OPINION

On the Siemens scandal, UK riots, temporary shock theory

Re: Temporary shock theory

So, if the transition to the euro was a temporary shock to the Greek system, as the professor [Periklis Gogos] has claimed, then the response by the Greeks should have been increased frugality and improved competitiveness instead of greater borrowing by consumers in hopes of better times.

The growth Greece experienced over the last decade is partially an illusion, partially real.

It is partially real because some real investments have been made in infrastructure (roads, airports, the Trikoupis Bridge), energy (solar power parks and hydroelectric power dams), and healthcare.

Where the growth is partially illusion is borrowing on consumer goods, expanding the public sector, and borrowing for public services like pensions and healthcare.

Meanwhile, the competitiveness gap, which was partly shielded by the devalued drachma, became fully exposed, and instead of doing things to make Greek manufacturing and service sectors more able to compete with their eurozone counterparts, the real Greek economy was left to be ravaged by its competitors and the trade deficit increased.

So, the reforms being pushed through must be implemented to make Greece more viable and competitive, because this is the only way Greece will be able to survive in this environment. No more hiding behind a devalued currency or behind borrowing.

But does Greece have the will to implement these reforms? Unfortunately, Greece?s friends seem not to think so.

Peter Kates

Government bribery suit against Siemens

Have any of the Greek politicians and businessmen who solicited and accepted these bribes been successfully prosecuted to date? Have they even been charged by the justice system that this ?judge? represents? This is a continuing farce.

James F. Smeader

Nafplio

Since the PASOK government is going «to shame» all those citizens for having deposits in Swiss banks, I hope they?re going to shame some of the politicians too! Why should it only be shame for the Greek people?

Pavlos Ioannis Johns

Comparing the UK and Greek riots and reactions

I don?t agree with this article. I live in the UK and Greece and I grew up in Tottenham.

1. The cleanup in London was a publicity stunt for the media. We?re good at that. The writer was fooled too easily and should have been more savvy.

2. The prospects in Greece for lower income workers are much worse than the UK. Many immigrants arrive and take up low-income jobs. I believe these jobs don?t even exist in Greece and unemployment is markedly higher.

3. The UK judiciary has been influenced by politicians? statements to give stiff prison sentences to the rioters rather than use the prevailing guidelines. More that 1,000 rioters have been imprisoned. I always thought the judiciary and the legislature were separate.

4. Looking at a burnt-out Lidl store in Peckham made me wonder why do people loot for food. The answer was uncomfortable.

I could go on but the article is so wrong that I?ll leave it at that. Such an out-of-touch article sadly reflects the opinion of some people.

Teekha Persaud

Bournemouth and Thessaloniki