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The Greeks Beg to Differ

Regarding "For Sale-ish" (Features, Oct. 11) by A. Craig Copetas: First, this piece presents a total lack of distinction between public and private islands. The two should not be confused. Greek public islands are not up for sale.

Second, the piece makes numerous references to the current Prime Minister's "enthusiasm" and his support for the sale of Greece's public islands. Quite to the contrary, the current Greek government has remained adamant that Greece's islands will not be put up for sale and that the development of these islands, particularly for high-value tourism and renewable energy, could generate substantial economic growth. This position is well documented in countless interviews, speeches, and statements.

This article's incorrect view of Greece and the Greek development agenda is surely a result of the author's official sources, who are almost exclusively representatives of the previous conservative administration. The only current government spokesman the reporter contacted, it turns out was [Piraeus Real Estate Chief Executive Officer George Papaioannou,] the aforementioned bank employee.

Had the reporter contacted this office to check his facts on the Prime Minister's policy, much of this confusion and misinformation could have been avoided. As a matter of fact, this administration has adopted legislation that addresses the problems of the past to which he refers.

Indeed, Greece has its challenges to overcome. Yet one wonders why—other than pure sensationalism—Mr. Copetas would go to such lengths to distort the reality of this country.

If this article is indeed "the best wacky story on Greece yet," as your cover regretfully states, it can only be the result of sloppy reporting and a staggering lack of fact-checking.

Vassilis Papadimitriou, International Press Desk, Office of the Prime Minister of Greece

Editor's Note: We are glad to provide an opposing viewpoint. Our reporter made several documented attempts to provide the Greek government an opportunity to explain or add to the story. Bloomberg Businessweek stands by the story.

Tea and Antipathy

Regarding "The Devil You Don't Know" (Features, Oct. 18): I am in the Tea Party movement. The interest on our debt this year approaches $400 billion. The Office of Management and Budget has said that interest on the debt will be more than $700 billion in five years. But in your Oct. 18 issue I see a sinister picture of Sarah Palin.

News flash: Sarah Palin is not the problem. The Tea Party is not the problem. Federal government spending is extreme, out of control, and the Democrats in particular have no plan to fix the problem. And I don't need you telling me who business does or does not trust.

Martin Harper, San Antonio

Your Oct. 18 issue, the one with the worst picture of Palin you could possibly find, does yeoman duty for the Democratic National Committee with a timely report emphasizing every "extreme" Tea Party associate's utterance available. Is the business world really satisfied with the direction the Administration and Congress has attempted to take the country? It would seem not, given the lethargic state of the economy. How about an analysis of how the Democrats in Congress contributed to the housing crisis with their homes-for-everyone initiatives? Remember their "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" response when warned by the Bush Administration that Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) were in a heap of trouble?

I had hoped that Bloomberg Businessweek would deliver a bias-free view of the financial world and not try to influence elections.

Thomas Freitas, Honolulu

In reading "The Devil You Don't Know" and viewing the unflattering cover picture of Sarah Palin, I kept wondering where the two authors came from—Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker?

In spite of the expected New York groupthink bias with its emphasis on extreme right-wing views, the piece did provide some useful information.

Norman L. Scott, Fort Lauderdale

Have you lost your minds? Do you really think this woman, Sarah Palin, is influential? She doesn't have anything intelligent to say. She's good at pandering to her base and bashing the President. She is someone who has no problems stirring up the militia, the KKK, and any other crazy who wants to take out our representatives and the President himself. It makes a lot of money for her.

You need to put the President on the cover and talk more about his accomplishments. Small wonder we don't have more decent people running for office.

Shirley Slaughter, Oak Park, Mich.


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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