Wednesday 30 May 2012


Searching for cake among the scraps of food in the city of Thessaloniki. Unemployment benefits are only available for a year at a monthly rate of less than €500. After that, the state offers practically no assistance. Officials estimate that only about 280,000 of the 800,000 people without jobs are still eligible to claim unemployment benefits. 

All I have done here is add to the original article all images and darker green commentary as well as adding a few links for further clarification. 

Questioned about Greek crisis head of IMF said country can help itself collectively 'by paying all their tax'
Suggests that IMF's money would be better spent on African children than on people in Athens

Lagarde takes home £298,675-a-year untaxed

Lagarde receives further tax-free allowance package of £52,000

Mrs. Lagarde enjoying a haute couture "cake moment" for the cameras.

Laughing all the way to the bank: IMF managing director Christine Lagarde criticized beleaguered Greeks for not paying taxes, while she earns a tax-free salary herself
The head of the International Monetary Fund enjoys a tax-free income of £350,000, it emerged yesterday ~ days after she attacked Greeks for failing to pay their taxes.
Christine Lagarde provoked a furious backlash after blaming Greece’s economic plight on citizens ‘who are trying to escape tax all the time’.
Now it has been revealed that the divorced Frenchwoman, 56, earns a salary of £298,926 which her contract states ‘shall be net of income taxes’. 

A woman begging in the upmarket Athens suburb of Glyfada. According to official data, unemployment is expected to climb to between 17 percent and 18 percent by the end of 2011, but the true figure could be as high as 23 percent. AP. 

Part of this is paid for by British taxpayers, as the UK contributes 4.5 per cent of the IMF’s resources. This equates to about £13,500 of Mrs. Lagarde’s basic wages.
The IMF also pays Mrs. Lagarde a top-up tax-free sum of £53,490, designed:
‘to enable the Fund’s leader to maintain, in the interests of the Fund, a scale of living appropriate to your position as managing director and to the Fund’s need for representation’.
In addition, she is entitled to expenses for ‘entertainment’ and travel and hotel costs for her And Her Partner when the IMF meets in Washington DC. 
Her five-year contract also entitles her to a pay increase every July.
Greek-born economist Vicky Pryce said many people in her home country were astonished by Mrs. Lagarde’s hypocrisy. ‘There has been a lot of comment about the irony of the situation,’ she said.

Imposing: The headquarters of the IMF in Washington is where representatives of 184 countries aim to work together to foster global monetary cooperation and secure financial stabilit. Blah, blah, blah.

She added that Mrs. Lagarde had not grasped the true nature of the problems facing the eurozone. ‘If people paid the tax they were due to pay it would make hardly any difference,’ she said.
Tax expert Richard Murphy said Mrs. Lagarde’s comments were ‘so insensitive’. 
The Greeks should not expect sympathy, says IMF boss Christine Lagarde who is 'more worried' about schooling in Africa

A beggar in Athens. The number of people living in poverty is surging as a result of the country's economic decline and austerity measures. Getty Images.
‘How can someone who is living tax-free, way beyond the means of the Greek parent who can’t feed their children, say “tough, you’re living in austerity, you’ve got to keep us happy”?’ he asked.

ED: Greece’s financial crisis has made some families so desperate they are giving up the most precious thing of all – their children. In the last two months Father Antonios, a young Orthodox priest who runs a youth centre for the city’s poor, has found four children on his door step – including a baby just days old.

“Over the last year we have hundreds of cases of parents who want to leave their children with us – they know us and trust us,” Father Antonios says. Requests of this kind were not unknown before the crisis – but Father Antonios has never until now come across children being simply abandoned." ~


People queuing for free food outside the main meat market of central Athens on Tsiknopemti, or "Burnt Thursday", a day when people barbecue meat ahead of the coming period of Lent. Lines were longer this year due to the economic crisis in the country. DPA. 

He said many Greeks are now withholding their taxes as they believe the country is being run by the IMF instead of an elected government.
A spokesman for the IMF said Mrs. Lagarde ‘pays all taxes levied on her, including local and property taxes in the US and France’, adding:
‘Fund salaries, like those in most international organizations, are paid on a lower, net-of-tax basis to ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of nationality.’
ED: What did he just say? I mean, really just say? Basically another groundless excuse of words that mean nothing. Utter them in a soothing tone and figure the masses are calmed.

Contributors: Christine Lagarde earns more than the lovable Obamas, above, 
and David Cameron,below.

At the weekend Mrs. Lagarde suggested Greece only had itself to blame for its financial situation. She said Greeks could ‘help themselves collectively’ by paying their taxes.
‘I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education.. because I think they need even more help than the people in Athens,’ she added.

 Lagarde in Niger.

ED: That is such a timeworn and successful way to shift blame: divert the blame. You, the reader, have only one choice ~ the irresponsible people of Greece or those poor children in Niger. Suddenly you, the reader/public, are supposed to understand that the children of Niger are not responsible for their plight, but that the people of Greece (and their children) are. This same technique is used in local politics all the time. Here were I live a popular one are the needs of the disabled versus those of seniors. You get the picture.

 A busker in Athens. Becoming unemployed in Greece sparks rapid social decline.

Asked if Greeks were experiencing payback for years of bad practices, she said: 
‘That’s right.’ 
She later sought to clarify her remarks, insisting she had been largely referring to the wealthy. 

Ah yes, she does live frugally and her companion travels gratis as well. .

The hurried explanation came after a furious response in Greece, criticism from French politicians and a stream of abuse on her Facebook page.
Addressing critics on the social network, she said she was ‘very sympathetic to the Greek people and the challenges they are facing’.

A beggar with her child in the center of Athens. There has been a dramatic rise in the number of homeless people ~ by up to 25 percent in Athens alone. Reuters.

‘That’s why the IMF is supporting Greece in its endeavour to overcome the current crisis,’ she added. ‘An important part of this effort is that everyone should carry their fair share of the burden, especially the most privileged and especially in terms of paying their taxes.’

Two of the more terrifying creatures on the planet.
And we all know who they ultimately give their allegiance to, don't we?

Points to the reader 
who can come up with 
the most interesting captions!

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