High life

Taki’s recipe for the survival of the Greek nation

7 February 2015

9:00 AM

7 February 2015

9:00 AM

The good news is that a Greek suppository is about to relieve the EU’s economic constipation. The bad is that there’s a Castro in our midst posing — just as Fidel did 56 years ago — as a democratically elected populist. Back then it was Uncle Sam who was the bogyman. Now it’s the EU. Back then the Soviet Bear came to Fidel’s rescue. Now it’s Putin. Personally, I’d take Vlad over the faceless unelected Brussels gang anytime. The problem is Tsipras, a vulgar-sounding name if ever there was one. Add to it the fact that he has two sons, one named after Che Guevara, the other after Carlos, the murdering Venezuelan terrorist at present languishing in a French jail. Does that tell you anything about the person the Greeks voted for to lead them out of their misery? It tells me plenty.

Athens was very quiet the night of Syriza’s victory. Most of my friends were obviously appalled at the size of Tsipras’s win. I asked them what they expected after four years of austerity. A Samaras victory? A good friend expostulated, ‘But Samaras is a cousin of mine…’ As if that made it OK. They’re funny, the Greeks. The Brussels gang inserts a Trojan Horse, Samaras, to do its bidding, the middle class disappears — 6,000 doctors go west — and my Greek friends are surprised when a Castro appears and wins big.

The losing centre-right and centre-left made mistakes big time. The first was not to leave, or threaten to leave, the euro when the crisis first broke. The Brussels gang was running very scared in 2010. No longer. Another was to turn all the power of government against Golden Dawn, a so-called neo-Nazi party, something Golden Dawn is not. Many of its members are languishing in jail on trumped-up charges, something that will come back to haunt Greeks once Tsipras shows his true colours and begins to jail people for ‘anti-Greek activities’, such as speaking out freely against his Marxist policies. Let’s not forget that it was Golden Dawn that made sure Muslim extremists did not spread their evil messages and activities around Athens and Salonica, the two largest cities. They beat the crap out of budding jihadists and criminals who threatened the poor, something long-suffering Brits and French should have done long ago.


As I said, they’re funny these modern Hellenes. Just last week I was watching Andrew Neil’s The Daily Politics. Our chairman had a Greek comedian on the show, someone I had never heard of but whose dress and manners reminded me of modern Greece. All the comedian did was bitch against the Germans. He was obviously a man who had never asked himself whether it was the Germans who forced the Greeks to borrow far more than they could afford and then fiddled the figures under the expert advice of Goldman Sachs. A man who never doubted the guilt of Angela Merkel where tax collection is concerned and a system that lost 20 billion euros per year in unpaid taxes. And of course it was Merkel’s fault that a Greek government came begging Germany for help once the game was up.

Never mind. Introspection is not our strongest characteristic. Had we pegged the drachma to the dollar five years ago and asked nicely to be allowed to exit, while offering some port facilities to Uncle Vlad in return for some cheap oil, we’d be thumping our noses to the permatanned head of the IMF and to the rest of the EU clowns. But no, Samaras and his acolytes wanted the outriders, the Brussels conferences and the rest of the jazz that goes with being in power nowadays. And to hell with the people who have lost everything, especially the young who are suffering a 62 per cent unemployment rate.

Fidel Tsipras was elected when it dawned on the people that all the money given to Greece has been used simply to pay interest and principal on debt. The present bunch is a motley collection of communist trade-unionists, long-winded academics with no experience of governing whatsoever, and corner café left-wing orators. They are as likely to govern well as I am to stop drinking and devote my life to furthering minority rights.

Although it’s very early days, this is a government that thinks it can bluff its way through the crisis. It cannot and will not. Germany will decide, whether Greeks like it or not. The fragility of the Greek banks is such that one false bluff and the game’s up. Ironically, it’s our only good hand. If Greek banks go down the Swannee, so will many European ones after bank runs. What I’d like to know is how Fidel junior hopes to increase the minimum wage, rehire civil servants (most of them crooks and incompetents) and expand the state with unaffordable public subsidies. And all that time use leverage against the gang in Brussels to protest sanctions against Uncle Vlad?

