The government of Greece didn't really know how much debt it had:
In addition to its roughly $400 billion (and growing) of outstanding government debt, the Greek number crunchers had just figured out that their government owed another $800 billion or more in pensions.Said a member of the International Monetary Fund
“The way they were keeping track of their finances—they knew how much they had agreed to spend, but no one was keeping track of what he had actually spent.If you want a well-paying job in Greece, work for the government
In just the past decade the wage bill of the Greek public sector has doubled, in real terms—and that number doesn’t take into account the bribes collected by public officials. The average government job pays almost three times the average private-sector job.It would be cheaper to provide taxis to Greeks than to continue to fund the inept Greek railroad system. The problem with the rail system has been known for twenty years.
Twenty years ago a successful businessman turned minister of finance named Stefanos Manos pointed out that it would be cheaper to put all Greece’s rail passengers into taxicabs: it’s still true. “We have a railroad company which is bankrupt beyond comprehension,” Manos put it to me. “And yet there isn’t a single private company in Greece with that kind of average pay.”The Greek education system is notoriously overfed and inept.