For several years now, the powers-that-be in the Greek parliament have been in a quandary of how to deal with its gargantuan financial crisis, while, at the same time kowtowing to those holding the purse strings at the European Union, who only know one word: austerity.
Therefore, in order to pocket another €50 or €60 million, Greeks have to keep coming up with new ideas, since they have already cut salaries and pensions to the bone, laid off thousands of civil servants and raised taxes higher than the "Khalifa Tower" in Dubai.
What to do . . . what to do? Hmm, let me think.
“I got it!” exclaimed one of the 300 members of parliament (Yes, you read it right – there are 300 parliamentarians in a country of about 11 million residents – and no austerity cuts there!) So, when they’re not walking into walls or each other, or trying find the coffee shop, they come up with a new idea every now and then.
This time, and just in time for Christmas I might add, they’ve decided to raise some extra Euros by passing a bill which will force high-income drivers to pay up to three times more in fines than the average normal salaried driver for traffic violations.
It’s all part of Greece’s new Road Traffic Code – an ordinance which includes heavy fines for giving another driver the Greek version of “the finger”, which is a raised open hand with all fingers spread wide, a gesture known locally as the “moutza.”
At a recent protest in front of Greece’s parliament in Athens, hundreds of drivers show the lawmakers just what they think of the new rules.
(Blogger’s Note: Are there too many lawmakers in Greece? Well, if America used the Greek formula of parliament members to population, the nation’s capitol would have to move from Washington to Texas, just to make room for the over one million congressmen and senators!)