March 15, 2007

Does AKEL's final argument make sense?

We finally got to see the final AKEL argument over euro entry. Recall that the first three attempts to explain AKEL's opposition to introducing the euro by Andros Kyprianou were a bit unconvincing (my daughter said so, the euro is more volatile than the pound (NOT), and finally, the euro serves the interests of Big Capital (but the cyprus pound is like an innocent girl, like the one PIN uses in the state paper to portray the innocence of the island in the face of bad foreign interventions)). Given that these arguments were comical (to put it mildly), Andros Kyprianou has not commented on the issue in the last two weeks (who says AKEL does not take corrective action in the face of poor choices?).

Instead the onus to convince the public has fallen on the mighty co-chief comrades, Katsourides and Christofias. This is what they had to say in one voice:

"We want euro entry postponed for a year. The public deficit is currently at 1.3 per cent, much lower than the Maastricht criteria, making available around £140 million which the government could use on social policy like housing and refugees if the single currency was pushed back."

At least this is a logical argument, contrary to their spokesman's three previous attempts. The problem is that the argument is wrong, it is a myth if you want and let me explain myself.

What are the problems with this approach? Well, if the public deficit is currently 1.3% and it satisfies Maastricht, at the same time public debt is 67% of GDP and is above the 60% guideline offered by Maastricht for long run sustainability of public finances. Moreover, this 67% (or the 1.3% deficit) does not include social security entitlements that will very soon make these numbers appear too good, and therefore long run sustainability of public finances probably means that the economy cannot really afford to go back to the 3% deficit given the social security expenditures that are coming in the future.

Then the suggestion that one can take the deficit from 1.3% back to the 3.0% and still satisfy the criteria next year, assumes that policymakers have perfect control over public finances, whereas that is not the case. A mild recession, a mild increase in the oil price, a mild increase in the deficit coming from taking on repeated expenditures (eg an increase in pension salaries that therefore should be there next year as well), any unforeseen eventuality that reduces GDP or tax collection can take the deficit to much higher numbers than 3% (once it has been taken back at 3%) and therefore not enable the economy to satisfy the criteria in a year.

Not to count the loss in credibility from such a turn away from the euro. Just imagine the whole procedure of re-applying next year to the same committee in Brusells. If you were the relevant commissioner, and they asked you to do the same work again, would you really not do anything you could to stop this from happening again? By sending the application back to sender?

And finally, if the argument is for one year postponement, then the deficit can be taken to 3% next year anyway(!), so what exactly is the problem? No-one prevents the government from introducing the euro now (Jan 2008) and increasing government expenditures from Jan 2008 on. In fact, that is what the government will do, if one had to predict, given previous electoral years in the land. And this is perfectly legal (even though bad policy) after the introduction of the euro.

Which makes me conclude that on this issue, not even the mighty co-chiefs can save the day and produce a sensible argument...

18 Comments:

Blogger drakouna said...

Maybe it is a case of "Παρέλαβα λίρα. Δεν θα παραδώσω Ευρώ!"

κλαψ, κλαψ και λυγμ.

15 March, 2007 15:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend Apodime, I have been following your blog-articles for quite some time and I must say that I mostly agree with your points of view with regards to the current government policies on the Cyprus prob. etc etc . This post has shown that you are competent in articulating an economic policy argument as well. However I must say that the introduction of the Euro in Cyprus is not a panacea in it-self. Akel might be posing the argument for social policies as a short term populist argument to try and keep some of their many discontented voters from changing preferences in the coming 2008 elections but, in my view the real dangers of the Euro have not been addressed at all. The 1974 invasion, among the many humanitarian psychological and other problems, has bought two fundamental changes to the Greek Cypriot Economy. First the immediate displacement of a considerable number of villagers to the remaining Greek sector towns brought the necessary labour for the industrialisation and modernisation of the economy (namely clothes manufacturing and tourism industry). The second change was the creation of two classes of citizens, which is since then determined from the day they are born, the propertied class and the refugee class. This dichotomisation of society has been getting larger every year as land and housing prices are booming especially now that the second generation refugees are adults and want to move out of the synoikismoi their parents are living, which our benevolent government has provided as ten year temporary measure).

