Tuesday, November 08, 2011

2012, here we come.... (#29)

Misha Glenny, an acknowledged expert on Russia's 'crime of the century', when state assets were sold off at ganga prices to salivating, semi-criminal, would-be oligarchs, now believes the same thing is about to happen in Greece.

Writing in the FT about the moves made by Greece's high-earning, tax-evading, super-rich, he notes the surge in Greek interest this year in London's property market, and adds that these groups have an even bigger eye on the assets that the government may soon be forced to sell off...

"The oligarch conglomerates are waiting to scoop them up at anything up to less than a fifth of their real value – a poor financial return for the state but in 5-10 years time a bonanza for the purchasers. Some have been even banking on Greece exiting the euro so that they can then use the billions of euros squirrelled away outside the country to purchase the assets for knock-down drachma prices... If the crises in Greece and Italy tell us anything, it is that the European Union has tolerated widespread corruption, criminality and malign governance not just in supplicants from eastern Europe but in some of its core western European members....If anything is to come from the catastrophe facing Europe it is essential these patterns of corruption are broken. Otherwise neither Greece nor Italy will ever be free of the institutional sclerosis that allows these practices to prosper."

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