From the TUC

Greece: what austerity really means

08 Jun 2012, by in International

We sometimes use the word ‘austerity’ to describe what is happening to Greece as if it was a mild drestart medicine. Not exactly pleasant, but nothing to get excited about. So it’s always important to remember the human cost of what is happening, as demonstrated by the suicides, increased sexual violence, children given up for adoption and so on. And it’s important to remember the objective impact on the Greek economy that ‘austerity’ is having.

Greek trade unionist Zoe Lanara, international secretary of the private sector GSEE confederation, has written those figures up in an FES pamphlet. She sets out the reduction in the size of the Greek economy (down by 16% since the crisis began), the growth in unemployment (the rate has doubled from 10% to 20% since 2010) and the Growth of poverty. It’s worth noting that if Britain had the same unemployment rate as Greece, there would be over 5 million on the dole, as well as those  who are economically inactive.

Economics is often dry stuff. What is really happening in Greece explains why the unions are so often on strike, and the voters have abandoned the traditional parties of government.

2 Responses to Greece: what austerity really means

  1. John
    Jun 9th 2012, 2:52 am

    Another very good but sad article Owen
    The real truth of hidden, out of sight – out of mind, human costs and the effect that this has on people, families, communities & even society. Of course Cameron & particularly Osbourne & his like would not be interested in that as conveniently all these cannot be measured in past and present bottom line financial terms. We really do need a NEW financial & banking system to take account of all these invisible costs.
    Should the present economic climate get any worse in the uk with ALL the consequential affects, then I hope that this coalition government will be wiped out at the next election.

  2. MH
    Jun 14th 2012, 1:28 pm

    Whilst the social impact is by far the more concerning, we should also mention the possible political implications as well. As so called main stream political parties fail to maintain and provide for the citizens of their respective nations, it is no wonder that people look to other political groups who promise an alternative. We have already seen this happen at a relatively low level, it doesn’t take much for this to escalate. I think it is worrying that governments do not perceive this as a real threat, is this due to the lost of both a pre and post war world memory?