Greece: A midsummer’s… change might be on the cards…* By John Faraclas
The story so far
Reading the news and listening to what’s going on down in Greece as well in other troubled South European Economies, known as the PIGS or as the PIGCS**, I wonder how these nations’ economies will ever turn to black and become viable, both for their people as well as for Europe and the world – as the infamous, in my humble view, IMF is involved in their bail-out too… Low grades from rating agencies (Italy just got downgraded to BBB from S&P) and over 25 per centum real unemployment is what we experience in Europe today, along with unnecessary taxation, inhumane austerity and many more issues – austerity and unemployment have prompted many protests! Italy is a G7/8 Group member and yet in tatters, eh! The entire South of Europe is on bailout funds, isn’t it so?
The Greek saga continues***
Given the latest tranche to Greece of Euros 8.1 billion or US$ 8.7 billion or £ 7 billion a few hours ago and the conditions attached to it from the Troika, and given that reforms and privatisations are not making any progress whatsoever in the anticipated pace, I believe they should be more practical and pragmatic, as in theory both the Greek Governments and the Troika lost, they were all wrong in their estimations, assessment and planning, so expect the unexpected! Privatisations and sell offs have strings attached; these are the unions, end of the story. Unionism creates the wrong economy, particularly the way it is practised in Greece; it’s a pandemic. In UK the Labour leader Ed Miliband pledges to cut union influence! I feel that with what evolves, for each instalment to come for Greece, things overall will go worse! Mr. Samaras et al try to remain in power without making any actual progress towards the salvation of Greece, simply because they don’t have the guts to do it; bedding with Venizelos’ PASOK, just makes it more difficult. An Ecumenical or National Unity Cabinet, repeat Cabinet, not Government should be formed, shut down the parliament – which is totally useless under the circumstances and electorate law – and take Greece back to progress. Only the Aristos of business and social life should become members of this cabinet. With the Damocles sward of falling into pieces Mr. Samaras and Mr. Venizelos you cannot deliver… I am sure you both learned well from the disgraced threesome you practice with Mr. Kouvelis! Uncertainty is the name of the game in Greece today; how do you expect to have the Athens Exchange progress and develop business and lead to development when uncertainty rules the day? Who trusts Greece? Can you count your enemies and friends in this instance? Is Mr. Samaras et al aware of when an uncertainty qualifies as a risk and what this entails?
The Shipping Factor/Element
I haven’t mentioned anything about the shipping industry with all these happenings, so here we go:
- For a start, in Greece the shipyards should start off again, Skaramanga must enter the business arena by joining the Neorion/Eleussis umbrella under Costas Kokkalas. Who’s stopping this? The Unions have done their part in the past: they have destroyed the industry. It’s time to reverse the tide! It’s about time. How will the Greek owners entrust their ships repairs, not to say shipbuilding, in yards governed by the Unions? They don’t know if their vessels will finish the repairs or remain idle due to strikes and pathetic disputes and they will lose their freight earnings, enough!
- If the Minister of Mercantile Marine and the Aegean Mr. Varvitsiotis expects new seafarers with the measures taken against pensioners, no one would go at sea! He should explain to Mr. Stournaras, who briefly passed from the Ministry last June, to stop the inhumane cuts in pensioners or else!
- Lets extract our hydrocarbons, with the masters of the industry leading the way proportionally with foreign punters.
Maritime Tourism and the Cruise Industry
The time has come to go ahead and create a minimum of six hub-ports in Greece, organise the existing marinas and double their capacity! Improve the infrastructure by 100 per centum and have the country on a ship-shape basis: clean the mess!
Organise the Greek Coastal Services, time is running out!
Strangulating the people with useless austerity plans and measures, and imposing harsh taxation just to please the lenders, who have (knowingly) thrown all these years good money after bad, doesn’t lead to success. We need to see all these officials / officers from the lenders to go behind bars, as their sin was to weaken the Greeks and others in Europe for their own geopolitical designs; a premeditated crime – by the way who thought all these decades of saving for a rainy day, eh!
There is only one way to come back to progress and development, leading to a healthy and viable economy, particularly in Greece and this is epitomised by a change in the electoral system. Greece needs per mare per terra a new system: One candidate from all parties for each constituency; in this way clientelist politics will end overnight! This is the system we live and experience here in the United Kingdom and works p e r f e c t l y. This is in actual terms more democratic, more practical and shows also the xyz party’s strength in not succumbing to partisan’s politics. A proportional reshuffle in the Greek state and these new 300 constituencies can really work miracles; you bet? The rest is simply bullshit – do not excuse my French. Moreover “shifting” of candidates from various areas, particularly towards the Attica (Athens A and B, Piraeus A and B regions respectively) so they can be elected, should and must stop forthwith, if we wish to see real democracy and not despicable situations taking place in the streets not just of Athens, but of any Greek city, town and village!
Rumours are not rumours…
One must make sure that what surfaced in the press and media for two dozen Greek companies last Friday owing nearly Euros 11 (eleven) billion in bank loans etc. etc., should be addressed forthwith, as I am sorry we are going to see real trouble… having said this and despite mentioning these news which if they’re fully confirmed, hell will be just an innocent accomplice… In case this is a lie, then those who spread this news around should go behind bars!
Isn’t it time Mr. Stournaras comes down to his senses, as reducing the pensioners’ monthly pension as well as that of the elderly will turn upon his head very soon. Sorry Mr. Stournaras, but you strangulate our parents who owe N-O-T-H-I-N-G to the sins of those you bed with in Government and to be more precise in this current overcrowded cabinet!!! How do you expect the elderly seafarers above 70 to cope with the cost of life, and inhumane under duress taxation?
Did I hear you say opposition in Greece?
And what about the opposition in Greece? What do they have to offer? That’s not just another dilemma, as in 1981 when the Socialists of PASOK come in power and demolished Greece once and for all, this is a very serious challenge! Personally, I would never ever bet for a Tsipras led Government; any objection?
Lastly, as I was reading my A.M. Today I spotted a nice leader “The Economies and Culture of Murray’s Wimbledon Triumph” and thought: what happened in Greece with our double? Winning the European Cap and staging the Olympic Games in 2004! We couldn’t sell, or rent for over nine years any Olympic property and still are in a mess! Mr. Samaras should understand that a military force has no constant formation, water has no constant shape and the ability to gain victory by changing and adapting according to the opponent is called genius!
Mr. Samaras et al, please wake up! Exercise zero tolerance and deliver. Having said that, be just, particularly with the elderly and the youths! We will fully back you!
*…in any event very soon
** PIGCS= Portugal, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Spain
*** All our previous references (articles, points of view and live televised interviews) vis-a-vis the situation in Greece remain in full force confirming as it happens the wrong doing of the Governors so far.
We look forward to our viewers’ written comments.-