OPINION

On migrant centers, KKE, asset sales

Cuba — a possible lesson for Greece?

Greece has been foreign-funded as long as memory serves. Initially, world powers provided funding in view of Greece’s geopolitical importance. Then, Greek guest-workers remitted their earnings back to their home country during the 1960/70s. After joining the EU, the flow of EU grants began. And, finally, with the Euro, the flow of cheap Euro loans began. Had Greece not received any such foreign funding, its living standard today would be reminiscent of a developing country (or it would have tried harder to improve the living standard on its own).

Thus, the Greek economy has become dependent on foreign funding in a similar way that Cuba had become dependent on financial support from the UDSSR (export markets for overpriced Cuban goods, loans and grants).

Greece should pay attention to what happened to the Cuban economy when Soviet support was dramatically curtailed after the fall of the Iron Curtain. During the 3 years following, Cuban GDP collapsed by 30-35% because imports had to be radically curtailed and couldn’t be substituted domestically! The country which had become poor after the Castro revolution now became an economic basket case. The same thing would happen to Greece if foreign funding came to a halt.

Soviet support (i.e. foreign funding) made the inefficient Cuban economy even more inefficient because there was no incentive to improve. Just like Greece is now importing agricultural products like olive oil, tomatoes, potatoes, oranges, etc., Cuba imported sugar. Since Cuba could export poor-quality products at high prices to the former communist Eastern bloc, it didn’t have to try hard to develop an export culture. Greece didn’t have to try hard to develop an export culture because it got cheap foreign funding from banks almost without trying.

So what did Cuba do in order to improve its situation?

Cuba tried to attract foreign investment and tourists from abroad. Secondly, many Cubans became guest-workers (mostly in Venezuela) and remitted their earnings back to Cuba. Finally, Cuba found a new sponsor with Venezuela.

Despite all the progress since then, Cuba is still in an economic condition which Greece never wants to find itself in. But Greece could get there because its trade balance is not much better than that of Cuba and its tourism even lags behind Cuba’s (proportionally).

Cuba has secured voluntary foreign funding through increased tourism, new foreign investment, guest-workers remittances and above all through a new foreign sponsor. If the Cuban economy is still a basket case despite of that, this only proves that the communist system is not a very good one.

Greece will need foreign funding for many years to come but it won’t get that funding in the amounts which Greece has become accustomed to in the past. Thus, Greece must do the following:

1. Curtail imports.

2. Substitute them domestically wherever possible.

3. Increase exports (Free Trade Zones) and tourism.

4. Attract foreign investment.

5. Stop capital flight with capital controls.

And if Greece does all that, it won’t need to look for a new financial sponsor because the EU will be happy to support a well-functioning Greece.

Klaus Kastner

Austria

Re: Citizens’ protection minister heralds 30 migrant centers

In the last week we have heard Citizens? Protection Minister Mr Chrisochoidis go from one detention centre to 13 to now 30 detention centres regarding illegal immigrants. I think the best option would be to use the 100 million Euros Greece is going to receive from the European Commission (to look after illegal immigrants) and put them on planes back to their country of origin or move them on to more prosperous EU nations.

 

Turkey has been deliberately sending illegal immigrants (mainly Muslims) over the border for the last 20 years in order to destabilise Greece economically and militarily and establish a sizeable Islamic minority in the heart of Athens.

 

When a nation is broke and has an unemployment rate of 20% and 50% for 15-25 year olds there is no reason why these illegal immigrants should be in Greece. After all Greece did not invite them, their 1st choice destination was Northern Europe but because of Dublin II many are stuck in Greece without a future. We now have ND, LAOS and certain sections of PASOK stating that illegal immigration is a huge problem. My concern is what is going to happen after the elections or this all this just pre-election talk for votes?

 

George Salamouras

Australia

Stoa of Attalos

The opening of the first floor of the museum is welcome news. I sincerely hope that some of the funds mentioned will be used to clean up the dead trees and branches on the periphery of the Agora which are not only unattractive but a fire hazard. In addition, the condition of the pavement on Adrianou Street is appalling with potholes everywhere, while the Areos square at the far west end of the Agora, across from the Thissio train station, is a dusty empty lot. One would also hope that Mr. Chrysohoidis will implement a «no fly zone» around the Agora and Acropolis prohbiiting illegal peddlers, papadzithes and other unsavory characters from congregating. If these things happen, then Athens will truly be a can’t-miss destination.

Renee Pappas

Will the SS Hellas be as memorable as the Titanic?

We talk about and criticise left-wing ideology as impossible and outdated.

How about EU ideology as touted by Alexis Papachelas and others?

‘Greece will stay in the EU or disaster will ensue,’ ‘Those hoping Greece will exit the EU will continue to fight on… while the rest of the SS Hellas under her captain Papademos the Great becomes a tight-knit fully functioning crew of the 21st century (almost) overnight and with great zeal and energy gets its act together for the first time in 3,000 years to go sailing grandly to the EU Promised Land’…

Alexis Papachelas, dream on, while the Germans apply the Teutonic or Titanic boot to the Greek backside…

Philip Andrews

Greek nightmare makes poor aid for asset sales

At the begining of the article you write that Portugal, Italy, Ireland and other nations have the luxury of time, while Greece does not.

Greece had the luxury of time 10 years ago but it did not take it. People believed that limits exist only to be broken, never to be taken into account. That is the problem now. Everything has to be done in a hurry and not to be left for tomorrow as usual. At the same time rules and regulations have to be put in place so that the people are protected and this does not happen again in the future.

This is a very big task by itself. Individuals and organizations that can make these changes have to come together and talk in order to decide these things now. It is time to put our differences aside and think about the future. It is better to give our children the ability to coexist with other people than to teach them how to cheat others in order to survive.

Dina Hatzipavlu

Papariga illusion

Papariga is under the absolute illusion that we will emerge triumphant after leaving not only the Euro but the European community. Papariga, dream on. I came to Greece from Canada some 20 years ago and settled down here while travelling abroad constantly given the nature of my job. When I came, Greece used to be like a small village where everything was so expensive, save housing, which was very cheap. Everyone had a rusty car because cars cost a fortune to buy. Shops were so small and many products were lacking, especially electrical ones. Greece was so poor and deprived of many things despite being then a member of the EU community. If we ever leave the Euro and the EU community, we will have to resort to using camels, like the Arabs did centuries ago. Speaking about the Arab spring is also full of meaningless connotations. The Arab spring is still new and the results are less than impressive. I think Papariga should retire because her brain is really not up to the Greek standard. She should also know that communism is long gone because it never served the people; it made then slip into constant poverty. 

John Elkass

KKE’s endless dreaming

So what happens after we leave the eurozone and the EU?

Do we make a union with North Korea?

Madhouse non-responsibility.

Hans van der Schaaf

Communist leader wants Greece out of euro and EU

Mrs Papariga, KKE and PAME are responsible for the destruction of the tourist sector by virtue of their incessant industrial action, blocking ports and archaeological sites, destroying people?s holidays in this great country for their selfish and unattainable demands.

Maybe it is time we said to Mrs Papariga and her cohorts, «It?s time you went to China, called a wildcat strike and see how long you survive.?

Stop destroying our society.

Unfortunately the democratic system allows malcontents such as the KKE and PAME to exist. Their primary object is the destruction of our democratic system and the establishment of a Stalinist autocratic state.

Mrs Papariga, most Greeks do not want to leave the euro or the EU. And a significant majority, possibly 96%, don’t want to live in an autocratic state. Keep preaching to your 4%.

Nik Geronimos