I copy the article which has been retrieved from Globalpost.com and conducted by Ken Maguire
I think that the article is extremely objective in terms of the facts provision. I would add that the main source of insecurity for the people is derived by the government itself (both the elected ex government of Pasok and the current transition government) which do not hold any social legitimacy at all among the majority of Greeks.
Where Greeks hide their savings
With safes and Swiss accounts, rich Greeks could stand to profit from the crisis.
Demonstrators burn an EU flag during a protest in Thessaloniki on November 17, 2011 against austerity measures demanded by the new unity government to persuade its creditors to release bankruptcy-saving loans. Greeks are draining local banks in favor of Swiss accounts, London property and cash stashed in home safes. (Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images)
View full article »
I reproduce the article by Alexander Elkin and Aleksey Shlyapuzhnikov which is retrieved from the Transparency International Blog
Alexander Elkin and Aleksey Shlyapuzhnikov of the Center for Anti-Corruption Research and Initiative Transparency International Russia (TI Russia) talk about engaging the public in anti-corruption work with the help of new technologies.
Several years ago, an intellectual movement called Lebed (which stands for “the swan” in Russian) was created with the aim to bring together intellectuals, journalists, scientists and public figures of the Vladimir region in Russia. The goal of the movement was to unite the efforts of modern thinking people of the region to develop tools for efficient civic activism. From the very beginning the movement was in contact with TI Russia, because the main field for civic activism in Russia in recent years is anti-corruption work.
View full article »
This question is attempted to be answered by a promising initiative on global markets which launched few weeks ago by the Chicago Booth Business School.
Every week a panel of 40 carefully selected prominent academics and technocrats will be asked one policy question. The respondents will be able to signify their view by answering to the policy question by stating whether they “agree”, “extremely agree”, feel “uncertain”, “disagree”, or “extremely disagree” plus mentioning on a scale of 0 to 10 the confidence of their response. The panel experts will also be able to offer a sort comment on the policy question so as to strengthen their response.
The initiative seems quite interesting although by some might be argued that policy questions and mechanisms demanding an agree/disagree type of answer might be oversimplistic and thus lead to non-useful observations.
The site with the panel policy surveys is accessible from here. Remember that one question will be raised per week thus is recommended to sign up for the automatic feed to receive the updates!
I found an exceptional presentation of rough data by various official sources like Eurostat, IMF, World Bank in tables and graphs regarding the macroeconomic situation and the debt crisis the EU is experiencing. The site is knowledge Performance Indicators (KPI) and can be accessed here. Worth a visit! Unfortunately the data cannot be automatically extracted by the KPI Library.
For the past few weeks I have been trying to digitize some data from scanned pdf files. They are part of the monthly statistical bulletins that the Greek statistical agency recently provides online (access the digital library here). To become more specific, i am interested in about 10 variables on social benefits to analyse potential political economic cycles. I am using the monthly bulletins so as to capture any monthly (hence really short-term) variation discover any politically influenced changes before an election. However, a major issue with Greek data is that even when using elementary variables such as CPI it is difficult to find the data digitized and already available to the user in a file that a data processor can use, e.g. CSV. The work becomes more difficult when someone requires monthly data and for years as old as 1970 (as in my case). Thus, the only available option is to sit down and attempt to digitize the data in hand which is a very tedious, time-consuming process that apparently might involve the depreciation of the quality of the data as the human mind is prone to errors regardless of how careful someone is. I have thus been working on that task for about 2 months now. Bear in mind that we are talking about 10 variables times 12 months per year times 41 years which makes a total of 4920 data records!! This has been the manual way of digitizing data.
Yesterday I came across a massive project (massive in terms of its potential strength when is completed) that is under way by the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF). It is a data digitizer, a software that is intended to automatically digitize data from eg Pdf files and incorporate them into a spreadsheet (CSV) while keeping the format of the cells and columns as much as possible. The initiative seems to be extremely intelligent and impressive. As anyone who has come across the scenario of digitizing data manually could say with comfort, this project when finished and if successful can lead to absolute increase in the numbers of existing and ready to manipulate datasets as many non treatable pdf data will become available for statistical analysis or application development in a matter of machine seconds!
You may view all the details of the project of Data Digitizer HERE
Also there is a small demo displaying some features of the under construction project HERE
Having suffered the process of manually digitizing data I want to thank the minds and the hands behind that project.