OPINION

On Athens riots, foreign pressure, inner-city crime

Riots in Athens

I am a Greek raised in America living in the UK for the past 11 years. I have travelled every summer to Greece. It saddens me to see what has happened to Greece and the state of affairs it is currently in. After watching all the riots in Athens the past year, I know the people have a right to voice their concerns, but I find that a small group of, let’s say pot stirrers, and media are to blame for the negative publicity that Greece is getting.

Greece has so much to offer in terms of tourism, history, ancient sites, beaches and islands. Let’s start thinking positively about what the government can do to bring much needed income to a country which has fallen to its knees. Look at our past history, let us learn by what out forefathers fought for and make Greece proud once again.

Only the people of Greece can make this happen. It will and is a rough ride economically and emotionally but we must come to an understanding with the government and try to work with them instead of against them.

Joanna Malcom

Foreign pressure on Greece intensifies

In any crisis of serious proportions consensus between the major political parties is the sine qua non for its resolution. This certainly applies presently in Greece. But the dimensions of the crisis are so Gulliverian that only a titanic struggle of will and resolution by its politicians, guided by wisdom, will at least diminish the scale of the crisis. Regrettably, however, there is a dearth of politicians in Greece of the status of Gulliver and an abundance of Lilliputians. Therefore, a different consensus is materializing among eminent economists, that Greece perforce will have to traverse a different course than that imposed by the ECB and IMF.

Professor Deepak Lal, a former president of the Mont Pelerin Society and a prominent exponent of the Austrian school of economics, predicts a Greek default and an exit from the euro. To avoid a Greek debt default that would lead to a euro zone banking crisis, a stabilization program has been imposed on Greece by the ECB and IMF. But unlike other similar stabilization programs, Lal argues, two vital elements are missing: a large devaluation and a restructuring of the country?s debt. ?The former is precluded by the fixed exchange rate of the euro, the latter by the external holdings of Greek sovereign debt by European banks.? The alternative program therefore is to impose a large internal devaluation, instigating a precipitous fall in domestic wages and prices through a massive deflation. It is impossible however to believe that Greek politics will allow the country to follow such a course, especially when Greece is likely to be left with a debt-GDP ratio of 150%. Hence, Lal predicts that a Greek default and an exit from the euro is the most likely path that Greece will follow.

Con George-Kotzabasis

Police fail to halt inner-city crime

I have no doubt that the government well understands that the crime problem not only threatens local safety in every community but also tourism, which is critical to the survival of the Hellenic nation. But in our visit late last year, we saw police barely old enough to be called adults.

We saw police moving about and chatting with each other and nothing more.

We saw police scare off illegals selling junk but not even trying to arrest them.

Until the police take their roles more seriously, and I mean no disrespect, but until they do, improvements will be fleeting.

Ange Kenos