Greece to the Greeks (with Dimitrios A. Ioannou and Christos A. Ioannou)

Πριν κάποια χρόνια –και για πολύ καιρό– ένα σύνθημα συμπύκνωσε την επιθυμία ενός λαού να γίνει κύριος της μοίρας του. Δυνατό στο οραματικό του στοιχείο αλλά στερημένο από τα περιεχόμενα και τις προϋποθέσεις που απαιτούσε η υλοποίηση της επιθυμίας που εξέφραζε, το σύνθημα αυτό –κέλυφος κενό–, αφού πρώτα λοιδορήθηκε, κατέληξε ταφικό επίγραμμα, στο δε διαμοιρασμό των ιματίων του νεκρού περιήλθε, με αλλοιωμένο τον αρχικό του συμβολισμό, στα χέρια των έσχατων βαρβάρων.

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Greece facing 2017 (with Dimitrios A. Ioannou)

Those who are concerned and worried about the probability that in 2017 our country will be taken over by the movement of “post truth” politics, which spreads in the western world like the midsummer fire spreads in the grain fields, can settle down. There is no danger of this happening, for a very simple reason: because the “post truth” politics, namely the illusion and absurdity, the madness and chicanery, the blindness and self-destruction, have been endemic for years in our dominant national way of thinking and acting, which our society externalizes through every pore it has and with every breath it takes, at every moment and with every opportunity.

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The country of sobbing and begging is not “Greece” (with Dimitriοs A. Ioannou)

If there’s something we learned, which we did not know, from the recent “VIP” visit, is that the government and the opposition, (together with the head of state), agree on this: the key problem of our country, of our economy and society, is “austerity”! As a result, it was logical just after we learned that, a reasonable question to emerge, at least to some of us: since it is so, and the two major parties agree upon something so fundamental, why the hatred and strife?

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Facing the Greek Holodomor (with Dimitrios A. Ioannou)

In the history of “applied socialism” in the 20th century in the Soviet Union and China, there are two remarkably black pages: it is the famine and the death of millions of people from starvation. In the case of the Soviet Union it happened during 1928-1933 with the so-called “collectivization”, and in the case of China during 1958-1962 with the “Great Leap Forward”.

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“The political parties should speak the truth to the Greek people”

The conception of the third adjustment program has been more than unfortunate, with the Greek government being mainly responsible for it. The implementation of the program was bound to encounter difficulties and to face those problems that emerged from other sides and it originally wished to avoid. I mean that the dominant idea of the program is based on the over-taxation of the economy so that the government avoids the political cost that would derive from the reduction of expenses related to the public sector. That cost, however, and the resulting social discontent, are now evident on the part of those who see their disposable income being reduced due to taxes. As for the reforms, I do not feel that anything is changing in the way the Greek economy and society operate. Every reform depends not only on a simple passing of a law in the Parliament but also on a series of actions over time which will specify, clarify and adapt the reform to the realities that will ultimately impose it on the obstinate towards changes Greek society, overcoming the obstacles created by the various established interests. All this, however, cannot be implemented by the present government. It neither has the appropriate skills, nor believes in reforms. What is the future of a privatization, for example, when you mourn in the Parliament that you had to sign it, while at the same time you threaten the investor with destruction by stating that “the market will discredit” their investment?

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Welcome!

Konstantine Gatsios, Rector of the Athens University of Economics and Business (2011-2015), is Professor in the Department of Economics at the Athens University of Economics and Business. He obtained his B.A. in Economics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (1981), while his M.Phil. (1984) and Ph.D. (1988) from the University of Cambridge. He taught at the University of Cambridge where he also served as a Fellow and Director of Studies in Economics at Fitzwilliam College (1987-1992).