If you think you’ve got it tough living in America, just be glad you’re not going to be in Greece as that nation begins to confront the true reality of austerity.
With the Greek Parliament’s approval Wednesday of measuresdesigned to bring the country’s disastrous finances under control comes an array of measures that would make Zeus weep.
From a 15 percent cut in public wages to cigarette and alcohol taxes to Social Security reductions and means testing, the Greek measures will instill pain, necessary though it may be, for years to come.
It’s all being done for the sake of helping the country meet its 340 billion-euro debt burden.
Even with the stringent measures, Greece still will be in a heap of trouble, especially considering how much growth could be hampered by tax increases and sharp spending cuts.
“If prevailing is to be considered a success, then the Greek Parliament will prevail and will send tax receipts through the floor rather than skyward, and will prevail in spinning an already dizzy national spirit into a national spirit of economic despair,” Dennis Gartman, hedge fund manager and author of The Gartman Letter, wrote this morning.
“If that is prevailing,” he added, “we’d want no part of it.”
Gartman details the 30 or so measures taken in taxation and cuts in the public sector, defense and benefits, along with a slew of privatization measures, the government will be taking.
Here are 10 of the most onerous:
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