“Armed with borrowed fortunes, a series of governments began hiring public employees by the hundreds of thousands and plying them with perks. Bonuses were handed out for arriving at work on time and knowing how to use a computer. Forestry workers got bonuses for the hardship of having to work outdoors. Each state employee got a yearly bonus worth two monthly paychecks, regardless of performance.
“Greece’s government, meanwhile, was as uninterested in collecting taxes as Greek citizens were in paying them. Greeks chronically underreported their earnings, and in the rare cases when they would get caught, an envelope of cash to the tax man would usually be enough to avoid punishment.
Greece Tempts the Fates