Greece presents an image of “total collapse” so states the title of a lengthy article from the mass-circulation newspaper The Australian.
Australian journalist Peter Wilson visited Athens to report on the dramatic situation of the health insurance system, explaining that a probable breakdown could mean that “they (insured citizens) have to pay thousands of euros in cash for their medications or go without drugs for painful and often fatal conditions.” And he continues, “more than one Greek hospital has had its medical supplies cut off for not paying its bills, and some have declared they can no longer afford to provide food for patients,” adding that “across town yesterday a court authorized an emergency release of funds frozen by a dispute in the electricity industry, literally to stop the lights from going out in large swaths of the country. The dispute is over unpaid bills.”
To the above the journalist adds, “the failure by the country’s largest power producer to pay debts to gas providers from Russia and Turkey means that rolling blackouts are still a serious threat as foreign tourists arrive in hotel rooms that may soon be without air-conditioning or light.”
And the most serious of all, “the political uncertainty surrounding Sunday’s national election – the second in six weeks – and fears that Greece could soon be forced out of the common currency have exacerbated an already tough budgetary position by prompting many Greek companies and individuals to simply stop paying their taxes, leaving the government within two or three weeks of running out of cash.”
In regard to banks The Australian article reports that “some Greek banks have gotten in early by imposing withdrawal limits of €100 a day and Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC, has already tested its ATMs in Athens to see if they could dispense notes of an as-yet unprinted new currency.”
He also points out, that the US President and the rest European state leaders have been “unusually direct in urging Greek voters not to elect a government which would undermine the euro, confirming that there has rarely been more at stake in a national election involving less than 2 per cent of the total population of the European Union.”
The article concludes saying that “while the leaders of the euro zone hope Greece will avoid a calamity by staying in the currency and giving them more time to address its weaknesses , is little hope of offering Greece anything more than years of spending cuts and tax increases.”
Another article by The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the collapsing health insurance system explaining that the situation is triggering the wrath of citizens.
An interview of Lloyds Bankin Group head economist with the ABC TV show “The Business” refers to the reduced competitiveness of certain EU member states remarking that “despite being members of the same monetary union” European countries present vast economic inconsistencies resulting in some of them needing bailouts. He noted that the founding treaties should be amended, so that weaker economies have the chance to leave the monetary union and simultaneously keep the common currency. In regards to the June 17 elections he finds unimportant who the winner will be, whether a pro or contra-austerity party will prevail… because a Grexit is either way inevitable.
Several Australian articles also make note of the fact that more and more Greeks are learning German, while the migration flux to Germany has increased dramatically.