Greece passes tax and pension reforms


Controversial austerity measures could unlock more international bailout money for the country, allowing it to access a loan instalment of €5bn (£4bn).

Before the vote, protesters in Athens threw petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas.

Trade unions say the country cannot bear another round of austerity.


Petrol bombs as part of a protest?

It seems democracy doesn’t work all that well even in the land that created it.



It seems that socialism does not work anywhere. I feel sorry for the people of Greece who swallowed the lie that they could work 30 hours per week with 4 weeks of vacation and retire at age 50 on someone else’s labor. You need extremely high productivity to live well on little work.


I love how capitalism is obviously failing Greece, and yet people still blame socialism.


It’s the socialist programs of government that have overloaded the system.

Capitalism has no mirages of an ever-shorter workweek, and ever-increasing benefits and continuing to create wealth.

Greece was just the weakest link in the chain; the entire EC will be in trouble in time. I say this without any nationalistic chauvinism; I am a total fan of the EC, however, it may just have been an idea that was tried too big too soon.



I posted a link to an article awhile back about how Greeks actually work longer hours than Germans. I’ve also read about people in Greece with college degrees foraging for food in dumpsters.


What’s EC?


Oops, I meant EU. EC is the old term for it.



Ahh okay

Also, can someone give me a brief summary of the EU and it’s pros and cons? I’m mainly focused on American politics, so I don’t really think of the EU.


The EU, European Union, emerged from the Bretton Woods accords in the aftermath of WW2.

Bretton Woods, over time, led to the European Common Market, a business arrangement between several West European nations to facilitate commerce between them. As years passed, this morphed into the European Community or EC (hence my oops):). and added progressively more nations.

In 1992, the EC was formalized as the EU. It acquired a flag (the twelve golden stars, representing the original member nations, on a blue field) and had changed from a purely commercial alliance to a “superstate” having various powers of governance. In 2002, the member nations adopted the Euro currency (although Great Britain and Denmark opted out) and around the same time, the Schengen treaty suspended customs controls among the member nations (although GB and Irelsnd opted out), creating a customs-free zone in west-central Europe.

The goal was to create a common prosperity that would make the economic and other rivalries between nations unnecessary. To an extent, that was achieved; the Euro, which initially traded at US$0.88, was valued up to US$1.50 in 2010. And the institutional framework of the EC/EU has allowed an unprecedented integration between the nations there.

But we should not be surprised that they have difficulties. The integration of economies that have been centennially and institutionally separate should not be expected to be trouble-free.



The problem with the EU is that the reliance of a common currency the Euro strips a country like Greece from one very useful element of macroeconomics; that is monetary policy. It cannot depreciate their currency to reflect their economic circumstances. It lives within a conglomerate of competing economies controlled essentially by Germany who ekes out largess to maintain Greece as a vassel State with no hope of every repaying its growing debt. Reminds me of the hegemony of Athens and the Delian League. Greece may be reliving its own history.


Greece could always just stop borrowing money.





ATHENS — Vasia Veremi may be only 28, but as a hairdresser in Athens, she is keenly aware that, under a current law that treats her job as hazardous to her health, she has the right to retire with a full pension at age 50.

“I use a hundred different chemicals every day — dyes, ammonia, you name it,” she said. “You think there’s no risk in that?”

“People should be able to retire at a decent age,” Ms. Veremi added. “We are not made to live 150 years.”

Perhaps not, but it is still difficult to explain to outsiders why the Greek government has identified at least 580 job categories deemed to be hazardous enough to merit retiring early — at age 50 for women and 55 for men.

Greece’s patchwork system of early retirement has contributed to the out-of-control state spending that has led to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. Its pension promises will grow sharply in coming years, and investors can see the country has not set aside enough to cover those costs, making it harder for Greece to borrow at a reasonable rate.

As a consequence of decades of bargains struck between strong unions and weak governments, Greece has promised early retirement to about 700,000 employees, or 14 percent of its work force, giving it an average retirement age of 61, one of the lowest in Europe.

The law includes dangerous jobs like coal mining and bomb disposal. But it also covers radio and television presenters, who are thought to be at risk from the bacteria on their microphones, and musicians playing wind instruments, who must contend with gastric reflux as they puff and blow.


For some countries in Europe, the EU is like a parent who gives a teenager a credit card and tell’s them to go have fun with it, then when they get into serious financhial trouble the the parent turns into a vicious loanshark. And if you still don’t think these people are evil, do a search on where most of the bailout money to Greece goes.


“OK, I accept we have to change but, like this, that’s not fair. How can anyone survive on a national monthly pension of €384? How can a state function when over 25% of its population is unemployed?”

Ahead of Monday’s eurogroup meeting meeting, finance minister Euclid Tskalotos warned darkly of the perils involved in demanding yet more cuts of a nation whose economy has shrunk by more than 25% in the six years since successive governments began slashing budgets in return for bailout

                                                  Eventually the Greeks will be working in a state of slavery with no pensions to look forward. I mean how many times can you agree to new austerity measures.


50 year olds don’t need to be retiring.




And Greece could well be heading for a perfect storm of discontent. A dead economy, crushing austerity measures, and an invasion of Muslim refugees.


I find that a bit shocking coming from a Texan…:confused:


‘Everyone’s outraged’: angry Greeks foresee Grexit and drachma’s revival

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