Greece has just received a ‘financial’ slap from the European Union. And, according to many, justly so. Greece has been in a monetary crisis for quite some time now, and they have been receiving funds from the European Union Group to keep their country from falling apart. Even for countries, when the national debt is larger than the national income it is a technical and real state of bankruptcy.
This has happened before, but the other countries managed to tighten their belts and pulling together to reduce the debt, got their markets back on track with the rest of the EU. Spain, Portugal, and Ireland, all of them managed to accomplish this.
So what is so different with Greece? First of all, they have refused to listen to suggestions from other countries, the same ones that try to find a way with their own fiscal situation and at the same time, loaning money to Greece. Implement a new tax reform to finally get a few cents from all the billionaires that haven’t already fled to England or transferred everything to the Cayman Islands or Luxembourg? No. Raise the normal taxes on goods and services? No. For every suggestion on how to get the country in order, they raise hell in their parliament and come back with a “Nobody tells us what we need to do” attitude. Angela Merkel, our Chancellor in Germany made some suggestions last year, with the result that the general population started demonstrating against the Germans. They had placards comparing her to Hitler, and the word Nazi was on the lips of many of the protesters. I made once the comment at work that they should try that with a money shark!
So they kept getting more loan extensions amounting (alone for Germany) to billions, yes billions of Euros to keep their government employees and politicians paid, and all the while accomplishing absolutely nothing. New excuses, new promises, new governmental leaderships, and still nothing was accomplished. The Greeks who live here in Germany are just as perplexed as we do, for they feel that Greece is committing political suicide. Very slowly but surely, this is happening.
So, let me explain in layman’s terms how Greece got slapped. The Euro Group finally said yesterday that the money stops on the 30th of June. Period. No more loan extensions (they have already received three or four extensions on the loan, no money transfers out of Greece, nothing! They are sick of being put off with political tactics and the broken record sound of fleeting promises that they will get it all in order. One of the Euro-Politicians called the Greek President a `Gambler’, albeit this time around, they called his bluff! On the news, they showed the long waiting lines for the ATM’s, where the average citizen tried to withdraw as much cash money as possible. For nobody believes that the banks will swing their doors open on Monday. And why should they? They need the security that the bank managers will still receive their just dues!
So, keeping in tune with their now standardized tactics of perpetually keeping the investors (The rest of the European countries) at bay, the usually very outspoken extroverted President `suddenly’ says that he can’t make the decision all by himself! They have to present it to the `People’ for a vote, which will take at least a week. Problem is, the Greek Government hasn’t even a concept of how to radically improve their economy, so a vote of and by the people will not take place within the week. Seriously, do they think the average person living on minimum wages is going to vote YES for raising taxes, while the billionaires get off tax free? (So you see, it’s not only the American politicians, which have such an attitude?)
If the Euro Group stays on course with it’s plan of action, watch Greece go down the drain by Friday. Their will be repercussions from all sides. The educated Greeks will understand that you simply cannot keep borrowing, never to pay back the loan. The lesser educated population will take it as an affront against them. That is when the vicious economical circle circus will start, e.g. Germans will stop going to Greece for vacation with the Greeks furious at Germans. The majority of Germans have had a distaste for the situation for a long time, (against the Euro Group and Greece) and the fear that to compensate for the loss of our financial loans, a new tax will be implemented. (The Adonis Tax?) So the tourism will suffer, as well as, the people who work at hotels and restaurants. Perhaps, they may even be losing jobs when the tourists avoid Greece, which will refuel the hatred even more.
No matter what happens, it is a lose-lose situation for all concerned. I’ll still continue to visit the Greek restaurants, because they’re just like me. They understand the situation, work hard, and also pay taxes here.
And if Greece needs any more money from me, I’ll buy my work colleague a coffee tomorrow!