Monday, 3 May 2010
Eurozone in trouble...
The 16 Eurozone member exclusive club has faced its first crisis with Greece going down the toilet because of the accumulating debt. There are huge demonstrations organised by the Greek unions and all the television stations there are preoccupied with the reaction which of course coincides with the May day events.
Austerity measures to be introduced include moving the retirement age from 53 to 67 with immediate effect (no transitional stage) and vat increases going up to 23%, a reduction of pensions and the abolition of the 13th pay as its called there for civil service employees (civil servants have been paid 13 times a year instead of 12)
The population there of course is not at all happy although some of the mainstream newspapers are trying to explain that these measures are needed to avoid bankruptcy.
The tragic situation in Greece has also been explained by the fact that the country has never been allowed by super powers to rest and allowed to develop. The German occupation between 1941 to 1945 meant a total destruction of the infrastructure. This was then followed by an even nastier civil war which lasted from 1947 to 1951 between the communists and the democrats in fact this was the first ever Vietnam where Stalin's communist partisans fought a nasty civil war instigated by outsiders. These constant wars did not allow the country to have a clear path of development and of course there was no Marshal plan deal to help the country. Then there was the military dictatorship which lasted from 1967 to 1974 so I am afraid the history of modern Greece is one of constant conflict sponsored by outsiders. Greece was the rushed in to the EEC in 1981 by the impatient French who wanted their ally in and then the country was pushed into the Eurozone by the Germans and the French in 2002. The Germans own the postal service and the telecommunications industry in the country so they have a major interest in what happens there. The questions Merkel is raising right now is for domestic consumption because of the election she is facing. The entire situation is a mess!