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Nightmare: When Greece took over Apple, Inc


It was encouraging to see that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou took time off from his economic woes to shed a tear or two for Steve Jobs. He even managed a couple of sugary Tweetologies. Apparently he is a big Apple fan.

Last night, though, I had a nightmare.  George’s PASOK socialist party took over the running of Apple. In the course of a month he had

  • invited every member of the Apple staff to recruit one close family member (no experience required), provided they support the party, thus doubling the staff overnight
  • given them all the afternoon off (every day) and lots and lots of holidays, including all major saints’ days
  • introduced retirement at fifty on 90 percent of salary
  • given them all 14 months’ salary every year¹ (based on the ancient Greek calendar)
  • banished all computers from HQ and reintroduced Rolodex and carbon paper in order to keep the extra staff apparently busy
  • failed to collect any tax on their salaries because the computers weren’t running
  • banned sackings, except for murder of the CEO, even if staff sit at their desks all day doing nothing
  • suggested to all Apple customers that they provide a small brown envelope (fakelaki²)  before updating to OS X Lion and IOS 5 so they get to the head of server line
  • handed over Apple’s $80bn to the party
  • encouraged the anarchists of the Bay Area to riot every afternoon in front of 1 Infinite Loop in order to persuade the international community that he is doing a good job in the face of much opposition

I awoke sweating profusely. Maybe after all, it would be better to let Apple buy Greece (they can well afford it) and install Tim Cook as Prime Minister.


¹ Before the Spartans launch the Three Hundred in my direction, I acknowledge that George has done something to stop the worst abuses, including 14-month years and premature retirement, but there’s a long way to go.

² “I’ll slip you a fakelaki if you remember not to remove the wrong testicle” is music to the ears of any self-respecting surgeon in Kolonaki, the Harley Street of Athens. Despite the outward trappings, including the grand office and the Porsche Cayenne parked nearby, the poor things manage to scrape by on an annual taxable income of only 12,000 euros.


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