The truth is I don’t know a lot about Economics. I know that my country’s economy is in bad state, however, you don’t have to be an expert to see that. All it takes is to go to the market tomorrow and see the new food prices as government recently raised VAT of food products at 5%. Then, maybe go to the gas station and start wondering if buying kerosene for your private jet plane would cost you less. Or you can start searching for a job, or just an internship, as in my case, which will test how easy it is to reach despair. Unemployment rate in Greece is calculated at around 10% but the National Statistics Service (NSS) cannot really be trusted.
In the meantime, while trying to educate myself, I’ve been reading an article about pensions and retirement on the New York Times. Something that I already knew is that in Greece, there is a whole category of jobs which are considered dangerous and unhealthy enough to merit retiring early. I never imagined though that this happens with 580 different jobs. Here’s the funniest paragraph I’ve read this week:
The law includes dangerous jobs like coal mining and bomb disposal. But it also covers radio and television presenters, who are thought to be at risk from the bacteria on their microphones, and musicians playing wind instruments, who must contend with gastric reflux as they puff and blow.
So how do you tell a tv presenter that his job shouldn’t be considered dangerous enough to offer an early retirement, at least not earlier than a bank clerk? (Though I’m not sure, do you know how many bacteria live on banknotes?).
For years the formula for the Greek Economy was to try to please those who were near the government and if you could do that with foreign money (European Union, banks all over the world), that was even better. The challenge for the current government is to try to get away from this path which leads straight down the cliff. In other words, try to fix the economy from the inside, unfortunately with deep and painful reforms. This is why I’m very sceptical towards EU plans to bail-out Greece. What we need most of everything is to stop being like a spoiled child. If you screw up, find the way to fix everything yourself. Don’t wait for dad-EU to provide for everything.
to be continued…