Greeks in the UK, Lagarde, eurozone, buying secondhand
EU should force Greece to stay in the eurozone
To force Greece to exit the Eurozone is legally absolutely impossible. To force the country to stay in the Eurozone is a much smarter strategy!
One irrefutable fact about financial crises is: serious reforms are never made as long as money flows and liquidity is around. Only when the flow of money stops do the responsible executives/politicians begin to act. Why? Because then they have no choice but to act.
A point which has not nearly received the amount of attention that it deserves is that, so far, the money flow into Greece has not stopped at all since the beginning of the crisis. On the contrary, from 2010-11, roughly 100 billion euros net flowed into the country from abroad. What use was it put to? About 65 BEUR was used to pay off Greek depositors who withdrew cash from their banks and the rest to finance the current account deficit.
The more Greece (or rather: certain Greek politicians) threaten to repudiate agreements entered into by the previous government, the more the country becomes dependent on foreign lenders. As long as things go reasonably well and consensually, foreign lenders will never cut off the country’s funding. If things were to become antagonistic, foreign lenders would have all the reasons in the world to cut off their funding.
Obviously, no one would cut off Greece’s foreign funding entirely. That would cause total disaster in a member country of the EU. However, one can make the new disbursements very selective and only for very specific purposes. For example: for the import of essential goods (but not for consumption goods); for other payments which are deemed important for the economy; for those government expenditures which are deemed appropriate.
Put differently, Greece would get a ”foreign commissioner” through the backdoor if it were to become antagonistic. That’s why only keeping Greece in the Eurozone can lead to the kind of reforms which are necessary.
Supporting PASOK, New Democracy
Dear Kathimerni Staff:
You should ask your Editor Nikos Konstandaras to resign because he losing you your readers with his continual ”blind support of ND and Pasok”, the two criminal corrupt parties that have destroyed Greece through fraud and mismanagement. ND and Pasok have been around much too long and need to go and the same with Mr. Konstandaras who has been around way too long being a willing mouth piece and apologist in his blatant support for ND and Pasok.
You readers are too smart these days and they see right through Konstandaras’ arrogance and it is going to lose you your reader base.
I know I have talked to many people about this and they are fed up with his biased, absurd commentaries ”praising ND and Pasok” who ruined Greece for 30 years.
I dare you to print this in your “Letters” section because I know Nikos Konstandaras is afraid to let people see and read this letter because it’s true!
Robert Powell PhD
Dear Dr Powell,
If the friends with whom you have spoken have been reading my commentaries over the years and have come to the same conclusion as you, then I must definitely resign -- because, obviously, it is my fault that my comments have been misunderstood.
Thank you for your interest in improving our service to readers.
Talk is cheap
Given the amply demonstrated inability of the former major parties ND and PASOK to collect taxes and enforce a multitude of enacted legislature over the last 36 years, the only logical vote ought to be cast giving the opportunity to any and all alternative parties. Talk is cheap, action is needed. And sincerity.
Winter Springs, Florida
The IMF’s Christine Lagarde said one of the cruelest and most stupid things a responsible person can say when she said she feels sorrier for suffering Nigerian children than she does for suffering Greek children because the parents of Greek children do not pay their taxes. Does the suffering of children have an ethnic correlation? Are we supposed to shrug at the hunger of children because of their parents’ sins?
Greek children and their parents are suffering because the greedy and punishing policies of the well-paid Ms Lagarde’s IMF and international bankers have exploded Greek unemployment and devastated the Greek economy and reduced the suffering of a European country to a sub-Saharan level. The unemployed and the destitute do not pay taxes. Certainly Ms Lagarde didn’t pay very many in her scandal-ridden political career. The breath-taking ignorance of responsible and privileged people like Ms Lagarde goes a long way to explain the hopeless mess so much of the world is in.
UK to curb migrants from Greece
This threat will never happen and it is the Home Secretary trying to sound tough. Britain has a huge problem with migration from Africa and Pakistan and almost all British people are against this but successive governments have done nothing to stop it. Trust me, migrants from Greece would be welcome here! The sad thing is that it would probably be your brightest and best who would emigrate, which is not good for the future of Greece but of course good for the UK! Let’s hope it never happens and Greece returns to growth.
The Greek way
I know I am a foreigner in this country, trying to make a little business here, a secondhand shop. I realize that the Greeks do not fancy secondhand -- they may be too proud to buy these things -- but they may be forced to in the future. A lot of people are coming with things they want to sell though; they need the money.
I am often surprised that they do not want receipts, but I tell them I am a foreigner, I have paid a lot of money for the cashier, and know I want to use it. In my country you always get a receipt; we have not thought of the possibility of avoiding paying tax in that way. Because that is what you realize when you buy something -- nobody will give you a receipt unless you ask for it. Then they ask if you need one; I sometimes try to say that their country is in trouble and they are still cheating, but then they get angry with me, so I better keep my mouth shut.
I have more expenses with the business than I earn, but I want to do this for a while, I have a pension from my home country and can use it on this; I think it is funny, many nice people visiting every day; we can laugh and have nice conversations.
But not many Greek people, they want to buy Gucci and Prada and show their wealth, but the gap between poor and rich is evident.
I feel sorry for the poor people, they can pick up clothes and things they need in the shop, it’s no big deal.
I am not saying that my country is the best in the world, but we pay our taxes, the government knows everything about us: how much we earrn, how much money we have in the bank, our properties; it’s an open society. We have good schools and hospitals, no pupils need extra lessons in the afternoon, school is free, also the hospitals, and everyone knows that we have to pay our taxes to have it this way. The politicians earn a normal salary, we know how much, you can read in the paper or on the net how much your neighbour earns; last year this had to stop though, since people from other countries also read this, found the addresses of the richest and broke into their houses.
I think it will take many years to change the mentality down here. I spoke to a German, he meant that the Greeks have more of a Middle Eastern mentality -- if they can cheat they have made a good business. Maybe it became like this under the Turks, and now they want to blame the Germans for their misery. It is good to have someone to blame.
My country is not in the eurozone. We have oil money, but we have to preserve it for the next generation. These days we can feel happy we never got into it.
Ragnhild Irene Meijer