The problem that arose with Eva Kaili goes beyond any bribes, and constitutes a “thorn” for the Greek state coupled with the latest evidence that shows that Greece leads all EU countries in the perception of corruption.
The essence lies in her initial speech in the European Parliament, which was consistent with the perceptions of other Greek officials in Brussels.
- Dr. Steve Bakalis *
- Greek Reporter
Eva Kaili’s speech
The Greek institutional bodies (The Centre of Planning and Economic Research, the Directorate of Economic Services of the Parliament, her political party, etc.) should have immediately raised alarm bells for Eva Kaili at the moment of Kaili’s unfortunate speech in which Kaili said, “Qatar is a pioneer in labor rights, abolishing kafala and lowering the minimum wage.”
She should have said increasing the minimum wages—not lowering. This was a Freudian slip coupled with a lack of general knowledge on the specific subject.
She exemplified the Dunning-Kruger effect which states that “a person’s lack of knowledge and skills in a certain area cause them to overestimate their own competence.” In contrast, this effect also causes those who excel in a given area to think the task is simple for everyone, and underestimate their relative abilities as well as withdrawing from public life.
The minimum wage in Qatar
For the record, most (labor) economics students would have insights that the minimum wage in Qatar is 275 USD per month (plus bed and board) in 2022 and is significantly lower than the average salary in Qatar which stands at approximately 3,600 USD per month, the ninth highest average annual salary in the world according to the data.
The minimum wage for developed countries usually ranges from 35 to 60 percent as a proportion of the average wage according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), yet in Qatar it is less than 10 percent (274/3600, and about 15 % when we take into account bed and board.
Her statement was misleading and should have been proportionate and more representative of reality. She showed that she had no understanding of the subject or was on the wrong track, and her political party should have warned her then, not now, to close the matter, because it reflects poorly on Greece.
Therefore, the reasonable questions that arise are how the corruption scandal acts as a spotlight on the skills and abilities of its protagonists, their qualifications, and questions also hover over other political “personalities” that we embrace with the full knowledge that they contribute to Greece being a flawed democracy, just like the corruption capital of the European Union.
For the record, the same occurred with the “naivety” exhibited by Dimitris Avramopoulos to contribute his knowledge and services to the involved “non-profit organization” on an honorary basis, but not unprofitably. A person with much experience and knowledge (an integral part of his role as a board member) failed to see that the NGO was on the wrong side of its mission statement.
EP’s corruption focuses mainly on Greece due to wiretapping scandal
For completeness, and fairness, not only Greece was exposed but also Italy. In fact, Europe has been exposed because of the emerging corruption in the European Parliament. Unfortunately, the main focus is on Greece because the journalistic discourse internationally has a lot of material from the Greek “underworld” of politics associated with the scandal of wiretapping surveillance.
Finally, beyond any changes in the legal framework to combat corruption, the following quotation attributed to Plato is noteworthy:
- Eva Kaili remanded in custody – Video
Laws are partly formed for the sake of good men, in order to instruct them how they may live on friendly terms with one another, and partly for the sake of those who refuse to be instructed, whose spirit cannot be subdued, or softened, or hindered from plunging into evil.
- Dr Steve Bakalis, completed his doctoral studies at La Trobe University
Melbourne in Australia in the field Computable General Equilibrium Modeling. He worked at La Trobe University, University of Melbourne, and University Victoria University. His professional and research background focuses on the study of International Economics. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Australian National University, University of Adelaide, and the University of Thessaly. Today, he is an honorary professor at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, China.
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