Politici greci sono giocherellare mentre Atene brucia

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Week before last I had the good fortune to travel to Athens, Grecia. I have lived and worked in Europe, but I had never been to Greece. So when I was given the chance to travel to a conference in Athens, I gladly accepted. I wanted to see the ancient ruins in Athens and experience the brilliant Mediterranean sunlight. I also wanted to see how the country was dealing with its economic crisis.

Grecia, naturalmente, has been at the center of the news in recent months as it struggles with a terrible debt crisis that threatens to break up the eurozone and send the world economy into another crisis. The country had been forced to hold its second national elections in two months the weekend before I arrived because the inconclusive results of the first election had made it impossible to form a new government.

The source of the political instability in Greece is the austerity being forced on it by other countries in Europe. They have lent Greece money to help pay its debts and, in return, they have demanded that the Greek government cut spending and raise taxes. The reasoning is obvious: “If you have borrowed more money than you can pay back, then you need to cut your spending and raise more revenue. We aren’t going to help you unless you stop doing the things that caused the problem.

But austerity has been wildly unpopular, che è comprensibile, given that the economy has been shrinking. Greece has been in recession for five years, so the latest spending cuts and tax increases have been particularly painful.

Unemployment for people under age 24 è finita 50 per cento, and poverty is spreading through the middle class. Greeks are torn between wanting to pay their debts even as they fear the ruinous terms of the loans they need.

Greece is arid this time of year, così, despite being on the sea, Athens has a pleasant, dry heat that makes you feel invigorated rather than sapped. Walking around the Acropolis was wonderful. But it was disturbing to see people living on the street and begging.

My own children are ages 24, 20 e 15, and I considered what it would be like to know that their entire generation was being denied the chance to build skills and start careers. I worry about my children enough in the American economy; Mi è difficile immaginare quali sono le prospettive depresse dell'economia greca devono sentirsi come. Gli adolescenti di inattività prolungati per le strade di Atene mai sentiti in pericolo, ma conoscendo la loro situazione mi ha reso triste.

La conferenza Ero arrivato ad Atene per assistere faceva parte di uno sforzo crescente per collegare americani college di arti liberali con le scuole di arti liberali di fuori degli Stati Uniti. Tredici piccole scuole del Midwest in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan e Indiana unite con 13 scuole provenienti da Europa, Africa e Asia per parlare delle sfide e delle opportunità che abbiamo di fronte.

Siamo stati ospitati dalla American College of Greece, un istituto di 137 anni, fondata da missionari americani per educare le donne nell'Impero Ottomano. Il collegio ha avuto una storia difficile — suo campus originario di Smirne è stata rasa al suolo dall'esercito turco; durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale, il suo campus di Atene è stata saccheggiata dai nazisti e utilizzato come un ospedale da campo — eppure è emerso come uno dei più illustri istituti universitari in Grecia.

Così, potete immaginare quanto ero scioccato di apprendere che negli ultimi anni il collegio ha affrontato sfide ripetute alla sua esistenza. I governi successivi, da destra e sinistra, hanno cercato di approvare leggi per abolire istituti come l'American College of Greece.

Come è, il governo non si accreditare college privati ​​o università, e una legge approvata nel corso dell'ultimo decennio squalifica chiunque abbia una laurea di una università privata di essere un professore universitario. Pertanto, per esempio, a faculty member at the American College who earned a an undergraduate degree there and then went on to Princeton, Harvard or Oxford for graduate work is not legally able to teach. One of the best colleges in the country has been placed under constant duress in this way.

Why would anyone try to close a highly successful college? Why would anyone want to take educational opportunities away from young people in a struggling economy?

Because Greek public universities and their professors act like a cartel. Making private universities essentially illegal and preventing their graduates from teaching increases enrollment at state universities and benefits the professors who work for them. Both of the main parties buy votes by protecting these professors’ Offerte di lavoro.

