Introduction to the 1st Round Table Discussion

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“Crisis of the Hellenic nation; A massive speculative curtain is erected so as to hide the real Greek debt.”

There are only painful ways out of the debt crisis. To prevent contagion to other countries, it is necessary to isolate the problems.

In Greece, where an industrial basis is lacking and the courage to undergo structural reforms is missing, billions of Euros are vanishing in a black hole.

Only a drastic haircut of our debts can improve our competitiveness, as many renowned economists in Greece and abroad argue. They say that the Greek political system is a corrupt connection involving the government, the unions and citizens for about 30 years.

The Greek political system has created a huge public service, like a hydra, and we lost too much time to correct this. Now it might be too late.

How many years do we need to reform this system in order to rehabilitate itself? Responsible citizens became slaves of it. A job in the public sector has been a place in the sun. You have not to care about your future for your whole life. May be you have to see that your children enjoy the same privileges. Nobody foresaw that this way of life has a price.

We here in Thrace certainly have difficulties to accept the reality of the Greek system without anger, but on the other side we have problems to accept some critical and one sided commentaries from abroad including rude insults. But we are also Greeks and are at least partially responsible for all that, but we insist on our rights and accept our responsibilities.

Thrace is the most important geostrategic location in Europe and offers many opportunities for investments. We enjoy the Mediterranean sea, we have important ports which can be further developed, we have a performing airport, a modern highway through our region connects Turkey and Bulgaria with Thessaloniki and the North-Western part of Greece, we have clean geothermic energy, we have industries, we have the third most important university of Greece and we have a well educated population including academics and scientists.

We are now claiming the status of a tax free zone for our region according to European law in order to support the industry, banks and other service providers in Thrace and to attract more firms from Greece and abroad. May be this painful crisis is the beginning of an economic upturn for our region and Greece.


Katerina Karajanni



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