There has been a lot of talk in the news lately about the economic troubles faced by Greece and the impact this will have on the rest of the world as we try to recover from the international recession. Most expect that the European Union will bail Greece out and this will be a major test of the strength of the E.U. With that in mind, the E.U. has laid some restrictions on Greece to help make sure this will not happen again. I think one of the restrictions is completely inappropriate.
The Greek language has a very long history, of course. Many of the names used by people go back quite a way as well. To English speakers, some of the family names are long and difficult to pronounce. The members of the E.U. think those names are too long also. They have demanded that the Greeks shrink the size of their names so as to spend fewer resources printing long names.
Though I can see where the printing and storing of long names does use more resources than one would use with short names, this still seems wrong. German names can be rather lengthy as well but no one is clamoring to have their legacy chopped off. Family names are not only important to families, but are part of a nation's cultural heritage as well.
Let's hope that the E.U. can help Greece through this difficult time without demanding unrealistic or punitive measures. Hopefully, they will remember some of the problems caused by the excessive demands placed on Germany after the First World War. With luck, we will all get through this worldwide recession with all our names intact.
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