Here are Taki’s suggestions for the survival of the nation: most important are structural reforms, not feelgood bullshit. Public sector unions are choking the nation’s economy, whereas the private sector is booming. Starting a business is almost impossible owing to bureaucratic blackmails, while overregulation is stifling economic activity. Free the economy and stop protecting cartels, shrink the state and in five years Greece will be the Switzerland of the south. And if Tsipras follows my advice I shall be having a sex change quicker than you can say Syriza. In the meantime, the Greek suppository is working.

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Show comments
  • Bonkim

    Well done Taki – go along with all you say – didn’t know you hated minority-rights though. How minorities are treated in a society is the acid test of its civilization and Britain is a civilized country regardless of giving you the right to say your piece, totally unnecessary in the context of Greece. But Greece – go along with everything you say.

    • GenJackRipper

      “How minorities are treated in a society is the acid test of its civilization”

      Say’s who?
      Giving minorities special rights isn’t particulary good.

      • Brazen

        ….as the UK is finding out!

      • Bonkim

        You appear to be a member of ISIS. In a civilized society, no special rights but equal treatment as all others, equality of opportunity and under law, freedom of religion or no religion, and non-discrimination in all spheres of public life.

    • Kin62

      I think Taki is making a joke. “Fighting for minority rights” usually means some guilt-laden middle-class white person who wants to pass all manner of draconian laws to stop working-class white people from being bigots, and to tell minorities that they are hated by society as a whole and should really just sit down and give up, right now, preferably, and leave the running of things to clever people like themselves.

      Never having met a working-class person, our person is unaware that most of them are not hate-consumed latter-day Nazis but quite decent and tolerant. And never having met a minority- except maybe as a cleaner, or their token gay friend who only gets invited to some of their social gatherings- our person is unaware that they are normal people who want the same out of life as anybody else, rather than crying in a corner all day at their persecution.

      Also our person gets paid alot by the government for their job

      • Bonkim

        All societies have their elites and social pecking order. British society has its disparities but not as much as they are in many other societies where minorities have no rights whatsoever. Human behaviour same across the globe with minor cosmetic differences. Not many bigots amongst the vast majority in Britain but the better off as anywhere else do not want the Plebs of whatever shade near them. There again individualism is the hallmark of British society.

  • WFB56

    Its interesting that no other publication seems to have mentioned that Tsipras named his children after Che and Carlos. Taki is right, that tells you all you need to know about the man. Its going to be a rocky ride.

    • Bonkim

      As a good socialist and anti-capitalist his role models.

      • WFB56

        Good, socialist and role models should never go in the same sentence under any circumstances. 🙂

        • Bonkim

          Who says that? I know many good socialists that also support ethical business. If you love greedy capitalist business that is exploiting workers and bringing the world economy to ruin – keep off.

          • WFB56

            I know many good capitalists that provide the computers for you to write on, the food you eat, the energy that heats your home, the car you drive and many other products and services that make the world a better place.

            I know many socialists who, presumably like you, make the mistake of judging outcomes by their intentions rather than their results. Based on the results, socialists have consistently impoverished people while capitalists have raised another billion people out of poverty in the past 20 years.

          • Bonkim

            You have no clue on the real world – the earth is overpopulated and resources running out. The instinct to profit from opportunities presented is what drives capitalists – and they don’t give a damn the consequences to over-population, poverty, environmental pollution, etc, etc, and that the earth is slowly being destroyed by the production/consumption culture inherent in the present economic and political systems which will not save mankind from its termination in the not too distant future.

            Regards the 1billion + improving their economic status, the earth would be more human friendly if the 7billion + people stopped multiplying like rabbits and the earth’s population was cut down to say a billion or so and pace of economic development sent back to an earlier sustainable level..

          • Tom M

            “……and resources running out…..” Explain that statement.

