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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

News About Cosco!

I have written quite a bit about the Cosco investment in Piraeus which, to me, could be a prototype of foreign investments which are good for the Greek economy. However, I have to admit that my views met with more objections than agreements. On balance, the objections rested on the argument that Cosco was nothing other than introducing Chinese sweat shop standards into the Greek economy.

Here is an article published by Bloomberg about the current situation at Cosco. It paints a very positive picture of the Cosco investment. Obviously, there are two sides to every coin and I am sure that many Greeks will paint exactly the opposite picture of the Cosco investment. I hope they will and I hope they will post their views so that a debate can take place.

7 comments:

  1. Don't doubt it it's a typical chinese sweatshop. The local employment supervising authority (which due to the 'budget cuts' is unable to operate and perfom any kind of inspection) has received a series of complaints regarding working schedules, unregistered employment (ie no social security...), blackmailing etc....Too bad the 'investment' serves specific interests....

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  2. If the Greeks thrive for scandinavian type working conditions they have to offer scandinavian productivity and a workforce equally skilled to the one in say Sweden, Germany or Switzerland. Add a first class infrastructure, a few clusters of top notch research institutions and universities plus low taxes and a lean efficient government and presto - within a decade the working conditions at foreign investments in Greece will improve considerably.

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    1. Agree. What's that got to do with observing the law (by the way has recently largely turned in favour of employers...) ? Should we 'Foxconn' people who wish to work in Greece ?

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  3. Good timing about Cosco, very appropriate considering the present industrial actions in the port (the war cry is that, selling the port is a crime against the ports social role ?????????). Yes, Cosco's investment has been an unconditional success that the Greek government could never have matched. Let's hope the government at least can handle the train link for it (there has been no train crossing a Greek border since OTE threw in the towel in January 2011). Sweat shop? Well if it is it is the happiest I know. Of cause there are dock workers who prefer to grumble and wait for the bad old times, at EUR 60.000,- per year plus benefits, to return, one can hope they do not hold their breath.
    To Mr. Felas remark that Cosco's "investment" serves specific interests, I should hope so. Funds that are transferred into, and invested in Greece, with the right to endeavor to make a profit on them, and the right to pocket that profit, are Foreign Direct Investments (DFI). Other funds that are tranferred into Greece are grants or gifts. Thats enough for the first lesson children, now say after me (also you Venizelos and Samaras, don't be shy, it may come in handy when you grow up). "Funds that are transferred into, and inv -------------------------------------------------------------".
    Lennard

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    1. @ Mr. 'Anonymous Lennard'...at any human cost. Good boy

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    2. @Felas
      I am disturbed by your comment. Not that it is unusual: I hear things like that all the time from Greeks. Before you drop such a nuke of moral highground, you should specify what human cost you associate with foreign investment. Perhaps you mean that salaries went down from 60 TEUR (as Lennard says) to 30 TEUR (as I understand Cosco workers are paid). Yes, that is a financial/human cost. The trouble is: it's the 60 TEUR which was unrealistic and not the 30 TEUR.

      The article which I link below states that old Karamanlis handed over to old Papandreou a country which had 2-3% unemployment, a budget deficit below 3% and sovereign debt of 28% or GDP. If I understand this article correctly, the age of denying economic reality began with old Papandreou. Today, Greece has at least one generation who have seen nothing other than economic illusions. It's hard when illusions fall apart. Aks the East Germans. They, too, thought that once they unified with the West, cars, color TVs etc. would come along with the deal automatically. To this day, there are still a lot of East Germans who have not been able to cope with economic reality.

      http://users.uoa.gr/~ahatzis/Hatzis_2012_09.pdf

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    3. I stated my case earlier. Cosco 'pockets' profit at ANY social cost, despite of (remaining) laws to protect the worker's basic rights...We're discussing here, there's no intention to offend YOU. I replied to another person's comment (i think..)

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