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World News

Anglican chaplain: Greece must make reforms

by Aaron James

Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw was speaking after the country voted to reject a new bailout deal to keep its economy afloat, which included further austerity measures.

He also urged Christians to pray for Greece, warning the country could face financial collapse if it left the euro.

61 per cent voted against another bailout package, while 38% voted for the package and the spending cuts that would come with it.

Greece has already implemented some austerity measures, during which time unemployment has risen to around 25 per cent.

The country is currently around €320bn in debt - nearly double the money it makes each year.

Canon Bradshaw has said Greece must makes changes to the following areas:

* Its civil service, which he says is the biggest in Europe in proportion to the number of people it serves, and has been used by politicians to win votes;

* Pensions, which he says were significantly higher than the state pensions of many other European countries;

* Tax collection, where he says around a third of the population have rarely been paying taxes, and;

* Corruption, particularly in Greece's health provisions.

He told Premier's News Hour: "You can get fifty euros from out of the ATMs, but there is now talk that that will be reduced to 20 euros per day from the ATMs. Well how long does that continue?

"If the European Central Bank are unable to support the banking system here in Greece, then there is talk that by the end of the week the banks will crash.

"There is a civil service here which is bloated, it has the highest ratio of civil servants to citizens in the whole of Europe. This is largely because places in the civil service are used for obtaining votes.

"The Grexit will probably feel quite good for a period of time. But unless Greece does the structural reforms that it needs to do, even the Grexit will not be a solution to its problems."

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speaking to Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw: 

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