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Friday, May 4, 2012

Political Dilemma in Greece

Greece's ruling class is overwhelmingly made up of career politicians, and many of their parents were the same. Indeed, many of them have literally inherited their mandates.
Whether in Akrata or Athens, there is massive resentment throughout the country directed at the dynasties that have been dividing power among themselves in the country for decades.
Whoever thought or hoped that the crisis would abruptly alter the political landscape has learned something else in the shortest election season in the history of the Hellenic Republic: Old habits die hard.
Even outside of the two major traditional parties, it is overwhelmingly the same faces involved in the election. Sometimes they are wearing the garb of a new party; sometimes they have only issued new and more pointed slogans adapted to the circumstances.
Almost all of the would-be beacons of hope who so loudly pledge a different, better future have close ties to with the "old system" that helped launch their careers. Many also come with the old system's baggage: misgovernment, clientelism and corruption. Almost all have played a role in putting Greece where it is today.
Interim Prime Minister Loukas Papademos has called this election a choice of destiny that will determine "the future of Greece for the coming decades." But, given these circumstances, the tragic thing is that Greece actually doesn't have any good choice. It's no coincidence that "dilemma" is a Greek word.

Every Greek Vote Counts

Some economists take the view that Sunday's election could push Greece back to the nadir it touched in November last year, when there was widespread talk of an exit from the euro zone. The contagion effect would drive Spanish and Italian bond yields straight back into the danger zone, economists say.
"Political paralysis in Greece following the elections could lead to a default and even threaten a euro exit, in our view," Bank of America strategist Athanasios Vamvakidis wrote in a research paper published on Tuesday.
"We believe that the troika may have little choice but to stop funding Greece if there is no government in place," he said, referring to the monitoring mission made up of the European Central Bank, the IMF and the European Commission.
While others are less apocalyptic, there is a widespread expectation among private-sector analysts that some renegotiation of the second program will be necessary if a balance is to be struck between keeping Greece politically stable and keeping it on track towards debt sustainability.
With French Socialist Francois Hollande expected to lead a charge for the euro zone to put greater emphasis on stimulating growth and to focus less intently on deficit reduction, Greece may be an early candidate for a loosening of its targets.
"A new government is likely to argue for more backloading of the fiscal adjustment to limit the near term economic contraction, and on this issue it is likely to be pushing against an open door," David Mackie, a senior economist at JP Morgan in London, wrote in a note to clients.
That might provide some breathing space for Athens, but it would have implications for Greece's financing and would likely mean that it couldn't return to financial markets in 2015 since a primary budget surplus would remain some way off.
"Thus, a third program seems likely in any event," Mackie said. "The size of that program would have to be larger to the extent that less progress is made on the fiscal side."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Love is like a friendship caught on fire

There may be a great fire in our hearts, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.
Vincent Van Gogh
Honest criticism means nothing: what one wants is unrestrained passion, fire for fire.
Henry Miller
In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
Albert Schweitzer
A thought often makes us hotter than a fire.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.
Bruce Lee

O Ploutarhos kai o kaimos o megalos

Sunday, April 29, 2012


                                                       GIORGOS NATSIS

Greek Sun Isn't in Crisis - Britchick Paris

BritChick ParisBritish girl living the Parisian life with all its highs and lows

When I looked upon the bluest waters of the port of Piraeus basking in the sun - Easter time is like British summer - I fully appreciated the richness of my fatherland.
The cafes were still bustling with life, gesticulating families strolling along the port and undoubtedly the most delicious Easter weekend I have ever had.
I grew up in Greece and know how important this festival is - it is their Christmas. Easter in Orthodox religion as in others is about passing over and renewal. My dad used to prepare the lamb for the spit at crack of dawn and we gathered together to commune and share in the feast.  Back in France and in the UK it feels like the message of Easter is lost irrespective of religion. It is a Creme Egg-stravganza or a marketing ploy for Waitrose or Monoprix to flog extra bunches of tulips.
This weekend it seemed as if rebirth was happening before my very eyes in Greece.
Their government may have taken away their riches - the city was dirtier and pockets definitely emptier - but it has not broken their spirit. If anything it has galvanised the country into action.

Yes everyone is feeling the economic pinch. Luxuries are for the moment out. No holidays. No big presents. But they really don't care.
The simplicity of the Greek way of living and the depth of their thinking are priceless and worth all their marble.

I am Hellene (Ελληνικοί υπότιτλοι) Κατερίνα Μουτσάτσου!!!

American by Birth, Greek by Blood, French by Culture, Italian by Love, Turkish by Passion, Human by Aspiration.

Michalis Tzouganakis - Sta prepi kai Sti logikih zoi mou oli

Kantades and Athens in the 30's and 50's

Στης Πλάκας τις ανηφοριές
Παλιά Αθήνα
Παλιά ταβέρνα
Εγώ το πίνω
Ρετσίνα μου

Ela Ela Ela - Rena Blahopoulou

H Ellinida sto haremi - H neraida kai to Palikari