Monday, February 11, 2013

A most remarkable new investment!

This very short article in the Ekathimerini received just a little attention in the blogo-/twittersphere but not nearly as much as it deserves. Below is a transcript:

Sunlight, a company owned by Panos Germanos which operates in the design, production and distribution of batteries, announced on Wednesday it is investing 20 million euros in the creation of a new unit for recycling lead batteries at Komotini in Thrace.

The new plant is expected to start operating this summer in the Komotini Industrial Zone and its main activity will be the recycling of used batteries from around the country for the extraction of lead, which constitutes 80 percent of a battery’s raw material. That will then be used for the production of new batteries.

While Sunlight’s annual lead imports amount to 40 million euros, the company now expects to stop importing lead altogether, becoming self-sufficient through the recycling of used cells, thereby increasing its profit margins.

Do you get what's being said here?

* a new 20 MEUR investment is made, obviously creating new jobs
* the new investment will recycle used batteries from around Greece
* the extracted lead will be used for the production of new batteries
* with that, the company will no longer have to import
* last but not least, the company expects to make a profit on this

In short, here you have in one example many of the ingredients which are necessary to turn the Greek economy around such as: new investment to create new jobs through import substitution; the positive environmental effect; new profits which will in one way or another have a positive impact on tax revenues. And, hopefully, the investor will not run into too much red tape when getting approvals for his investment. Otherwise, the EU Task Force should look into this.

And despite all of this, none of the learned people in the blogo-/twittersphere really get excited about something like this? No member of government broadcasts this investment as a showcase of something that should/could be happening in Greece? Everything just matter-of fact?

Let me phrase it politely: When public discussion goes overboard about what did or did not happen with Greek statistics back in 2009; when Greek brainpower dissects the question of whether the IMF had used the right multiplier; when members of the Greek intelligentsia write almost dissertations explaining that Greece can do nothing on its own in the present situation just like Ohio couldn't do anything on its own during the depression - well, when all such things are happening but no one finds time to spread positive news if and when they occur and to show how opportunties are used successfully, then one shouldn't be too surprised if surveys show that Greeks no longer have a future perspective.

Is that the fault of Greeks? No way! It's the fault of those who are in a position to change perspectives, typically the elites of all walks of Greek life!


  1. I guessed you'd like this one. Apart from that small item in eKathi all I could find was an even smaller one in

    Did you notice the location. From Komotini it could import scrap batteries from neighbouring countries, and export new ones from its nearby battery factory at Xanthi.

    Here is Sunlight's press release New Investment exceeding €20 mln. in Komotini

    Sunlight seems to be a Greek business success story - visit its News Page - for some pleasant, even shocking, surprises ;)

    I found this at 'To Vima' (Greek) - OECD Project on reconstruction 13 sectors of the Greek economy - I assume this is the work the OECD is doing within the TFGR - although that's not explicitly stated. What is stated is that the OECD is getting paid to do the work - presumably by the EU.

    The 'To Vima' item is dated Feb 8 2013 so I looked on OECD for a corresponding press release - I couldn't find anything - Hmmmm?

    But I did find this report (pdf) - Greece at a Glance - Policies for a Sustainable Recovery - like many documents from such outfits it is undated. But I'm pretty certain it was published in Q2 2010.

    So why don't projects like Sunlight's get more coverage in the Greek media? Do Greeks value (treasure) their successful commercial enterprises to the extent that Germans, Japanese, Koreans and Americans do? I suspect not - and therein lies the answer to the first question.

    Which brings me to your conclusion. Who consumes the output of Greek elites, who are those who attend Greek educational, cultural and religious institutions. Primarily people who can understand and read Greek, which is no more than 16 million worldwide - 11 million of whom live in Greece.

    I don't think you can divide the people from the elite in a liberal democracy, or even an illiberal one such as Singapore. They are both products of the same history, culture, society, prejudices etc, etc.

