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Viewpoint: Tesla marketing aiding SYRIZA?

Is Tesla’s apparent launch in Greece a vote of confidence in the beleaguered country or another political gimmick?

Elon Musk of Tesla Motors

Will rockets and Tesla save SYRIZA? An indication that Greece has “turned the corner” economically for a second time during the austerity period of the last eight years, first with the Antonis Samaras-led New Democracy government and now with SYRIZA and Alexis Tsipras, is the arrival of Tesla in Greece.

Associated with South African businessman Elon Musk, Tesla has announced that it is setting up shop in Greece, although so far all they have announced is the imminent establishment of charging points for their electric vehicles in a few cities.

Taking into account a large percentage of Greeks jettisoned their cars during the crisis years as a result of the ludicrous tax hikes and the luxury tax imposed on automobiles with 2000cc engines and above, these expensive electric vehicles which are “oh so ecological” don’t really sell in Greece, never have, and probably never will.

The marketing behind Tesla is so intense that apparently once you have them on your soil you reach the stratosphere, as you have everything that is allegedly modern and ecological: from batteries that allegedly never rot but which pollute even more than anything that preceded them, as well as more coal-burning power stations to power the electric vehicles. But hey, why put a spanner in the works of a good story.

This also begs the question: who is Elon Musk, the alleged billionaire who is at the forefront of all technologies, the billionaire everyone would like to be? He is young and allegedly develops innovations which are so cutting edge that one wonders where he got obtained the knowledge and skills. His latest marketing gimmicks have included a Tesla car which allegedly is going around the earth and $100 million rocket launch.

Anyone who actually has researched Musk and his background or followed the establishment of his companies finds that he was never a part of the initial start-ups. He has invariably appeared after the fact as the public face to attain all the glory.

So why the fuss about Greece?

It should first be noted that the SYRIZA government has recently announced, alongside Musk’s “investment” in Greece, the impending launch (pun intended) of a “Hellenic Space Organization.” Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Nikos Pappas, who has traveled to the United States repeatedly during his tenure, will on Monday present the official launch of this space agency, a ludicrous concoction for a country whose economy and R&D sector are in shambles.

The only logical explanation is what preceded it. As Greece was rocked by the IMF, former prime minister George Papandreou announced in 2011 the biggest-ever investment in solar power in Greece. The news went global. What happened? Zero. What will happen with Musk? Next to zero. Is Musk’s arrival in Greece and the establishment of a new “space agency” related in some way? Perhaps! But hey, if it is marketed and promoted a bit more, SYRIZA can also go into the stratosphere in one of Musk’s rockets. After all, there is no limit to fairy tales and pre-electoral buzz.

Opinions expressed are those of the author alone and may not reflect the opinions and viewpoints of Hellenic Insider, its publisher, its editors, or its staff, writers, and contributors.

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