OPINION

On fraud, politicians, the police, the Church and the economy

Jewelers of Santorini

My wife and I had a lovely holiday there last year, despite the locals often acting as if we were millionaires when the truth is very different. We worked and saved for years to have our very first trip to the land of our parents? birth, only to be treated by most as tourists. Even some relations, thankfully a minority, had the stupid idea that our pockets were filled with lots of dollars.

Is that why the silver ring that I bought for my wife, with the stamp suggesting pure silver, was actually silver plate over brass?

Such fraud guarantees that if we can again afford the trip to Ellada we will not buy any jewelry whatsoever.

Angelos Eleftherios Kenos

Australia

Some fundamental mistakes and the Greek mess

Over the last couple of years a lot has been said and done with regard to Greece, most of it true and most of it necessary. That said, most of it has been ineffective, at times vindictive, and will no doubt prove to be disastrous for a whole generation of Greeks who will be paying for the sins of their fathers. There are some very fundamental aspects which make this Greek drama unique to the country and will require unique and imaginative solutions to resolve it. North Europeans have from day one adopted a tone of indignation and are asking Greeks to feel guilty and mend their ways. Greeks are not Irish, Greeks rarely feel guilty. If you want Greeks to adopt your position you need to demonstrate that there is a benefit to their change of  behavior or make them think it was their idea in the first place. This is one of the reasons why most measures demanded by the EU will eventually peter out and fail, leaving no beneficial legacy after the pain. This is fundamental mistake no 1: An inability to inspire. Another troublesome issue is the way the current bunch of politicians are attempting to bring change about. They are trying to behave the way North Europeans expect them to behave but as a result have failed to convince the nation as a whole and for this reason the measures are seen as a dictat from outside and to make things worse, a German dictat. This is fundamental mistake no 2: An inability to communicate the same idea to two different audiences. This inability to decipher contradictions or hold two seemingly opposing views also demonstrates the void of historical knowledge that exists between the ears of many so-called leaders of the nation. Greece today stands on the same precipice of catastrophe where the Athenian Republic once stood with a choice to make. Fortify the walls of the Acropolis with wooden defenses or take to the sea. We know which one worked  but it was not a comfortable discussion between the lazy minds of Ancient Athens and the restless intellect of those who believed that failure was not an option. This is fundamental mistake no 3: Appear busy and industrious but ultimately construct the wrong thing. So here we are, three key reasons why Greece is entering one of its darkest periods.

Constantine Lykiardopoulos

Palaio Psychico

Church wants more

It seems to me that the [Orthodox] church is out to get as much material power as it can get. If the church could control all of Greece, it would. And that would not help the country at all. What the clergy should do is pray to God that Greece can overcome the problem it is in, instead of adding to it.

John Mitaras

Mayor wants Indignants to leave

The mayor is concerned about the tent city the ?indignants? set up in Syntagma?

He wants them to leave because he has plans for the City? I wonder if the sight of the tents and the people camping there is so offensive to the elected officials? sensitivities. After all, they do not find it attractive to peek out of the windows of the Parliament and see a tent city.

I agree. These people came up the ranks from sausage stand owners to become ministers.

They rode on their fathers?, uncles? and grandfathers? tails to make it to the inner circle. Some became disciples of the famous ones to climb on the people?s backs and become history changers.

Their lean years are behind them and now they are used to living in villas in suburbs where peace and quiet reigns supreme and their comings and goings are free from demonstrations.

The mayor has a point… However it would have been admirable if the mayor got out of City Hall and walked about to make sure the illegal ?boutiques? on the sidewalks were gone, the streets were clean, the illegals who sell drugs and attack shopkeepers were hauled in and worked his way uptown towards Syntagma Square, while he ordered his cleaning crew to paint over the graffiti that is painted all over the buildings and makes half the city look like an unsafe ghetto.