This inequality has been up to now mitigated by the government providing grants to newly wed couples and or some cheap government land in remote villages like Denia or Mammari which none of the propertied classes would have considered moving there. With our introduction to the Euro-Economy this would probably be one of the first policies to be scrapped as our monetary and to some extend the budgetary policy would be decided by indicators such as those you mention in your posts. For exactly the same uncertainties that you mention such as mild recessions, oil price rise etc etc the government would most probably decide is better to abandon the grants to the refugees (in the tone “ma en prosfyges sior ystera pou saranda gronia”) and concentrate on the short-term goal of fine-tuning our economy to the Brussels indicators.

I am sorry if I have taken much space but I thought it more constructive if a dialogue was done on one of the most serious economic issues since the 1974 disaster. I think enough energy has been spent on the government’s ridiculous policy on the Cyprus prob., which has made us disregard let alone question the establishment of neoliberal economic policies in Cyprus.

Thanks
A dissilusioned Economist

15 March, 2007 15:19  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

Dear anonymous,

your analysis is correct and your fears are valid. But those are not the fears that AKEL (or any other political party) has pointed out and I comment on what is out in the public domain from the politicians, rather than bringing in other arguments.

You are right that inequality is a problem in cyprus and it is getting worse and it is the refugees (or their children) who are paying for this. But that is not something completely driven by the euro, that is already driven by the EU entry and the continued lack of solution to the political problem that keeps much land in the hands of the T/C.

There is one argument against the introduction of the euro and that is the loss of flexibility in economic policies (namely monetary policy, the interest rate and the exchange rate). But the government can still do things in cyprus even after the introduction of the euro as certain benefits (like no currency risk and lower interest rates), and the political prospects for solution by avoiding this problem, outweigh the costs.

Punchline: the problems you mention are already there and what you should question is not the euro but the ability and willingness of any cypriot government to date to deal with these issues.

15 March, 2007 15:52  
Anonymous m said...

Δρακούνα, νομίζω θέλουν να πουν όχι στο ευρώ τώρα για να τσιμεντώσουν το ναι αργότερα.

15 March, 2007 16:18  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

Special thanks to Drakouna for providing the main idea for what follows:

Ιστορικό Διάγγελμα Κατσουρίδη Χριστόφια για το Ευρώ


Σύντροφοι και συντρόφισσες,

Σαν ηγέτες του μεγαλύτερου Κυπριακού κόμματος, αναλάβαμε να μελετήσουμε τα αποτελέσματα της εισαγωγής του ευρώ στην Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία. Αισθανόμαστε το χρέος να δηλώσουμε δημόσια τη δική μας αποτίμηση και τη δική μας απόφαση.

Λυπούμαστε ειλικρινά γιατί δεν μπορούμε να αποδεχθούμε και να υπογράψουμε το Σχέδιο Εισαγωγής του Ευρώ, όπως τελικά αυτό διαμορφώθηκε.

Παραλάβαμε Λίρα διεθνώς αναγνωρισμένη και σιδεροκέφαλη. Δε θα παραδώσουμε «Ευρώ» χωρίς δικαίωμα πολιτικού λόγου στην Ευρωπαική Κεντρική Τράπεζα και χωρίς κανένα έλεγχο στα Κυπριακά επιτόκια και στη συναλλαγματική ισοτιμία, εργαλεία όπως όλοι ξέρουν του Οργανωμένου Κεφαλαίου. Και όλα αυτά έναντι κενών, παραπλανητικών, δήθεν προσδοκιών. Έναντι της ανεδαφικής ψευδαίσθησης ότι η Ευρωπαική Κεντρική Τράπεζα θα μας λαμβάνει υπ’όψη.

Σύντροφοι και συντρόφισσες,

Σήμερα θα αποφασίσετε για το παρόν και το μέλλον της Κυπριακής Λίρας. Για τη γενιά μας, αλλά και για τις γενιές που θα έλθουν μετά από μας.

Έχουμε εμπιστοσύνη στην κρίση σας.

Είμαστε βέβαιοι ότι δε σας αγγίζουν ψεύτικα διλήμματα.

Ότι δε σας πείθουν τα περί δήθεν τελευταίας ευκαιρίας.

Σύντροφοι και συντρόφισσες,

Στη ζυγαριά του ΝΑΙ και του ΟΧΙ, πολύ βαρύτερες και πολύ πιο επαχθείς θα είναι οι συνέπειες του ΝΑΙ.

Σας καλούμε να απορρίψετε το Σχέδιο Σαρρή για Εισαγωγή του Ευρώ στην Κύπρο.

