I wish somebody would explain to me how imposing a 22% reduction in the minimum wage will enable the Greek government to pay its debts. Or why selling off state assets at fire sale prices will restore the country's Depression ravaged economy.
The smart money left Greece early in 2010, buying homes in expensive areas of London, to be near "the City." Nobody who could find a way to evade taxes has ever paid them, and the tax collectors themselves have no intention of collecting them.
Papandreou, when he was in power, was the third generation of his family to hold that post. That tips it off, the place has been run by the same people for a century, looting as they went, until it's bankrupt. It's like anything else of its kind, you can't find the money and there will be no restitution.
It's not really about paying the debts - it's about enforcing the rules of neo-liberal economics - the rich must get richer and the poor must get poorer. Hence the demand for a reduction in the minimum wage, and for the final looting of state assets. Of course Goldman Sachs helped set the stage, long ago, with some artful transactions. What else is new?
If the Greek people decide to walk away from the whole mess I support them. However, I would suggest they get a completely new set of leaders. Their leaders are greatly to blame.
As investors, this is similar to driving past an extremely ugly accident on the throughway. A small car has been totally flattened, while the tractor trailer that caused the damage is hardly dented. The blue lights are flashing, the flares and traffic cones, the ambulances and fire trucks, etc. Traffic inches past, slowed to a crawl while the occupants of the passing vehicles gawk at the carnage.
Soon enought we will pass the wreckage, get back up to speed, and forget about the dangers that always lurk on the highway. It always happens to someone else, and life goes on.
So another small country has been looted by its own leaders and leading citizens. Of course the poor will need to get poorer, until the required results are achieved, that there is no minimum wage, as is the situation in Germany, and the hewers of wood and drawers of water can work for 50 cents an hour, if one has to pay them at all.
Greece can be reorganized along historical lines, with the Germans as the virtuous, disciplined Spartans, and the remaining Greek citizens relegated to the role of helots.
And the wealthy can cruise the sunlit Mediterranean on their yachts, the wine dark sea, the rosy fingered dawn, life as it should be.