Greek bailout sham
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