Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Greece’s Last Evasion

by Bret Stephens

Wall Street Journal

January 26, 2015

Whenever I think of Greece and its economy, I can’t help but recall the stool-sample story.

Sorry to begin on a scatological note, but here’s a revealing tale about a country that, by electing the radical left-wing Syriza party over the weekend, just voted itself down the toilet. In 2011, Greek entrepreneur Fotis Antonopoulos and his partners decided to start OliveShop.com, an online store specializing in organic olive-oil products.

Before they could start their business, they first needed the right paperwork. As recounted in the Greek newspaper e-Kathimerini, authorizations were required from the government tax office, the local municipality, the fire department. Also the bank, which insisted that the entire website be in Greek—and only in Greek—despite Mr. Antonopoulos’s attempts to explain that he intended to market his products to foreign customers.


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