COMMENT

On crime, poetry, corruption

It has become quite obvious by now that crime is rampant throughout the country. The statistics that show an increase in crime are inaccurate in that they do not show the unreported crimes, which exceed the reported ones. In the small town of Xirokambi near Sparta in Laconia, crime was unheard of in the past. Half the homes did not even have proper locks on their doors.

In the last few years, this town of 1,500 people has had some forms of theft or assault including an armed house invasion and an armed hold-up of its post office. If you add up the yearly occurences, the crime rate far exceeds that of major urban centres in the United States. Most people do not report the daily thefts and break-ins to the police because the force consists of one officer in town and he really can't do much unless it is a «serious» crime that requires more officers to be brought in from outside. I am shocked by the crime rates in these small towns, never mind the major urban centres. If Greece wants to attract tourists and investment, having a skyrocketing crime rate and constant unrest is not a good advertising model. The government must beef up its policing and take control of the illegal migrant problem. The courts also have to be streamlined so that justice is dispensed fairly, and in a timely fashion.

If the state of affairs continues or worsens, it may be time for citizens in these small towns to band together and form protection committees in order to make them less attractive to criminals. Inevitably, this is where we are heading unless some control of the situation is regained.

Anthony Doukas

Canada

The Dead Avocado Society, market prices and my cat

Poets need inspiration. We need ideas, we need passion to drive us.

The result of vegetables going up in price is a drop in demand. They are said to be price elastic. The trouble with vegetables is that as they get older, they deteriorate in quality. They become worth less and less, until they are fit only for the cat and she's not too keen on avocado pear. However healthy and rich in nutrients it may be, once it qualifies for a pension from the OAED it's had it. It's a dead avocado. You can see this for yourselves at the laiki every week.

On a more technical level, in economics it is called price elasticity. Price elasticity of demand (PED or Ed) is a measure used in economics to show the responsiveness, or elasticity, of the quantity demanded of a good or service to a change in its price. More precisely, it gives the percentage change in quantity demanded in response to a 1 percent change in price (holding constant all the other determinants of demand, such as income). (Wikipedia)

Since poetry seems to be in fashion this week, here is my short offering:

Much to his Mum and Dad's dismay,

Tony ate himself one day.

He didn't stop to say goodbye,

Just took a yoghurt in the eye.

He pushed poor Greece right off the cliff,

Which put his Uncle in a tiff:

He built up debts he couldn't pay

With nothing saved for a rainy day

His credit by this time was gone

Dallaras wouldn't even sing a song

For all the bonds in far Hong Kong

So kiss my ass, so full of self,

With luck will stay there on the shelf,

With apologies to Monty Python.

P.S. I asked a friend of mine, director of a distinguished City firm in London, what his advice was on a small pension I get from the UK. He advised me to keep it in Sterling, saying I would be a Drachma billionaire in no time!

John Foss

Athens

Dis-investing

If it were easy to dis-invest from Greece, we'd have done it yesterday! The constant bureaucracy, constant changes in these pathetic tax laws, constant lack of policies by local island mayors who are utterly useless, the never-ending corruption, the small-minded and jealous locals. Greece as an invest locale? Zimbabwe is a better choice.

Lionel Luthor

Online