Opinion

The Great Debate

Greek bailout sham

By John Kallianiotis
July 29, 2013

Driven by its bailout loan terms, the Greek Parliament recently voted to lay off 25,000 more public employees. The public has responded with demonstrations while striking public sector workers try to disrupt air and rail travel, law enforcement and medical care.

How did Greece get to this point, where creditors dictate what jobs the government should cut as a condition for continued bailout loans, and where its outraged citizens take to the streets? What are the chances that Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ newest plans to fire or cut salaries of thousands of government employees will work?

The fact is that Greece’s fortunes have been deteriorating since its entry into the Economic and Monetary Union and the ascension of corrupt politicians, who don’t care about the country’s future. Essentially, they have sold much of Greece’s wealth at bargain-basement prices and used the nation as collateral.

Unless a new democratic, conservative government is formed and led by civil servants with integrity, future generations in Greece are in big trouble. Continuing on the current path will destroy my homeland.

The people of Greece are trying to be heard — but no one has listened in more than a decade. Had the government sought input in its 2001 entry into the European Union, the referendum would have failed.

Joining the EU sent Greece down a slippery slope toward the common currency trap. Virtual socialism followed, along with European subsidies that were wasted rather than put to good use.

Draconian measures will not lead to Greece’s economic resurrection. Politicians might not like my solution, but Athens must consider leaving the euro zone. In doing this, it must stop taking loans, stop debt payments and stop selling off its national wealth – which belongs to the future generations and not to the current political parties.

Greece needs a simple domestic monetary policy and an expansionary fiscal policy — the opposite of what the European Union is demanding.

The country has to use its human and natural resources to recover. Unless it can reverse the 60 percent youth unemployment and emigration of many educated people to other nations in Europe, the Americas and to Australia, there will be little possibility of growth and future improvement.

Strong leadership is also needed to crack down on tax evaders.

Only after Athens’ financial house is back in order and people are back to work can my devastated homeland be expected to repay loans that its corrupt leaders have squandered for the past three decades.

 

PHOTO: Demonstrators stand during a protest in front of the parliament in Athens, July 17, 2013. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis 

 

Comments
13 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

They just mentioned the word referendum in Greece and Papandeou was whisked away faster than if he had an accident at a formal gathering.

Ireland had even rejected a referendum and they made them vote on it again because
“They had voted wrong the first time”.

You can’t tell these people NO.

Posted by Laster | Report as abusive
 

Greece was one of the greatest and earliest advanced civilizations. WHAT HAPPENED!!

Posted by GOLDENRULE | Report as abusive
 

its a naïve approach. realistically if Greece ceases plans to make debt payments the country will lose all investor confidence and Greek entrepreneurs will never see the kind of capital needed to start any potentially successful venture. No competent lender would ever assume Greece will attempt to resume payment. The standard of living is going to plummet in the next few years and Greek politicians that pledge an irresponsible quantity of resources to preserve an unsustainable standard of living will likely win many elections to come. Its up to the European lenders to realize any money going into Greece is likely not coming back, but put this way it seems more clear the end result is a faster rate of decay.

Posted by theobvious | Report as abusive
 

A few Eurozone countries, most notably Germany and France, desperately want ALL debtor countries like Greece to remain on the euro so they will be paid in euros. All the “bailout” money is just flowing into and immediately out of Greece and back to the big banks in western Europe. For Greece to recover, someone has to lose, and the Eurocrats are determined it won’t be the major debt holders. Inevitably this means the losers will Greece and the Greek people. It’s a simple either-or proposition, and there is no happy middle ground.

Posted by Pat_Rich | Report as abusive
 

What the author writes is big nonsense. Leaving eurozone and “expansive” fiscal policy would be a path for Greece towards Albania and Bulgaria. Look just at the bloated public sector, and widespread cheating on state. What Greece needs is completely new socioeconomic framework based on work, honesty, anticorruption. Greece has in fact big luck of being in the eurozone where it can be put under regime which is enforcing these values.

Posted by wirk | Report as abusive
 

Greece leaving the Eurozone ??? Why not ? – Good luck !!Back to the good old habits ! Those which got the country bankrupt !!Greek people(all politicians were democraticaly elected….)and nobody else have wasted subsidies from EU for ages, have populated all corridors of the country with civil servants showing-up once in a while in the office,if ever, have tolerated masses of people eluding taxes .One has to bear the consequences of one’s behaviours , soon or late and the time of the easy money is over ! Ask money to your tax eluders , not to me. I know my money would disappear in some obscure pocket !

Posted by jupiler8912 | Report as abusive
 

Reuters should not allow such low level opinions to be published. It is a respected company and its coverage of the Eurocrisis has proven extremely helpful so far.

This piece is superficial, shallow, written in poor English and proposes a simplistic solution that not even Greek people seem to want.

Devaluation, default and more public spending will leave Greece short of investors’ confidence, outside of the Eurozone and probably of the EU (the ignorant who wrote this article seems to be confusing the two) and still without an economy.

Posted by AlfonsoR | Report as abusive
 

It’s all everyone else’s fault? I don’t think so. But a bigger whopper is your idea that you can just print fake money to pay all of Greece’s phony bills and phony civil servants.

Posted by ricktasker | Report as abusive
 

How did Greece get to this point, where creditors dictate what jobs the government should cut as a condition for continued bailout loans, and where its outraged citizens take to the streets?

Does JK have any proof of this allegation, or is he just blowing steam?

The debt rule, as established by the Treaty of Maastricht, is that ALL euro-user countries must not exceed the national debt limit of 3% per annum.

It appears that, for the bailout funding, this is all that the EU is asking. So, how does JK know that the EU specifically asked that the staff of the state TV be reduced?

The choice of budget reductions should be that of the Greek state and its ministers.

What are the chances that Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ newest plans to fire or cut salaries of thousands of government employees will work?

It has to work, or Greece must leave the euro. Which would be an even worse alternative for the country.

Posted by deLafayette | Report as abusive
 

The only sham here is the pretense that there’s any possibility of Greece repaying it debts, in the eurozone or out of it. Unfortunately for the Greek people, they repeatedly elected politicians who implemented unsustainable policies and expenditures which allowed the citizenry a standard of living which the country’s economy cannot support. The culture won’t change until the people demand it. Meanwhile, the standard of living for most Greeks will return, one way or another, to what the country can afford.

Posted by Zaichik | Report as abusive
 

@theobvious maybe a difference in perspective to what i see as simple disconnects. referring to investor confidence as the sole measure of return in the Grecian economy, if this were true we obviously wouldn’t be at this juncture. the idea of competent lenders introduces the notion that financiers weren’t simply loading the nation with debt, abrogating the simplest of fiduciary responsibilities.

As it stands the financial community appears to be suffering the least when the numerous smaller sacrifices affect the population disproportionately.

What substantial difference could there be, less the spectre of hyperinflation, in Greece defaulting on its
loans and reinstituting the drachma, than receiving more debt in the form of bailouts – that disappear to creditors anyway – leaving the population in this financial lurch ?

Posted by Laster | Report as abusive
 

Germany will not succeed in its attempt to turn Greeks into Germans. Greeks must emerge from their debtors prison, even if this means their jailors must take pennies on each dollar of debt. Otherwise, the road to recovery is endless, because restitution is impossible. The Irony is macabre; Germany is seeking reparations from Greece!

Posted by JamesSutton | Report as abusive
 

Greece – like Detroit but without hockey.

Posted by Mickelenische | Report as abusive
 

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