Friday, December 31, 2010

Putting Money Where Our [Greek] Mouth Is

Can love of country be measured in dollars, euros or pounds? If it were, Greek-American's love of Greece is pretty cheap. At least, according to the the LA Times.

Earlier this week, the newspaper reported that Greek-Americans, usually quick to shout their love of homeland from the mountaintops, are reluctant to support "diaspora bonds," an anticipated method the Greek government is proposing to raise money for the beleaguered country. The idea to raise money by leveraging a strong and passionate diaspora is one that has been used by other countries, including Israel.

Understandably, many are cynical of helping the government raise money, when it could be argued that the government is the one that mishandled the country's finances for the past decades leading to the current situation. Others say that they need to focus their finances to their current homeland's economy rather than helping Greece. That is one side of the coin.

The other side of the coin, regardless of currency, is that there is an air of hypocrisy in not supporting the country you claim so much pride for. Considering the pride with which Greek immigrants speak of Greek bravery in battles of the past, wouldn't the true patriot's way be to try to help the country get back on its feet?

Both sides are right. But this is a case where nobody wins for being right.

The reality is that if the Greek government is going to ask Greeks abroad to help in the recovery effort, those same Greeks need to feel that their investment is going to make a difference. They need to feel they have a say. Otherwise, Greece is asking for a gift not help.

What do you think...

  • Would you invest in diaspora bonds? Why/Why not?
  • Greeks in Greece, would you want diaspora money and input?
  • If you're currently skeptical, what could persuade you?
Check out what fellow Greeks are saying via one of our fave Greek diaspora resources, Greek America Magazine.


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