OPINION

On the Indignant, ferry travel, schools and branding

Specific suggestion for the Indignant

How amusing to hear that Greek members of parliament [on Tuesday] night had to be escorted by police through the dark and trailing paths of the National Gardens, with only torch lights to guide them.

Greek members of parliament should be running scared, indeed!

I suggest that the greatest specific demand of the Indignant should be that immunity from prosecution must be immediately lifted from all members of parliament. For only when corruption and nepotism is rooted out at the very top level of the Greek system will a trickle-down effect begin, and corruption and nepotism be slowly eliminated from lower levels.

And, surely, if the people of Greece are to pay for the ?sins? of previous Greek governments by suffering further and more painful austerity, then Greek MPs should pay a significant price too, namely becoming as fully accountable and answerable to the law as every other Greek citizen.

David Cade

Think twice

Please, prime minister, you people have to look before you leap.

What these guys (the troika) are asking for is suicide.

Would they accept such conditions if it were them? The answer is no.

I think the masses have suffered enough.

Please, prime minister, I think it?s time for you to listen to the cry of your people.

Blessing Ajueyitsi

Reuse of text books in schools

Excellent idea, this practice has been followed in England for over 30 years. I’d also like to see recycle boxes in schools for all those empty water bottles.

Sally Buckley, Corfu

Cost of ferry travel to fall

I read this story with amazement. There is a fee on ferry tickets to cover an insurance fund for possible injuries to staff. May I laugh and scream at the same time?

When my wife and I used three different ferries we were angered and annoyed as were so many other tourists that we were forced to lug our heavy luggage up several flights of stairs to our seats.

We were denied access to a lift on one ferry even though I was clearly limping from having fallen over on the Acropolis.

But lifts were not made available at any stage.

In other words, what about injuries to passengers? What about our health and safety? I am never likely to use a ferry again nor will I recommend it. It was the only aspect of our transport across Greece that left us unhappy.

Angelo Kenos, Australia

Time for new leadership and vision

I have read many of the commentaries that people have posted on this website, and with the exception of some details, I must admit that I agree with everyone.

I was in Greece last year and I was amazed how this country, which has contributed so much to world history, was even let into the EU.

For the past 40 years Greece and the Greeks in Greece have generally been an erratic people with no sense of pride or structure. How they are related to the Greeks of the diaspora and of the Classical and Byzantine periods is beyond me.

The government and citizenry are both to blame for this crisis.

There are no checks and balances in the country and the work ethic is nonexistent, but the entitlement and live-for-the-day mentality is always evident.

No wonder we have let a country like FYROM completely steal our history. We have no leadership or care factor in Greece.

A new change is required with new leadership, and vision and order. Protests and strikes make us look more pathetic by the day.

Alexander the Great achieved greatness with his boldness and 10 companions.

We can do the same.

Jim Babalis

On private tutoring

Private tutoring would not be needed if the teachers did their work as they should, in the classroom.

In the US, if a student needs extra help, like if the student was absent for sickness etc, the teacher is obligated to stay after school with the particular student without being paid extra.

A few years ago, in Athens, during the summer, I volunteered to help a particular student that had failed in three subjects: history, geography and French. He was a bright boy, but the teachers were not answering his questions; instead they were urging him to attend a ?frondistirio? in the neighborhood, where those particular teachers were teaching in the evenings. The boy’s parents could not afford it.

Anyway, with my help that summer, he took the exams of those three subjects in the fall and he passed them and with high grades. I was so happy and we had a great time every afternoon the two of us.

The students must learn at school, not at private tutoring in the evenings. The evenings should be spent bonding with the family. What the teachers at the frondistiria do, they must do it during regular school hours. That’s their job, that’s what they are paid to do.

Teaching the new generation should be a calling, a service, and not business. I understand that they need to make a living, but not in this way, not by neglecting their responsibilities at the expense of the students. Their learning, instead of being a pleasant experience, becomes a nightmare for the students and for their parents as well.

Martha Sinis

What does the opposition want?

I’m living in Sweden and have read ekathimerini.com since Greece started to hit the headlines. What still evades my reading and understanding is what the government opposition wants to do instead of the made proposals? It boggles my mind that there is so much squabbling (the same in the USA) over taking swift and stringent action and doing what needs to be done. Just look at Lithuania, which just did it.

Now, all those Greek strikes. I understand the sense of unfairness and also quite a bit of «Not me!» but what do they want instead? What do they think needs to be done instead of just their interests taking a squeeze?

Nikita Rick

Greek brand

The world is a big place, and Greece is very small rocky dot on the globe. The destruction of the Greek environment by the European trap of imposing low-value crops like cotton on arable land will take one hundred years to undo. The loss of skills and people in the countryside is another of the prices Greece has to pay.

Greece has to find some self-respect before others can respect Greece. Greece must not act like a prostitute and sell itself for the first coin that is thrown its way.

Low-skill and low-value ?products? like toilet cleaning, potato peeling and cotton growing have meant that many educated and skilled Greeks are now in other countries making others rich.

There are very few fields in the world where Greeks are not present.

The Greek brand can be used to sell many products worldwide if they are marketed in the right way. All over Australia, non-Greeks go into supermarkets and ask for Dodoni feta at $30-plus a kilo.

The Danes and Iranians are spending a lot of money trying to take some of the market, but Dodoni remains strong, because of many years of promotion as an upmarket product from the «highlands» of Greece, where the environment is clean.

Greek herbs of every description that used to be seen in Australian supermarkets are declining because they have no marketing. Even the humble camomile in our house does not come from Greece any longer as it is not always available. What we have is German-grown camomile that is packed in Sri Lanka, and the packaging references are alluding to Greece.

If Greeks do not want to use the Greek brand, others will. Even the Danish feta packs have blue and white colours with a Greek design.

Greece is overgrown with oregano, but a farm in Melbourne sells fresh oregano to Greek hotels and restaurants. No one in Greece can be bothered to supply them.

The most valuable jewel Greece has, is the ?Greek brand.? The brand needs to be protected by keeping Greece clean in every way.

Bulldozers should not be allowed to rip scars everywhere, rubbish should not be the main emblem of Greece. Sewerage should not be discharged into every waterway and lake. Farmers need to be trained to use pesticides in the right way, or not at all. Illegal construction that has taken over prime agricultural land should be cleared. Derelict buildings should not be left standing.

Try selling Greece to a foreign investor when you have to drive through Thessalonki with rubbish-filled industrial areas and derelict, poorly constructed buildings next to new and modern buildings.

With such a big public service you would think one of them would have a broom.

There are «wild products» in Greece that should be on the market, that are worth tens of millions annually and have disappeared from the market.

Even a certain type of wheat which used to grow in Greece, which may have a value 10 times the price of the best Australian wheat, has disappeared from the market place because of European distortions.

A certain wild fruit that used to grow in the Greek countryside has almost disappeared, but the demand for it has not. Greece used to sell a little and that was then sold on for huge profits.

Greece has to stop being undermined by the European Union with its subsidies and distortions.

Please protect the Greek brand.

Charilaos Lithoxopoulos