govern nor are many of the smaller, newer parties likely to want to work together. This means that it could be the year of the ND party, but elections are funny affairs.
Tags: Greece, Greek people, Pasok party, ND, Greek austerity, Greek election
It is well reported that Greece has been experiencing extreme financial difficulties for many years now. The country, its people and its government have been tested almost to the limits. Their elected leader George Papandreou was replaced by a non elected technocrat, Lucas Papademos, late in 2011. Papademos was appointed to appease the EU leaders and money men and women of Europe. Papandreou had already begun to implement measures to reign in Greek expenditure but this has now got a whole lot worse.
Whilst Greece had to learn to live within its means implementing strict fiscal measures too quickly is a recipe for disaster especially personal disaster for many Greeks. Ordinary Greek people have never been the most affluent in the World. There will of course always be some that are but the majority of Greeks struggled to eek out a living. For many now that living has gone.
As series of protests and Strikes last year held back some of the changes but they did not manage to prevent them altogether. Greece is waiting for the next phase of its EU bail out and the wolves are already baying at the door. EU leaders such as Merkel and Sarkozy still want Greece to do more. They are not satisfied with the economic cuts and want further more swineging cuts in operation sooner rather than later.
But what of the Greek People? They are the ones living with the newly implemented austere measures.
Unemployment has sky rocketed in Greece. Those without any means of support are often having to rely on charitable soup kitchens and the like. Those affected come from all age groups and both sexes. Families have been particularly hard hit.
On January 16 UK TV aired a report on the poverty Greek families are experiencing. It is so bad that many have felt their only option has been to give up their children. Whilst you may sit back and say I would never do that pause for a moment. Until you are in such dire straits you do not know what you would do. People often feel so useless they feel their family would be better off without them.
The report centred on one orphanage that was struggling to make ends meet. There are reports of children simply being abandoned on the streets by desperate parents. In such times substance abuse, mental illness and crime tend to increase which can all add to the woes of children.
Shockingly one child was left at a school with merely a note. It read "I cannot afford to look after her. Please take good care of her. Sorry.' The child was 4-years-old. One children's centre had children left literally on its doorstep. And on the terrible stories go.
Do not judge those involved though as you do not know thier personal circumstances. Whilst those involved may include a heartless parent most are truly heartbroken at the loss of their child or children. Ant it can only get worse in the short term.
Pharmacists are rapidly running out of stock. Greek government policy has led to many companies choosing to sell their medical goods abroad rather than in Greece.OPINION: Whilst the EU cannot simply keep throwing money at Greece it does need help. Western people often raise funds for good causes and surely the Greek people are just that right now. You can chew over why and how they came to this terrible state of affairs but that does not help those struggling to survive. In the end the children of Greece will almost resemble those starving children of Africa. Africa has its own set of problems including drought and more. As yet Greek children still have so much more than African children hit by famine. That could all change.Greece is in a financial mess. Fact. The 1% of the World though will continue to prosper often at the expense of the poor. That cannot be right. It is a step back a few centuries. We flatter ourselves that we are civilised human beings so perhaps we should start behaving as if we are. If you are able support charities, such as UNICEF and Save the Children, that try to offer assistance to children around the world. Every little will help.Of course there could be self-centered greed still existing in Greece, the EU and other countries. You do not have to be a party to that though, do you?