Greek Unemployment - The Solution

27 April 2012


There are currently about 1,000,000 unemployed people in Greece (21%) and, listening to Greek politicians, it is obvious that, between them, the politicians are incapable of coming up with a single practical and immediate solution to solve this devastating problem.

Greek politicians are ready to amaze their potential voters with CVs decorated with graduate degrees from impressive universities, including Boston, Yale, MIT, Oxford and Cambridge, to name only foreign great learning institutions they can lay claim to. Yet they are living proof of the theory of an unknown philosopher who said:

“An illiterate fool can be a useful fool. He can wash floors. But a fool with a PhD can be lethal.”

Having got that off my chest, I shall place here a few ideas of how to solve the Greek unemployment problem in a practical and immediate manner, so that politicians will never be able to claim that they did ‘everything possible’. Why do I not send the ideas directly to the politicians, you may well ask? The answer is that I have tried, but they are so preoccupied with themselves that they do not listen.

This article is a continuation of a previous article I wrote with the heading “Greek Financial Crisis - The Solution” which, in the unlikely event that a Greek politician might actually be interested in doing something for his people, can be found here: http://degreek.hubpages.com/hub/Greek-Financial-Crisis-The-Solution

The above article deals with: creating growth, creating jobs, creating wealth and reducing the cost of living for the Greek people, without costing the Greek State a single Euro. I am extremely proud that a well-known and respected economist has called this proposal “original and innovative” and I thank him deeply for his encouragement. And, besides boasting, I say this to forestall any Greek politician who might embarrass himself by saying that the ideas are not feasible.

Now, let us solve the Greek unemployment problem.

Proposal 1

Basic (approximate) information which leads to this proposal:

· 1,000,000 unemployed

· 4,000,000 currently in employment (excluding public servants)

· I do not have necessary important information to make this proposal accurate, but the ‘Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry’ lists about 75,500 members. From this number I hope that my guestimate - that there must be at least 500,000 large and small businesses in Greece, employing at least one employee – is correct.

· Company Tax is 25%

· Both main political parties propose reducing this to 15%, in order to create growth.

The Political Left, which currently numbers collectively up to 40% of voters, are against this because they want to “tax the rich”. This resistance from the Left will make reducing the tax a somewhat difficult exercise.

What I propose is that

1. They leave the tax as it is currently.

2. Offer up to 50% Company Tax reduction to all employers, provided they spend the reduction on the employment of new staff.

The benefits from this simple idea will mean that:

· The employers will be able to improve their production and their services by adding additional employees, WITHOUT COSTING THEM A SINGLE EURO.

· At the same time, the State will quietly and practically reduce Company Tax to 12.5%, WITHOUT ANY OBJECTIONS FROM THE LEFT.

· Even if each company adds just one new employee to its work force on average, unemployment will be reduced by 500,000 within year 2012.

· The state will save all the relevant unemployment benefits.

· People will be able to feed themselves and their families with dignity.

· The newly employed will begin the purchase of goods, which will mean in turn that the various businesses (who have invested without cost in the employment of new workers), will increase their sales to each other’s workers.

· Because of increased sales, the State will benefit from VAT it would not otherwise have.

· The new employees will pay personal income tax and will support the State’s coffers, instead of weakening those coffers through the unemployment benefits they would otherwise receive.

I do not have a way of collecting the correct company figures and consequently the results might differ. It just might be possible to end up with zero unemployment, or it might be that only just 100,000 might receive employment through this method. Whatever the final number, the State cannot lose, because the tax reduction will be directly connected to the number of employees a company can afford to employ and the Company Tax that company will benefit from.

I have no doubt that some politicians will become involved in nit-picking this proposal, such as that the Company Tax might be 23% instead of 25%, or that the number of companies is not 500,000 but some lesser number and so on. But any intelligent person of good will gets the idea.

Proposal 2

Through tax evasion and outright thievery, some Greeks have managed to collectively accumulate billions, which they currently keep abroad in foreign banks. With the recent arrest of an ex-minister and his family on suspicion of money laundering of unjustified funds (illegal bribes), the Greek government gives the impression that, at last, it is now serious about finding the crooks that have milked this country dry over the years. Once the political decision is made to find out who these thieves are, nothing is easier than finding them.

The thieves now suspect that their time has come. And because of the immunity they have been enjoying over the last 40 years, they have felt safe enough to acquire a lot of assets in Greece, which will now be at risk of confiscation by the Government, even if they escape to foreign lands to enjoy their ill-gotten gains outside Europe, in countries like Brazil.

Because of the slow moving cogs of the Greek bureaucracy, it might take years until all of them are found.

What I propose is that all these thieves be given immunity from prosecution or taxation, provided:

1. They repatriate ALL of their ill-gotten gains to Greece IMMEDIATELY.

2. Should they, at any time in the future, be found to have kept hidden funds abroad, their immunity will become null and void.

3. They INVEST all their repatriated funds in any productive venture within Greece they might choose. (See “Greek Financial Crisis - The Solution”).

4. They employ (say) 10 people for every €1,000,000 for which they shall receive immunity, within the venture they will be obliged to start up within Greece. Anyone dismissed for cause, must be replaced by someone else.

5. They will pay all legal liabilities and obligations for property they already have in Greece and for which such payments have been avoided.

I understand that there are currently in foreign banks €170 billion belonging to Greeks. Even if only a fraction of this is repatriated, the resulting wealth for Greece will be a huge contribution to growth and to employment.

Proposal 3

A temporary solution:

My wife and I spent two weeks in Zakynthos last summer and I have noticed a number of oddities.

· 95% of those working there were foreigners, particularly Albanians

· At the time Greece was reporting unemployment at 16% !!!

· Some Albanians I spoke to claimed that none of them paid Social Insurance Contributions (IKA)

· One Albanian told me that 2000 Albanians paid the local responsible Greek official €2000 EACH for a work permit.

· There were so many Albanians in Zakynthos, that an Albanian bus company (not Greek) operated a regular bus service to Albania on a daily basis!

· Overall €750 million were sent by foreign workers officially through banks to their home countries.

· Meat prices in Zakynthos were higher than in the UK, which has a higher per capita income. Chicken prices were almost DOUBLE!

According to the Greek press:

a. There are 2,000 homeless sleeping in the streets of Athens.

b. 50% of the unemployed are between the ages of 16 and 24

What I propose is that

1. The military provides a number of their barracks in Zakynthos, to house young people and those of the homeless who might be able and want to accept a job on the island during this summer.

2. If there are not enough barracks, the State to provide the land and some of the unemployed to be used to help build new ones.

3. The police to ensure that no permits are given to non-Europeans at penalty of prosecution

4. The law must be modified to the effect that those employers, who employ ANYONE without paying Social Insurance Contributions (IKA), will face personal imprisonment.

5. The military to provide free daily transportation to and from work.

6. State land to be provided by the State next to these military barracks for those of the homeless who are unable to do heavy work, or unable to work an 8 hour day, to raise vegetables and chickens which they will sell to those living in the camps at agreed prices.

By repeating this project in all the islands with tourists, like Zakynthos, a large number of unemployed will be accommodated and the savings they will be able to make over the summer period will see them through the winter.

Proposal 4

What I propose is that

· Allow the creation of private universities. This in itself will create thousands of new jobs on all levels of social strata.

· At the same time it will encourage foreign investment in universities

· There will be much needed new universities which will teach in foreign languages.

· This in turn will save the current export of funds for Greek students studying abroad.

· At the same time, it will encourage foreign students to study in Greece, providing a huge favourable boost to Greece’s economy and balance of payments.

· Of particular interest should be university hospitals, which will take over the installations of hospitals currently planned for closures. This will also help medical research within Greece.

Primarily, though, literally thousands of new jobs will be created within a relatively short period of time.

