Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Government blood money again the solution

There is much talk about the government pushing ahead with reforms etc. Proof of this lie is the governments response to businesses. Being a so-called 'conservative' party one would assume that their base is the small and medium business owner. But their response in light of the financial crisis and riots puts paid the lie that they support these businesses.

They are throwing money at businesses that have suffered damage from the rioters and are paying unemployment benefits to those left unemployed till February. This is what they did after the fires, which directly lead to the death of many people.
The structural problems however still remain. People are not going to the centre to shop, they are still too afraid. Experts say that consumption in the centre of Athens is down 60%. So now we have the case of those businesses that escaped the rioters are suffering.

And the 'conservative' government is also still holding tightly onto the reins of the market economy.
In the USA, shops have already started sales of up to 70% so that they can increase their cash flow and help them survive this current period where cash flow is restricted. Here in Greece small business owners wanted to do something similar and asked the government to allow them to start sales early. In Greece shops can only have Christmas sales when the government decrees they can, which is scheduled for late January.
The minister for development firmly stated that sales will not be brought forward. Now if i were prone to hyperbole, I would say "what sort of communist state are we living in, is Karamanlis emulating Stalin? But i wont say that. but I will ask "Since when do businesses have to ask the government when they can have sales?"
If my business is going to go bankrupt and i need cash now, why should some government employee, who gets paid through my taxes tell me when i can have a sale. It's my business, heck, it's my livelihood at stake. If I don't get the cash when I need it to pay, oooh lets say government utility bills, no one is going to feel sorry for me, nor will the bank when they come in to sell my business because I can't pay back the loan.

So why does the Economist and the Socialist worker both believe that this is a 'conservative' government that is pushing forward economic reforms?
I don't know. What i do know is that many small and medium businesses will be suffering this Christmas, and as a result, the rest of the Greek economy. But what do the Elites care? They are well insulated in their government jobs, won through party favouritism and affiliation and not on merit. Its easy to strike as a government employee, when the government will guarantee your wages for the duration of the strike. The problem is, as always, that the little guy suffers and structural problems persist.

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