          • Bonkim

            Check what resources people and industry use, their remaining reserves and time for exhaustion at the accelerated rate human beings are consuming these, particularly water, land, mineral, and energy resources; also check the rate at which water, land, and air cover on earth is getting polluted and rate of the earth’s capacity to regenerate all these – work out how many earth equivalent planets you need to support say 20 billion people on earth by 2050 and whether that is a feasible scenario.

            Check the origins of all the wars and civil conflicts on earth in the past two centuries and their main causes, what role resources play in human conflicts.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Bizarre mishmash of conspiracy theory and standard Leftist zero-sum assertions: we’re not short of resources and the planet is not about to collapse beneath the weight of human endeavour.

          • Bonkim

            You have a right to your views – informed or otherwise.

          • Dee Arbana

            Sorry.. is your name Bonkim or Bonkers? Either way, you should at least have know by now that capitalism works, while your hippie communist fairy tale has only produced misery, depravity, and injustice. Greece is on a downward spiral, the only question is how fast will they plummet.

          • Bonkim

            No doubt Greece will fall – not because of socialism but because of their culture of something for nothing and crony-politics dishing out jobs and fat pensions. Capitalism has sucked Greece dry over the decades.

          • Weaver

            You do realise….water falls from the sky?

          • Chris

            You do realise that there is no such thing as new water and that we are currently using water from aquifer’s that took thousands of years to accumulate?

          • Weaver

            Not in the UK we’re not. We draw overwhelmingly from reservoirs. Aquifers are currently well stocked, thank you.

            Do you even read the water situation reports?

            https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/water-situation-reports-for-england

            Nearly everywhere on the planet has enough rainfall for local human habitation. The “problem” is overwhelmingly storage and infrastructure, or staggering mis-pricing (as in California). But to understand that you’d need to be an engineer not an ecologist.

          • Chris

            I was talking about the world in general. The day the UK runs out of water we know we are in really big trouble. Places I visit in Africa that used to be lush up till only a few years ago are now semi arid due to companies diverting water to grow peas and beans for UK. When the rains fail they pump it up from aquifers that were laid down over thousands of years. The locals have to walk miles for clean drinking water. Whether you are an engineer or an ecologist you don’t have to be a genius to know there is something seriously wrong with that picture. There is no such thing as new water and if you think there is I suggest you go to Israel and take a look at the damage they have done with their desalination plants.

          • Weaver

            The world in general? You want to talk averages and time series?

            Well, this will surprise you, Africa is actually greening on average, especially but not exclusively around the Sahel. Rainfall is up too. Its been an open secret in earth sciences for over a decade, but I’m fairly sure you don’t read journals in that field.

            That’s not to say you don’t visit the places getting worse. But it highlights your tendency to focus on anecdote and limited samples rather than the big-picture data and averages. You know; acting like an advocate rather than a scientist.

          • Bonkim

            yes but it takes a lot of energy to purify and distribute it for human and industrial use, also there are many places on the globe where wars have been fought for water and soon there will be more. It is a precious commodity.

          • Weaver

            Water is £1 a ton, Bonkim.

            Empircally, it is the cheapest thing you can buy that isn’t free outright. It’s even cheaper than stones and sand and dirt. If that is your idea of a “precious commodity”…

            Look…the whole “but its precious because you need it for life…” thing… its a basic economic fallacy…that was demolished by marginal revolution at the turn of the 20th century.

          • Bonkim

            My last bill shows £1.54 per 1000 litres – but that is in the U.K which is not short and where the basic infrastructure has been laid over the past two centuries – Try getting new water supplies established in other parts of the world where populations are exploding and calculate the financial costs – that is provided secure supplies are available. Check the seasonal variations and where water just stops coming in the dry season and fields dry up. Technology now has the capability of desalinating and distributing water anywhere but that has prompted population growth in places where life was unsustainable until the last century – and now finding all that growth cannot be sustained – turning into dust bowls.

            Theoretically the seas are brimming with water but getting it out, desalinating and distribution requires huge amounts of energy apart from the infrastructure, other materials and finance. How long will the earth continue to afford that?

