Wolf Posted July 1, 2011 Share Posted July 1, 2011 Now that the frenzied-whine of Athanasios has subsided, I decided to do some research on the Greek debt crisis. My conclusion? The Greeks have only themselves to blame.The Vanity Fair article does the subject better justice than I ever could, but among some choice facts:-The Greek government stopped collecting taxes during election years, so that incumbents would be more popular at the polls.-Greeks consistently underreported their gross income on their taxes, in many cases reporting as little as 30% of what they actually owed (for many, that meant reporting as little as 12,000 euros a year).-Goldman Sachs was hired to cook the country's books, in the hope that EU regulators would never notice the country's $1.2 trillion debt.-In exchange for worthless bonds, the Greeks received $145 million from the EU and the IMF as a bailout.-The retirement age for Greeks is 55 for men; 50 for women.-All Greek salaries were vastly inflated. The equivalent of a construction worker made 80,000 euro a year (and, naturally, paid none in taxes).-Monastaries, the classic "guy on the side of the little guy" in Greek history, were given millions of euros in bribes.My conclusion? The Greeks earned it. They literally lied, cheated, and stole. As a society. And the best-case scenario is that Germany basically buys Greece at the repo auction. Sure, the bribery and the outright cheating of the EU is the fault of the government: but the widespread system of tax evasion and the sense of entitlement to an irresponsible high-wage/no-tax environment is squarely the fault of an unrealistic (naive?) Greek people. I look back on Athanasios' absolutely infantile "revolution" and I laugh. I laugh hard. ("Athens today, Berlin tomorrow!"). In one sense, it's amazing just how well he "represented" the facts.But, seriously, in all fairness, this country's behavior (as a government, or as a people, take your pick) was reprehensible. It makes Lehman Brothers look like a model for professional responsibility. The only thing that went wrong was, predictably (though, I guess not to them), the money ran out. And what did they do? Blamed everyone in sight who wasn't Greek. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.