Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
What chicken? Samaras went to Merkel as a vassal would to the emperor. His government will attempt to pass mind-boggling cuts (f.e. cutting the under 300 Euro disability benefit to ~200 Euros, or the 370 Euro unemployment benefit to 320 - in a country probably still more expensive in absolute euros than Germany), and cutting all hospital services to the multitudes of the uninsured (meaning the probably >10% of the working population and their families - and growing- who are over a year unemployed).
Just before Samaras meeting with Merkel his government sent yet another present to Merkel: they settled with Siemens for the huge bribery scandal (out of court) that cost the Greek state over 2 billion Euros, at something like 300 million, most of it to be paid in equipment and services such as "$112 million over the next five years, to be used to fund various institutions and activities, including anti-corruption programs and money-laundering"

So Siemens, probably the largest briber in Greece recently, will teach people about anti-corruption. And in return we will forget about the real damages... Oh and I'm sure Siemens will keep mum about the crooked conservative and "socialist" politicians who to this day remain un-named.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 01:41:11 PM EST
So Greece implements every law it passes?  If so, it is alone among nations.  I find Samaras's actions to be more likely the result of either A) knowing the agreement won't pass, so he can go back to the Troika and say, "I tried.  Let's try again," or B) knowing that, while it may pass, implementation will still be blocked, and he can still play good faith to the Troika.  Completely contrived, and everyone stays on script however badly written.

As for Siemens, that gravy train isn't even side-tracked, much less stopped.  And that was a lot of gravy that flowed everywhere.  Samaras may not have received anything directly, but someone close did and expects to again, hence the settlement.  And no one will call anyone on it because everyone is in on it.  The only way to stop a juggernaut like that is for it to collapse on itself, as Credit Mobilier did here in the US 140 years ago.

by rifek on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 10:24:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If reforms aren't being implemented, something else must be causing the Greek budget to contract by 34%.

That's a big contraction. I'm going to guess that they've put through a lot of reforms, salary cuts, budget cuts, etc.

by Upstate NY on Mon Sep 3rd, 2012 at 10:40:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where do the 34% come from? Eurostat gives me a contraction of 8,5% in government expenses in the timeframe 2008-2011
by generic on Fri Sep 7th, 2012 at 07:47:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Fri Sep 7th, 2012 at 07:51:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well no, it won't implement all the measures, because these measures will cause further contraction of the economy (never mind riots) and thus they will have to be "revisited" i.e. the troika will come up with even more outrageous cuts and societal destruction.
But this will pass from parliament (with losses) and they already started to implement it: larger classes at schools, 20000 families at least unable to find public nurseries for their children, hospitals turning away people, pay cuts for what used to be respectable (i.e. relatively high-paying) jobs to poverty levels etc.
The thing is that with every new package of measures the Greek economy is being seriously damaged, because it kills off an even larger part of its productive capacity and its infrastructure (such that it was). Greek society is in shambles, creating fissures that it will take decades to mend. Meanwhile pumped up by the media and government rhetoric (Samaras' government is easily the most xenophobic and right wing government anywhere in the EU, I reckon) the Nazi party (not metaphorically, literally) is going on murderous sprees against immigrants pretty much unimpeded, if not cheered, by the police.

So anything along the lines of what we already had (austerity on steroids) is deadly. Samaras was elected on the explicit promise that he will not implement the more outrageous of the demands and will forcefully renegotiate. He has not delivered, to put it mildly.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 05:40:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series