OPINION

On elections, Chrysi Avgi, KKE, tourism promotion, politicians, suggestions

That’s all these Greek politicians can come up with: Promises to do this, that, and this and that and it never ends with their promises. They’re a bunch of lying, crooked, corrupt, thieving gangsters that have ruined a country and thrown hundreds of thousands into poverty.

The gall, the disrespect they show by merely showing their faces. Siberia has gulags which is where they should be. Criminals. We see the sheer and utter disrespect they show to the nation and dark humour by rounding up Akis, ‘crucifying’ him for us during Easter. The sheer and utter disrespect they show is plain criminal. Akis is heading for freedom just like Ephraim. The dust will settle and another one of the political/religious elite who have ransacked and pillaged Greece will be freed. The citizens continue to suffer though.

Lionel Luthor

KKE and immigrants

I can’t agree with Aleka Papariga as Greece hasn’t benefited from the immigrants as we didn’t issue green cards for them to work here and pay taxes and health insurance. Probably many individuals did increase their personal wealth, especially those involved in agriculture, but most were paid in black money which, of course, the immigrants sent abroad.

I agree it is a tragedy and many European countries are having similar problems. Of course we need centres and again we took funding from the EU and of course did nothing to improve the situation. I cannot understand the negative reaction of the KKE with regards to the EU bailouts. They have voiced their anger at the cuts in wages and employment. Why can?t these people realise that if we had returned to the drachma two years ago, their spending power would have been reduced by 50% to 60%?

If we leave the euro now, the hardest hit will be the working class which we presume the KKE are supposed to represent, as the country will simply collapse. Surely for their voters the best scenario is to claim as much funding as we can from the EU for new projects etc., and push ahead with the reforms in the hopes that when we are seen to be seriously changing our corrupt system and overburdened public sector, we can renegotiate parts of the memorandum. With so many other European countries suffering, growth programs will have to be developed and with the rest of the world investing in the IMF to support the euro, solutions must be found.

Ann Baker

Here is a party to vote for!

Our program:

First, to get new jobs quickly we will steal them. We will steal them from other countries which presently sell to us products which we could produce ourselves in Greece. We will create an obsession with import substitution in the minds of the Greek people so that Greek consumers become literally ashamed when they buy products from abroad when such products are also produced in Greece.

Second, we will create an obsession with exports in the minds of the Greek people so that Greek producers become literally ashamed when they do not sell a good portion of their production to other countries, particularly agricultural products. And we will be smart exporters, that is we will make the products shelf-ready and market them directly to individual countries (instead of selling bulk to Italy).

Third, we will create an obsession with tourism in the minds of the Greek people. Our mindset will no longer be that tourists should be thankful for being able to visit Greece but, instead, we will let them know that we really want their visits (and their money).

Fourth, money will be required to accomplish the above, particularly for the investment in new productive facilities for import substitution and new exports. We will create an obsession with foreign investment in the minds of the Greek people. Whenever a foreigner invests money in Greece, we will consider this as a compliment to the attractiveness of our country as a place to do business.

Fifth, we will privatize state companies as much as we can but we will sell them only to investors with a sustainable business philosophy. Investors with a short-term financial focus we will consider as asset strippers and treat them accordingly. The primary motive for privatization will not be the one-time financial gain but, instead, the future technology transfer which we expect to receive in those companies.

Sixth, we will take full advantage of the resources of the EU Task Force to build a modern and prosperous Greece: a Greece characterized by economic opportunity and social equity, and served by an efficient administration with a strong public service ethos. Our goal is to move up to the world s top-20 countries as regards the ease of doing business as well as the low level of corruption. This within only one generation.

Seventh, our guiding policy will be that anything which hinders the above or even makes it impossible will be reformed with great speed. We invite our critics to remind us forcefully should we deviate from this policy.

Finally, it will be a priority for us to raise the spirits of the Greek people again. We will set in motion a Greece-is-changing movement and we will invite people from all walks of Greek life to participate in creating the vision of a new and more prosperous future perspective for Greece. We will use the most modern media technology available to reach all Greeks with our message on a regular basis.

Klaus Kastner

Austria

Suicide by culture

Day after day, week after week, and month after month I read the various articles in Ekathimerini. One outrageous story after another. A former defense minister who is now incarcerated after developing an acute case of amnesia. Not to be outdone, the appeals court employees who are looking kiddie-porn. Have the people entrusted with the administration of government in Greece gone mad? From this observer’s perspective, it is not the European community at fault as it is the entire Greek population who allow this kind of behavior to continue unabated.

As a frequent visitor to Greece (due in large part to Greek-born spouse), I have come to view with an objective eye the comings and goings within the Greek body politic and culture. I do not share the view that Athens is a dysfunctional city relying on its past glory as a «cradle of democracy». There are a lot of fine people who live and work in Athens who are just as frustrated as I at the lack of responsiveness of the Greek Parliament. My favorite hotel remains a small family operated facility in Athens near the Acropolis. Every chance I get I try to patronize their very fine establishment. I also recommend it to others every chance I get.

