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Greece Cuts Salaries, Spending $3.3B

From a deeply annoyed Associated Press:

Greece announces $6.5 billion austerity plan

By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS

March 3, 2010

ATHENS, Greece — Greece has announced a new austerity plan worth euro4.8 billion ($6.5 billion) in savings to deal with the country’s unprecedented financial crisis.

Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis says the measures are split with euro2.4 billion ($3.3 billion) in new revenues like taxes and another euro2.4 billion in spending cuts.

He said Wednesday the measures include trimming civil servants’ annual salaries with a 30 percent cut in their holiday bonuses, freezing pensions and imposing further cuts on stipends and bonuses.

Greece also increased the sales tax from 19 percent to 21 percent and hiked taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, luxury cars, yachts, precious stones and leather goods

Prime Minister George Papandreou said Wednesday that Greece was now awaiting strong support from the European Union after ordering even more painful budget measures officials say will save the country an euro4.8 billion ($6.5 billion)…

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Papandreou said the measures were "necessary for the survival of our country and our economy."

Government officials said the measures would include cuts in civil servant’s annual pay through reducing their Easter, Christmas and vacation bonuses by 30 percent each, and a 2 percentage point increase in sales tax to bring it to 21 percent from the current 19 percent.

In a dramatic speech to his Socialist party deputies in Parliament Tuesday night, Papandreou said his country was in a "state of war" and was fighting for its national survival

One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the official announcement, said the measures would send a "clear message to the European Union and international markets" and that "we have exhausted our limits."

Note the sales tax in Greece, which is now up to 21%. And that is for every item you buy.

But you see, those lucky Greeks don’t have to pay a lot for their nationalized healthcare. Healthcare is so much cheaper over there than in the United States.

Never mind that everything else costs an arm and a leg in order to pay for it.

Still, someone needs to explain why the US government should not make the same spending cuts. (We already have had the tax increases, with more on the way.)

Jut imagine what a shot in the arm it would be for the economies of all the nations of the world. Think of how many lives would be improved around the globe.

Greece was the cradle of democracy.

Maybe it will be the birthplace for the fiscal responsibility necessary to preserve representative government.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Greece Cuts Salaries, Spending $3.3B”

  1. Highlander says:

    I sooner think that Greece is headed for some rather violent social upheaval, as the people take to the streets looking for someone to blame for their Nanny abandoning them to the real world.

  2. saccharin says:

    What is a “vacation bonus”?

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Gives the phrase “The Greek Way” a whole new meaning.

    • JohnMG says:

      Guess it depends on which side of the issue you’re on, Rusty. Either way somebody feels like they’re getting it in the…………. ;-}

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      And oh, saccharin, that’s the meaning of “vacation bonus”.

      Worker one: Day sed day was gonna gives us a bonus.

      Worker two: Whutchu sayin? Day do dat every year. We sits aroun’ an’ day “bonus”.

  4. proreason says:

    Coming soon to a country near you.

  5. NoNeoCommies says:

    So, are wonderful elected officials want to follow bad foreign legal precedents, but not foreign fiscal responsibility?

  6. bill says:

    EPIC fail of socialism … And yet our dear ‘child’ reader says we should follow Greece.

    Is anybody surprised that when the ones still left working quit, the whole thing falls apart. In real countries that really mean it, like the Soviet Union and Mao’s China, they start shooting the protesters until they stop. See Iran for details.

    Serious question, does Obama know he is lying, or does he think you are too stupid to know he is lying?


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