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Dr. Jonh Psarouthakis/Newsweek 06/30/11

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Dear Editor

I have reviewed Ms. Righter's article published in Newsweek on June 26,
2011 with the title: "Greece is the Way We Are Feeling”. How did a
marginal, misgoverned little nation push all of Europe to the brink?

This is an irresponsible journalism. In fact it is tantamount to racism.
She seems to say that what is not Anglo-Saxon is pitiful! I would like
to remind her that this small nation, Greece, delayed by over a month
the Nazi onslaught against the Soviet Union and caused them to fight in
the winter and eventually lose the war! It took the Nazis just over ten
days to take over France! It took them fifteen days to take the Greek
island of Crete where the special airborne division was so badly hit
that it was not used again during the war!

  I also detect, as Mr. Balthazar Max has written in his comments on
this article, some sour grapes regarding Greece. Perhaps she disdains
the fact that England didn't come up with the concept of democracy. Or
perhaps it is her way to indirectly defend the stealing of the beautiful
marble art from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin and England is refusing to
return!  Regarding her unfortunate comment on the Athens Olympics, I
would like to wish England an equal performance and safety as the
beautiful and very successful games Athens had!

Ms. Righter seems to preferentially ignore the debt problems that exist
in Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and possibly Italy and Belgium. Not to
mention that Belgium has been without a government for over a year. In
Greece, now at least, the government is taking steps to move toward an
eventual solution to her debt problems.

She seems to conveniently ignore the responsibilities of the banks and
Brussels in providing loans or buying bonds without the proper due
diligence and scheduled reviews of borrowers’ ability to repay. The
provision of unrealistic low interest rates and easy credit made
borrowing not only attractive but foolish not to borrow! Such conditions
eventually endangered the world financial structure. As we all know the
USA went (still not out of it) through the danger of financial collapse.
If Portugal and Spain come close to default and the market reduces the
value of their bonds, what would she say then? If Italy gets
“financially unsettled”, what then, would she refer to those countries
as misgoverned little (or perhaps big) nations?   By the way UK is not
that good a shape either. I wonder what Ms. Righter says of England
before Mrs. Thatcher. Strikes were paralyzing the country. Productivity
was at the lowest level of European countries, and so on.
Europe is going through the throes of trying to create a political and
economic union.
Errors will happen. No one should try to unload the blame on one or
another nation. The problems and crisis of Greece is to a great degree
the fault of Greeks but the rest of Europe has a share of the blame as well.

John Psarouthakis

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