“Tomorrow a new day begins for all Greeks,” Antonis Samaras told Hellenic television viewers last Tuesday. He was quite right, of course: the next day dawned, and it was Wednesday. Today has dawned new again, and has been Thursday. At last, Greece has a politician with the foresight to sort this mess out. The People have shown solidarity, and now they shall reap the rewards of it.
Prime Minister Samaras also had the prescience to spot that Greece’s tax officers and inspectors would launch a 48-hour strike today and tomorrow, having been told in advance that their union POE-DOY would react badly to “any plans for privatisation, or tax office mergers without criteria, or the abolition of tax offices on the islands, or any wages cuts.” This didn’t leave the Unions much else to be unhappy about; but in the end, solidarity with one’s members is vital above any other consideration. And this ethic is spreading like wildfire through the Hellenic Republic…even unto the tax collectors.
You see, the tax collectors have no objection to collecting iniquitous taxes off their less fortunate citizens, because they are tax collectors: it’s their job, and they must defend it. And by going on strike, they are alleviating their fellow citizens by putting off the evil day of collection.
Further, their unions are implacably opposed to any attempt to reduce the number of taxes to be collected off poor workers, because this would be an unpalateable attack on the livelihood of their members.
What can Samaras possibly do in the face of this united front being presented by the Left? If Trade Unions are about anything, then they are about solidarity. It can only be a matter of days before half-starved Greek citizens sitting in the darkness of heat-free apartments demand yet more taxes in order to show unqualified support for their fellow workers in the POE-DOY axis of social fairness. The overtaxed will then employ increasingly cunning methods to evade the taxes, thus creating yet more employment until the entire economy of Greece consists of dedicated patriots dodging and collecting taxes.
What fun it is to jest…and yet how depressing it is to see that Berlin-am-Brussels follows policies no less hilariously committed to solidarity – in all Teutonic seriousness.
Naturally, the Berliners are blocking any debt forgiveness for Greece because they don’t want Athens to leave the eurozone in disgrace: Chancellor Merkel would rather the Greeks stayed put, regained their pride, and went on to play a full part in the future of a united Europe.
She is also showing solidarity with her German voters, who are of course passionate supporters of a eurozone that has made their exports cheap. But she is also displaying solidarity with those sensible Greeks about to sign up for the European Union Front in Athens.
Finally, Frau Merkel is expressing solidarity with France by forever denying the default of Greece, and thus saving the Parisian banking construct from instant vapourisation.
The only cloud raining on this parade of solidarity is that, to meet the terms of this ‘deal’ for new financial support, Greek gdp will have to increase by €50bn per annum, and its own banking system will have to accept a debt haircut of €31bn on the money it is owed by the State.
I suspect the idea here might be to force the Greek bankers to show solidarity with its citizens by uniting with them in a show of rock-bottom poverty.
Surely, this would be an example for other nations to follow.