OPINION

On money-moving MP, online stores, fine on pharmacist, Nazi terror, solidarity, property law

Rehn: Private sector must do more to boost competitiveness

That is what the esteemed gentleman thinks?

So the public sector did all they can to ?boost? the economy? How?

The promised layoffs for the public sector will not even start till June or July. Those who will be made redundant will collect 60% of their salaries while they enjoy a lovely summer and in a year things will be reviewed again. Let me not start again about those in the Parliament and their hangers-on…

The employees of the overinflated public sector who were all politically connected have been getting paid salaries and ?earning? benefits and job security over and above what the country could or should afford.

The private sector employees had their minimum wage reduced by 20% immediately.

The difference is that the public sector employees are being paid by the tax payers while the ones working for the private sector are left to sink or swim on their own.

Mr Rehn?s willful ignorance of facts makes one wonder how much he really wants to understand.

He is obviously an intelligent man but his statements show that he has no grasp on reality.

At a time when we are all heading for the cliff we need clarity but we should not expect any.

Yes Mr Rehn, if someone needs to eat he will accept the reduced pay to get a job and hopefully secure the basics. Yes, those who ?govern? us have no plan to create jobs since all they care is to satisfy their masters so we are still called ?Europeans?. They are so fixated on the panacea the euro provides for us, they cannot see the forest for the trees.

The Greek private sector has businesses closing their doors at a fast clip since they cannot afford to stay afloat. The rich moved their money abroad and spend it there. The poor are not buying anything frivolous or uneccessary like shoes or coats.

Guess who is going to be our ?saviour?? Foreign companies and entities that will find a fertile ground to set up shop and exploit those who have enough need and will work for whatever is thrown their way.

The danger here is that besides creating class warfare between the citizens of Greece, the left will use this disparity to make headway and try to convince some that communism is the way to go so we all have some crumbs instead of some having half a loaf and the rest having nothing.

Is anyone who has the power and the intelligence to do things right by us listening?

Monica Lane

Florida, US

We are all Greeks

When I was a college student in the 1950s, we celebrated with the same slogan: We Are All Greeks. In the 1970s and 1980s, we were able to organize an organization named Delphi. Delphi was very successful at raising funds for scholarships and, above all, in making the name Hellen very well known in the Detroit metro area. Newer people wanted to project their names, not Hellenism. So, Delphi is dead, and a very sizable Hellenic community in Michigan is becoming irrelevant. The lesson: promotion of Hellenism should be the business of us all.

Eleftherios Botsas

West Bloomfield, Michigan

Re: Pharmacist fined

After reading the article about the police being sent to close down a pharmacist who choose to keep her store open in the afternoon, I realize that we have all entered ?the twilight zone?. How absurd. This lady is to be admired.

Renee Pappas

Karditsa pharmacist fined for following the law

I applaud this pharmacist. This situation is exactly what?s wrong with this country. When you abide by the law you get victimised — yet you get praised when you do not abide by the law — as with the majority of the Greek population.

Get your act together and sort this country out — otherwise you will all be sent to the abyss.

A Waple

New laws for property

The discussions starting today regarding new laws on property will kill your country. You will alienate foreigners wanting to invest in property here and will also in turn kill the construction business.

You should rather get your act together and focus on stopping all the corruption in planning offices, with officials taking bribes, builders and engineers getting bribes and building properties not in line with approved building permits and ripping off investors.

A Waple

Greek politicians will not name money-moving MP

Don?t you think it is rather suspicious that your Greek politicians will not name the Greek MP who moved $1 million dollars into a Swiss bank account?

And they also will not mention the millions of dollars of bribe money involved in the Siemens settlement to let the public and citizens know how much they have gotten away with and are instead trying to make them build more on the metro line to cover up both their crimes against the State of Greece.

Why, as a reputable Greek newspaper, are you writing about this and not asking the current Government for answers?

What kind of journalists are in Greece covering the news, letting all these criminal politicians freely rob your own country without being held accountable?  

 

Deeply disppointed,

Robert Powell, Journalist

Los Angeles Times and

The Herald Tribune

    

Online stores

Well this is the most pathetic thing I have every heard about Greek bureaucracy! Instead of encouraging businesses to open, they discourage people and look now where Greece has ended up! If Greece does not cut the red tape immediately on everything it will end up at the the bottom of the world. I would rather open an online store based in Somalia rather than Greece for now!

Yiannis G

On solidarity

Still to my puzzlement I keep reading comments from Kathimerini?s journalists and analysts manifesting their fervent belief that we should, all things considered, remain in the Monetary Union, bolstering it with pompous statements on acquired privileges like the European solidarity and the alleged protection provided by the bossoms of the European Union. We are up to our necks with such kind of comments appearing here and there, but almost all of them are just tipping the top of the iceberg; that is they accidentally forget to mention the decomposition of the Greek middle class and the poverty that the memoranda are carrying forward. That the Greek citizens are experiencing a post-soviet regime unable to to utter a word, seeing their income shriveled to pieces month by month, bill by bill, as passed in the Greek Parliament. And June is just a few months away, when the Greeks will be called to undergo another major overhaul of their finances as part of the updated budget.

Who can oversee all these tangible changes taking place from a Government which has since long abolished the vote of confidence?

