OPINION

On Samaras, the ‘buy Greek’ campaign, privatizations

Samaras is not a financier, nor a politician, nor a patriot.

Let me begin by saying that my political and economic biases are right wing. If I was only to adhere to these aforementioned beliefs I would vote ND with no regard to the actions of Mr. Samaras and his party since Greece took on the economic stabilization plan. However, I thank God that I am an objective thinker and can call something what it actually is. Mr. Samaras is an example of an individual who does not understand public finances, capital markets or sacrifice. Under the current circumstances that the country finds itself in, the abovementioned reasons are reasons enough why this individual should not rule the country, let alone his own party.

Allow me to prove my point on each of the statements I made:

He has little understanding of public finance: Since last year, Mr. Samaras has been stating that he had a plan to get Greece out of the situation it was in, but would not share that plan unless he was voted in. Just recently, he finally divulged part of that plan, which is that Greece needs a capital injection of 100 billion euros (note: a capital injection, not a loan). Mr. Samaras, who are you kidding?! Greece?s government is on the fringes and can?t even borrow one-tenth that on the markets. Yet, Mr. Samaras believes he can get ten times the amount from investors when the state can?t borrow less. Capital follows the path of least resistance and right now capital is not flowing into Greece. There is too much resistance from unions, closed professions, a weak banking system and a government that looks more and more that they will do some form of restructuring. 

He is not willing to sacrifice: Mr. Samaras exemplifies everything that is wrong with Greece. Asked on many occasions to support restructuring plans for the economy, Mr. Samaras has declined simply because, if he agrees, he will have no platform and therefore dash his own personal agenda of becoming prime minister. And if I am mistaken and that is not truly the reason, then please revert to my first point: He doesn?t understand capital markets or public finances.

He is not a patriot: It is obvious that his political aspirations and personal ambitions come before the task at hand. Yes, he may try to convince people that he does not agree with the economic plan, but reality is that if he was in the prime-ministerial seat he would have just as many (few) options as Mr. Papandreou has. Financial facts do not lie. He is, as I have proved, not fit to run the country because he does not understand capital markets and the solutions Greece desperately needs now.

It is for all these reasons that early elections should not be held. Why should precious funds be wasted at this difficult time when it is clear the only goal is the fulfilment of his personal ambitions? In my opinion, if Mr. Samaras was a patriot, he would resign and allow someone more capable (both intellectually and emotionally) to provide constructive criticism and ideas, as well as demonstrate his capacity to lead the opposition and eventually the country.

I am saddened to see such poor character from someone who is an alternative to the current leader. It is for these reasons that Greeks have to resolve themselves to make the necessary sacrifices in order to solve Greece?s problems for this generation and for those to come.

 

Tony Papapanos MBA

 

Buy Greek promo

Fantastic idea! Should have been done a long time ago. How can you get the Greek organization responsible for such a program to encourage Greeks of the diaspora to participate and increase Greek exports? Think Greek labeling and Buy Greek promotion in Greek papers in Canada, the US and Australia and other countries that have large Greek communities.

Tony Papapanos

It’s all about the economy

I’ve said it in letters before, but it’s worth repeating: The Greek state needs to sell off assets for a number of reasons. Among these are that the cash raised would help pay off debt and the act itself would show the buyers of Greek debt that Greece is trying to get its fiscal house in order. Perhaps most important of all is that it would go a long way toward reforming the economy. Selling off money pits like ATE Bank or OSE (Hellenic Railways Organization) to private investors would help stop the financial bleeding of the Greek state. Then the privatization of government shares in profit-making enterprises like OTE (Hellenic Telephone Organization), OPAP (state betting agency), and Public Power Corporation would raise the cash needed by the state. Perhaps privatizing these and other state-owned corporations would help the ATHEX 20 start to climb again as faith in the economy by investors increases. Other countries get it. The Greek government needs to get it, too. It’s all about the economy.

 

Peter Kates

USA