OPINION

Public debt

Those who wish to understand the reason why public debt keeps soaring should take a look at the state audit council. The staff there would have a lot to say. For example, the council has recently come under serious pressure from the federation of preschool and primary school teachers because the educators want to be paid for the five weeks they went on strike this fall but without having to work overtime to make up the lost hours of class time. And it gets worse. A prefect who was elected on the PASOK party ticket ran a huge advertising campaign in the local media about the state of the road network in his prefecture and then sent the 35,000-euro bill to the state audit council – to the taxpayers, that is. Everyone knows that the state coffers are empty, but that does not stop them from trying to snatch as much money as they can. As a result, the state audit council keeps receiving bills from ministers, prefects, mayors and other local officials. The money goes to those who place the most pressure on the state. Since revenues are steady, extra spending (for whatever reason) must be covered by borrowing. So the public debt will grow, and our children will end up footing the bill.