Greece in the third world?

For the most part, economic jargon and complicated debt restructuring stories are Greece to us. Today, for example, the U.S. business media is previewing debt talks, which begin tomorrow. It’s an ongoing dance between private creditors and Greece’s “economic partners,” other countries with skin in the game.

What about the Greek people?

There is belt tightening, and then there’s strangling in a noose. Greece is about to join the Third World, if reports of the effects of its austerity measures are any indication.

The Daily Mail says parents are abandoning children they can no longer afford, and the country is running out of medicine, including aspirin.

It’s a terrible situation based on the Daily Mail account, but it’s difficult for people here to know where it fits in the big picture, especially when considering this BBC story, which says Greece is adding new categories of behavior to the definition of “disabled.”

The new government “disability” list also includes compulsive gamblers, fetishists, exhibitionists and sado-masochists, the Associated Press news agency reports.

The Greek Labour Ministry said a panel of medical experts had decided to include such behavioural disorders on the list, but the new categories did not signify benefit entitlement.

But some people in Greece are fretting that it will lead to state payments to the new categories.