Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum – The Acting Man Blog
Take that, Einstein!
As is well known, we all labor under the irresistible force of gravity ever since Einstein heedlessly invented the stuff. Attempts to outlaw it have thus far failed to our knowledge, but maybe it’s just a matter of perseverance.
They did what? Alexis Tsipras learns that his government will need €1.5 bn. more per year according to Greece’s administrative court.
Photo credit: Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP
A Greek court has just decided on implementing a roughly equivalent ruling, by declaring the previous government’s pension cuts illegal and ordering the government to restore pensions to their height prior to the implementation of the last bailout agreement. AFP reports:
“Greece’s top administrative court on Wednesday ruled that pension cuts adopted in 2012 as part of the country’s tough bailout conditions were unconstitutional, and ordered the cash-strapped government to restore the payments to their previous levels.
The Council of State’s long-awaited ruling on private sector pensions comes as Greece’s anti-austerity government is locked in tense talks with international creditors over reforms in return for urgently-needed rescue funds, with pensions seen as one of the key sticking points.
The court’s decision, which is not retroactive, calls for the government to restore the pensions to the level they were at before a November 2012 law came into effect lowering main and supplementary pensions by five to 10 percent.
The Council of State has in recent years been asked to consider many of the painful austerity measures that caused widespread anger in Greece and helped bring the hard-left anti-austerity Syriza power to party in January.
The court last year found that wage cuts for police, the military and firefighters were also unconstitutional. But the previous government took several months to comply with the ruling and only partially restored the salary levels, citing budgetary constraints.
Wednesday’s pension ruling is expected to cost the state 1.2-1.5 billion euros ($1.3 billion to $1.7 billion) a year, according to Greek economic analysis site Macropolis.
We can understand that Greece’s pensioners are deeply unhappy. The fact of the matter is though that the Greek government is bankrupt. The court might as well have ordered birds to stop singing, or the sun not to shine. Things may have been different if a Greek default had been countenanced from the very beginning to liquidate unsound debt instead of piling even more debt atop it. However, even in that case, the Greek government would have had little choice but to embark on reforms, because it simply doesn’t have enough money to continue where Greece left off at the height of the last boom. Continue reading