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Eurocrats are patting themselves on the back, and investors are back in the business of buying...

Eurocrats are patting themselves on the back, and investors are back in the business of buying low and selling high, but the EU remains in recession, particularly in the periphery. In Greece, trees are disappearing from public lands as citizens - their utilities cut off - hunt for wood to heat their homes. It's a phenomenon last observed during the German occupation in the 1940s. GREK +44% Y/Y.
Comments (4)
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (3990) | Send Message
     
    But their tax euros went to put those trees there....
    14 Jan 2013, 10:01 AM Reply Like
  • Tony Petroski
    , contributor
    Comments (6373) | Send Message
     
    "...their utilities cut off - hunt for wood to heat their homes. It's a phenomenon last observed during the German occupation in the 1940s."

     

    From the linked article: "While patrolling on a recent cold night, environmentalist Grigoris Gourdomichalis caught a young man illegally chopping down a tree on public land in the mountains above Athens.

     

    When confronted, the man broke down in tears, saying he was unemployed and needed the wood to warm the home he shares with his wife and four small children, because he could no longer afford heating oil.

     

    'It was a tough choice, but I decided just to let him go' with the wood, said Mr. Gourdomichalis, head of the locally financed Environmental Association of Municipalities of Athens, which works to protect forests..."

     

    See how easy and fun agitprop is? Seeking Alpha picks up a story. We have an environmentalist, not an "environmentalist" as the hero of a human-interest story when all the time we assumed "environmentalists" (and environmentalists) loved trees more than men.

     

    And a man with an oil-fired furnace is using wood from trees he chopped down from the Great Athens Forest to use (where? In his Athens fireplace? In a retro-fitted wood-burning furnace?).

     

    And all this from the "conservative" Wall Street Journal.

     

    More to the point, what are the poor Athenians going to cut down to cool their homes during the brutal Athens summer?
    14 Jan 2013, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (3995) | Send Message
     
    Government public sector and regulatory reforms still pending while the government strips what remains of any wealth from the middle class.

     

    There are now multiple "special temporary" taxes, in addition tot he property tax which is expected to become permanent, all of which hit the middle income folks - those with some assets - the hardest.

     

    Still no tax on the shipping industry, no public sector reform, no regulatory changes to make the country a FDI destination....

     

    And folks complain about the exacerbation of the air quality as a result of the proliferation of wood burning stoves and fireplaces.

     

    Meanwhile, the growth in solar heat/electric has been tremendous, thanks to those German units that easy lending standards and EU membership provides, although the Chinese are chomping at the bit to take that market.
    14 Jan 2013, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • Michael McGaughy
    , contributor
    Comments (20) | Send Message
     
    Even after the fast rebound in Greek stocks since the early June 2012 elections, Athens is still one of the least expensive markets on many long-term valuation measures. If one can't make a direct investment in Greek listcos, property etc., the GREK may be a good way to take advantage of the country's inexpensive assets.
    14 Jan 2013, 09:47 PM Reply Like
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