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Monday, January 6, 2014

Greece: Tourists, Olive Oil and - Get This! - Nuclear Research!

This Google-translated article from the FAZ totally astounded me! It states that Greece, through its research center 'Demokritos', belongs to the leaders in nuclear research within the EU. The key tags are: nuclear physics, nuclear technology, radiation protection, material science, microelectronics, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical and other fields.

Well, it took me a while to take in the news that this would be happening in the land of tourists and olive oil. On the other hand, I have always intuitively argued that Greece is a country of tremendous potential --- only that this potential is not fully put to use.

The article quotes Prof. Alexander Kritikos, researching in Germany but of Greek origin, who makes some very interesting comments. Comments which I have also made in this post.

"Balancing the budget and implementing reforms, however difficult that is, will alone not solve Greece's problems" - tourism and shipping will not suffice to provide Greeks with a decent living standard. There will have to be more value creation built up in the country (or brought into it via foreign investment).

"There are many hidden resources in Greece; they are just not properly used and/or developed".

"One doesn't have to begin with new incentives. Only eliminating current hurdles would be a good start".

Prof. Kritikos concluded with a remark which at first sounded funny but which, upon further thinking, is probably the saddest thing one can say about Greece: "Greece is the only country in the Eurozone which exports more scientists than it imports". That is probably an exaggeration but I guess he is trying to make a point.

A surplus in the scientists balance is the worst thing which can happen to Greece longer-term. On the other hand, if Greece could accomplish a deficit in the scientists balance (i. e. import more scientists than are exported), a gigantic surplus in the trade balance would surely be the consequence over time.


  1. Unfortunately FAZ newspaper is not always reliable...

    H. Trickler


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