Finally, Proposal 5

The military are by definition men and women of patriotism. Yet the Greek military are not utilized during this crisis. During the recent ferry boat strikes in Greece, Cretan vegetable producers and exporters were in danger of losing their livelihood, because they could not take their products to the mainland.

The Greek Navy has the landing craft to help these people and prevent them from being ruined by the insane, destructive strikes of the few.

In addition, the Greek Air Force has suitable transport aircraft which can be used to solve the same problem.

No doubt the politicians will refer to the cost involved. My answer is simple: The military uses these ships and these aircraft for military training exercises. Let them use their ships and aircraft in combined exercises which will involve the transportation of these goods, to save the livelihood of their taxpaying countrymen. No doubt the vegetable growers/exporters will be happy to pay to the State whatever they were going to pay to the ferry boats in any case. Any such payments can be used to cover the military’s fuel expenses.

CONCLUSION

All of the above are simple thought processes which should be obvious to any reasonable person interested to help alleviate the pain and suffering of the Greek people at this time of crisis. Regrettably their politicians are usually the ‘sons’ of other previous politicians who appear to consider it a right to be elected, irrespective of their actual capabilities.

It is my hope than some Greeks might read this and take the trouble to translate it and to circulate this document through the Internet, in the hope of helping their long suffering countrymen.

If any of you find this document to be of some interest, favourable or otherwise, please leave a comment below and tell me what you think of it. Even if you do not agree with my ideas. :-)

PS: The active and serious fight against corruption and tax evasion is a self-evident necessity and I do not parrot this as all politicians simply pay lip service to.


Dimitris Mita

De Greek

Greek Financial Crisis - The Solution

Greek Unemployment - The Solution

USA & the New Great Depression




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Comments 21 comments

American Romance profile image

American Romance 4 years ago from America

wonderful idea! You are a man after my own heart! This is the same idea we need here in America! rid the govt. of liberal left thinking and we can make it possible! voted up!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK Author

American Romance, nice to see you again.

I have created my own political system and you can read it here:

Communism, Capitalism & Mita-ism

http://hubpages.com/politics/Communism-Capitalism-...

A MORE DETAILED EXPLANATION IS HERE:

Greek Financial Crisis - The Solution

http://hubpages.com/politics/Greek-Financial-Crisi...

I hope you will read the idea and if you agree with it, to pass it on....... ;-)))


CHRIS57 profile image

CHRIS57 4 years ago from Northern Germany

DG - i have to admire your creativity. But how will get this done if you have to address, say, the same official (from proposal 3) who collected 4 Mill. from Albanians? You want to pay another 4 Mill.? :-)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK Author

Hi, Chris ;-)))

No, I just want to put it on record that someone can actually think outside the box.

Because I cannot write in Greek, I am hoping that a Greek person who loves his country would take the trouble to translate this and to circulate it through Facebook and other means, so that Greeks will see what is possible.

In fact, I still hope that there might be some politician out there who actually loves his country and wants to save it.

Many thanks for passing by and for commenting ;-)


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Some great ideas there, especially the first one. I hope someone helps to spread them throughout Greece. I admire your determination. It is good to see someone who doesn't just stand by and watch the country go "down the toilet".


De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK Author

Christopher,

We Great Thinkers have to do our bit ;-))


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

Very well thought out plan and I wish you success in implementing these ideas. Voted up!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK Author

You know, Writer Fox, this is not a subject that is of interest to many people and even Greeks do not bother to read it. Which makes it all the more important for me that you have actually taken the trouble. Thank you.

When I used to write on HupPages regularly, I used to get 100 or so comments and still have articles here which have received over 8,000 and 9,000 visits each. Admittedly they were funny, and entertaining, not serious and boring like this one. But I feel the need to write these articles about Greece, in order to deny the politicians the right to say that they “did everything possible”.