          • Weaver

            My bill shows £0.70 per 1,000 litre plus £0.55 sewerage/waste. You must be in a really pricey area. Or perhaps you forgot to take out your waste water charge?

            Go ahead – look at the international data – it will be an education for you. Most countries charge between 50p to £2 a ton. Clean water has never been cheaper in real terms almost anywhere on the planet.

            You actually already have your answer – water price is driven by infrastructure provision to smooth out temporal variation. Absolute rainfall per capita has very little effect on price.

            The planetary freshwater cycle is vastly bigger than human consumption (almost entirely agircultural and industrial – domestic barely figures). Yes, its not perfectly aligned with where people live, but rainfall per capita is almost completely irrelevant to the system. “Shortages” are caused always and everywhere by either a lack of infrastructure or serious mis-pricing (usually agricultural). Strangely enough, rainfall has almost nothing to do with it.

          • Bonkim

            Where do you live? I have no sewerage as I have my own Sceptic Tank. I am aware of water and energy supply situation across the Globe and impacts of overpopulation and infrastructure/energy deficiencies at locations where the bulk of the world populations are concentrated. Global warming is also causing changes in weather patterns and many large rivers that were running full only a few decades back are running dry because of extraction for humans, industries, and agriculture and contamination by sewage.

            Water, Energy, and Land – all under stress in parts of the world where infrastructure is non-existent and population growth asymptotic.

          • Weaver

            Thames water is my provider… (apologies; I read the wrong bracket; I’m at £0.80 / ton for water. At £1.50 you really are being highly charged! )

            http://www.thameswater.co.uk/tw/common/downloads/literature-water-waste-water-charges/Charges_schedule_2015-2016.pdf

            I suppose you can enjoy your opinions. I’ve heard them all before. The price data simply disagrees with you, so I’m going with numbers rather than the opinion.

          • Bonkim

            Good luck – not that anyone can do much – we are all on the same boat and all will sink together.

          • Bonkim

            Check your bill again – yes Thames Water at your location is lower priced than Severn Trent at mine but not by much. The charge depends on volume consumed as also whether you are metered or not. The differential as far as I can make it is ~ 20p/CuM cheaper.

            In any case UK water price today has no bearing on the global and longer term picture.

          • Weaver

            Well, at least we agree water is about £1 / ton.

            You should check prices in other countries. They are about the same, give or take a factor of 2. It’s the cheapest commodity everywhere.

          • Bonkim

            It is £1.53/cuM in Severn Trent – lower in the Thames valley – price and value are different and in time if you can’t get the stuff where you need it – UK price today is meaningless.

          • Weaver

            Bonkim,

            Well, perhaps you should look at longer term global price time series, then? Prices for water are falling across the globe in real terms and certainly relative to incomes. Water quality and access is improving too, even in Africa.

            Data, rather than blind belief….

          • Bonkim

            As an engineer and project consultant and tuned to energy generation, water supply, eyc, and technologies, and numbers of various sorts – it is best to look at cause and effect analysis and take in the bigger picture instead of micro-scrutiny of this or that transient feature.

            Energy costs have come down for the time being because of take off of the fracking industry – that makes no difference to the longer term projection that we are running out of hydro-carbon fuels and that renewables apart from being an intermittent source will not support the rate of consumption that mankind has grown used to and given the population explosion and affluence – the real question is how long. Despite de-industrialisation starting in the late 1960s, U.K today uses 30 % more energy than it did in the 1970s and 80s, mostly for the home, transport, and leisure much of it non-essential.

            Energy is the key resources – use of all other resources require energy of various sort. When fossil fuels run out/costs increase and consequences of global pollution/warming get critical, the situation will hit the more vulnerable locations hard but the developed world will not be spared.

            Nuclear the only other feasible option has many problems apart from high cost.

