I'm not sure what to say about tsipras and the proposed deal. its the capitulation the troika wanted. its a u turn of historic proportions. its a betrayal of historic proportions as well. he praised and celebrated the NO vote and has now just totally ignored it. it took bravery for some greek voters in dire straights to vote no and in the risk of leaving the euro. how can he look them in the eye ever again. I doubt his leftist European friends will be impressed either. there must be a big fat debt write down request in this proposal to come yet. this whole saga will make a hell of a film some time.
bit of a difference. when a doctor opens me up he know exactly what he is going to see and has every specialist tool available to him to deal with my condition. even then its not exactly unknow for these most educated of professionals to make mistakes. The same applies to other professions. some of the biggest (well trained) accountancy professionals haven't covered themselves with in glory in recent times and all they had to do was make sure 2+2 made 4. Ditto our well educated bankers who's handy work these " village idiot" politicians are left to clean up after.
The biggest difference between other professionals and politicians is democracy. people (voters) elect their peers to represent them. sometimes been smart enough to pass psycho-metric tests isnt the most important thing to their peers. Because of that you get a mish mash of characters in politics. so the saying that people get the politicians they deserve is true. WE elect them.
Greek journalist Thanasis Koukakis has got hold of what looks like the new Greek proposals in record quick time.
You can read them for yourself here.
Here's a quick digest of what looks like a harsher austerity deal for Greece
- VAT exemptions for Greek islands will be abolished: the 30pc discounted rate will go, as demanded by creditors but previously fiercely resisted by the government. The proposals say they will start with "islands with the highest incomes and which are the most popular tourist destinations" first.
- Hotels will remain in lower 13pc bracket, but restaurants will be hit by the highest 23pc bracket. Books, medicines and the threatre (don't ask me why) will remain at a super reduced 6pc rate.
- Greek farmers will also have all fuel subsidies abolished, another concession demanded by creditors in previous plans
- Importantly, the proposals note that these VAT measures will be reviewed before the end of 2016, if "additional revenues are collected through tax evasion" and other improved collection measures result in higher tax income
- Higher income tax: should any of the proposal result in "fiscal shortfalls" the government is controversially proposing hikes on income tax for the poorest earners. This would see
incomes below €12,000 taxed at 15pc (from 11pc) incomes above €12,000 taxed at 35pc (from 33pc) Corporation tax would also be raised to 29pc
- Pensions: Greeks have agreed to phase out their supplementary pensions for the poorest by Dec 2019, rather than 2020. There is no mention of replacing them, and importantly, the top 20pc beneficiaries will also not be protected from the cuts. The government has also agreed to hike the basic pensions retirement age to 67
- Interestingly, the government also seems to have agreed to nullify previous court rulings which have deemed the 40pc cut in pensions as unconstitutional and need of reverse: The authorities will adopt legislation to fully offset the fiscal effects of the implementation of court rulings on the 2012 pension reform.
- Defence spending: to be cut by €100m this year and €200m in 2016. Creditors previously demanded €400m budget cut next year.
- Corporation tax: will be raised to 28pc, rather than 29pc first set out by Athens
if you were lying in an operating theatre needing serious treatment, would you take comfort that the person treating you had the appropriate education? Moreover, I doubt their "inside" qualities would be foremost in your mind. Surely, you would take comfort from fact he had the training to deal with the illness. Politicians can hurt millions of lives and if they do so out of ignorance or ego that is unforgivable. there is enough people in the world that we can find people with the right moral compass and education. They are not either/or. Varoufakis is a very bright man, that was the problem. When you are forced to lead the village idiots on both sides that must be very frustrating and I'm sure he showed it. Likewise for the village idiots speaking to someone who is clearly much quicker at grasping the big picture & killing your arguments is also frustrating. Therefore you have to level the field. These high level politicians can impact more lives in 5 months than all the surgeons in Ireland during their working lives. I would not only advocate education but psycho-metric testing and whatever other tools are out there to ensure we do the best we can to ensure we have the right people in these important positions. I just think it wrong to rely exclusively on subjective judgements of character, the risk is just too high.
you need to be a certain type of person to be a politician and I don't think someone with a degree in politics would be any better a politician than what we have now. Its qualities inside a person, rather than learned that probably makes the difference. The vast majority of highly educated people would run a mile from the job of politics (if they had any sense). that definitely leaves some of these guys flawed and severely wanting by times but I don't think a parchment on the wall would make the slightest difference.
take Varoufakis. You reckon his plan was the one (more or less). well where is he now???? he may have figured the right road out for greece but he just could not play at politics. from day one he burned his bridges. All the schooling in the world wouldn't change his personality. he may be a leftist pin up guy but in a world of right leaning guys you have got to play the game their way or have the strength of character to move them a bit left. thats politics. Its dirty and you have got to be prepared to roll in the sh.t with everyone else. In politics one persons clown can be another persons hero.
I have recommended your post and totally agree with this statement Given the growing importance of politics in the world and its dreadful image I think it is about time there was a minimum qualification required to be an elected politician so that the obvious clowns don't get anywhere near making decisions that affect millions of lives. It won't eliminate the problem entirely but it will make a meaningful contribution.
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