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Author Topic: What austerity?

Offline Myrtle Hogan-Lance

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What austerity?
« on: Mon 6 Aug 2012, 13:51 »
Both Spain and Greece are supposed to have implemented austerity measures, but from my personal observation, they have not been put in place.

I was in Greece a few weeks ago for two weeks, and it was business as usual.  Yes, there were some boarded up shops, but otherwise things looked to be absolutely normal.  Something I did note is that on the Athens metro, you are supposed to purchase a ticket and validate it (stick it into a little box that time/date stamps it) on the way to the platforms.  I can count on one hand the number of people who did so, and I was one of the people.  It looks very much like the Athenians enjoy free travel on their lovely and convenient Metro (with telephone signals to boot).  But I digress, and I started the thread!

Here in Spain, I have heard from some people who have had occasion to use the medical system that there are fewer ambulances for emergencies, and that they have been withdrawn for patient transport, meaning families have to deliver and collect patients with hospital appointments.  (I have no direct experience so this is hearsay.)  But every time I turn around, there is an announcement that spending plans remain in place.  Take the Canarian resident travel discount, for example:  it remains in place.  I heard that the budget for roads has been slashed, yet I can confirm through personal observation that work on the TF-1 continues apace.  (Personally, as one who will benefit from it, I am glad of it.)

But we know public finances are in a mess, so what I want to know is why is the government still spending money on things that are not necessary?  (You don't need to reply 'to spend the budget'; I know that.)  Here is an example:  near our house there is a sports ground (polideportivo) used daily and extensively by the local kids and sometimes by adults.  It's a little tatty, but perfectly serviceable.  Well, for the past several weeks, they have had full crews of workmen working from around 8 to 4.  They have installed a new battery of lights for nighttime use which took quite a bit of work.  They have built a new electrical cabinet for said lights.  They are sanding various places on the wall, clearly with the intent to repaint them.  There is a lot of money being spent on this.

So the question is, if we are supposed to have austerity measures in place, or, as I like to call it, living within our means, then why aren't they being implemented?  Athens could rake in a boodle of money if they put in a ticketing system like on the London Underground - but they don't.  Spain is wasting money on sports grounds, white elephant airports, and the like, while cutting the really important stuff like education and health care. 

In my view, austerity has not even started and I fear that when it finally does, it is going to bite and bite hard. 

Offline poker

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Re: What austerity?
« Reply #1 on: Mon 6 Aug 2012, 13:57 »
What is spent today was probably in the budget last year. 
Things go slo on gouvernemental side. 
Think things wil really only start in year to see things slowing down.

Offline Perikles

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What austerity?
« Reply #2 on: Mon 6 Aug 2012, 14:11 »
It might have something to do with the bewildering number of levels of government, where budgets had already been allocated before the 'austerity' measures, so there is a long time delay between turning the money off at the tap (sorry, faucet) and no money coming out of the end of a very long hosepipe.

Meanwhile a report here that schools and hospitals in the Canaries will have to close. Sounds like bluff.
Джереми. Prurio ergo sum
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Offline Prof

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What austerity?
« Reply #3 on: Mon 6 Aug 2012, 16:59 »
Meanwhile a report here that schools and hospitals in the Canaries will have to close. Sounds like bluff.
Sounds to me like the President of Andalusia said it and Paulino doesn't want to be left out. A bluff would be too much initiative for him methinks.