            So not blind belief but following the long term trend and that political decisions are based on short term considerations. Malthus did not have the means to survey global resources, and could not have imagined the nature and scale of the technological change that man has brought to earth, nevertheless was shrewd enough to link fundamental cause and effect and consequences.

            Politicians can only plan short term and most of them are technological and numerical illiterates.

          • Tom M

            One of your persuasion turns up every now and then telling us the end of the world is nigh.
            Malthus in 1798 wrote a book “Essay on the principles of population”. We would shortly run out of food for the growing population.
            1800 the British Government passed the census law to work out how many people we had because there was some doubt they could all be fed.
            1968 Erlich wrote a book “The population time bomb”. In his book he claimed, inter alia, India was doomed and could not support it’s growing population.
            The common denominator of all these scare stories (and others that I forget) is that they were all wrong. Like climate change computer models they were all wrong.
            Remaining reserves? the planet is 2/3rds water and we haven’t used any. We still have the same amount as we always did.
            Of the known reserves of say coal then we have plenty for the forseeable future. That is if we care to use it and don’t get sidetracked into an evironmental argument.
            As far as unkown reserves of everything else is concerned then remember we haven’t had a look under the world’s oceans for raw materials much at all. So there’s plenty of the planet left to go at.
            Of course none of us quite know what the next hundred years or so will do for us. In that regard I suggest you read the book “Our Final Century” by Professor Martin Rees. He explores the possibility of mankind surviving the next 100 years and describes all the possible threats. Including biological threats, nuclear war, being hit by an asteroid etc etc. Strangely, for you, he doesn’t quote lack of raw materials or food for a super population as being an existential threat.
            Incidentaly he doesn’t put global warming effects on the likely list either.

          • Bonkim

            100 years is a fleeting second in man’s history on earth – and most of the damage was inflicted in the last hundred years. Malthus was not wrong – his principles behind his assumptions were nevertheless correct and he did not have the vast amount of data and understanding of analytical techniques that we have today. Yes global warming, environmental pollution, energy use, consumer society, environmental pollution and population explosion of the magnitude we know today were not known to the Rev Malthus but he would be heartened that his fundamental analysis was not wrong – slightly delayed.

          • greggf

            I’m sure Bonkim, that capitalists are the only ones who can solve the problems you cite.
            After all the Soviets and other authoritarian socialists including China have a far bigger environmental challenge, including being the source of most of those extra mouths to feed, than the West.

          • Bonkim

            Capitalists and Socialists have both destroyed the earth by devising ever more ways to produce and consume forgetting that there is a limit to the earth’s store of raw materials and energy, water, and land. In the process have encouraged population growth, greed, and poisoning the earth’s recuperation systems.

            Capitalists are now getting greedy knowing the limits and to profit early – but not recognising their systems of exploiting the earth’s resources and mankind close to extinction.

            China, India, African and latin American countries all have exploding populations encouraged by the illusion of progress and better economic standards – given the earth’s systems are inter-linked and cross borders – the whole world will be impacted upon regardless of where the populations are concentrated.

      • What was tried in Greece had more to do with crony capitalism than authentic capitalism.

        • Bonkim

          There is no real capitalism anywhere in the world. Adam Smiths invisible hand version was just a teaching-aid. Those investing their capital – financial or human always try to rig the system to suit their particular beliefs and ways to reduce risk. Most businesses have Oligarchical structures (as you say crony capitalism) and systems of management and collaborate with like minded others to maximise their returns – profit is also not the main motivator in organisational strategies – more the continuation of the organisation and their collaborators avoiding known risks.

          • Then it is up to the populace to keep an eye on those in business. It doesn’t help to have too much power in any area of life, as seen by the history of people reacting when too much power is in any area.

            One example is the 30 years war, another is 1989 in overthrowing governments that had the hammer & sickle.

          • Bonkim

            Socialist countries pre-1989 had a lot of good practices in them and most people were relaxed and got on with productive work. There was social and economic equality by and large. It took East Germany a generation to be assimilated within the West and there are still problems particularly with the older generation who were the real losers.

