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On new elections, eurozone, Tsipras, public sector, reforms

Re: Dutchman, 78, hurt in Monemvasia attack 

Even if Greece were a centipede, with that many shots in its own foot, it would not be able to run a single inch. 

Sebastian Schroeder
Patra


Does anyone in Greece stand for reform? 


I think the most disturbing thing about the Greek situation to international eyes is that nobody seems to be advocating reform in the country. If we could gather 100 Greeks in a room and ask them to please stand up and suggest material ways to reform the country (e.g. pay taxes, slash the public sector, cut red tape, roll back union power, end corruption, etc.), would anyone stand up? 

When I look at the Greek political parties, I don't see anyone advocating reform (except for the so-called "liberal" parties, but none of them won seats in the last election). Given that Greece is a democracy, this seems to imply that the Greek people themselves are not advocating reform. How can this be? How can an entire nation be so deluded as to think there is no need for positive change? 

People of Greece: you are making this too hard for the rest of us. It is not reasonable to ask the rest of the world to feel like villains forcing you to make positive changes. The inevitable thought that comes to mind is that you cannot help a people who do not want to help themselves. 

Peter O'Hara


Another nail in the coffin  

There is no information in the Greek media concerning this publication http://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article106315000/Griechen-brechen-Hollaender-die-Nase.html 

Is this the famous “xenofilia”? To smash the face of a 78-year-old man? Chrysi Avgi shows the way to the future. 

It seems that Greece prefers the suicide way. I am shocked.  

Thomas Pascoe
Crete 


Greece to hold new elections, markets tank 


What do the "anti-austerity" parties want and do about it? Do they want a massive flow of cash? 

This is the opposite of austerity. 

Where this cash will come from? If we have it (that seems to be implied by some), the parties that believe it should have a financial plan on what we must do with it and how. 

The Greek economy contracted by 6.2% in the first quarter of 2012 according to GSA. 

If we don't have it and we have to borrow it, we still need a financial plan that includes also paying it back. 

In the election next month people have to vote for a plan and not to punish somebody else. 

We may not like our politicians but they are all we have. 

What we need now is a plan, not a lot of small parties.

Dina Hatzipavlu
Netherlands


Tsipras the only choice in June election 


The voters who participate in the June election for Parliament must rally to SYRIZA, thereby assuring that Greece's new political wunderkind, Alexis Tsipras, will triumph as Prime Minister. Only Tsipras has shown the statesmanship to lead Greece in her return to the drachma, thereby detonating once and for all the utterly discredited abstractions underpinning present-day global finance. 

Rhodes Vessels
Lewes, Delaware


Greeks to head back to polls after talks fail 


The Syriza party may have its wish to become the largest party in the next election, and Mr. Tsipras may have his wish to become a prime minister at a tender age. But those Greeks who vote for him, and expect to go back to the pre-bailout life, may find out that the worst will be yet to come with Mr. Tsipras at the helm. It would certainly be history repeating itself again, because those who don't know their history tend to repeat the mistakes of the past. 

There is an adage that warns: "Be careful what you wish for; you may get it!" I bet that the Greek's wish to see Mr. Tsipras governing will be fulfilled in the next election. Then they would probably have to face a worse tragedy than the one they are in now. Angela Merkel told George Papandreou during the bailout negotiations that "the austerity measures should be painful to teach Greeks a lesson." That lesson, however, was not learned by the Greeks, as the May 6 elections proved. Now the Greeks believe in Tsipras's prescription for pain relief, but he has no medicine. The Europeans have it, and they have warned Tsipras that they won't fill his prescriptions for free! 

Tsipras's idea that the Europeans are bluffing, and his braggadocio to call their bluff, is dangerous. And those who vote for him will surely be very sorry when the Europeans call his bluff, and let Greece sink! Then Tsipras's dream-lining career will sink as well, along with those who trusted their social welfare to him.  

Nikos Retsos (retired professor)
USA


Strategy = History 


How many in the political spectrum would remember Zoe Palaiologina? Maybe all if they choose to. In A.D. 1453 it wasn't Europe that offered any hope, it was Russia; when the inside does not help you must look to the outside. Get a market reaction for a new Drachma with Russian backing and support and then decide on Europe. You are culturally 'near-shore' to Russia in Church, architecture, and understanding. God bless you at this time. 

