On Tuesday night, Greece’s Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos essentially admitted that his government failed to deal with critical economic issues and as a result “killed” the middle class.
Speaking in an event organized by the Parliamentary Budget Office, Tsakalotos said that his government failed to battle tax evasion because this is an endeavor that takes a long time. He also said that the existing tax system did not allow for a more fair distribution of taxes and as a result the middle class received a very tight squeeze, while at the same time the lower class did not benefit from the tax hikes of those who have more. He also admitted that the main concern of this government is to “protect the poor.”
Well, this is not a government then; this is the Salvation Army. Or a modern-day Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Or a bunch of middle-aged men who play Che Guevara, clinging to their teenage Marxist fantasies; on the backs of Greek people.
Sorry, Mr. Tsakalotos, but a statement like that shows that this is not exactly a government for all people but a government “for the poor.” Where, of course, the cabinet, the MPs and party members live the high life, enjoying all the privileges of power. This is a statement that does not belong to a Western European economy and a euro zone member state but to some banana republic.
The continuous failures of the Greek government to manage even the essentials of an administration has brought officials to say things that are beyond logic and reason. In two years, those who act like ministers and general secretaries haven’t figured out the security contributions for professionals and freelancers yet. They haven’t decided yet on a tax system. They haven’t decided on the road tax. They changed three education ministers and each one had his own view of the university entry exam system. They haven’t completed the establishment of the privatization fund yet while at the same time they block all privatizations that they have agreed on. The list of failures is endless.
And so is the list of insane arguments to cover the apparent inadequacy and incompetence. For instance on Monday Interior Minister Panos Skourletis was saying that part of the Public Power Corporation will not be privatized. On Wednesday he said that the privatization of part of PPC was planned by crooks who work against the public good, but he accepts the sale of PPC because it is a collective decision and as a person who believes in democracy he accepts all collective decisions(!).
This back and forth on all issues has made Greek people lose their trust on the administration. The SYRIZA downfall in polls continues, following the downfall of the Greek economy as government mishandling of major issues have brought the country in the same position as it was two years ago.
As for the “poor” that SYRIZA and Mr. Tsipras pretend to care so much about, they are poorer now. Along with the middle class who are driven close to poverty after the new tax avalanche and the higher cost of living. The confiscations of homes of those who owe to the State and the advertised “raid” and confiscation of undeclared assets indicate that this government does not want to draw a growth plan to create new wealth but appropriate the wealth of their citizens. And, again, this not something that a democratic government would do.
If the party in power believes that by making more Greeks poor they will get their vote at election time, they are sadly mistaken because even the poor feel — and are — poorer now.