OPINION

On Papoulias, Chrysochoidis, the Germans and penison cuts

Concerning the quality of euro politics

In a Dutch newspaper last week they interviewed the then European politicians concerning the ?Maastricht? intentions and today?s result. The most astonishing result of those interviews is the stupid naivete concerning this project. And it was political opportunism and not evidence-based risk diagnosis and management that gave us the euro. Today?s politicians are confronted with the ?Maastricht?-results and the evidence is that they are of the same quality. Because also they only have the tools they have. And those tools still have the same sub-level quality.

The problem is that Europe has about three cultures. And each culture has different, but relevant qualities concerning economic and financial attitudes. And when you want to implement the same numerator on three different (cultural) denominators, you will get chaos. And that?s what we have right now in Europe.

Before the introduction of the euro, each country should have implemented a program to handle its economic and financial attitudes in such a way that each country and Europe could have the same denominator after some years. Or stay out of the euro if this was not possible or the country did not want to change its culture.

Today the culture with the Protestant attitude is of course dominating the discussion ?what to do?. But it is only a discussion about finances. Because in this culture this is how you do solve this problem. ?And why do you not understand this, stupid?? It?s not a discussion about cultures, including the Protestant one, and their relevant qualities, how to handle this problem. It is this Protestant dominance that hurts people living in the non-Protestant cultures and it makes them angry and impotent. Because in their culture those Protestant solutions won?t and do not work. As they see every day.

So first they have to accept that their politicians did not do their job because they did not understand the problems when introducing the euro into their culture and now strangers are telling those politicians what to do in order to stop the euro from having the same problem in their culture another time. What quality can and do these politics have?

They are not European. That?s for sure.

Hans van der Schaaf

President uncharacteristically blunt…

Good for him! Perhaps giving up his salary has set him free from having to say what others want him to say now he is free to say what he is really thinking. In the end the truth will set us all free! I just wish more politicians would say what they really think and believe instead of being puppets.

Linda Knox

Greece

Mr Crook’s article on Germany

Mr. Crook’s assertion that Germany was the main proponent of both a deepening and widening of the European Union bears no relationship with historic facts. The excessive widening of the Eurozone to include Southern countries with economies not fit for a common currency has to be attributed to French wishes to build a Mediterranean, predominantly «Latin» counterweight to Germany and its Northern neighbours sharing the economic mentality of the Germans.

Moreover, even the fact that Germany gave up its beloved D-Mark and joined the Eurozone at all were developments that happened under pressure from France and other Europeans as a «price» for German re-unification. Germany entered the Eurozone only reluctantly, and only under the strict condition that no bailouts woud occur.

As it is in no way difficult to trace these simple historic facts, I find Mr. Crook’s article quite puzzling.

Heinz Stiller

Berne, Switzerland

Who are the Dutch, according to the Greek president?

I am from Holland. Why should I pay for the Greeks? The Greek state has for many years cooked the books.

They sent false data to the European statistical institute. For a long time they spent more money than they had.

A very large proportion of the Greeks are avoiding tax-paying. And now your government and your president are trying to make it partial to a Dutch problem. But no, it is your problem. You have spent too much money. In your country there is great corruption, there is a big problem with clientelism. Hello mister greek president, where were you to solve this problem? Were you asleep in the last years? You have to solve your own problems. And not point to us.

And if we are helping you, we want your gratitude and not a big mouth. We are not obliged to help you.

Ruud Holland

Malkoutzis’ article

He is another strong left-winger under the thin disguise of a neutral. LAOS did not hide last week, neither did their leader. He did not agree with the vote and abstained. The right in general terms is on the rise. We have seen what the left has done for Greece. Inefficient public sector, massive debt and the traditional protection of left-wing anarchists who seek to destroy history and culture within the capital through firebombings. Any mention of sensible politics is thrown out the window and too right wing or too Junta reminscent. Greece has suffered more from brain-drain than any other nation I know. The biggest winner in the next elections will be the left and the right. Pasok and ND –the garbage centre-left will suffer the most.

Hevi Gastos

Re: ‘Do not humiliate Greeks’

Dear Alexis,

I have just read your article in the NY Times «Do not Humiliate Greeks» — I think you have great points about the current situation and your concerns are very real. I wanted to thank you for voicing them out.

I personally believe that if no change happens in how Europe is treating Greece and other members in distress, we will see a strong political uprising against the European Union as a political formation. I hardly believe that a common Greek, an Italian or a Spaniard will be happy to «outsource» to Germany decision-making on which hospitals and schools to build etc. This will not last.

God bless the Greek People — wishing you all the best!

Again — many thanks for writing this editorial.

Kind regards,

Sergey Ambartsumov

Development minister supports extension of PM’s mandate

With all due respect to Mr Chrisohoidis, does he really know what he is talking about?

He is the Minister in charge of growth, development and competitiveness.

If the fruits of his labour are not enough of an example of his abilities one can only wonder why should anyone listen to him now.

I vote for him as the next candidate to forfeit his salary and pension and other goodies the politicos voted for themselves.

If we measure the growth, competitiveness and development we had so far, we can sure do without anyone in charge. We are sinking on our own. No help needed.

Monica Lane

Florida

Fresh pension cuts to cover budget cuts

Am I missing something?

Doctors, judges, diplomats and policemen will see a reduction of 10% or 20% (is anything ever clear-cut in any of these initiatives?)… in their pensions in July.

Where are the Members of Parliament, past and present ministers, replacement ministers, sub ministers, prime ministers and other assorted freeloaders fit in this scheme?

If we are all in it together and we will all go down in the same boat, why aren’t the fat cats joining us for a change?

Monica Lane

Florida