Σας καλούμε να πείτε ένα δυνατό ΟΧΙ.

Σας καλούμε να υπερασπιστείτε την Κυπριακή Λίρα, το δίκαιο, την αξιοπρέπεια και τη νομισματική ιστορία μας.

Με αίσθημα ευθύνης απέναντι στην Ιστορία, στο παρόν και το μέλλον της Κύπρου και του λαού μας, σας καλούμε να μην υποθηκεύσετε το μέλλον στην οικονομική βούληση της Ευρωπαικής Ένωσης. Να προασπιστείτε την Κυπριακή Λίρα, λέγοντας ΟΧΙ στην κατάλυση της.

Αδελφικά Χαιρετίσματα σε Όλους!

15 March, 2007 16:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend Apodime,

(Nai pezw pellon, jai den kamnw to essay mou jai apantw sou pisw, take that as a compliment)

In your argument “(namely monetary policy, the interest rate and the exchange rate)” you are confusing the process, in this case the monetary policy, with the instrument which is the interest rates. With our entry in the Eurozone the interest rate is no longer an instrument at the hands of the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) and our beloved “Chris Chris” but is transferred to the European Central Bank to possibly to some German, cold calculating, guy. The decision whether the interest rates will be high or low depends on his decisions and not to “Chris Chris” or any other bloke our divine government decides to appoint as governor of the CBC. Therefore your argument that, lower interest rates are one of the benefits of entry to the euorzone is not valid since you are referring to the current monetary policy of the European Central Bank which has set them at a low level serving the interests of the big countries such as Germany and France which are facing growth problems. Currently our economy, thanks to the “ktizw opou evrw jai poulw” initiative, is experiencing high growth and consequently high inflation. A further lowering of the interest rates will definitely exacerbate the inflationary pressures which as always hit more the working and salaried classes. As for the lower exchange rate risks our entry or not in the Eurozone will not make much difference since our currency is all-ready pegged to the Euro from the time it was firstly introduced. (Unfortunately or fortunately the Greek Cypriot pound is not wanted or known to the international foreign exchange markets and has to be pegged to an international currency, namely the Euro)

With no influence on the monetary policy what can the government do? Well, the answer is not that much. It can try to use budgetary policies but that is, as I mentioned before, prohibited because we have to stick to the EU indicators or else the guy form the European Central Bank will be pissed with us (along with the rest of the EU bureaucrats already pissed off on the Turkish-Cyrpiots and Turkey issues). The only thing the government can do is pray that our economy is synchronized with the continental Europe’s economy or that the Cypriot public does not complain too much about any possible lowering of the standard of living and blame it on the damn Brussels’s bureaucrats who hold a grudge with us for voting No to the Anan Plan. I think we will both agree that it is more likely that the second prospect will happen.

Yes I agree with the first part of your punchline that the problems are still there, however no government could solve them after we get into the Euro because it is beyond its control for the reasons I explained above. Entering into the Euro zone will give a perfect excuse to Tassos and his fellowship of neoliberal nationalists to linger around in Stracca’s gardens sipping Blue-Label and blame everything that goes wrong in the economy to the bloody Europeans. The sad thing is that they will have every right to say this.

Thank you for the space you have provided me to post this comment.

A disillusioned Economist

PS: As for the point, posed by many, that the introduction of the Euro will speed up unification, I cannot see a solid economic argument supporting that.

15 March, 2007 17:27  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

I agree with you that losing control of interest rates and the economic flexibility that comes with that is bad. But note that you mentioned it (and I have in an earlier post A Serious Note on the Euro) but this has not been mentioned by AKEL!

But I disagree with you that the government cannot do anything any more (after introducing the euro). In Cyprus the government controls quite a lot of things and therefore can do policy even without controlling interest rates.

If I had to take a decision I would choose introduction for political rather than economic reasons. The prospect of one less thorny problem in negotiations to solve the political problem is there with the euro. This is not an economic argument but a political one. And it might never materialize but I do think this removes a big thorny issue and invites well-established European institutions to offer solutions that are more likely to be accepted on both sides.

15 March, 2007 17:46  
Blogger Illantros (Ιλλαντρος) said...

Three quick comments:

1. As Apodimos pointed out, we don't really satisfy the Maastricht criteria: our public debt is above 60%. Luckily the EU is lenient about this and is willing to let it slide as long as the country is on course to reduce the debt. If we let the deficit back up to 3% this course will be halted, if not reversed. Not to mention that it will completely destroy our credibility. Bye-bye euro for the next X years.

