Greek Labor Ministry Contemplates Seizing Private Assets

Greece is in deep trouble. They are in the midst of their worst depression in history. Unfortunately for the Greeks, it could get a lot worse. The greek Labor and Social Insurance Ministry is contemplating “drastic measures”  in order to bring some sense of solvency to the troubled nation’s government-run Social Security system, which includes lifetime pensions and extensive “safety net” benefits.  As Christina Kopsini of Greek news service Ekthamerini reports:

The Labor and Social Insurance Ministry is seriously considering drastic measures in order to obtain the social security contributions owed by enterprises and to avoid having to slash pensions and benefits.

The ministry is planning to force companies to pay up or face having their assets seized, so that the 14 billion euros of contributions due can be recouped.

Many have seen this coming. This is hot on the heels of what occurred in Cyprus: The Bank of Cyprus went bust, and the Cypriot government undertook a “bail-in” of the tiny nation’s largest bank, meaning that many private depositors had large amounts of Euro confiscated and re-gifted to the troubled bank so that it could pay it’s bills. These musings from the Greek Labor ministry are tactics of the exact same sort. This would be a “bail-in” of the nation’s floundering Social Security system.

It is expected that a bail-in would seize money deposits and bonds; to see a “bail-in” spread to seizing unleveraged private assets like real estate is not what would be expected. Yet this is what the Greek government is saying they may want to do. It is not necessarily a surprise to me; why should anyone be surprised when a Socialist government says they want to seize private property and assets? Even still, it would be rather stunning if they actually pulled the trigger on this. It would demonstrate that the Greek Government truly is committed to mass thievery to cover their own butts.

Thankfully, collecting on these assets is far easier said than done. Indeed, as the report goes on to acknowledge:

While [14 billion euros] – equal to 8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product – may be easy to calculate on paper, it is virtually impossible to collect even if the state attempts to confiscate all the real estate properties of debtors and the debts of third parties to them.

Repossession is no joke. A repossession operation of this scale would prove to the entire world that Greece is the worst place for business in all of Europe. What company wants to risk putting any money into an economy where the government will seize assets at gunpoint just to cover their own mistakes? The Greek government knows this. This is why I’m not holding my breath for this particular maneuver.

Greece is locked in a veritable death-spiral, economically speaking. My heart aches for the young Greeks who have been screwed to high hell by their Socialist Government. Entrenched Unions, extreme labor regulations, and seriously damaging minimum wage laws have totally demolished their prospects of a healthy future in Greece.

Possibly the worst part about all of this is that the ever-worsening conditions in Greece are constantly blamed on the austerity measures. This is pure baloney. Greece is going down the toilet due to the presence of two things, both in the government: a socialist culture of endless deficit spending, and corruption. Spending is what created the crisis to begin with, and rampant corruption within the political system and bureaucracy has taken the crisis from bad to downright nightmarish.

“Austerity” has nothing to do with Greece’s problems. All of Greece’s problems are in Athens, wearing suits and ties.

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One Comment on “Greek Labor Ministry Contemplates Seizing Private Assets”

  1. Howard Hecht April 15, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    very interesting

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