Tag Archives: Greece

Government in a national crisis–Greece

Alexis Papachelas is a guest editorial writer to The Business Thinker. He is currently the Executive Editor of the long standing and highly respected daily Greek newspaper “Kathimerini”. There are certain behaviors that simply drive you crazy, especially at a time when the country is on the brink of disaster. It’s maddening, for instance, to see the ease with which a number of fellow politicians criticize the likes of Giorgos Papaconstantinou, Michalis Chrysochoidis, Yiannis Ragousis, Andreas Loverdos and Dimitris Reppas, among others.

What airs some of them adopt when stating that they have been politicians for 30 years and “they know.” But who cares if someone has been a MP or a minister for 30 or 60 years? What has their legacy been other than political favors, appointments and intrigues? Do they feel successful because they spread the joy to friends and voters with borrowed money, without ever being held accountable?

It is so easy and convenient to sit back doing nothing and criticizing those who are hard at work because others didn’t do what they should have done when they should have done it. Even more annoying is the arrogance of some of PASOK’s “old boys,” who are trying to convince the rest of us that they know how to take care of the dirty work. They showed their stripes when they were in charge of appointing hospital managers and instead sent their cronies and the deadweights of the party to those posts.

Then there are the egos. The country is drowning and some of these guys refuse to sit at the same table with the others or openly ignore decisions taken by the prime minister and Parliament. Don’t they get it? Cheap populism will not save them, neither will their overinflated egos. There is absolutely no room for this kind of behavior; they need to get this, loud and clear. Continue reading Government in a national crisis–Greece

The Making of The Greek Fiscal Crisis

Dr. Periklis Gogas is an invited contributor to The Business Thinker magazine. He is a faculty member at Democritus University of Thrace, Greece, teaching Macroeconomics, Banking and Finance

The public debate over Greek debt is in the headlines for months now ever since the first issues with regard to Greece’s fiscal problems were raised. Political and ideological confrontations on the subject are inevitable. Accusations over culpability are an everyday occurrence between members of the two major political parties PASOK and ND that ruled Greece by turns since democracy was restored in 1974. Academic economists in Greece follow these developments closely and they are often at the epicenter of heated discussions in the media with journalists and tax payers indirectly or directly accusing them for the current situation. People are wondering why all the economists that now stress the shortcomings of Greece’s fiscal policy remained silent or at least they did not criticize that strong the same policies in the past. The truth of course is that no politician ever asked them and no one ever listened to their warnings. Politicians were busy accusing each other for creating the debt. Thankfully, numbers can tell the truth impartially without subjective political judgments and deception: a simple graph like the one in Figure 1 depicts the truth. Continue reading The Making of The Greek Fiscal Crisis