Fat Parliamentarian Cats
Instead of destroying the livelihoods of countless hardworking Greeks through arbitrary reductions in salaries and Ottoman-type tax increases, is it not time that the neo-Ottoman clientelistic cleptocracy in the Greek Parliament put their own house in order, by setting an example? Is it not time to scrutinise those responsible for leading Greece to doom, the three hundred members of parliament and their dragoons of overpaid assistants and ‘advisers’, many of whom only have their jobs because they helped a candidate in an election? Are your readers aware that Greece, one of the EU’s poorest members, pays its Members of Parliament over twice what a British member gets, and that, to add insult to injury, a Greek member pays very little tax? Are they aware that a British Member of Parliament earns about thrice that of a young policeman, while in Greece, they earn about ten times that of a young Greek policeman? Are they aware that Greece has far two many Members of Parliament for her population? The Netherlands, with a larger population than that of Greece, has but one hundred and fifty in its Second Chamber.
To avoid major social disruption, I suggest that the EU/IMF puts its money where its mouth is, by insisting that parliamentary salaries are slashed by seventy per cent, to reflect economic reality, and that each member is restricted to one adviser/researcher. That might get the ball rolling in the right direction, by initiating a cathartic and catalytic effect in the interests of the country as a whole, rather than allowing the fat cats to continue squeezing the lemon until the pips squeak, and even destroying it.
Finally, but most importantly, the fact that members of parliament and ministers are protected from criminal behaviour by immunity is clearly completely undemocratic, and panders to the lowest common denominator of human behaviour. I wonder how many billions of Euros of ‘parliamentarians’ illegal money is deposited in the banks of the world’s launderette, the Swiss Confederation? Without lifting parliamentary and ministerial immunity, there is little point in even thinking of how to solve Greece’s problems.
Dr. William Mallinson
1 December 2011