Greece Troika Talks Abruptly End Over Civil Servant Pay Structure Dispute; Greek Political and Economic Corruption Continues Virtually Unchecked; Question of the Day
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According to the Greek website Kathimerini, Troika talks break down.
A second meeting between troika officials in Athens and Greece's Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis broke down on Tuesday, after the two sides hit a deadlock for the second time in the same day.About That Resumption in Talks
Skai reported that the two sides disagreed over the country's civil servants' pay structure. Talks were expected to resume later in the day, Skai reported.
From the Guardian Eurozone Crisis Running Blog ...
15:27 Back in Greece, there are reports that the latest meeting between the government and the troika of creditors has broken down.Greek Political and Economic Corruption Continues Virtually Unchecked
The discussions were halted earlier amid discord between the two sides about various issues, including the length of the working week and salary payments. They resumed this afternoon but now Athens News Agency is apparently reporting they have unexpectedly ended.
15:34 (ANA-MPA) -- A second meeting between the heads of the EU-IMF troika mission in Athens and Greek Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis on Tuesday afternoon ended abruptly a few minutes ago, after the two sides hit deadlock for the second time in the same day.
Sources in the labour ministry cited "complete disagreement" between the two sides on the issue of three-year wage maturation periods. They said that the labour ministry had been prepared to continue the talks but the representatives of Greece's creditors had departed.
Spiegel Online reports Corruption Continues Virtually Unchecked in Greece
While Athens waits for more aid from the European Union, the country continues to be administered in the same old careless manner. Corrupt politicians and the rich continue to help themselves to Greece's funds, and little is being done about it.Question of the Day
How can someone who has declared an annual income of €25,000 ($32,400) transfer €52 million abroad? What kind of supplementary income must an individual have who, according to his tax returns, earned €5,588 in 2010, yet still managed to move €19.8 million abroad? And how can it be that a Greek citizen sequesters €9.7 million abroad although he supposedly earned exactly zero euros?
These are the questions that tax fraud investigators will have to ask of a number of individuals whose identity has so far only been made public in the form of initials. For instance, a "G. D." stands at the top of a list with the names of 54,000 Greek citizens who relocated major assets abroad between 2009 and 2011. The list stems from the Greek central bank and is now in the hands of the Finance Ministry.
It is the longest of four lists that are currently circulating in Athens. Each contains the names of people whose financial circumstances -- bank balances and real estate holdings -- do not correspond at all with what they claimed on their tax returns. But hardly anything is being done about it. The Greek reality is sometimes paradoxical: While the governing coalition was busy squabbling with international creditors over how many hundreds of euros can still be trimmed from teachers' and nurses' paychecks, and Athens continued slashing employee pensions, wealthy Greeks moved billions abroad with relative impunity.
There is yet another, shorter list, which despite its diminutive size is even more politically charged. Greek tax authorities are currently investigating the assets of some 60 politicians, and the probe apparently extends beyond suspicions of tax evasion alone. The speaker of the Greek Parliament, Evangelos Meimarakis -- a member of the governing conservative Nea Dimokratia, or New Democracy party -- recently stepped down due to corruption allegations, and he is not the only one implicated. A number of high-ranking former ministers are also suspected of involvement in sham transactions and money-laundering schemes.
Corruption allegations still don't necessarily interfere with a political career in Greece, as exemplified by the case of the former prefect of Thessaloniki, Panagiotis Psomiadis. He allegedly personally received nearly €1 million for public works projects that were never built. Psomiadis is also suspected of being connected with a mafia ring of loan sharks. None of this has apparently damaged him. In May, Prime Minister Samaras made him his election campaign organizer for northern Greece.
Who better than a mafia loan shark kingpin to get out the vote for the prime minister?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock