Greece and Europe

Letters to the International Herald Tribune
Greece and Europe
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CloseLinkedinDiggFacebookMixxMySpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalink Published: February 16, 2010
While Vassilis Vassilikos’s appeal to Hellenic national pride is an understandable response to German haughtiness, there’s no doubt that the current crisis can be traced to Greek profligacy (“Crisis in a stoic land,” Views, Feb. 15).

Indeed, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund ought to think long and hard before going to Greece with a bailout. Unless Athens gets its economic house in order, curbs excessive entitlement programs and slashes public spending, Greece may face expulsion from the European monetary union.

Mr. Vassilikos’s resort to a hallowed classical past obscures the bitter truth: Recklessness has made Greece the moribund man of Europe.

Rosario A. Iaconis, Mineola, New York

Obama lets us down

The front page article “Wall Street gave Greece tools to hide growing debt” (Feb. 15) reveals that the tentacles of American banks and financial institutions have worldwide connections and global ambitions to control the economy of nations everywhere. Does that surprise me as an American citizen? Of course not.

Instead of bringing in a new team, President Obama has placed the financial culprits that caused our financial debacle in the role of setting it on the right course. I voted for President Obama because he declared, again and again, that he was for change. “Throw the bums out” was his message. But once elected president, what did Mr. Obama do? He brought the bums with him. He ushered the foxes into the chicken coop.

President Obama has thus far been a major disappointment. It is not too late for him to change his team. Banks have given themselves billions in bonuses and the voters will not stand for it. Moreover, if he does not change his team, he certainly will be a one-term president.

If Mr. Obama waits for the November elections with no health plan and no change in the credit market, he and Michelle may find themselves back in Chicago in 2012.

Mr. Obama is a brilliant speaker. But he needs to stop talking and throw the bums out.

Bernard Ilson, New York

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