Here is a classic example of the type,
Retirement packages are guaranteed and generous.However a Greek friend who wishes to remain anon sent me this, a call for comprehension and understanding if not support,
About one in every four working people is believed to work for the state in one form or another. No-one is quite sure about the exact figure.
Yet the Greek public sector ranks as one of the world's most inefficient.
Pay is generous in some departments.
As one Greek businessman pointed out - a cleaner at the Ministry of Finance earns as much as a manager in other ministries.
Greece's brightest young graduates all want to work for the civil service.
It reflects my own experience earlier this year when I was in Istanbul. I met a Greek academic who told me that he preferred to be working in a private University in Istanbul on a contract, rather than his previous tenured position in a Greek state university. It reflects also the fact that you used to be able to opinion-poll Greek mothers who would overwhelmingly respond to the question 'what future do you want for your child?' with 'a permanent position in the public sector'.And before that of course the centuries of Ottoman rule and dhimmitude.
The Greek experience has similarities to both the Portuguese and also the Spanish experience ... especially the Gonzales Spain. What we saw in these countries was a vast post-dictatorship expansion of the public sector / welfare state so that those marginalised by the dictators could also benefit.
But Portugal had a relatively efficient public administration and trade (legacies of its being a colonial power) and Spain - in addition to Portugal - had some industrial weight. Greece had neither. In fact, because Greek industrialists knew that the government was sensitive on unemployment, they would just abandon unprofitable enterprises (having sold off anything valuable), in the safe knowledge that the state would come in and take them over to prevent job losses. So between 1974 and 1989 Greece ended up with a vast amount of unprofitable, inefficient, industrial units on its hands - "the problematics" as they were known then - which few people knew what to do with, and even fewer dared suggest that they should be closed down.
We need to be careful not to attach too much importance to particular individuals or social theories. The Greek disease goes much beyond Andreas Papandreou or socialism. Greece's experience of the 20th Century was an involvement in WWI which almost led to civil war, defeat in Asia Minor in the early 20s which led to massive population shifts and dictatorship, through to the depression of the 30s, and another dictatorship, WWII, occupation and mass starvation, post WWII civil war and finally yet another dictatorship which ended with military defeat in Cyprus in 1974. Mass emigration throughout this period was a drain on society and on families.
That's pretty much 60 straight years of suffering for the ordinary people. Little wonder that the safety net of a feather-bedded public sector is attractive to Greeks.