Greece Still Kicking and Screaming

by Ryan on June 29, 2010

in Economy,Europe,International Relations,Politics

Greece had 2010s fifth general strike today as around 9000 workers walked off their jobs to protest the austerity measures which will pinch their pensions and alter their cozy labor laws.  Another 24-hour strike may happen tomorrow targeting the tourism industry.  The Greek youth simply don’t want to face reality and are being riled up by self-interested unions and leftist organizations who generally see this crisis as their opportunity to impose another communist experiment (sigh).  FYI to you radicals — it won’t work, it never does, but of course this time it’ll be totally different, right?

Greece’s debt to GDP ratio appears on the US Debt Clock website (which, if you’ve never seen, should scare the hell out of you):  Greece’s public debt is 124% of GDP, while their external debt is around 172%.  That’s completely unsustainable, Greece now knows it and has started acting accordingly.

However, as the welfare state babies whine and tantrum more loudly, could these strikes and potential violence spread?  Did you see anything from the G20 Summit in Toronto this past weekend?  Different country, same basic premise from the noisy fringe.  We’ll be keeping an eye on these developments as they unfold.  I’m apprehensive about the direction Greece may take in their next national election.

{ 1 trackback }

Welfare State Burns in France | Axis of Right
October 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

rightonoz June 29, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Hi Ryan,

Have to agree TOTALLY with you on this one. Nanny states that give handouts to anyone who sticks their hand out breed a culture of ‘right’and once you try to remove these ‘rights’after decades of benefit culture you get these lazy thugs and their anarchist allies rioting, killing innocent workers. It breeds a culture that ends up with the likes of Greece (and most of Europe) being a haven for the lazy with a hatred of those who get off their arses and try to make something of themselves.

Not too many years ago I was Divisional CEO of an enterprise with factories in 4 European countries. With a downturn in the late 80′s we decided to downsize 2 of the factories.

In Germany we had to negotiate with the works council and local state on how many, though we did get to pick who we retained.

In France we had to get the government to tell us who could be laid off. Anyone wthin 5 years of retirement was protected. Any with more than 4 kids likewise. End story, in France we had to lay off the best staff, who had more chance of getting employment. I also fired the French manager for corruption (lining his own pockets) in a deal with the Thai military (fired his son also who he had appointed Thai Sales Manager prior to my taking over). The French govt made us re-hire him for a combination of ‘National Interest’ and his being within 5 years of retirement. The French factory also had an employee with a weird title who had been there through several CEOs. On finally getting a straight answer after several weeks of threats his position could be summed up as ‘the guy who puts the ski racks on the management cars on Fridays’ AND THE FRENCH GOVT WOULD NOT LET ME FIRE HIM! (I got the last laugh, moved him to another role and made him do some real work for once in his life)- Pretty well sums up the attitudes in Europe (and Australia if our Labor government gets is way) With the repeal of Howards sensible workplace laws, I can no longer fire someone without 3 written warnings, counselling, the right to have a union rep on site and a State government office oversee the dispute. In addition, I have to guarantee any female staff member who gets pregnant employment until she decides to leave before the birth and hold her job for 6 months after. (and the govt gives her $3000 for having a baby – guess how many teen girls are having babies!)

Same in New Zealand, though there we have to submit additional annual reports that tie staff and outside auditors up for weeks.

Our GA office, on the other had… if staff member doesn’t perform to requirement – out the door on the spot!

To be honest, thinking of moving our head office to the BVI both for tax reasons and to get away from the endless government interferance. I just don’t need all the crap!


rightonoz June 29, 2010 at 6:18 pm

@rightonoz – Duh, brain fade – late 90′s downturn..


Ryan June 29, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Hey Oz,

Wow, things are worse than I thought! Seriously, I figured that there were obstacles to firing someone in the EU, but that sounds ridiculous! Even your account in Australia seems ridiculous.

As things are right now in the States, you can pretty much fire anyone for any reason at any time (outside of affirmative action stuff like gender, race and reasonable disability)… unless you’re in the government sector, then you have tons of hoops to jump through — even if you’re suspended from a gov’t job, they still pay you to sit at home for months or years until they settle the issue. Unfortunately, the biggest growth sector in the USA since we became the “Obama Nation” has been in government. We should keep this stuff quiet, lest the current crew in Washington gets ideas on how to screw the private sector!


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