This is exactly the problem in Greece. Tutti i mercati del lavoro sono altamente regolamentati e lo stato crea molti vantaggi per gruppi di interesse speciale. Questa è una delle ragioni principali per cui centinaia di miliardi di dollari in aiuti che sono stati incanalati in Grecia dopo la sua adesione all'Unione Europea non hanno stimolato una significativa crescita economica. Questo è il motivo per cui altri paesi in Europa richiedono riforme strutturali in cambio di prestare la Grecia più soldi.

Mentre guardavo i poveri mendicare per le strade e riflettuto sulle prospettive occupazionali terribili per i giovani greci, Mi chiedevo le priorità dei legislatori che hanno sprecato il loro tempo a cercare di chiudere una scuola eccezionale. Invece di affrontare i problemi reali del Paese, essi giocherellare mentre Atene brucia.

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Massima priorità della Grecia sta privatizzando Proprietà dello stato, Ministro dice

ATENE, Grecia — Greece’s three-party coalition government will try to get the economy out of its deep recession by encouraging private investment and making privatizations its “massima priorità,” ministro delle finanze Yannis Stournaras ha detto Sabato.

“Il programma di privatizzazione si propone di attrarre importanti capitali internazionali che sarà investito principalmente in sviluppo immobiliare e delle infrastrutture,” Stournaras ha detto al Parlamento il secondo giorno del dibattito sulla piattaforma politica del nuovo governo.

He said the government plans to give priority to 28 privatizations, including the state natural gas, water and betting companies, the development of the former Athens airport, other airports, yacht marinas, the state railways and the sale and leaseback of 28 state properties. The privatization of Public Power Corporation will come at a later stage, Stournaras ha detto.

In precedenza, the leader of Greece’s main opposition party accused the country’s three-party coalition government of wanting to sell Greece’s resources and public companies on the cheap.

The prime minister’s policy statement was nothing more than a `for sale signput on Greece,” Alexis Tsipras, head of the Coalition of the Radical Left party, known as Syriza, told Parliament. He said he was especially warning those who want tograb state property on the cheap.He added would-be buyers of state property might lose all their money and face criminal proceedings.

Tsipras proposed a moratorium on the payment of Greece’s debt until the country, mired in a deep recession, returns to growth. He predicts his party will soon come to power because the coalition government will fail. When it comes to government, ha detto, it would fix finances by taxing the rich and going after tax evaders.

Evangelos Venizelos, the socialist leader and a former finance minister, whose party is part of the coalition, ripped into Tsipraspayments moratorium proposal, saying this was tantamount to the country declaring bankruptcy.

The country can take no more demagoguery,” ha detto.

The newly-elected parliament will stage a vote of confidence on the government at midnight Sunday.

Settore turistico greco su 24 ore sciopero anti-austerity, minacciare di più nel mese di luglio

ATENE, Giugno 27 (Xinhua) — Workers in the Greek tourism sector held a 24-hour anti-austerity strike on Wednesday, causing minimal disruption across the country. Unions warned of more similar protests in July.

The strike ended with a symbolic march to the Greek parliament and the Labour Ministry in central Athens. The march came as the tourism industry began a slow revival as fears of instability eased after the June 17 general elections, the Greek Hotels Chamber said.

Employees at hotels and restaurants protested wage cuts implemented as part of austerity measures over the past two years in exchange for two international bailout deals to avoid a Greek default and exit from the eurozone.

Labour unions push for new agreements toensure a living with dignityfor employees, threatening a fresh wave of protests during the summer starting with a 48-hour strike on July 10.

Hoteliers and industry entrepreneurs said strikes during the peak tourism season would badly damage revenues, as it did last year and the year before.

Turismo, a traditional pillar of the Greek economy, accounts for nearly one fifth of its GDP. According to the Greek Hotels Chamber, the industry is beginning to bounce back after the recent polls.

The Chamber’s head Yorgos Tsakiris noted during a press briefing that in the first ten days after the polls there has been an increasing trend of holiday bookings in Greece. Travel website Expedia recorded a 27 percent increase in bookings compared to the same period last year.

Ancora, hoteliers expect a 15 a 20 percent decline in revenues due to the economic crisis and fewer visitors, despite the discounts of up to 25 percent on offer.