The United Kingdom was smart enough to foresee the outcome of a monetary union that threw weak and stronghold economies into the same pool. They maintained their monetary sovereignty, but still indulged into the privileges of the European Union.

As a civil servant who underwent a 60% reduction of my salary I can excuse myself for keeping an inquiring eye on Mr Konstandaras?s comment.

Sofoklis Chrysanthopoulos

Re: ?Europe on the way to disaster?

?What part of this is not understood…?? asks Mr. Crook at the end of his article.

Well, the dishonest and nonsensical part of it.

Mr. Crook?s article fits well within the barrage of doom and gloom press articles about Europe from American and British sources which pretend to analyze problems, but in reality are nothing but expressions of irrational chauvinist Anglo arrogance toward Europe. Britain and the US have been highly successful in one thing: They have turned capital markets into a casino-style gambling system which has taken the world to the brink of catastrophe by having blown up the ?funny money? supply to absurd proportions. By relying excessively on Keynesian economics, they have neglected structural economic policies and almost ruined their respective ?real economy? bases. The internet bubble (already forgotten?), the housing (ABS) crisis, and Lehman — all nice gifts to the world by our Anglo economic expert friends.

It is totally clear that European problems would have been far smaller without the turmoil these ?gifts? have brought about.

And now they are obviously happy to find themselves in a situation where they can turn not one blind eye, but dozens of them, to their own massive economic shortcomings, and center in on Europe. Although Europe is the only major world region where structural economic problems are recognized and reforms are brought under way. Although private savings and public finances look far better in most European countries than in the US and Britain. Analyzed in detail, the Spanish and Italian finance systems would be the envy of the US and Britain, if they took the pains of going into the real numbers.

Instead, rumours are planted about insolvencies of French and other European banks (remember the ?news? from some London tabloids concerning Societe Generale and Unicredit). Problems of American and British banks are ignored although the Credit Default Swap numbers for some of them were alarmingly high.

When hares, hunted by dogs, get tired of running away, they sometimes push other hares out of their holes so that these are now hunted by the dogs and they can take a rest. Anglo coverage of European problems reminds me of this behavior.

But, as they say, you can?t fool all the people all the time.

Capital markets have come to realise that most European ?problem economies? show massive ?excess covers? of their financial systems (i.e., their net assets, public and private, surpass debt by neat margins), and that, with the demise of politicians like Berlusconi, problems of growth and debt are addressed (in stark contrast to America, Japan and Britain).

A look at the charts of 10-year government bond yields of Italy and Spain, and at other fear indicators bears witness to this.

Europe will not go down the drain, no matter if Greece stays in or not. But in due time, financial markets will center in on the real problem economies of the world, the US and Britain, as these do not even try to tackle their problems.

Heinz Stiller

Berne, Switzerland

Mocking the victims of Nazi terror 

 

To show pictures of Merkel and Schaeuble in Nazi dress is conjuring up images of the Nazi era, of death camps, of 6 million Jews murdered, here in Greece of emaciated figures, hundreds of thousands starving to death, of villages burnt and razed to the ground, of women, children and old men executed, of blood running down the streets of Kalavrita, in short, of Nazi bestiality. To compare this to Greece today is like saying: ?Look at us, we are suffering in the same way.? Which we are not. Not in the same way. It is like saying: ?I am not feeling well either? to a dying man. It is disproportionate. It is mockery. Those Merkel/Schaeuble pictures are meant to accuse Merkel/Schaeuble. They are also sadly mocking the victims of Nazi terror.

Ulrich Mittelbach

Elliniko

Greek chemist fined for opening in the afternoon

Is it any wonder why everyone outside of Greece sees you as work-shy and lazy?

What difference does it make if she wants to work more hours? Maybe the other chemists who want to sit on their backsides every afternoon fear a loss in trade!

Jim Butler

Shame

It is a big shame that the Greek state spent so much money in the past that they didn?t have. And now they cannot pay back their own debts. It is robbery of the money and pensions of other Europeans. Don?t speak to me in the future about solidarity with the Greeks. They don?t deserve it.

Ruud Holland

After the elections

I think that after the elections Greece will be fragmentized into many parties that, with some help from PASOK and ND, it will takes years to construct a new government out of that mess. In the meantime the Papademos government can roll out what it has to start up now. I think that?s the best solution.

Hans van der Schaaf

Millionaire MPs

If the European Union wants to show they are serious they should show no mercy to the elected officials not only in Greece but all the countries in Europe. Show and prove to them they are not immune to these or any austerity measures and they will be held accountable for their actions.

The European Union should investigate who else has done the same as this MP in Greece and come down like a hammer on them all.

How is it these animals are in office and are voting on austerity measures of the citizens of Greece, meanwhile they are taking millions of euros out of the country for themselves?

Gregory Zouvelos

Doing online business

Very amusing article. Some friends of ours had a similar venture which they started from their garage (a la Hewlett Packard). Although 100% online they were constantly thwarted by officialdom who said they couldn?t have their storefront in a residential area. One wonders if the story of Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com shouldn?t be included in every government official?s pay packet. His ?storefront? was the back of his car and then his garage initially, wasn?t it? In Greece you need permission for that type of thing.

Pat Mills