January 31, 2023

News Cymru

Two sides to every headline

Collapse of the Greek “Welfare” State – Greek media completely misses the point

Time and time again I see Greek media telling the half the story.

Today it is Kathimerini stating how it is bad that the government is spending less on social welfare and how it will effect pensioners the unemployed and so on.

All valid points and I am sure they are correct.

But they only tell half the story.

Taxes in Greece have been massively increased since 2008 so why is this newspaper asking the question “what is happening to taxpayer’s money, why is it happening, what can be done to fix the problem and why are the most vulnerable in society the first to feel the pinch?”. The silence from the press is deafening and it is a gross disservice to the Greek people.

The article highlights the problems with socialism but at the same time seems to condone it as an acceptable form of government.

The Greek welfare state was incomplete and ineffective even before the crisis hit the country. Abuse of power and inept management stunted its growth…

and in the same paragraph

this represented the very spirit of postwar Europe, the tangible evidence of peace, democracy and prosperity.

The paper highlights the fundamental flaw of a centrally planned economy, all people are corruptible in their own way and the centralisation of power guarantees corruption.

Power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely

One last thing with the article. It is a common piece of propaganda that is continually pumped out by politicians and media.

…it has reached a point where it could guarantee the entire population free access to every level of education and healthcare.

The key word being free. As if hospitals magically appeared with no use of labour or materials, as if the money for disability benefit came out of thin air etc etc. I am not attacking hospitals or disability benefit, I am just highlighting the point that this kind of journalism is childish and stupid. To say things are free when most people pay over half of their income to pay for these so called “free” services.

The article then goes on to measure a country’s prosperity and the development of its democracy by the size of the government’s budget as a percentage of GDP (it makes me chuckle just writing that). Again, completely and utterly incorrect and misleading journalism.

Sure, this country’s citizens can survive on smaller incomes, but they certainly cannot survive as people of Europe without access to basic public services and goods when public spending as a percentage of gross domestic product falls to the same levels as that in Malaysia or Botswana.

To make the point let us look at the economy of Botswana, a supposedly undemocratic country that is not advanced enough o be a member of the EU. (For the record the Botswana government budget is around 16% of GDP)

Since independence, Botswana has had the highest average economic growth rate in the world, averaging about 9% per year from 1966 to 1999

and it goes on

Growth in private sector employment has averaged about 10% per annum over the first 30 years of independence. The relatively high quality of the country’s statistics means that these figures are likely to be quite accurate. The government has consistently maintained budget surpluses and has extensive foreign exchange reserves.

For 9% economic growth and 10% private I am sure most people in Europe wish they were so “undemocratic” and “backward”

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