Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Well, there's an easy solution to the problem of asset stripping for future governments.

Do a Putin on their asses.

As long as the assets have not left Greece (and the more valuable ones cannot leave Greece), it is a trivial matter to send goons with guns and reclaim them.

Cite force majeure, bribery or even simply compelling national interest.

Less provocatively, tax them until they become unprofitable, then offer to buy them back for the same nominal sum they were sold for, minus any deferred maintenance.

Really, the number of ways to renationalise things you need to renationalise in more or less legal ways is legion.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 19th, 2011 at 03:28:56 AM EST
Hungary's right-populist government re-nationalised pension funds more or less this way. The difference: they focused their punitive measures on the customers, not the companies.

(They also sent the IMF packing, saying no thanks to the continuation of the loan programme on-going since 2008. In a recent speech, the economy minister declared that this was part of an "economic freedom fight". If only (1) this weren't a pandering for the far right in coded words, who think the problem with the IMF was that its head was Jewish; (2), he wouldn't have started his own austerity programme which he refuses to call so.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 19th, 2011 at 10:18:01 AM EST
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