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How to win a Mayoral Election in Times of Recession.

Last weekend saw Greek local elections. Let no-one say that Greeks lack a sense of reality. Two days after becoming Mayor of a small, shy, remote island that shall remain nameless in case I ever want to go there again, Five Star Greece obtained copies of the Mayoral programme of publically funded projects for 2011: A shiny new airport built on a mountain  that would be  flattened to accommodate it;  a cruise ship marina in the middle of a deep and windy bay;  something called a Logistics Park to be built in the wild and roadless south of the island; a second marina,  an orphanage, an old age home, a series of wind turbines; a museum, and a network of nice new roads to link all these glories together. And the Mayor won on this platform.

It reminds me of a rather unfunny joke I just heard – A Greek, and Irishman and a Portuguese walk into a pub one day to have a drink. They all order several pints of beer and packets of chips, and then the Greek leaves without paying. The Irishman tries to pay with an IOU and the Portuguese is still waiting for a German to arrive and pick up the tab.

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