Simon Robinson


Euro or drachma, pros and cons 

Should Greece stay in the Euro zone at all costs or go back to the Drachma? There are pros and cons to both outcomes; although the severe austerity has done nothing to help the pro-Euro forces in the country. To me, the real question is not whether Greece should stay in the Euro, but whether it is able to. Can Greece's small, basic and unproductive economy function in a currency zone dominated by much larger and more advanced nations? Kathimerini as an advocate of the Euro has superfluous articles on the doomsday scenario should Greece leave the EZ, but I don't recall reading anything exploring how Greece can function within it.  

Witness the actions of the Greek political class since the crisis started. They have done everything to preserve the status quo. That is why the focus has been on cutting wages and increasing taxes but very little has been done to liberalise the economy or reduce that anchor around the nation's neck, the public service. We can blame the Germans all we want, but who really believes the Euro can save Greece under such conditions?  

The Greek system has been propped up by foreign loans since the adoption of the Euro and the fall of that house of cards has finally arrived. Are the international banksters flying around the Greek carcass like vultures? You bet they are but no one forced Greece to join the Euro or borrow sums it could never hope to repay. You can thank the egos of the venal political class and apathetic public for that.  

Whether under the Euro or the Drachma, Greece faces decades of economic pain and suffering. Time the Greeks faced the truth, made some hard decisions and stopped this Sisyphean drama!  

John Dimitropoulos


Reasons to be worried 


Although the decimation of PASOK and ND in the last elections brought joy to my heart, the fact that no serious party has emerged to fill the vacuum has offset that joy. The reality that a communist, anarchist and professional protestor like Tsipras has emerged as the big winner from this crisis and potentially the PM in the next elections proves that many Greeks are continuing their mass delusion that they can keep the Euro without austerity. Everyone is panicked by Chrysi Avgi's percentage but no one seems worried that various communists got over a quarter of the vote and the same percentage of the electorate didn't bother to show!  

John Dimitropoulos


Strangers in Greek lands 

Greece was cobbled together from people with different backgrounds and of different races. 

Much of the heavy-handed approach to creating a national state would not be seen as the right thing in today's world. The same approach is used unofficially today while shouting for protection of human rights and freedom. 

The thing I remind the majority of my Greek friends is that not one of their grandmothers spoke Greek before the 1930s. There are all sorts of myths we tell each other on how we are more Greek than each other. 

I live in a city the same size as Athens that has 1,200 migrants coming in every week. Australia being a British-controlled country with much of the country owned by Britain, ensures its future control by making sure 50-60% of the migrants are from the British islands, and most of the others can by two or three generations melt into the country. 

Greece, with half the population of Australia, has taken twice as many migrants than Australia in a short time. 

There is a resentment by most of Australia's population towards non-European migrants, but anyone saying anything is quickly sat upon. Most of the migrants arriving in Australia are economic migrants with approximately 12,000 refugees. No matter from which war zone they come from, the refugees are a damaged people, just as some Greeks were. They present difficulties to the society they settle in. 

Most of Greece's migrants would not be acceptable for resettlement in Australia, which has the ability to run a very controlled society. The invasion of Greece by people who would not be acceptable by any other country is I believe well planned by the enemies of Greece. 

The left and the right in Greece have finally found a cause for their heroics to embrace or fight the coloured invaders, and while they play games they are undermining Greek society by their circus antics. 

Greece is burning and they are massaging their egos.

No society or culture can survive large invasions. Greeks, more than any other culture, should know all about it if they could only read and write and comprehend. 

Charilaos Lithoxopoulos


Choose! 


In my opinion Greece should have made this choice before entering the euro zone, but Greece really has to choose now: 

- Does Greece want to stay in the euro zone? Which implicates the implementation of a Northern European kind of economy and society in Greece. 

- Or does Greece not want this kind of society? Which implicates Greece has to leave the euro zone. 

As we see today, the mix of these choices produces unmanageable economic and social perversions for everybody. And by that for the Greek political parties. 

Hans van der Schaaf 


Public sector  


But how can you expect the citizens to understand the risks of a euro exit when none of the politicians nor the media make any serious attempt to explain what is going on? 

