OPINION

On Merkel, the debt crisis, law enforcement, reforms, ‘consensus’

Reducing Greek’s vacation days

I am highly amused at Angela Merkel’s suggestion that Greek vacation time should be lowered. I am Greek, and I can tell you that my vacation time cannot be lowered because I don?t get a vacation! I have a shop where, during tourist season, I work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. And from November, when the season is over, I work every day til February collecting olives so my family doesn’t starve! So if Merkel wants all EU countries to work the same hours, how about giving us the same money as Germany? We make a big 800 euros a month. Need I say more?

Linda Psillakis

Crete

Greek debt crisis

A good way to reduce Greek debt would be to lease some of its islands over a long period of say a hundred years or so. It would still retain sovereign rights over these islands, receive a good return from the lease, and the said islands would benefit from better infrastructure.

Look at Hong Kong, Need I say more?

Ken Hill

Greece

Merkel on Greeks taking too much vacation time

When will Angela Merkel realize that countries like Greece do not have salary levels like those in Germany? If they did, then they’d probably need less «vacation time».

Here in Crete most of the Greeks we know have not one but at least two, and sometimes even three jobs to try and earn a basic living. Not helped by having their pensions cut by a third (at least).

Such arrogance won’t help secure the eurozone; and, Angela, most Greeks start work at 6 a.m. (before the sun gets too hot) and have done a day?s work before the German tourists fall out of their beds nursing their hangovers, to throw their towels over the sunbeds to secure the best spots around the pool.

Nothing changes, does it?

Mann Philip

Merkel’s comments on Greek vacation

As a Greek living abroad, I am getting the impression that if Greece was to accept everything that the EU and IMF are seeking, all Greeks would be speaking German, eating sauerkraut and becoming Lutheran. Greeks are not Germans and never will be or want to be.

Bill Gouliotidis

A simple or simplistic solution?

How’s this for a radical idea?

Enforce laws and collect fines for illegal parking, for traffic violations, for establishments illegally allowing smoking, for street vendors selling knock-off goods, for shops (especially those selling Chinese goods) operating on Sundays etc.

The sums collected would probably be pretty significant and, more important, would lead to a great sense of public order and security.

As Giuliani demonstrated in cleaning up New York,  enforcing laws for misdemeanors has a huge and very positive «overflow» effect.

David Brewer

Reform solutions for the Greek economy

These 11 points on reform will greatly assist Greece on getting Greece on its feet to a sustainable and viable future.

1. Fully privatize state-owned companies to generate income to pay off the colossal Greek debt, which in the short to long term will make these privatized companies globally competitive and generate sustainable tax revenue income streams for the Finance Ministry.

2. Abolish all retiree pensions before the age of 67.

3. Open up all closed professions — generating employment growth and tax revenue for the Finance Ministry and driving down costs to Greek business so it is globally competitive.

4. Remove all barriers to foreign investment in Greece — generating employment growth and tax revenue for the Finance Ministry.

5. Remove all barriers and abolish pointless bureaucratic procedures to doing business in Greece — providing Greece with the necessary speed to remain globally competitive, generating employment growth. Speed is the key.

6. Cut bureaucratic red tape for development in Greece so Greece becomes globally competitive.

7. Provide tax incentives for foreign companies to establish operations in Greece that will help boost employment and drastically reduce the burden on the Greek government and Greek finances, while at the same time becoming globally competitive.

8. Drill the Aegean for oil and natural gas to pay off the colossal Greek debt.

9.Drill the Sea of Crete for natural gas and oil to pay off the colossal Greek debt.

10. Remove all barriers for the establishment of solar farms in Greece so that Greece becomes the energy hub of Europe, providing energy on grids to the rest of Europe.

11.Abolish conscription, cut defense spending and introduce a professional military — utilizing resources more efficiently, which will make Greek business globally competitive.

What is the government waiting for? Do it now.

Gerry Mavrie-Yanaki

A unified government

I like the comment made about the vision of Papandreou and Samaras coming together and agreeing in order to work out this mess. The remarks made by Giorgos Karatzaferis a few months earlier about Greece «being at war» are accurate and simple as well. When your survival is at stake, you do what needs to be done. If you are on a sinking boat, you are stupid if you argue about who will get the biggest bucket. Everyone grabs a bucket and starts bailing water out. PASOK and ND are still playing their political games while the Greek ship of state is sinking. It’s time for a coalition government that will put the best minds of the parties together in a cabinet that will do some serious work, not continue playing political games, to save the ship.  Eleven million people shouldn’t drown because 300 couldn’t work through a crisis together.

 

Peter Kates

USA