On the eurozone, taxi liberalization, basketball and politics

Greece and the vultures

Greece is opening itself up to decades of losses and litigation from vulture funds. The bond swap deal seems like a good one only if the eurozone survives. The eurozone will not survive. By giving up bonds whose legal status resides in Greek courts, Greece is risking its future. When the eurozone dissolves under the weight of impending Italian and Spanish defaults, Greece will be left with the swapped bonds, and when Greece defaults, those bonds will be litigated in international courts. The lawsuits and the payouts will never end. The vultures will swoop in, buy debt from the defaulted for nothing, and they will bleed Greece dry.

There is no reason for Greece to give up its greatest bargaining chip, that being the legal status of its bonds, not when the eurozone is close to breaking up. And it will break up. If the Europeans want both to keep the eurozone together and ensure that Greece services the interest on its loans, they need to come up with new effective ideas. This needs to be made clear to the ECB and the IMF.

Dimitri Anastasopoulos

Re: Alexis Papachelas?s September 4 commentary

This was one of the very few commentaries by Mr. Papachelas that has made any sense to me. Greece is close to being in the very foolish position of ?biting the hand that feeds it? to its great peril. Papachelas? analysis of the present situation is accurate. Venizelos is a loose cannon. The implication that ND and Samaras, if they come to power, would be short of any viable alternatives is right on. Samaras talks nonsense to curry political support from the general electorate. If he is serious, he indeed is living on a different planet. As usual, plenty of legislation has been passed but little implementation. The idea that Greece can avoid sovereign bankruptcy is becoming more and more a pipe dream.

James F. Smeader



So, to be able to drive a taxi in the new, liberalised, taxi industry, I?ll need:

– a decent car (fair enough)

– to be able to speak Greek (ditto)

– 30,000 euros to apply for a licence.

Oh dear. That?s not liberalisation; that?s just erecting a slightly smaller barrier to entry to the profession than currently exists. I am alarmed that the current taxi drivers are threatening not to strike if they?re happy with the text of the legislation; if this proves to be the case, it?s clearly going to fail to open up their industry to effective competition.

David Knell


Re: George Georgakopoulos writing on Greece?s first loss

This is a pathetic post. You write:

?The Greeks seemed somewhat distracted from the propaganda war of their opponents (Skai Radio reported that their government paid for fans to travel to Lithuania and sport flags and scarves with the name Macedonia and the Star of Vergina on them) and were unexpectedly negative in attack.

I was in Poland two years ago and we had more and bigger flags with the Vergina Star. Greece won and they were not distracted when they won. Nobody paid for my trip or flag. I have friends that went to Lithuania this year and they paid for their own trip. Greeks, why can?t you take this loss like real men? We were not distracted that you call us Skopjans or whatever FYROM or anything. We are Macedonians and proud of our team and our heritage. Please don’t write about propaganda from Macedonia because that is what you do!

Robert Kutlesovski

Austerity vs devaluation

I love the way economists and politicians refer to currency devaluation as if it were different from austerity measures. Either one of these two measures results in the same outcome: less purchasing power for the consumer. My conclusion is that politicians prefer currency devaluation because it makes them seem like they are not at fault. Politicians can say that it?s the currency?s fault that you as a consumer cannot buy as much as you used to. Austerity however makes them seem responsible for the fact that the consumer cannot buy as much as they used to. Either way, the consumer cannot buy what they used to!

The fact that the Greek people, and the world for that matter, must understand is that it is time to pay the bill. Governments and citizens around the world have obtained a higher standard of living by borrowing from the future. Wake up people, the future is now! The world cannot escape a drunken feast using the credit card and expect not to pay the credit card bill. The whole system fails when you buy things on credit and then expect not to have to pay for it.

I feel bad for the German people because it looks to me that Greece wants Germany to pay the bill. The Greek people should be ashamed of themselves for thinking that asking others to pay your bill is OK. This socialist thought is immoral at best and criminal at worst. This type of wealth redistribution is a form of theft and should not even enter the conversation. The Greek people are responsible for this because they have elected politicians who promised them ?stuff? by borrowing money to provide it. Should the rest of the world just forgive the Greek people for supporting this type of charade? Grow up and pay your debts!

Steven Romagnolo

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