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Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Brit's Current Views About Greece

My good friend from Greece (a retired Brit who lives in Greece with his Greek wife) has shared his current views on Greece with me: 

In a nutshell, events will be moving very quickly over the next six months or so in Greece - and within the EU. At the forefront will be the accelerating deflationary trend - obviously including Greece, but also increasingly evident in the Eurozone periphery - and I very much include France in this category!  The European Parliament elections at the end of May, for the first time ever, take on particular significance. They will be won - or almost won - by anti EU parties - notably The National Front in France, UKIP in Britain and SYRIZA in Greece. These results will serve as a severe warning for many EU countries ahead of whenever they hold national elections, that they must address growth and unemployment issues as a top priority ...... or else some of the European Parliament results could clearly be reproduced at national level.

In Greece, Samaras - and his forever 'bright sky' man, Stounaras, - do have an opportunity to show statesmanship during Greece's six-month EU Presidency - particularly as SYRIZA seems unable to elucidate an alternative policy programme  .......they continue to only complain. Whether the Greek electorate is savvy enough at the next national election [whenever that is - I'm not going to guess] to understand what 'the responsible reality' is  - is a real doubt.....so, the longer the current coalition can hang on and show some improvement in the overall economic and jobs sphere, the better for this country, I think. I still hold to the longer term view that Greece needs to return to the Drachma - and concentrate on really reforming Agriculture [including substantial food processing and export capacity]  & Tourism. That must therefore include a major focus on Small & Medium Size Enterprise development & related professional & supportive financing.

3 comments:

  1. I fully agree to that view. Apart from the reforms mentioned I would like to stress out that as a prerequisite I see stable legal and financial systems!

    H. Trickler

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  2. Greece badly needs scale and not 'a major focus on Small & Medium Size Enterprise.' The solution -not necessarily feasible politically- is

    a) public sector downsizing,
    b) reduced bureaucracy,
    c) deregulation (opening closed sectors of the economy),
    d) prosecution of corrupted public servants
    e) anti-tax evasion efforts along with lowering tax rates.

    We have a lot of small/medium enterprises and this is one reason we are not competitive. No one (call me government) should pick winners or losers, they have done enough damage and they better stay out of the way for once. If the market wants small enterprises so be it, if it wants big companies that's fine. Enough with skewing the market in favor of small magazakia and against the consumer - and hence Greece itself.

    Happy New Year.

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  3. There is something that the Greeks want in order to feel a sense of satisfaction for their sacrifice.It 's not only the unemployment levels and the financial-related problems. It is what is usually neglected : a lack of justice and a lack of valuable reforms that involve a promise for a better future . It's all about austerity measures and how to grab money from those that have never stolen it, for the most part...The corrupted political and social elite of the 1-2% mainly responsible for the mess in this country is still there and cooperates with EU bureaucrats.Indeed Syriza is not to be trusted but the rulling parties need to be taken to the court and the Greeks do not forget this fact..So,who is about to govern this country?

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