Sunday, July 19, 2015


Looking at various left wing blogs and you see Greece portrayed as the underdog standing up to the money-changers infesting the temple.

I was interested to read this alternative view ..... 

Experts mandated by the European Union to investigate the causes that led Greece to the current economic situation relate the following facts:

Greece falsified its accounts to enter the euro zone and has distorted the facts until it finally exploded. There were massive retirements at the age of 50 years.  The Evangelismos General Hospital in Athens employed 50 drivers for hospital vehicles andfor official's cars and 45 gardeners for a small lawn with 4 bushes.

Greece has the highest population in the world of people reporting an age of 110 years. The deaths are often not registered and pensions continue to be received. The EU found that there are families receiving up to five pensions which they are not entitled to.  There were still pensions paid to persons who died in 1953, 60+ years ago. 40,000 girls received monthly life pension of 1,000 euros for the simple fact that they were unmarried daughters of deceased civil servants. This, at a cost to the state coffers  of €550 million euros per year. Now they will receive pensions only up to the age of 18.

The pacemakers in Greek hospitals were acquired at a price 400 times  higher than in British hospitals. In Greece, many workers have benefited from early retirement, set at 50 years for women and 55 for men who belong to one of the 600 job categories identified as particularly painful among which included;

- Hairdressers (because of dyes that may be considered harmful)
- The musicians of wind instruments (blowing into a flute is exhausting)
- TV presenters (the microphones are supposed to cause damage to health).

There are thousands of rorts going on.  Take for example the Kopais Lake Agency created in 1957 to supervise the draining of the lake and building of a new road. The task was completed that same year, but the agency with a full-time staff of 30 (including a driver for the president of the agency) still existed through until 2010. 

In the last decade, Greece has created over 300 new public companies. Tax evasion is massive, over 25% of Greeks do not pay a penny on personal income tax. In addition, the weight of the public sector in the economy is overwhelming. There are about one million officials to 4,000,000 active people.

The average salary of employees of the railways exceeds €66.000 per year ... and this includes cleaners and other non-skilled workers.   While 90 million tickets are sold on the Athens Metro many people travel for free.   The income generated comes nowhere near to covering the operating cost.

French retirees receive, on average, 51% of the last salary, the Germans 40%, North Americans 41% and the Japanese 34%.    Meanwhile, Greek pensioners receive 96% of their salary earlier.

Greece has four times more teachers than Finland, the best situated country in the last PISA report, while the student performance in Greece is the lowest among many European countries by comparison.

In an apparent show of goodwill to the EU the Greek Government eliminated 10,000 postal worker positions .... 8,200 were found to be dummy positions.

No wonder the EU, the ECB and the IMF took such a hard-line on the latest bailout.


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Why am I instantly reminded of what Richard Prebble discovered when he kicked the scab off that festering pustulent sore which was NZ Rail?

Andy said...

Greece may have falsified its accounts but the rest of Europe ( especially Germany and France and Brussels) knew all of this.
To allow Greece into the European Union wasn't a decision based on sound ecomomics but a political decision by people trying to create a legacy for themselfs.

Noel said...

Adolf the issues at the time for NZ Rail were basically pilfering and inefficiencies. Both could have been simply overcome with out resorting to selling to a foreign buyer who ran it into the ground whilst increased trucking tore up the roads.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...


Go a nd read Prebble's book. There was a lot more than you say. Off the top, I recall the story of half a dozen wagons in the sea at th end of a wharf and of the mainanence crew working for twelve years on a disused piece of track.