Greece has been in the news for sometime with very unfavorable coverage. The news organizations all claiming
Greece is bankrupt saying it’s a socialistic, welfare state. I decided to find out why the country is bankrupt. It
was hard to find one definitive source for that information. After a little research I’m not sure anybody really
has a handle on all the perks. I have taken bits and pieces from many different sources to try and explain the
We have to start with the fact Greece is a small country. It is a nation of only approximately 11.3 million
people. Its political system is the most corrupt in the European Union. This corruption has filtered down through
the entire population. Tax avoidance and general disregard for a work ethic is epidemic.
Greeks are well known as tax cheats. Some figures have Greece's underground economy at as much as 50% of the
GNP. In Greece, Greeks are allowed to state their own earnings for tax purposes, figures which are rarely
challenged. This type of behavior carries over to other tax robbing activities. For example the capital, Athens,
has a state-of-the-art rapid transport system: it is, in effect, free for the five million people of the Greek
With no barriers to prevent free entry or exit to this impressive tube network, the good citizens are instead
asked to 'validate' their tickets at honesty machines before boarding. Few bother
One in three Greeks works for the government. Government employees enjoy higher wages, more
munificent benefits, and earlier retirements than private-sector employees.Many of the
private sector employees also receive very liberal perks and benefits that are mandated by law.
In Greece as well as some other European nations, If you get sick during your
vacations, you get another one.
Civil servants can retire after 35 years of service at 80 percent of their highest salary and
enjoy lavish health plans, vacations, and other perks. Because they are so numerous, and because Greece is highly
centralized, public-sector unions hardly have to negotiate. They simply vote in their preferred bosses. Some civil
servants receive bonuses for using computers, others for arriving at work on time. Forestry workers get a bonus for
impossible to fire them — even for the grossest incompetence.
Here is another example of union intervention that has contributed to Greece’s down fall.
Incredibly, the average salary on Greece’s railways is $95,716.00, which includes cleaners and track workers. This
is almost three times the average salary in the country.
There are more perks for government workers. All civil servants receive 14 yearly checks for
twelve months work.That’s correct. In the spring and fall they receive one months extra
pay. Government unions have over the years built this into their contracts. It is mandatory each worker receive 25
paid vacation days each year. On top of this they also have 12 paid national holidays.
In addition to the holiday and vacation pay, employees who have completed 10 years of service with
the same employer, or 12 years withtwo or moreemployers, are entitled
to 25 working days of paid leave per year.This paid leave can be for anything the employee
says it’s for. I suspect most Greeks use it to recoup from the stress of working.
Greek pastry chefs, radio announcers, hairdressers and masseurs in steam baths are among more than 600
professions allowed to retire at 50 (with a state pension of 95 per cent of their last working year’s earnings) —
on account of the “arduous and perilous” occupation.
There are many ways to measure productivity for workers in a country. Fights break out all the time as
mathematicians argue the best equation. However, most studies put Greece at or near the bottom of the list for
worker productivity. It appears they will show up for work after their vacation, they just won’t do much.
Greece is in much worse shape financially than anyone has been lead to believe. Greece’s population has a
generation and a half of corrupting socialism. The lackadaisical attitude toward work and the demanding of benefits
just because, will guarantee a major collapse of their economy. After doing this research it is easy to see why
Germany doesn’t want any part of Greece. Would you lend them money?
The next time you see Greeks rioting in the street don’t feel sorry for them. They did it to themselves. All one
has to do is look around at most of the countries in Europe. Italy carries more debt as a percent of GDP than
Greece. Italy’s debt hasn’t come due yet but it will shortly. You may notice the parallels to were the United
States is heading. I just can’t understand why liberals in the U.S. don’t look at the unequivocal examples Europe
offers. I don’t mean the Occupy Wall Street protesters, but the socialist in office and those in Congress.