The 4.1 billion television viewers, the… thousands of Thessaloniki MoUs and the relative value of exports

The 4.1 billion television viewers, the… thousands of Thessaloniki MoUs and the relative value of exports
The 4.1 billion television viewers, the… thousands of Thessaloniki MoUs and the relative value of exports

Why Half of Humanity Attended Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral and What the Increase in the Current Account Deficit Signals

Good morning!

The amazing numbers that accompanied her funeral ceremony Queen Elizabeth her of Great Britain they mean something. Because neither the monarchy has any prospect of a worldwide resurrection nor that Britain is on its way to being truly… great again. The 4.1 billion people who watched the ceremony on television and the 500 heads of state and government, as well as other high-ranking officials who chose to travel to London for the ceremony, show at least two things. First of all, that the world, society, people need symbols that have withstood time – 70 years is more than a lifetime – and for that reason they are not in a hurry to fixate, but to honor. The main thing, however, is that – as it turns out – in the end, people give meaning to institutions. Not the other way around, although there are exceptions. Queen Elizabeth was – if nothing else – a likable, cheerful and positive person, who never provoked with her office. She led her country – based on specific responsibilities – without giving a handle to comments. Even in the mistakes and crises experienced by Buckingham during her days she appeared cool. This human face makes nowadays at least tolerable – if not likeable – a politically and administratively obsolete institution like the monarchy. This person was honored by those who participated in one way or another in the funeral, at least most of them. So to confirm once again that emotions play a major role in human behavior. As a wise man who circulates among us says, in man, emotions are an ocean and logic is a nut shell.

The Thessaloniki MOUs

In Greece – some argue – creative things are difficult. The problems are mainly found in practice. Because in theory everything is easier. But since the theory itself is a kind of… air, in our country a way has been invented so that those who think they can do something, but feel that in the end they will not succeed either because they themselves cannot realistically serve the their vision or because there are objectively obstacles, to display something tangible, which is not binding. The name of this… instrument is “Memorandum of Understanding”, which in simple Greek means “Memorandum of Understanding”. Another invention of the bureaucracy, for which the condition of survival is to show a constant mobility. The “memorandum of understanding” means that some things were discussed between two sides, possibly a common understanding was found, but the practical implementation is referred to the future, which is known to be unstated. In Thessaloniki – to give a local character to the matter – the files marked “MoU” are piled up on the desks and hard drives of the various activities of public and private sector entities by the hundreds. Papers characterized by the broad broad signatures of heads, usually presidents. This is followed by the issuance of a Press Release or some public statement, highlighting the value of the signatures, and since then their fate is ignored. For actual results, it is better not to ask, although a surprise is not excluded. In one or two cases the next step may have been taken, to justify the popular saying about exceptions proving a rule…

The relative value of exports

In economics, numbers count. But even more important are the qualitative and parallel indicators that accompany these numbers, increasing or decreasing their real value. For example, Greek exports are doing very well this year, but despite the optimistic statements of the newly elected president of the Exporters Association (SEVE) S. Diamantidis, these performances are not enough to solve the structural problem of the Greek economy. On the contrary, they highlight challenges, without addressing which Greece, instead of losing the match with a score of 4-2, will lose it with 8-4, which is probably worse. The more the country exports with this particular production arrangement, it is doomed to import even more. From consumer durables and food, to fuel, medicine and raw materials for manufacturing enterprises are overwhelmingly imported. This is how the deficit in the Current Account, which records the total transactions of the country with foreign countries, is increasing. According to the data of the Bank of Greece for the seven months of January-July 2022, the specific deficit increased compared to the same period in 2021. The “net” picture of the deficit is recorded at constant prices with the increase in imports, which was noticeable greater than that of exports in absolute terms. Exports increased by 4% at constant prices and imports by 16%. Exports of goods – excluding fuel – increased by just 3.8% at constant prices, while imports of goods – excluding fuel – increased by 14.9%. It is worth noting that the increase in the deficit in the Current Account underlines the need of the Greek economy for liquidity and additional financing. Something like this in a period of high interest rates is unbearable. So there is no need for celebrations or loud statements. The good thing is that tourism revenues are significant this year and boost inflows, since tourism is an export of services. But they are not able to save the lot, since already in September they are decreasing.


The article is in Greek

Greece

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