COMMENT

On elections, political parties, Dublin II and Anna Diamantopoulou

Re: Greeks will overcome the crisis

Bravo pedhaki mas! What a refreshing article! I can honestly say one of the nicest for a very long time.

I have lived in Greece for 18 years and have to totally agree that the Greeks are a very friendly race; I was one of the first ones to come from the UK to a small island and I have to say I have never found any kind of animosity or difference in being treated anywhere, actually the opposite: I am respected in every direction of my life here, trusted, honoured and most of all I live at ease and with peace and harmony side by side with these people in a truly family-type atmosphere!

No rent problem, even if I pay two years later, no contracts, never anything stolen. But I have to say the influx of such a lot of immigrants sadly looking for survival causes a lot of tension as there are overwhelming numbers, and illegal, which creates another level of friction between the others. Ever-changing societies need governance; this is not far away from what happened to the UK in the late 60s and early 70s. When the English folk of the UK were too superior to get their hands dirty cleaning public toilets, drive buses or trains or work in other public services, they ?imported? immigrants and then closed all the doors! I believe Greece should have adopted this role model, which really worked, integrated immigrants and created a lot of millionaires on the way, earning them respect and credibility along the way.

When I came to Greece the drachma was the voice of Greece, no value but such buying power, and going into the euro was the biggest mistake Greece has ever made!

One does not have to use the euro to be European, whoever said that was necessary? My personal opinion is that the Greeks were seriously misled and later on it was discovered that the whole thing was falsified anyway!

Tourism must never be hurt as this was my profession and I am passionate about Greek tourism and what it has to offer! I say let everyone unite and serve tourism and welcome tourists and change moods and show people of the world that ?filoxenia? really lives here!

Hash Modha

Diamantopoulou's posturing

When Anna Diamantopoulou was working as an MEP she was pleased to take her 120,000-euro salary with all its perks. But now she has the audacity to speak of forgotten sacrifices that Greece's MPs should have made!

All these so-called MPs -- who are supposed to be the servants of the people -- should reduce their 8,000 euro per month salary -- while half of Greece is starving -- to 2,500 euros per month -- and see if their majesties can survive on what constitutes five times more than what some Greek families have now been forced to live on.

Angelique Rockas

Actress/Producer

Leaders prepare for final campaign rallies before Sunday

This election has definitely put the Greeks in the metaphorical ?river in the front, and a canyon in the back? predicament. Worse still, all the politicians are lying to get their vote because the truth is unspeakable. Greece is in a ?managed bankruptcy,? the Greek economy is at a standstill, and it will stay there for at least 2-3 more years because people have no money to spend to spur economic growth, and the European Union won't renegotiate the terms of the Greek bailout. Truth be told, Greece is alone in disrepair, and it has only itself to blame!

Unfortunately, I have doubts if many Greeks will learn the lesson from it. The BBC News discussed the elections with a Greek family yesterday, and they said that Evangelos Venizelos was good, and that they would vote for him. Well, Venizelos' party, PASOK, was in the driver's seat and they wrecked Greece. Greeks who vote again for PASOK will have no one but themselves to blame! And, unless they wake up and tell their politicians at the voting booth on Sunday: ?Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me,? they would rightfully deserve -- and own -- their current fate and their suffering! Greeks must digest the fact that they must wipe out the remaining foreign debt first, and then stand up and learn to live within their means. But to get there, they must throw off the saddle the politicians who turned their country into an economic wasteland first. And that means now, this Sunday!

Would they do it? I doubt it. Political loyalties are parasitic (Psora) in Greece. The adage ?If you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas? is almost sacrosanct in Greek political thinking! And I am afraid that Greeks ?will lay down with their political dogs? -- again -- on election day!

Nikos Retsos (retired professor), USA

Elections, PASOK, ND and Greece

The upcoming election will do nothing to help the Greek recovery, and may actually do more harm than the country can handle. We see the two big parties continuing to point their fingers at each other, laying blame with each other, and forecasting doom and gloom if their party is not elected on a popular majority mandate. Wasn't Greece's problem the fact that these parties were given majority mandates in the past and that they squandered Greek money and led the country into the prospects of ruin that it now faces? How can Venizelos and Samaras both stand up and ask -- correct that, demand -- that the citizenry trust them to do the right thing when they were part of the corruption and ineptitude that led to the current state of affairs. Samaras stands up and says he will not share power, but he doesn't have power yet. How presumptuous of him to think that he might get a majority when the people are the ones who actually hold his power in their hands -- and hear him speak this way. The rise of the far right and of the far left are the fault of PASOK and ND, and the hubris that their officials bring to the media, and the forefront. These elections will bring about a divided, angry, and economically stagnant Greece, with a parliament filled with politicians that are not just unprepared to deal with the crisis, but also are ill-equipped to work cooperatively and do the right things to bring Greece back from the brink. This election has many of us in the diaspora very worried about our families in our beloved Greece.

Ange Arvan

Toronto

Dublin II and the Greek political parties

One of the principal aims of the Dublin II Regulation treaty is to prevent an applicant from submitting applications in multiple EU member states. The problem here is that 90% of all illegal immigrants heading for the EU arrive in Greece via Turkey.

With elections on, we have ND, Chrysi Avgi, KKE, LAOS, the Ecologist Greens and Democratic Left all calling for the scrapping or revision of Dublin II. SYRIZA wants the abolition of Dublin II but the legalisation of the current immigrants. Democratic Alliance (Ms Bakoyannis) wants no more immigrants in Greece until 2020.

The only party that has not said anything about Dublin II is PASOK. Former Foreign Minister/PM George Papandreou put pen to paper in 2003 in signing Dublin II. By calling for the abolition of Dublin II it would be seen as admitting a huge mistake which PASOK committed.

George Salamouras

Cypriot man awarded 300,000 euros in damages

I respect the Greek police and the stress that they go through in trying to fight crime and keep order. However, I have seen many cases of unexplained Greek police brutality and ugly behavior towards citizens and non-citizens.

It happened to me once when I went to renew my Greek passport at an Athens police station. Since I am not fluent in Greek as I was a Greek living abroad, when I asked a question to one red-headed police passport officer, he started mocking me, and replied sarcastically. He showed no respect at all -- did not even want to help me. My passport was late and I asked him if he could check or if he knew when I would get it; he replied, ?Go ask Kofi Annan.? What is this? Is this the kind of respect you show to your fellow citizen who needs a passport to travel urgently for family reasons?

Anyhow, I praise the court which awarded the man the money, and I hope those officers go to jail for a long period so they can learn a lesson. As for the disciplined Greek cops, we all fully support you and God be with you!

Stavros Mavrides

Online