Thursday, October 13, 2011

News and analysis on the Greek economy

"Greece is smothered by its bureaucracy. Corruption and nepotism have raised a destructive wall in the midst of the country. Many young people do not have a chance. If this system is not demolished, Greece cannot be saved".

"the old Greece is fighting to survive". Excellent analysis of the social and political dynamics unleashed, or rather, revealed by the crisis.

Orthodox church appears to be exempt from austerity measures



Church funds are taboo in Greece. Its income is liable to taxation, but there are two major stumbling blocks. There is no accounting system to detail its actual income and no one really knows quite how much land it owns because there is no land register.

This situation suits both the church and the state, "because politicians are reluctant to upset the Orthodox authorities", says Stefanos Manos, an independent MP.

"The Greek church is a national church," says Polikarpos Karamouzis, sociology professor at the University of the Aegean, "which means there is a political connection between the church and the state, for the state awarded it these privileges. Its spiritual role is closely linked to its political function, muddying the distinction between its congregation and Greek citizens, a source of confusion which politicians use in their quest for votes."

 Greeks pay for economic crisis with their health


Rising demand and cost-cutting put services at breaking point, while drug addiction, HIV and suicide rates increase.

In a letter to the Lancet medical journal, a team lead by Dr Alexander Kentikelenis and Dr David Stuckler from Cambridge University and Professor Martin McKee from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine warns of a potential "Greek tragedy". They point to signs of a dramatic decline in the health of the population and a deterioration of services at hospitals under financial pressure. 


Greece’s unecessary crisis

20/06/2011 By


"A sensible EU bailout plan would have directed cheap funds at productive expansion rather than insisting on punitive contraction. Indeed, Greece needs concessional lending (at less than 3%) —which could be financed by means of a new E-bond, a Tobin tax, un-sterilised quantitative easing, or some combination of these and other instruments... The real lesson of the Greek debacle is not that peripheral countries should exit the eurozone (although that is now a distinct possibility); rather, it is that the current situation results from the increasingly rightward drift of Europe and the short-sightedness of our political class".

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