Nikos Konstandaras at PostGlobal

Nikos Konstandaras

Athens, Greece

Nikos Konstandaras is managing editor and a columnist of Kathimerini, the leading Greek morning daily. He is also the founding editor of Kathimerini’s English Edition, which is published as a supplement to The International Herald Tribune in Greece, Cyprus and Albania. He worked as a correspondent for The Associated Press from 1989 to 1997 before joining the Greek press and has reported from many countries in the region. Close.

Nikos Konstandaras

Athens, Greece

Nikos Konstandaras is managing editor and a columnist of Kathimerini, the leading Greek morning daily. He is also the founding editor of Kathimerini’s English Edition, which is published as a supplement to The International Herald Tribune in Greece, Cyprus and Albania. more »

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May 26, 2009 11:37 AM

Newspapers' Paperless Future

The Current Discussion: American newspapers are in dire financial straits. How are newspapers faring where you are? Are you concerned about the future of journalism in America or in your own country? What does that future look like?

It appears almost certain that paper will not figure in the future of newspapers. The logic is indisputable: newspapers are hugely expensive, demanding great investment in editorial salaries and services, printing plants and distribution networks; their revenues come from sales (newsstands and subscriptions), advertising and support/subsidies from various other sources, whether private or public. If newspapers go electronic, only the editorial costs need be maintained, with production and distribution costs disappearing overnight; this need not disrupt any of the revenue sources, although so far these are much smaller with regard to print editions' sliding revenues.

So the future is electronic. But we already have newspapers online, both as partners to print editions and flying solo. And yet it is difficult to guess what the future will look like, because the news industry finds itself in a fog of developments that do not allow anyone to know what obstacles still lie ahead and what we will see on the horizon - and when. The fog is made up of the huge variety of news sites on the Internet today and the factors that will influence the direction in which they will go. So the best we can do is make educated guesses.

Here's mine. I believe that we already have a pretty good idea of what "newspapers" will look like when they are exclusively electronic: we see them every day in a variety of forms on the Internet. We will know for sure only when those that cannot adapt successfully are out of the way, exhausted by a lack of revenues, leaving fewer news sites to forge a more lasting relationship with readers and advertisers.

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February 20, 2009 2:29 PM

Still Time to Diffuse Israel's Arab Question

The Current Discussion: Israel's real "existential question" is whether or not to disenfranchise its Arab minority, says Fareed Zakaria in his column this week. Is he right?

This is truly an existential problem - so much so that one should try not to answer it, even as some populist politicians may try to force a debate on the issue. A majority of Israel's Arab, non-Jewish population would negate the basis of the Jewish state; a modern democracy can do nothing to disenfranchise any group of its citizens.

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December 30, 2008 12:08 PM

We Need to Rethink Our Views for 2009

If we do not have good news in 2009 then we will certainly have very bad news, both locally and globally, because 2008 showed that we have to rethink everything that we took for granted since World War II. The good news will involve finding ways to provide our populations with the minimum necessary for a dignified and meaningful life while guaranteeing the individual's freedom to develop according to his or her ambitions and capabilities. The challenge will be in devising a new system of minimal but effective government in a marriage with individual freedom and a market economy. Leaving things to drift along as they are now will lead to greater unrest within societies and greater turmoil in the world. It is time for ideas, time for new ways of looking at the world, its problems and its possible solutions.

The global economy is in a mess. The chain reaction began over a year ago when the giant pyramid scheme which was built on providing huge mortgages to U.S. citizens who could not afford them began to collapse. The financial services sector as we knew it, which had been skimming the profits off this collective madness, is now on the scrapheap of history. For once, even the rich have lost great fortunes as the crisis uncovers the fraud on which so many investments were based.

The world is looking for new ways to finance growth, at a time when trust has collapsed and major economies are in recession. This means that the effects of the global problem are hitting individuals in many - if not most - countries. Jobs, pensions, schools, hospitals and other foundations of our society are in jeopardy. In our democracies, we have a social contract in which the population remains docile even when dissatisfied with the government, waiting for its opportunity to change things at the next election. In Greece we have seen what happens when this contract is undermined: a policeman's killing of a 15-year-old boy on Dec. 6, sparked widespread rioting, in which anti-establishment groups took over the protest and, in effect, destroyed the economy of central Athens, sending shock waves through a Europe that is terrified of the social fallout of the economic crisis.

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June 18, 2008 9:20 AM

Defend Europe Now

The Current Discussion: After Ireland voted 'No' in last week's referendum on EU reform, we're left wondering: Is the EU unraveling?

ATHENS - It is pitiful to see how little faith the leaders of European Union countries have in themselves and in the great human, political, economic and social experiment that outrageous fortune has put in their care. European integration is in danger, but not because of the Irish rejection of the diluted reform treaty that aimed to make the Union a more coherent and functional political body. It’s in danger because of the tactical incompetence and lack of inspired leadership on the part of the people who govern the member-states’ governments as well as those charged with running the EU.

