Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nothing but a slap in the face!

Myths about deficiencies in the Greek economy have abounded since the beginning of the crisis. Sometimes I wish the EU would install an "Office for objective clarifications of myths". That would include myths about Greek pensions, Greek working hours, Greek salaries, etc. Why can there not be objective information???

The latest item which would require objective clarification is an article in DER SPIEGEL about the harbor of Thessaloniki. If objectively correct, it would be a slap in the face of everyone who is suffering in connection with the Greek crisis (Greeks as well as others).

The article states that the scheduled partial privatization of the harbor of Thessaloniki has simply been put off. Why? Because this is the wrong time to privatize. Strikes have "successfully" hindered the process, a union representative is quoted.

Salaries of employees allegedly run up to 100.000 Euros annually. In some cases, yes, admits the union representative but "normal workers" earn "only" around 35.000 Euros annually. Did I read correctly? 35.000 Euros annually? This in the midst of an existential crisis where some teachers have to get by with perhaps 600 Euros per month? And some IKA-doctors with perhaps 800 Euros per month?

If that is true, what kind of herbs is that union representative smoking? Has he/she ever made a comparison with workers' salaries in, say, Austria? More bluntly: does he/she know what's going on in the rest of the Greek economy?

I wish someone would provide objective clarification on this article!


  1. "hat would include myths about Greek pensions, Greek working hours, Greek salaries, etc. Why can there not be objective information???"

    This is a problem maybe of the german press. I remember one Bild article with a greek pensioner (of DEKO-pubblic enterprise), who was getting like 3000 euros, with the conclusion that greek pensions are 3000 euros. While as i have posted here, in 2007 the average was less than 700 euros. But when you go chasing the exception, rather than the rule...

    The same goes for working hours etc. One can find EU/OECD stastistics very easily. But, when you have a specific agenda to serve, you don't find them.

    You would be suprised for example of how differentely and more responsibly the italian press has covered the whole story. Because apparently it doesn't have the same agenda.

    Unfortunately i can't read german and my attempt to use automatic translation brought me to despair.

    From greek news, it appears that OLTH is in the list for privatizations. In 2008 Hutchinson had expressed interest, but backed down due to the economic crisis. The article says there is hope that she will return.

    What i had heard earlier this month, is that realistically, only 2 privatizations will be done up to December. I don't remember which two. Also, if you ask me, from the times that i had watched him on tv, Mr. Koukiadis was the wrong person. My idea of him is that he didn't want to privatize anything, under fear of facing later charges for damaging pubblic interest.

    Employees take 100.000? And normal 35000? What can i say... I find it a bit hard to believe, although, being pubblic enterprise (where PASOK's loyalists were put), they sure had higher salary than a teacher. But so high? I find it hard to believe.

    But there is one thing true. The new ministers that took office now said that they found out that the administrations of the pubblic enterprises have yet to implement the cuts to the salaries that in theory have been legislated in April. They simply "forgot".

    The only thing that i understood from that union worker is that she is against Cosco. This means she is most probably KKE union worker (PAME) or SYRIZA. But, most probably KKE (SYRIZA used to be the left of rich leftist intellectuals, their penetration in union workers is still low compared to KKE).

    I think you still haven't understood that KKE has no parallel elsewhere in Europe. KKE regards the current european communist parties are revisionist and traitors. KKE, before the crisis, was advocating 1200 euro as minimum salary. If you think you are addressing people who have contact with reality, you still have a lot to learn about greek politics.


  2. KKE's position in 2 words:

    "Out of the euro, out of the EU, out of the NATO, socialization of wealth, the people to power, unilateral and complete negation of paying any part of the debt".

    A joke in Greece is: KKE continues to live, because it forgot to die when the Berlin Wall fell.

    Here is the condolences telegram that our KKE sent to North Korea for the death of Kim Yong Il", The best part:

    "The people of Korea has the right to proceed to the path of development (!) that has chosen (!)against all kind of imperialistic interventions in the interior affairs of the country.

    The defence of this right has special importance, now that the imperialistic forces are awaiting on ambush against the Popular Democracy of Korea.

    The KKE stands against these plans.Stands solidary with the anti-imperialistic struggle of the workers' party of the korean people".

    ^ This is the official KKE newspaper.


  3. Μr. Tsipras has already warned that when he will become PM, will pass from special court, the ministers that will "sell out" greek state property or enterprises. Also warned investors that he wont' recognize as valid the contracts signed today (a dubbious threat, unless he goes Chavez 100%).

    The threats would normally be ridiculous, if it wasn't for the fact, that unless something spectacular happens, to arrest the "attrition" that the goverment will inevitably have,continuing with the current plan, Mr. Tsipras WILL in deed become at some point PM. One must be blind to not see this.

    And, i bet there are various ministers in the goverment, that in deed, fear that they may indeed be charged with "damaging pubblic interest", if they sell property at very low cost. SYRIZA is populist enough, to in deed drag some ministers to Court, if not for anything else, because it would make it hugely popular to put finally, some politicians on trial, even if for the wrong reason.

    Either way, 50 bln is a joke, as long as drachma danger stands. In order to sell, you have to go much lower than the real value currently to lure investors. In the best case you can put a future clause. But when you are on the floor and desperate, more often than not, you loose in negotiations.