OPINION

On Papandreou, Samaras, property tax and jobs

Samaras will not commit to support the austerity package…

The PM should stop letting his nemesis, Samaras, define the game and the rules of the game. There is an obligation to keep the governement going and as such to do whatever is possible to get the EU to fund the next tranche.

PASOK does not need ND to move forward. The people understand that the concessions are necessary and they will support Papandreou in whatever needs to be done to stay in the EU. The referendum is not necessary, the sentiment of the people is united and it has been for the Euro and staying in the EU.

Greece is writing a new page for itself.

Kostas Alexakis

Property taxes

I?m not Greek, but I live here and I have to say it?s outrageous to levy taxes via the electricity bill — that in itself is dispicable, and without any prior announcements — at least to my knowledge no one was notified… What this shows is a huge distrust in the common people, ironically by a government that is so riddled with scandals — and regular people are being punished again and again for the mistakes, blunders and corruption of the rich and the elite… This will and should lead to more public outrage!

Ariane Fink

Athens

A point of view

?ou have it mostly wrong about what is motivating Samaras but only because you seek to find common ground.

There is no middle ground to support Mr. Samaras? position with respect to the issues at hand:

a) agree to austerity measures necessary to trigger EU support in order to fund the deficit, and,

b) support a budget that is balanced going forward.

Samaras? goal has been to get Papandreou to resign and throw the country into disarray. There is no other way to explain his blind insistence that Papandreou must resign first and then he will ?help?.

Now that the IMF is asking for written assurances that ND will support the austerity package, he refuses because his ?word? is stronger than his signature…. what nonsense.

We know that Greece is corrupt and that the corruption is driven by the many factors, cultural and structural. The culture will change as soon as the attitude about applying the law is adopted; see how the metro is clean all these years; it is because of the absolute application of the rules.

The structural issues need to be addressed one by one and it will take time, but for now the issue is very simple and my respect for GAP has grown immensely as he has put his political life on the line to stop the strikes and get the political leadership in Greece to help the EU help Greece.

Kostas Alexakis

I hope this is the last of the Papandreou dynasty

George Papandreou made huge mistakes in two years. From the onset he ran to the ?Troika? to get a deal. Why didn?t he go to the Saudis or the Chinese to borrow money with lower interest rates and longer repayment periods?

Secondly he did not lead by example. He kept telling us that we all have to change and yet he did not talk about slashing 150 parliamentarian jobs or putting MPs on half wages. If he did this from the very beginning, ordinary Greeks would say that changes have started from the top.

Thirdly, when he was foreign minister from 1999-2004 he went and signed the Dublin II regulation treaty, which is why today Greece has hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants all over the country who are stuck in Greece because of PASOK. Illegal immigration is a huge cost and burden to ordinary Greeks. Did we ever hear him say that illegal immigrants need to be all deported on EU funds?

Since he came to power, unemployment has skyrocketed to 17% — 40% for 15-25 years old — and more business’s have closed down then ever before. On the diplomatic front he made a huge mistake by calling Turkish PM Erdogan a friend. Erdogan has been theatening Cyprus for oil and gas drilling.

Personally I hope this is the last of the Papandreou dynasty. Greece needs a better and more decisive leadership.

George Salamouras

A fourth priority, jobs

While I am not an economist, I do know that in order to meet the terms of the October debt deal, the government needs to be able to generate significantly more revenue. Since a government does not ?sell? anything except the false promises of career politicians, it must rely on taxation to collect the funds it needs to meet its financial obligations. With our rising unemployment rate, the expanding black economy owing to the ridiculously high VAT on every purchase we may consider making, and the seemingly endless announcments of new taxes, there is some doubt that we can meet the terms of the troika?s ultimatum to stay in the euro zone. That is unless our government makes a concerted effort to reduce the bureaucratic roadblocks in policy so as to encourage the entrepreneurs amongst us to start new businesses and maybe, just maybe, encourage foreign investment geared toward using our natural resources in a sustainable way. This must be the fourth priority of our new coalition government if we are to stop the economic death spiral the austerity measures have encouraged. Let?s hope they recognize and understand this.

Jonathan Reynik

Going against the insanity / Alexis Papachelas

Finally some people in Greece are now recognising what many longstanding friends of Greece abroad have known for a quite a while about the political leadership in in this country: the biggest demon of Greece is indeed populism and a very large part of its political elite is uninformed, desperately parochial and incapable of running a complex economy in the 21st century… much less of dealing with the gut-wrenching issues of the current crisis. There is not a dozen seasoned Greek politicians with the leadership qualities and stature abroad to save the Greek ship in this storm. Stephanos Manos is certainly on top of my list.

Jean Grall

Paris

The next prime minister

For goodness sake, confirm Papandreou.

He has the vote of confidence of Parliament.

He has the track record of negotiation with all the EU leaders.

The other contenders are incapable of forgetting their personal gripes in order to serve their people in Parliament.

The last seven days have revealed clearly how useless the other parties are at doing what is right!

It has been an embarrassing joke. Would you lend such a group of clowns any money?

Kelvyn Richard

Trikala

Interim prime minister

You report: ?Samaras is expected to write to the European Commission and eurozone officials to explain that he is committed to the existing agreements and fiscal targets but wants to reserve the right to change the policy mix.?

Who is he to say what will and won?t happen? What will his position be in the new government? He seems to be assuming that he will still rule the roost and ride roughshod over anyone in his way. Typical. At a time of national crisis, Samaras is playing party politics while Greece collapses! Is there no one in our parliamentary circles with any sense?

Bob Scott

Sarko may be right… in George?s defense though

Whom wouldn?t be crazy or depressed trying to rule this unruly, undisciplined, corrupt, greedy nation? Who could possibly survive the absolutely rotten state and mechanisms?

One wonders, had we not joined the EU, and reached this point, at what turn would the army have entered the fray…

Greeks wanted their democracy, here it is. Rotten, and rotted by the Greeks themselves. Socrates, Plato or Aristotle once said ??Give a man too much democracy and he?ll hang himself.?? The Greeks have never grown up, and probably never will, so in Europe?s best interests it would be wise to dump this Balkan fiefdom and leave it to the Turks to take control.

Greeks can?t manage themselves, can?t work together etc, they?re an immature, spoilt race.

Lionel Luthor