On the economy

According to the latest data from the Bank of Greece, from 2003-2011, 2.2 billion euros went to Albania, 1.5 billion euros to Pakistan and 200,000 euros to Afghanistan. This does not make good economic sense to have money leaving Greece and providing jobs to non-EU nationals given that Greece owes 350 billion euros and has an unemployment rate of 17 percent, and 40 percent for the 15-25 year olds.

On top of this, the Greek Interior Ministry states that there are an additional 500,000 undocumented illegal immigrants roaming the country. You have to wonder how much untaxed money and goods are leaving Greece’s porous borders. Greece should create 50,000 border protection jobs for the young unemployed Greeks paid for by the EU, including equipment and training.

George Salamouras


Finance Minister seeks EU intervention

It all depends on what was agreed at the July 21 conference. If the participants agreed that Finland and Greece were free to work out a separate bilateral deal, then Greece acted fully within the terms of that meeting and no other country should now object to that and/or require similar separate deals.

If, however, the participants did not agree that Finland and Greece could strike a separate bilateral deal, then both Greece and Finland were fairly dumb to do that. And even more dumb to announce that publicly. The Pari passu clause is normally — and with very good reason — the basis for a restructuring financing.

If the Finns voiced their objection during the conference and if the Greek Finance Minister took them aside and suggested a separate bilateral deal to them (perhaps even with a Greek twinkle in his eye), then he has given a prime example of what is wrong with the Greek form of doing business. One is not successful on a sustainable basis if one thinks that business should be transacted with twinkles in one’s eyes.

Klaus Kastner