Monica Lane

The IMF, the ECB and the others

It is worth remembering that the IMF, and the European Central Bank, as well as the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, and all other central banks are private corporations, acting in the interests of the banking corporations of the world. They are so concerned about Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Iceland and Spain because they do not want these countries to default on their debts and fail to pay interest. They keep talking about involving the private sector in the bailouts, ignoring the fact that they are acting on behalf of the private banks. The IMF etc. are enacting a deception.

The IMF etc. operate a money system that is called ?fractional reserve banking?. What this means in practice is that ?hard cash? is used to generate debt money: that is, one euro cash is used to create 10 euros loan money. The cash is kept in the vault, and the loan money is an entry on a balance sheet.

We have to realise that ?loan money? is a number, not cash. It does not exist other than as an entry on a balance sheet. However, what does exist is the interest that is paid for the privilege of being involved in a banking fraud.

We are now confronted by the facts that the IMF etc. are taking Greece to the cleaners for the nonpayment of loan money that does not exist, and for the nonpayment of interest on a virtual loan that is so great that it is bankrupting the country.

All of this would disappear if the EU as a sovereign entity issued money as needed to the member countries, and did not borrow any money from private banking corporations. Or, if this is too radical, then the member states of the EU could exercise their rights to print euros as needed, and fund their budgets without having to borrow ?money? from banks and funds.

What should be happening now is discussions about the reform of the money system.

Kelvyn Richards

Trikala

Blaming police for Athens unrest

The image of Greece to the outside world (of which I am part) is of a country fundamentally out of control. While the right to peacefully protest and exercise free speech is sacrosanct, there is absolutely no right to bully, destroy property and infringe on the right of a duly elected government to function in the normal course. Greece appears to be dominated by a media highly sympathetic to the far-left agenda, which is about one thing only — gaining power. Once the far left gains control — there will be no such thing as free speech or the right to protest. As has been proven over and over and over again wherever the far left has taken power — they are interested in one thing only — maintaining their power to the exclusion of everyone else. Wake up Greece — your democracy is in peril. Support your police and put down with force violence and the willful destruction of property. The nonsense has got to end as Greece needs to get down to business and focus on solving its problems. May God be with the Greek nation in this terribly difficult time.

Jamie Fukowi

Blaming it all on the police

I had a similar comment printed last week, in which I supported the police action after watching the events live on my computer. At that time I said that this will continue unless our laws here in Greece are made to work. This is the biggest problem and one which I feel the government should deal with first. When London had a similar disturbance this year the culprits were charged the following morning with high fines. Two years ago at Christmas time here in Athens we had similar vandalism which resulted in tourists canceling holidays. Over the years, time and time again in various areas of Athens, the same problems, only the names change from anarchists to hoodies. Many people complained again this time asking why the police didn?t arrest them all. The truth is that the courts free them the following day. If, however, they were charged with very very heavy fines to pay for the damage, and the following day, without the case going on year in and year out (as is the norm in Greece), then parents of these youths would ensure they didn?t do it again. Frankly I cannot understand why these people were allowed to camp in Syntagma Square all this time; this is a democracy and you have the right to demonstrate but not to turn the centre of our country into a refugee camp. Don?t the people that have hotels and shops in this area, that pay high rents, also have rights? The outcome is we have lost tourists not only in Athens but the suburbs, especially Glyfada and the islands. We are not Egypt, Tunisia, etc, we are supposed to be a European country with an elected government (which I didn?t vote for) and as a democracy we are supposed to support this government and when the next elections are held, then it is up to us to decide whether or not we support them. Perhaps as our teachers and professors so enjoy discussing politics with their students, they might at the same time teach them the meaning of democracy, which does not entail destroying your city or the business structure of your country. Apart from Greek students, there were foreign students also involved, dragged over by our communist party, which never has any political program, simply «Let?s make as much trouble as possible.? Enforce the law. The vast majority of Greeks are tired of this behaviour.

Ann Baker