My Greek language skills leave a lot to be desired. However, I am able to piece the morning news programs. Can somebody explain to me why does Athens have so many daily newspapers when a city like New York has essentially three daily publications? This one fact points a systemic problem in the Greek political and cultural system. Simply put: too many chefs spoil the soap.

This is exactly where we are today: People are more concerned about expressing their need or opinion rather than focusing on the greater good of the nation. Does this sound vaguely familiar like the fall of the Roman Empire?

I will continue to assist the Greek nation in my own small way and to keep peace in my marriage while looking at the greater good of the nation.

Dennis Wanken

Re: ?To love your country?

Well-written article. It’s good to know some Greek people have pride and accept responsibility for the present mess. I?m Irish so I feel your pain as we too try to blame the Germans for the fact that we all needed to buy a nice home. It’s time we all took a look in the mirror.

Ciaran Tuomey

Parties jostle for airtime

This would be a perfect time to bring them all in. Give each one a glass of water and a podium to stand behind. On the other side there should be representatives of the media who will ask specific questions.

Each of those representing a party would have two minutes to respond and then his microphone will go dead, while the other politician will have his two minutes to give his answer and so on until all questions are asked. There will be no time allowed to pontificate or overtake anyone else’s turn.

If the TV channels allow this to last for two hours then the electorate will have a better idea of who these people are.

Since we have gone deaf when the opposition speaks and we refuse to hear another point of view, it would be an eye opener.

I suggest one question to be posed to all of them: «Are you willing to work for minimum salary with no perks and other benefits, until this government balances its books?”

Based on the answers given by each one of them we may be able to make a more sound decision come election day.

Monica Lane

Florida, USA

Provopoulos to issue fresh warning

Could someone help me out here?

How on earth will we have production, competitiveness, growth or improvement when there are reductions to the salaries of those who still have a job? When those who want to start a new business have to make back flips and go through hoops to get permissions and be allowed to operate? When the government cannot collect the billions in back taxes owed by the fat cats? When capital flees to greener pastures and safer heavens on a steady basis? When 10 unions control the economy with their ability to strike at will and bring everything to a halt? When the cost of living is equal to countries a little more stable than ours and their citizens still have a lower unemployment rate?

Warnings fresh or otherwise serve no purpose when no one has the answers or the power to enact laws with teeth.

Until those who owe are forced to pay and those who spent face the judge, we will be saying the same things over and over with no hope of ever seeing the light at the end of this tunnel.

Monica Lane

New tourism campaign

About time, I have lived on the Island of Zakynthos for the past 29 years, and have always wondered why you don’t see Greece advertising on national TV in these different country’s.

Paul Randell

Zakynthos

I agree with you.

Dear Mr Malkoutzis,

I totally agree with you. I have been on their [Chrysi Avgi?s] website several times and I have noticed the Nazi flags and the fact that Mr Michaloliakos never criticizes Germany. For a so-called Nationalist party I would have thought a blue-and-white flag would be more appropriate. I also do not agree with his anti-Semitic comments and caricatures on his website. I have also noticed KKE with the hammer and sickle flag, the same flag that killed 20 million Soviet citizens under Joseph Stalin that Ms Papariga proudly displays.

The point I wanted to make is let Mr Michaloliakos have his free speech, but journalists should expose him for the symbols, the red-and-black Nazi flag and the Nazi salutes.

Illegal immigration has been a huge issue and all I know is that if it wasn?t for CA no one else would be talking about it. If the new government does its job and deports all the illegal immigrants CA will lose support.

Sincerely,

George Salamouras

Melbourne

Selective reporting?

I was appalled to read that Greece is paying 29 million euros to just five of the Greek political parties, namely the ‘established’ parties (responsible for Greece’s current problems) — and of course zero for the new parties currently with good support in the polls — and it is not Greece who are making these payments, but the EU taxpayers. On April 13 the ALDE (the third largest party in the European Parliament, with 85 members) wrote a letter to the European Commission complaining about these payments — which would not have been possible without the second bailout, and were not allowed for in this bailout.

I read eK carefully, but I don’t remember reading this important piece of news, very relevant to Greeks and other EU citizens. Also the EU Commission has buried its head in the sand, saying that the funding of elections is a ‘national competence’ — but the EU has taken its share in pressing for cuts in pensions, minimum wage, and salaries, and for privatisations of Greek-owned assets — which are also ‘national competencies’.

Thus the EU is acting selectively, and of course the mainstream Greek media, largely funded by these same parties, are colluding with this. This is a major scandal, and it is shameful if eK is also underreporting it. It is a case of the established EU political elite colluding with the established Greek elites, to maintain the status quo and to suppress ‘inconvenient’ intruders.

I hope that other eK readers, and the new Greek parties, will read the ALDE press release in the link at the start of my letter, and also follow www.euractiv.com for less selective EU/Greek news.

Robert Skailes

New tourism strategy

Bureaucracy and corruption will sink this new company set up to promote tourism. Greece is finished. Greek politicians and their civil servants have seen to that.

Lionel Luthor