The Souvlaki Party

Greeks are voting again in a national election on June 15 after the first election last month failed to result in any party being able to form a government. The problem is that the Greeks are against the austerity measures proposed by the current government and agreed with the EU, but are also against leaving the Eurozone. In other words they want it both ways, they are against putting up with austerity, but don’t want to change their monetary policy. But, the lesson of life is that you can’t have it both ways. So now, given the fiasco of all the small protest parties getting larger votes and the major parties getting less than usual, the Greeks are having second thoughts and may vote more for the Pasok party and the like that got them into this mess in the first place, but now represent austerity.

That’s where I come in, I am going to establish the Souvlaki Party. My platform is simple, give every Greek a free lunch of souvlaki, then after that they are on their own. Its about time, as Christine Lagard, the Head of the IMF said, if the Greeks started paying their taxes that could solve the problem. For 20 years and more they have been cosseted by a socialist party that had given them every entitlement, so that expenses were increasing, while Goivernment income was decreasing as the Greeks failed to pay their taxes and there was no pressure to make them pay. Now, as they say, is time to pay the piper (where did that phrase come from?) The EU austerity plan is essential, otherwise the Greek Government will default and will be forced to leave the Eurozone and return to the drachma. If that happens then the whole Eurozone will be in doubt and the value of the euro could plummet, leaving Europe and indeed the world with an economic disaster.

That’s what happens when countries knowingly pursue economic policies that they can’t possibly achieve. The EU established economic criteria requiring member countries to achieve specific levels of GDP per capita relative to their national debt. What happened with countries that could not actually achieve this level but wanted to join the EU, like Greece, they lied! They made up figures to get into the Eurozone and then surprise, after a certain number of years their true economic situation became unavoidable. This is what has happened to Ireland and Greece, and is happening to Italy, Spain and France. So it was a good policy by Britain not to join the Eurozone, but even then Britain has a large deficit that it cannot maintain. Who will come out of this mess in a stable economic position is anybody’s guess.

So Greeks, vote for the Souvlaki Party, its you best bet for at least one solid meal.

About the Author
Jack Cohen was born in London and has a PhD in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He moved to the US and worked at the National Cancer Inst. and then Georgetown Medical School. In 1996, he Moved to Israel and became Chief Scientist of the Sheba Medical Center. He retired in 2001 and worked as a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University Medical School for 5 years.