The Greeks Run Out Of Other People’s Money

Posted on Wed 07/01/2015 by

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Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

Sound familiar?

GreekDebtThe problem with Greece is that it wanted to develop a modern country with benefits for all, especially those that vote. Tertiary students were given free education, lodging and books. Greece was generous to those with large families. There were inbuilt systems of local protectionism to guard against competition. They were open-handed with superannuation and pensions.

Steven Hayward:

As the Greek economy continues its predictable slow motion collapse, one of the early WSJ account of the inevitable bank closures and capital controls imposed yesterday has one of the funniest sentences I’ve read in a long time, but which is also fully revealing of the decadence of the liberal mind:

“How can something like this happen without prior warning?” asked Angeliki Psarianou, a 67-year-old retired public servant, who stood in the drizzle after arriving too late at one empty ATM in the Greek capital.

No warning? Check.  Retired public servant?  Check.  But, but . . . how can we run out of other people’s money? We still have pension checks left.

George Will:

Since joining the Eurozone in 2001, Greece has borrowed a sum 1.7 times its 2013 GDP. Its 25 percent unemployment (50 percent among young workers) results from a 25 percent shrinkage of GDP. It is a mendicant reduced to hoping to “extend and pretend” forever…

The EU has a flag no one salutes, an anthem no one sings, a president no one can name, a parliament whose powers subtract from those of national legislatures, a bureaucracy no one admires or controls, and rules of fiscal rectitude that no member is penalized for ignoring. It does, however, have in Greece a member whose difficulties are wonderfully didactic.

It cannot be said too often: There cannot be too many socialist smashups. The best of these punish reckless creditors whose lending enables socialists to live, for a while, off other people’s money.

A society in sharp decline, with even its population falling:

greece1_thumb

The crisis has forced Greece to lift the retirement age from the absurd 57 years in 2009 to 67 today, meaning Greeks must now work a decade longer.

But public servants have so many loopholes, as the Labor Minister said in December:

On Wednesday, Greek Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis presented data to the parliament, explaining that almost 75% of Greek pensioners are trying to secure their early retirement through legal provisions that allow them to stop working before the age of 61.

“In the public sector, 7.91% of pensioners retire between the ages of 26 and 50, 23.64% between 51 and 55, and 43.53% between 56 and 61. In IKA, 4.44% of pensioners retire between the ages of 26 and 50, 12.83% retire between 51 and 55, and 58.61% retire between 56 and 61. Meanwhile, in the so-called healthy funds, 91.6% of people retire before the national retirement age limit,” Vroutsis said.

UPDATE

Greece defaults:

The IMF has put out a statement on Greece’s €1.6bn debt default.
“I confirm that the … repayment due by Greece to the IMF today has not been received,” said fund spokesman Gerry Rice. “We have informed our executive board that Greece is now in arrears and can only receive IMF financing once the arrears are cleared.”

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog . http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/