    There's another Greece/Austria parallelism - conscription. In a recent referendum the Austrians voted to retain it. Does Klaus think it is linked in anyway with what he wrote here Public sector privileges - Greece is not alone


    1. What would be the positive result of Greece's true communication, the interaction between Greeks, themselves, when they would not get badly drugged anymore by the Greek media?

      The Greek media are in a constant "chat" about nothing. By keeping the feelings of disaster as a kind of a preferring the drama more than the getting out of the drama, because maybe they fear the time that their programs with just "chat" (=endlessly making sounds, that seem to be words, sentences, but in fact creating nothing more than confusion and emptiness) stop? Where will they fill their programs with then? I am convinced that they do not know any other kind of cheap journalism as they show already for years. I would not be surprised that finally, after many years, it will be more and more clear that the Greek media have failed to broadcast real journalism.

      Greece needs a really excellent broadcaster.
      Let US start with it.
      Wouldn't it be possible?
      There must be Greeks from abroad who speak Greek and think as you, as "AthensDog" (or what was his name), as Tsigantes, as Kastner. Gemma.
      With Greek subtitles, when guests in the program cannot speak Greek.

      A broadcasting station for one hour a day. The rest of the day has to be used by the Greeks for work. If not in a payed job, then volunteering. Cleaning up the streets, the villages, the cities. Helping older people. Taking children to Greece's nature and show what grows there. On the spot. Not teaching from out of books only. Taking children to bike together. Walk. Lots of ideas. Lots of work.
      Jobs. Not payed. But at least work. Why should work always needed to be payed. Is it an excuse not to do anything at all finally?

      The Greek broadcasters keep people away from the work that has to be done. In endless talkings, advertisements.

      What my job could be? I am sure that I can create a wonderful looking studio, keeping it clean to make it look nice. I can make coffee, tea. Serve water.

      O yes, I would like to ask wonderful looking true Greek "common" older women and men as the presentors of the news, documentaries. Wearing the normal clothes, showing to the Greeks that good is good enough. Not wearing mascara, at least not that usual overload that is normal now, not nigh heels there, but a normal street dress or suit. Not cocktail dresses or suits. The hair must be normal, as usual, not with litres of hairspray on it. No botox faces. I would like to present the "common" beautiful Greek women. And men.
      From the country side. Pure. With hands that show that they are used for work. With normal nails, not the uggly long polished ones the women show now.
      I would like to hear those older women and men talking about their ancestors, their parents. The older times. How they went through bad times.

      A lot is still not known. A time ago I found a documentary. A wonderful documentary.
      About Greece. War. Pain. "Common" people. But with a meaningful story.
      Documentary: A Song for Argyris

      You can turn on captions: English, Greek, German, French

      People who went through bad times can teach the younger generation. Encourage them. Show them that human beings DO have incredible strength, power, spirit.

    2. No, conscription would be an area where I don't see any Greek/Austrian parallels. Greece is a top spender as regards defense and seems to mean business when it comes to defending the country, Austria is a total freeloader and always has been: pretending to take defense seriously when in actual fact hiding under NATO's security umbrella without joining it (and paying for it...). Regarding the recent referendum, the one question which played absolutely no role in it was what kind of defense Austria really needed in the 21st century. The party which had always been adamantly against a professional army suddenly made a 180 degree switch because they thought it would get them votes with young people who would no longer be consribed. The other party which had always been for a professional army suddenly made 180 degree switch because they thought it would get them votes with older people. The latter turned out to be right: the older generation turned out in large numbers to voice that 'it won't hurt those youngster to do some service to their country'.

      It was one of the silliest democratic excercises in the still relatively young Austrian democracy. Also one of the most irresponsible ones: the two large parties really didn't know what to do so they passed the buck to direct democracy without giving voters much information what the whole thing was really about.

  2. sebastian_schroederMarch 15, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Klaus, in case you are interested there has been a nice report about sunlight in Der Spiegel some time ago.

    1. Thank you. Below is my response.