Saturday, June 25, 2011

Greek Economic Crisis - Reality Behind Protests

As Greeks we know that we have an opinion about EVERYthing. We are usually the first to play devil's advocate and to engage in boisterous discussions about anything. Even taboo topics others may shy away from - politics and religion - are fair game. So it's no surprise that we all have an opinion about the current economic crisis in Greece.

But the wise philosopher should actually know the facts before jumping in.

As diaspora (or dashes as I like to call us Greek-Americans, Greek-Australians, Greek-Brits, Greek-Canadians), most of us visit Greece during the summer, spend only a bit of time in the city and escape to the countryside or islands to soak in the sun before we hop back on a plane. We judge prices based on conversions against our respective currencies and assume a relaxed state of mind since we are here to see our families and have fun.

So of course it frustrates, even hurts, us to see graffiti on the walls near Plaka, strikes clogging Syntagma Square and witness an already weak infrastructure rendered useless because the workers are pissed off at the government. I am the first to condemn all of these acts as they usually hurt the "every" man more than they hurt the "big" guy. But before I can whole-heartedly get pissed at every protester, I need to understand, what are they so mad about and are they right? The answers are not easy.

From the outside looking in, the reality of Greek economics is simple.

The country spends more than it takes in.

From that perspective, austerity should work.

Cut your spending so you can balance the budget and pay back loans.

Stop your wastefulness, work as hard as they do elsewhere and problem solved.

But economic variables rarely operate in a vacuum, and it seems that when it comes to Greece, global leaders are plugging their ears to the cacophony of variables at play and expect to squeeze "blood out of a rock."

Time for the Monday-morning quarterbacks to sit down, where are the economists?

Since all we are getting is medley of opinions, let's try to sort through the inputs/outputs to see that the problem is perhaps a bit different than what we'd like to dismiss as lazy, angry, Greeks. Over the course of the next few posts, we'll take a look at some of the variables that make revenues and expense management a nightmare in Greece.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seeking Ambitious Young Professional for Unique Remote Internship

Are you a college student or recent graduate looking to learn about one of the fastest growing career paths?

Are you passionate about working on projects where your effort drives results and makes an impact?

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I am looking for an excited and ambitious self-starter seeking a way to break into PR.

With 10 years of experience, I will teach you about public relations and marketing communications and work with you so that you start utilizing what you learn immediately. Through this remote internship, you will have the chance to learn and actually engage in public relations activities to support client projects and interact with media, virtually from day one.

Our projects are focused on PR solutions for Greek companies, brands and businesses that may not otherwise be able to afford public relations support from more expensive alternatives. The goal is that our small steps will help grow their reach and propel them towards economic growth.

For you? An opportunity to gain hands-on PR experience.

For me? A chance to put my experience to work to help a young professional join the field AND to help a Greek company/brand/business succeed.

To be considered, please send a resume and letter of interest to effie {dot} delimarkos {at} gmail {dot} com.

Given the client pool, please make sure to note if you demonstrate an understanding of Greek culture and/or language. Please note that this is NOT a requirement.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Please Build a Wall Around Those Proposing Idea

Jokes are often used to lighten a tough situation, but this is a little ridiculous.

It turns out the Greek government is proposing that a wall be built on the Greek-Turkish border to curb the waves of illegal immigration that are adding to the country's problems.

That might be a solution if a large percentage of the country's border was made up of this area. However, one look at a map shows that the most exposed and vulnerable Greek border is made up of the miles and miles of island coastline.

I propose the following:

1) Immediately demote policymakers who proposed this concept as a good idea, give them a map and tell them to spend the extra time studying

2) Use the money to improve the infrastructure so that a process can deal with the problem, not put a brick band-aid on it.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Christianity Under Attack During Holy Days

The year is only two days old and yet two Christian communities’ hopes for a compassionate new year were devastated by hatred during what should be the most peaceful time of the year.

Unfortunately, neither incident is surprising for those affected by them; they have been living in the shadow of religious fear for quite some time. What is surprising is that governments and the larger global community have done little to protect them and that most major media outlets reported the problem only when hate turned to bloodshed.

As thousands crowded Times Square, the proclaimed cross-roads of the world, on New Year’s Eve to celebrate a new beginning; thousands more at the world’s major religious cross-roads wondered if this would be yet another year where their dignity and freedom would take a back-seat to geopolitics. Despite the numerous assaults they endure, they tried to unite to pray.

What were they praying for?

Praying for tolerance? So that they could feel safe to turn their heads to their God amid neighbors who bow their heads to Allah.

Praying for protection? So that their plight could be addressed by world leaders who claim concern about human rights.

Praying for attention? So that they no longer suffer in silence.

It may be out of our hands to help teach tolerance to those that resist it, although we should try.

It may seem difficult to sway political leaders, whose concerns seem to change with the election cycle. Again, we should try.

But with every post, article, comment or tweet, we CAN help shed light on what our Christian brothers and sisters are going through. Through information, some may find tolerance; through support, political pressure.

I hope you’ll join me; their plight is important and deserves to be told.


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