The Irish rejection of the EU’s reform treaty in a referendum last week, just as the French and Dutch “no” to its predecessor, the EU Constitution in 2005, will undoubtedly lead to a chorus of declarations that the will of the voters has to be respected. And so, close to 500 million Europeans whose countries are members of the EU will have to be happy with Europe’s continued limbo because a majority of Ireland’s three million voters had a bone to pick with their government and little confidence in the future. After the French and Dutch referenda, Europe froze for about two years. The reform treaty was the EU leaders’ effort to placate skeptics who feared that the EU was taking too much power away from national governments. Now the Irish have sunk even that compromise and there is no Plan C.

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June 16, 2008 11:52 AM

Global Is the New Local

The Current Discussion:Is there a growing global agenda -- that is, an agenda of issues being discussed that affects the world rather than individual countries? Or are local concerns still paramount?

High fuel and food prices, climate change, the rise of major new economies, the credit crisis, terrorism and the United States’ shaping of the global security agenda have all shown beyond any doubt that anything that affects the planet becomes a local issue. And though local concerns are paramount in the sense that these are the issues that determine election winners in each country, the problems that affect the world today can only be dealt with at a global level, as the debates on PostGlobal show, coming as they do from all corners of the globe. Local concerns and the global agenda are now inseparable. The question is how individual countries will be able to separate domestic, petty political concerns from their main task, which is to protect their people from the fallout from international problems while doing all possible to make their countries as competitive as possible in an increasingly challenging global environment. This will imply great changes on the domestic political scene, with parties having to reach unprecedented consensus on decisions that cannot be delayed or diluted. These include reforms to education, labor laws, pension systems, and cooperation with neighboring countries and international organizations so as to act swiftly on regional and global issues.

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February 25, 2008 1:56 PM

Kosovo Isn't About Russia

The Current Discussion: Are the U.S. and Europe right to recognize Kosovo and continue to poke Russia with a stick?

ATHENS - The issue is not whether it is right or wrong to keep baiting Russia, but whether it is right or wrong for the United States to keep rushing headlong into decisions that create more problems than they solve - and whether it is right for the European Union to rubber-stamp those decisions. Russia is incidental to the real issue here, and in fact seems to be baiting the United States and its allies rather more than the United States and Europe are bothering Moscow. Remember the end of the U.S.-led war against Yugoslavia in 1999, when Russian troops entered Kosovo before any NATO allies did? The Russians made their point and left. Now, having taken a clear stand against the United States, the Russians can watch and comment sarcastically as Washington and its allies battle to make an independent Kosovo work.

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January 9, 2008 9:45 AM

Dear Candidates: Your Country on the Brink

ATHENS - In the juggernaut that is a U.S. presidential election, it may be easy for the candidates to forget that the world is bigger than their constituency. Yet the winner will be called upon to take decisions that will determine the future not only of his or her country, but of the whole world. There is nothing new in this: for decades the United States has been the single country that makes the greatest difference in world affairs. What the new president will face, though, is the challenge of governing a country that stands on the brink of decline or revival – one that faces greater domestic and international challenges than ever before, at exactly the time that its powers are diminished and the confidence of its people shaken by economic crisis and military misadventure.

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January 7, 2008 3:08 PM

Filmmakers' Moral Obligation

Question: The producers of the movie "The Kite Runner" had to evacuate three boy actors from Afghanistan because they were involved in a scene portraying homosexual rape. Who's at fault here: the movie producers who exposed the boys to danger, or the Afghan culture that threatens them?

Athens, Greece - Both sides are to blame – but the responsibility of the film producers is greater. Because they believe that they represent a tradition of liberal democracy and tolerance, they should have taken care to protect the boy actors from the anger and bigotry that threatened them in Afghanistan. Those who threatened the boys were acting in character, while those who exposed them to danger were denying the values that they claim to represent through their careless folly.

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December 10, 2007 12:45 PM

The NIE's Pre-Emptive Strike

ATHENS - There is something surreal in the symmetry of the U.S. intelligence community’s pre-emptive strike against President George W. Bush. It’s as if the intelligence community is acknowledging the old truth that generals always fight a war on the basis of principles learned in the previous one. Burned by its creative ambiguity in the run-up to the Iraq war, the intelligence community now seems to be trying to prevent itself from being used to justify another unnecessary war.

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October 15, 2007 11:23 AM

Turkey's Past Victories Spawn Today’s Defeats

Athens - It should be the obligation of every individual, every country and every transnational organization to try to prevent - or, failing that, to condemn - a crime of such magnitude as the organized extermination of Turkey’s Armenian population. You are either on the side of right or you are not. So, on the face of it, this should be a simple issue for the United States and for every other country. Reflecting this, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Resolution 106 claims, “Despite the international recognition and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, the failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have recurred and may recur in the future.” It concludes that, “a just resolution will help prevent future genocides.” (That remains to be seen: The Holocaust, though it was officially recognized and its perpetrators were punished, was followed by genocide in Cambodia and Rwanda and “ethnic cleansing,” genocide’s little brother, in several other instances.)

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.