Begging bowls in Greece and NI

A member of the Communist-affiliated PAME labor union shouts slogans at the police during an anti-austerity protest in Athens. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
A member of the Communist-affiliated PAME labor union shouts slogans at the police during an anti-austerity protest in Athens. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

I am delighted that more people are agreeing that we look more like Greece every day.

For some 40 years I have had knowledge of Greece and NI and the similarities are striking.

Letters

Letters

Both countries have had dysfunctional governments which everyone knew about but did nothing to rectify.

Both talk about democracy but don’t practice mature democracy, In NI we have a “Triple Locking” device ensuring that nothing contentious is passed, and that inefficient and costly public services are guaranteed, Greece had a democracy that was corrupt, inefficient and profligate, politicians and public servants openly “Ripped Off” the system.

Both countries borrowed, in various ways, without a care as to who supplied the money and how it was to be repaid. Of course some “donations” to the system would not have to be repaid.

As a youngster I was taught “neither a borrower nor a lender be” or perhaps more aptly “he who pays the piper calls the tune”.

Quite rightly Mr Tsipras of Syriza in Greece and Martin McGuiness of Sinn Fein were told to take their begging bowls away. If they can come up with a coherent strategy to create wealth, which does not punish the people who need help, which creates a structured plan to make the country less dependent on handouts and which is believable, then they would get a more sympathetic hearing.

This is surely a stark warning for the Republic of Ireland coming to their elections next year.

Tom Ekin, Belfast