It is by this ritualized invocation that otherworldly entities are, usually, being invited, in the course of spiritual sessions, to make their presence felt, or to reaffirm it when they fail to respond.
It is quite a few months now that the response of all -the Eurogroup, the European Commission, the IMF, the ESM, etc., to several “liberating” economic initiatives by the government of Greece, resembles that of souls whose presence in a medium’s darkened room rapidly dwindles.
They still emit noises, presumably of disapproval, but feeble and hardly discernible, even under extreme provocation. They have, already, tolerated quite a good amount of defiance and disrespect, failing to produce stunning and thunderous light and sound effects in order to reimpose awe as any self-respecting soul, ghost or spirit, kind or evil, would have done.
More particularly, they have, since December last, tolerated Greece’s conventional commitment to a further reduction of pensions to be dispensed with, and condoned an increase of the minimum salary —previously legislated upon in the context of structural reforms—, far above the limit which they had indicated as marginally tolerable. Both transgressions, aimed at immediate electoral expediencies, are certain to have grave repercussions: the former will imperil the viability ―already more than precarious― of the country’s pensions and public insurance system; the latter will depress even more the level of permanent employment.
No sensible signor citizen, even in dire circumstances, would choose an ephemeral increase of his or her pension at the risk of losing it, entirely, in a very short space of time. No one permanently employed, young or old, will want to see his or her contract ended when it expires because of the employer’s difficulty to afford the payment of a highest salary. No unemployed young persons will favour the introduction of a hypothetical higher legal salary which will, in reality, condemn then to lingering part-time employment.
And worse, much worse, may be in store, such as a special “rent allowance” to the “economically weak and the young”, as well as imaginative forms of largess to various groups of voters.
Worst of all will be the appointment of more than 10.000 new permanent civil servants to fill vacancies, fictionally created by lifting the civil servant status of the clergymen of the Church of Greece who will, however, continue(!) to receive their pay from the regular state budget.
The opposition in Parliament is impotent to prevent such demagogic stunts. It would even require much courage and determination for them not to follow through when they come to power. What is being, tacitly, forgiven to the present Government today, will, almost inevitably, be followed up by the next government tomorrow.
Our EU partners, our creditors, the “Troika”, the “Institutions”, all who might be concerned, no matter how one would define them, must understand that a new tidal wave of profligacy is forming and rapidly gaining force and speed ―and that it is their duty to stop it. They must not go on conceding discounts on reforms and austerity measures already agreed and legislated upon, aimed, first and foremost, at the country’s own benefit.
They can and should ―sooner rather than later―, reconsider the monstrous surpluses which Greece is committed to attain year after year, but they must be draconian when confronted with a new advancing horde of civil servants.
Hence our appeal: “if you are still here, give us a sign” ―or as many signs as you want, but make your presence felt again.