OPINION

On Soros?s statements, UK riots, evasion crackdown, cemeteries

George Soros and Greece

Mr Soros has assumed the habit of EU elites of not being able to keep his mouth shut. He seems to be spending his twilight years thinking that everyone in the world is interested in his opinions.

Well, there is one primary reason why the world knows who Mr Soros is. He once had the nerve to speculate against the venerable United Kingdom — a Jewish emigre from Hungary against the Empire, so to speak — and he won and made tons of profits.

This is not to say that Mr Soros’s opinions should be disregarded. After all, he has acquired the status of an opinion leader and from that standpoint alone whatever he says is important.

But no one should make the mistake that something is right simply because Mr Soros has said it, and silly ideas (like the idea of Eurobonds) do not become less silly only because Mr Soros repeats them all the time.

Finally, a euro exit by Greece (or by other countries) is the last thing the present chaos in EU finance needs at the moment. If Mr Soros used his enormous intellectual capacity a bit more (apparently, he no longer feels that he needs to bother with that because everything he says off the cuff is taken like the word of genius), he would quickly discover that there are many ways to simulate a return to the drachma without having to exit the euro.

And last but not least, would you buy a used car from Mr Soros? If not, think about it before you buy into his ideas!

Klaus Kastner

Austria

Re: ?On established democratic rights?

Sadly ?the wave of violence that has gripped parts of London and other English cities? has very little to do with the British people standing up for what they believe in.

It has far more to do with mindless thuggery, unfortunately.

Claudia Lowe

Erosion of rights

As a Briton living in Greece for some years (and who was in London last week), I am sorry to say that the nature of the riots in the UK cannot be compared to the ongoing political unrest in Greece. And the key work here is ?political;? the action, right or wrong, on the streets of Greece is at heart politically motivated. Those participating are reacting directly to the policies and the system that have created a massive recession where those most in need are paying the highest cost. Whilst many may not directly support the action, they can at least understand it.

The action in London was opportunistic vandalism and theft that was not politically but mostly criminally motivated, and carried out by a very small section of the population. Many in Britain, myself included, cannot understand where the violence came from — what started as a peaceful demonstration against the police in one community was hijacked by opportunistic criminals. Almost all members of the communities affected have condemned the riots, and in some cases people who chose to protect their property and streets were murdered by the perpetrators.

So I’m sorry, but this particular northern European nation is not suffering from violence due to austerity measures, but due to the quick thrill-seeking and opportunistic criminality of a small section of the entitlement generation, those that want things without paying for them, and those that think they can act without consequence. Whilst this diagnosis may ring true for the political system in Greece, it is not true for the vast majority of Greek people who are in a far worse situation than many Britons could ever dream of.

Simon Ward

Greece

Financial crimes squad snares island tax-dodgers

About time this was exposed for what it really is. The inspectors may be interested in checking the lawyers and notaries on islands too — could be interesting.

Peter Williams

On George Soros

In a recent interview with German Magazine Der Spiegel billionaire entrepreneur, currency trader and investor George Soros has suggested Greece and Portugal leave the euro and have an orderly default strategy.

Greece should have never been allowed to join the euro and former Greek PM Simitis has a lot to answer on this. Simitis along with his PASOK cohorts cooked the books. Germany, which is now complaining about Greece, must share the responsibility as they knew Greece was not ready to join the euro.

A structured default would mean Greece would have to get its house in order much in the same way as Argentina and Turkey did. Throwing money at Greece is not going to work as the current PASOK government is weak in many areas. Since PASOK has taken over we have seen higher unemployment, more businesses have shut down, more illegal immigrants have come into Greece and the debt keeps getting higher. PASOK is all about half-hearted measures, and going after the big guns is problematic for them as they think they will lose votes.

Remember Mr Papandreou?s motto: «I don’t care about the political cost, Greece must change.» Unfortunately he is worried about his personal political cost, which is why the rich in Greece, including the Church as the biggest landholder in Greece, go unpunished.

A structured default and going back to the drachma is what many world-renowned economists are saying.

George Salamouras

Australia

Cemeteries and cremations

It was bad news to read that in Greece a dead body has to be dug up and broken up after three years in a cemetery.

It was good news to read that in Thessaloniki, the municipality under the leadership of the mayor, has set aside land for the construction of a crematorium.

I shall make a booking and pay a deposit as soon as possible.

Kelvyn Richards

Trikala