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There's Always Someone....
 
 
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Seedy
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Joined: Feb 21, 2012
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Location: Sofia, Dupnitsa, Lincs

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:41 pm 
Post subject: There's Always Someone....
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...worse off than you are.... Wink

Pass The Pothole, Pet! Cool
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scasparz
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Joined: Jan 28, 2014
Posts: 207

Location: some disaster area within Greece

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:02 am 
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Think positively seedy. In Greece most of the country's highway infrastructure is almost complete now. In essence, the state borrowed money -that is before the meltdown- to build most of these roads, then turned them private. As a taxpayer I have paid these roads twice. The first time regards the state borrowed capitals, while the second is their ultra expensive new private tolls. This is preposterous.

Following privatization tolls have been made several times more expensive. To give you an idea traveling from Salonica to Platamon and vice versa (2x 120km) used to cost 1,000 drachmas. Now the equivalent is in excess of 4,500 drachmas payable in Euro. Motoring to Athens is subject to tolls exceeding the cost of an air ticket.

While I fail to see gov as an entrepreneur, I also fail to understand why highways had to be privatized. As there is no competition among the new owners, absolutely no entrepreneurship is required to run this kind of business. I take this must be one of neo-liberalism extremities, definitely at the expense of the well meant broader public.

I legally import most of my car's fuel from BG, where it is considerably cheaper and of much much better quality. I seldom use the greek highways these days, they are too expensive for me as well as for most others. Combined these two make the running of my car affordable.

Πενία τέχνας κατεργάζεται mate.




cheers everyone
  
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Seedy
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Joined: Feb 21, 2012
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Location: Sofia, Dupnitsa, Lincs

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:16 pm 
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Scas - but you don't have to use the new motorways, do you? I'm assuming that the old roads that I remember from the 1960s are still in existence, even though it might take a LOT longer to do the trip. Actually, talking about roads and the 1960s, do you recall that there was a group of foreign (I don't recall which nationality) "highwaymen" on the main North-South motorway round about that time, who robbed motorists (and indeed killed some, I seem to remember)?

Let's hope that that aspect of The Good Old Days doesn't return.... Sad
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scasparz
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Location: some disaster area within Greece

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:37 pm 
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This is exactly what I am doing with the old National roads. Not the best road surface, and yes it takes considerably longer for a trip. Still it comes considerably cheaper. But you cannot really expect to travel from Salonica to say Athens on this network, as the trip would literary take forever. It is good for Platamon though.

As to the highwaymen, the only thing I can recall that could be them is the case a German duo that killed a number of individuals to rob them of their money. Eventually they were caught, convicted to death and both were executed by a firing squad. If I am not wrong these folks could have been the last to be executed in Greece before the death penalty was abolished.



cheers mate
  
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Seedy
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Joined: Feb 21, 2012
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Location: Sofia, Dupnitsa, Lincs

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:39 am 
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Sadly, but predictably, the last person executed in Greece was actually a Greek, albeit a Cretan arsonist/nutter.

However, Wikipedia is sometimes useful: Here They Are

Strange that I can remember these two idiots from almost 50 years ago but can't recall why I just came down to the kitchen..... Very Happy
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scasparz
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Location: some disaster area within Greece

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:10 am 
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You are not alone mate, it happens to me and to most others as well. Ου γαρ έρχεται μόνον they say. Oh, I miss my youth so badly.

I believe when young, most of us take our youth for granted, as if it is going to last for ever. Then some day we wake up, to stand before a mirror in our morning routine and wonder who on the earth is this chap we see on the other side.




cheers everyone
  
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Seedy
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Joined: Feb 21, 2012
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Location: Sofia, Dupnitsa, Lincs

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:46 am 
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The good(?) news is that one day we'll look in the same mirror and that chap will no longer be there.... Wink
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Cliff
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Joined: Aug 19, 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:42 pm 
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Macabre Seedy. There again I think I look better in the morning after the application of shaving foam.
Sad
  
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scasparz
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:57 pm 
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Hi Cliff. Shaved or not, am still looking like a wreck in the morning mate.  
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Seedy
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Location: Sofia, Dupnitsa, Lincs

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:57 am 
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Cliff wrote:
Macabre Seedy. There again I think I look better in the morning after the application of shaving foam.
Sad


And before scraping it off again? Wink

Scas - I blame indigestion caused by a surfeit of Merkel and Tsippy for your current haggard appearance.... Very Happy
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scasparz
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Location: some disaster area within Greece

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:50 am 
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Seedy actually it is neither Merkel or Tsippy to be blamed but rather our very honest political leadership responsible for the meltdown of '09, the mother of every evil.

The case of the bribe payments made by the Swiss pharmaceutical Novartis over the entire political spectrum, including but not limited to two former prime ministers, as well as a number of top politicians with ministerial duties, exposed under the authority of the US FBI, that kept on going as normal even after the default, by the time the country was already torn down to its knees, only underlines the local political twists. This is not funny mate, not funny at all, I feel ashamed as a Greek, yet I refuse to accept our fathers of the nation -whatever name they bear, whether leaning to the right or to the left, fascists or commies- that they represent either me or the average local Yannis.

Here some people believe our default was actually intentional with privatizations and working relations the main issues on stake. Had it been so, it was highly successful.

To give you some idea, just take a look on OSE -the former state railways-. During the past decade they were subsidized with 10 billion Euro of borrowed taxpayers money, that was to modernize their aging infrastructure. In addition to this, they maintain huge real estate possessions. In the end they were privatized for the sum of just 40 million Euro. This is merely the cost of a couple of trains and they keep dozens of them in service for their needs. Buy cheap, sell expensively is still the core axiom in global trading. To relief the public debt of these 40 millions, at the same time the same debt it was burdened with those 10 billion, that was simply piled upon it. The case OSE was on par with the remaining state silverware that were 'liquidated' to pay our dues under similarly friendly terms and conditions. This is how the three memoranda enforced by the lenders actually work.

While this could be just another conspiratorial theory and I hate conspiracies, point is it would be stupid to rule them out and frankly I believe am not that stupid. In reality about a decade later we still do not have a clue on what actually took place. However in hindsight I can see a number of 'decisions' made as well as actions taken since about 15 years ago that ultimately drove the country to its ill fate. In the end, you know ambitious oligarchs, well connected with the political apparatus are not an exclusivity of Putin's Russia mate.

As you know, following the meltdown Greece received massive bail out money from the EU. While I appreciate the generosity of the European taxpayers, in reality most of their money were employed to bail the lenders Banks -that in the previous decade had provided Greece with risky loans- which understandably would be in serious trouble had Greece been left to collapse and give payments up. Only 11% of this aid ended in Greece to help keep the state running. As such this EU aid was enough to rescue the European Banks comfortably, yet the ration reserved for Greece was far from being enough and for example the local hospitals had run out of medicines and other such essentials, just to name one.

Greece is supposed to be making a slow recovery now, point is will take us at least a couple of decades to fully recover. Most probably I won't be there to see this.

Then perhaps it is time to dump my morning mirror.
  
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