Saturday 7 December 2019

Beware of Greek follies

GREAT country, Greece -- an example to us all. Such, at least, would appear to be the view of the public sector trade unions.

Just as the attention of those we must tap for loans to pay public sector wages turned to the troubles of Greece, the Irish unions step up their protests.

They are already garnering a fair bit of publicity in the international media. It is a funny way to be a beggar -- which is what the Irish public sector is forced by circumstances to be at present.

The begging bowl will require to be filled with at least €18bn this year. It is worth remembering that the current difference between what the Greeks are charged and what we pay in interest on such a sum is about €350m a year. Evey year.

As our first editorial says, it is easy to understand the anger of government workers, and others, as the evidence emerges of the scale of the greed and folly which brought us to this pass. But it has always been recognised that cutting off one's nose becasue one is furious is not a sensible response.

Were public servants somehow to succeed in getting their pay cuts reversed, their situation as Irish citizens would be worse, not better. Folly is not confined to bankers, or lack of courage to politicians. Everyone involved in these campaigns should think it out again.

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