I came to live in Greece in 2005. It was perfectly clear to me that Greece was bankrupt. It had no cash to pay for anything. It was actively involved in borrowing money to pay off debts that were paying off debts that were paying off debts. At the same time the government was operating a civil service which enjoyed untenable benefits in a debt-ridden country. 

And of course Goldman Sachs had already shown the Finance Ministry how to defer debt payment, and to 'cook' the books legally. 

It is worth noting that the agents of Goldman Sachs are even now acting as the bureaucrats of the Greek government. 

It may be true that there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. If so, we are trapped in a world in which the blind are leading the blind over the cliff. 

J Kelvyn Richards
Trikala


Merkel, Hollande and Greece 

I have never understood the reluctance of practically everybody, Greek leaders included, to consider suggesting the Greek debt load to be paid back in full over the next 100 years at a fixed, bearable rate, instead of sticking to the idea of doing everything in the foreseeable future -- the next 10 years or so. It would give the country the room to change things internally, stimulate the economy and at the same time satiusfy all its creditors. 

Maybe some Greek politicians do not want too much change, but some do -- as I see it. But even they choose rather to default and thereby harm the country further. 

Or is my suggestion too easy? 

But -- I forgot -- that would mean that things really change. And maybe that is asking too much! 

Ulrich Marggraf


Greece doesn't have enough jails for all the Greek criminals 

Kathimerini should commission some Greek criminologists to conduct a study of what percentage of the Greek population are tax criminals. 

From all of your articles one gets the impression that 75% of the Greek population are tax criminals. 

That is why Europe doesn't feel sorry for Greece. 

The tragedy is that it is the remaining 25% that are being thrown into the dust heap like unwanted digs. 

Shame! 

David Alexander


US vulture fund profits from bond payout 


Is this how efficient Papademos has been? Paying out the bond in full -- when they needn't? 

US vulture fund profits from bond payout 

So much for Papademas protecting Greece's interest!

And you were eulogizing him a few days ago! 

Alex Leandros


Elections & politicians 


So Samaras and Venizelos and a large portion of the public want to remain in the euro, right? 

Mr Samaras and Mr Venizelos should put their money where their mouths are and form a unity party just for the purpose of this election and ensuring Syriza do not come first and driving Greece out. 

We are waiting, gentlemen, we are waiting. 

Simon Morgan


It's an ill wind that does not blow some good to someone


With Greece about to revisit 1942 hunger and violence, those that have cashed in and moved their money to America and Britain can come back and buy real bargains. 

In 1942 you could exchange a handful of wheat for a handful of gold. People sold their daughters for ten or twenty kilos of wheat. 

The real long-term valuable real estate is going to be good farming land, which is a scarce commodity in Greece. As Greece will not be in the position to import food, all food grown locally will be at a high price. With low wages, the overheads for production will be competitive, and some of the food production can be exported. 

The Government will allow the excellent Greek hard wheat to be exported for a good price and Greece to import the cheap "Egyptian" type of wheat from Argentina and Australia. 

Greeks will have to give up the white fluffy bread originally made for toothless people and eat the flat bread as Egyptians do. 

Greece can export all its olive oil and import "transfats" from the USA for Greeks to eat. The profits can be used to pay for essentials. 

Most hospitals will be closed or offer little more than prayers for the sick. 

With Greeks walking more and eating less they will be healthier anyway. 

Anyone buying land will need armed guards for protection of crops. A friend was telling me that in 1942 his grandfather stood guard over his grapevines and anyone who jumped over the rock wall to steal grapes, got a bullet in the stomach, was pushed into a hole and buried alive; to fertilize the grapes in the next spring. The screams of the wounded sent anyone waiting his turn to steal back where they came from. 

To see how to operate a productive farm surrounded by hunger, look at the Philippines or Guatemala. 

Even if we have to watch children die from hunger and thirst, we will be free from the Germans and we can be free to fly the red flag and serve our red masters in Athens. 

Greeks can get some help from the Albanians if they want to find out how to survive under an isolated left-wing Government. 

We are more pragmatic today than we were in 1942. In extreme hunger all the illegal migrants can be eaten, and when we run out of migrants to eat, we can eat the mentally ill patients that have been disharged from the hospitals. 

Charilaos Lithoxopoulos

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday May 16, 2012 (21:51)  
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