In addition to Nobel Prize-winning economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz saying austerity during a recession doesn’t work, and the ample evidence in Ireland and the Baltics that retraction is tantamount to death by a thousand cuts, for whatever reason these kinds of measures also aren’t very popular.
The way Evi Simopoulou sees it, the austerity measures imposed on Greece as a condition of a $150 billion rescue package punish everyone for the government’s failures.
“We didn’t eat the money,” said Ms. Simopoulou, a 29-year-old computer programmer from Athens. “They ate the money.”
As the Prime Minister George Papandreou struggles to convince the world that he has what it takes to push through the reforms to keep Greece competitive and the Euro strong, there is one main obstacle in his path: Greeks.
Although he has so far stayed the course, many are furious about the reforms, which have raised taxes, lowered salaries and left them with a pervasive feeling that they are caught in the cogs of larger economic forces. Their anger has spilled over into waves of street protests, incuding one in May in which three people died.
God, poor people are so stupid. They just have to understand that they are financially responsible for bailing out their country in the aftermath of happy time at Wall Street casinos located roughly five thousand miles to their west. It’s time for everyone to suck it up and pay a little more so elites in the Hamptons don’t have to sell their extra yacht.
Why is this so difficult for Greeks to accept?
The problem is we don’t have a great communicator running the show. I wish Ronald Reagan was still alive, you guys.
– Allison Kilkenny