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Thursday, November 17, 2005 

Disconnecting From OTE

Disconnecting becomes 500% cheaper

Back in June, I blogged OTE's grandiose and extravagant early retirement scheme. At a cost of 1.5 billion€, they planned to get rid of thousands of useless OTE employees whom they never should have hired in the first place. The average cash windfall each of these employees will receive, on average, is 250,000€. As if that isn't offensive enough, the Finance Minister, Alogoskoufis reassured us that

"Taxpayers won't be burdened. (June 3, 2005-Athens News)

Fast forward 5 months to the present and we have this little newsbite...

OTE said on Tuesday that its EPAK connection charges, which offer users Internet access via a regular phone line, will increase by 75 percent during the day and 500 percent for those wishing to surf at night. (Kathimerini)

I think it's pretty safe to say that a 500% price increase is a burden to taxpayers, wouldn't you? Yes, good citizens of Greece, despite Mr. Algoskoufis' statement, we are once again the proud owners of another couple of billion euros of debt. The man can't seem to get a budget passed. His attempts to combat tax evasion failed miserably. He thinks he can combat thousands of cases of money laundering with two men with a borrowed computer. He is the second most disliked man in the ND party and so when he says taxpayers won't be burdened, he still expects people to actually believe his distortions of the truth.

Here's the fuzzy logic for their decision to up the charges...


Industry sources said that the move is aimed at pushing more users on to the faster — and more expensive — ADSL connection. (Kathimerini)

Considering that Greece already ranked last for Internet usage in the EU because of the already high cost of internet connection (double the EU rates), those numbers will no doubt shrink even further. So much for Greece's new Information Society Observatory superbly blogged over at Phylax...with this new price hike the only thing they'll be observing is users disconnecting.

Thank god we moved to a city that has ADSL available before this change took place.

Good lord, the fact that they charged fees for internet phone line usage in the first place is primitive, it is something they need to DO AWAY with, not increase.

And considering the only places you'll get ADSL in Greece are the major cities, that leaves a lot of the rural people without much choice.

A friend came over this afternoon and quoted Kathimerini "He thinks he can combat thousands of cases of money laundering with two men with a borrowed computer." That was fu*king hysterical.

Mel...I have ADSL at home but I have dial up at work. And even if I didn't...I still think they're all (internet) highway robbers.

Diva...Every time I read the news these days, I have to check the URL to make sure it's not the Darwin Awards website. I'd hire the guy who brought his own laptop in ...there's initiative for you instead of the usual "ti na kano" attitude you find in govt. offices. Poor guy...probably a direct descendant of Sysyphus.

I was sure you were up to it :P

I'll tell you one thing: five years ago we were considering having ADSL installed in our house. The price was OK and we were many people at home, the only reason we didn't do it was because the labs were down the corner. Instead, we opted for a simple dial-up connection. In the UK you pay a monthly fee and you make 0800 calls to your internet provider.

The years passed by and I moved to Greece again. There, I discovered with surprise you have to pay money for the time you spend online using a dial-up connection. It was still cheap but I spend much time online anyway. Then I read this yesterday. The right of the Greek citizen to the participation in the information society, my arse. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Back in 97, I used to buy two 20 Marlboros and a croissant with less than 1000drs (3€). Now you don't buy even one Marlboro pack with so little cash.

Now in London, I've got a 100Mbps connection in the lab and 2Mbps at home.

Now it seems that OTE changed its mind and won't raise the price in December. To me, it seems they weren't going to do it now anyway; they just wanted to see how you would react. Make no mistake, the price will still be raised, it's just gonna happen at a lower pace so that we don't freak out all at once. Iranians are worried the authorities may take their blogs down. In Greece you don't have this worry; the Internet gets expensive, you still can't blog. But if Greece truly belonged to the West and were a free market society, you wouldn't need to keep an eye on your telco all the time so that you notice whenever they want to fuck with you. You wouldn't have to beg every fat lardass so he can give you what citizens of other countries think is rightfully theirs (which it is), and pay it in gold on top of that. The point is not to beg the Prime Minister so he can intervene, which he did. The point is that Greece is supposedly a progressed EU country and we would have to be confident about trivial things like that. The point is that things like that shouldn't be such a fuck-up so that we would have to call to the government every now and then.

I think I'll stop here cos I've already talked too much.

Hey, Steelheart, you carry on, that was cool.

Hm, we got a closet Pink Floyd fan here by any chance, SeaWitch? Maybe studies of Sysyphus is part of the training for civil servants here – you make them go from one desk to the next desk, then back to the desk they first started at (long queue at each, naturally). Talk about rolling ya rock uphill. But then, Greece isn’t really information friendly, is it? Out here we’re still at the ‘pin a notice on a telegraph pole’ stage. And when it comes to ‘important’ events, even the locals never know what time things are going to kick off. I’ve seen locals waiting for a bus service that’s been cancelled without notice. Finished. Come back next summer. Greece – I love it to bits (mostly).

Steel...you should have kept going...I was thoroughly enjoying your rant...The sad thing about getting the govt. to intervene is that the govt. is already the largest shareholder in OTE. They were giddly counting their 30 million€ projected income from the rate hike before several watchdog orgs got wind of it. Another case of the wolf tending the sheep.

Hey Mike! Would you think less of me if I told you that the only Pink Floyd song I know is "Another Brick in the Wall"? LOL

On a sidenote...Minister of the Interior, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, announced yet another plan to computerize every govt. office in the country. Even if he does manage to succeed where countless others failed...what good will it do when the simple serpents don't know how to use them? I was at the TEBE offices in January. I can't say it saved any wait time though. The woman who served me had no doubt only seen PCs on TV. She had to figure out how to type...one key at a time: eyes on the keyboard, locates the key, hits the key, looks at the monitor to see if the right key was struck before she types the second letter of your name...then her printer gets jammed. She had no idea how to get the paper out of the feed tray. I tried to tell her how to remove the jammed paper but she told me to be quiet so she could call the "computer guy" who came over to her desk after a 10 min. wait and removed the extra sheets from the tray for her in less than 3 seconds. If you're interested I'll tell you about IKA too. LOL

I used to love Floyd, but I haven't listened to them in a very, very long time. They seem to be an instrument of youth, although if I hear a song I still enjoy it.

I'm glad OTE has retracted on the charges, but still, imo they need to be lowering them and eliminating them completely. That is the way it works in the real world, apparently they don't realize that, and just want to get their bloodsucking hands on any money they can get.

OK, confession time: the only Pink Floyd song I know is Another Brick in the Wall - I only got the connection because I had to do a Google search just to find out who Sysyphus was. Oh my! Oh, and maybe Money, I think that was Pink Floyd, but I'm not so keen on that (just ain't gonna make it as a capitalist, I guess)

I'm with Mel, they were an instrument of youth - and I was just too young to appreciate them (I wish).

But yes, in the developed world the net seems to be stimulating the economy, here the government is stifling the net. Countries such as Ethiopa and FYROM are going to be making Greece an internet backwater. If Greece wants to move its economy, and it's population, forward perhaps it should seriously consider investing in the $100 laptop scheme, otherwise it will just get left behind and then whinge as all it's 'enemies' surrounding us move ahead technologically and economically.

We need to become accustomed. Life and living, cost of living, is going to get more and more exacting. Higher taxation and a squeeze of our earning capacity is normal and to be expected. We have to count our blessings that we can still afford using the net, although it leaves a few less euros in our pockets.

With a bunch of ragamuffins seating in Parliament our disconmfort will increase in direct proportion to their gargantuan apetite for graft and theft. Parliamentarian rogues and brigands all of them.

They know full well that we Greeks will bark and bark incessantly at our distresses, but will we bite ?
Never.

So the music plays on and the ransacking of the ordinary citizen goes on.

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