Thursday, October 05, 2006

Oldest profession helps boost Greek national output by 25 per cent

The right-wing Greek government managed once again to make Greece the laughing stock of the world. On September 29, the Financial Times published an article entitled "Oldest profession helps boost Greek national output by 25 per cent" referring to the inclusion of black-economy (including prostitution) money to the Gross Domestic Product.

Although the actual amount related to illegal activities accounts only for 0.7% of the 25% upward revision of the GDP, it's quite obvious that there is something seriously wrong with the "big brains" of the Greek Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Talking about prostitution, I would like to say a thing about its role in ancient Athens where the legendary lawmaker Solon is credited with legalising prostitution by having created state brothels with regulated prices. However, what Solon really did (mainly in order to curb abuses of the Drakonian adultery laws), was to introduce a law which stated that if a man is caught with a woman who practices some form of prostitution, either organized or free-lance, he cannot be accused of adultery (Dem. 59.67). As Kapparis (2003, 3) states "by doing so Solon perhaps unintentionally legalized and defined prostitution."

Reference: K. Kapparis, “Women and Family in Athenian Law,” in Adriaan Lanni, ed., “Athenian Law in its Democratic Context” (Center for Hellenic Studies On-line Discussion Series). Republished in C.W. Blackwell, ed., D?mos: Classical Athenian Democracy (A. Mahoney and R. Scaife, edd., The Stoa: a consortium for electronic publication in the humanities []) edition of March 22, 2003.

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