Thu Oct 25th, 2012 at 09:02:22 AM EST
They're going to earn us the economics Nobel as well, for their services to job activation measures:
As the head of Greece's largest oncology department, Dr Kostas Syrigos thought he had seen everything. But nothing prepared him for Elena, an unemployed woman whose breast cancer had been diagnosed a year before she came to him.
By that time, her cancer had grown to the size of an orange and broken through the skin, leaving a wound that she was draining with paper napkins.
"When we saw her we were speechless," said Dr Syrigos, the chief of oncology at Sotiria General Hospital in central Athens.
"Everyone was crying. Things like that are described in textbooks, but you never see them because, until now, anybody who got sick in this country could always get help."
Life in Greece has been turned on its head since the debt crisis took hold. But in few areas has the change been more striking than in health care.
Until recently, Greece had a typical European health system, with employers and individuals contributing to a fund that, with government assistance, financed universal care. People who lost their jobs still received unlimited benefits.
That changed in July 2011, when Greece signed a loan agreement with international lenders to ward off financial collapse. Now, as stipulated in the deal, Greeks who lose their jobs receive benefits for a maximum of a year. After that, if they are unable to foot the bill, they are on their own, paying all costs out of pocket. (Irish Times)
has seen a draft proposal from the German finance ministry:
However, the German document also proposes that any money from a Greek primary surplus should also be paid into the trust account.
“A dedicated receipt (such as part of VAT income) in the volume of the requested GRC primary budget surplus could be transferred monthly to the trust account (as earmarking of GRC contribution to debt service),” the proposal says.
“The volume of the primary surplus is to be defined in the MoU. The trust account and the earmarking of revenue secure the delivery of the primary surplus and therefore the GRC contribution to the debt service.”
The document adds that should Greece not achieve a primary surplus, as agreed with the troika, it would have to decrease spending or increase revenue accordingly.
The German plan calls for automatic cuts should targets not be met.
“GRC establishes a simple rule for public expenditure. With the agreement of the Troika, cash deficits (deviations from budget plan) automatically lead to spending cuts equally divided through all spending programs (according to their budget share),” says the document.
So very, very, very proud.