I've Been Diagnosed as Heartless and Greedy by My Spin Doctors
When the State paid 1.5 billion€ to rid themselves of feckless OTE employees, the press cheered the decision instead of questioning the financial feasibility of such a hyperinflated payout for parasitic public servants.
When the judiciary was rocked to its very foundations by countless charges of bribery and trial-fixing (Ted Laskaris at Phylax expertly blogged this ongoing sordid saga), the media towed the party line again and applauded Karamanlis for tackling corruption. However, they didn't bother to ask if he even had a backup plan to keep the already creakingly slow justice machinery on top of its caseloads while judges and lawyers alike were being removed as the indictments were handed out.
When the deficit was constantly revised upwards (just do a search for "Greek deficit" and just try to count how many times it was revised), they again, rightly blamed PASOK for incurring such an exorbitant debt but refused to question the inability of New Democracy's Finance Minister to accurately report the magnitude of the debt in his first 3 attempts. He also could not pass the 2006 budget in under 3 attempts. This is also the same man who predicted he would be able to increase State revenue collection by 11% and when he realized he couldn't, he downgraded his original prediction to 5%. When he managed to collect 5.4%, the media praised him for 'exceeding' his revised target instead of lambasting him for having only collected half of his original target.
These unofficial State cheerleaders have gone overboard this time with today's commentary in Kathimerini. The journalist, Nikos Nikolaos goes back 30 years into the archives of his memory to tell his readers a story of generosity. Apparently, an entrepreneur was owed $20 million by the State for a nickel subsidy owed to him. The Coordination minister refused since the State's coffers were empty. At the same time, the Defence Minister entered the office and requested that the Economy Minister issue a cheque to get a Greek frigate out of hawk in Bremen. At this point, the entrepreneur told the ministers to use the money owed to him to pay for the Greek frigate "since the frigate is for Greece". The journalist then proceeds to praise the entrepreneur's benevolence and patriotism while insulting the Greek businesspeople of today who, as he says, are "heartless and greedy, they demand more and more from the state without putting their hands in their pockets to help Greece."
I fear that the Greek citizens are being primed for new laws aimed to further tighten the State's chokehold on small businesses because of the actions of a few plutocrats. As a business owner, I am insulted and angered by this man's opinion that we are all heartless and greedy while we pay the wages of other citizens, the health funds and burdensome taxes. We pay our own way in society and strive to contribute something to this country's economic growth. We, like so many other small business owners we know, are struggling to survive in a country whose Draconian tax laws, suffocating bureaucracy and civil servant extortionists conspire against us. The majority of us do not have teams of over-priced lawyers, Swiss bank accounts, luxurious yachts or palatial villas on the French riviera.
All I know is that if most of us "heartless and greedy" businesspeople put our hands into our pockets, all we will retrieve is lint.