On austerity measures, consensus and organ transplants

Enough is enough

I am astounded to see the inability and incompetence of the Greek political parties continue.

As a Greek living abroad I can tolerate up to a point the sarcasm from my French friends and colleagues as to what they have to endure as taxpayers (me included since I am a French taxpayer and as a patriotic idiot bought an apartment in Athens and am paying dearly for bills all the time) because of Greece.

The Greek authorities, wherever they come from (political parties or unions), should either refuse any further assistance or reprofiling since the interest rates we have accepted on the loans are insupportable and our governing bodies are incompetent and therefore incapable to achieve anything of substance.

Enough is enough.

Useless old people reminisce about the «tsiflikades,» while most of them are owners of big fat bank accounts abroad, including our so-called leftist parties, who are running our working, political and social life with outdated communist (long dead and obsolete) tactics, making life disgraceful and shameful.

Papandreou tried to do something but he failed because his weak point is his financiers (the unions) and his childlike approach to serious matters. Maybe we should ask help from the other Balkan countries, especially Turkey. They seem to be a heck of a lot more competent to resolve matters.

Alexander Charalambous

Economic crisis

I?m curious as to what the Greek people feel will happen if the ECB and the IMF close their purses and let the Greeks work this out on their own. Or if Greece is asked to leave the EU.

Dick Smith

New austerity measures coming

The only new austerity measures needed are to significantly slash the number of all politicians across the entire nation. There are far too many, drawing too much pay and too many benefits for very little support of their communities.

And those ex-politicians demanding extra benefits in retirement — investigate each and every one and when you find anything corrupt, fine them to the hilt.

In fact fining current and former politicians will bring in considerable new revenue and make the people happy for the first time in a long time.

Angelos Kenos

Trim down Parliament

It?s always interesting listening to the mild-mannered, softly spoken PM using beautiful phrases such as: ?We need to change Greece,? ?We need to move forward,? ?I understand what the Greek people are going through,? ?We all need to make the necessary sacrifices.? Mr Papandreou, what do you mean by ?we?? Greece has a dysfunctional, overpaid, 300-member Parliament for 11 million people. The USA?s 112th congress has 100 senators and 435 House Representatives for a population of 308 million. EU member the Netherlands has 75 senators and 150 House Representatives for a population of 16 million, and Israel has a 120-member Knesset.

How can the Greece justify 300 members in Parliament when the minimum wage per parliamentarian is 10,000 euros per month. By slashing 150 parliamentarian jobs that money could be better used to put more police in the center of Athens.

My advice to all Greek demonstrators whether they are from the left, center or right of Greek politics, is to come together (peacefully) and march to Parliament and demand the slashing of 150 parliamentary jobs and do this on a daily basis until PASOK gets the message that real change must start from the top.

George Salamouras

On consensus

In relation to the recent article ?Cheap Tricks Over Consensus,? I don’t believe it has been fully explored in this article. The context of consensus, as outlined in the article, is that the opposition agrees with the steps the government is taking. Also that there is ?an agenda? attached to it, where the blame is shared.

However, consensus can also be a two-way street, where the government listens to what the opposition has to say and amends its policies, taking the concerns and suggestions of the opposition into account. Of course, this is a move away from the traditional roles of government and opposition and is more like a power-sharing arrangement.

Ireland faced a similar crisis in the 1980s to the one both countries are facing now and the main opposition party supported the government in many of the harsh measures that were introduced at the time. This was a consensual arrangement, which did help Ireland to recover.

So, consensus can work, provided it’s not seen as the opposition rubber-stamping the government’s policies. PASOK should be prepared to give ND some input into the steps necessary to get the Greek economy growing again if it is to be done on a consensual basis.

Jerry Melin

On work

There is a significant difference between ?being at work? and ?working.?

It is virtually impossible to get two or three people together at the same time for a meeting. Efficient, production-led economies rely on good timekeeping and regular attendance. How on earth could you ever run a car production line in Greece?

Answer: You couldn’t.

And that is why everyone in Greece drives a car made in another country.

Dan Batham

Austerity measures

Greeks should immediately stop gambling at OPAP state betting agency if the Greek government sells its holding to foreign investors.

If a foreign takeover does take place, all profits will disappear and will no longer be to the benefit of the Greek people.

Of course, selling would give the Greek state some highly needed revenues fast, but in the long run it is not wise for Greece to sell off the few profitable holdings it still has.

The consequence of selling off these holdings in the long run will be a poor and completely dependent nation.

Anyhow, the Greek people should ?invest? more in their own capacity instead of hoping for an easy life by throwing away money by gambling.

Miltiadis Vasilopoulos

Organ transplants

I am all in favor of the process of ?Opting Out? rather than ?Opting In? when it comes to organ transplants.

Often, the time is critical following a fatality, and if an organ can be removed and donated to someone in need, it should be done. By the time the relatives/next of kin have been consulted, it is frequently too late to do anything useful.

Physically having to opt out of automatic removal and donation of useful organs should be norm — not the other way round.

Bob Scott

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