Confused why despite numerous rounds of bailouts, a sovereign debt restructuring, an imminent bail-in, and years of so-called austerity, Greek debt is once again "Rising At Its Fastest Rate Since March 2010"? Maybe anecdotes such as the following will put the big picture in context: as reported by the BBC, Greek civil servants will no longer have an additional six days of extra holidays each year. What was the reason for the nearly full week of vacation time? Why, using a computer.
"The privilege was granted in 1989 to all who worked on a computer for more than five hours a day. However, Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaking on Greek TV, said the custom "belonged to another era." What is shocking is that nearly four years after the first Greek bailout of May 2010, this custom from "another era" was still active and public workers were happy to partake in its generosity. Ironically, since now the perks from using a computer are no longer there, watch the Greek economy flounder even faster as instead of playing solitaire, Greek finmin workers migrate to playing tic-tac-toe on paper, not to mention using an Abacus to calculate just how much better than the IMF expectations, Greek 2022 debt/GDP will end up being.
The decision comes as part of the government's reform of the public sector in a bid to meet bailout terms.
Greece received two bailouts from the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) totalling about 240bn euros (£200bn; $318bn) on the condition that the government imposes cuts and implements restructuring.
The working hours saved by scrapping the computer leave would be the equivalent of an extra 5,000 employees, Mr Mitsotakis told Skai TV on Thursday.
He described it as "small, yet symbolic" step in modernising an outdated civil service. Mr Mitsotakis is the man in charge of overhauling public institutions.
In July, the Greek parliament approved plans to reform the public sector, placing up to 25,000 public sector workers into a mobility pool by the end of the year, when they will either face redeployment or redundancy.
But if using a computer as a reason for extra vacation time is ludicrous if somewhat understandable, the following two pretexts for doing less work just leave one speechless:
Other perks that have already been scrapped include a bonus for showing
up to work...
That's right: accrued vacation time for, well, showing up to work. So in conclusion:
The Greek economy has shrunk further than any other in Europe, with an unemployment rate of 27%.
And with every passing day it becomes clearer why.