Thursday, September 22, 2011

How not to solve a crisis, any crisis really. And a gentle bit of tourist activity

In one way, the euro crisis gets more bizarre by the hour. We are told that in order to qualify for the next handout of euro moolah to keep the state from going bankrupt, Greece is being urged to impose every harsher austerity measures. And on the face of it, that makes sense you might say. But it makes absolutely no sense
Pissed off or what. Surprised?

at all to impose even harsher taxes and cuts on folk who have very little money in the first place: state pensions down, a property tax is imposed, state salaries are cut when all of Greece knows that if the wealthy paid, and had paid, their taxes in the first place, this crisis might never have happened. Recently, someone point out that the only problem in Greece is tax evasion. And the only people who can afford clever accountants and lawyers to make that evasion possible are the very people whose taxes would help alleviate the disaster Greece is now in and it is not wonder they have launched yet another public service strike. The low-paid should not be the ones to carry the can, both for moral and economic reasons. But this kind of wacky thinking has dogged the whole euro project from the outset.

. . .

In tourist mode yesterday, Mark and I drove up north to visit Thonon on Lake Geneva (or Lac Leman as I have learned the French call it). After a leisurely pastis by the lakeside, it was off to Evian nearby for another leisurely pastis. I’m not one for marching round museums and art galleries, although as far as I know there aren’t that many around here anyway. Mark who spend many years at French schools is a good source French history and told me the the treaty to end the Algerian war was negotiated and then signed in Evian. The town also has, he says, Europe’s largest casino and is a playground for the rich. Well, I never.

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