Greek Government Resorts To Wartime Emergency Act: Threatens Economy-Paralyzing Strikers With Prison Time

In an advance reminder that the National Lampoon's European Austerity Vacation Tour is coming to an end, and with it come back pestilence, plauge, locusts, flash crashes and 24/7 cripping strikes, the Greek government has just issued a war-time emergency decree which forces striking truck drivers of fuel-tankers to get back to work or face criminal charges and up to five years of jail time (such an order issued to striking US unions would likely lead to civil war almost overnight). In other words, the Greek austerity plan is working so well, the country now finds itself resorting to wartime measures. As Market News reports, "The drivers had been on strike for three days through Wednesday, protesting a government effort to open up their profession, which is part of the austerity package agreed by Greece in exchange for up to E100 billion in loans from the Eurozone and the IMF. About 70% of gas station owners say they have run out of supplies, while shortages of food and other goods have also been reported, affecting tourism at peak season." Amusingly the Greek economy resumes its collapse despite the ever louder lies by one version of G-Pap or another that the country's economy is now stronger than ever. Odd then how this works with increasing numbers of striking people: perhaps Greece should fire everyone and see its GDP shoot up by 100%? Even funnier, the emergency act coincides with the arrival of the so-called "troika" officials from the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF, who have been inspecting the Greek economy since Monday and will continue doing so for the next seven days - we hope they filled up their gas tanks in advance of their goal seeked tour. Obviously, the three stooges will find nothing wrong with Greece, and over the mortar fire in the background, will say G-Pap is doing so well he deserves another cool trillion from the US taxpayers. In other news, the fraud circus must go on.

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 The government announced it would issue the civil mobilization order, normally used in times of war or national disaster, and send letters to each of the truck drivers ordering them to report to duty. If they fail to comply, they could face criminal charges and up to five years of jail time.

The drivers had been on strike for three days through Wednesday, protesting a government effort to open up their profession, which is part of the austerity package agreed by Greece in exchange for up to E100 billion in loans from the Eurozone and the IMF.

Earlier Wednesday, discussions between the truckers union and the socialist government had collapsed and drivers vowed to continue the strike indefinitely. They complain that under the government plan, licenses to new drivers would be issued for much less than they paid, thereby putting them at a disadvantage.

The government said it will not back down and will table the draft bill to liberalize the sector this week. Under the terms of the EMU/IMF bailout plan, the sector must open up by the end of September.

The officials will draft a report in mid-August and have already indicated that the Greek plan "is broadly on track." While the second installment is considered essentially a foregone conclusion, the Socialist government is now faced with the toughest decisions, such as the opening up of closed professions, liberalizing the energy market, and further reforms in the labor sector.

Again - if this is happening with 90% of Europe on vacation, just wait until people get back to their jobs and realize they have all been relocated to the basement, without a stapler, and with a "glitch" in payroll after two IMF consultants named Bob have made everyone's pension redundant.