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28.10.2011

12:11 Uhr

English Version

If I Were from Greece

VonGabor Steingart

Greece has to take the responsibility for his debts, but the real depression comes from Brussel, Berlin and Paris.

Handelsblatt-Chefredakteur Gabor Steingart. Uta Wagner für Handelsblatt www.uta-wagner.com

Handelsblatt-Chefredakteur Gabor Steingart.

DüsseldorfWhen you were invited by friends, you would like to say afterwards: It was nice. You felt at ease and you were impressed by the things you’ve heard and seen. Unfortunately, looking back in such a pleasant way has turned out to be impossible in the case of the research tour to Greece a 20-member team of the Handelsblatt undertook in order to get information in the epicenter of the crisis. Sure, over the past days we have met courageous entrepreneurs bracing themselves against the crisis – a crisis that is stronger than they are. We have paid visits to brave officials in their raddled offices. They try to impart some order to the anarchic. We have talked to politicians who are aware of the historic moment imposed on them by fate.

But the predominant impression has been different:
We’ve come upon an exhausted country, a country suffering from a double burden: Its self-inflicted debt chaos and a European rescue policy which is only making matters worse. The results the helpers achieved could hardly be more dismal: The economic output decreases, unemployment is on the rise, young people dream of a life abroad. And the state deficit is soaring as if nothing had happened. Such a mountain of debt can’t be shed by shrinking the economic strength. Although the country initiated the toughest austerity package a Western country ever has undertaken outside wartimes its debt burden grew by 67 billion Euros; as measured by the economic strength, it increased from previously 127 per cent of economic strength to now 157 per cent of the economic power. You can’t get muscles by starving.

Kommentare (4)

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Ria

01.11.2011, 00:15 Uhr

I keep reading German newspapers and I am aghast at the level of propaganda, sheer misinformation, misrepresentation of facts and even, explicit racism. This article, on the pretense of offering some way of an 'insider's viewpoint', does exactly what German media, in their majority, have been doing for 2 years now: creating a very inaccurate and racist picture of a whole nation. In the present article, I read that in order to get into university, you have to bribe. REALLY? Who told you that? Greece has one of the most demanding educational systems, with school children learning three foreign languages, plus ancient Greek and Latin, science and humanities in ages that children in Germany or the Netherlands or the UK wouldn't even dream of (and I have lived in all above countries and can speak). To get into university, there is a pan-hellenic, meaning country-wide system of anonymous series of exam papers submitted to an anonymous series of spatially randomly -selected school professors, happening in EVERY school in Greece at the same time. It is by far one of the fairest systems you could devise and implement and much fairer that in most other countries. I am an academic, I have taught at the University of Oxford and I can tell you the Greek transparency in university examination entry can only by difficulty be matched by other countries, where both the NAME of the candidate, its school and background are known and where final exams marks are subjectively treated by the university admission bodies. I could continue at length with the nonsensical information you publish -including the supposed case of an impending juda. Might you want to inform your readers, the dictatorship in Greece was installed by the USA? Is there any dignity of your journalistic profession that you have not shed?

Account gelöscht!

02.11.2011, 09:47 Uhr

Der Übersetzer dieses, ansonsten, auf deutsch, guten, Artikels braucht Nachhilfe in Englisch. Richtig wäre: If I WAS from Greece und Greece has to take the responsibility for HER debts, Länder sind im Englischen immer weiblich!!! Weiter hab ich nicht gelesen. Sollten Sie weitere Hilfe brauchen stehe ich gerne zur Verfügung.

Costas

09.01.2012, 15:18 Uhr

Unfortunately I cannot speak German.
I just wish to point that Germany owes Greece an estimated 575 billions from the destruction and thefts during the 2nd world war. An amount that exceeds the total debt of Greece Beitrag von der Redaktion editiert. Bitte achten Sie auf unsere Netiquette: „Kommentare sind keine Werbeflächen“ http://www.handelsblatt.com/netiquette

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