Except the riots, there is nothing going on. The country is paralyzed. Most of the transportation system is blocked by the people working in it that’s gone on strike.
Even some of the elderly are on the streets.
How did this happen?
It seems that for the last 40 years, there was huge demand of changes in the way Greece spends the annual country budget. There was too much spending in the area of the government jobs. They were actually giving high salaries to above 250 thousands people working in the country administration. People that did not in fact created any revenue for Greece.
Lots of other jobs as police and fire department, ministries, health care, infrastructure, military defense and the national fleet were getting more than the actual revenues.
How is this possible?
High taxes on the private sector and good flow of European money allocated from richer countries towards less fortunate. Greek government was actually leaching money from everywhere to feed it’s government sector.
A government job was paying so good, that you could afford Bulgarian, Macedonian or Albanian servants in your house. The flow of cheap work hands from neighbor countries was so solid, that there were small foreign worker’s societies in every major city. Not an actual worker, but a servant. Someone that takes care for a Greek woman’s house hold and kids, while she is busy with herself and her friends, while a waitress in the private sector was receiving merely €1000.
This is how good a government job was in Greece. But as all good things do – the miracle is over now, because huge part of it was a debt with quite high interest. Private sector was hit by the crisis and can’t pay the government the same amount of taxes as previous years, the fleet – one of the largest trade fleets in the world is hit also. Big part of the agricultural sector is fed with European money, and was guaranteed to release the whole crop production to the European market. But it is another form of credit
…And now Greece has to pay the bill.
The Debt Crisis.
Greece received a package of 110 billion (milliard) Euros to face its needs. The debt grew so much, that it was Above 100% of the actual Gross Domestic Product. Facing bankruptcy, the economy of Greece covered big part of the expenses but no significant changes in the domestic policy were made. Taxes were risen more (to the private sector), retirement age was extended with 4 more years, big increase in VAT which increased overall prices for all goods. Result of cuts and VAT raising to 23% led to 17% unemployment and the riots started.
No one wants to be unemployed in bankrupt country when 5 years ago he was living carelessly with Albanian maid to cook in the kitchen and Bulgarian gipsy to mend the garden. Both hired for less than 400 euro per month.
The real bailout.
Yesterday, after long debates a decision has been made to cut the debt of Greece with 50%. This will cost the Banks that gave Greece the credit – above €100 billion in total loss (debt + interest). Like the Bulgarian prime minister said
Imagine a Bulgarian and a Greek man in a pub. The Bulgarian is poor and orders cheap Ouzo to drink after a heavy day, while the Greek man has not worked at all and orders full meal and a bottle of 10 year old Merlot to swallow it. After the dinner, the Bulgarian is barely leaving his 10% tip and leaving back to his miserable condo, while the bartender only wants half of the bill from the Greek man, he does not give any tip and goes back to the street to riot.
Guys from EU! WTH!? Are you mad?
Are we paying the Greek economy to go on strike and riot, while we barely make any living?!
What can be done?
The commercial fleet of Greece: According to Greek man I’ve spoken 2 days ago, European companies want to make the Greek trade fleet go bankrupt, so they can buy it in low price. And this is why this crisis is … created by the “Corporations“.
Okay, let’s suppose he is right. Greece has huge fleet. Both military and trade fleets are domestic. Only small fisherman vessels are private.
Why then not to make the whole trade fleet private? That means more taxes.
Agriculture: Greece has one of the most developed private countryside. Greek vegetables are widely sold world wide. The only change needed here is to make it profitable. Even if that means higher prices. Greek olive oil is one of the best in the world. And Greece is the largest Olive byproducts exporter. They only need to stop depending on debts.
Tourism: Everyone wants to see Greece. Just lower the prices. It is a lot cheaper just few hundred miles east. Period.
The world crisis is heavy on everyone. Changes must be done. Please, try to understand. You lived a life creating debts. Debts must be paid in the end. Stop rioting, stop striking. Get back to work.
Stop blocking the borders. This is where your goods get exported.
Stop the strike in transportation. This is where your tourist are.
Get back to the village and work. There is nothing given for free. Learn from us.
Disclaimer: My opinion, even shared with some of my friends does not reflect Bulgarian opinion towards Greece. We don’t hate you guys. Just stop this already.