The Greek government spent $15 billion on the 2004 Summer Olympics, probably around $15 billion more than it could afford. Most of the facilities are closed or abandoned, and the ones that remain open are maintained with state funds. The Greek government also takes care of its people cradle-to-grave and so far the Greek people haven't stopped pretending relying on the government is anything other than a fool's game.
Unemployment in Greece is around 21% (about 5% higher than complete, adult estimates of unemployment and underemployment in the US).
The EU is bailing out the Greek government to the tune of $172.6 billion. With strong urging from Germany, the following austerity measures were overwhelmingly approved by the Greek parliament today:
- 15,000 public-sector job cuts
- loosening of labor laws and regulations
- lowering the minimum wage 20%
The next step in the Greek odyssey is that Greece will become a sort of ward of the state to the European Union. That's what usually happens to irresponsible people. In the old days they called it the "Poor House" but that might hurt the pride of the Greek people who spent themselves right into a residency in the ol' flop house.
George Karatzaferis, a Right Wing member of the Hellenic Parliament complained that the measures amounted to Greeks being "humiliated" by Germany. Karatzaferis didn't mention exactly what role the people of Greece played in their own humiliation. Neither did the producers of the above video.
The things that chills me the most is the parallel between Greece and the US. In Greece it's too late, the damage is done, the country is destroyed and the Greek people have been left unprepared to fend for themselves by a government who promised them something they could not deliver. In the US, one side is warning of looming financial problems while the other is taking over parks and glitter-bombing politicians because they want as much of something for nothing as they can get their soft little hands on.
Probably a good time for the rest of the world to start realizing its time to stop the socialism lest we all become Greece.