Just because Greece’s government wants to be financially more responsible, doesn’t mean they can be.
It’s a classic tragedy of the commons:
A civil servants’ strike grounded flights and shut down public services across Greece on Wednesday, as labour unions mounted their first major challenge to austerity measures in the debt-plagued country.
Air traffic controllers, customs and tax officials, hospital doctors and schoolteachers walked off the job for 24 hours to protest sweeping government spending cuts that will freeze salaries and new hiring, cut bonuses and stipends and increase the average retirement age by two years.
“Today, the workers give their reply,” loudspeakers blared in the capital’s central Syntagma Square, where hundreds of pensioners and striking workers began gathering ahead of demonstrations planned later in the morning. The strike has left state hospitals working with emergency staff only, while national rail travel was also disrupted, although urban mass transport was unaffected.
“It’s a war against workers and we will answer with war, with constant struggles until this policy is overturned,” said Christos Katsiotis, a representative of a communist-party affiliated labour union.