2. Fiscal discipline is not a Brussels straitjacket, it's every responsible government's modus operandi.

3. I'm not convinced by the argument about the euro facilitating a solution. Sure, having the euro will make an agreement easier, but only after both sides decide they want a solution. That's the hard part.

15 March, 2007 20:43  
Anonymous m said...

Guys, guys... just a moment. Do you realise how small Cyprus actually is? Even if growth in France and Germany is less than growth here (which is based on little bangs in the "stock market" and the land development industry) our effect on the EU as whole is minuscule. Are you telling me that this difference in growth will make a difference? If the interest rates are higher do people save more and take out less loans? In Cyprus? Damn, I think the whole bloody island is in debt!

Being more in tune to the EU is good, especially since we depend on tourism. Slow economy in EU, less tourists, slower economy here. Even the land development is due to retired British coming to Paphos and driving the prices up.

And I really do not see the government being able to do much now with monetary policy, since the market and economy is so small that any changes don't really trickle down to the average Joe anyway (rather they help big business).

The standard of living is already not what it should be, with salaries being lower than the cost of living. Again, this is due to the size of the market, as you cannot make a profit with average cost being higher (due to a lower volume of sales).

In any case, you can argue both ways (as always in economics). The real problem is that no politicians had a proper debate on economic issues. They once again talks about "price", "our economy", "our poor stupid people not getting it", etc

15 March, 2007 20:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha....At last we have a debate on something other than Tassos’s blunders on the “National Problem”. Sorry guys for usurping your blog and trying to transform it into a forum for a debate on the Euro. I honestly think that you have been doing a great job commenting on the other current affairs of Cyprus and as such you should devote more attention to the Euro issue.( Nai, nai livanizw sas alla inta na kamw en estisa akoma to diko mou blog. Elpizw na katalavenetai.)


@Apodimos: Switching to the political side of the argument then, I think that Tassos as a tactical shrewd politician that he is, has also based his policy for adopting the Euro on political reasons as well. He wants the Euro to be adopted so that this appears nice and shiny on his political achievements C.V before the 2008 elections. Some political analysts have also supported this view but fail to explain this adequately, maybe because they are pro-Euro as well. Tassos, is in my view, counting on the fact that the Stravaralanders, as you call them, will see the adoption of the Euro as a positive achievement. He and the Milton Freidman of Cyprus ( Minister Michalakis Sarris) would point to the fact of how quickly we have adopted the Euro, which requires “healthy” macroeconomic indicators and punching their hairy chests with true Cypriot pride will say : “Dete inta gliora pou sas evalamen isto evrw, mashalla mas aa!!!. Epiasamen mian oikonomian halia pou tous proigomenous jai adetai pou tin eferamen”. Arguably achieving good macroeconomic indicators and also have them approved by the biggest regional economic organisation in the world is an achievement but in the case of the Euro adoption that is not an aim in itself. Undeniably not many Cypriots know about the Euro or are misinformed by seeing the Greek experience which in my view is not representative. Greece as an economy had and still has structural problems of its own namely dependence on agriculture high young persons unemployment and a huge public debt courtesy of the Papandreou Senior’s eighties welfare state experiments.

On the National problem issue that you mention I agree on point number 3 of Illandros.

@Illandros: I agree that fiscal discipline is a modus operandi but when accompanied by the setting of interest rates; that is a mixture of monetary and fiscal policy, like the one adopted by Gordon Brown, which up to now has been a recipe for success for the UK. When one of the government’s hands is tied behind its back (namely the monetary policy instruments) then fiscal policy is a bit irrelevant if confined to certain pre-determined levels. In simple words our economic policy for better is decided to a large extend by Brussels bureaucrats. This is not a bad thing in itself however; the bad thing is that their decisions are taken mostly based on economic factors other than those of the Cyprus economy.

Anyway guys, I believe that the decision on the euro is more or less predetermined. By now it must have been voted or is being discussed to be voted on parliament. It was interesting to know your opinions on the subject, although it saddens me to discover that neoliberal arguments are gaining more and more ground.

Keep up the good work (I mean it toutin ti fora)

A Disillusioned Economist

15 March, 2007 22:32  
Blogger Illantros (Ιλλαντρος) said...

Anonyme: I'm not a neoliberal, I'm a paleoliberal!

