Things fall apart - generally at the wrong times , perhaps they just fall apart when the supporting pillars no longer can withstand the load placed upon them ! Note the following news from Greece !
Employers and labor unions found some common ground during the first day of wage talks on Wednesday but it appears that neither side is willing to agree to Prime Minister Lucas Papademos’s suggestion that private sector workers’ salaries should be reduced.
Papademos had indicated that lower wages would help Greece become more competitive but union and employer representatives agreed that the minimum wage of 751 euros gross and the two extra monthly salaries that many private sector workers receive each year should not be reduced or scrapped.
“We are on the right track,” said Vassilis Korkidis, the head of the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE). “The social partners agree that the minimum wage is not to blame for the recession and businesses closing down.”
Yiannis Panagopoulos, the head of Greece’s private sector umbrella union GSEE, criticized the government for suggesting that it might force a law through Parliament that adjusts salaries if it is not happy with the outcome of union and employer talks.
“We cannot have a dialogue under the threat of decrees that are reminiscent of years gone by,” he said, adding that the apparent pressure from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund for wage reforms was not helping either.
Apart from the Greek Commerce Organization and the GSEE Union finding common ground against the Troika demands on the minimum , did you see Merkel's sad face at Davos ? The dour warning ( shrilly warning the sky is falling once again ) from Lagarde , the usual Rehn and Barraso bleatings - this time for more guarantees from Greek pols who everyone knows have NO INTENTION of keeping them ! Missed the squawking , take a gander below :
In an interview with six European newspapers, Merkel expressed doubts about the outlook for Greece, which she called “a special case.” “Despite all the efforts that have been made, neither the Greeks themselves nor the international community have yet managed to stabilize the situation,” she said.
Lagarde, in comments to French radio station Europe 1, said the EU must build a fire wall to contain Greece’s crisis. “In case of contagion, one needs to be able to stop it. Greece, for example is in an extremely difficult situation, let’s be realistic,” she said.
In Brussels, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn and EC President Jose Manuel Barroso joined the chorus, insisting that more rescue funding would not be released unless the leader of the two main parties in Greece’s coalition -- socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy -- clearly commit to reforms.
Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is expected to seek such guarantees from party leaders ahead of Monday’s EU summit.
But how do we know the edifice has truly begun to crumble ? Dig the story below - everyone wants to play the role of the sharpie these days. Well , here we go :