Greece: What fresh hell for the newly poor?
StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the July 31, 2012 broadcast.
By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart
– On Tuesday, 31 July, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras announced his proposal concerning the Greek universities. His main point is that in September, the universities must be reopened.
Tsipras stated, “Whatever we are suffering in this country, we cannot accept that the universities will not be open this September. If the universities are closed, it will be the spiritual death of Greece.”
Tsipras’s proposal includes appointing an intermediary for one year, whose position is designed to function as that of a student advocate, with the support of the university. This also provides an opportunity for a necessary dialogue in order to form a new University Constitution.
Tsipras, the main opposition leader, has submitted his proposal to the Greek Parliament.
– A new taxation will be imposed on drivers without insurance. There are over 1.5 million uninsured drivers in Greece due to high unemployment and lack of funds. People choose to use what little money they have left to buy food to feed themselves and their families.
On the news, ‘reporters’ try to ratchet up the fear by fretting, “What happens if you are in an accident with someone without insurance?”
The answer is simply that people with insurance will get paid by their own insurance companies. Another option is, if you don’t wish to file a claim with your own insurance company you can file a claim through a government fund, but the process will be difficult and payment will be slow.
A representative of the insurance industry put his spin on the issue by stating that the cost of the punitive tax is nothing compared to what it will cost to be in an accident without insurance.
The majority of people who do not have automobile insurance are the newly poor. They wonder where the government thinks the money for a penalty tax will come from. Sadly, the government continues to be blind, deaf and dumb when it comes to serving the people they were ‘elected’ to represent.
The kind of thinking reflected by the government-of-the-regime completely ignores the plight that the newly poor find themselves in, after being pummeled by failed IMF policies for the last 5 years. Most economists admit that brutal austerity measures DO NOT lead to growth. Even the IMF admits that their policies always fail.
The Digital Journal reports:
Former Greek finance minister and Greece’s representative to the IMF until January, Panagiotis Roumeliotis, has spoken of the bail-out Memorandum imposed on Greece by its Troika of lenders, the IMF, EU and ECB. Roumeliotis accused the Troika of underestimating the negative affects the austerity program would have on the Greek economy, pushing it deeper into recession.
In an interview with the New York Times Roumeliotis revealed officials at the IMF knew the program was doomed to failure. He said “We knew at the fund from the very beginning that this program was impossible to be implemented because we didn’t have any – any – successful example.”
He added that whilst the IMF uses Greece’s failure to implement structural reforms as an excuse for the programs failure, the real cause “is that the severe cuts contributed to the downward spiral by decimating economic demand within Greece.”
Roumeliotis’s words reiterate those of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who admitted in June that Greece’s program of austerity was important even if it did not succeed, in order to set an example to other European countries to adhere to their future obligations within the EU.
– Many unemployed tradesmen in Greece (plumbers, electricians, etc.) are leaving the country in droves and are heading to Germany.
German construction companies are aware of the crisis in Greece and are offering massive job opportunities to Greek tradesmen. Knowing the German language and having a current CV gives a Greek tradesman an advantage in that job market.
Many Greeks are drawn to this offer because they have been unemployed for over a year and believe they have no future in Greece.
– SYRIZA claims that the government-of-the-regime has already decided on new anti-social austerity measures. They are currently meeting to reach an agreement about when and how they will announce the new cuts to the citizens.
A favorite meme of the government-of-the-regime is to repeatedly tell the Greek people that they must fulfill the terms of the Memorandum, and afterwards the government will renegotiate with the Troika.
This is just one more ridiculous piece of propaganda to fool Greek citizens into accepting cuts first and renegotiation later. It’s a bogus plan because after the terms of the Memorandum are fulfilled, there will be nothing left of Greece and nothing to negotiate for.
– Fewer and fewer Greek people are able to go on holidays this summer. A 50% drop in holiday revenue has been reported.
After 5 years of brutal austerity measures, high unemployment, homelessness, starvation and daily suicides, holidays in Greece are unattainable for the majority of Greek people. Only 3 in 10 will be able to afford a small holiday this year.
Of the 30% of Greeks who are taking a holiday, most are not renting a hotel room or an apartment. They are choosing to save money by staying with friends or relatives instead.
Last weekend, the number of people leaving the cities was 15% lower, compared to previous years during the same time period. Reports state that 7,000 fewer people traveled via Piraeus, the port of Athens, than last year at the same time. Not only are fewer people taking a holiday, they are going for a much shorter period of time, in order to keep expenses as low as possible.
The head of the Greek Hotel Owners union said that this year, the drop in Greeks going for holidays is 50% compared to last year. The union is hoping that August will show an improvement.
Prices have dropped dramatically to attract local tourism, but despite the myriad of discounts, the vast majority of Greeks cannot afford to take a holiday anymore. Most people are spending their holidays at their local beaches, because they simply don’t have the money to spend on transportation and accommodations.
– Bakeries in Greece are reporting a 10% loss of sales this year. Thing are so bad that Greek families are even making cuts in their daily bread consumption!
Ignoring the reality of how difficult daily life has become for people, the criminal Greek government scrambles to please the Troika by promising to implement 21 new austerity measures. What fresh hell is this?
StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr