2015-07-22 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Greece’s Political Options

To The Editor:

Greece has strategic political options it should consider to resist German confiscation of its fiscal sovereignty and indefinite debtor prisoner status. Germany’s Parliament should not be determining Greece’s fiscal and infrastructure policies. Lenders lend to get interest, not for charitable reasons. Lenders to countries should suffer losses on bad loans, regardless of the corruption, mistakes, inefficiencies, and political weakness of the borrowers. Prior Greek bailouts were bailouts of German and French banks, transferring Greek debt to government and government agencies without debt writeoffs.

The European Union goal of forcing political unification through a single currency without a fiscal union allows the financially strong member nations to impose their cultures on and continually coerce the financially weak members, which cannot use the currency devaluation tool. The people of the politically and financially weak countries should not lose their pensions and suffer decades of austerity because of their lenders’ and their leaders’ mistakes during the long process of achieving political and financial unification of the European Union.

Every fiscally weak Eurozone country should use all available political tools in times of financial stress to avoid losing control of fiscal policy to financially stronger Eurozone nations.

For example, Greece, a small NATO country with a great location on the Mediterranean Sea should “trial balloon” the possibility of making a 100-year military base/port lease to a non-NATO country, or two. Greece should consider providing any nation not at war with gas/oil pipeline routes to the Mediterranean and/or missile and drone base locations. China, need a great port? Can a NATO member join another military alliance? Mr. Putin, how about a wink?

Austerity has made the Greek financial situation worse, and five years is enough to prove it has not worked. Greek debt is projected to reach 200 percent of its Gross National Product, which declined 25 percent under austerity. Germany should remember what happens when excessive “reparations” are demanded, and allow appropriate debt writeoffs, writeoffs that should have occurred with the first bailout.

Leonard Lanzone

Reject Pan Am Shelter

A copy of this letter was received at the
Queens Gazette.
July 8, 2015
Scott Stringer
New York City Comptroller
One Centre Street
New York, NY 10007

Dear Comptroller Stringer:

I write regarding the pending contract between the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and Samaritan Village, Inc. for a standalone transitional shelter to be permanently placed at the former Pan American Hotel located at 79-00 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, NY 11373.

I was encouraged and supportive of your decision to hold the initial contract due to outstanding safety violations. As you know, this shelter has been plagued with problems ever since it opened. The blatant lack of transparency during this process was troubling, and existing conditions at the facility are unworkable and a disservice to those who are housed at the facility.

It is my understanding that Samaritan Village resubmitted its contract to your office on June 12, 2015. While I support the need to help the homeless, the Pan American location has proven to be inadequate for such a facility. The absence of coherent planning, community involvement, and quality living conditions is inexcusable. I urge you to reject this new contract.

Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.

Grace Meng
Member of Congress

Job Fair Results

To The Editor:

Last week, we held our annual job fair with the collaboration of Queens Center and Woodside on the Move. More than 50 job seekers were hired on the spot during the event, which took place at Queens Center. Each new hire means a paycheck for hardworking families in the district.

During the job fair at the shopping center, a total of 45 employers carried out 2,140 interviews with candidates. They also scheduled another 1,145 interviews to be conducted at a later date. In total, about 1,200 job seekers participated in the job fair. Based on past experience, I am sure some of the candidates that scheduled follow-up interviews will also be hired.

On Tuesday, I met with several tenants from a Jackson Heights building that has had no elevator service for the past several weeks. Some residents are seniors, others have disabilities. Without proper elevator service, residents have a hard time going about their daily lives. For them, just a trip to the supermarket has become an odyssey because they have a very hard time going up and down several flights of stairs.

I urge the landlord to fix this elevator as soon as possible, as these residents have been dealing with this unfortunate situation for far too long.

If you have any questions or need help, do not hesitate to stop by my office or to call us at 718-205-3881.

Jose Peralta

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