Today, as the parliament in Greece prepared to vote on “austerity measures designed to prevent the country from going bankrupt,” protestors demonstrated in the capital city of Athens. Actually, they rioted to show their displeasure with the probable passing of planned budget cuts, which are part of a deal Greece made with their euro-zone partners to receive more monetary aid. Just another band-aid to slap on the gaping wound of the Greek economy. However, without the aid, the consequence facing Greece is bankruptcy. Yet, these cuts, reportedly, will cut “one in five civil service jobs and slash the minimum wage by more than a fifth.” Greece already has an unemployment rate above 20%, cutting jobs will only further increase that number as they are expecting to cut 15,000 jobs in the public-sector.
Certainly, there isn’t a clear-cut fix that will keep everyone happy. Greece’s citizens have made their feelings over the state of their economy, and the government’s choice of “fixing it, known since last year with their previous bout of riots over budget cuts. Although, they have been unhappy with the state of their economy for the past several years as their recession has deepened. The future possibility of Greece defaulting on its loans could spell trouble for the euro currency and could have a ripple effect the world over. To be sure, most countries do not want to see that happen which explains the frequent bailouts being sent to infuse the Greek economy.
This definition is from dictionary.com:
noun, plural -ties
- austere quality; severity of manner, life, etc.; sternness.
- Usually, austerities. ascetic practices: austerities of monastery life.
- strict economy
Harbingers of doom in the United States, speculate that our own nation’s debt (both national and personal) could lead us down the same road as the Greeks. I like to have a more positive outlook because if everyone buys into the negative commentary out there, what is there to stop them from simply giving up in the face of the “inevitable?” A positive attitude and can-do mind-set helped forge this nation and are exactly what’s needed to bounce our own struggling economy back. Americans helping Americans, banding together to persevere through these tough times. Not to mention, we need to employ more fiscally responsible officials in Washington.
While economic forces on the other side of the globe are struggling during 2012, I’m hopeful for a turn around in our economy this year!
Update: It is now Monday morning in Greece and the austerity measures have passed by a vote of 199-74. The riots have spread across the small nation resulting in lots of property damage due to vandalism and fires.
From today’s (12 Feb 2012) headlines on yahoo.com, by Derek Gatopoulos and Nicholas Paphitis:
From BBC headlines two days ago (10 Feb 2012), Mark Lowen’s report (There’s a great little video to watch on this link which nicely encapsulates the situation in Greece):
From last year’s (22 Sept 2011) headlines on MSN’s Money section, by Jim Jubak:
Now Monday morning in Greece (13 Feb 2012), from yahoo.com headlines, by Derek Gatopoulos and Nicholas Paphitis: