Friday, 13 May 2011

Greeks want more gifts

You remember last year we gave the Greeks €110bn? Well, it wasn’t us, it was the eurozone members. And it wasn’t “gave”, it was “lent”. Anyway, they’ve spent it and now they want another €150bn.  (So I suppose it’s “gave” after all.)

They were supposed to use the first wedge to bring in austerity measures, get their spending under control and emerge from their crisis poorer but wiser, and on an even keel. That hasn’t happened though. They did try some austerity but they didn’t like it. And the citizens have responded to the government cutting their services by in turn paying even less taxes. Taxes are largely optional in Greece. (In election years the government gives all tax officials orders to do nothing but stare at the walls of their offices, metaphorically speaking!)

So that’s the bad news. Here’s the good news: none of the €110bn came from the UK, and none of the next €150bn is going to come from the UK. Ha! In your face EZ! That idiot Alistair Darling signed us up to the Irish bailout on his last day in office (after the general election had already booted Labour from power!) and we were committed. But apart from that and a little €4bn loan to Portugal, we’ve dodged the bullets on EZ bailouts.

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