Monday, November 14, 2011


Hello, Happy Monday!

According to a report in the Athens News today: 'In Greece, it still takes more than 10 days to start a business, about two months to get electricity, 18 days to register a property, and as many as 800 days to enforce a contract.'

And to close a business is also a nightmare. I am being charged 500 euro by the tax man to close the business I opened in Vrahassi, namely 'Jane Guevara's Revolution Bar'. It doesn't seem to count that the business never made a profit. And the problem is that I cannot afford to pay this debt and it will increase every month until I can. As I am still paying off the 500 euro charge for space to put my chairs and tables on the pavement, my debt will continue to increase. I should never have bothered!

 The fact is, that there will be thousands like me who just cannot pay anything. It is very depressing!

Here is what one of our MPs has to say about it.
by Kathy Tzilivakis

THE WARNING lights are flashing. Greece no longer has the luxury of waiting. Ruling Pasok MP Elena Panaritis says time is running out fast. 
In an interview with the Athens News, Panaritis draws on her extensive experience as an institutional economist who has worked at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She says the current mess is a rare confluence of both crisis and opportunity - a chance to remake the Greek economy. 
“What we really need now is to just bite the bullet and keep working hard,” she points out. “That’s all we need to do.”
Panaritis was one of George Papandreou’s top economic advisors. She was actually handpicked by Papandreou, who personally called her in 2009 to request she serve as one of Pasok’s statewide MPs. 
Asked about the government’s decision on a national unity government to lead Greece until elections, possibly as early as February 2012, she says it’s a “mature” decision. She also said Lucas Papademos, former Bank of Greece governor, is a “good choice” to head the new government.
“I think it’s a choice of trying to connect and unite the people from the bottom up so that we can proceed with the necessary structural reforms,” she explains. “The first job facing the new government is to establish systems by which we can rebuild our trust, not only between ourselves and the public, but with our [international] donors and other European Union partners.”
If this new unity government does its job well, Panaritis believes it could finally calm Greek politics.
Until then, however, Greece will continue fighting a losing battle against speculators increasingly betting that Greece will default on its debt. There’s far less consensus these days about whether Greece can avoid an imminent and rather messy default. 
Hardly anyone is expecting a big snapback. Europe’s patience has already run out. Greece’s exit from the euro - the common currency shared by Greece and 16 other members of the European Union - is now being openly discussed. 
This would be a nightmare scenario, according to the economist. She says that Greece’s coffers are almost empty. The country will go broke if it doesn’t get the 130 billion euro emergency funding (a bailout package agreed by the European Union on October 26-27) and a 50 percent writeoff of the country’s huge debt to European banks. 
“We will run out of money,” Panaritis warns. “We will default.”
Greece has so far succeeded in averting a domestic, European and international financial calamity. But for how long? 
In a July article in The Globalist, an online political magazine, Panaritis explained why Greece’s default would be a “catastrophe”. 
“It would not just be a bad turn of events, it would be a living nightmare,” she writes. “And I am being very honest when I say this. I know firsthand what it would be like. I have watched countries default back when I worked with Latin American countries in the 1990s and early 2000s while at the World Bank.”
As for the threat of Greece being evicted from the eurozone today, she says it’s “very real”.

Makes me long for a bottle of Beaujolais - better start running now!
Love Jane x

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