I expect the same across this country or any other, as turf once gained won't be relinqueshed. It's a whole different world than the private sector. The taxpayer, or federal government via new borrowings can just find more money to 'fix it'. (just don't call it 'stimulus' - doesn't poll well anymore; we're using "job creation plans" from here on out) Until the world market's say "no" such as in Greece. But even then, the fight goes on. This mindset is so entrenched even the tax collectors in Greece are walking off the job...
- Greece’s biggest union approved the second mass strike this month and tax collectors began a 48-hour walkout, showing that Prime Minister George Papandreou’s parliamentary majority may not be enough to implement his plan to cut the European Union’s largest deficit.
- GSEE, which represents about 2 million workers in the private sector, voted at a meeting in Athens today to walk out Feb. 24. The main public-employee union plans a Feb. 10 strike to protest spending cuts as Papandreou steps up budget cuts to persuade investors Greece won’t need a bailout.
- The tax collectors struck to protest cuts in bonuses to the public sector.
- Also striking for 48 hours are customs workers and Finance Ministry employees, who blocked entry to the economy and finance ministries in central Athens today, the state-run Athens News Agency reported. (you know you are screwed when people inside the finance ministry, responsible for the new "austerity" are striking - hahaha)
- “It is still the beginning,” Stathis Anestis, the GSEE spokesman, said on the telephone today. The slogan for the strike is “people come first, markets and profit second,” he said. Anestis reiterated the union’s view that Papandreou’s government “succumbed” to the markets.
- Greece’s plan to narrow the budget gap won European Commission backing yesterday after the government announced more measures to reduce the shortfall. Papandreou promised to increase fuel taxes and raise the retirement age, while retreating on a promise to raise wages faster than inflation, a pledge that helped him win elections in October.
- Papandreou, 57, has appealed twice this week for Greeks to accept “painful” measures, saying the country can’t afford strikes and blockades. The previous government of Kostas Karamanlis was plagued by labor protests after he tried to tighten pension rules and raise taxes to shore up the government’s finances.
- “Greece and the rest of the fiscally challenged periphery is still in for a bumpy ride, not least because the social and political opposition to austerity programs of this kind is likely to build from here,” said Russell Jones, head of global fixed-income strategy at RBC Capital Markets in London.
[genus Magnolia Greenanke shown above, related to genus Juniperus Bernankespan; this variety grows like a weed in D.C.]