17 March, 2007 14:50  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

Paleo-classical is more like it:)

17 March, 2007 18:24  
Blogger Aceras Anthropophorum said...

Ενδιαφέρουσα η κουβέντα σας. Τωρά που σας έκοψα ούλους συνάμενους δαμέ θα θελα να σας κάμω μιάν ερώτησην εσάς που καταλάβετε που οικονομίαν. Εγώ που indicators τζαι τα άλλα επιστημονικά σας δεν καταλάβω, μα ανυσηχώ που η Κύπρος εκατάντησεν έναν τεράστιον πανδοχείον, τα χωράφκια που παράγαν χορτικά, πατάτες, σιτάριν τζαι ελιές εκαταντήσαν οικόπεδα για "maison de repos" προς πώλησην σε εγγλέζους συνταξιούχους, ότι παραγωγήν έκάμναμεν εγίνην ασύμφορη, μόνον να μεταπουλούμεν κινέζικα, ευρωπαικά τζαι ιαπωνέζικα ξέρει να κάμνει ο κόσμος, τζαι να ταΐζει ή να ξισκατίζει τουρίστες. Τί θα γινεί η οικονομία όταν φάμεν τα ριάλια των χωραφκιών που πουλήσαμεν στους εγγλέζους; Τί θα γινεί αν ιππέσει καμιά πόμπα στην περιοχήν τζαι οι τουρίστες παν τζαι χαθούν; Οι τουρίστες μπορεί να χαθούν τζαι για άλλους λόγους. Με την σπάνην τζαι την ακρίφκειαν του πετρολάου για παράδειγμαν, ή με το φτίνισμα άλλων αγορών, όπως του Μαρόκκου, η της Τουρκίας... Νομίζετε ότι η πορεία που κρατεί η κυπριακή οικονομία έχει κόκκαλον να σταθεί μακροπρόθεσμα; Οι ανυσηχίες μου έχουν βάσην οξά εν υπαρξιακές φοβίες;
(μπορείτε να απαντήσετε εγγλέζικα, γράφω ελληνικά απλά γιατί μου είναι δύσκολη η γραφή in english)

18 March, 2007 00:06  
Blogger Al said...

Επρόλαβεμεν με ο aceras (ήταν να γράψω αγγλικά για να κρατήσω το πνέυμα του μπλογκ αλλά θα γράψω ελληνικά)... ο ασέρας έχει δίκαιο... Και όσοι είναι εναντίον του ευρώ αδυνατούν να σκεφτούν αυτή την πλευρά. Ότι δηλαδή , η Κύπρος βρίσκεται σε ένα κόμβο (γεωγραφικά) που μας καθιστά αδύναμους... Όλα είναι ασταθές - ο Λίβανος αλλο μία βόμβα να φάει θα φάμε γερή φατσιά στον τουρισμό. Δεν πρέπει να ξεχνούμε ότι στηριζόμαστε στον τουρισμό, που τώρα "αργοπεθαίνει" - ο Βορράς προσφέρει ένα προορισμό με πιο ποιοτικό infrastructure, πιο "παρθένους" τόπους κλπ κλπ... Οι τιμές στην ακίνητη περιουσία εκτοξεύθηκαν και οι ευρωπαίοι (Εγγλέζοι κυρίως) τουρίστες σιγά-σιγά θα πάνε σε πιο παρθένες (και πιο φτηνές) αγορές (Ρουμανία κλπ)

Το Ευρώ, λογικά, θα μας βοηθήσει να γίνουμε ένας πιο οικονομικά, λογικός προορισμός... Ο κάθε επιχειρηματίας (εστιάτορες κ.ά) δεν θα έχουν την ίδια ευκολία στο να κλέβουν τον τουρίστα όπως είχαν με την "πανίσχυρη" λίρα...

Εκτός από όλα αυτά, δεν πρέπει να ξεχάσουμε ότι θα έχουμε ένα πανίσχυρο νόμισμα (εφάμιλλο με το δολάριο) που "περπατά" παντού... Όχι μόνο στην Ευρωζώνη αλλά παντού - σε όλα τα αεροδρόμια δέχονται "dollars or euros". Τί σημαίνει αυτό? Πολύ πιο λίγο κόστος για συναλλαγματικές συναλλαγές και βοήθεια ντόπιων επιχειραμητιών να ανοίξουν τα φτερά τους στο εξωτερικό μιας και δεν θα έχουν συναλλαγματικό κίνδυνο πλέον...

