By Alexander Apostolides on May 27, 2010

Μα περιπαίζουν μας?

Κατά την παρουσίαση του πακέτου μέτρων στης 14/04/2010 για δημοσιονομική εξυγίανση ο υπουργός οικονομικών κ. Σταβράκης υπολόγισε ότι κατά το πρώτο τρίμηνο του 2010 το δημόσιο έλλειμμα για ήταν 55 εκατομμύρια εύρο. Την ιδία μέρα η στατιστική υπηρεσία ανακοινώσε το έλλειμμα που στάλθηκε στην Ευρωπαϊκή υπηρεσία EUROSTAT ήταν 76.5 εκατομμύρια εύρο. Δεν αμφιβάλω τα στοιχεία της στατιστική υπηρεσίας αλλά το γεγονός ότι ο κ. υπουργός έκανε παρουσίαση με λάθος στοιχειά, που μάλιστα βοηθούν την κυβέρνηση, με έκανε να ρωτήσω αν εν εμάς, την Ευρώπη η εν τον εαυτόν του που περιπαίζει ο υπουργός.

By Alexander Apostolides on May 26, 2010

The Shareholders of Apoel FC - LTV and KYKKOS are major shareholders

Since there is practically nothing going on in the premier league until after the world cup, I took the opportunity to see the list of the major shareholders of Apoel FC. This is certainly interesting as the club kitty is bursting with Champions League money, and thus it can be in a position to remunerate shareholders.

The list is here:

Some of the most noteworthy names is the fact that Kukkos monastery owns 1.67% of the company. It seems that our Church is not only tax free but it also loves its football!
More serious is the fact that LTV owns the majority share at 8.99%. This is not illegal, but it raises questions about the ability of football teams to bargain their TV contracts when the TV company is a member of the board and owns a substantial part of the company - there are huge conflict of interest considerations that have not been raised before.

If anyone knows if sky sports owns a part in premier league teams please let me know.

By Alexander Apostolides on May 25, 2010

Economics Talk and the Technical University of Cyprus

On Thursday the 13th of June 11:30-12:30 there will be a talk organised by the Cyprus University of Technology, Department of Commerce, Finance and Shipping.

The topic is Accurate and Robust Indirect Inference by Professor Elvezio Ronchetti
(University of Geneva)

More details can be seen here

Some of the insane demands on Greece

Although Greece is in a difficult situation, the demands by its would-be saviours are far and wide, extending far beyond the need for budget cuts.

The latest measures demanded by the coalition of lenders is a radical change of the pension plan of Greece. Although change is evidently needed, the demanded goals are far in excess of what exists in either Germany or even the United states. The Papadreou government is trying to mollify the changes, but it can do little as it is in not position to negotiate.

The demand for the pension system is that people can only retire in full pension after 40 (!) years of work. The pension they will get will be based on the average salary over their life time and not on the much higher final salary. In addition they will loose 6% for every year they work less than 40. As my wife pointed out, only the poor children selling tissues in the street of athens, who start work when they are 12 or 15, will be able to retire at a decent age.

The international lenders also demand an end to all collective wage negotiation, despite the fact such collective negotiation has been in the past very effective way in moderating wage demands. This will turn any protests in Greece ever more explosive, with the possibility of the shipping and hotel sector being crippled by strikes during the crucial summer period.

In addition the minimum wage is to be reduced from 740 euro to 600 euro and new employees could be saked without compensation for the first 18 months of employment.
A classic case of the cure being worse than the illness, A rapid default would have been better for Greece- it is now being forced to dismantle all of its welfare system, leaving most of the population worse off.