Thank you again for passing by :-)


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 4 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

So how come you are not in politics? You could do much good with your heart and good mind. ;)

And read your comments, I too don't get too many comments in my hubs since I stopped writing regularly,(and I admit I do miss a lot folks) but now I blog, and love the community where I am in WordPress. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Dear Dimi - your proposals and solutions are well thought out and appear to be rationally 'doable.' If enough Greek citizens read your articles and circulate them to other like-minded patriotic people with integrity, much good could be accomplished. The biggest problem of course is ridding the country of 'permanment politicians.' The same problem we have in the U.S.

If you ever decide to run for any office, anywhere, you would be a breath of fresh air and honest ethos.

You know you have my vote. Now you just have to figure out how to make it count.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK Author

Marie, it is impossible to survive and to succeed in the political jungle, if one is not willing to play the game of those who control the game.

As to the visits, I am not complaining, just referring to the importance of the subject ;-)))


De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK Author

Sweet friend drbj, many thanks for your vote of confidence.

I am trying to demonstrate that there are possible solutions if politicians are willing to try to think outside the box.

I have no more illusions about anyone doing anything about promoting my ideas. It is too much like hard work…:-)))


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Yet another common sense solution from De Greek!

I suspect Greece is similar to the U.S. when it comes to using already-available resources SENSIBLY: personal territory won't allow it or the word "CAN'T" is wayyy over-used. 'Can't do it because the rules won't allow it' (so change the rules!)...or 'Can't do it because it's never been done that way' (so maybe it SHOULD be done that way for a change!). Yada yada yada.

The U.S. has a bazillion empty homes thanks to the foreclosures after the housing bubble burst, but are the now-homeless and unemployed allowed to live in them? Of course not. The BANKS that hold the mortgages (or SAY they own the mortgages, which is questionable now) won't allow it. Meanwhile, the homes deteriorate, then the neighborhoods they're in deteriorate...in an easily preventable death spiral.

Greed trumps common sense every time. Very sad because nobody REALLY wins, everybody loses, even those with billions stashed in secret accounts.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK Author

Joanna, we are ruled by mediocrities. the situation is really bad. But at least you have ME as a friend, so that's something ;-))))


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Yes, there is that, my wonderful, handsome friend! ;D


SilverGenes 4 years ago

Brilliant proposals! Have you had any luck getting them translated and circulated? Every one of these could be implemented and rescue Greece from the brink of disaster. Well done!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK Author

SilverGenes, not only Greece, but every country in the world could benefit from this. It is a new new economic system which is also political, which uses taxpayers' money in investments which create wealth for the taxpayer. It creates work for the taxpayer, but also turns the taxpayer into a business owner of the venture in which he works. This creates freedom and a non reliance on politicians and unions, therefore it will never be adopted... ;-)))


SilverGenes 4 years ago

The world is waking up so you never know. The old system is completely broken and there is no rescuing it - our nations were not built on the kind of capitalism we have now though most of us don't realize it and, once again, divide ourselves into pro and con camps, oblivious to the fact that there is another way. This is brilliant! It's democracy in action and socially responsible. Implementing this would not be that difficult either.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK Author

We have to stop agreeing with each other, SilverGenes. My wife is getting jealous ;-)))

Actually, what I propose is very easy to implement. It works on a capitalist foundation - so no obstacles from those of us raised in it, uses peoples' taxes to create wealth for them, but the people actually pay for the benefits they receive out of their wages, over the long term.

Products will be chosen according to real needs and prices will be highly competitive if the ventures operate on a cost plus basis, meaning a low cost of living and more exports.

Perhaps we should start a club to promote this ;-)))


SilverGenes 4 years ago

Say hello to your lovely wife! :)) Once again, I'm in complete agreement. Let's call it democratic capitalism. In Canada, we pay for our pension and benefits out of our paycheck already but alas, the government squandered a lot of it in poor investments, so add a clause protecting it and we've got a club!

I particularly like that products be chosen according to real needs and have competitive prices. Life spent in working for oneself and one's family is satisfying. Working for a machine, is not.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 4 years ago from UK Author

It will be a club numbering two, but what the hell? We can but try ;-)

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