Wednesday, 9 May 2012
All Greek To Me
The news from Greece is bad.
While the Greeks and their beleagured economy appear to be heading for hell in a handcart - the people to blame for this state of affairs alll appear to live in the rest of Europe - no one in Greece bears any responsibility, apparently.
The position at the moment is that Greece is having borrowing billions of Euros just to pay the salaries of its public servants - because the Greek economy does not generate sufficient funds to pay its own bills.
I watched a series of interviews with Greek people on TV last night - who queued up to say how bad things are and argued that the rest of Europe should come to their rescue again.
By forgiving even more of their national debts - and lending Greece even more money while the Greek people acquired the necessary skills to live within their means.
As the interviewees spoke I couldn't help but notice they were all travelling on shiny new tram cars - similar to those, no doubt, which have wasted nearly £1 billion of public money in Edinburgh.
The problem in Greece is that for years the country has been spending far more than it earns through its national wealth - and for all that time the Greek people have remained wedded to a deeply entrenched national culture - which means that they have paid little, if anything, in the way of taxes.
So when the bubble finally burst why does it become everyone else's responsibility to put things right?
Because that's not what's happening in either Ireland or Spain - these two countries have their own financial problems, but they are both taking responsibility for getting out of a mess of their own making.
The word 'austerity' gets bandied about a lot these days - but what it realy comes down to is that countries should live within their means - because if they don't they are simply passing on their debts to future generations.
Now everyone borrows money - many governments borrow money to invest with the aim of growing the economy and improving the national wealth - but the key issue nowadays is that they must do so sensibly and not recklessly.
Otherwise they create the conditions for what we have today - boom followed by bust - and all the heartache that goes with tough economic times.
The situation in Greece is getting to the point where normally sympathetic people are getting fed up with all the constant whining - and finger pointing elsewhere.
If the Greek people can't elect a government to stand up and take responsibility for their own affairs - then they should just leave the Euro and be done.
After all no one is forcing them to stay and I'm fed up listening to all this drama - which comes down to people wanting to have their cake and eat it at the same time.