          • There is reason for competition when it comes to business, it gives the buyer choice so that they don’t have to go to one place and be over charged.

            In 1987, I met a grandmother from Yugoslavia, and she had 2 things to say: Socialism sounds nice, but it doesn’t work.

            After all, in 1972, Gary Bergman saw people lining up to buy bread in Moscow.

          • Bonkim

            Tell that to the US citizens left out of medical insurance and dependent on food-stamps or those flocking to the food-banks in Britain and Europe for supplementing their basic food needs.

            Surprised you have little understanding of big-business and how they operate and bypass basic competition regulations or avoid paying taxes. As the US car manufacturers or mobile telephone Cos how they have rigged competition across the globe to prevent free competition and how much they lean on US politicians to have their way. Check also with US defence contractors or international clinical and medical firms on free market competition bringing down prices.

            No different in Britain or the rest of the world. Big-business has monopoly on many essential goods and services mankind needs and Adam Smith will be turning in his grave if he came to know how far international oligopolies have run rough-shod on his theory of infinite competition.

            Distribution was poor in the Soviet Union and people flocked to bread shops for fresh bread. They do so in Egypt or many other parts of the Capitalist world.

          • Try this on for size: A recession means doing without what Grandpa didn’t dream of.

            As long as money coming in = money going out, or when money coming in is more than money going out, the situation is better than when there is more money going out, than coming in.

          • Bonkim

            The consumerist dream is an illusion – we are enjoying today at the expense of tomorrow when we will not be there but future generations will be lumbered by our debt. We are using up – no have already used up much of the earth’s useful resources and also in the process increased population beyond the capacity of the earth’s support systems.

          • As long as wants are seen to be needs, there will be no shortage of people who wind up poor, because they don’t want to look like they are poor.

            The life that has rights and responsibilities is more mature than the life only about rights.

          • Bonkim

            Agree! But there is a huge gap between theory and reality. People will always be motivated by what they don’t have, if you feel you have everything you need/want, no incentive to do anything more.

          • No, there are people who set aside money to make sure they don’t run into the situation of the pay running out before the end of the month.

            People have the option of saying “no” when they have the means to buy a 60 inch tv.

          • carl jacobs

            Bonkim

            Did you ever live east of the Iron curtain? During the time when the Communists held power?

          • Bonkim

            No but had travelled around in the Eastern Block – people were by and larger happy, whilst they could not travel to the West and had to shop in state owned shops, they had better medical/health standards. better education systems, more equality of opportunity between men and women and more equitable wages across all work, better housing, local health centres, recuperation spas following illness, etc. Even in absolute terms the average East German worker in the 1960s and 70s had higher living standards and better quality of life than their U.K counterparts. The basics were well catered for and if you went into Eastern factories, the workers enjoyed high art compared with the shabby Page 3 Nudes seen in many workmen’s shacks and bars of the times. Most had a second cottage/allotment to go to on weekends on their Trabants. Race riots were rampant at the time in the US and the poor had to have food-coupons. British workers had to live under slum conditions and paid a pittance. Inequality, racial and sex inequalities were the norms in the West.

            Not sure what you are talking about. All that glitters is not gold.

          • Blindsideflanker

            So happy they needed the Stasi to keep them in line .

            And such a clean workers paradise it very nearly financially broke West Germany trying to clean up their industries.

            Now let me see which would I prefer a Trabant or a BMW?

          • Bonkim

            Stasi to keep the DDR cleansed of western contamination and people on the straight and narrow socialist path. Did you live in the US of the 1950s and 60s – many injustices and arbitrary executions there too.

            Cleaning up industries – pollution contol as we know today is a feature of the post 1970s and 80s de-industrialisation of Europe when all the dirty industries were exported to countries such as China and India which became the West’s dumping grounds. You would have found many dirty industries such as those in the DDR in the US, Britain and many other parts of the world.

            Trabant or BMW – pick what you want – but the old Skoda or Trabant or the 2CV or the common VW Golf in Germany or the Model T in the US – the average man’s family car – all gave equal pleasure to those that went around on them. It is all about what is prevalent where you live and time in history.

