A while ago i mentioned that the New Democracy party is not about fiscal responsibility. Well last week we saw it again in action. The ruling party implemented a financial bail out of those affected by the fires. 3000 euros for those who lost their house, x amount for livestock etc. All well and good but so they can wash their hands of the guilt of not dealing with the fires, no proof was requested when handing out the money. After one day, 24 million euros were handed out, by day two 72 million euros was handed out. By then many local residents were heard complaining because they were seeing non locals receiving money. Since no proof was requested people had come down from all over Greece to receive the money. False Identity cards were being sold for 500 euros and for those who were illiterate, they could purchase the services of someone to write out their application for 250 euros.
New democracy politicians had also set up their own booths and were handing out the money, cementing in the mind of the locals that ND hands out money for nothing.
Of course they could have followed the lead of Germany and allowed the local councils to distrubute the aid, as was done when Germany suffered from the flooding. But they didnt because of two reasons.
- They wanted to be associated as the guys who hand out money (like a doting grandmother who hands out cash to her grandchildren).
- And they are against the local councils because it was implemented by the PASOK government, and everything they did cant be allowed to succeed.
Unfortunately the EU is giving financial aid to Greece, i say unfortunately because without fiscal responsibility this money will be wasted. Maybe tough love would be better, let Greece struggle through this so it can learn from its mistakes. Maybe that way these mistakes won't be repeated.