Thursday, 11 February 2010


Let’s say you are an Arab.
You are a successful man.
You are your country’s ambassador living the big life in Dubai.
It’s time for you to get married so you try to find the perfect bride to share your life with.
You ask around trying to find it.
(Of course flirting is not allowed)
(All women around are wearing veils and you cannot really see them anyway)
You think you find the perfect one…
Probably they tell you that she has not been corrupted by the western way of life, most likely she’s still a virgin, who knows how to cook well.
You only see a picture of her without a veil.
You check her family’s history.
You meet her a couple of times and she seems nice.
So, you marry her…
You’ve been waiting for the first night to get to know her even more.
You lift her veil to kiss her to realize that:
She is cross eyed and has a beard!!!!!

I laughed so much when I read that in BBC today… Apparently the ambassador was tricked with pictures of the pride’s sister! What did they expect?
That he wouldn’t find out or that he would never be able to get rid of her?
I can’t stop feeling slightly bad for the girl though…


On a very different matter, things are not looking too well for Greece’s economy.

OK, Greece never had a very strong economy. We used to have some kind of industry some decades ago but it couldn’t maintain itself. Most of them had to be relocated in our neighbor countries like Bulgaria or Albania where labor is much cheaper and taxes are less painful. I know that very well because in the area I grew up, being very close to Bulgaria borders, many people I know went into unemployment since their factories moved across the borders years ago.

We are also struggling to maintain a high agricultural or dairy production that will allow us to export goods to the rest of Europe. I think that there is an effort being made for that industry to sustain itself but it is not easy. After following the European Union’s directives production is changing and getting more advanced. However, it is not as it used to be since there are products of the rest of the Mediterranean area to rival.

What Greece is trying to sell now is tourism. It is trying to present itself as a modern tourist destination. Luckily for us, there is a landscape variation to attract people with different interests since there are destinations that offer great nightlife, quiet escapes or beautiful scenery. We also have the history and ancient sites to advertise that give to the country a major competitive advantage. However, there is a lack in the infrastructure to maintain that advantage. While trying to be tourist friendly as a society some things are done in a very amateur way. On top of that, there is a part of a population in touristic destinations that in their own shortsightedness will try to exploit tourism in the most horrible way, pushing people away. Also, the global economic recession has minimized the amount of visitors coming to the country, reasonably preferring to visit cheaper destination like Turkey.

Large political economical scandals, former governments hiding or fixing the actual economical figures, the lack of preparation regarding the global economic recession even after hitting other countries before Greece, the unwillingness from the people to think about and invest for the future and comply with national laws are also major factors to bring Greece to the edge of declaring bankruptcy.

The next couple of years or even decades look very tough for the citizens of my country. Hopefully today France and Germany foremost will announce financial aid being given to Greece since they do not want a member of the EU to fall out of grace like that. The general public of these countries and the rest of the EU will not like to pay for Greece’s shortcomings though. On top of that, Greek citizens are not willing to easily accept the new directions being imposed and pay the price. There is a massive wave of demonstrations and strikes taking place, not helping of course the situation.

I cannot imagine what will happen to Greece if it is excluded from the European Union. I don’t think we could survive without their help.
I can only hope for the best though. I’m too young to do otherwise. I truly hope that in 5 to 10 years things will seem to get better. I just love the place I come from…

Anyway, I’ve probably lost even the most willing reader to finish this simplified economic analysis of Greece. I do apologise for that. I promise my next posts to be more interesting…


  1. haha, ok, after i quickly screened through this post, and read your last paragraph, i went back to the top and read all about Greece's economy :) haha.

    I read the story of the Arab dude yesterday, i also had a good chuckle at that!

  2. "...probably lost even the most willing reader..." Are you kidding? Substantive posts like this one are what I love most about reading blogs. My Bizarre World has quickly become a favorite of mine.

  3. I want to share a particular subset of economics; as contributor to well-being of people in developing or poor country, and about the donor agencies(EU,IMF,bla3)can help in supporting such economics.
    Years ago i argue(at world econ reviews) that economic policies explain much of a different between poor performers and outstanding performers, that better policies are worth "trillion of money" in increased production and that what economists know is the key to cornucopia.
    If my hypothesis is correct, one might expect2 outcomes; 1st the value of economists should rise in the market. in other word, if economists are so smart, why aint they rich?
    2nd economic policies should change in conformity of economists prescription. Or if economists are so smart why arent they influential?
    the empirical records on these expectations is decidedly mixed...Economists has not become rich or even respected.Multilateral donor agencies created to promote development rely less on economists and chosen political leader instead!
    Greece purchasing power adjusted GDP percapita is the world 26th highest and according to a survey by economist, cost of living in Athens is 90% of the cost in New York.
    The country suffers from high level politic, economic corruption and low global competitive like u say.
    My opinion is re-engineer your maritime and tourism and give incentive(money) to your countrymen they will shut-up for a while!. I love to visit crete for summer holiday cruise! this year perhaps...

  4. But just think of all the gods that came from Mount Olympus - forever grateful to Greece.


  5. @wozzel I'm sorry for making you go through that...

    @Larry Ohio Thanks for that

    @Suf_n_Steve You're taking it a little bit too far. I had to search cornucopia in a dictionary. You put a lot of faith in economists. I think that your hypotheses are wrong because economists are not that smart. They are the ones that help the recession to be caused. I agree on how Greece is suffering at moment. I also love Crete... I might be a little tipsy at the moment and probably missing your point.

    @MadeInScotland Yes, these gods might be our only hope...

  6. darling
    my advising job is related to economic development and i have practice my economic theories in many developing country like middle east, asia,africa (to name a few) and advisor to EU too.
    The plan works tremendeously until the goverment wishes to follow a pot of capitalists who find that our policies will sooner seize their opportuniy. So how? our policies are made to establish every countrymen and not to some pethatic individual...
    forgive me, i am using ur channel to express my two cents!

  7. Since I don't feel like getting depressed lately, I decided to disconnect from the news - that's why I'm not entirely into what happened. Thanks for clarifying that!
    If Greece leaves the EU I think I might bomb some headquarters I heard of... hmm
    Have a nice weekend!

  8. @Suf_n_Steve I agree that when the profits of a few powerful ones gets in jeopardy then the common wellbeing is ignored by most governments unfortunately. It is very sad, but what you are saying is very true

    @Pedders I know the feeling. Getting depressed by reading the news is what happens to me as well. When ‘Greece’ is written in big bold letters though is hard to resist…

  9. I think that Greece is safe in the EU. In many ways this crisis is a test for the whole 'club' not just Greece. I think that helping the country take nasty medicine - as all members have had to (like Britain) or shall need to (like Italy) is the best thing true friends in the Union must do. I am hopeful Greece will do better than say, Spain or Portugal, in the longer term. And I am proud that the normally loutishly xenophobic Brits have supported Greece, rightly recognising the debt of 100s of years of history and civilisation. The world will turn and things will be better :-) x

  10. @Mike I don't know if it's just me, but Greece is mentioned more out of the group of PIIGS. Maybe because Greece is in the worst state. I don't think that the Brits agreed to take part in helping Greece, did they? I thought that only Germany and France did.