Yesterday as Greek politicians debated the latest Draconian austerity measures demanded by the EU violent protests erupted on the streets. Greece is no stranger to swingeing cuts and violent protests. That has been the way of life in Greece for sometime now.
The government passed the further measures which will impact negatively on people's lives, but probably not their own. The latest cuts mean that the retirement age will rise to 67. Many Greeks have no work though as unemployment continues to rise.
The vote was a difficult one which divided the Greek parliament further. The government is already a "wobbly" coalition and it is doubtful that it will be able to remain in office as the austerity measures continue to bite. The latest round of demands will see Greek people facing spending cuts, tax rises and labour reforms.
The Greek Conservative PM Antonios Samaras has promised the Greek people that these will be the last austere measure they will face. He has promised that if further "fiscal adjustment" is needed "it will come from clamping down on tax evasion and cutting public expenditure." Surely though that is where it should have come from in the first place instead of bleeding dry the poorest in society.
Greece is now facing a sixth year of recession. So what has been the point of all these bail outs and this belt tightening. Someone somewhere along the line will be making money out this Greek tragedy.
Today's figures show that "unemployment is up at 25.4 percent in August, increasing from 24.8 percent in July and 18.4 percent the year before. More than 1.2 million people in Greece, a country of barely 10 million, are now unemployed, with 58 percent of all young people aged 15-24 unemployed."
It is obvious then that these bail outs and austerity measures are not working. They are doing nothing to help the lot of the Greek people. More austerity means more unemployment and more economic woes. It is not rocket science.
Even though the latest cuts have been passed the bail out will not be forthcoming immediately. Not yet at least. The EU and in particular Ministers in Germany will not commit to the bail out until the Greek's 2013 budget is passed and approved by the EU. The latest tranche of money is well overdue. There is little wonder that the people of Greece have no faith in their political system and the EU.
The Central Bank of the EU will not foot the bill of these new bailots. Instead the money will come from EU countries. In other words from countries that are already struggling to survive.
When will they admit that the EU is not in need of repair but should be blown to oblivion, not literally of course. It is beyond repair. Time for a re-think, surely?
Related reading: So what of politicians, bankers and big business in Greece? Are they feeling the austerity pinch. No. It would seem that they are busily stashing away wealth in Swiss bank accounts out of reach of the taxman.