…[H]ere’s little tale of disaster and thievery that might entertain you while also helping cast some light on why Greece’s economy is such a total basket case and why the country is doubly or even triply bankrupt.
It’s the sorry story of Greece’s rail network – Hellenic Railways..
..Hellenic Railways operates at a loss of about $3.8m per day, having accumulated a total debt of $13bn, or about 5% of Greek GDP.
In 2008, the company managed to report a loss of more than $1bn, on sales of just $253 million, a truly incredible achievement that probably ought to go in the Guinness Book of Records as perhaps the worst example of managerial incompetence in human history.
Between 2000 and 2009, the cost of the company’s payroll soared by 50% even as overall personnel decreased by 30%.
The average salary of a rail employee is over $78,000. In the mountainous Peleponnese region, trains manned by drivers being paid as much as $130,000 a year frequently run empty…