Tag Archives: greece

Puerto Rico 2

Puerto Rico Can Avoid Greek Tragedy with Tough Reforms

Last Friday, Greece’s legislature passed a raft of reforms to placate European lenders as the country faces a debt crisis with broad international implications. The deal contains many real, painful cuts for Greeks, but certainly ones that are necessary if the country is ever to regain its fiscal footing.

As this unfolds, another fiscal crisis of a small jurisdiction within a currency union also plays out: the pending default of the US territory of Puerto Rico. My last column addressed the federally imposed problems facing the island, but many of the territory’s issues were certainly brought on by poor government choices in the past that have yielded fiscal ruin today.

With such clear parallels between the two jurisdictions, the reforms passed in Greece are a reasonable guide for what could be done to remedy Puerto Rico’s economic woes.

Read the rest on the PanAm Post here.

A Golden Dawn supporter raises his hand in a Nazi salute during a rally in Athens.

Advocate Mariela Published in The Fielder on Greek Extremism

Advocate Mariela Tiliakou was published in the Italian news outlet The Fielder on the rising fascism in Greece as exemplified by the Golden Dawn Party.

While the unrest in Ukraine still does not subside, the recent election of the European Parliament have raised further concerns in the land of my birth – the Greece – about a return of fascism . While the left will take most of the seats in Parliament later this year, its rival far-right seem to be a real headache for the leaders of Greece and throughout Europe.

You can read the piece online here.

If you’d like to speak with Mariela or any other Advocate, please contact Young Voices.

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Advocate Charilaos Peitsinis on Greek TV

Young Voices Advocate Charilaos Peitsinis‘ message of a Greece free of racism and anti-Semitism finds a growing audience within Greece and abroad. The oldest ISraeli newspaper Haaretz just published his op-ed on their English website.

The Greek TV channel Skai TV (12% audience share) reported on September 27th in their news edition about Charilaos’ op-ed:

“It is very important to stress the fact that Israel’s media is very interested in the situation now in Greece. A characteristic example is the op-ed published today in the israeli newspaper Haaretz according to which this murder has gone too far in Greece.
Greece’s civil society is now mobilizing against Golden Dawn’s neo-nazi violence and ideology – and now it’s up to the Greek state to stop tolerating illegal violence.”

If you’d like to speak with or book Charilaos or any of our other Advocates, please contact Young Voices now.

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Charilaos Peitsinis talking about Nazism in Greece on Hareetz

Young Voices Advocate Charilaos Peitsinis was published today by Haaretz.com writing about the Golden Dawn party in Greece and how a free society shall cope with such a threat to liberty:

Golden Dawn represents a threat to liberty. But threats to liberty can only be destroyed through more liberty – everywhere, and especially in the economic sphere. Only a total liberalization of the economy and new investments will restore Greece and get her back on the road to growth. Then, and only then, will fascism lose its social roots, when it is no longer fed and watered by the misery of economic crisis.

You can find the entire opinion piece here. Haaretz is the oldest Israeli newspaper and its English version is sold together with the International Herald Tribune.

If you’d like to speak with or book Charilaos or any of our other Advocates, please contact Young Voices now.

Greeks, 60%, Favor Privatization – Bureaucrats, Unions, and Political Interests In the Way

The case of “Privatization in Times of Crisis” opened three years ago as a resource that would contribute decisively in the battle to reduce debt and deficits.

In June 2010, after a cabinet meeting, then Prime Minister George Papandreou announced a wide variety of ministerial privatization programs involving banks, ports, airports, roads, railways, utilities, and public property.

Half a year later, at the end of 2011, absolutely nothing had happened. The agenda of privatization in 2011 included scenes of international tragicomedy, with the Troika announcing that it will realize around 50 billion Euros from privatization.

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In 2010 the 74 enterprises controlled by the state were worth about 44 billion Euros. Of course now, their value has fallen dramatically. However, If the state had decided to sell 10% of its enterprises in 2010, the taxpayers would be relieved from all the additional taxes they eventually paid compared to 2009. If the state had sold 25% it could also have paid 6 billion Euros owed ​​to individuals (contractors, doctors, pharmacists, etc.) in the private sector. If it had decided to sell the 50% of state-owned companies in the country, the public would be spared from the brutal cuts in wages and pensions.

In a nutshell: The worst part of the crisis would be over, with minimum casualties in the private sector.

In early 2012 a more realistic target was set: collect 5 billion Euros that year. The actual privatization gains amounted to 84 million Euros. For 2013, things changed. The government of Samaras set more conservative goals — to collect around 2 billion Euros — and changed the strategy. However due to their failure to sell the public gas corporation DEPA, the target was automatically reduced and nobody knows if this can be achieved.

The Greek legal entity responsible for the privatization process, the TAIPED, “froze” its activities between May and July 2012, when the board decided that no decisions were to be taken until the formation of a new government. The formation of the new government, however, was followed by the resignation of the chairman of the Board. Recently his successor also resigned.

Privatizations have also slowed down due to litigation. More than 13 appeals have been filed to the Council of State. Unions (electricity, water, DEPA, OLTH etc.) and citizens requested that the decisions be held unconstitutional.

Bureaucracy is another serious problem. Until recently, 72 administrative acts and regulations were pending. Serious privatizations could simply not be materialized without those acts (State Lottery, DEPA, Greek, IBC, Afandou, Cassiopeia).

The way that until recently the Greek government has handled its property is totally anachronistic. They knew neither what that property was, nor it’s condition. Nobody bothered to document the problems.

The problem is a lethal combination of political apathy, which slowed down the processes, bureaucracy, and incompetence. Greece is a rich country, which could and should exploit its resources, by selling off assets through the market, securitizing its future income, and partnering with private investors. The aim should be twofold. First, earn some profit and use some of it to pay off debt. Second, open the economy to the international markets by deregulating the Greek economy.

The failed privatizations mean more taxes for average citizen, since the government revenue “gaps” are usually filled with taxpayers’ money and further debt. According to recent polls, more than 60% of Greek citizens are in favor of privatizations. Only bureaucrats, unions and ultra leftists together with political interests and rampant corruption inhibit the solution to the Greek crisis, which can only come from the private sector.

For this reason, my generation demands privatization to bolster the Greek economy.

If you’d like to speak with or book Harry or any of our other Advocates, please contact Young Voices now.