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Greece: Decline in Living Standard

During the last five years the monarch-fascist party of "New Democracy" is in the government, there has been an abrupt and significant decline in the living standards of great parts of the population. The cause of this is in the successive price and tax increases imposed by the Karamanlis government as a part of its extreme neo-liberal economic policy. (Shorter translated version of the main article of the newspaper "Anasintaxi", issue 277-278, 1-31 July 2008 )
The attitude of the prime-minister and his cabinet to the high inflation and, the, almost daily, increases in the prices of articles of mass consumption, is all the more provocative because the only "reason" they can come up with is the increase in the price of crude oil and the so-called "imported inflation". Their claim is offensive when the food articles are much cheaper in other EU countries despite the fact that the production costs there are higher and the employees earn about three times more than the 700-900 Euros which the average salary in Greece. The bourgeois economists, as genuine apologists of capitalism, limit the economic essence of inflation by identifying it with one of its external forms expressed in the increase of prices. However, inflation is not a new or unknown phenomenon of capitalist economy. It is an inevitable phenomenon in the capitalist mode of production, in general, and in the sphere of circulation, in particular, whose channels overflow with redundant bank notes resulting in the increase of the price of the commodities.

Besides the general question of inflation, utilised by the capital as a means of income redistribution at the expense of the working class, the source of the current price increase waves lies in the fact that the monopolies themselves have determined the prices to a very high level with the obvious aim of raising their profits and, also, in the speculative determination of prices by the industrialists, the big wholesalers and retailers. All this is not much different from the mafia style capitalism of Russia and other East European countries.

The case of agricultural and diary products is quite indicative since the big traders and the supermarkets are pocketing huge profits while, at the same time, the farmers' income does not cover even the costs of production and the rest of the working people spent huge amounts of money for all foodstuff and articles of mass consumption.

Another factor that contributes to the unprecedented increase of prices is the extreme neo-liberal economic policy pursued by the Karamanlis government. This policy, among others, supports the unbound speculation and it has imposed repeated raise of the electricity (twice in 2008), water, telephone and postage rates, the doubling of bus and boat and other tickets.

The very high inflation, the huge price increase waves (mainly in the articles of mass consumption) and the successive tax raises together with the unchanged nominal wages and the greatly diminished real wages, have brought a serious and much more grave,than the previous years, decline of the living conditions of the working class and forced millions to under nourishment,hunger and utter destitution - especially those with low incomes, such as 700-900 Euros, the hundred of thousands of unemployed and semi-employed and the many thousands of pensioners.

The current reality of the country's capitalist economy disprove on daily basis the myth according to which the "prices fall through the competition" that has been hailed as absolute truth by all the defenders of capital's interests. The only advice that the ridiculous and incompetent cabinet give to the working people is to run all day from one supermarket to another seeking cheaper goods, brutally underestimating in this way their intelligence.
Movement for the Reorganisation of the CP og Greece
e-mail:  anasintaxi@yahoo.com
Homepage:  http://anasintaxi-en.blogspot.com