Sunday, May 27, 2012

10 Ways to get the Greek Economy back on track – An initial Road map to a true patriotic recovery

As the Greek Crisis worsens and political instability threatens to destabilize Greek society, the average Greek must come to the realization that, “if I do not do something, no one will”! Greeks cannot look to the corrupt, political parties that caused the crisis for salvation. It is up to the Greek people to force change and establish a road map to a true patriotic recovery if Greek society is to survive and thrive. To accomplish this Greeks need to shed themselves of old political allegiances and come together as one.

Below are 10 initial actions that must occur in order to save Greece. Although these actions alone cannot entirely fix the nation’s problems, they would put Greece in a much better position in the long term.

1. Arrest and imprison, all Government officials, (past and present) suspected of corruption. Those found guilty would have their wealth and properties confiscated by the State. If a Government, with the guts to arrest and imprison these politicians could be formed. It would show the world the Greek people’s commitment to fighting corruption and truly reforming Greece. It would also return much of the State’s wealth, which has been plundered by corrupt officials, as well give the State control of assets that could be used to jump start the economy.

2. The Establishment of an International Committee to find the Greek debt to be entirely or partially odious. Such a step could help substantially lower or perhaps entirely rid Greece of its Debt. Thus, easing the burden of the Greek people and allowing for true economic recovery to be the primary focus of the Government.

3. The Cancelation of the International Loan Agreements based on the fact that they were conceived and agreed upon in an unconstitutional manner, thus, violating Greek Law.  This would be sure to upset Troika, however, with those responsible in custody and guilty of treason, there is little Troika could do.

4. Leave the Eurozone and return to the Drachma using the Gold Standard. This would help prevent hyperinflation [1]. The stability that the gold standard offers would also help stimulate economic prosperity [2] [3] and prevent financial repression [4].  Greece currently has 111.6 tonnes of Gold [11] in its vaults, as well as two Gold mines in the Halkidiki region [5]. These mines at Olympias and Skouries could produce 350,000 ounces of gold annually; as well create 1,800 new jobs. If nationalized, 50% of the gold produced could be used to strengthen the nation’s gold reserves, while the other 50% could be made available for export.

5. The Nationalization and Privatization of all Church owned property (other than Churches and Monasteries). The Greek Orthodox Church is reported to be worth a billion Euros [6] it is a shareholder in the National Bank of Greece [6] [7] [8], and the second largest land owner in the country [6] [7] [9]. The Church to date has been unaffected by austerity [6], and its employees are still on the State’s payroll [7] without any pension or salary reductions. If a Government, with the guts, to take such action could be formed it would be revolutionary. Church owned Government Ministry buildings, hospitals, farmland, and shares in the National Bank [7] [8] could be nationalized, while prime Church owned real estate in millionaire neighborhoods [7] [8] could be used for privatization or other ways to jump start the economy.

6. The continued privatization of ONLY unused Government property, specifically, Olympic Stadiums from the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics. This would allow Greece to continue on the road of privatization securing foreign investments, but preventing vital property from being bought by foreign companies.

7. The immediate firing and rehiring of all Government employees based on skills and qualifications rather than Clientelism. As well as an official invitation and program of recruiting talented Greek minds from the Diaspora to return to Greece and assist in Greece’s reconstruction. The Government could use confiscated assets from corrupt Politicians and the Church to create incentives for prospective patriots. If a Government, with the guts to implement such a radical action could be formed. It would further prove Greek commitment to fighting corruption and strengthen Greek competitiveness.

8. The immediate drilling for Oil and Natural Gas in Greek waters. If Greece could nationalize a controlling interest in all petroleum companies operating within its borders (say 60%) it could solve much of the country’s financial problems, as well as benefit Greek citizens if a portion of oil sales were directly credited to their bank accounts. So far the worth of these oil and natural gas deposits range from a conservative estimate of $430 billion to $9 trillion [10]. This alone could solve the Greek Crisis; imagine what it would mean for Greece if a portion of or all of the National Debt were found to be odious?

9. The launch of a massive, integrated project to develop a network of modern rail lines for efficient transportation of cargo, thus equipping Greece to become a key port if integrated into a greater Eurasia network such as the New Silk Road [12]. This would help develop the Greek economy on all levels, especially in areas with ports such as Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Alexandropolis, Igoumenitsa, Patras, and Volos.

10. Nationalize all Banks and introduce new legislation to provide no interest loans to all citizens 

Some of these actions may seem extreme, perhaps even impossible, however, if implemented they would without a doubt help put Greece in a much better position than it is today. No, Greek political party would ever adopt or even consider most of these recommendations. Therefore, the discussion and decision falls to the Greek people, which is better, the options being presented by the Political Parties of Greece or what is listed above.

[1] Advantages of the Gold Standard. The Gold Standard: Perspectives in the Austrian School. The Ludwig Von Mises Institute 
[2] Gold: The Once and Future Money by Nathan Lewis 
[4] Financial Repression Redux. International Monetary Fund
[5] Hope, Kerin. Canadian Companyto run Greek Gold Mines. Financial Times
[6] Salles, Alain. Orthodox Church appears to be exempt fromausterity. The Guardian
[7] Taylor, Paul & Maltezou, Renee. FEATURE- Debt Crisis taxes cosy GreekChurch-state ties. Reuters
[8]Greek church racks up EUR 7m profit in 2008: report. 29 August 2009.
[9]Kathemerini. January 2008