There is an article in the Guardian today with the headline “Greece rules out more public sector job cuts”. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the “more” so I read on and found a dearth of factual errors.
To address the “more” used in the title. This is news to most Greeks.
The common understanding is that the government has laid next to no people off. The only people who have been cut are those who were on temporary contracts. If anything the rumours circulating in Greece are of the government hiring more people.
Yannis Stournaras, who has a track record of saying things which are blantantly untrue is quoted as saying that the government has laid of 75,000 people. This is news to Greeks!
The article then goes on to state “Streamlining so far has relied on a policy of natural attrition, with only one person being hired for every 10 who retire.” so the author of the article is claiming 75,000 government workers have retired in a year and a half? In 5 years things should be okay then! (of course the figure is nonsense especially given the fact that the government also says no layoffs will happen!)
The article then goes on to make a massively distorted statement.
“tax avoidance, particularly among high earners, remained “astounding”, said the report, estimating that at €55bn unpaid tax amounted to nearly 30% of GDP”
Almost everything in this sentence is wrong.
Second of all the Greek GDP is around 270 billion Euros os of the end of 2012, 55 is not 30% of 270.
While I congratulate the Guardian on covering the situation in Greece it is obvious it is getting its figures from the Greek government or their media outlets which leads to misleading and erroneous articles like this. The Guardian must try harder.