I don’t know whether anything will make the austerity mongers around the world — from Wall Street, to the halls of the political leadership — stop for a moment and think, “what the hell are we doing?” Long unemployment lines don’t make them pause. So, if people freeze to death or shiver through cold weather because they can’t pay heating bills, will that matter? Welcome to the reality in Greece.
People in Greece can’t afford to pay for heating oil:
Unemployment is at a record high of 26.8 percent in Greece, and many people have had their salaries and pensions cut, but those are not the main reasons so few residents here can afford heating oil. In the fall, the Greek government raised the taxes on heating oil by 450 percent.
Overnight, the price of heating a small apartment for the winter shot up to about $1,900 from $1,300. “At the beginning of autumn, it was the biggest topic with all my friends: How are we going to heat our places?” said Ms. Pantelemidou, who has had to lower her fees to keep clients. “Now, when I am out walking the dog, I see people with bags picking up sticks. In this neighborhood, really.”
This is monstrous. But, it doesn’t seem to matter to the yapping fools who keep calling for more budget cuts.