Sunday, July 03, 2011

More on the Greek debts

In last week’s Sunday Times, Matthew Campbell produced a fabulous litany of Athenian parliamentary perks — such as the fact that political parties claim €10 (£9) for every electoral vote in their favour, which they then use as collateral for bank loans, and that their individual MPs are paid 16 monthly salaries a year.

This, however, was as nothing to the perks of the public services detailed by Campbell: bonuses paid to civil servants for washing their hands; other ministries where only half the paid employees actually turn up for work (moonlighting in the meantime) — made almost inevitable by the fact that the vast majority hold jobs from which they constitutionally cannot be fired. In the same spirit, Jason Manolopoulos, the author of Greece’s Odious Debt, wrote last week in The Times: “I know someone who works for the state-owned Hellenic Railways. His workload is two hours a day, he gets 14 months’ salary for a year’s work, yet can still claim for overtime.” Meanwhile, employees in the Greek private sector are among the lowest-paid, and get among the shortest holidays, of any workforce in Europe.

No comments: