Dimitris Rapidis

With the feet on the ground

The overdebtedness of the Greek state and the imposed policies of the Memoranda of Agreement have dramatically downgraded the qualilty of life and the prospects for development and growth in Greece. This is a fact.

The financial data from public transports efficiency in capital Athens create a well-grounded concern over the quality and the way of implementing austerity politics. Especially in a period where the use of private vehicles is almost forbidden due to the high cost of fuel and of spare replacement parts, someone could expect that the government could have created the necessary conditions in order to press people start using public transports. But this is not the case.

Comparing data for the period between January-October 2012 and January-October 2011 leads to appaling conclusions. Income from ticket fares was decreased by 11,3% whereas wages and personel cost were similarly decreased by 21%. As a result, public spending for the Greek Urban Transport Organization has been significantly increased, reaching 24,3%. From the aforementioned analysis it comes up that the increase in public cost along with the strict income policy has ended up in the dramatic increase of unemployment in the region of Attica, turning public transports comparingly expensive in use. Troika is insisting on an additiona rise of 25% in ticket fares, and if this is going to be implemented, it will definitely lead to the entire breakdown of public transports.

What is more, the high cost of living and the rising cost of fuel have led people to buy firewoods, therefore increasing the growth of the respective trading companies. The shift of people towards ambivalent sources of heat and energy have majorly affected environmental conditions leading to the rise of pollution, and pressing the public health services towards complete downturn.

In the field of tourism the once robust Greek market is now collapsing as the pressure over wages has turned short-length vacations hard or even impossible to realize , thus emerging the role of tour operators that bring tourists with tremendously low-costs services in Greece. This strategy, while considered fruitful for the agencies, it is in fact depreciating the tourist product of the country.

And these are only some cases of the austerity tale of Greece, an EU member-state that is already perceived as a deprived state, in terms of real and monetary economy.

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