Some years ago a small rural town in Spain twinned with a similar town in Greece.
The mayor of the Greek town visited the Spanish town. When he saw the palatial mansion belonging to the Spanish mayor, he wondered aloud how on earth he could afford such a house.
The Spaniard replied, “You see that bridge over there? The EU gave us a grant to construct a two-lane bridge, but by building a single lane bridge with traffic lights at either end, I could build this place.”
The following year the Spaniard visited the Greek town. He was simply amazed at the Greek mayor’s house: gold taps, marble floors, diamond doorknobs, it was marvelous.
When he asked how he’d raised the money to build this incredible house, the Greek mayor said, “You see that bridge over there?”
The Spaniard replied, “No.”
(ed. – Thank you to my friend Dick Inwood who is very good at keeping us all laughing.)
Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.
(Can this be factual? Or is it too a joke? The e-mail begins by explaining that it is a translation of an item in the French language press.)
Why Greece is in trouble
1. The public sector pays its employees on average three times more than the private sector. And there nearly three quarters of a million civil servants for a labour force of less than five million.
2. Tax evasion is so pervasive that 25% of people among the wealthy do not pay taxes. And the government does not intervene, even if they are known.
3. There are four times as many teachers per student in Greece (than) in Finland, the country that gets top marks. Moreover, Greece is back of the pack in the vast majority of educational tests. All this while the Greek teachers are among the highest paid in the world.
4. The official retirement age is 62 years. However, that age (goes) down to 55 years for men and 50 years for women whose jobs are considered “difficult”. Nothing wrong so far, except that more than 600 occupations are considered “difficult”. Among them are found hairdressers, radio announcers, television presenters, wind instrument musicians, servers, etc.
5. There are 40 000 girls who receive a life pension of 1000 euros per month simply because they are unmarried daughters of deceased civil servants.
6. Pacemakers in Greek hospitals were acquired at a price 400 times higher than that paid by British hospitals.
7. In the last decade, Greece has created over 300 new public companies.
8. Last year, the Institute for the Protection of Lake Copais still had thirty employees. However, this lake has dried up in 1930.
9. There are pensions paid to many people some who died over 50 years ago. In fact the dead are not always recorded and pensions continue to be received by survivors. As a result, Greece has the highest proportion of people declaring fictitious age of 110 years old.
10. The French average receive their pension 51% of their final salary, the Germans, 40%, North Americans 41%, and the Japanese 34%. Meanwhile, the Greek pensioners receive on average 96% of their previous salary.