Μπορεί να χάνουμε το έλεγχο δημοσιονομικής πολιτικής - ίσως το μόνο σημαντικό μειονέκτημα - αλλά δεν είναι και το σοβαρότερο αυτό μιας και είμαστε μια πολύ μικρή αγορά και οικονομία για να έχει σοβαρό αντίκτυπο.

18 March, 2007 20:26  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

@Aceras:

Not producing potatoes in Cyprus is actually a good thing. In fact, whatever production there is is probably taking place on the back of subsidies from the consumer in terms of higher prices and taxes (to pay for the subsidies). Do you know many great economies that thrive on exporting potatoes and other ζαρζαβατικά;

You also ask what will happen when the money from selling plots to retired people from Europe will run out? Well, if they are retired people living there then they become locals and will support the local economy through their presence, and other industries to cater for them will develop. Health services, golf courses, things like that.

It also depends what one will do with the money they earned from this land development. If the money is consumed, as you seem to think, then yes that will create problems eventually. But typically this money gets reinvested actually, I wish Stravaralanders were one tenth as good in politics as they are in business sometimes. It would strike a much better balance in their overall achievements...

You also ask what will happen when tourists dont show up for one year in the area. That is a problem but it is not a problem one could do anything about until now actually. After 1974 there were not very many opportunities so tourism developed. Actually, I think over time from now on its contribution in the economy will decline but it is not as if the island had any choice about specializing in this. It was either that or potatoes, so I would gladly take the former any time...

Over time high tec sevices like software and financial services will develop so long term that will happen because the island has high human capital content.

The real problems come from government policies like the will to control everything that moves in the economy so that a few politicians can call the shots about everything. About which lectures you attend as a civilian, what opinions you make public (since your future depends on some politician or another), and monopolistic tendencies encouraged by the state. For instance, have you ever wondered why Easyjet does not fly to Cyprus? Why there are only two companies offering mobile phone services? Why both airports were given to the same company to "build" and charge whatever they want? Why the President can appoint around 130 members of different boards of 19 semi-public organizations? Why the President has so much power? Why there is no discussion about making the economy competitive? Why there is no discussion about social justice (eg means-tested health provision and help for education)? Why there is no discussion about who gets government contracts and how? Why there is no public scrutiny of the finances of members of parliaments and government officials?

I could go on, you should not worry about the tourists that much and what the private sector is doing. You should instead worry about what the government is (or is not) doing and you should ask yourself why that is the case...

19 March, 2007 11:05  
Blogger Aceras Anthropophorum said...

Thank your apodime for taking the time to answer to me. Hopefully you paint the drawing with more colors than I did using black and white, but I see that you paint political situation with black and white. Although I personally don't like this goverment (may be for other reasons you do), I am not sure that somebody else would do better. The previous gov. didn't prevent the Χρηματηστήριο stravara, and what happened there was an αθλος of the private sector.

I see oposition between public and private companies more something like an ideological, oposition.

19 March, 2007 16:57  
Blogger Illantros (Ιλλαντρος) said...

@Aceras:

Incompetence is one thing. Lack of respect for democracy and intolerance of any dissenting view is another.

In the 15 years of the Vassiliou & Clerides governments we as a society made a lot of progress towards healing and reconciliation, leaving old divisions behind and looking ahead. This government's crime is that it destroyed all that.

It doesn't make the other guys white, but that's as black as it gets.

19 March, 2007 20:28  
Blogger Noullis said...

@aceras:

How the previous government may or may not have handled anything from pet dogs being microchipped to the Stock Exchange has nothing to do with the fact that the current regime is headed by a control freak with a short fuse. I think it's pretty obvious what Apodimos does and does not appreciate about the current regime - a point also made pretty clear by Illantros in his comment. And yes, we are talking about clear cut matter of principle.

ENOUGH with previous governments, illegal potatoes and onions and enough with all this crap that eventually leads all the way back to the Fall of Constantinople. I think we're more concerned about the growing pile of shit we are wading in here and now. If you want to keep to the simplistric "this government" and "that government" line of thinking then that's great but of no significant consequence.

And I, among others, am pretty sick of the stench.

20 March, 2007 19:25  

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