Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Great thinking, PASOK! More so!

PASOK's Venizelos
I need your help, please. I'm getting insane. True story. I seem to have forgotten each and every word of my mother-tongue. I'm reading an article this morning in the Greek Daily Ta Nea and I don't seem to understand anything from what it's trying to explain. You could use Google Translate to try for yourselves. But lemme tell you what I reckoned from reading it, and tell me if it's me who's getting nuts or the entire bleeding political gang in that country has become abusive beyond imagination and still trying the same old tricks. They probably fooled their electorate for forty years now, but are they in their right minds trying to cheat the rest of us with their garbage proposals? What did these folks smoke for breakfast? I really wonder!

Ok, here it goes. PASOK, the ruling party of the Papandreou clan for far too long to be any good, came out with a new proposal to 'tackle the unemployment burden' and create 'hundreds of thousands of new jobs!' 700 thousand in fact. Wow! And Wow again! Where have you been all my life, mate? Oh, you been there all the time, you said? I wonder what took you so long, Mr Venizelos (the current PASOK president), to come up with such an ingenious plan? Heard this Barack? Listen carefully, you might be enlightened too by Kyrios (Mr.) Venizelos's unparalleled wisdom! OK, here are the mechanics of the proposal. Buckle up and listen carefully. At the end of the story I'm gonna ask you for a vote, about the level of insanity and lack of touch with reality of those proposals.

Proposal NR 1: Maintain and support (these are terms they used) of half a million jobs in branches of the industry at risk. Which ones? I mean, which Industries and companies? Nothing specified. How do you select those? The criteria they propose are vague and undefined. So how do you come to half a million jobs? Do you supply cash to companies with the request not to fire people and keep them employed? How do you define which businesses are rotten to the bone and they are better off by going bankrupt instead of prolonging their death by injecting temporary cash? No word about the real questions. But listen further. The cost of this effort is estimated at 500 million euro. That is 1000 euro per job, if my math still works, right? What is this? An average of one month's pay? They are going to save these jobs for how long, they said? No mention of anything about that, mind you! OK, I am a modest businessman with a little company 50 workmen, 3 admins and myself producing fruit that we export to Germany. Business suckz and I got to fire at least 20 workmen and one admin. What is dear Venizelos telling me then? That I'm gonna get a whole 21 K to keep them employed? For how long? A whole bleeding month? Gosh, I solved my problem. Singing my way to Alpha bank!

But let's continue:

Proposal NR 2: Create an additional 100 thousand new jobs for social workers -listen carefully now, I'll only say this once!- at a cost of 450 million euros (that's four and a half months of pay, all of a sudden, not just a month as for the private sector). Add to that another 20 thousand jobs in cooperative companies of social purpose (someone explain that to me, please) for an incremental cost of 100 million. That's 5 months pay... we keep increasing the figures, eh? Civil servants are worth to Greek parties far more than private (5x PASOK reckons) and provide good votes at the polls!

Let's hold it for a minute. The math on these first two proposals tells us simply that Venizelos values a job in the private sector at one single month's pay, tops, whereas in his beloved area of social workers (socialist party you see) he multiplies that by 4.5 and 5 respectively (both in Proposal 2). Mind you, the proposed monetary support in Proposal 1 at least addresses genuine GDP contributors, whereas in Proposal 2 it's only about civil servants. The exact area where Greece's lenders (Troika) asked the buggers to start cutting... Reminds me of a personal experience back in the US when I was dealing with a loss making branch of our ops in Japan that I was asked to bring back to profitability... Big laughs! Anyways. Question: Will those PASOK geniuses ever learn, or are they testing the limits of our tolerance? Again? Can't believe it!

Proposal NR 3: Create another 80 thousand new jobs at the cost of 250 million for young people to gain experience. That's between 3 and 5 months of pay. Next what? Are they going to gain the experience of a lifetime by working for three to five months? And, ok, let's say they learn something. Where exactly do you put them to do the learning? In local government again? More civil servants then? No, he sez, we'll put them in the private sector. Well, kiddo, did you think that a struggling businessman will create job opportunities for funding he's gonna get to cover half a year's pay, tops? Not me. That's firefighting. It's nothing for a real cure long term. Did Venizelos ever had a real job in his life? Really! Or does he think that Greece's problems are over by end of the current fiscal? Dream on...

In my simple and humble mind, I suspect PASOK has fallen so low in the polls that they are now trying ultra populist argumentation that they don't even understand themselves (they counted this plan euro by euro, they said; lemme laugh) to win electorate back from the left (Tsipras). The clash of the populists is raging.

The country needs more than firefighting. Needs management and vision. Needs real fight against corruption with those responsible behind bars for the rest of their miserable lives and their wealth repossessed by the state. Needs real education of their youth, that even today, unemployed one in two, still get the necessary dough from those miserable parents of theirs to pay a scotch or three a day at 7 euros a piece, in the local bar. While complaining about the economy and their government. How about changing the culture and the idea that most Greeks nurture that only Greeks are the salt of the earth...

I'll spare you the rest of the article. It's so insane to even mention anything about. Like, Venizelos found potential pockets full of euros and cents to fund these phenomenal plans of his, by moving them coins from one box to another. He's also said that he is presenting this outstanding and unique plan to the reps from Troika. Expecting 'positive' reactions. Is he feckin' mad? Now tell me, how can Frau Merkel keep her calm with idiots like these? Then, it's all the fault of the Germans again. 

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