Bill Clinton also talked passionately about Greece and his recent trip to the crisis-hit countryafter Nicholas Logothetis, a Greek of diaspora and one of the co-founders of the non-profit organization, asked him how optimism can be used as a force in Greece and how Greeks become so successful outside of their homeland, referring to the million Greeks of Diaspora who thrive around the world.
“There are a lot of people who have governments and systems that are not worthy of them. The basic case for optimism is that intelligence and the willingness to work hard are evenly distributed throughout the world. Technology is democratizing it and empowering people to access it. And of all the mega problems we have they are all achievable at an affordable price and largely for a profit if we could organize ourselves, everybody knows what the case is for negativism,” said Bill Clinton.
The former U.S. President stressed the fact that contrary to stereotypes the Greeks are very hardworking.
“If you just take Greece, the average Greek didn’t even know until everybody started talking about it that he or she worked 25% more hours per week than the average German, did you know that? In other words there is nothing wrong with Greece, the people are smart. There is a reason that they basically were the founder-heads of so much western philosophy and culture.”
According to Clinton the problem of Greece is the inability to collect taxes, something that could not support the heavy social benefits and high pensions that the country had until a few years ago.
“They have had for many years a social organizational system that provided a lot of government benefits including very heavy pension obligations with a tax system that did not collect the taxes that the law said were owed and they were able to kick the can down the road.”
Clinton who visited Greece this summer did not forget to praise the Greek people for the sacrifices that have made to avoid bankruptcy and a Euro-exit.