            .

          • Blindsideflanker

            So you are saying the US had some Gulags are you?

          • Bonkim

            Look up history of the Indian Reservations run by corrupt officials. Indian reservations were used to effects of test small pox. European settlements in the Americas both Ntrth and South meant death and destruction and land-grab from the native populations with imported disease and pests ravaging the then existing farming, and killing huge numbers. Gulags – not just in the US – look around the pre-WW2 world and many populations and cultures were eliminated or corrupted – domination by superior cultures or military forces was the norm all through history. Those that did not fit in were eliminated – nature is harsh and the fit survive until they get weak and are eliminated in their turn.

      • Blindsideflanker

        Che Guevara was a murdering psychopath, he used to take visitors down Havana’s jail to watch political opponents being shot. He bacame such a liability even Ca

        • Bonkim

          Violence and eliminating the opposition is part of nature – look through history – the land on which your house is built has at one time taken from someone that was there before by violence or deceit. Politics in the past was dirty – look up the history of the US and how ownership of land and resources is at the core of past conflicts.

          Political ideologies are about social organisation – another cause of wars, and revolutions all through history. You have to be insensitive/ruthless to win. The US civil war and its atrocities are recent history as also the genocide of native Americans. Nothing new if Che Guevara eliminated opposition ruthlessly. He was a Hero of the Revolution.

          Today’s business/industrialists/Bankers know and practise that well although bloodshed has become unfashionable.

          • Blindsideflanker

            So all the outrage from the left over Hitler is just faux anger is it, for trying to eliminate the Jews was just ‘natural’ human action, and the only thing Hitler wrong was to lose?

          • Bonkim

            Hitler and Jews – the final solution was the culmination of centuries long persecution of the Jews in Christian Europe – only Hitler brought industrial efficiency to the process. On the other hand Germany post WW1 became the greatest industrial power in the world, organisationally and technologically – no one equalled German managers, scientists, and Engineers. Post WW2 German knowhow triggered huge developments both in the US and the Soviet Union who won the military conflict and took German brains to start their own ventures..

            You can thank Mr Hitler to have motivated a demoralised Germany to rise up within two decades of the humiliation of the Versailles Treaty.

            Yes single-minded brutality and the Holocaust – blotted Germany’s record – but look beyond the enlightenment of the later 20th century and the brutality and genocides that took place across the Globe – all nations practised genocides of one form or the other – but then communications were slow and there was no Radio/TV to bring the news or discuss morality and political issues of such events.

            Human life was cheap and if a few thousand undeveloped groups perished that was not News – yes the Holocaust was on an industrial scale and evil – only concentrated evil that existed in Christian Europe for centuries. The Christian Church was instrumental in keeping the devil alive ever since establishing its Empire in Rome.

    • Fritz123
  • oresme2

    It is not going very well with the economy in Switzerland and Denmark for twenty years now. Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium have done better. Long live the Euro.

  • ross

    Wow this writers actual view is so unclear and his understanding of greece is also so sloppy. It is a classic morons piece, someone who has probably never even been to greece, or stepped beyond it’s ‘tourist attractions’…

    He is against austerity, hates syriza, thinks germany has the final say – and finally, he is a supporter of the neo nazi party golden dawn?

    “No longer. Another was to turn all the power of government against Golden Dawn, a so-called neo-Nazi party, something Golden Dawn is not”

    here is a cute little picture (of the leader of golden dawn) to remind those who are not so familiar with greece of what views this writer supports. If you are not familiar with greek politics, you only need to do a google search to find out this parties nature.

