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In the Media

article imageOp-Ed: Greek parliament approves slashing minimum wage

article:320401:6::0
By Katerina Nikolas
Feb 29, 2012 in Politics
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Athens - The Greek Parliament approved the latest round of austerity measures on Tuesday, which will see the minimum monthly wage slashed by 22 percent, and by 32 percent for the under 25's. For good measure the move was backdated to February 14.
Ekathimerini reported Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told Parliament "things are and will be difficult," but obviously far more difficult for the average worker than the 300 Members of Parliament who retain their massive salaries. With basic monthly salaries of over 8,000 euros before perks and extras their wages stand in stark contrast to the newly cut monthly wage of 585 earned by firemen and police officers.
Greek politicians haven't been too keen to be seen on the streets of Athens in recent weeks, as their unpopularity is at an all time high. They must be quaking at the thought of the arrival of 160 German tax collectors who have volunteered their assistance to Greece to help collect the 60 billion euros in uncollected taxes, who may uncover some as yet undiscovered bribes paid out to oil the political process of favours so deeply entrenched in the Vouli.
Digital Journal reported that of the 15 parliamentary ministers involved in accepting bribes from German industrial company Siemens, that cost Greek taxpayers 2 billion euros, only two were named. Greek Reporter highlighted that nothing happened to the ministers involved in the 2008 land swap deals with the Vatopedi monastery, costing taxpayers $134 million.
It all emphasises the fact that austerity heaped upon the average workers through wage cuts, slashed pensions and rising taxes would be not be necessary if the political corruption had been reined in and politicians brought to account for accepting bribes and evading taxes. As GR concludes "politicians and the rich continue to do what they want."
Whilst the idea of the proposed EU Commissioner to govern Greece's financial affairs is not entirely welcome as it imposes on Greek sovereignty, it may well prove to be a winner with the electorate if it came with a cast iron guarantee that the first to be investigated, subject to scrutiny and brought to boot for their financial misdoings are those same lawmakers who preside in slashing the minimum wage to levels below sustainability.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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