    The writer is one of those older men, who can’t quite except change, let alone understand it, so he falls back on ultra right wing rant and tries to write an intelligent article about something he has no idea about.

    please readers, unravel and criticise this moronic cretan.

    he is basically saying that in crisis, the far right neo nazi party is not a neo nazi party. the anti austerity syriza are the real terrorists. I sure know which party i would rather have govern at the moment.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=golden+dawn+leader+nazi+salute&espv=2&biw=1287&bih=952&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=fxPVVLisL8_maJnGgIAM&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#imgdii=_&imgrc=p5Yl1DPGYkHSxM%253A%3BGn4K33pmPatWbM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fphoto.ekathimerini.com%252Fkath%252Fengs%252Fimg%252FNEWS%252F2014%252F06%252Fmichaloliakosyoung.jpgedited.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.ekathimerini.com%252F4dcgi%252F_w_articles_wsite1_1_23%252F06%252F2014_540760%3B390%3B459

    • Malcolm Stevas

      ?? He’s a Greek. His grasp of economics outstrips yours considerably. His written English ditto.

      • ross

        no worries. I would much rather be open minded, loving of myself and others, creative as well as being proudly dyslexic – as apposed to being scared, closed minded and fascist. Enjoy

    • Malus Pudor

      I’d rather not debate with an uneducated prole, like you, who can’t grace Greece or Germany with a capital letter, nor spell cretin… ‘cretan’… you are the ‘cretan’ here, mate … but then I suppose your very evident lack of education is responsible for all the rubbish which you spout.

      • ross

        malus if your priorities in life is finding someone with pristine spelling or an interest in addressing countries with capital letters, then your life must be truly thrilling. My thrills in life come from making films, a format i am very fulfilled in expressing myself in. here is a film from (G)reece which has a suited middle section explaining how Golden Dawn is the most rotten extended form of the deep and failing state in greece…and just to remind you, that is what the writer above supports in his confused attempt at expressing a fear for change. Again, enjoy;

        https://vimeo.com/86682631

        • jjjj

          Don’t worry about him. He’s Taki in disguise.

  • What is the likelihood of the Generals stripping Tsipras of power, and enact the last paragraph? Thereby emulating the example of Pinochet putting Chile on a firm economic foundation, rather than the narrow one that Allene was putting Chile on.

  • Jabez Foodbotham

    “Here are Taki’s suggestions for the survival of the nation:… Free the economy and stop protecting cartels, shrink the state and in five years Greece will be the Switzerland of the south. ”

    Oh, sancta simplicitas.

    • Mr Grumpy

      Not so sancta when he whitewashes the odious Golden Dawn.

  • Perseus Slade

    Keynsian economics: print money, spend it, *happy*
    Nobody ever got elected by offering no more cushy state jobs or pensions.
    Seriously, this is all going to end in tears.

    The current democratic system is not working,
    needs to be updated
    soon.

  • Fritz123

    Che and Carlos mean that he wished his kids a strong will. Achilles comes to mind.

  • dalai guevara

    That’s the way to go, Taki – your ‘beautiful’ thinking is along the right lines.
    Let’s remember this: Greece as it stands today is of course the Britain of Southern Europe.

  • Patrick Roy
  • gerronwithit

    Blimey, Greek academics and public servants and British academics and public servants sound remarkably similar. I wonder what happens next?

  • Giorgos Frantzeskakis

    “Golden Dawn” not a neo-Nazi formation? Clearly you are not a resident, dear Taki (a vulgar sounding name that means absolutely nothing, having the final “S” surgically removed to please the Anglo-Saxons – if I had to guess).
    I am sure you make a compelling argument further along in your article, but the absurdity of that statement made it impossible for me to proceed to the conclusion.
    We Greek journos have a saying that you probably haven’t heard of: “start with bullshit – expect no flowers”. I’m sure Castro would approve.

  • Giorgos Frantzeskakis

    BTW, I am not a socialist (not even a sympathiser) and I did not vote for SYRIZA. It just saddens me, when capitalism has to resort to the likes of you, just to get the job done.

  • Fritz123

    Castro or not: Take, did you pay taxes?

  • Fritz123

    The rich hasve never payed taxes in Greece says this German prof in German http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/griechenland-reiche-sind-seit-1830-steuerfrei.694.de.html?dram%3Aarticle_id=312332

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